New Feature - Champions 2.0 (Live with R287) [Updated 01/11]

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IceIX
IceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 4,315 Site Admin
edited 16 January 2024, 19:55 in MPQ News and Announcements

What is Champions 2.0?

This feature allows players to Ascend characters from one rarity to another, up to the current max level of 550 at 5-Stars. This means, for example, that you can take a 1-Star Spider-Man (Original) and Ascend him through the rarity tiers all the way to 5-Star. Imagine the possibilities!

What was Champions “1.0”?

The Original Champions Forum Announcement

The original Champions mechanic was developed to give seasoned players a way to further empower their favorite max level characters beyond their initial level ceiling. After players level up a character to their maximum, players can then use Iso-8 to Champion 2, 3, 4, or 5-Star characters. After being Championed, characters can then use covers to level up to their new maximum Champion level.

Naturally, the question arises: What’s different now? What’s changed?

Champions 2.0 builds upon the foundation laid by the original Champions system. Champions “1.0” provided a way to break characters free of their original level limitations, giving both players and characters the ability to push slightly beyond the standard rarity tiering. Now, Champions 2.0 provides a way to break characters free of the constraints of their original rarity tier, giving players the ability to Ascend any character in their whole character roster up to join the 5-Star level 550 club.

Why Champions 2.0?

Champions 2.0 gives players that want to keep using specific characters or incarnations of characters a way to keep playing with them. Everyone has their favorite Marvel character - that’s why so many of you play MARVEL Puzzle Quest. We’ve received feedback from folks who feel disappointed when they can’t play with favorites like Spider-Man (Original) or Wolverine (Astonishing) outside of certain required events because they’ve progressed past using those rarities. Champions 2.0 is a way to continue playing with favorites regardless of where your MPQ journey finds you.

Another powerful reason is because all characters are different and have different use niches. While characters like Gamora (Vol 2) (a 4-Star character) and Black Widow (Original) (a 2-Star character) both have capabilities that allow them to stun, Gamora deals direct damage while Black Widow specializes in stealing AP. If you want Black Widow (Original)’s capabilities, that character currently does not exist at the 4-Star tier. Championing these characters allows you to shift some pieces of the metagame from lower rarities into the higher rarities as they Ascend.

Champions 2.0 is poised to bring a substantial shakeup to the PVP meta and we are eager to see how players craft teams with Ascended characters. That being said, we’re aware that some of these characters Ascending up to join the higher rarity tiers and battles could require a reevaluation or rebalance if the need arises. All Ascended characters of each tier will be treated as their own individual character and could be subject to rebalances or adjustments to their design based on power budgets and general balance as a whole.

Champions 2.0 is a significant step towards continuing to energize the character roster and giving seasoned players the opportunity to meaningfully use previously lower rarity characters in their late-game teams. We’re also looking forward to seeing how new players use Ascended characters to add value to their teams as they play through the game.

Functionality - How Do I Use Champions 2.0?

Overview
Champions 2.0 is comprised of three basic functions:

  • Unlocking the ability to Ascend a character
  • Binding a duplicate of that character to Ascend to the next rarity tier
  • Leveling up Ascended characters by using their Covers or Shards

Put simply, with Champions 2.0 you can Bind a max level Championed character with a max level non-Championed version of the same character (of the same rarity) to create one Ascended version of that character in the next highest rarity tier. You can then use Covers of that character, or an equivalent amount of that character’s Shards, to level up your newly Ascended character. This can be done for any character from 1 to 4-Star rarity.

Ascension

Ascension is the act of raising a character to the next rarity tier. When you reach max Champion level with a character, you unlock the ability to Ascend that character to the next rarity. A character that has progressed through one or more of these Ascensions is referred to as an Ascended character. Any time you Ascend a character, they will start at the lowest Champion level of the next rarity tier. Ascension is completed through Binding with another copy of the same character.

