Marvel Puzzle Quest Developer Q&A July 2022 Answers (7/26/22)

LakeStone
LakeStone ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 1,319 Site Admin
edited 26 July 2022, 18:15 in MPQ General Discussion

Hi Everyone - 

Thank you again to everyone that sent some really thought provoking questions this month.  I apologize for taking an extra day than promised to get these answers out to everyone. A big thank you to James Finley (Game Director) and the entire team at Broken Circle Studios for answering these questions for the community.

We do our best to answer every possible question but unfortunately we are not always able to do so but if we left anything out, please don't hesitate to ask again in future months.

So find a nice chair and get comfy and enjoy the read below. And for my boilerplate line here, I (Lakestone) apologize for any weird formatting, condensing, typos or such as I put this up in the forums today.  :p

Thanks again and we look forward to doing this again next month!

Question - Is the new pattern of having a puzzle gauntlet during a boss event here to stay? And is it purple, or is it actually pink? (captainheath)

Answer - For now, yes. Over time, we'll look at seeing where events drop, their cadences, time slices, etc and figure out if there are ways to make them better. But for right now, having Puzzle Gauntlet around to give people things to do while fighting bosses works pretty well.

And it's purple, unless you're Gwenpool and have the "Sploits".

Question - Is it possible that at some point we can have pve without time slices, or is that something we should never expect? 

There are a lot of ideas on how to keep pve competitive and speed based, but basically If we could do clears for each sub at any time in a 24h window, that would be the best improvement ever in this game. In pvp we have more flexibility because of shields, but in pve we have to play at very specific times each day or we can't compete, and that's my biggest problem with the game. (Mrcl25)

Answer - Not impossible, but would take a bigger revamp than you'd think at the start. Time slices are mostly a convenience factor, to allow people to play and finish subs at their preferred times. You can remove these, but then suddenly a PVE that ends at a great time for someone on the US East Coast is causing insomnia for someone in England.

As for clearing subs within a window, without any changes this would just turn a clear/reclear race into an initial clear race. If you've ever hit a new sub 2 hours later than start and do a full clear only to see that you're #69, it's easy to see that there'd have to be some other work to do here.

Question - Can you get rid of all the affiliations on supports? Just tie them to heroes, villains, or any character. (Dianetics)

Answer - I think the better idea here would be *more* Supports so that there's something to find and use regardless of affiliation. Nothing to report here yet, but just to say that we're thinking more in terms of adding rather than subtracting here.

Question – What is going to be your policy regarding retroactively providing rewards to the players if any of the in-game reward systems changes? (Domitronas)

Answer - Short answer is, we're not sure. Longer answer is that we're looking at multiple versions of retroactive rewards and what they'd do for the economy, for the game, and for future player expectations. On top of that, doing retroactive rewards isn't a straightforward process. There's no system to just swap a reward and the game automatically spits out covers and the like to players, and unfortunately, building such a system isn't exactly quick and simple. So we're still weighing all the options and figuring out which path to take. All that to say though, that we DO want to get as many of those 4s and 5s fed as possible. It's a bit odd that poor Havok still doesn't have a feeder.

Question - When the new 3* characters release and they are a duplicate of the 5* release will they both get their own PvP? (DAZ0273)

Answer - We'll have more info on how these releases will be handled soon, but yes. Both the 3-Star and 5-Star characters will get their own Versus events.

Question - Now that a lot of new affiliations are being created, are you going to go back (Soon ) and update all the existing characters to add new affiliations or change existing ones? More importantly are we going to get some new powers or updates to existing powers (reworks) that use these affiliations in a meaningful way? So much wasted potential here (see Gorr not doing damage to Godlike) (KGB)

Answer - We're glad that the players are noticing the new affiliations! Yes, we are planning to do new things with affiliations (we agree with the Gorr - Godlike opportunity missed). Yes, we are going to go back and update existing character as well. However, this not only requires development time, but also requires approvals from multiple parties. It will take some time, but we'll get there.

Question - Gargantos was your first character, or are there still work pieces of the former team?

Traps and repeaters tiles meta are hard to identify when the board is bloated with them. Are you thinking about a way to make them easier to play with?

Because I think it would be needed ;) My suggestion: a colored brand encircling them according to the power which created them, or something like that.

Edit: likewise special tiles could be remarked if they are stronger that others, or to show an approx value like 2k, 3k... without having to click them. (BAD)

Answer - Demiurge did the design and implementation work on Gargantos; Broken Circle handled the art.

Completely agree that certain tiles can be really tough to identify. Improving game legibility is a goal of course, although specifically the improvements you suggest are not on the immediate roadmap for fixing.

Question - I’m very curious about the decision to make the last boss event a restricted-roster event. Is this something we can expect for boss events moving forward?  If so, why and if not, why not? Any peeling back of the curtain here would be cool!

I for one loved it (as well as the increased rewards). So not another question, just a big THANK YOU! (Daredevil217)

Answer - Appreciate the curiosity and excitement surrounding the concept! The restricted roster (heroic) format is something that we love and have plans to do more of in the future. I think that Gargantos in particular suffered from balance issues, and the Dark Avengers restriction, though well intentioned, proved both more and less restricting than we would have hoped. We plan for our boss encounters to improve going forward with more time and experience (Gargantos was not only our first boss event, but the first new boss event to come to the game in quite some time). We can also look forward to heroics being less restrictive as we bring the full update of affiliations online.

Lastly, a big THANK YOU to you for playing!

Question - 1. There is a noticeable disparity between the number of villains and heroes in the 5* tier, particularly female villains. Do you intend to eventually bridge the gap or is it something not currently on your radar?

