Map 7, New Milestones, Rank Rewards, Glory Store Update, Reduced cost for Map 4 - 6 Discussion

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  • BrianGrant wrote: »
    About difficulty being the barrier - I think difficulty will be the biggest barrier for map 7 still, whether costs are high or not. People who didn't participate in the beta have no idea what they are in for. I think the success rate for even top 20 alliances will be less than 50% to complete 7x5.

    I also had a separate thought that I felt should go into a separate post. I'm setting aside the specifics of whether the specific individual costs of Map 7 are set perfectly correctly (I'm not sure they are) for now. In general, "difficulty" extracts two "costs" from the player. There is skill costs: you must have some level of skill to perform effectively on that map. And there's roster costs: as a practical matter your roster must have some level of strength to perform effectively. As a general statement, neither is an independent cost, it is something more like Roster x Skill > Difficulty. You need enough of both. But there is a roster cost in there somewhere.

    If "difficulty" was only a test of skill, then "difficulty" would be completely orthogonal to other costs like gold or loyalty. But it isn't. "Roster costs" are more like Gold costs than Skill costs. So is it really a valid statement to completely separate the "difficulty barrier" from the "map cost barrier?" The things we have to do to grind up enough stuff to pay the map costs are very much the same kind of things we need to do to grind up a stronger roster.

    We sort of have a bag of gold, BC, and loyalty here, and a bag of champion crystals over there (just in a different form) and we're pointing to one of these costs as the "good" kind, and the other as the "bad" kind. But I'm not sure that makes sense for the kind of game that MCOC is.

    Again, it is possible that the specifics of the costs should be tweaked for specific reasons (like the fact that loyalty offers few if any ways to get more of it in general, so there's limits to how you could ever "progress upward"). But I'm talking about the general principle that difficulty is intrinsically superior to other resource cost gates. I'm not sure it isn't at least partially a disguised version of them in a form easier to argue in favor of.
  • THX135THX135 Posts: 83
    I think the discussion of Map7 cost is good. However, the bigger issue will be piloting. There are numerous ways via 3rd party markets and alternate accounts to stock up enough resources to cover the cost of 7x5 in relatively short order.

    The bigger problem will be those alliances that are aggressively chasing #1 in AQ WILL pilot to cover the gap in skill to complete map7 without iteming out.

    If Kabam starts banning piloting in AQ those alliances that have the resources but not the skill will not be able to use the resources they've built up through 3rd party markets.
  • GunnersGunners Posts: 67
    Don't think anyone pilots in aq bro biggest issue will be loyalty unless there is a buff to what we make in game running map 7 will simple be unaffordable without spending units and sure some will use the black market but really hope they change it taking away from the black market dontions business is a win in my eyes and like brian grant said the way it currently is will also lead to burnout
  • DTMelodicMetalDTMelodicMetal Posts: 2,799 ★★★★★
    Gunners wrote: »
    Don't think anyone pilots in aq bro biggest issue will be loyalty unless there is a buff to what we make in game running map 7 will simple be unaffordable without spending units and sure some will use the black market but really hope they change it taking away from the black market dontions business is a win in my eyes and like brian grant said the way it currently is will also lead to burnout

    AQ Piloting ban waves have been a popular topic in 9K+ prestige line chats for the past 1-2 months. It's nearly a certainty alliances competing for the #1 AQ rank rewards spot next cycle will pilot if they have difficulties exploring Map 7.
  • THX135THX135 Posts: 83
    @DTMelodicMetal is correct about piloting in map7. It is guaranteed in alliances shooting for top aq spot.

    Loyalty is not a limiting factor for those alliances.
  • CoatHang3rCoatHang3r Posts: 4,197 ★★★★★
    Account sharing is punished, not specifically account sharing in AW. Account sharing covers logging into someones else account so extends to events, arenas, Aq and AW. If players want to jeapordize their account and alliance for AQ I would think they’ll eventually lose access to thier accounts. If they get banned mid AQ then the alliance pays the penalty. So if AQ piloting becomes a thing it will soon be shown that they’ve shot themselves in the foot trying to use it.
  • Gunners wrote: »
    Don't think anyone pilots in aq bro biggest issue will be loyalty unless there is a buff to what we make in game running map 7 will simple be unaffordable without spending units and sure some will use the black market but really hope they change it taking away from the black market dontions business is a win in my eyes and like brian grant said the way it currently is will also lead to burnout

    AQ Piloting ban waves have been a popular topic in 9K+ prestige line chats for the past 1-2 months. It's nearly a certainty alliances competing for the #1 AQ rank rewards spot next cycle will pilot if they have difficulties exploring Map 7.

    If Brian is correct that difficulty is the primary barrier to completing the map, then I would expect piloting to be the method of choice for many alliances to overcome that barrier. I'm not blaming Kabam for "encouraging" piloting or anything like that, I'm simply stating it as an obvious fact to me that piloting is to be expected wherever difficulty is the primary barrier to high value rewards.

    Piloting is usually uncommon in AQ because for most alliances the (incremental) rewards you can earn with piloting are not worth the risk. The risk probably becomes more palatable if we are talking about dramatically higher rewards (like when AW seasons was first introduced) or for top ranking spots in ranked rewards in AQ.
  • BrianGrantBrianGrant Posts: 171
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    About difficulty being the barrier - I think difficulty will be the biggest barrier for map 7 still, whether costs are high or not. People who didn't participate in the beta have no idea what they are in for. I think the success rate for even top 20 alliances will be less than 50% to complete 7x5.

    I also had a separate thought that I felt should go into a separate post. I'm setting aside the specifics of whether the specific individual costs of Map 7 are set perfectly correctly (I'm not sure they are) for now. In general, "difficulty" extracts two "costs" from the player. There is skill costs: you must have some level of skill to perform effectively on that map. And there's roster costs: as a practical matter your roster must have some level of strength to perform effectively. As a general statement, neither is an independent cost, it is something more like Roster x Skill > Difficulty. You need enough of both. But there is a roster cost in there somewhere.

    If "difficulty" was only a test of skill, then "difficulty" would be completely orthogonal to other costs like gold or loyalty. But it isn't. "Roster costs" are more like Gold costs than Skill costs. So is it really a valid statement to completely separate the "difficulty barrier" from the "map cost barrier?" The things we have to do to grind up enough stuff to pay the map costs are very much the same kind of things we need to do to grind up a stronger roster.

    We sort of have a bag of gold, BC, and loyalty here, and a bag of champion crystals over there (just in a different form) and we're pointing to one of these costs as the "good" kind, and the other as the "bad" kind. But I'm not sure that makes sense for the kind of game that MCOC is.

    Again, it is possible that the specifics of the costs should be tweaked for specific reasons (like the fact that loyalty offers few if any ways to get more of it in general, so there's limits to how you could ever "progress upward"). But I'm talking about the general principle that difficulty is intrinsically superior to other resource cost gates. I'm not sure it isn't at least partially a disguised version of them in a form easier to argue in favor of.

    Interesting way of thinking about it. I'd like to break down the roster part of "Roster x Skill > Difficulty" a little and explain how I view our rosters.

    I consider our rosters, at least the highest ranked champions within them, to be a somewhat decent representation of our skills. I do agree that for certain challenges, you pretty much need higher level champions, so the requirement is loosely there. But in order to get those higher level champions, you probably had to complete some other challenge to get the catalysts needed to rank them up. While completing those challenges, you probably developed some new skills, or at least improved the skills you already had.

    Resources like gold don't generally require you to complete challenging content to obtain. Both require time and effort to manage correctly, but the currencies lean more towards time investment, whereas roster growth, when pushing new ranks at least, leans more towards testing and developing your skills. Skill in this case mostly meaning your fighting ability along with overall game knowledge, how champions/nodes interact, etc.

    When looking at our rosters as a whole, it's made up of everything we've ever put into the game, including all the resources we've grinded, like gold. When using large portions of our rosters for something like an arena grind, I would agree that it's closer to a gold cost than skill cost. But when only using our top champions in the case of something like Alliance War, or Map 7, it feels very different. It feels like the few champions we use in these areas are the direct result of our accumulated skills over time. I think this is especially true the closer you are to the cutting edge of progression, like those who completed Act 5 right away which gave the only source of T5B in the game at the time.

