How do you define MPQ "skill?"

entrailbucket
entrailbucket Posts: 2,094 Chairperson of the Boards

This came up in a different discussion and I thought it was interesting. Obviously there are no wrong answers but I'm curious what people think.

Do you think the concept of skill applies to MPQ at all? If so, what does a skilled player look like/do? What makes someone an unskilled player? What makes you feel skilled (or unskilled) when you're playing?

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Comments

  • meadowsweet
    meadowsweet Posts: 5 Just Dropped In

    A couple ways I think you could define "skilled":
    1) Plays 'optimally' at all times
    2) Finishes in the top few places of every event
    3) Has all the best characters max-champed
    4) Identifies powerful teams / synergies before anyone else
    5) Instantly sees and makes optimal moves / matches, fires powers efficiently, ends matches quickly
    6) No such thing, it's a silly match-5 game, everyone online knows what you 'should' do, just relax and have fun

  • helix72
    helix72 Posts: 945 Critical Contributor

    I love this question @entrailbucket and I'll reference a conversation I've had with a friend of mine for context (apologies in advance to any non-football fans). Whenever anyone says Tom Brady is the best NFL QB ever, my friend will quickly jump in and say he is the most accomplished QB ever, not the most skilled. And I do think it is important to divide the two, there are players that are great players and there are players that are accomplished players, and some are both. But if you're arguing with your alliancemates, it might be that one of you is really thinking about accomplishments vs skills.

    That said, I'd agree with some (but not all) of @meadowsweet 's suggestions regarding skill as I think some of what they listed are more about accomplishment, so my list would look somewhat different to address skill only:

    1) Finds/crafts teams that have the best combination of high win rate and speed of victory based on available characters, including contemplating the boost list and essential characters each event.
    2) Is able to utilize supports optimally.
    3) Understands optimal use of boosts (e.g. when to use colors vs match damage, and how much of which ones)
    4) Makes optimal moves based on the team/quest/puzzle in question. This includes what tiles are matched contemplating things like AP gain and AP denial as well as when and which powers are fired and in what order.
    5) Understands how clear and grind order affects score in PvE.
    6) Understands how to maximize rewards in PvP based on the timing of when they join the event, when they float, and when they climb.
    7) Understands the balance of offense and defense in PvP team selection.

    I do think skilled players are more likely to be more accomplished, but the most skilled players are not always the most accomplished, though I'm not sure Tom Brady would agree :)

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 2,094 Chairperson of the Boards

    Right, I think when I see the idea of MPQ skill being referenced, it's more like what you describe -- a concept that's not dependent on your roster level.

    MPQ skill is an interesting concept because your accomplishments are often more determined by which characters you have access to and their levels. It's not like, say, chess, where both sides always start with the same teams.

    People also sometimes reference skill as a factor that lets one do "more with less" roster-wise (or conversely, a lack of skill means doing "less with more").

  • Bad
    Bad Posts: 2,446 Chairperson of the Boards

    Imo skill isn't based on how the player quickly plays, that is just a consequence of repetitive experience play.
    Also I think it's not based on playing optimally and always fire the right power, right now there are % involved and doing it right is just another time being used to with repetitive experience playing those characters.
    Imo the teams in this game which involves a bit more of skill are the shake board teams, still that can be mastered to with repetition.
    Ultimately, and probably on parallel way, I think the skill is triggered when the player must put everything on action because the odds are totally against him and certainly he will lose.
    That's when I really like the challenge and certainly without skill the unavailable outcome will be revealed.
    This video I recorded could be an example although I made an awful mistake on minute 4 that took me out the "skilled monthly reward", in my opinion.

  • DeNappa
    DeNappa Posts: 1,272 Chairperson of the Boards

    I think you could differentiate between 'gameplay skill', ie what happens during a match, and (for lack of better words) 'meta skill', which is everything between the matches.

    Examples of gameplay skill would be reading the current board well, awareness of AP levels and what you and the enemy team can do with it, identifying potential threats and doing correct targeting. That kind of stuff. Good gameplay skill might help you win a match that otherwise might not be winnable, especially if RNG is deciding to be mean and you're suddenly down a team member.

    The meta skill is more like the stuff that @meadowsweet and @helix72 listed in their posts. Team compositions, when to play, etc.