2. With the arrival of 5* Kamala Khan and her notable interaction with Beta Ray Bill and Polaris, is it safe to assume you have no issue with winfinite teams or do you see it as problem that will eventually be addressed? (Fight4theDream)

Answer - With regards to the matter of character disparity, this is certainly something we care about and are putting thought into. Typically character approvals occur well in advance, and discussions are currently taking place to lock in the 2023 release schedule. Diversity in all senses is and will be taken into account as we build that schedule.

As for winfinites, this is a concept that existed well before 5* Kamala Khan. Deeply synergistic teams are a big part of play in MPQ; we want to encourage them, but we also need to be on the lookout for runaway synergies that simply deviate expectations. While powerful, the 5* Kamala Khan synergy with Beta Ray Bill and Polaris is not the strongest or fastest meta strategy, but something we're keeping an eye on.

Question - Kind of piggybacking on this idea (above from Fight4TheDream), would there be some openness to create MPQ-original female villains? Maybe a genderswapping of popular male villains like Dr. Doom or Kraven? Not sure if those already exist in What If universes, but just throwing ideas out there. (Chirus)

Answer - So cool of you to mention this! My daughter has recently really gotten into the Spidey and his Amazing Friends show on Disney + (so proud!) and I love their female take on the classic Doc Ock! Certainly not making an announcement or anything, but everything you mention is absolutely of interest!

Question - What platform do you play the game on?  Do any of the developers play on Steam? (MoosePrime)

Answer - There are several answers to this! Personally I play the game on my iPhone 13s Max Pro (big screen). I test the game on another 13s Max Pro and a regular sized iPhone 11 (smaller screen). When features or content are at early stages, I test them on PC.

The majority of the team plays the game on Steam. No, they aren't fans of some of our characters look on the main screen on PC. Yes, they want to fix that.

Question - Generally speaking, what is the dev team's stance on fictionally powerful characters being less mechanically powerful than fictionally street level characters in the game? Like generally speaking it's okay that Okoye, a character with no powers, is wildly superior to Magneto (age of apocalypse) who is one of the fictionally most powerful mutants in the marvel universe?

Is there a way to build a saved team such that we don’t have to save three characters and then sell one off to save a 2 character squad? (ThaRoadWarrior)

Answer - Representation of power in MPQ can be very tricky. From a game perspective, characters need to operate within acceptable levels of performance for them to be considered balanced (and that's not even touching on subjects like relevance or whether or not they are meta). Rather than focus on bringing the fictional level of power to the characters in MPQ, we instead focus on identify and game fit. With each character, we essentially have three (ish) abilities that hopefully collectively nail the essence of that character. Additionally we want those three (ish) abilities to be meaningful. It's a serious challenge to balance those scales, but hugely rewarding!

Question - 1. How do you feel about PVP requiring a separate app outside of the game to co-oridinate attacks and shields which helps to inflate the scoring. Surely this is an exploit that a vast number of your players won't even know exists. To that end how would you feel about removing names from pvp and maybe have a system where if you are attacked by an alliance member they get the points but you don't lose any.

2. Supports, I have always loved them and feel they should have a place in pvp even if they only work on offence and not defence. This would allow smaller rosters to punch up slightly and speed up the matches as well. Even myself, I could skip less matches if I could use supports. Would you consider testing this? (Tony_Foot)

Answer - Concerning the use of out-of-game resources for PVP, we're less than happy about. It doesn't stop there, though. It isn't great that a new player guide on Reddit exists because of how unintuitive some things in this game are. Many of our veteran players have come to understand these intricacies, but it's always awful to hear new players reaching out to the community because they have "ruined" their account by rostering a lucky Latest Legends pull. Sorry for that tangent, but the intent of it is to say that MPQ is a great game with a big history, a shining future, and no shortage of improvements to make along the way (not excepting the specific issues you point out).

On the matter of Supports, as you may know we are actively designing their overhaul (which also means said overhaul is not happening soon). Nothing official to announce at this moment other than lots of things are on the table for discussion (including supports being usable in PVP).

Question - 1. Do you have any plans on improving the Alliance Chat system?  It's difficult to leave things like Announcements, which eventually end up getting pushed down and vanish.

2.  Any plans on being able to sort/filter Alliance members and applicants rosters?   Any other updates to alliance related plans coming would be appreciated. (SaltNPeppa)

Answer - Yes. You'll notice that there are certain parts of MPQ that haven't benefited from visual or experiential overhaul in some time. Alliances are one of these features. We have some fun things in store for Alliances that we think are going to be a really big deal for players, but for some of our plans to land right we're first going to need to modernize Alliances.

Question - 1: Do you have some new ideas on how to enhance the Milestone feature? It was a GREAT addition a few years back that seems to be universally liked, but the daily milestones have grown stale and the lifetime milestones are approaching the point of impossibility for us veteran players. This seems like a limitless way to engage a more diverse amount of daily play from all levels of players, use it that way.

2: Can the number of players in a certain PVE (and maybe PVP?) time-slice and CL difficulty be visible to the players BEFORE they join, rather than after? That would eliminate the labor-intensive effort of those who track players counts via outside information and even the field for those aren't privy to the competitive advantage of those waiting to join to catch a bracket "flip". (SkittleDaddy)

Answer - We're still looking into a feature that Demiurge was planning regarding the quest system which would also touch on this. It's in the midst of all the other cool things that we're adding or are planned. So yes, it's something that some of the more veteran players among us have noticed and want fixed, but it's just a matter of getting those changes in line on a roadmap and going at it.

The latter question is yet one more thing on the MASSIVE pile of QOL and UI features to update. There's obviously a balance there of giving out enough useful info and not making every screen look like a spreadsheet with neat graphics, but there are definitely efficiencies like you point out to be made on the current UI.