    It's not a perfect divide between having the skills or having the resources since in many ways you can compensate for one or the other, but that's how I view our rosters at least.
  • BrianGrant wrote: »
    When looking at our rosters as a whole, it's made up of everything we've ever put into the game, including all the resources we've grinded, like gold. When using large portions of our rosters for something like an arena grind, I would agree that it's closer to a gold cost than skill cost. But when only using our top champions in the case of something like Alliance War, or Map 7, it feels very different. It feels like the few champions we use in these areas are the direct result of our accumulated skills over time. I think this is especially true the closer you are to the cutting edge of progression, like those who completed Act 5 right away which gave the only source of T5B in the game at the time.

    How would you address the notion that "random luck" plays a significant role in player progress, something that both players claim and Kabam itself acknowledges? The way I see it, the more crystals you open, the less luck factors into your roster (because the odds of having any particular champion rise with more pulls). But the less crystals you open, the more random chance has a larger impact. Can you simply "skill" past this issue?

    I view my roster as a kind of result of skill, but a very specific metagaming skill: optimizing my opportunities to open crystals (and to gain rank up resources as well, but that's a tangential topic). I don't see it as the result of my combat skill, at least not directly. Of course being able to complete Uncollected helps with regard to 5* and 6* crystals, but that's more of a threshold thing: if you have the minimum skill required you get those rewards, and more skill than that doesn't get more. Grinding, though, helps just as much in this area.

    Rank up resources are more limited by skill than grind time, I'll grant. But roster size and diversity seem to be more limited by grind than skill, which makes overall roster composition as much about the grind to get a champion as the skill to rank them up in my opinion.
  • DTMelodicMetalDTMelodicMetal Posts: 2,799 ★★★★★
    CoatHang3r wrote: »
    Account sharing is punished, not specifically account sharing in AW. Account sharing covers logging into someones else account so extends to events, arenas, Aq and AW. If players want to jeapordize their account and alliance for AQ I would think they’ll eventually lose access to thier accounts. If they get banned mid AQ then the alliance pays the penalty. So if AQ piloting becomes a thing it will soon be shown that they’ve shot themselves in the foot trying to use it.

    This is correct on paper. To the best of my knowledge consequences for account sharing TOS violations have only been implemented within AW Seasons to date. Mercenary services are still advertised on certain platforms, a tier 1 AW veteran posted about Variant mercenary services going for $800 shortly after that game content dropped, and players still tease other players who spend to compensate for skill when they item out or pilot 6X5.

    Maybe others have knowledge of players receiving consequences for account sharing TOS violations within single-player content (quests/arena) and alliance quest. Just because I'm only aware of player bans resulting from account sharing/piloting within AW game content doesn't make all game content except for AW safe to pilot. It's going to be phenomenal if Kabam's silence on the AQ piloting topic is at odds with their Map 7 intentions, an AQ piloting ban would be cheered by a large % of the community. If I was a developer who created difficult game content that turned out to be conquered because players cheated through account sharing TOS violations, I'd be furious.
  • DTMelodicMetalDTMelodicMetal Posts: 2,799 ★★★★★
    My comment went to review so I'm posting it again:
    CoatHang3r wrote: »
    Account sharing is punished, not specifically account sharing in AW. Account sharing covers logging into someones else account so extends to events, arenas, Aq and AW. If players want to jeapordize their account and alliance for AQ I would think they’ll eventually lose access to thier accounts. If they get banned mid AQ then the alliance pays the penalty. So if AQ piloting becomes a thing it will soon be shown that they’ve shot themselves in the foot trying to use it.

    This is correct on paper. To the best of my knowledge consequences for account sharing TOS violations have only been implemented within AW Seasons to date. Mercenary services are still advertised on certain platforms, a tier 1 AW veteran posted about Variant mercenary services going for $800 shortly after that game content dropped, and players still tease other players who spend to compensate for skill when they item out or pilot 6X5.

    Maybe others have knowledge of players receiving consequences for account sharing TOS violations within single-player content (quests/arena) and alliance quest. Just because I'm only aware of player bans resulting from account sharing/piloting within AW game content doesn't make all game content except for AW safe to pilot. It's going to be phenomenal if Kabam's silence on the AQ piloting topic is at odds with their Map 7 intentions, an AQ piloting ban would be cheered by a large % of the community. If I was a developer who created difficult game content that turned out to be conquered because players cheated through account sharing TOS violations, I'd be furious.
  • BrianGrantBrianGrant Posts: 171
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    When looking at our rosters as a whole, it's made up of everything we've ever put into the game, including all the resources we've grinded, like gold. When using large portions of our rosters for something like an arena grind, I would agree that it's closer to a gold cost than skill cost. But when only using our top champions in the case of something like Alliance War, or Map 7, it feels very different. It feels like the few champions we use in these areas are the direct result of our accumulated skills over time. I think this is especially true the closer you are to the cutting edge of progression, like those who completed Act 5 right away which gave the only source of T5B in the game at the time.

    How would you address the notion that "random luck" plays a significant role in player progress, something that both players claim and Kabam itself acknowledges? The way I see it, the more crystals you open, the less luck factors into your roster (because the odds of having any particular champion rise with more pulls). But the less crystals you open, the more random chance has a larger impact. Can you simply "skill" past this issue?

    I view my roster as a kind of result of skill, but a very specific metagaming skill: optimizing my opportunities to open crystals (and to gain rank up resources as well, but that's a tangential topic). I don't see it as the result of my combat skill, at least not directly. Of course being able to complete Uncollected helps with regard to 5* and 6* crystals, but that's more of a threshold thing: if you have the minimum skill required you get those rewards, and more skill than that doesn't get more. Grinding, though, helps just as much in this area.

    Rank up resources are more limited by skill than grind time, I'll grant. But roster size and diversity seem to be more limited by grind than skill, which makes overall roster composition as much about the grind to get a champion as the skill to rank them up in my opinion.

    It's the rank up materials that matter most though in my opinion. Luck is a huge factor in what champions we pull, but how we play the hands we are dealt to obtain the next level of rank up material is something I would consider more skill based than grind based, even though both skill and grinding are absolutely involved.

    Some people think they need certain champions, and to some extent you do, but usually people overlook the less commonly used options. Certain challenges are definitely easier depending on who you have, but the game has come a long way in terms of being less dependent on pulling the right champion. These days, there are plenty of right champions for each challenge. This is especially true for the Alliance based events that stick you with 9 other players and all of your rosters get mashed together in a way.

    On a somewhat related note, I think hidden nodes in AW are the biggest cause for concern about having the right champions. When approaching hidden nodes, players need to bring champions that cover a wider range of possibilities. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as some of the newer champions coming out completely shut down certain champions and make the fight impossible. These new champions keep the game interesting, but it also leads to less variety in Alliance War attackers, and increases the need to rely on RNG. This is why I'm an advocate for just revealing all nodes in AW and allowing players to plan their paths better from the start of each war. It would still be difficult, just like planning your champions for a path of a new challenge is, but it would remove some of the RNG factor of needing to pull a champion that can cover every possible champion of a specific class type, and increase attacker variety.
  • BrianGrant wrote: »
    It's the rank up materials that matter most though in my opinion. Luck is a huge factor in what champions we pull, but how we play the hands we are dealt to obtain the next level of rank up material is something I would consider more skill based than grind based, even though both skill and grinding are absolutely involved.

    Some people think they need certain champions, and to some extent you do, but usually people overlook the less commonly used options. Certain challenges are definitely easier depending on who you have, but the game has come a long way in terms of being less dependent on pulling the right champion. These days, there are plenty of right champions for each challenge. This is especially true for the Alliance based events that stick you with 9 other players and all of your rosters get mashed together in a way.