  • Sp1d3r
    Sp1d3r Posts: 92 Match Maker

    Do u think actual pvp matches would define how skilled a player is or would it just come down to best rosters?

  • dianetics
    dianetics Posts: 762 Critical Contributor

    It’s still not going to determine skill.
    I would say it is virtually impossible to determine skill in this game.
    Using powers efficiently is the best case, but even that doesn’t require skill.

    This isn’t a skill base game so you compare it to something like WoW or DoTA.

    It’s a match 3 puzzle rpg… or basically a rng puzzle game.

    Like the old puzzle quests games you can get trucked no matter how well you play.

  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 5,626 Chairperson of the Boards

    Skill in PVP comes down to timing mostly.
    There's no skill in matching strongest colours running the meta teams.

  • Bad
    Bad Posts: 2,446 Chairperson of the Boards

    @Sp1d3r said:
    Do u think actual pvp matches would define how skilled a player is or would it just come down to best rosters?

    Imo none of the 2 options.
    Pvp matches right now are repetitions of characters however all depends on how you play pvp, on wins or on points. If playing on points you can start with the boosted characters but after shielding you could switch it to meta characters between hops.
    And certainly never was about the best rosters as AI moves are pretty much random.
    However usually there is skill involved on how the battle evolves, on reading the board, on denying a color, on choose the right time to fire a repeater power placed on a color if it's not "safe", on firing a TU, on noticing always and quickly the extra move,...
    Lot of things which aren't needed i.e on candy crush, the game which could be compared.
    But as these circumstances are based on rng and we are used to it...
    Definitely there is skill involved on this game.

  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 8,191 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 22 January 2023, 13:58

    I’d say it depends on how you define MPQ and its core mechanic. If you think it’s a Match-3, then being a skilled player would involve optimal board management.

    If you consider that MPQ is a roster building game at its core with RNGeezus as its final boss, and it’s core mechanic is opening tokens, than a skilled player would be one who could maximize their ability to do that to shape their roster like they want.

  • Sp1d3r
    Sp1d3r Posts: 92 Match Maker

    @Bad said:

    @Sp1d3r said:
    Do u think actual pvp matches would define how skilled a player is or would it just come down to best rosters?

    Imo none of the 2 options.
    Pvp matches right now are repetitions of characters however all depends on how you play pvp, on wins or on points. If playing on points you can start with the boosted characters but after shielding you could switch it to meta characters between hops.
    And certainly never was about the best rosters as AI moves are pretty much random.
    However usually there is skill involved on how the battle evolves, on reading the board, on denying a color, on choose the right time to fire a repeater power placed on a color if it's not "safe", on firing a TU, on noticing always and quickly the extra move,...
    Lot of things which aren't needed i.e on candy crush, the game which could be compared.
    But as these circumstances are based on rng and we are used to it...
    Definitely there is skill involved on this game.

    I mean if u could actually play against other players where the last person they made a match with stays at the front and u can't select who u want to target etc..I think there would be far more skill required this way. The AI dosent use powers properly and chooses 4 matches over 5s

  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 5,626 Chairperson of the Boards

    @Sp1d3r said:

    @Bad said:

    @Sp1d3r said:
    Do u think actual pvp matches would define how skilled a player is or would it just come down to best rosters?

    Imo none of the 2 options.
    Pvp matches right now are repetitions of characters however all depends on how you play pvp, on wins or on points. If playing on points you can start with the boosted characters but after shielding you could switch it to meta characters between hops.
    And certainly never was about the best rosters as AI moves are pretty much random.
    However usually there is skill involved on how the battle evolves, on reading the board, on denying a color, on choose the right time to fire a repeater power placed on a color if it's not "safe", on firing a TU, on noticing always and quickly the extra move,...
    Lot of things which aren't needed i.e on candy crush, the game which could be compared.
    But as these circumstances are based on rng and we are used to it...
    Definitely there is skill involved on this game.

    I mean if u could actually play against other players where the last person they made a match with stays at the front and u can't select who u want to target etc..I think there would be far more skill required this way. The AI dosent use powers properly and chooses 4 matches over 5s

    This would be an absolutely miserable experience.
    MPQ is built on being able to win 99% of your matches.
    If players would win only 50%, the whole game falls apart.