Question - 1. It's commonly said that MPQ is all about speed. What's your take on this? Elaborate?

2. Players have been forced to use only meta characters in pves to progress because of the amount of time needed to play pves each day (40-60 minutes or more) amd because of how placements work. If players use non-meta characters to clear and grind pves,  they are at a disadvantage, and they will need to spend even more time on them. What plan is there to reduce the amount of time spend on pve by 20-30 minutes (without decreasing rewards) so that players can use that extra time to use non-meta characters elsewhere? (HoundofShadow)

Answer - For the most part, that's not a wrong statement to make. You get the best PVE scores by clearing as fast as possible at the start of a sub, then clearing as close to the razor's edge at the end to maximize refresh, and faster teams give more leeway. In Versus, defeating teams quickly allows for safer shield hops. There are exceptions like Boss Events or solo events like SHIELD Training or the various Daily Unlock events, but yes. MPQ as it stands when it comes to placement is all about speed. We'd like to introduce more variety there, but don't have anything to reveal at the moment. Just suffice to say, we think it'd be more fun if a sub could be approached at any time during its existence as opposed to the first and last 45 minutes.

Question - Really enjoyed the last boss event both for the extra rewards and for the increased difficulty.   Are there any plans for new events with increased difficulty? (RevSkip)

Answer - So glad you liked it! Yes, we do have plans for more challenging content (with rewards to match, of course). The Gargantos Heroic event was an experiment that we certainly learned a great deal from. We loved that it brought Alliances together, but aren't so happy with the enemy scaling and steeper-than-expected restrictions it put on our players. We want to strike a balance in which Heroic events are menacing, but not to the point of being unfair or even obnoxious.

The Heroic format isn't the only form of challenging content that is in discussion, but it's something we're immediately exploring and a big priority for the dev team is "what positive things can we do to the game *now*"

Question - Who has the nicest car? (Acecracjed)

Answer - Carpool's Taco Truck, of course!

Question - With simultaneous 5 and 3 stars set to soon arrive. What will you do to alleviate the roster slot grind, especially for F2P community? (geno685)

Answer - Roster slots are a part of the growth of a player's overall roster, and it's pretty unlikely that you'll see MPQ shift away from roster slots. That being said, the intention for 3/5 Star releases is NOT to increase roster slot pressure, and we've got plans to help alleviate that for both F2P and payers alike.

Question -  Can we remove the God boosts from pvp, or at least make ot 25 or 50max?  It really is embarrassing when the veteran players who worked tirelessly (spending, whaling, numerous events playing at top leve, hoardingl) to upgrade their roster to 550. Only to have boosted players take away their hard work and time invested in their roster feel useless.  You gave Toyota prius's a supercharger and they think they are God like.  Especially since boosted characters have created the massive slow down in pvp.  Like fighting numerous CN in pvp,, over and over again.

What is going in with classic legendary tokens? The blue shiny ones.  When will they be incorporated into the game, like placement, ddq, progression,  daily resupply so forth. (Illusionist_KA)

Answer - God boosts aren't so much the problem as it is the exponential scaling that these boosts bring to light. You actually see the same thing at the higher end of 4-Star boosts as well, where a max champed 4-Star boosted character will TROUNCE any non-boosted 270 or below in the game. This is then magnified by the increased match damage that 5-Stars sport which is exponentially increased by the boost. Not announcing anything right now, but fixing that kind of exponential growth is more in line with our current thinking than just bringing down boosted levels which puts a more artificial hard cap on things.

Classic Legends tokens are something that we've been looking at, and are building into bundles and the like so far. If we go back and make changes to previous events (or build new ones) then we'd be looking at those as rewards just like Legendary Tokens are now.

Question - Have you given any thought to refreshing the Deadpool vs MPQ event?  I'm not sure which element I like the least: it takes 4 days to play when there are only 2 days of content, the "vs Heroes" map doesn't make sense, or he only crosses swords with quite old characters.  I feel there's so much potential here for Deadpool to fight newer themed groups of characters (like interrupting Strange, Wanda, and America having a fight, or MODOK and a couple of AIM goons) but it feels so stale and tired when everything within it is drawn from such a small pool.  Thanks very much; I'm looking forward to your new enhancements in September. (Heartbreaksoup)

Answer - Yes. There are more than a few events that would benefit from an update. Frankly alot of this is rooted in the toolset involved in event creation and updating. Without going too far into detail, there is a surprising amount of data involved in the creation and maintenance of events and the tools to support those effort need lots and lots of love. We're really excited about creating new events and updating the classics! I'm hopeful this is something we can take a crack at next year.

Question - When can we expect to see more 5-star related rewards through an expanded/reworked Deadpool daily quest experience? (ROTBI)

Answer - Deadpool Daily is more of an inclusionary event than one that leans hard on required characters or high end rosters, Crash excluded. While there are many players living in 5-Star land, Deadpool Daily isn't at the point that giving out a rotation of 5-Star Shards or covers directly quite makes sense. That's not to say that good ol' 'Pool couldn't get a makeover! Just that a 5-Star makeover would be likely to come after giving greater access to 4s, which is currently also fairly lacking there.

Question - September, September, September. Very excited to hear about all these changes and I can't wait to see all the work BCS has put into MPQ. Curious about the pace at which we'll see changes, just hoping for successful, smooth rollouts.

1. When it comes to rebalances, what dictates "who-gets-what-when"? Will the weakest, most unused characters see redemption first, or will it be random fixes (like when Lockjaw and War Machine got micros) or will it be dictated by media appearances? Will there be a set time table for the rebalances, like every month (1 5* & 2 4*) with opportunities to earn covers/shards on freshly rebalanced characters?

