A Snapshot of Power Creep: Silver Surfer v Beta-Ray Bill

ColognoisseurColognoisseur Posts: 742 Critical Contributor
Since we have been having the discussion of re-balancing I hadn't ever gone back to look at how the first 5* Silver Surfer compares to the latest 5* Beta-Ray Bill.
I remember in October of 2015 when Silver Surfer heralded the 5* characters there was a preview node attached to the season tile. You could take your best team 3v1. Surfer mowed everything down including the best meta teams at the time. The power jump was amazing.
The latest 5* Beta-Ray Bill is an example of the current character trend with higher match damage across the board along with a passive power.
I thought it might be interesting to see just how far things have progressed comparing the first and latest from my roster. I have Silver Surfer at level 482 and Beta-Ray Bill at 453.

Silver Surfer HP  60749
Beta-Ray Bill HP 68530

A greater than 10% increase for the new character 29 levels lower.

Silver Surfer Match Damage Blue/Red/Black 749/666/583
Beta-Ray Bill Match Damage Green/Yellow/Blue 856/761/666

As you can see the character 29 levels lower has 93/95/83 higher damage across its main colors.

Examination of active powers

The cheap one

Silver Surfer Red Power for 7AP 12174 + 3 Charged tiles
Beta-Ray Bill Blue power for 6AP- 12564 + CD which produces 572 protect tiles when damaged

More damage for one AP less 29 levels lower

The expensive one

Silver Surfer Black power for 12 AP- 3-turn cd which destroys tiles around it for AP and damage plus 10552 when hit zero
Beta-Ray Bill Green Power for 12 AP- 4 X 8566 random hits potential of 34264  if all of them land at maximum

Realistically a somewhat doubling of damage output for the character 29 levels lower

The passive ones at three covers

Silver Surfer Blue Power for 9 AP plus can't be stunned passive- 13970 true health gain plus three charged tiles in chosen color
Beta-Ray Bill yellow power passive- create 4 X 200 protect tiles at beginning of match. Any friendly protect tile generates 1 blue and 1 green AP upon destruction.

Probably the only place where the advantage is negligible.

It would be interesting if Surfer was normalized to the same damage outputs and match damage. It is an ongoing discussion for Demiurge to have. The numbers show there is a difference. 


Comments

  • Projectus2501Projectus2501 Posts: 148 Tile Toppler
    Great comparison. 

    And the bigger the power Creep is the harder will be to rebalance characters since it's not a dev favorite. 

    Also just an almost philosophical thought: the bigger the power Creep the closer a game is of its end... 
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 4,484 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 25 January 2020, 01:27
    Yup.  Almost every 5* released prior to Thor (and more than a few released after) is hopelessly outclassed by modern 5*s.

    The only ones that have a shot are those that have strong passives that provide value independent from direct damage/AP (Thanos, strange, HE, BB).

    Match damage and health are even worse.  Rather than the announced intention of creating different tiers ofatch strength for support, attack, etc characters to provide more playstyle variety, each 5* has unique match damage and the general trend is very clearly up.  New 5* have about 33% more match damage than early 5*s, and the problem is only getting worse.  Health has crept up similarly.  It's just unhealthy for the game.
  • HoundofShadowHoundofShadow Posts: 2,490 Chairperson of the Boards
    About two weeks back, the dev at Overwatch talked about balancing and power creep. 

    "We also should remember that things like win rates and hero power/effectiveness can fluctuate significantly depending on the players’ skill level. If someone complains that Reaper is too strong and another says that Reaper is too weak, they could both be correct for their current skill level.”

    I kinda agree with this: it also depends on the skill level of the players.

    All the buffs that I read for most of the trash characters in MPQ can be summarised as lower ap cost, increase damage/ap and make things process faster, like repeaters.

    Everytime a new character comes out, each of their individual power will be compared against characters who are ranked top for that particular group of power. If the new character doesn't perform as well, players will ask for higher damage, lower ap cost, faster processing time etc.

    Unknowningly, it's the players who want power creeps to happen because they want everything to happen faster and hit harder.

    If every character has the same or similar damage/ap, effects etc across the board, every new release will be predictable, just like shards. How boring the game will be.  >:)

  • KGBKGB Posts: 912 Critical Contributor
    edited 25 January 2020, 02:36


    If every character has the same or similar damage/ap, effects etc across the board, every new release will be predictable, just like shards. How boring the game will be.  >:)

    I hope that's not what everyone's asking for. That isn't what I'd like to see.

    With almost 40 characters it's time to give the tier a once over and correct a few things. Not simply make all character have the same health/match damage. I expect Thanos to have higher health and match damage than say Widow or Goblin or Fatpin because he's a Titan. Similarly it makes sense for Thor. Someone like Carol can have high match damage to reflect her strength while having an averagish health pool because she's still human. Banner should have really high health and match damage after he transforms and not so much before he does.

