Captain Hammertime and his broken friends

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  • DAZ0273DAZ0273 Posts: 3,841 Chairperson of the Boards
    DAZ0273 said:
    Well there should be a qualification here because we are talking about Versus and not Story Mode. Levelling/Champing your 5's for Story Mode is now a win ever since SCL were introduced, reducing play time and allowing for serious chances of placement rewards - it of course used to be the opposite with personal scaling. So it depends on whether you are a player who only plays half this game. Until recently when I decided my Alliance was wasting it's talent by not even playing low level PVP I hadn't realised how many people simply don't appear to bother with the Versus mode. So I instigated a little experiment and the results are startling: to the extent where we have gone from sometimes not even being top 750 to on the brink of being a Top 100 Alliance just by engagement at low level PvP! I am not even talking about asking people t go to 575. Over the space of 3 completed events we have climbed 500+ places! However PvE is a closed shop for Alliances from what I can see unless you have access to good 5* rosters in your Alliance.

    It is a shame that Story and Versus seem to work against each other instead of hand-in-hand.
    Well even that I’m not so sure of. If you don’t have the 5E, Thanos, Thorkoye (for tough 5E nodes) and/or can’t clear optimally, you probably aren’t placing significantly higher. I have 26 5*s champed- including all the meta- but when I drop down to CL7-CL8, I run all 4s most to all of the event (Juggs/Guardians).

    You could be right but what I meant was that you are no longer handicapped by advancing to 5* land in terms of scaling. You get a wider set of tools to play with and it *should* speed up your play. If I champ Cable today I know from boost weeks that his green can kick out 20k which is a pretty handy weapon to have for PvE even if he isn't the fastest out there.

    If I, today, champ Cable as my only champ 5* with the intention of continuing to play lots of PvP, would you, as a seasoned player who has now been in the 5* tier for a while, advise that?
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 3,904 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 20 January 2020, 15:37
    There was a lot of talk about Ubiquity in those days when it came to rebalances, from OML to Gambit. That really doesn't seem to be a factor to them anymore, or else i'm in a very interesting fishbowl of which characters I see people using. I think the most interesting comment there is that players should not be able to take a 3* character into battle and have a more effective team than their 5*s, which I would be curious to know why that doesn't apply here to 4*s vs 5*s.

    As for 5*s, I would say that PVE didn't get harder when I champed Ghost Rider, but it didn't get appreciably easier either. It was still more effective to use a mostly-built Okoye + 4*s/3*s than to get his match damage. 
  • PainmongerPainmonger Posts: 84 Match Maker
    A fix for all of this & a meta shake up would be a character that dropped a 5-8 turn fortified CD at the start of battle. As long as it's on the board passive powers won't trigger on the enemy team. KO that character or take out the CD, you get rid of that speedbump. Make them a 4* so they're accessable & don't have a huge health pool. Have it vary scale with covers, at 1 cover it reduced all passive powers by 1 cover for 3 turns, each additional cover increases the power reduction & CD by 1 & 4th cover fortifies it. That character would see a ton of use, though.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 3,904 Chairperson of the Boards
    I've suggested that once or twice, I think a CD-based passive blocker is definitely AN answer to this problem. Honestly that power could come out on a 5* as long as it was available in some form at 1 cover, and still be a viable use.
  • DAZ0273DAZ0273 Posts: 3,841 Chairperson of the Boards
    There was a lot of talk about Ubiquity in those days when it came to rebalances, from OML to Gambit. That really doesn't seem to be a factor to them anymore, or else i'm in a very interesting fishbowl of which characters I see people using. I think the most interesting comment there is that players should not be able to take a 3* character into battle and have a more effective team than their 5*s, which I would be curious to know why that doesn't apply here to 4*s vs 5*s.

    As for 5*s, I would say that PVE didn't get harder when I champed Ghost Rider, but it didn't get appreciably easier either. It was still more effective to use a mostly-built Okoye + 4*s/3*s than to get his match damage. 

    But before SCL, it would have got harder at least that is my recollection of 5* players feedback back in those days and why players deliberately held themselves back from levelling their charactes to gain a competetive advantage. Who was the player who had that tagline "Friends don't let friends softcap" or something along those lines? Lol!
  • KGBKGB Posts: 912 Critical Contributor
    edited 20 January 2020, 16:26
    A fix for all of this & a meta shake up would be a character that dropped a 5-8 turn fortified CD at the start of battle. As long as it's on the board passive powers won't trigger on the enemy team. KO that character or take out the CD, you get rid of that speedbump. Make them a 4* so they're accessable & don't have a huge health pool. Have it vary scale with covers, at 1 cover it reduced all passive powers by 1 cover for 3 turns, each additional cover increases the power reduction & CD by 1 & 4th cover fortifies it. That character would see a ton of use, though.
    This kind of power would be incredibly hard to code to prevent all kinds of unintended bugs. Like what happens in mirror matches (does the player prevent the AI from putting down its own blocking CD since it technically should do so. Or teams with this character and Grockets and would it stop his strikes being placed etc).