2. Any thoughts on sprucing up Lightning Rounds?

Btw, huge fan of diversity and inclusion. Would love to see some more Eternals! Thanks. (leviticuschom)

Answer - All of the above. Fixes could come in because of media tie-ins since that makes sense, or it could be because that character is just flat out not used and we want to make them better. Or it could be because another character that's related is getting changed and it makes sense to give them a pass too. As for timings to earn changed characters, we'll be releasing more info on that as time for this comes closer.

Lightning Rounds are yet one more thing on the list of "love to get to" items. There hasn't been an update to the characters used there in a long while, and that's not even getting into the reward structure or timing.

Question - Any plans to tie in with current/ongoing comic events outside of the Hellfire Gala? I’m thinking like the big summer events (I think it is A.X.E.(?) this year). (SuperCarrot)

Answer - I'm personally hugely into comics (probably more than the other forms of media). Devil's Reign and A.X.E were / are huge events this year! When I'm not working (lol) my free time (lol) is typically spent reading comics and lamenting over something we aren't celebrating in MPQ. There are a few factors at work here.

1. Creating content takes time.

2. While we do have the inside track on some upcoming Marvel stuff, I experience alot of the reveals like all of the fans do.

3. There's so much happening in Marvel that we simply have to be judicious in our choices.

Question - 1) Assuming they continue, can you please put 5* characters who are rebalanced into special stores right after?(For that matter can we please get special stores more often period)

2) What plans are in the mix to freshen up pve? I’m referring to content, not rewards. New pves? Gauntlet? Revamp old pves with new matchups? (658_2)

Answer - Not just 5-Stars, but any character that has a rebalance should be earnable more easily for a little bit post rebalance. Special Store or otherwise.

We're just starting on PVE refreshes. You've already seen new Boss Battles, a return of at least the first Heroic event (which also happened to be a Boss Battle, but doesn't follow that ALL will be). We've got ideas for new content to come down the road, whether that be revamps or all new. As was answered with another question above, a lot of it comes down to refining our toolset to give us a less time-intensive way of doing the changes.

Question - Can 5 star Magneto be the first rebalance? If not, what would persuade you?

With the simultaneous 3 and 5 releases will their powers be functionally the same (like 2 and 3 star Thor) or similar but different like Strange and Star Lord? (liminal_lad)

Answer - 5* Magneto is not the first rebalance. He's also not the second. Considering other rebalances are already in late stages, persuasion is out of the question :smile: The idea right now is to be more towards Strange, Angel, or Gambit than Thor or Storm in ability design.

Question - Considering 71 5s and 126 4s in the game so far, I'd imagine that's unbelievably daunting for new players.

Are you considering addressing the ability to target specific characters (or groups of characters) at one time? (omegased)

Answer - Certainly, which is one of the things that more affiliations can help solve. While a lot of us comics nerds may know that the 5 seemingly random characters are all related because of having been in a run of Exiles in 2002, having that explicitly spelled out goes a long way towards players being able to identify teams and... affiliations in collecting and use.

Question - Regarding the new 3* releases coming soon, is there a specific number y'all will be releasing or is it more open ended? (WilliamK1983)

Answer - More open ended. The current thought is to release a 3-Star with a 5-Star, but that's not set in stone. The big problem that this solves is inclusion for newer players. We've gotten many people come to us saying that they love the game, but seeing that Character A is only available once as a 5-Star really disappointed them and they're having a hard time getting into things as a result. Fixing it so that those players feel included AND get to use their favorite character, which bolsters the overall player base size? Win/win!

Question - 1. Can we get more filters like affiliations, creating special or colored tiles etc.?

2. How about changing iso to hp and hp into iso especialy when dual charcters (3* and 5*) will show up? (Woiciu)

Answer - Roster filtering could definitely benefit from some QoL changes, affiliations being one of them. As for being able to sort by capabilities...well that's pretty darn cool and I'll try and make a strong argument for that as well!

Question - Any plans to expand on special tiles? Repeaters seem to be the bin for all the miscellaneous ones (eg: study, minion, etc) (CharlieLima)

Answer - We're actually planning on phasing out Repeaters and Countdown tiles as catch-all tiles in favor of more specialized tiles unless Repeaters and Countdowns make the most sense. We actually had this planned for Gorr but needed to table this for later. Our next character will feature a unique tile and it's a trend we plan on continuing. It's more work, sure, but we think it improves board visibility and makes characters feel more special.

Question - Do you have any plans to make Supports working in PVP battles or is it definite decizion that they never will? (Valdoraptor)

Answer - Supports are an ongoing discussion and their usage in PVP has not been ruled out.

Question - Any thoughts on changing up PVE and removing the trivial nodes?  in the SCL set-up they are really unnecessary.

Also would love to see the token opening process streamlined - champ levels should be auto-applied and I don't need to see all those tokens opened.  Over and around the game there is way too many taps needed to do things that could be improved for our QoL. (Punter1)

Answer - Removing the nodes would certainly shorten clear times by a bit, but they also remove the opportunity to tell more story for some PVE events. The Hunt, for example, uses most nodes to have the heroes and villains mouthing off to one another. It'd be more likely that we'd streamline things towards how SCL10 runs with less required clears than it is a removal of nodes altogether.

As for streamlining the token process, this is a pretty subjective thing, which makes it hard to decide on for an engineering task versus everything else. It's a cool thing for some of us to see who we just pulled, watch that number go up, and see each reward tick off on that character, then see after that if any of those rewards ALSO pushed someone's Shard count over the edge. There are QOL efficiencies there, sure, but the overall *feel* of watching your roster get stronger and rewarded for it would likely stay around.