Note: 1-Star characters cannot be Championed at this time. In this case, 1-Star characters will unlock the ability to Ascend at their maximum level as follows:

  • Level 40 for 1-Star characters with two (2) abilities
  • Level 50 for 1-Star characters with three (3) abilities

Binding

To Ascend a character, you must combine a max level Championed character with a max level non-Championed duplicate of that character in a process known as Binding. Binding consumes the max level non-Champed character in order to Ascend the max level Championed character to the next rarity tier. You must Bind two duplicate characters of the same rarity to create an Ascended character of the next rarity tier.

Note: The minimum requirement for Binding is a max level non-Champed duplicate but you can use a second Championed version of that character if you would like. Any extra covers you have on the second Championed character will roll over to the new Ascended character that is created.

Quick-Reference Ascension Formula

Leveling Up Using Covers and Shards

After Ascending, your favorite Ascended characters will need Covers or Shards to gain levels towards their maximum. Characters will use the Covers or Shards of their original rarity to level up. This means that, for example, 3-Star Captain America (Steve Rogers) will use 3-Star Captain America Covers and Shards to level up, even when Ascended to 4 or 5-Star rarity.

To determine how many Covers, or an equivalent amount of Shards, your Ascended character will need for each level up, refer to the chart below.

Ascension Level Up Chart

An Example Ascension

Let’s say you love 3-Star Psylocke (Classic), but you wish she was 4 or even 5-Star rarity. How do you get her there? Let’s walk through the process to Ascend this 3-Star Psylocke to 4-Star rarity.

You must start by:

  • Championing her
  • Achieving her max Champion level (level 266 for 3-Star characters)
    This unlocks her ability to Ascend, which you can see on her character info screen.

Now you need to acquire another Psylocke to Bind them together:

  • Acquire another copy of 3-Star Psylocke (Classic)
  • Level her up to max non-Champion level (level 166 for 3-Star characters)

Now you’re ready to Bind this Level 166 3-Star Psylocke to the Level 266 Championed 3-Star Psylocke and Ascend her to the next rarity tier! To complete this Ascension:

  • Navigate to the level 266 3-Star Psylocke’s character information screen
  • Click the “Ascend” button on the character information screen to access the Binding screen
  • Click the Binding selection button to access your roster
  • Choose the level 166 3-Star Psylocke from your roster to fulfill the Ascension requirements
  • Click “Ascend” on the Binding screen

Congratulations, you have successfully Ascended your 3-Star Psylocke (Classic) to create an Ascended 4-Star Psylocke (Classic)!

The Ascension Tree

Here’s a quick-reference visual guide to Ascending and Binding characters, from 1-Star all the way to 5-Star!

Leveling Up Ascended Characters & Ascending Again

So you’ve successfully ascended 3-Star Psylocke to 4-Star rarity. She’s stronger now! But…what’s that? That’s not enough? You crave more power for her? With Champions 2.0, it's possible!

Let’s continue with your Ascended 4-Star Psylocke. How do you Ascend her to 5-Star rarity and, eventually, level 550?

Ascended characters begin at the lowest Champion level of their new rarity. In Ascended 4-Star Psylocke’s case, she would start at level 270 after Ascension. To level up an Ascended character, each level up requires a certain number of that character’s Covers or Shards (based on the chart shown previously).

How to complete a second Ascension for an Ascended 4-Star Psylocke to give her 5-Star rarity:

  • On Ascended 4-Star Psylocke’s character information screen, select “Level Up”
  • Use 3 Psylocke covers, or 1200 Psylocke shards, to level her up
  • Repeat this process until she reaches max 4-Star Champion level, level 370

At level 370, Ascended 4-Star Psylocke unlocks the ability to Ascend to 5-Star rarity! To do this, she needs another Ascended 4-Star Psylocke to bind with. To finish this Ascension:

  • Obtain another Ascended 4-Star Psylocke
  • Ascended characters always start at the lowest Champion level of that rarity tier, which means they’re automatically a high enough level to Bind with an eligible character
    Navigate to the character information screen for the level 370 Ascended 4-Star Psylocke

  • Select “Ascend”

  • Click the Binding select button
  • Choose the eligible Ascended level 270 (or higher) 4-Star Psylocke in your roster
  • After making your selection, click “Ascend”
    Congratulations, you have successfully completed a second Ascension and your Psylocke (Classic) is now 5-Star rarity!

