Reconsidering Essential Nodes in Story Mode

ZootSaxZootSax Posts: 1,739 Chairperson of the Boards
There's a frequent complaint in the General Discussion of the forum that players who have high tier rosters dominate lower Shield Clearance Levels (SCL) too often.   Because Clearance Levels and roster strength aren't exactly directly proportional, locking players into a particular SCL could have the unintended consequence of making Story/PVE mode unnecessarily difficult for them.  With this in mind, there is a certain degree which must be accepted that if two similar players are willing to put in the same level of effort, the one with the better roster should always win at a given Clearance Level. 

Based on times when I've played down in SCL 1 (even though I qualify for SCL 9), I've noticed that even if I do not play in any optimal way, or even necessarily complete the full progression awards, I often finish extremely high in the placement standings; not because of any special effort on my part, but rather a player of my level is far more likely to have both the 3* & 4* essential character than a typical player who "should" be in SCL 1.  This seems inherently wrong and could discourage a newer player from learning the optimal way to play Story/PVE, which this knowledge/practice could be invaluable when they have strong enough rosters to play in higher SCL's.

My question here is: why should a SCL which only awards 1*, 2* & 3* characters (the latter only at max progression) even require a 4* as an essential character?

My suggestion would be to have the essential characters change based on what the SCL rewards in progression up to two full clears of every mission.  So, for example here's one way this could work:

SCL 1:  Progression Awards 1* Cover, Elite Token, 2* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 1*/1*/2*
SCL 2:  Progression Awards 1* Cover, Elite Token, 2* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 1*/2*/2*
SCL 3:  Progression Awards 2* Cover, Elite Token, 2* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 2*/2*/3*
SCL 4:  Progression Awards 2* Cover, Elite Token, 3* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 2*/2*/3*
SCL 5:  Progression Awards 2* Cover, Elite Token, 3* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 2*/3*/3*
SCL 6:  Progression Awards 3* Cover, Elite Token, 3* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 2*/3*/3*
SCL 7:  Progression Awards 3* Cover, 3* Cover, 4* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 2*/3*/4*
SCL 8:  Progression Awards 3* Cover, 3* Cover, 4* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 2*/3*/4*
SCL 9:  Progression Awards 3* Cover, 3* Cover, 4* Cover - Required Essential Nodes are 3*/3*/4*

SCL's 1-6 could even add a 4* essential node, which is similar to the 5* essential node in SCL's 7-9, but that's probably another topic.

The benefit of this realignment of required essential characters is that placement in lower SCL's would come down more towards optimal play, as it is in higher SCL's, instead of luck of the draw on 4* characters.  It would also skew the required characters more towards characters they would reasonably have.  Higher level rosters would still have an advantage for placement if they play more intensely, but a higher tier player playing casually would not easily defeat a lower tier player playing optimally strictly by virtual of the larger roster, as happens today.

The downside of this is that it would require more up-front work by the developers to implement,  but once the initial programming was complete, the rotation would be more straight-forward.

Anyway, that's my $0.02.


Comments

  • PtahhotepPtahhotep Posts: 150 Tile Toppler
    I would suggest, based on your star ratings for the essential nodes by scl, that the current 5* node should be a 3* node at scl 1-2 and a 4* node for scl 3-6.
  • HoundofShadowHoundofShadow Posts: 2,542 Chairperson of the Boards
    I think 4* is the place where the devs start seeing more money coming in. So, they decided to introduce 4* early in the game. So, you have join forces node where new players can play with all 2* to 4* characters (max cover) without limit even if you don't have them rostered. 

    A new player can clear 2* and 3* in probably 6 to 8 months.

    I think 4* essential node is a marketing tool for them?
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