    I think we're drifting into slightly different territory. In the extreme case you have people who think you need one specific champion (or an extremely small few) to tackle certain content, and I think in general we'd agree they are wrong. But I'm asking the more general question how much of an advantage is it to have a large and diverse roster. You yourself have specifically grinded for certain champions, or otherwise gone after certain champions. OG Vision was essentially a kind of grind, because you don't buy units. Your ability to grind created an opportunity for an advantage. Setting aside the obvious fact that your ability to play him skillfully is also important for him to have any benefit at all, isn't the sum total of all of those roster management decisions, most of which ultimately get enabled through grinding in the game, definitely having a major impact on the kinds of content you can reasonably do? Or can you easily dismiss them as having some negligable impact that you could simply skill your way around if you didn't have those roster options?

    On a somewhat related note, I think hidden nodes in AW are the biggest cause for concern about having the right champions. When approaching hidden nodes, players need to bring champions that cover a wider range of possibilities. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as some of the newer champions coming out completely shut down certain champions and make the fight impossible. These new champions keep the game interesting, but it also leads to less variety in Alliance War attackers, and increases the need to rely on RNG. This is why I'm an advocate for just revealing all nodes in AW and allowing players to plan their paths better from the start of each war. It would still be difficult, just like planning your champions for a path of a new challenge is, but it would remove some of the RNG factor of needing to pull a champion that can cover every possible champion of a specific class type, and increase attacker variety.

    I don't recall if you mentioned this in the early access preview, but I did; we are in general agreement here. Kabam wants "counterplay" and the best way to encourage counterplay is to show players what they have to face, so they can make decisions to counter them. You cannot make any attempt to counter what the opposition places if you don't know what the opposition places. Instead, you have to counter an imaginary bogeyman that placed the worst thing in the worst places everywhere on the map, and hope that you can counter anything less bad than that. So in effect, we are all playing against the same defense: the scariest one in our heads. And that's what makes attackers so homogeneous. There's a lot of basic agreement on what the best set of options are to deal with the bogeyman.
  • BrianGrantBrianGrant Posts: 171
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    It's the rank up materials that matter most though in my opinion. Luck is a huge factor in what champions we pull, but how we play the hands we are dealt to obtain the next level of rank up material is something I would consider more skill based than grind based, even though both skill and grinding are absolutely involved.

    Some people think they need certain champions, and to some extent you do, but usually people overlook the less commonly used options. Certain challenges are definitely easier depending on who you have, but the game has come a long way in terms of being less dependent on pulling the right champion. These days, there are plenty of right champions for each challenge. This is especially true for the Alliance based events that stick you with 9 other players and all of your rosters get mashed together in a way.

    I think we're drifting into slightly different territory. In the extreme case you have people who think you need one specific champion (or an extremely small few) to tackle certain content, and I think in general we'd agree they are wrong. But I'm asking the more general question how much of an advantage is it to have a large and diverse roster. You yourself have specifically grinded for certain champions, or otherwise gone after certain champions. OG Vision was essentially a kind of grind, because you don't buy units. Your ability to grind created an opportunity for an advantage. Setting aside the obvious fact that your ability to play him skillfully is also important for him to have any benefit at all, isn't the sum total of all of those roster management decisions, most of which ultimately get enabled through grinding in the game, definitely having a major impact on the kinds of content you can reasonably do? Or can you easily dismiss them as having some negligable impact that you could simply skill your way around if you didn't have those roster options?

    On a somewhat related note, I think hidden nodes in AW are the biggest cause for concern about having the right champions. When approaching hidden nodes, players need to bring champions that cover a wider range of possibilities. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as some of the newer champions coming out completely shut down certain champions and make the fight impossible. These new champions keep the game interesting, but it also leads to less variety in Alliance War attackers, and increases the need to rely on RNG. This is why I'm an advocate for just revealing all nodes in AW and allowing players to plan their paths better from the start of each war. It would still be difficult, just like planning your champions for a path of a new challenge is, but it would remove some of the RNG factor of needing to pull a champion that can cover every possible champion of a specific class type, and increase attacker variety.

    I don't recall if you mentioned this in the early access preview, but I did; we are in general agreement here. Kabam wants "counterplay" and the best way to encourage counterplay is to show players what they have to face, so they can make decisions to counter them. You cannot make any attempt to counter what the opposition places if you don't know what the opposition places. Instead, you have to counter an imaginary bogeyman that placed the worst thing in the worst places everywhere on the map, and hope that you can counter anything less bad than that. So in effect, we are all playing against the same defense: the scariest one in our heads. And that's what makes attackers so homogeneous. There's a lot of basic agreement on what the best set of options are to deal with the bogeyman.

    It's tough to say how much of an advantage there is in having a large and diverse roster. There definitely is an advantage, but maybe not as much as some would think. For example, I can't think of a single time where I've used OG Vision outside of arena. Definitely never used him in Alliance War, and I don't recall bringing him to a single quest either. So many champions are like this. I don't think they are bad champions, I just think that we gravitate towards using whoever our highest ranked champions are. Expanding the size of our rosters doesn't really expand the top ranks of our rosters. I don't want to use OGV because he's a rank lower than my highest champs.

    We can be more selective with who we rank up thanks to having opened more crystals to give us more to champions to choose from, but I feel like I'd be alright if I only opened up half as many crystals in my life time. Maybe I wouldn't have Void, and maybe I'd have to change paths in AW, but it probably be alright. I think I would just have to learn how to play some other champions. Throughout my time playing MCOC, there have been plenty of times where I just sat on tons of crystals, not opening them, listening to people saying it's holding back my progression (mostly in the older days), and I was always fine. This was before I could grind for champions in the arena too.

    About revealing nodes - I'm not sure if I brought it up at all during the preview. It was probably just you(which I had forgotten about). I certainly thought about it before then, but I was always on the fence about it. I don't think I was sold on the idea until some of the newer champions finally swayed me into thinking revealed nodes may make for a better game.
  • Mike_2020Mike_2020 Posts: 5
    edited February 2019
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    Gunners wrote: »
    Don't think anyone pilots in aq bro biggest issue will be loyalty unless there is a buff to what we make in game running map 7 will simple be unaffordable without spending units and sure some will use the black market but really hope they change it taking away from the black market dontions business is a win in my eyes and like brian grant said the way it currently is will also lead to burnout

    AQ Piloting ban waves have been a popular topic in 9K+ prestige line chats for the past 1-2 months. It's nearly a certainty alliances competing for the #1 AQ rank rewards spot next cycle will pilot if they have difficulties exploring Map 7.

    If Brian is correct that difficulty is the primary barrier to completing the map, then I would expect piloting to be the method of choice for many alliances to overcome that barrier. I'm not blaming Kabam for "encouraging" piloting or anything like that, I'm simply stating it as an obvious fact to me that piloting is to be expected wherever difficulty is the primary barrier to high value rewards.

    Piloting is usually uncommon in AQ because for most alliances the (incremental) rewards you can earn with piloting are not worth the risk. The risk probably becomes more palatable if we are talking about dramatically higher rewards (like when AW seasons was first introduced) or for top ranking spots in ranked rewards in AQ.

    Oh piloting is definitely happening, it’s actually the primary method of the new top rated alliance in game. You guys can search for yourselves to see who it is.

    Vast majority of the accounts will be piloted to get around the skill aspect of map 7.

    Not surprising to be honest considering Kabam’s reward structure that encourages cheating by only rewarding #1 spot. @Kabam Miike maybe should look into making it top 3 for AQ instead.
  • Ultra8529Ultra8529 Posts: 526 ★★★
    Will Kabam be enforcing anti-piloting measures in relation to Map 7? I already see and hear for alliances gearing up to Map 7 on the basis that they will get a pilot to constantly move their players and take on the hard fights.
  • BrianGrant wrote: »
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    It's the rank up materials that matter most though in my opinion. Luck is a huge factor in what champions we pull, but how we play the hands we are dealt to obtain the next level of rank up material is something I would consider more skill based than grind based, even though both skill and grinding are absolutely involved.

    Some people think they need certain champions, and to some extent you do, but usually people overlook the less commonly used options. Certain challenges are definitely easier depending on who you have, but the game has come a long way in terms of being less dependent on pulling the right champion. These days, there are plenty of right champions for each challenge. This is especially true for the Alliance based events that stick you with 9 other players and all of your rosters get mashed together in a way.

