Why your players are upset and how we got here

Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,879 Chairperson of the Boards

This is going to be a long post, but there is a lot to unpack with the recent changes to the game as well as some of the longer standing issues that led us to the point we are at now. The purpose of this post is two-fold. One, to let you know why your players are upset. And two, to request some clarification and possible remediation. 

There has been a sharp decline in overall communication across the board; but especially on the forums, for a long while now. We used to have much more developer interaction. It felt like they were part of the community and really helped build a sense of trust and care. Even if we didn’t like it, we were given roadmaps on where we were going. To go from that to where we are now already creates a sense of unrest in your playerbase.

Why does Bishop remain untouched? Why are new characters required for SHIELD training?  What happened to supports/support circuit? Why is Professor required in PvE and the only way to get him is 1/250 odds?  Silence.  And on down the line. So already there is a sense of disconnect.  A widening of the gap and an us (players) vs. them (developers) mentality. 

All of a sudden, we start to notice a throttling back of feeders. Seems odd and with no communication (see: above) we are left to speculate. On a podcast the developers claimed that they gave out too many, too soon. So we know the throttling was intentional, but we don’t know the “why”. 

We are later told that you want feeders to be “special” and tied to special events. So we are to expect them less. Fair enough. Holidays pass. The 80th Anniversary of Marvel passes. And the big one... the 6th anniversary of MPQ passes, and we get no feeders. In the moment it felt to me like you were buying time so you could throttle back rewards. Looking back now it definitely seems like the case. 

After you received negative feedback from your players concerning the lack of any feeder for the 6th anniversary, we were told the reason was “there was no obvious connection”.   So now, not only have the goalposts been shifted, but many players felt that their intelligence was being challenged. You had two characters that were released ON Anniversary (Gambit/Cable) that were rolled out with an accompanying 4* (Rogue/Domino). There are many other examples but I won’t go into it as they were already posted (to resounding developer silence). Looking back, it seems like another attempt to buy time.

Finally, we were told that feeders are not dead. They would be part of a new feature that would be coming soon. A feature that in this age where dilution is the worst it’s ever been, we’d be able to make targeted progress on our heroes. This was met with resounding fanfare. Expectations were high and questions were asked. But rather than just roll everything out at once and answer questions, we were left with a ton of speculation (a recurring theme at this point). 

So shards are announced as a replacement for bonus heroes.  Many did not expect you to REPLACE a feature so loved by many as we thought you were ADDING to the game rather than replacing.  An issue that could have been avoided with proper communication up front.

When we finally get communication it hypes up “this is good for the players!” without so much as acknowledging the obvious bad. Where you were once part of the community, we now just get manipulation.  For me personally, it’s a huge turn-off as a consumer.

The biggest drawback we got was the fact that our “bonus” resources would be lowered under this new system. We were told, “but wait until you see the WHOLE rollout. You’ll get shards from other places to make up the difference!” If you comb through your forums, you see many players saying “I’ll believe it when I see it” because we’ve been lied to before (see: above). 

What wasn’t mentioned (yes... again), is that the shards we’d be getting elsewhere 1) aren’t for characters we are actually targeting and 2) are apparently taking the place of rewards we were getting previously. So now our “bonus” pulls are down and we are getting less progression rewards. Not only that, but you’ve found a way to charge us for the new resource drought you created in the form of a “shard store”. 

So with many people upset about shards (especially the “orphaned shards” issue... more on that later) we are told that they are being added to progression rewards, feeders would be massively updated and we’d be getting rewards retroactively! You took some of our rewards that will bleed us long term, but promise of a huge short term payout was enough for many players to forgive.   Players expectations were high and the term “shardageddon” was even used!

However, just like this whole process, instead of giving us information right then and giving the whole rollout so we could process, you told us we’d get information Monday.

Late into Monday night we still had no information. When we finally did, it was very very vague with multiple interpretations. And no time or people available to field any questions. 

Knowing that our CP, HP, LT, Iso would be cut with the update, the consensus was “open now!”.  So many many hoards were broken. You should see some of the screenshots of people’s vines. It is pretty insane! 

Which brings us to today. Mass confusion ensues from people as to why they are not getting the rewards they thought were coming based on their interpretation of the vague late-night update. A compete nerfing of retroactive feeder rewards with no explanation- when we already had nerfs in progression rewards and number of bonus pulls. A complete deviation of precedent that had been established with no notification of the change so we could plan accordingly. And to top it all off, a number of what you call “bonus shards” sit there wasted on characters we never planned to chase as a reminder of how much better bonus heroes were. 