  • Sekilicious
    Sekilicious GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,568 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 22 January 2023, 15:21

    With PvE it would still be 75% of matches. Most card games are vs real players. There is definitely a reason I don’t play most card games anymore. Some players would have a much higher than 50% win rate, probably at my expense, and probably regardless of the relative strength of our rosters.

  • HoundofShadow
    HoundofShadow Posts: 7,392 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 22 January 2023, 15:46

    Skill is when players are crying for nerfs when dealing with meta teams because they have difficulty beating them, while other players are beating them with ease. :D

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 2,094 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 22 January 2023, 16:12

    See, this is all so interesting to me, because when I think of "skill" I think of a different thing. At the roster level I'm at, and have been at basically since day 1 of the game, everybody wins 99% of their fights. (This is not really a brag as much as a consequence of being around forever. I was a 2* player when 2* were the top of the meta, then 3*, 4*, and 5* when those characters were the top.) Since "winning fights" is basically a given, skill comes in around everything else.

    In PvE skill is raw speed -- how fast can you find the single match that will end each fight, without causing a cascade. It's also how well you can estimate your grind time so that you don't finish 1 second too early or too late. The differences are tiny, sometimes as small as a few seconds either way, but they're also consistent -- the same players are a few seconds better than everyone else every event.

    In PvP it's a different thing, and MPQ PvP is probably the most fun game I've ever played. (Let that one sink in, PvP haters.) Everyone wins every match they play so there's no skill there. The skill is in the cat-and-mouse game played by teams of players trying to gain points and other teams of players trying to prevent them from gaining points.

    We can always find each other and we can generally see each other on the leaderboard, so you end up with this extraordinarily complicated dance of manipulating your own points, feinting and faking climbs and drops, and ultimately either reaching your goal or preventing someone from reaching theirs. I've been the cat and I've been the mouse, and both sides are just so much fun. The only time it's not fun is when players are all cats (this is rare but pretty boring) or all mice (this is where we're mostly at now in the big slices).

  • Borstock
    Borstock Posts: 1,943 Chairperson of the Boards

    I don't. Once you reach a certain point, everyone is pretty close to equal. The only differences are the strength of your roster, RNG of the board drops, and minor differences in the response times of the devices we use to play.

    For example, when I'm actually trying for placement in PvE, the only players who ever finish ahead of me are those with 550's. The only reason I don't have the 550's to match them is because I chose to use more of my resources collecting champed versions of heroes instead of max-champing the ones needed to dominate PvE.

    When I played PvP competitively, I could top 10 every single event. I won many. Why? Because I made use of the shield hop rooms. It doesn't take any skill at all to roll grill teams. And the only teams to consistently finish higher were, again, max-champed meta teams.

    It also doesn't take any skill to float and win with a max-champed ChaHulk, or a SheChaHulk in Simulator.

    This is a match game, not chess. If you've played 6+ years and took the time to understand how it works, I'm just as good as you are and you're just as good as I am.

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 2,094 Chairperson of the Boards

    @HoundofShadow said:
    Skill is when players are crying for nerfs when dealing with meta teams because they have difficulty beating them, while other players are beating them with ease. :D

    This reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the high level game. Anyone can beat these meta teams a few times, given a complete lack of time pressure or incoming attacks. The high level PvP game requires players to win a lot of fights, really fast.

    Players aren't losing fights to "meta" teams and there's zero skill involved in beating said teams a few times with no outside pressure. High level payers are complaining because the game we play requires us to beat these teams over and over and over again, and do it very quickly.

    Suggesting "well, it would be easy for you if you just played a totally different game" is not helpful.

  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 5,626 Chairperson of the Boards

    I like the "high level payers" in your post, because it's true 🤣

  • DAZ0273
    DAZ0273 Posts: 6,711 Chairperson of the Boards

    Skillz is being able to play MPQ after your 14th beer of the day. You try picking a character power to fire when there are 6 characters on screen to choose from and they keep swaying.

  • entrailbucket
    entrailbucket Posts: 2,094 Chairperson of the Boards

    @Bowgentle said:
    I like the "high level payers" in your post, because it's true 🤣

    Lol, I'm leaving it.