    I think this is what players would like to see. An adjustment of health/match damage to reflect who the character is. The creep that has happened has meant that old character that were given better values at the time are now WAY behind even average characters now.

    KGB

  • HoundofShadowHoundofShadow Posts: 2,490 Chairperson of the Boards
    Not everyone is asking for that, but many are: Standardise hp and match damage of older 5* to  make it similar to newest 5*'s. Some would ask for dmg/ap to be standardise. Some would ask that max ap needed to be capped, like not more than 7-9ap.

    Looking at all this, they basically love power creep and I realise that many in here are always in a rush. Lol? B) They have a need to finish match asap, champ characters asap, complete everything asap etc.

    How many times have you read something similar to this:
    if only their damage is higher or the ap cost is lower, I will use them more often, rather than letting 95% of my characters sit on the bench. OR why would I want to use his power rather than her power (because ap cost is higher, damage per ap is lower or effects are not as good as those top tiers).


    Ultimately, I think picking a few 5* to deal with current meta will be more acceptable, rather than increasing the stat across the board.

  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 3,862 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 25 January 2020, 03:23
    Just like the whole argument about who should be a 5, the canon power level of a character has no bearing on the MPQ power level.

    Okoye is just a normal person but has the 6th highest match dmg in the tier.  She may be a support mostly but man, she gets things going.

    I in no way expect the devs to come in and decide to move characters up and down the power ladder to match their comic book counterpart's power levels.  It has been this way eternally in video games, unfortunately - at least for a lot of them.  MPQ has never seemed to be interested in this approach, unlike say a fighting video game or whatever.

    It seems to me that they design characters with some eye towards match dmg and health making up for speed of nuke dmg.  Strange is weak and easy to kill but punishes every power you launch until then, for example.  Iceman may have a low AP cost but he's making repeaters which won't exactly kill you quickly, so they give him high match dmg to compensate.  Prof X has somewhat lower match dmg but he only requires a match 4+ to launch a nuke.

    This isn't to say they shouldn't be looking at the 4 year old characters and adjusting them, assuming they can spare the time with their small team.  And I think they are definitely trying to make newer characters more effective at ending matches more quickly, at least some of them.

    So I do see a method in the madness.
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,608 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 25 January 2020, 03:47

    All the buffs that I read for most of the trash characters in MPQ can be summarised as lower ap cost, increase damage/ap and make things process faster, like repeaters.

    Everytime a new character comes out, each of their individual power will be compared against characters who are ranked top for that particular group of power. If the new character doesn't perform as well, players will ask for higher damage, lower ap cost, faster processing time etc.

    Unknowningly, it's the players who want power creeps to happen because they want everything to happen faster and hit harder.

    If every character has the same or similar damage/ap, effects etc across the board, every new release will be predictable, just like shards. How boring the game will be.  >:)

    I’d say yes and no. When a low to mid tier character is dropped, I like that people suggest tweaks to health, match damage, tile strength/numbers AP cost, fortification, etc.  

    I actually wish the developers took this approach MORE rather than the scorched earth build a new character from scratch rebalances they often do. Not only would it take less development time, but the overhauls they do usually aren’t necessary. 

    That said, I don’t understand how Cable’s blue being cheaper, Carnage having stronger tiles, Carol’s repeaters being fortified, Doom having higher match damage, etc. make these characters the same as Thorkoye/Kitty; or how it makes new releases predictable.  Their core kits are still very very different. 

    KGB said:

    I hope that's not what everyone's asking for. That isn't what I'd like to see.

    With almost 40 characters it's time to give the tier a once over and correct a few things. Not simply make all character have the same health/match damage. I expect Thanos to have higher health and match damage than say Widow or Goblin or Fatpin because he's a Titan. Similarly it makes sense for Thor. Someone like Carol can have high match damage to reflect her strength while having an averagish health pool because she's still human. Banner should have really high health and match damage after he transforms and not so much before he does.

    I think this is what players would like to see. An adjustment of health/match damage to reflect who the character is. The creep that has happened has meant that old character that were given better values at the time are now WAY behind even average characters now.

    KGB

    I personally would like tier wide standard match damage. Also some health boosts for older 5s that fell behind. 

    1. Every other tier does this. No one complains about 3* Thanos having the same match damage as 3* Gambit. 

    2. I would no longer have to look up who tanks for who in which colors when formulating teams.

    3. It prevents the developers from falling back into the lazy power creep design. (Yeah Carol sucks. But we can just up the match damage!). 

    4. If we just go by canonical logic, people like Daredevil, Loki and Okoye, who you want tanking to do their thing would have the lowest match damage. I’d much prefer the game have good mechanics than follow cannon. Especially when it is already so messed up (Magento is only a 3* but Okoye is a top 3 character in the entire game?).  I’ve given up on that long ago. Match damage shifts aren’t saving it. Much rather the mechanics work better. 
  • KGBKGB Posts: 912 Critical Contributor
    I personally would like tier wide standard match damage. Also some health boosts for older 5s that fell behind. 