I look at all of my characters with both new feeders and old and see tons of checkmarks for prizes I never received. Mighty tokens? 4* character shards? 5* character shards? The game is saying I have received these rewards. And they are not there. We were led to believe that we’d be getting a huge reward payout and instead have yet another nerf. After MONTHS of begging for feeders and you effectively hyping up that we would FINALLY be getting them, it made us feel like the wait was going to be worth the pay off. Only instead of getting those rewards, we got a third of them.

When you look at all of this in context and wonder why each subsequent decision is made with less and less support from your community, this is why. People tolerate some “bad” when you build up goodwill, but you’ve made too many withdrawals from the bank and now there is nothing left (Justin’s comment also didn’t help). 

People here can chime in on what they feel proper compensation should be, but for me that goodwill is gone. I feel like there needs to be not only compensation in the form of paying out those rewards we were led to believe were coming, but also a sincere apology, and an HONEST explanation of your thought process. This would go a long way in depositing some goodwill in the overdrawn account.  Because this is indeed a broken relationship in need of serious repair work.




«1

Comments

  • jreddjredd Posts: 1,283 Chairperson of the Boards
    People that feel appreciated, included and recognized usually tend to respond favourably ($). hopefully the response to this update forces these guys to take a long, hard look at their 1 step forward, 2 steps back modus operandi.  

    we've had enough of it. where they go from here will go a long way towards retaining or losing paying players.
  • TherealsmkspyTherealsmkspy Posts: 246 Tile Toppler
    Excellent post, DD.
  • AlexNapalmAlexNapalm Posts: 120 Tile Toppler
    Cheers, very well said. 
  • supergarvsupergarv Posts: 277 Mover and Shaker
    Signed!
  • ReecohReecoh Posts: 176 Tile Toppler
    This is an excellent summary. 

    We can only guess at what led to these decisions but having been on the other side of unpopular development rollouts I would put my money on the development team being given a mandate by the bean counters to increase player spending to hit some arbitrary revenue goal, or make up for reduced player count, or some other reason. I expect a lot of the development team did so grudgingly with the knowledge that what they were building wouldn't be popular.

    If that's the case then it's not a fun place to be as a developer - caught between your mandate and an unhappy customer base. For those folks I hope they can get the decision makers to see some of these responses and relent on whatever drove these design decisions and bring back some of the fun that has been leeched out of the game back to it. 

    Otherwise I think this game has jumped the shark.
  • MegaBeeMegaBee Posts: 277 Mover and Shaker
    Co-signed.
  • NotBAMFNotBAMF Posts: 408 Mover and Shaker
    edited December 2019
    As a mid-level 4* player, this recent ordeal hasn't really impacted me much. I agree with what @killahKlown said in the other thread:



    Retroactive level rewards is not the same cup of Kool-Aid.  When a feeder gets introduced, people with a large 4* Iceman will have already earned an LT for every tenth level.   Then you expect additionally the retroactive 5* cover.  Whereas a newer player will not receive an LT and a 5* cover when they receive that rank.


    I'm not getting a 5* cover AND a LT when I hit levels, so I'm not exactly taking up arms for 5* players to suddenly get both because they want to.

    That said, the Shard system completely replacing Bonus Heroes combined with the perpetual need for new 4* characters in Shield Training has killed my desire to play this game. Also, I've been entirely bored with PVE for quite some time because playing 10 nodes 7 times each at certain times of the day is mind-numbing.

    In the past 3 months, I've gone from hardcore playing of everything to only playing PVP and abandoning PVE entirely to now where I MAYBE play DDQ each day. If I even remember that.

    So I agree with a lot of the negative, but I've been feeling that way for months. 
  • pfarewellpfarewell Posts: 53 Match Maker
    I still enjoy the gameplay and have spent a fair amount of money in the past on the game. However, this sleight of hand by the developers is making me rethink my choices. 
           I have built my roster over the years with consistent gameplay and some monetary investment. To have that effort negated by what appears to be greed and general apathy for the player base is aggravating. 
          I really would like to continue playing, but taking one step forward and four steps back with my roster development is not fun. Please fix this horrible decision and restore player good will. 
  • furbear00000furbear00000 Posts: 148 Tile Toppler
    Well put. 