    The suggestion I've seen before that makes the most sense is a 5* character with a passive that reduces/blocks passive enemy AP gain (Bishop, 5Hawkeye, Medusa, Coulson, Miles etc). Maybe at 1 cover it reduces any passive AP gain by 1, 2 covers by 2, 3 covers by 3, 4 covers by 3 and steals 1 of that passive AP, 5 covers by 3 and steals up to 2 of that passive AP. This character would get a lot of play since the passive would handle a lot of other characters besides just Bishop / WorthCap&Hawkeye.

    KGB
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 3,904 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 20 January 2020, 16:31
    That CD placement could be a 3-4 AP cost active, or it could be a passive reaction to this character getting stunned, or it could even be its own Start of Battle unique type a la Chekhov’s Gun that once destroyed doesn’t come back. There are ways I think to balance it. Even if it was itself a passive, it wouldn’t have to come out at Start of Battle.
  • fight4thedreamfight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,094 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 20 January 2020, 17:49
    Vhailorx said:
    Fight4,

    I agree that bishop/worthy are only a problem for the specific subset of the population.  But that subset has almost perfect overlap with the highest, trophy tier of play that everyone is theoretically chasing.  That is bad for the game as it would seem to provide a rather compelling incentive against leveling up your roster.

    No, it doesn't.

    What it encourages is careful consideration of which characters you should utilize your resources on and which ones you shouldn't waste resources chasing. 

    Your argument hinges on players with a certain number of champed 5* rosters being a homogenized group but it isn't. Within that grouping you have megawhales who have basically maxed champed most 5* characters, whales and hoarders who have several 500+ characters they have chased or are currently building, players with one or maybe two 5+ characters above 500+ and then non-big spending collectors who have champed all characters to various levels. From there, you have people who only have a handful 5* characters like Kitty or Okoye that help them compete and then another group of players who have a handful of non-meta 5* characters. 

    Arguably it's the group at the low end of the the highest tier of play who are struggling the most but that was true before the stunner brothers came into play. Players who play PvP competitively will find ways to either deal with them or by pass them. 

    But let's be real here: If a player is not a big spender or hoarder and wants to champ all 5* characters then they shouldn't expect to have an easy time of PvP. They are basically utilizing their resources to fulfill one goal: collect them all at the expense of maximizing their potential competitive advantage by waiting for a strong character or set of characters. I think that is a fair trade off. 

    You mention the highest trophy tier of play which is interesting because the best rewards are CL9 of PvE. Setting aside certain character interactions with supports, the most effective and efficient teams for high level PvE play usually include teams that feature 4* (sometimes even 3*) characters.

    A player with a 500+ Thanos, 480 level Kitty and a maxed champ 4* Grocket and a few (or one) cover of every other 5* in the game will in all likelihood play just as well as or even better than a player who has managed to champ every 5* but have none that go beyond 460.

    Even a decent level Thanos with a maxed champ Grocket and GotG character will more often than not be the better team than the majority of potential champed 5* pairings for most of the more difficult PvE nodes.  The only notable exception is the 5* Essential node, but with a big enough Kitty even these nodes can be dealt with effectively with one or two exceptions. 

    But my point is, in the most rewarding events in the game, you only need a handful of certain champed 5* and 4* characters to compete. Team synergy is the key to successfully competing, not simply running your highest level 5*s. Why should this not be the case for PvP as well? 

    I see people throwing around this term "balance" but the 5* tier has never been balanced. Think back to the first three 5* characters; many players eschewed Silver Surfer to build up their OML and Phoenix. OML's heal mechanic, combined with Phoenix's own strike tiles and buff mechanic were so good they dominated the first generation of 5* characters. 

    I remember when people tried to argue that Green Goblin would be the next big thing since he was on paper offensively superior to OML but I knew right from the get-go that because his colors overlapped with OML and Phoenix, namely black and purple, and OML had a pretty crazy heal the Goblin wouldn't make much of a dent in the meta. OML could eat a Goblin Glider and heal it off before Goblin would have enough black AP to try again and the AI is unreliable in terms of his purple power use. 

    Skip a few generations to Okoye/Thor and you had a new problem. A combo so powerful that they had little trouble taking down older maxed champ 5* characters if you managed to have Okoye high enough to tank and basically made new 5* characters obsolete. I mean Jessica Jones, who is arguably the strongest offensive character in the game, was basically relegated to benchwarmer status because she didn't have the right partner. 