    I think we're drifting into slightly different territory. In the extreme case you have people who think you need one specific champion (or an extremely small few) to tackle certain content, and I think in general we'd agree they are wrong. But I'm asking the more general question how much of an advantage is it to have a large and diverse roster. You yourself have specifically grinded for certain champions, or otherwise gone after certain champions. OG Vision was essentially a kind of grind, because you don't buy units. Your ability to grind created an opportunity for an advantage. Setting aside the obvious fact that your ability to play him skillfully is also important for him to have any benefit at all, isn't the sum total of all of those roster management decisions, most of which ultimately get enabled through grinding in the game, definitely having a major impact on the kinds of content you can reasonably do? Or can you easily dismiss them as having some negligable impact that you could simply skill your way around if you didn't have those roster options?

    On a somewhat related note, I think hidden nodes in AW are the biggest cause for concern about having the right champions. When approaching hidden nodes, players need to bring champions that cover a wider range of possibilities. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as some of the newer champions coming out completely shut down certain champions and make the fight impossible. These new champions keep the game interesting, but it also leads to less variety in Alliance War attackers, and increases the need to rely on RNG. This is why I'm an advocate for just revealing all nodes in AW and allowing players to plan their paths better from the start of each war. It would still be difficult, just like planning your champions for a path of a new challenge is, but it would remove some of the RNG factor of needing to pull a champion that can cover every possible champion of a specific class type, and increase attacker variety.

    I don't recall if you mentioned this in the early access preview, but I did; we are in general agreement here. Kabam wants "counterplay" and the best way to encourage counterplay is to show players what they have to face, so they can make decisions to counter them. You cannot make any attempt to counter what the opposition places if you don't know what the opposition places. Instead, you have to counter an imaginary bogeyman that placed the worst thing in the worst places everywhere on the map, and hope that you can counter anything less bad than that. So in effect, we are all playing against the same defense: the scariest one in our heads. And that's what makes attackers so homogeneous. There's a lot of basic agreement on what the best set of options are to deal with the bogeyman.

    It's tough to say how much of an advantage there is in having a large and diverse roster. There definitely is an advantage, but maybe not as much as some would think. For example, I can't think of a single time where I've used OG Vision outside of arena. Definitely never used him in Alliance War, and I don't recall bringing him to a single quest either. So many champions are like this. I don't think they are bad champions, I just think that we gravitate towards using whoever our highest ranked champions are. Expanding the size of our rosters doesn't really expand the top ranks of our rosters. I don't want to use OGV because he's a rank lower than my highest champs.

    My recollection was that you decided to grab OG Vision not because he would be useful immediately, but because you thought he was a good hedge against future content. Perhaps that makes him not a good example of the principle, until his value gets realized. But I was aiming at the thought process itself: if you don't think such roster additions actually provide a very large advantage, why spend so much units on them? What's the calculus of making that decision? Wouldn't those units be better spent on something that would provide a much better advantage, especially for the (relative) constraints of being an F2P player?
  • xNigxNig Posts: 5,698 ★★★★★
    edited February 2019
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    It's the rank up materials that matter most though in my opinion. Luck is a huge factor in what champions we pull, but how we play the hands we are dealt to obtain the next level of rank up material is something I would consider more skill based than grind based, even though both skill and grinding are absolutely involved.

    Some people think they need certain champions, and to some extent you do, but usually people overlook the less commonly used options. Certain challenges are definitely easier depending on who you have, but the game has come a long way in terms of being less dependent on pulling the right champion. These days, there are plenty of right champions for each challenge. This is especially true for the Alliance based events that stick you with 9 other players and all of your rosters get mashed together in a way.

    I think we're drifting into slightly different territory. In the extreme case you have people who think you need one specific champion (or an extremely small few) to tackle certain content, and I think in general we'd agree they are wrong. But I'm asking the more general question how much of an advantage is it to have a large and diverse roster. You yourself have specifically grinded for certain champions, or otherwise gone after certain champions. OG Vision was essentially a kind of grind, because you don't buy units. Your ability to grind created an opportunity for an advantage. Setting aside the obvious fact that your ability to play him skillfully is also important for him to have any benefit at all, isn't the sum total of all of those roster management decisions, most of which ultimately get enabled through grinding in the game, definitely having a major impact on the kinds of content you can reasonably do? Or can you easily dismiss them as having some negligable impact that you could simply skill your way around if you didn't have those roster options?

    On a somewhat related note, I think hidden nodes in AW are the biggest cause for concern about having the right champions. When approaching hidden nodes, players need to bring champions that cover a wider range of possibilities. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as some of the newer champions coming out completely shut down certain champions and make the fight impossible. These new champions keep the game interesting, but it also leads to less variety in Alliance War attackers, and increases the need to rely on RNG. This is why I'm an advocate for just revealing all nodes in AW and allowing players to plan their paths better from the start of each war. It would still be difficult, just like planning your champions for a path of a new challenge is, but it would remove some of the RNG factor of needing to pull a champion that can cover every possible champion of a specific class type, and increase attacker variety.

    I don't recall if you mentioned this in the early access preview, but I did; we are in general agreement here. Kabam wants "counterplay" and the best way to encourage counterplay is to show players what they have to face, so they can make decisions to counter them. You cannot make any attempt to counter what the opposition places if you don't know what the opposition places. Instead, you have to counter an imaginary bogeyman that placed the worst thing in the worst places everywhere on the map, and hope that you can counter anything less bad than that. So in effect, we are all playing against the same defense: the scariest one in our heads. And that's what makes attackers so homogeneous. There's a lot of basic agreement on what the best set of options are to deal with the bogeyman.

    It's tough to say how much of an advantage there is in having a large and diverse roster. There definitely is an advantage, but maybe not as much as some would think. For example, I can't think of a single time where I've used OG Vision outside of arena. Definitely never used him in Alliance War, and I don't recall bringing him to a single quest either. So many champions are like this. I don't think they are bad champions, I just think that we gravitate towards using whoever our highest ranked champions are. Expanding the size of our rosters doesn't really expand the top ranks of our rosters. I don't want to use OGV because he's a rank lower than my highest champs.

    My recollection was that you decided to grab OG Vision not because he would be useful immediately, but because you thought he was a good hedge against future content. Perhaps that makes him not a good example of the principle, until his value gets realized. But I was aiming at the thought process itself: if you don't think such roster additions actually provide a very large advantage, why spend so much units on them? What's the calculus of making that decision? Wouldn't those units be better spent on something that would provide a much better advantage, especially for the (relative) constraints of being an F2P player?

    A larger roster provides more choice in selecting champs required. It also helps with opening up options for the alliance to path assignments in AW. All of which are important. What's the use of hoarding so many units when you don't spend them? For example, with OGV, it opens up one to take Paths 1, 4, 8, 9 simply because he has power control and is dual immune.
  • xNig wrote: »
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    It's the rank up materials that matter most though in my opinion. Luck is a huge factor in what champions we pull, but how we play the hands we are dealt to obtain the next level of rank up material is something I would consider more skill based than grind based, even though both skill and grinding are absolutely involved.

    Some people think they need certain champions, and to some extent you do, but usually people overlook the less commonly used options. Certain challenges are definitely easier depending on who you have, but the game has come a long way in terms of being less dependent on pulling the right champion. These days, there are plenty of right champions for each challenge. This is especially true for the Alliance based events that stick you with 9 other players and all of your rosters get mashed together in a way.

    I think we're drifting into slightly different territory. In the extreme case you have people who think you need one specific champion (or an extremely small few) to tackle certain content, and I think in general we'd agree they are wrong. But I'm asking the more general question how much of an advantage is it to have a large and diverse roster. You yourself have specifically grinded for certain champions, or otherwise gone after certain champions. OG Vision was essentially a kind of grind, because you don't buy units. Your ability to grind created an opportunity for an advantage. Setting aside the obvious fact that your ability to play him skillfully is also important for him to have any benefit at all, isn't the sum total of all of those roster management decisions, most of which ultimately get enabled through grinding in the game, definitely having a major impact on the kinds of content you can reasonably do? Or can you easily dismiss them as having some negligable impact that you could simply skill your way around if you didn't have those roster options?