Question - What is the new team's stance on "True Heal" VS "Burst Heal"?

Most Burst Heal powers are fairly lackluster, especially older characters like 3 Beast, 3 Ragnarok, etc.  Outside of rare exceptions like 4-Star Hulk, seems like only 5-Star characters get True Heal.  But even some 5-Stars get Burst Heal.

Whenever I see a new character release overview and see they have a "Burst Heal" power/effect, it makes me sad.

Back when "Burst Heal" was introduced the game was in a very different place, with "Prologue Healing" (still a thing BTW just smaller in scope due to this change) and whatnot.

I suppose a 2nd more open ended question comes out of this:

Has the new team looked at the long history of major changes made over these past 7 years or so, and thought to possibly resurrect old concepts (Environment Tiles, some of the PVE modes, character healing to full when they gain a level, Boost types, etc.)?

Difficult to do as isolated changes I know, as changes compound on each other, but curious either way.  If nothing else, it would give a baseline understanding for how the game is the way it currently is. (The Viceroy Returns)

Answer - 100%! Learning about things like Environment tiles, how Hazards worked, Boss Rush, Gauntlet... lots of stuff that worked after a fashion and could still work now with a bit of love and also offer some really cool uniqueness! No particular plans on any one specific old thing made new again, but when it comes to planning new things, seeing what worked and bringing it back is definitely on the table. Heroics are an example of this!

More to the point of burst healing, the idea there is that true healing is something that is really only done for that specific character, not the rest of the team. Having True Healing for teammates is something that's super fraught as a result. Any decent amount of True Healing would just bring about another form of Prologue Healing, but now in current events or Versus events. For example, we could easily see the creation of a trio of cupcake Versus characters that someone rosters in S.H.I.E.L.D. Training that's only there so that people can heal up off of them, and players taking turns at different MMRs so that everyone can do so. Yet another addition of out-of-game bookkeeping that just makes everything more difficult for everyone involved.

Question - Since there are plans to add more 3*s to the game, are there any plans to make 3*s more relevant to the game for more advanced players?  Generally, aside from essential nodes and farming, there isn't much use for a 3* character in the late game. I would like to see some sort of prestige system that allows a fully prestiged 3* to compete in health and damage against a champed 4*. (roderic1)

Answer - At this very moment, no. 3-Stars still provide a path to leveling up higher end rosters through Champion rewards, and as you said, they're often sitting in various required nodes. We're definitely looking at ways we could make the roster more useful for players of all levels though.

Question - Are you ever going to catch up on the 5* feeders.  We get a new 5* every 2nd new character but not every new 4* is a feeder so we are getting further and further behind. (Lemmik)

Answer - It's definitely the goal to get at least all the 5-Stars fed at some point. How to get all the 4-Stars fed when there are a limited number of 3s (even with new 3-Stars, 4s are released at the same cadence) is a tougher answer.

Question - 1. Are there any plans to rebalance the hp earning, or the cost of (early) roster spots, so beginners can stick around a bit longer before being forced to start spending real money? (I personally feel the hp earning potential for beginners was lowered too much during the shard adjustments).

2. Do you feel that getting more new players in and hooking them is a priority goal for you, or do you intend to focus mostly on pleasing the veteran players? (Itsuka7)

Answer - Yes to both these questions. Early players are not served as well as we'd like, as you said, with roster slots, but also with the fact that getting an early 4 or 5 star can actively HARM your progression. Right now, there's no real "pay wall" where you're pretty much stuck in progression unless you hand over cash. If we move some levers the wrong way, we could accidentally build one when the early game taps stop pouring, which would be bad. Or we could create a situation where you're better off staying in newbie land till you pass some arbitrary roster position lest you dry up the taps too early. It's a definite goal of ours to help early game players. We want more new people in the game in general! It's better for everyone! But we need to be careful of how we do it.

Question - What is the process for play-testing new characters before they are released? (LavaManLee)

Answer - Lots of paper design and theorycrafting to make sure that the character's theme works and that in theory they're balanced out of the gate. There's also some rounds that happen with some characters where we think we've got a design, but turns out that there's some engineering back end limitation that means we can't easily implement a part and have to go back to the drawing board. Sometimes theorycrafting hits on a Support or team setup that breaks the game in some way that necessitates a change.

Once they're off the paper design phase and implemented, then it's on to in-game testing. Using the character on as many teams as we can think of to test mechanics. Fighting against teams to test balance. Using different Supports, using boosts and no boosts, etc. Then doing balance passes in reaction to these tests.

Question - I would like to know if you can redo some of the events where the nodes are too close together. With the last event "strange sights" you have to really pay attention to what node you hit. They are so close together you can easily hit the wrong node if your trying to clear fast and mess up your whole event. (Daddy_02541)

Answer - We'd like to go back and make some updates to older events at some point, yes. It's not on our short term goals however, falling more into QOL or "nice to have" updates. We agree that it's less than optimal though!

Question - 1) It’s been a while since we had a 5* vault not tied to a 5* release, I think the last one was Lunar New Year. Any plans for offering more of these, especially with the growth in the number of 5* characters? Is there a Fan Favorites coming soon?

2) there used to be quarterly or so surveys, the last one determined the next 4* character based on popular vote. Will these surveys continue? Will the results actually have an impact in game? (helix72)

Answer - Yes to both! Surveys are something that we haven't delved into so much since coming on board, but we definitely see the pluses of getting player feedback for new characters, desired bundles, etc. Nothing to announce at precise timing on all this sort of stuff, but it's on our short-ish term radar.