    Traditionally, the dev team would have nerfed them by now but they haven't. But this was obviously an issue that needed to be addressed and now we have two 4* characters that put the breaks on this pair and a meta that is incorporating a mix of 4*/5* and 5*/5* pairs. 

    Is it perfect? No, obviously the current meta shouldn't be left as it is. But it has moved away from the "one team to rule them all" structure which is definitely a step in the right direction. Nerfing Bishop and Worthy Cap essentially devalues Hawkeye and JJ for competitive PvP play and reduces available strategies and challenges. 

    I am interested to see where the dev team takes the meta this year. Unfortunately I don't have time to address the matter of counters (PvE grind in a few minutes) but I will try to get to it later. 
  • BorstockBorstock Posts: 1,300 Chairperson of the Boards
    "But let's be real here: If a player is not a big spender or hoarder and wants to champ all 5* characters then they shouldn't expect to have an easy time of PvP. They are basically utilizing their resources to fulfill one goal: collect them all at the expense of maximizing their potential competitive advantage by waiting for a strong character or set of characters. I think that is a fair trade off."

    Very well said. (it was easier to copy and paste than to deal with this forum's dumb quote mechanic)
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 4,485 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 20 January 2020, 21:37
    I disagree with very many elements of your analysis fight4, but can't type my whole response on a phone.  More later.
  • tiomonotiomono Posts: 1,565 Chairperson of the Boards
    It's an interesting situation for sure that these characters become harder to overcome as my roster level increases. I'm at that point in this simulator season where i'm basically only seeing Hawkeye/Jessica Jones/WCap teams, and they are all at a level where just taking in 4*s of my own is a recipe for one of them to get 1-shot defenestrated. It would be one thing if I could drop back and just play them on their terms, but MMR being what it is, I'm not seeing any teams with "reasonable" to beat components on it, just teams with those characters that are competitive to my 6 5* champions.

    I would propose that the situation as we have it today is not balanced very well. A row-sham-bow counter to that team I suppose exists in the form of Silver Surfer, but since mine is 2/1/3 I don't believe he is any better than taking a 4* into battle. I need 68 more Mr. F covers to get 5 more Silver Surfer covers. Given my tracking since shards went live puts me at 1 4* cover ~week from shards, and 1 5* cover from direct shards every ~63 days, I could spend the next 1.2 years trying to champ Silver Surfer to claw out of this meta, but I don't really feel like that is worth my commitment tbh.
    Try gamora, kitty, bishop. Do not match kitty tiles. If you can match blue in your first 2 turns your golden. Use gamora stun not bishops. Gamoras will stun 2 opponents every turn getting you 2 special tiles. Do that 2 times and kitty will carry you through.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 3,904 Chairperson of the Boards
    I have a 3/2/0 kitty, will this still work?
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 4,485 Chairperson of the Boards
    I have a 3/2/0 kitty, will this still work?
    Yes, but slower and therefore higher risk. 

    On the plus side, your underleveled kitty might not be enough to proc bishop.  That would be good.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 3,904 Chairperson of the Boards
    Ok, I have a 451 Hawkeye/ 467 JJ/ 289 WCap queued up against my 315 Kitty/ 301 G4mora/ 274 Bishop.

    My Kitty isn’t strong enough to trigger Bishop on the jump on front. Would that work with Nico also?
     Had a really lucky board, and with only bishop taking match damage. He ended at 425 health, but I was able to win. That’s a decent team, I’ll have to try it more with some variations. Thanks!
  • KolenceKolence Posts: 698 Critical Contributor
    @fight4thedream
     This "balance" of 5-stars you put in quotes may not have been perfect in those earlier times, but it was far better before the time of release of Gambit and onward. At least in so far as allowing bottom tier 5's to still beat other teams and compete.
    I may not have as much experience in pvp (at least at higher competitive levels), but I've champed my 1st 5-star Spidey (PP) just in time to see what variety of teams there were in the wild, then. Most often Panthos, but also Bolt (often with Surfer, I think, or BW? I forget), Phoenix, Cap civil war, Ironman (especially when featured 3-star was team IM), Goblin... I've seen old Octopus (new one is better, imo) and even Banner Hulk (and wiped to his team a few times). Hawkeye, Star Lord too.