    On a somewhat related note, I think hidden nodes in AW are the biggest cause for concern about having the right champions. When approaching hidden nodes, players need to bring champions that cover a wider range of possibilities. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as some of the newer champions coming out completely shut down certain champions and make the fight impossible. These new champions keep the game interesting, but it also leads to less variety in Alliance War attackers, and increases the need to rely on RNG. This is why I'm an advocate for just revealing all nodes in AW and allowing players to plan their paths better from the start of each war. It would still be difficult, just like planning your champions for a path of a new challenge is, but it would remove some of the RNG factor of needing to pull a champion that can cover every possible champion of a specific class type, and increase attacker variety.

    I don't recall if you mentioned this in the early access preview, but I did; we are in general agreement here. Kabam wants "counterplay" and the best way to encourage counterplay is to show players what they have to face, so they can make decisions to counter them. You cannot make any attempt to counter what the opposition places if you don't know what the opposition places. Instead, you have to counter an imaginary bogeyman that placed the worst thing in the worst places everywhere on the map, and hope that you can counter anything less bad than that. So in effect, we are all playing against the same defense: the scariest one in our heads. And that's what makes attackers so homogeneous. There's a lot of basic agreement on what the best set of options are to deal with the bogeyman.

    It's tough to say how much of an advantage there is in having a large and diverse roster. There definitely is an advantage, but maybe not as much as some would think. For example, I can't think of a single time where I've used OG Vision outside of arena. Definitely never used him in Alliance War, and I don't recall bringing him to a single quest either. So many champions are like this. I don't think they are bad champions, I just think that we gravitate towards using whoever our highest ranked champions are. Expanding the size of our rosters doesn't really expand the top ranks of our rosters. I don't want to use OGV because he's a rank lower than my highest champs.

    My recollection was that you decided to grab OG Vision not because he would be useful immediately, but because you thought he was a good hedge against future content. Perhaps that makes him not a good example of the principle, until his value gets realized. But I was aiming at the thought process itself: if you don't think such roster additions actually provide a very large advantage, why spend so much units on them? What's the calculus of making that decision? Wouldn't those units be better spent on something that would provide a much better advantage, especially for the (relative) constraints of being an F2P player?

    A larger roster provides more choice in selecting champs required. It also helps with opening up options for the alliance to path assignments in AW. All of which are important. What's the use of hoarding so many units when you don't spend them? For example, with OGV, it opens up one to take Paths 1, 4, 8, 9 simply because he has power control and is dual immune.

    I would tend to agree. But I'm curious to know how Brian sees it, because this is an interesting situation where just by coincidence Brian at one point seemed to go through (if I'm recalling the videos correctly) this very same decision process when it came to OG Vision, and appeared to me to decide that in that specific case spending a large amount of units on OG Vision was worth the opportunity cost of losing those units and potentially missing out on future offers that could contain very high tier rank up rewards (now I need to rewatch the video to refresh my memory).

    I'm not judging whether that decision was correct or not. I'm wondering if Brian has changed his mind about whether a roster addition could ever be worth more than top tier rank up materials, or if OG Vision was an extreme special case, or if this was just a case where (like many of us sometimes do) Brian didn't do what the logical part of his brain told him to do.

    For me OG Vision was a no-brainer because even if I spent every last unit I had at that time he has unique capability and you can never pull him from normal crystals, ever. But that thought only makes sense if you believe that adding him to your roster makes your roster significantly better in ways you cannot simply make up by having other champions. Unlike Brian, I got a ton of mileage out of OG Vision since I got him. But that's almost irrelevant. I thought a single champion added to my roster was worth 10,000 units. So did Brian, at least at the time. But what is the rationale for that choice, if not that roster additions can (sometimes) be worth more than rank up materials?

    This isn't a critique of that choice, this is a discussion about the thought process itself, in terms of how we value things in the game in general. This just provides a unique portal into that process that is normally very hazy.
  • BrianGrantBrianGrant Posts: 171
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    It's the rank up materials that matter most though in my opinion. Luck is a huge factor in what champions we pull, but how we play the hands we are dealt to obtain the next level of rank up material is something I would consider more skill based than grind based, even though both skill and grinding are absolutely involved.

    Some people think they need certain champions, and to some extent you do, but usually people overlook the less commonly used options. Certain challenges are definitely easier depending on who you have, but the game has come a long way in terms of being less dependent on pulling the right champion. These days, there are plenty of right champions for each challenge. This is especially true for the Alliance based events that stick you with 9 other players and all of your rosters get mashed together in a way.

    I think we're drifting into slightly different territory. In the extreme case you have people who think you need one specific champion (or an extremely small few) to tackle certain content, and I think in general we'd agree they are wrong. But I'm asking the more general question how much of an advantage is it to have a large and diverse roster. You yourself have specifically grinded for certain champions, or otherwise gone after certain champions. OG Vision was essentially a kind of grind, because you don't buy units. Your ability to grind created an opportunity for an advantage. Setting aside the obvious fact that your ability to play him skillfully is also important for him to have any benefit at all, isn't the sum total of all of those roster management decisions, most of which ultimately get enabled through grinding in the game, definitely having a major impact on the kinds of content you can reasonably do? Or can you easily dismiss them as having some negligable impact that you could simply skill your way around if you didn't have those roster options?

    On a somewhat related note, I think hidden nodes in AW are the biggest cause for concern about having the right champions. When approaching hidden nodes, players need to bring champions that cover a wider range of possibilities. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as some of the newer champions coming out completely shut down certain champions and make the fight impossible. These new champions keep the game interesting, but it also leads to less variety in Alliance War attackers, and increases the need to rely on RNG. This is why I'm an advocate for just revealing all nodes in AW and allowing players to plan their paths better from the start of each war. It would still be difficult, just like planning your champions for a path of a new challenge is, but it would remove some of the RNG factor of needing to pull a champion that can cover every possible champion of a specific class type, and increase attacker variety.

    I don't recall if you mentioned this in the early access preview, but I did; we are in general agreement here. Kabam wants "counterplay" and the best way to encourage counterplay is to show players what they have to face, so they can make decisions to counter them. You cannot make any attempt to counter what the opposition places if you don't know what the opposition places. Instead, you have to counter an imaginary bogeyman that placed the worst thing in the worst places everywhere on the map, and hope that you can counter anything less bad than that. So in effect, we are all playing against the same defense: the scariest one in our heads. And that's what makes attackers so homogeneous. There's a lot of basic agreement on what the best set of options are to deal with the bogeyman.

    It's tough to say how much of an advantage there is in having a large and diverse roster. There definitely is an advantage, but maybe not as much as some would think. For example, I can't think of a single time where I've used OG Vision outside of arena. Definitely never used him in Alliance War, and I don't recall bringing him to a single quest either. So many champions are like this. I don't think they are bad champions, I just think that we gravitate towards using whoever our highest ranked champions are. Expanding the size of our rosters doesn't really expand the top ranks of our rosters. I don't want to use OGV because he's a rank lower than my highest champs.

    My recollection was that you decided to grab OG Vision not because he would be useful immediately, but because you thought he was a good hedge against future content. Perhaps that makes him not a good example of the principle, until his value gets realized. But I was aiming at the thought process itself: if you don't think such roster additions actually provide a very large advantage, why spend so much units on them? What's the calculus of making that decision? Wouldn't those units be better spent on something that would provide a much better advantage, especially for the (relative) constraints of being an F2P player?

    You are correct, I got OGV as a way to become more flexible in the future in AW. But I also got him because collecting champions is fun.

    Let's forget about OGV and talk about the last new featured champion I grinded for, Omega Red. I grinded for Omega Red for a few reasons: Wanted a mutant champ, Void synergy, and his tentacles being a work around for thorns style damage. I got him mostly for the last one. Korg had just hit the scene and that dude is pretty tough to fight, so I wanted to get a good option against him. What I could have done instead of trying to get a new champion to counter Korg, is just put a lot of effort into practicing against Korg with the champions I already have. Lots of dueling, or practicing when he was in the Maze would have increased my skill against him. But that's no where near as fun as just getting a new champion. Both ways lead to progression, but I chose the fun way instead of the increasing my skill way. I'm still just alright at taking down Korgs, even when using Omega Red. Some players who put the effort in can finish fights against him with a full yellow bar and don't need a specific counter to do it (except on certain nodes where you do need specific counters).