Question - Would you consider revamping the champ rewards leveling system, especially for 5* seeing that it’s currently the “final” tier in the game? Receiving ISO or even a little bit of HP in addition to the more valuable command points and LL seems a bit underwhelming considering the amount of time and effort it takes to get to that point , especially on the back half (level 500+).  Would you consider adding quantities of generic 5* shards as stretch goals?  The incentives for “end game” players who are still active don’t feel significant, hence the “hoarding” strategy now accepted as best practices.  The feature of doling out 3/4 5* shards per 5* store pull is made totally irrelevant during hoarding because players have determined that they’d prefer to make one giant stride in their roster development over minute incremental gains, and for good reason. In addition, reward updates for daily resupply would also be welcome, as 2500 iso or a silver token as a loyalty based reward after 2-3000 days of playing seems incredibly underwhelming.

Have there been discussions about updating SCL beyond 10?  I’m curious if you guys are waiting for a large enough segment of  the playerbase to migrate “up” with their overall roster in order to implement this, so there is enough of a population to warrant this next level.  Or, is it just something that isn’t even being considered and scl 10 is a hard ceiling ?(JRYUART)

Answer - Rather than revamping rewards to remove unneeded Iso, it would make more sense to provide something that would take advantage of the Iso that you've stocked up. Otherwise, when there finally *is* something like that, only the people that are currently post-Iso can really go at it and everyone battling through the 4-Star Iso drought into 5-Star land just gets into another drought. We've got some ideas in that regards, but nothing solid there yet.

As to Resupply Rewards, same thing there, but also, we should really take a look there as you're right, it feels really bad to be in 4-Star land or further and pick up a whole shiny Standard Token.

There are indeed talks about this for SCL. I believe Ice has alluded to the ripple effect involved in some of these systems, so we’re being careful. we acknowledge that adjustments need to be made here; we’re just thinking it through and getting a plan together.

Question - What other games does the team enjoy and were there any that inspired your designs for MPQ? (BZHAI)

Answer - The dev team plays a ton of games and draws inspiration from everywhere. Organizing game nights can be a huge challenge because of this! I can say that when talking about character design, Magic: the Gathering, League of Legends, Overwatch, and every Marvel game in existence all come up quite a bit. MtG has always been a guiding light for MPQ, and many conversations concerning mechanics and color alignment lean into it pretty heavily. League and Overwatch are both examples of games with tons of meta discussion, and as many of our players have come to understand, we're rather keen on improving and diversifying MPQ's meta.

(Answer directly from IceIX)  I'm of the opinion that there's design cues to be taken from anywhere and everywhere. As a result, I tend to hop from game to game on mobile, console and PC and pull together stuff from everywhere. Even horrible games or design implementations usually have a little nugget of cool design that can be built on. For example, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Resupply was borne of calendar based rewards, but with the idea that you should NEVER be penalized for missing a day and losing some kind of streak. Can't count the number of mobile games I quit after a reset 30 day streak from missing day 28, or not getting the 31 day awesome uber login gift because I played for 30 days, only to be given a new 30 day calendar the next month.

Question - Will we have new campaign missions in the future? (AJ)

Answer - It's certainly something we'd love to do! It's simply a question of where we put our effort. Right now it's in a lot of fixing and working out how some future changes will work into our roadmap. Is there room for some new events to go with? Maybe.

Question - Is there any chance of old Dark Avengers characters are renewing for 4 or 5*? (Valack)

Answer - We have some other characters we’d like to explore first, but the Dark Avengers are such a big part of MPQ history; it’s not off the table.

Question - Is there any chance that the roster scaling for the puzzle gauntlets could be looked at? Especially on the required character and solo character nodes, it can be really rough trying to take a 3* in against nodes that were scaled for a 5* roster? (Spoit)

Answer - I think the difficulty of puzzle gauntlets is sort of all over the place. There are a handful that, when run, are met with plenty of groans and for good reason. Looking at these is loosely on the roadmap as part of the Supports overhaul.

Question - Did the design team have a target completion percent in mind when they made this (Heroic Boss) event?  Like they looked at the data and tried to estimate how many people they wanted to see reach  full progression? (Starcrest13)

Answer - There actually is a target completion percentage for boss events in general. One was established long ago during the inception of boss events (well before my time as developer, of course). I’ll avoid the specifics because we’re rethinking everything, but I can say that the target is not high. Over the years bosses have become somewhat trivial. Our goal is not to make them impossible (quite the contrary), but full clears should be an accomplishment for you and your alliance and we want the rewards to reflect that.

Question - Are we going to see an increase on the relevance of team affiliation? Any chance we could get costume/wardrobe to alter the character's affiliation? (Neuromancer)

Answer - Yes, you’ll be seeing a lot more in affiliations! As for costumes that alter affiliations, there are currently no plans for this.


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Comments

  • justsing
    justsing Posts: 457 Mover and Shaker
    Wow, really long and thorough. Thanks for taking the time to answer so many questions! It's exciting to know that lots of new things/changes are in store for this game...
  • AdeptusRevolt
    AdeptusRevolt Posts: 26 Just Dropped In
    edited 26 July 2022, 19:35
    Lots of great answers. 

    Concerning the use of out-of-game resources for PVP, we're less than happy about. It doesn't stop there, though. It isn't great that a new player guide on Reddit exists because of how unintuitive some things in this game are. Many of our veteran players have come to understand these intricacies, but it's always awful to hear new players reaching out to the community because they have "ruined" their account by rostering a lucky Latest Legends pull. 

    Oof. This one resonated with me. Props to the community for peer support, but this shows you are very well aware of the subtle complexity to the game and the issue for new users - and issues we don't see. I think the reddit/discord/forum and other communities can easily forget that there are many more players that are not yet part of the external community... or even the forums here. 