    Can we add to that the bugs that they don’t want to fix? Wave battle glitch, passive ability glitch, game not being faster like they said it would be, etc. 
  • BuzzedLightbeerBuzzedLightbeer Posts: 40 Just Dropped In
    edited December 2019

    People here can chime in on what they feel proper compensation should be, but for me that goodwill is gone. I feel like there needs to be not only compensation in the form of paying out those rewards we were led to believe were coming, but also a sincere apology, and an HONEST explanation of your thought process. This would go a long way in depositing some goodwill in the overdrawn account.  Because this is indeed a broken relationship in need of serious repair work.





    Great, thoughtful post as always DD!  Merely piggybacking on your final paragraph here, I will focus my thoughts on what I feel proper compensation should be - it’s something I’ve given some thought to, which when one objectively reflects on the fact that this is in regard to a mobile game and you are actually spending real world time thinking about possible improvements, well, it kinda says a lot about just how high on the meter this affected me.  This is more than just a mobile game to many of us, it’s something we’ve spent many years interacting with and working on improving our chances of success via improvements to our character roster.  That’s at the the core of why so many are feeling a bit of a sting right now, I think.

    Anyway, as best I can guess/tell, it seems the game developers feel too many rewards have either gone out already and/or it would be too much to give out tons of 5 star covers based on the previous system of retroactive rewards.  Perhaps a compromise would look something like: instead of cutting the full cover reward (or total number of shards needed to unlock a full cover) that used to be at the level 300 threshold, keep that and then start the scale back at the following full cover threshold (which used to be level 320, if I remember correctly).  At level 320 and beyond, the scale back could perhaps also be changed somewhat, with slightly larger number of shards going out to players rather than the static 100 per that was adopted.  

    If done this way, there’s still a lot less rewards being doled out than there was during prior retro rewards times, but the players would be receiving at least a bit more than they did - which feels something like a win-win.  So, speaking as one of many that felt particularly burned by having multiple 4* characters in the very low 300 levels and just barely missing out, we’d still get enough shards to unlock that second 5* cover from the new feeders.  Anyone with level 320 and above (or wherever the threshold was decided to be) would also get the first two covers, and then perhaps enough shards for 2-3 additional covers as opposed to what I believe was just enough for one at max 4* level.  It’s the knowledge that any player that just so happened to have impacted characters SLIGHTLY higher than the first “new, changed” shard threshold has been so affected that bothers me the most.  Had we just invested a little less, or saved covers for a bit instead of applying them to all of those low 300 level 4* characters, we’d feel like we were in much better shape right now.  That just seems so off to me, and I can’t imagine the game developers would want segments of the player base feeling this way - that to get more they should have done less (with regard to the retroactive rewards now, but also going forward).  Again, some type of compromise would seem to be the best way forward for all parties involved.

    I have chosen to only focus on the 5* compensation, as this is what is most significant to me and seemingly many, many others.  I know that there were other unexpected changes too, but will leave that for someone else to expound upon.
  • DAZ0273DAZ0273 Posts: 4,398 Chairperson of the Boards
    NotBAMF said:
    As a mid-level 4* player, this recent ordeal hasn't really impacted me much. I agree with what @killahKlown said in the other thread:



    Retroactive level rewards is not the same cup of Kool-Aid.  When a feeder gets introduced, people with a large 4* Iceman will have already earned an LT for every tenth level.   Then you expect additionally the retroactive 5* cover.  Whereas a newer player will not receive an LT and a 5* cover when they receive that rank.


    I'm not getting a 5* cover AND a LT when I hit levels, so I'm not exactly taking up arms for 5* players to suddenly get both because they want to.



    I am pretty similar level to you I think but I have the opposite thoughts on this. It isn't because they want to, it is because they have been loyal customers and deserve to. At least in my opinion - obviously I respect all those who differ from me.
  • DogfaceDogface Posts: 714 Critical Contributor
    dramatist said:
    There's a multitude of good stuff in this thread that I agree with.

    Here's my in a nutshell problem with this update.

    The progression cover in the current PvE is a black Spiderman 2099. It is my 13th cover for Spiderman 2099. Normally I would champ him so he could begin to slowly grow more powerful/useful and gain some small rewards. But now the new meta says I shouldn't because he might one day be a feeder and I can get cheated out of rewards.
    As long as you keep the champ below 300 there shouldn't be much of a problem. Now I don't know your acquisition rate of covers, so don't know when you'll reach that point.

    As an example, my top 4* is in the 290's after about 3 years of play.
  • thedarkphoenixthedarkphoenix Posts: 494 Mover and Shaker
    This is pretty much a perfect summary from the players point of view
Sign In or Register to comment.