New Feature - Champions 2.0 (Live with R287)

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IceIX
IceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 4,315 Site Admin
edited September 2023 in MPQ General Discussion

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!

Release Cadence

So, the obvious question is how and when is this being released? To put it simply, we’ll be releasing characters in batches over the next couple of months. Some batches are themed around different Marvel families, so expect to see related characters popping up together for implementation.

Here’s the first batch:

More Questions? See the FAQ below!

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Comments

  • ArchusMonk
    ArchusMonk Posts: 187 Tile Toppler
    edited September 2023
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    For the DDQ node that requires a specific 4*, 3*, and 2*, will the ascended versions work or will we need to keep a copy for that?

    EDIT: I see the answer for PVE, so still wondering about DDQ though from the sounds of it, any level of the required character will do.

  • IceIX
    IceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 4,315 Site Admin
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    @ArchusMonk said:
    For the DDQ node that requires a specific 4*, 3*, and 2*, will the ascended versions work or will we need to keep a copy for that?

    EDIT: I see the answer for PVE, so still wondering about DDQ.

    DDQ is PVE. It's just solo PVE, so still applies.

  • gamecat235
    gamecat235 Posts: 104 Tile Toppler
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    @IceIX said:

    @ArchusMonk said:
    For the DDQ node that requires a specific 4*, 3*, and 2*, will the ascended versions work or will we need to keep a copy for that?

    EDIT: I see the answer for PVE, so still wondering about DDQ.

    DDQ is PVE. It's just solo PVE, so still applies.

    So yes, we will need dupes of these for DDQ and PVE. That’s going to be an iso and HP sink. But it’s not game breaking. Just a choice.

  • LavaManLee
    LavaManLee Posts: 1,325 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited September 2023
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    If I only need the 1* covers to upgrade a 1* (even if at 5* level) and the 2* covers to upgrade a 2*, doesn't this inherently mean upgrading a 1* to 550 will be quickest, 2* second quickest, etc? Doesn't that defeat the whole point of scarcity? Maybe I am reading it wrong.

  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 7,926 Chairperson of the Boards
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    How does this work for PVP?
    You can use a 550 3* in a 3* event?
    How are these ascended characters figured into PVP MMR?

  • ArchusMonk
    ArchusMonk Posts: 187 Tile Toppler
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    How about favorite shards? If I have Ascended 4* IM40 and I want to favorite him, will that still be my 3* favorite or will it be my 4* favorite? Based on most of the text, it seems like it will still be 3*?

  • Bzhai
    Bzhai Posts: 457 Mover and Shaker
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    How will this play out for essential characters?

    For example if this event Vulture is the required 3-star and I've already ascended him to 4-star, can I still use him for that node? Or do I have to roster a new baby 3-star version?

  • raber18
    raber18 Posts: 49 Just Dropped In
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    Not sure if I missed it, but will there be level up rewards for ascended characters?

  • ArchusMonk
    ArchusMonk Posts: 187 Tile Toppler
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    @Bzhai said:
    How will this play out for essential characters?

    For example if this event Vulture is the required 3-star and I've already ascended him to 4-star, can I still use him for that node? Or do I have to roster a new baby 3-star version?

    The answer is in the FAQ post below. For now, it’s no you don’t need another version.

  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 7,926 Chairperson of the Boards
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    @Scofie said:
    Can I be the first to say "I love it"? So excited to ascend the whole roster! Roll on the next 10 years! 😆

    You'll probably be the only one, too.

  • Scofie
    Scofie GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,221 Chairperson of the Boards
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    @Bowgentle said:

    @Scofie said:
    Can I be the first to say "I love it"? So excited to ascend the whole roster! Roll on the next 10 years! 😆

    You'll probably be the only one, too.

    🤣 touché

  • IceIX
    IceIX ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 4,315 Site Admin
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    @LavaManLee said:
    If I only need the 1* covers to upgrade a 1* (even if at 5* level) and the 2* covers to upgrade a 2*, doesn't this inherently mean upgrading a 1* to 550 will be quickest, 2* second quickest, etc? Doesn't that defeat the whole point of scarcity? Maybe I am reading it wrong.

    Takes a LOT of covers and combinations to get a 1-Star to 5. Not going to be an immediate thing.

    @Bowgentle said:
    How does this work for PVP?
    You can use a 550 3* in a 3* event?
    How are these ascended characters figured into PVP MMR?

    Yep, that's exactly how it'd work.
    550s are 550s for purposes of MMR, doesn't matter whether they're natural or ascended.

    @ArchusMonk said:
    How about favorite shards? If I have Ascended 4* IM40 and I want to favorite him, will that still be my 3* favorite or will it be my 4* favorite? Based on most of the text, it seems like it will still be 3*?

    Correct, the Shards are based around the base version at all times.

    @Bzhai said:
    How will this play out for essential characters?

    For example if this event Vulture is the required 3-star and I've already ascended him to 4-star, can I still use him for that node? Or do I have to roster a new baby 3-star version?

    If the node is pinned to "Vulture", then yes, you can. If the node is pinned specifically to "3-Star Vulture", then no. We're not planning on doing the latter any time soon though.

  • fight4thedream
    fight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,935 Chairperson of the Boards
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    Woah! This addresses one of my biggest pet peeves with the game! There are quite a few characters I wish I could use but simply couldn't under the old structure. Plus I can see how this would help facilitate new player retention and diversify the meta.

    Although I am curious how this will work out with 3/5 characters: Would a 3* Fully Ascended High Evolutionary have better stats than a maxed out 5* one?

    Either way, it's definitely a cool idea and I'm looking forward to seeing how things shake out. Thank you for the hard work and bringing innovative ideas to help freshen up the game!

  • DeNappa
    DeNappa Posts: 1,376 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited September 2023
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    I'm not sure how I feel about it, let's just see how it plays out.

    It's just that... I might need to think about how I'm gonna update my personal mpq tracking spreadsheet for this lol.

    /edit: now that I think about it, with the abundance of normal token rewards and 1* cover rewards from PVP, getting those 'generic' champion rewards from ascended 1*s seems like a pretty good deal.

  • liminal_lad
    liminal_lad Posts: 463 Mover and Shaker
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    I don't have an active PVE event open. Does the 3-star PVE node say "Black widow (Grey Suit) required" or "3* Black Widow required?"

  • SuperCarrot
    SuperCarrot Posts: 178 Tile Toppler
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    This doesn’t feel good. I wonder how it will work out in practice. It feels like a new game almost.