    It's not good for the game (or the community it is based on) for people to think they played "wrong" when they realize there were more optimal options. That's salt in the wound. It is a game after all, and one that is exceptionally friendly to F2P strategies. Those strategies seem very nuanced. But it is a game, and it should feel fun and not punishing. 

    As someone who tries to actively help new users, and has played with the thought of a more updated guide or resources - any suggestions for offering support via outside/third party communities that would help it be more in line with the actual publishing/development team? Suggestions for wording or phrases that you'd rather we avoid, or would prefer we use? 

  • Godzillafan67
    Godzillafan67 Posts: 382 Mover and Shaker
    I'm glad that you're taking the time to enhance/fix the toolsets in order to make a superior game in the long run. Here's my true story in inheriting legacy code, which I was told to leave alone in case it breaks something:
    private sub click_event()
      declare lots of variables, including...
      dim bln as boolean
      ...
      acres of code
      ...
      seriously, acres of code
      ...
      bln = false
      if bln = false then
        do stuff
      end if
    end sub
  • 658_2
    658_2 Posts: 143 Tile Toppler
    edited 26 July 2022, 20:35
    Thanks for answering these. Way too many interesting nuggets to comment on. “Modernize Alliances” definitely caught my eye. SCL 11 being kicked around did too (or revamping 10, whatever exactly is being alluded to).
  • DeNappa
    DeNappa Posts: 1,210 Chairperson of the Boards
    LakeStone said:

    Answer - Yes. There are more than a few events that would benefit from an update. Frankly alot of this is rooted in the toolset involved in event creation and updating. Without going too far into detail, there is a surprising amount of data involved in the creation and maintenance of events and the tools to support those effort need lots and lots of love. We're really excited about creating new events and updating the classics! I'm hopeful this is something we can take a crack at next year.

    This is something that always baffled me. Given how fairly basic the structure of PVE events is, you'd expect most of this to be configurable by following some kind default template, with a simple editor, that the game engine can use to render the event. 
  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,587 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 26 July 2022, 23:26
    I would be wary of adding a bunch of unique tiles instead of keeping countdowns and repeaters consistent - there is a whole class of character who operates on those timers that will obsolesce if the tiles they affect go out of fashion. Thinking of Goblin, C4rol, Coulson, Flaptain, and Abigail Brand whose one unique feature is decrementing repeaters and will (frankly does already) need a complete overhaul to do something useful.

    on top of that - it will make it very hard to predict power interactions generally if things aren’t kept consistent. 
  • KGB
    KGB Posts: 1,909 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 26 July 2022, 22:01
    DeNappa said:
    LakeStone said:

    Answer - Yes. There are more than a few events that would benefit from an update. Frankly alot of this is rooted in the toolset involved in event creation and updating. Without going too far into detail, there is a surprising amount of data involved in the creation and maintenance of events and the tools to support those effort need lots and lots of love. We're really excited about creating new events and updating the classics! I'm hopeful this is something we can take a crack at next year.

    This is something that always baffled me. Given how fairly basic the structure of PVE events is, you'd expect most of this to be configurable by following some kind default template, with a simple editor, that the game engine can use to render the event. 
    It looks simple to us but it's probably WAY more complex under the hood that you think.

    Every node needs a point setting, the enemies, any dialog, wave vs non wave vs 1 time node vs boss node etc.
    Subs need layout screens, ordering of uncovering the nodes (think that Florida sub in The Hunt), whether they are 24 or 48 hours, progression and placement rewards.
    Then the over all PvE itself needs things like number of subs, vault tokens storage, the progression and placement rewards and so on.
    A massive amount of data has to be kept for every player and alliance at all times across a server farm including saving data like tokens for subsequent runs. All of this is kept in massive databases.

    I suspect in the beginning of MPQ a few PvE's were hand designed with rudimentary tools since no one knew if the game was going to be a success. It was years later before new PvE's appeared like Strange Sights and the subsequent ones and I doubt they spent any time creating nice tools to do so because none of that time spent generates any revenue or player good will (ie improves nothing for player experience).

    KGB
  • skittledaddy
    skittledaddy Posts: 702 Critical Contributor
    While I understand that (for various reasons) you can't tell us everything, I just want to THANK YOU for the time you put into these responses and your willingness to keep this communication venue open in the future.

    I already wrote down my questions for next month. Now I just need to not lose them...
  • purplemur
    purplemur Posts: 399 Mover and Shaker
    That was great! Thank you for taking the time. I appreciate the changes that you have already made and am excited about the games longevity. 
    MPQ is one of the best games ever. I think it is the best in genre(match3) and top of class in Marvel themed games. To see the passion and engagement by the new devs makes the whole world a little better. Sunshine, rainbows and new 3*s! 
    Just a big fan and super happy with the paradigm shift! 

    Keep up the great work! Some of us lurkers support you and might not come on enough to give you our thanks (the free costumes were rad btw) but I believe there is a tremendous amount of goodwill and players who are rooting for your success; if you make bold choices and they need edits, like DA heroic, we understand and you still have our support! 
    Thanks for striving, thanks for communicating!!

    Until Doom can no longer toot as he pleases, make mine MPQ!!
  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,587 Chairperson of the Boards
    Yeah I’d like to also say thanks for the Q&A. Even though I don’t super love the answer to my question (I actually think it’s a pretty big player feels bad to chase a character who all other media tells you should be super good only to end up with 5* Captain Marvel or Magneto’s non-powers personally), or have feedback on some of the other answers, it’s still pretty cool y’all are taking the time.
  • DeNappa
    DeNappa Posts: 1,210 Chairperson of the Boards
    KGB said:
    DeNappa said:
    LakeStone said:

    Answer - Yes. There are more than a few events that would benefit from an update. Frankly alot of this is rooted in the toolset involved in event creation and updating. Without going too far into detail, there is a surprising amount of data involved in the creation and maintenance of events and the tools to support those effort need lots and lots of love. We're really excited about creating new events and updating the classics! I'm hopeful this is something we can take a crack at next year.

