Summoners, due to a technical issue, this week's series of Alliance Quests will be cancelled at 4pm PT. There will not be any Rewards for this series. The next series of Alliance Quests will start on April 18 at 12pm PT. We will be assessing the impact on Alliances and compensating accordingly, as well as returning Alliance Tickets.

Quest and Story maps should work like Alliance maps [interesting challenges, part two]

"Quest and Story maps should work like Alliance maps" [interesting challenges, part two]

What do I mean? I mean, when an alliance is working on either alliance quest or alliance war, once someone has cleared a node or traversed a link, that node is gone. No one else has to fight it. Seems obvious, but when we do story or quest maps, even if we've done a fight before, when we complete and re-enter, not only do we have to redo paths we've already done in many cases (at least, subsections of paths), all the nodes are still occupied.

This actually has nothing to do with energy. There's two problems I think constantly resetting the map does. The first one is that we often have to fight the same fight over and over and over. That gets tedious and boring. I will exempt the boss from this discussion for now. The second problem amplifies the first problem: since every time we redo the map the entire map resets, we don't actually have any "progress" in completing the map that is evident. Of course we make progress in the sense that we have fewer paths we have to trace out, but whether we do path one first then path two or vice versa has zero impact. This limits options on how the maps get designed for difficulty and it limits strategic options for the players, reducing how interesting the challenge is for players.

Imagine a single player map with just two paths, but they are cross-linked. Each node on the left buffs the node on the right and vice versa. Players would have to decide which one to do first. