Every character maxes out at 13 power points. Two powers could be at Level 5 and one power at Level 3; or one power at 5 and two powers at 4. Certain characters like 3-star Emma Frost, 5-star Odin or 5-star Black Bolt can grant you level boosts for active and/or locked powers.
But what if there was a way for a character to play for one more power point, one where you could have two powers at 5 and one power at 4. Or better: designate one power at 6, with a combination of 5-3 or 4-4.
I present this idea to Marvel Puzzle Quest: a side quest for which your character can earn that 14th point by completing three special tasks: crafting a signature item using shards, completing a character-specific Puzzle Gauntlet during a Story or Versus event, followed by defeating the character's arch rival. Only characters with 3-stars or greater and are championed are eligible to go after the 14th point.
For the first task, crafting a signature item for your character, all you need to do is collect shards - the same shards that are normally used to level up your character. The cost for creating the item will be the same as a level up. Signature items are completely different from Support Items: they are tied exclusively to that character and cannot be swapped out, and they do not take effect until you complete the entire side quest.
The second task will have your character attempt a special challenge. Finish a story or versus level with this number of colored tiles on the board, clearing the board of a particular tile (colored, team-up, SAP, etc.), reaching a match milestone, stuff like that. The second task may take multiple attempts to complete, or it can be achieved in one try.
The third and final task is to defeat your character's arch rival/enemy in a one-on-one battle. At the conclusion of the second task, this match will appear in the Campaign section. Your rival will be at max level relative to your character's current level - they will have 13 power points too, but they won't deal heavy damage from their matches or powers or have max health. However, they will possess a 14th point with one of their abilities set to Level 6; this is to help give you an idea of the kind of power the 14th point can possess, and doubles as a preview/demonstration if you are interested in unlocking their 14th point.
Completing all three side quests will give you that beloved 14th point. You may now level up one last time by having a 5-5-4, a 6-5-3, or a 6-4-4. Note that only one power is allowed to go up to 6; you cannot have two Level 6 powers at the same time.
Even if you are restricted to having only one Level 6 ability, any ability can be made at Level 6. Here are some examples of how a Level 6 ability can work (the damage numbers are based on my existing roster at their current level):
Thanos (5-star; Level 360): Court Death [Black; Passive]
Level 5: When you down an enemy, stun all characters except Thanos for 2 turns. Deal 6890 damage to enemies, 1790 to Thanos's allies.
Level 6: Power may now be triggered by the enemy when they down one of Thanos's allies. If triggered in this manner, penalty damage (the 1790 to Thanos's allies) is excused. If Thanos has 10 Black AP or more after you down an enemy, spend 10 to reflect penalty damage back to enemy team instead. Stun effect is still applied.
Domino (4-star; Level 280): Not Just Luck [Black; Passive]
Level 5: Guaranteed black tile drop from the top of the board.
Level 6: If there are more than 7 black tiles on the board, Domino cannot be downed.
Deadpool (3-star; Max Level 266): A Little Off The Top [Red]
Level 5: Deal 65% of current health in damage, maximum 4061. I also leave behind a red trail.
Level 6: Remember that streak of red I left behind on their health bar? It ain't for aesthetics. If I have no red AP, I'll just "borrow" some of theirs, stealing one red AP and dealing 195 damage per turn, plus an additional strike and red AP for any enemy who was marked by me. Better be packing red, I'm playing for keeps. In other words, I'm downing you!
Cyclops (4-star; Level 278): Uncanny Strategist [Yellow]
Level 5: 6-turn yellow countdown tile that allows generation of strongest color AP when matching team-up tiles; team-up matches add 2 turns to countdown tile.
Level 6: Yellow countdown tile is fortified. Friendly powers cost half AP plus number of turns remaining on yellow countdown tile.
Scarlet Witch (5-star; Level 300): Debilitating Hex [Blue]
Level 5: 5-turn blue countdown tile targeting enemy of choice. Lowers chosen enemy's powers by 4 (to a minimum of 1), takes 60% more damage from friendly powers for each Hex tile on board. Matching blue, purple or green tiles adds one turn to Hex countdown tile.
Level 6: If enemy removes Debilitating Hex tile by any means and has 6 AP or more in their representative colors, a 5-turn Pure Hex tile is produced. Pure Hex prevents target from firing any powers, and has a 25% chance of stunning target for one turn. After target comes out of stun, Pure Hex tile is removed. This tile is unaffected by turn toggles such as Agent Coulson's Best Laid Plans passive or Kang's Cosmic Tactician active.
I am interested in player's thoughts on this feature. What are your thoughts on a 14th power point and the chance at one Level 6 power? Could it open up a new form of meta and make versus battles more interesting? Would it harm the Support system in any way?
Neat idea, but I really can't see them allowing an ability to go to 6.
A more realistic version of this would be that once a character gets max champed then for XXX shards you can bring up 1 ability to get to some combination of 5/5/4 then repeat to get to 5/5/5.
I agree with @Kahmon entirely. I really like the idea, but coding a new 6th power level for about 1300 different abilities would be a huge effort.
I thought about maxed champs as I was reading it, and getting them to 5/5/5 would be a cool thing. I'd probably limit to 4 and 5*s though. Perhaps using the saved cover system so you'd need another 10 covers to get those last 2 power levels.
Here's the thing: the 6th power level is nothing more than a passive. Think of it as a bonus or special ability that takes effect if you meet specific criteria. Even though it feels like 6-5-3 or 6-4-4, it can actually be read as 5(+1)-5-3 or 5(+1)-4-4.
This idea has been with me for quite some time, but I really didn't give much thought about it until 5-star Gwenom came along. Her Black power March To The Same Beat has a passive component which prevents her from dealing damage by matches completely, and if you're down to just her with excess green, yellow, blue or team-up tiles that she cannot use and count against the total AP threshold, you've basically lost the battle. That's why I suggested a last resort move in the Gwenom thread.
I'm a bit skeptical about maxing out powers. I prefer the strategy that comes with the limitation of a 5-5-3 or 5-4-4. Some characters work much better with these combinations and make for stronger meta synergy with your other characters, but if your characters are maxed out in all levels, you lose some of that move level management. Now it becomes a character management issue where only certain characters will work against specific teamups or opponents, such as the case with another mobile game I play where players are urged to purchase premium characters for the sole purpose of winning stages that are unwinnable without them. The 14th point and 6th level keeps this aspect of move level management and strategy by limitation, further dissuading the requirement of buying a rare character. This is one of the core reasons why I favor Marvel Puzzle Quest greatly.
I do understand the issue of having to create new aspects for existing powers. 1300 powers exist - that's quite a lot. And that's just for 3-stars and up, correct?
One compromise I'd be okay with is for certain existing aspects of a character's Level 5 powers to migrate to Level 6. For example, America Chavez's Green power Fear Not, Mi Gente has a damage component if her team has more AP in five colors than her opponent, 4366 according to my Level 284 - that part could be migrated into Level 6. And that ability actually accounts for all power levels in her skill set.
But are the other components okay, the mini-Puzzle Gauntlet side quest, the one-on-one battle with your rival/enemy?
Yeah I think the "quest" element of the idea is great. There could fairly easily be a generic template for that (with the exception of the rival which would need to be bespoke).
I still think adding or amending powers will be very difficult though. Perhaps a damage or ability increase or AP boost might be an easier thing to implement.