    So how frequently do I use Omega Red today? Well, I just used him a bit during the off season for fun because I was running suicides and he is super fun when running suicides, but other than that, he sits on defense. He doesn't get any kills, it's just that I don't actually have a need for him elsewhere at the moment. I don't regret spending thousands of units while grinding for him, or using my generic awakening gem on him, or giving him my rank up gem from variant (even though he didn't help much in there because of the robots), but I certainly didn't need to get him. I could have just bettered my skills and countered Korg with other champions in my roster. I'd do it all again though if I could because it's fun.

    As for spending units wisely to gain an advantage, that's important, but I blow units on all kinds of dumb stuff. Exclusive 2-star crystals, trying to get a Goldpool ticket, useless cosmic mastery cores, etc. I'm competitive in some ways, and not competitive in others. I spent somewhere around 15k units trying to get the fastest time possible in the 5.4 race, but before I did that, I already knew the best way to spend units in the long run would be to spend zero units getting through 5.4 and spending the 15k on pretty much anything else. I knew top 5 wouldn't be possible and that's the only way those units would have been worth it. But man that was fun.

    This is becoming a little too much about me though. Back to RNG and advantage/disadvantage of larger/smaller rosters; I do still think larger rosters have an advantage, but I also think skills can overcome that advantage more than the average person may think. It's just the less exciting and often frustrating way to progress compared to opening crystals and getting new champions.
  • BrianGrant wrote: »
    This is becoming a little too much about me though. Back to RNG and advantage/disadvantage of larger/smaller rosters; I do still think larger rosters have an advantage, but I also think skills can overcome that advantage more than the average person may think. It's just the less exciting and often frustrating way to progress compared to opening crystals and getting new champions.

    So we've arrived at a perhaps overly analytic but I think still interesting point. If the difficulty barrier is Roster x Skill > Difficulty, it seems both Roster and Skill aren't atomic either. Roster is RosterGrind x RankUpManagement and Skill is TacticalAnalysis x PracticePracticePractice. It might seem like mathematical silliness, but its just to simplify describing the concept, but I can now do this (again: I know this isn't real math):

    Roster x Skill > Difficulty

    (RosterGrind x RankUpManagement) x (TacticalAnalysis x PracticePracticePractice) > Difficulty

    RosterGrind x RankUpManagement x TacticalAnalysis x PracticePracticePractice > Difficulty

    RosterGrind x PracticePracticePractice x RankUpManagement x TacticalAnalysis > Difficulty

    (RosterGrind x PracticePracticePractice) x (RankUpManagement x TacticalAnalysis) > Difficulty

    (TheGrindyStuff) x (TheFunStuff) > Difficulty

    We focus on the fun stuff when it comes to thinking about difficulty: we overcome difficulty with our refined skills and our smart management of ranking up our top champs. But isn't there a ton of grindy stuff in there, that might not be sexy but actually represents more of the time spent overcoming difficulty? Do we tend to dismiss the grindy stuff in large part because focusing on the non-grindy stuff simply makes the game more fun to us?

    Is the real problem with map costs not just the map costs themselves, but rather the fact that they aren't "hidden" and in making us focus on them the game forces us to focus on the less fun part of the game? We don't accuse the game of forcing us to practice practice practice, because we can rationalize that as us getting better. We think about getting better, not about the work involved in getting there (and I should point out there are players that "see" this cost much more directly and painfully than perhaps we do).

    This gets back to an idea I mentioned earlier. Let's refactor that idea into something else based on this conversation. Suppose Map 7 had no costs at all. Suppose instead that you had to earn entry tickets to get into Map 7 by doing something that had some "difficulty." Maybe there was an arena event you could earn some tickets, and a weekly questing-like event where you could earn others. You needed X number of tickets to open Map 7, and the entire alliance to go off and get them in whatever way they thought was best. And suppose that we engineer these things so that collectively, the amount of time it took to earn tickets was roughly comparable to the amount of time (and I understand this is theoretical: it would be difficult to do this quantitatively) it took to earn the gold, BC, and loyalty that Map 7 currently costs now. If I were a game designer, I'd consider these two "costs" basically identical in terms of game balance. And it places the same time burden on the players. But is it a *better* cost, just in terms of the psychology?

    In fact, here's an idea that I will admit is aimed straight at you, but seems like it would work in general. Suppose that Kabam created a Dungeons-like event where you could earn Map 7 tickets. But it only came around once per week. It takes thirty tickets to open Map 7 once. So if everyone in the alliance ran this thing once, you get one Map 7. So how do you get to run two Map 7s, if this event only comes around once per week? You push forward and continue to run it at increasingly higher difficulty. To run Map 7 five times a week, all thirty players would have to be able to push five rooms into this map successfully on average. If one player only gets to four, someone else has to get to six.

    This is difficulty-gated Map 7. And it "hides" the grindy costs because it presents players with the choice to "git gud" or spend resources on potions and revives and whatever to run this Map 7 ticket dungeon thingy. But you don't *have* to spend gold, BC, and loyalty. You have to spend "difficulty." It is the player's choice as to whether to pony up skill or grind to get past that difficulty.
  • BrianGrantBrianGrant Posts: 171
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    This is becoming a little too much about me though. Back to RNG and advantage/disadvantage of larger/smaller rosters; I do still think larger rosters have an advantage, but I also think skills can overcome that advantage more than the average person may think. It's just the less exciting and often frustrating way to progress compared to opening crystals and getting new champions.

    So we've arrived at a perhaps overly analytic but I think still interesting point. If the difficulty barrier is Roster x Skill > Difficulty, it seems both Roster and Skill aren't atomic either. Roster is RosterGrind x RankUpManagement and Skill is TacticalAnalysis x PracticePracticePractice. It might seem like mathematical silliness, but its just to simplify describing the concept, but I can now do this (again: I know this isn't real math):

    Roster x Skill > Difficulty

    (RosterGrind x RankUpManagement) x (TacticalAnalysis x PracticePracticePractice) > Difficulty

    RosterGrind x RankUpManagement x TacticalAnalysis x PracticePracticePractice > Difficulty

    RosterGrind x PracticePracticePractice x RankUpManagement x TacticalAnalysis > Difficulty

    (RosterGrind x PracticePracticePractice) x (RankUpManagement x TacticalAnalysis) > Difficulty

    (TheGrindyStuff) x (TheFunStuff) > Difficulty

    We focus on the fun stuff when it comes to thinking about difficulty: we overcome difficulty with our refined skills and our smart management of ranking up our top champs. But isn't there a ton of grindy stuff in there, that might not be sexy but actually represents more of the time spent overcoming difficulty? Do we tend to dismiss the grindy stuff in large part because focusing on the non-grindy stuff simply makes the game more fun to us?

    Is the real problem with map costs not just the map costs themselves, but rather the fact that they aren't "hidden" and in making us focus on them the game forces us to focus on the less fun part of the game? We don't accuse the game of forcing us to practice practice practice, because we can rationalize that as us getting better. We think about getting better, not about the work involved in getting there (and I should point out there are players that "see" this cost much more directly and painfully than perhaps we do).

    This gets back to an idea I mentioned earlier. Let's refactor that idea into something else based on this conversation. Suppose Map 7 had no costs at all. Suppose instead that you had to earn entry tickets to get into Map 7 by doing something that had some "difficulty." Maybe there was an arena event you could earn some tickets, and a weekly questing-like event where you could earn others. You needed X number of tickets to open Map 7, and the entire alliance to go off and get them in whatever way they thought was best. And suppose that we engineer these things so that collectively, the amount of time it took to earn tickets was roughly comparable to the amount of time (and I understand this is theoretical: it would be difficult to do this quantitatively) it took to earn the gold, BC, and loyalty that Map 7 currently costs now. If I were a game designer, I'd consider these two "costs" basically identical in terms of game balance. And it places the same time burden on the players. But is it a *better* cost, just in terms of the psychology?