Max Championing an Ascended Character

Once you have successfully Ascended a character to the 5-Star rarity, it's a straightforward road to reaching level 550. Navigate to the Ascended 5-Star character’s information screen and select “Level Up”. Use 4 covers, or an equal amount of the base character’s shards, and level them up. Repeat this process until you have an Ascended 5-Star max Champ of your favorite character!

Current Champs 2.0 List:

Release Cadence

New 3 & 4-Star Characters:
Starting with 4-Star Multiple Man (Jaime Madrox) originally released on December 28th, players can to expect to ascend a new release once they enter our Classic Pack rotation roughly one month from release. With Multiple Man, that means he'll be ascendable around the last week of January.

More Questions? See the FAQ below!

Comments

  • IceIX
    IceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 4,315 Site Admin
    edited December 2023
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    Why do I want to Ascend lower rarity characters instead of just using higher rarity ones to start?
    Some players love playing with certain characters. We’ve received a lot of feedback from players that get Spider-Man (Original) right away, but have to stop using him while they’re in 2-Star land until they get a 3-Star Spider-Man (Classic) built up. Sure, there’s Spider-Man (Bag-Man), but it’s not the same. Similarly, people love Wolverine (Astonishing). He’s got a classic look, straightforward gameplay, and he’s powerful. So they’re a little disappointed at “having” to use Wolverine (Patch) when they just want to keep in the spandex. Others think Ares and Bullseye are pretty cool, but there’s no real ability to use them outside of certain required events. Champions 2.0 lets players that want to keep using specific characters or incarnations a way to keep playing with them.

    Secondly, lower rarity characters have different gameplay niches. Gamora (Vol 2) and Black Widow (Original) both stun, but Black Widow also grants burst health, steals AP, and affects enemy Countdown tiles. Hawkeye (Modern)’s Speed Shot isn’t something that exists in any other tier and has strong niche capability. Championing these characters allows you to shift some pieces of the metagame from lower rarities into the higher as they go.

    Do I need a copy of each rarity of a character?
    Need is a strong word, but in the future, it’s quite possible that we’ll have events do things like “Use ANY 4* Black Widow” instead of just Black Widow (Infinity War). Further down the road? Sure, maybe there’ll be an event where you’ll need any Ascended 5-Star or even “Use 5-Star Iron Man (Model 35)”, but I wouldn’t expect that any time soon. It’s unfair to expect players in the near term to change up their overall roster THAT much to where we could assume players would have specific Ascended characters available.

    What about Required Nodes? Can I use Ascended characters in place of the base ones?
    Depends on the node. If the node is “3-Stars Required”, then no, you can’t use a 4-Star Ascended Black Widow (Grey Suit). But you could use a 3-Star Ascended Iron Man (Model 35). If the node is set to “Black Widow (Grey Suit)”, then you could use any rarity version of that character. As above, in the near term, we’re not planning on specifying more in-depth on nodes, so this means that higher end players that Ascend their characters can get a leg up on some of those nodes in PVE that normally require lower tier characters.

    Does this mean I need more Roster Slots?
    In the short term, not really. You only need one slot for an extra copy of the character(s) that you’re working up to Ascend. For a lot of veterans in the game, this means that the secondary copy they’re working on for Champion Rewards will just become the same character used to Bind with the max Champed version. For newer players, picking and choosing which characters to work with is the name of the game. But that’s no different from current with players building up their Champion Reward farms. In the longer term, it depends on if you’re going to collect them all, in which case you need a slot for each rarity of each character, or focus specifically on getting them all to 5-Star.