    This is something that always baffled me. Given how fairly basic the structure of PVE events is, you'd expect most of this to be configurable by following some kind default template, with a simple editor, that the game engine can use to render the event. 
    It looks simple to us but it's probably WAY more complex under the hood that you think.

    Every node needs a point setting, the enemies, any dialog, wave vs non wave vs 1 time node vs boss node etc.
    Subs need layout screens, ordering of uncovering the nodes (think that Florida sub in The Hunt), whether they are 24 or 48 hours, progression and placement rewards.
    Then the over all PvE itself needs things like number of subs, vault tokens storage, the progression and placement rewards and so on.
    A massive amount of data has to be kept for every player and alliance at all times across a server farm including saving data like tokens for subsequent runs. All of this is kept in massive databases.

    I suspect in the beginning of MPQ a few PvE's were hand designed with rudimentary tools since no one knew if the game was going to be a success. It was years later before new PvE's appeared like Strange Sights and the subsequent ones and I doubt they spent any time creating nice tools to do so because none of that time spent generates any revenue or player good will (ie improves nothing for player experience).

    KGB
    I'm not saying there wouldn't be any complexity to it at all. But it IS well defined and probably for a large part scriptable by something that could be processed by a parser. For example (just making this up as I go):
    {
      "id": ..,
      "name" : "{{FIGHT_FOR_WAKANDA_TITLE}}",
      "thumbnail": resources/wakanda_thumb.png
      "info": ..
      "start" : ..
      "rewards" : [ 
         { "SCL": 1, "placement" : .., "progression" : .. },
         { "SCL": 2, "placement" : .., "progression" : .. },
         (etc)
      ] ,
      "subs": [
         {
             "day": 1,
             "name" : ..
             "thumbnail" : ..
             "rewards": [ .. ],
             "bg_image": ..,
             "nodes": [
               { 
                  "id": ..,
                  "name": ..,
                  "desc": ..,
                  "mapcoords": { x: 123, y: 456 },
                  "points": 1000,
                  "repeatable": yes,
                  "waves": 2,
                  "visible_after_nodes": [ node_id1 ],
                  "unlocks_after_nodes": [ node_id1 ],
    "enemies": [ .. ] ] }, { "day": 2, .... } ] }
    And now I'm just throwing all the info in one definition, but I could imagine the rewards tables being separate and just referenced by id, just like enemy level tables based on amount of clears + SCL.
  • Bad
    Bad Posts: 2,021 Chairperson of the Boards
    There is a lot of extra work for you on answering all these questions monthly. I appreciate this transparency work so much.
    "Answer - Demiurge did the design and implementation work on Gargantos; Broken Circle handled the art."
    So implicitly you said KK mighty thor and chasm are yours, perhaps hulkling and gorr.
    I think they are great and fresh to the game, and I'm eager to play those 5*s, as I think many players will... but sadly there is sandbag between called MK, and all players are praying for the old knight entering Classic Pyramid of Restrained Souls :D 
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 6,670 Chairperson of the Boards
    Thanks for all the great insights. 

    The most astonishing part is this:

    Answer - We're glad that the players are noticing the new affiliations! Yes, we are planning to do new things with affiliations (we agree with the Gorr - Godlike opportunity missed). Yes, we are going to go back and update existing character as well. However, this not only requires development time, but also requires approvals from multiple parties. It will take some time, but we'll get there.

    You need approvals from multiple parties just to update affiliations. It sounds like something that would happen in government departments and agencies.

    We have BCS, 505, Marvel/Disney. And who else? Don't tell me it's Google and Apple etc.
  • DyingLegend
    DyingLegend Posts: 1,041 Chairperson of the Boards
    Nice responses. Thanks for taking the time to converse with us forum folks
  • itsuka7
    itsuka7 Posts: 87 Match Maker
    Thank you for giving us insight this way and let us voice our support and concerns. Personally I appreciate that the game experience of new players has your attention.
  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 6,670 Chairperson of the Boards
    Can anyone explain this:

    For example, we could easily see the creation of a trio of cupcake Versus characters that someone rosters in S.H.I.E.L.D. Training that's only there so that people can heal up off of them, and players taking turns at different MMRs so that everyone can do so. 
  • fight4thedream
    fight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,578 Chairperson of the Boards
    Wow! This is awesome! Thank you so much for thoughtful responses. 
    Question - Kind of piggybacking on this idea (above from Fight4TheDream), would there be some openness to create MPQ-original female villains? Maybe a genderswapping of popular male villains like Dr. Doom or Kraven? Not sure if those already exist in What If universes, but just throwing ideas out there. (Chirus)

    Answer - So cool of you to mention this! My daughter has recently really gotten into the Spidey and his Amazing Friends show on Disney + (so proud!) and I love their female take on the classic Doc Ock! Certainly not making an announcement or anything, but everything you mention is absolutely of interest!

    I will +1 the love for the Spidey and his Amazing Friends version of Doc Ock! She rocks!

  • NemoAbernnigan
    NemoAbernnigan Posts: 124 Tile Toppler
    Thanks for taking the time devs! Do wish you had responded to the questions on a shard bank or converter though. Even if the answer is a flat out no never going to happen it would be nice to see the question addressed.