    1. Every other tier does this. No one complains about 3* Thanos having the same match damage as 3* Gambit. 

    2. I would no longer have to look up who tanks for who in which colors when formulating teams.

    3. It prevents the developers from falling back into the lazy power creep design. (Yeah Carol sucks. But we can just up the match damage!). 

    4. If we just go by canonical logic, people like Daredevil, Loki and Okoye, who you want tanking to do their thing would have the lowest match damage. I’d much prefer the game have good mechanics than follow cannon. Especially when it is already so messed up (Magento is only a 3* but Okoye is a top 3 character in the entire game?).  I’ve given up on that long ago. Match damage shifts aren’t saving it. Much rather the mechanics work better. 
    1) You know, I guess I never realized match damage was standard in every other tier until you just pointed it out. LOL. I guess I always assumed it varied slightly similar to how health varies between character in the same tier.

    2) I hate this too. For years I've asked in every survey for the character selection screen to show who tanks what colors so that you can see before you enter a match and know if you need to swap characters or re-order them.

    3) This is where I disagree. Having variations in damage helps to balance out characters. It's obviously impossible for every character to be meta but adjustments in damage to help characters who have higher power costs / weaker powers to me would be a net positive for the game. It's not meant to compensate for bad design but to simply help some characters esp when it would thematically fit. The game already does this with health. I'm not talking about doubling the damage or some crazy thing but if the avg damage at 450 for power 1 was say 500 then having a range between 450-550 seems reasonable to me.

    4) I also realize the absurdity of 3* Mags vs 5* Okoye and don't expect that to be reconciled. But I still don't see why characters who would be front line fighter types like Daredevil/Okoye couldn't have match damage and/or health to reflect that while non-fighter types like ProfX/Loki etc would have different characteristics. I mean in 4* land they just released Juggs and Thanos with really high health to reflect that idea and Thor has health like that in 5* tier. So why couldn't an adjustment be made like that across the 5* tier in terms of health & damage. And yes, the definitely need to adjust really weak character mechanics but that can be done after you adjust health & damage first since that should be easier to do.

    KGB
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 3,904 Chairperson of the Boards
    I think some of those power costs really need to come down; there needs to be a variation on Damage Per Second calculations that are relevant to this game; maybe turns-to-fire or something to balance AP. If a power like Aerial Superiority is supposed to counter a power like Stacked Deck, you have to wonder why it was a 7ap active power vs a passive power. You're at best 2 turns to fire if not 3. A power that costs 10, 11, 12ap comes out, and that character doesn't have a significant AP accelerant like a passive tile charge capability or something, you'll be dead before you have a chance to use it vs fast teams like Thorkoye or teams with absolutely rampant AP mechanics like Bishop or CapHawk.
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 4,484 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 25 January 2020, 19:57
    I think some of those power costs really need to come down; there needs to be a variation on Damage Per Second calculations that are relevant to this game; maybe turns-to-fire or something to balance AP. If a power like Aerial Superiority is supposed to counter a power like Stacked Deck, you have to wonder why it was a 7ap active power vs a passive power. You're at best 2 turns to fire if not 3. A power that costs 10, 11, 12ap comes out, and that character doesn't have a significant AP accelerant like a passive tile charge capability or something, you'll be dead before you have a chance to use it vs fast teams like Thorkoye or teams with absolutely rampant AP mechanics like Bishop or CapHawk.
    Demi has never really seemed to have a great grasp on what constitutes "fast" in mpq.  They will release a character with low AP costs, but that requires multiple and/or chained casts to synergize or have any effect at all (think north star or karolina, or even 4* if) and think that character is speedy. Meanwhile, the actually fast characters use passives or 1-cast powers to jump start their engines and have won the match by round 8.
  • tonypqtonypq Posts: 123 Tile Toppler
    Present might be the best time to do something,  at least to the 5 tier before too many more characters release ala the 4 tier. 

    Doesn't seem like every character needs the wheel reinvented. Many could be much better with a match damage boost, buff to health, maybe reduction to ability costs for some. 

    There are of course some characters that could use more than just tuning where a redesign would be welcomed. Characters like Wasp, Banner, just to name a couple would benefit greatly with a little TLC.

    The fact that they're considering balance tweaks of some degree makes me happy. They know theres issues just as us players do.

    I think most players would enjoy the game more, being able to have fun with their whole roster for the content they play. Rather than at each tier sticking to the select few meta or exploit characters to clear all content. Would be great in a game with this many characters that some weaker ones got buffed a bit. 

    As repetitive this game is, it dulls down considerably clearing then same content with the same go to characters. I'd love buffs to those in the weaker tiers to have more choice and fun enjoying the ton of characters I've collected over years.
  • pheregaspheregas Posts: 1,436 Chairperson of the Boards
    And this power creep has happened after Surfer was already reworked once.  He was even worse before that.
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