    In fact, here's an idea that I will admit is aimed straight at you, but seems like it would work in general. Suppose that Kabam created a Dungeons-like event where you could earn Map 7 tickets. But it only came around once per week. It takes thirty tickets to open Map 7 once. So if everyone in the alliance ran this thing once, you get one Map 7. So how do you get to run two Map 7s, if this event only comes around once per week? You push forward and continue to run it at increasingly higher difficulty. To run Map 7 five times a week, all thirty players would have to be able to push five rooms into this map successfully on average. If one player only gets to four, someone else has to get to six.

    This is difficulty-gated Map 7. And it "hides" the grindy costs because it presents players with the choice to "git gud" or spend resources on potions and revives and whatever to run this Map 7 ticket dungeon thingy. But you don't *have* to spend gold, BC, and loyalty. You have to spend "difficulty." It is the player's choice as to whether to pony up skill or grind to get past that difficulty.

    Hiding the grind - The cost is already a little hidden in something like potions needed to get through the map, or the need to rank up specific champions for prestige, or to counter the more specific nodes that map 7 has compared to anywhere else. Other games hide the grind in other ways that I personally prefer though. For example traditional MMOs require people to grind for materials to craft armor that has special properties to help them advance in a dungeon. Elemental resistances, etc. There are also quests that grant you access to such places. Sometimes all members need to have completed it, sometimes only one person needs the key. The big difference between things like this and map costs, is that generally it's a big grind up front and less of a grind in the future. You have the fun of having to accomplish some task without the long term burnout. Sometimes you have to do the grind again if you create a new character. I'm not sure that would work with MCOC. Imagine having to complete an attunement quest for each one of our champions if we want to use them in a higher level map. Actually, I'd probably find that fun, completing a challenge with just that specific champion. But others may not, and it's probably not realistic development wise.

    Difficulty gating map 7 - I want the difficulty to be in the map itself, not necessarily something difficult to gain entry. Like I just mentioned, I think it's fun to have something difficult to gain entry for the first time, like beating Road to the Labyrinth to gain access to Labyrinth of Legends, but I don't necessarily want to have to beat Road to the Labyrinth 7 times to beat Labyrinth 100%, just like I don't necessarily want to force players into proving themselves over and over again to gain access to Map 7. After meeting some kind of initial requirement to enter map 7, the proof that you belong there is in the difficulty of the map itself.

    Generally I like the balance that MCOC has where sometimes you go through demanding content, and other times you kick back and watch a movie while grinding arena. For example I remember people suggesting in the past to make arena more difficult and award more points for that difficulty, but I don't think I'd enjoy that. I'd want that difficulty to come in a place where I'm expecting it. I want an area of the game to turn to and relax. So there definitely needs to be a balance of difficulty, and easy going grind, at least for me personally.

    Map costs somewhat achieve that goal of requiring you to play a variety of easy going grind and demanding content, all while forcing us to make tough decisions. But it's a delicate balance. The game has moved on since the map 6 days. I think the balance of the game has changed, but the increased costs kind of go against the new balance.

    MCOC isn't like traditional MMOs, so I understand things need to be different in this game. I'd prefer one of two solutions:

    Option 1: Lower the map 7 cost and allow for people to have reasonable access to running it 7x5 if they so choose, if they can handle the difficulty, if their item stash can be replenished quickly enough, if they don't mind sacrificing some of their AW power, and without needing to repeatedly prove they are worthy of entering. Not free cost, just lower.

    Option 2: I think I'd be alright with Kabam putting some kind of hard limit on how many times we can enter Map 7. I say think, because I don't know the best way for Kabam to go about doing this. Would it be a weekly limit? Or monthly to allow players to save entries for a big push week? Is that even better than option 1? I don't know. it would have to be designed in a way that players couldn't abuse it by hopping alliances too, which complicates things.

    I really don't know what's best. I'd be curious to know if Kabam explored some of these other options that we are talking about and found them to be worse.
  • BrianGrant wrote: »
    Difficulty gating map 7 - I want the difficulty to be in the map itself, not necessarily something difficult to gain entry.

    Alright, let's go all the way. Let's make the entry tickets "disappear" into Map 7 itself.

    The first Map 7 costs a lot - say similar to what it costs now (it could even be higher than that: read on). But within Map 7, you embed specific challenges. I'm not that familiar with the specifics of Map 7 (I've heard about some of the details), but let's say that we put special "challenges" in Map 7. Kill this miniboss with zero deaths, earn a discount token. Kill this node in less than 90 seconds, earn a discount token. Remove this link without blocking, earn a discount token.

    Completing Map 7 earns Map 7 rewards, but completing it more skillfully reduces the costs of the next Map 7. This now gives you a way to "skill past the grind" and reduce or eliminate the high costs, and only if you can't complete the challenges do you have to pay full price. Since the Map gets harder each day as prestige rises, eventually even an alliance that can complete Map 7 won't be able to complete enough of the challenges to make the map costs low enough to be worth doing (at least initially), and they will have to stop running Map 7 that week. But every week they get better, they reduce the costs of doing more Map 7s.

    Map 7's difficulty becomes less "binary." It isn't pass/fail. Now, there's failing it, there's completing it, and there's completing it *better* (and there's different levels of better, depending on how many discount tokens you earn). And the reward for completing it better is, you get to do more Map 7s. Kabam gets to use entry costs to slow down progress, but the players get to use skill to overcome those costs rather than the only option being to grind for them. This also seems to be not that difficult or time consuming to implement (it may take significant time to balance).
  • BrianGrantBrianGrant Posts: 171
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    Difficulty gating map 7 - I want the difficulty to be in the map itself, not necessarily something difficult to gain entry.

    Alright, let's go all the way. Let's make the entry tickets "disappear" into Map 7 itself.

    The first Map 7 costs a lot - say similar to what it costs now (it could even be higher than that: read on). But within Map 7, you embed specific challenges. I'm not that familiar with the specifics of Map 7 (I've heard about some of the details), but let's say that we put special "challenges" in Map 7. Kill this miniboss with zero deaths, earn a discount token. Kill this node in less than 90 seconds, earn a discount token. Remove this link without blocking, earn a discount token.

    Completing Map 7 earns Map 7 rewards, but completing it more skillfully reduces the costs of the next Map 7. This now gives you a way to "skill past the grind" and reduce or eliminate the high costs, and only if you can't complete the challenges do you have to pay full price. Since the Map gets harder each day as prestige rises, eventually even an alliance that can complete Map 7 won't be able to complete enough of the challenges to make the map costs low enough to be worth doing (at least initially), and they will have to stop running Map 7 that week. But every week they get better, they reduce the costs of doing more Map 7s.

    Map 7's difficulty becomes less "binary." It isn't pass/fail. Now, there's failing it, there's completing it, and there's completing it *better* (and there's different levels of better, depending on how many discount tokens you earn). And the reward for completing it better is, you get to do more Map 7s. Kabam gets to use entry costs to slow down progress, but the players get to use skill to overcome those costs rather than the only option being to grind for them. This also seems to be not that difficult or time consuming to implement (it may take significant time to balance).

    Map 7's difficulty is already set up as failing, completing it, and completing it better when it comes to how many items you use. You already have this individual test of skill as is. That goes for all maps actually. Map 7 also has global nodes that reward players for fighting certain ways. Another test of skill, but without really punishing players for failing.

    I would have to test each specific challenge, maybe some would work, but my first impression is that it wouldn't be fun. Test skill, sure, but not in an enjoyable way. Think about how bad it would feel if you failed a challenge and now the entire rest of the alliance has to go grind for an hour because of it.

    Somewhat related - I would love these types of challenges for solo content. For example, beat Variant using only 4-star champions. Each path changes colors when completing with a 4-star to keep progress separate. I'd do it even if the rewards sucked, even if it were just to get a title that I would never use, just for the fun of the challenge. In solo content, I think challenges like this work better.
  • BrianGrant wrote: »
    I would have to test each specific challenge, maybe some would work, but my first impression is that it wouldn't be fun. Test skill, sure, but not in an enjoyable way. Think about how bad it would feel if you failed a challenge and now the entire rest of the alliance has to go grind for an hour because of it.