    Does this mean that I don’t use farms anymore?
    That’s kind of up to you. Characters that are leveling at higher rarities will be getting generic rewards at that rarity (so a character leveling at 4-star will be getting the “normal” set of 4-Star Champion Rewards). So if you’re looking for specific character covers from Champion Rewards, it’s worth it to keep a slot for that character. It also means that you can use lower tiered covers for higher rewards. IE, Iron Man (Model 40) normally earns 3-Star rewards as a Champion. But if you Ascend him to 4-Star, that 4-Star Iron Man’s rewards will be 4-Stars, and you’ll be using 3-Star covers to get them.

    Do Ascended characters get their own Shards?
    Characters of the same “base” share Shards. So whether the character is 3-Star or 5-Star, they have the same shards. Since Shards convert to whatever the cover is of the rarity that you’re raising. IE: 300 Shards will raise one cover of a character at 3-Star, but it will take 400 of the same shards at 4-Star.

    If I ascend a character and their lower rank version gets a feeder update, will the new ascended character receive retro rewards?
    Any character that has been Ascended past their original rarity is considered a different character in regards to retro rewards. For example, a Deadpool (It's Me!) that has been Ascended to 4-Star or 5-Star will not receive rewards if 3-Star Deadpool has a rewards change. This is because each Ascended version has their own rewards schedule that is separate from the lower rarity character. As a result, it is not easily feasible to implement a system where an Ascended character has a linked "memory" of a different rewards schedule which would stay intact with any changes and be referenced and cross-referenced as changes to other linked characters are made (which could well be the case with 2 or 3-Star rewards changes).

    However, if a character that you have just recently Ascended within 7 days is marked for a change, CS should be able to provide an exception for 'lost' character cover rewards in that case.

    Can I use other versions of a character to gain covers? IE an already built character or one of higher rarity (Black Widow (Grey Suit) on a 3-Star Black Widow (Original))
    Not at launch, but we’re looking at ways to build out the system so that things that make sense like this are available. We want to see how players are using the system first and we’ll move from there.

    Wait, so what happens if I have two 266 3-Stars and Bind them to make a 4-Star? I can make a 4-Star with a 166 and a 266, so do I just lose the extra covers from using a 266 instead?
    You’ll automatically get the “extra” covers in credit towards the next rarity. So in this case, you’d get the 4-Star Ascended character and 100 covers worth of credit towards those new levels, just like Saved Covers work when you Champion a character.

    Now that they can be leveled all the way up, are there going to be new 1-Star and 2-Star characters coming?
    Certainly possible. Remember though that 1 and 2-Star characters by design are more simplistic in their gameplay. So I wouldn’t expect Marvel characters that would by nature be more complex, like Mephisto or Daimon Hellstrom to be coming as a 1-Star.

    I already have NO Iso! How am I going to level these characters up?!
    When a character is pushed to the next rarity, they’re automatically placed at the start of Champion levels for that rarity. Meaning a 1-Star Ascended to 2 will be level 94, a 3 will automatically be 166, etc. So there’s no extra Iso cost for these characters. That being said, Binding requires a maxed character of that rarity and a max level (non-champed) of that character, so that second character to be Bound costs Iso. Still, you’re not pushing out 4-Star level Iso to level that 1-Star, just a couple iterations of the outlay to get the 1-Star to max level.

    How will Ascended characters be balanced?
    Ascended characters will be balanced like any other character at that rarity. This means that Ascended characters will typically behave the same as their base character, but with varying balance numbers to operate fairly at their new rarity; in some cases, we may change their behavior, but the goal is to keep them as true to their design as possible. And, as with all characters, Ascended characters will be subject to rebalancing as necessary.

    Will Ascended characters be offered in the store or in bundles?
    From time to time, sure. Any Ascended character will also be automatically granted a 5/5/3 build, so you’ll be able to use them out of the box at whatever Rarity they’re granted as!