    Currently, the best, "meta" teams are more numerous than pretty much ever before, and that is good. But at the same time, the divide between their level of strength and the level of those chars at the bottom or the next tier above the bottom one is way bigger. That is very bad. Especially considering the dilution wouldn't be such a problem if older 5's could still be somewhat competitive. I think? Maybe I'm just deluding myself thinking so... :)

    As for 5-star / 4-star teams and combinations. I like those too. There were always 4's that had such complementary abilities to a 5-star, that you could use them better, be faster, than pairing that 5-star with any other from the pool of available champs you had. That was the case with Miles and Spidey for me, over OML or IM 46.
    Those were always poor on defense though. With these broken 4's, it's more a question of which 5-star do I bring to abuse the 4-star (passive) abilities the best way? Instead of the other way around.

    For a possible (part) solution to Bishop or HammerCap/HE stunlock, I would love to see BW buffed (in part because I've finally champed her recently :p , how many years did that take?). She could just be immune to stun while she has allies alive and awake, plus a bit longer counter-stun, for instance, and it would possibly throw a wrench in Bishop teams. 
  • tiomonotiomono Posts: 1,565 Chairperson of the Boards
    I have a 3/2/0 kitty, will this still work?
    Possibly. Worse case scenario is 3 healthpacks drained. I have a champed kitty. I pounce on every worthycap/hawkeye I see with this team. Its rough if jessica hits a trap early on and takes bishop out fast. I have recovered from that though. Without champed kitty it's probably done if jessica hits a trap. Stun worthy first and hope the 2nd stun hits jessica. If not let Hawkeye come out of stun then stun jessica so the 2nd stun hits hawkeye again. Always match damage on worthy while he is stunned. Leave hawkeye for last.
  • PainmongerPainmonger Posts: 84 Match Maker
    KGB said:
    A fix for all of this & a meta shake up would be a character that dropped a 5-8 turn fortified CD at the start of battle. As long as it's on the board passive powers won't trigger on the enemy team. KO that character or take out the CD, you get rid of that speedbump. Make them a 4* so they're accessable & don't have a huge health pool. Have it vary scale with covers, at 1 cover it reduced all passive powers by 1 cover for 3 turns, each additional cover increases the power reduction & CD by 1 & 4th cover fortifies it. That character would see a ton of use, though.
    This kind of power would be incredibly hard to code to prevent all kinds of unintended bugs. Like what happens in mirror matches (does the player prevent the AI from putting down its own blocking CD since it technically should do so. Or teams with this character and Grockets and would it stop his strikes being placed etc).

    The suggestion I've seen before that makes the most sense is a 5* character with a passive that reduces/blocks passive enemy AP gain (Bishop, 5Hawkeye, Medusa, Coulson, Miles etc). Maybe at 1 cover it reduces any passive AP gain by 1, 2 covers by 2, 3 covers by 3, 4 covers by 3 and steals 1 of that passive AP, 5 covers by 3 and steals up to 2 of that passive AP. This character would get a lot of play since the passive would handle a lot of other characters besides just Bishop / WorthCap&Hawkeye.

    KGB
    My thoughts are Start of Battle is already isolated from the phases/turns of the game, so those passives would trigger first, then the CD takes effect on the player's first turn. Not hard to code at all, if (turn > O) {powerStuff}.

    The other suggestion would work for a smaller scope of it just stopping the AP gain, torn on it being a 4* vs 5*. On the one hand, 4* is wildly easier to build, so helps those below or in very early stages of 5* play. On the other, it would be yet another 4* messing up things in 5* land.
  • fight4thedreamfight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,094 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 21 January 2020, 03:51
    You bring up a good point and I think a fair assessment between previous metas and the current one. In terms of game design, I don't like the idea of every 5* team being able to beat every other 5* team, all things being equal.  I prefer a system that prioritizes synergies and counter strategies meaning certain characters or teams would simply be unfit to fight against other types of characters/teams. And I acknowledge such a system is more difficult to balance and can potentially be more restrictive for players with less developed rosters.

    With that said, the main problem with previous meta iterations is that high end players often gravitate towards the most effective, efficient teams meaning you would basically be fighting the same team over and over again. Sure, winning isn't much of an issue but it doesn't make for interesting game play.  On the other hand, as long as the best team wasn't too OP a player did have the option of utilizing other characters to beat them.

    I suppose the ideal is somewhere in between these two meta types. Whether or not that is possible is another question, but certainly something the dev team should consider.

    And I, too, would like to see BW get a proper buff that made her deadly against stun characters. :)
  • Twomp_thaDJTwomp_thaDJ Posts: 232 Tile Toppler
    DAZ0273 said:
    You guys do realise that the people with these already Champed Worthy Cap's and level 330+ Bishop's are not likely to actually be 4* players, right? The people causing you problems are clearly 5* players - your own peers! You can come crush my 1 cover Hammer Cap with Uber Apocalypse if you like though, lol!

    Nobody wants to talk about this tho lol!!!!
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