    This seems to be a problem inherent to making difficulty the progress gate in the first place. By definition - at least my definition - a challenge is only a real challenge if people sometimes fail it. If you datamine everyone attempting it succeeding, or succeeding at an inordinately high rate, that by definition means it is not a challenge in game design terms.

    This would seem to advocate for a progress cost that players are unlikely to fail, or at least allows players to more accurately predict whether they can do at all. Resource costs are predictable, if onerous. Difficulty is inherently unpredictable: if it is difficult enough that the odds of succeeding are not 100%, then it is also likely that failure is intrinsically unpredictable. Doesn't this inevitably lead to people feeling bad about trying and failing because they overestimated their odds?

    This is actually why I agree high difficulty should be the focus for solo content more than alliance content as well. Difficulty must include the possibility of failure. Failure is more acceptable when you aren't letting others down. Alliance-oriented challenges should focus less on pure difficulty and more on resource gathering (in my opinion) for precisely this reason. That doesn't mean you take all difficulty out of alliance events, but it is specifically why I'm uncomfortable with simply saying "difficulty should be the main or only barrier to (alliance) progress." Unless you blunt the edge of that, I feel very uncomfortable with that direction of design.

    I don't know how you make difficulty simultaneously something that provides a genuine challenge for the entire alliance without creating the possibility for one person to screw it up for everyone, short of doing something like just making one long path that everyone runs, and the entire alliance either gets through it together or everyone fails to complete it. And I'm not opposed to that in principle, but I'm not sure if that kind of thing fits into MCOC.
  • BrianGrantBrianGrant Posts: 171
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    I would have to test each specific challenge, maybe some would work, but my first impression is that it wouldn't be fun. Test skill, sure, but not in an enjoyable way. Think about how bad it would feel if you failed a challenge and now the entire rest of the alliance has to go grind for an hour because of it.

    This seems to be a problem inherent to making difficulty the progress gate in the first place. By definition - at least my definition - a challenge is only a real challenge if people sometimes fail it. If you datamine everyone attempting it succeeding, or succeeding at an inordinately high rate, that by definition means it is not a challenge in game design terms.

    This would seem to advocate for a progress cost that players are unlikely to fail, or at least allows players to more accurately predict whether they can do at all. Resource costs are predictable, if onerous. Difficulty is inherently unpredictable: if it is difficult enough that the odds of succeeding are not 100%, then it is also likely that failure is intrinsically unpredictable. Doesn't this inevitably lead to people feeling bad about trying and failing because they overestimated their odds?

    This is actually why I agree high difficulty should be the focus for solo content more than alliance content as well. Difficulty must include the possibility of failure. Failure is more acceptable when you aren't letting others down. Alliance-oriented challenges should focus less on pure difficulty and more on resource gathering (in my opinion) for precisely this reason. That doesn't mean you take all difficulty out of alliance events, but it is specifically why I'm uncomfortable with simply saying "difficulty should be the main or only barrier to (alliance) progress." Unless you blunt the edge of that, I feel very uncomfortable with that direction of design.

    I don't know how you make difficulty simultaneously something that provides a genuine challenge for the entire alliance without creating the possibility for one person to screw it up for everyone, short of doing something like just making one long path that everyone runs, and the entire alliance either gets through it together or everyone fails to complete it. And I'm not opposed to that in principle, but I'm not sure if that kind of thing fits into MCOC.

    I know you are talking about succeeding or failing the map as a whole, but I think of the map as a series of challenges where we do fail, and die, just with a nice safety of compensating that failure with using an item. And much of the challenge is like you say, more about resource gathering and making sure you can cover the little failures made throughout the map.

    Item use is part of the difficulty. The difficulty is balanced in a way that item use is expected. Some players can get through map 6 right now without having to use many items at all. Sometimes weeks will go by without having to use a single item. But players will be using a lot more items in map 7. Some players will item out. That's all part of it. Let the resource costs and gathering go up because of the difficulty. Let players decide if they can keep up or if they need to drop to a lower difficulty. That's what I mean when I talk about difficulty being a barrier. It's already here. Kabam doesn't really need to do anything extra.

    I think there is a lot of agreeing here between you, me, and Kabam, on what makes the game fun, and only a few things we disagree on. The number of resources required to enter the map feels off to me. It upsets what I feel would be a balance between difficulty (including farming the resources to overcome that difficulty), and farming resources just to pay the troll toll. We just want to be masters of Karate and friendship. Confound your lousy toll, troll!
  • BrianGrant wrote: »
    Item use is part of the difficulty. The difficulty is balanced in a way that item use is expected. Some players can get through map 6 right now without having to use many items at all. Sometimes weeks will go by without having to use a single item. But players will be using a lot more items in map 7. Some players will item out. That's all part of it. Let the resource costs and gathering go up because of the difficulty. Let players decide if they can keep up or if they need to drop to a lower difficulty. That's what I mean when I talk about difficulty being a barrier. It's already here. Kabam doesn't really need to do anything extra.

    Just to close out the thought, you said earlier when I proposed additional difficulty challenges to reduce the map costs that in general, you thought it was more likely those kinds of things would be detrimental than helpful, because it would put too much pressure on players to succeed. But you also say that the difficulty inherent in Map 7 is currently something that you feel satisfies the requirements of a progress gate, because it already has the possibility of failure built in. Did Kabam just get very lucky and design a Map 7 that happens to perfectly hit the bullseye in terms of difficulty, or did you just get incredibly lucky and find yourself right in the middle of the sweet spot for what that difficulty happens to target?
  • BrianGrantBrianGrant Posts: 171
    DNA3000 wrote: »
    BrianGrant wrote: »
    Item use is part of the difficulty. The difficulty is balanced in a way that item use is expected. Some players can get through map 6 right now without having to use many items at all. Sometimes weeks will go by without having to use a single item. But players will be using a lot more items in map 7. Some players will item out. That's all part of it. Let the resource costs and gathering go up because of the difficulty. Let players decide if they can keep up or if they need to drop to a lower difficulty. That's what I mean when I talk about difficulty being a barrier. It's already here. Kabam doesn't really need to do anything extra.

    Just to close out the thought, you said earlier when I proposed additional difficulty challenges to reduce the map costs that in general, you thought it was more likely those kinds of things would be detrimental than helpful, because it would put too much pressure on players to succeed. But you also say that the difficulty inherent in Map 7 is currently something that you feel satisfies the requirements of a progress gate, because it already has the possibility of failure built in. Did Kabam just get very lucky and design a Map 7 that happens to perfectly hit the bullseye in terms of difficulty, or did you just get incredibly lucky and find yourself right in the middle of the sweet spot for what that difficulty happens to target?

    Well, the challenges you were describing were a little different. I also said I'd have to try them out. Who knows, maybe I'd like them. But I believe it would just piss people off more than being a fun addition. I can see it now, everyone watching someone try to solo a mini boss, hoping to get that discount, only to watch them lose a champion and say they were lagging. Lag or not, everyone is now pissed because they have to grind more.

    It might even be possible that flipping your idea around would make it feel better. Dont punish the failure, don't discourage people from trying. Reward whoever kills the boss with a small bounty of loyalty or something. This wouldn't lower the map costs for the group, but hey at least it encourages people to try and getting a little bounty would at least make up for maybe having to use extra items to kill the boss.

    As for if Kabam nailed the difficulty, if it's the appropriate step up in terms of progression, and where I fall in relation to that, if I'm just lucky to find myself in the sweet spot. Well, I don't know. I don't even know how much of Map 7 I can handle. I feel confident about day 1 as long as too much hasn't changed from the beta, but the beta also had lower prestige than alliances do now if I remember correctly. So it's very possible that the difficulty is above my level, but I wouldn't complain about that unless it was something beyond reasonable, like a boss that took 30 revives to take down or something. We'll find out soon enough how difficult things really are. I do feel lucky to be part of a group that can try on the first week though. When map 6 was released, the highest map I had completed at the time was map 2. My Alliance was switching between map 1 and 2 back then, and usually only killed the boss in one battlegroup.
  • OmniOmni Posts: 574 ★★★
    Bg forgetting we get champion boosts that will also make it easier...
  • EpistriatusEpistriatus Posts: 1,108 ★★★
    When is the new glory store online? Cause I’m seeing this while AQ-series has started:
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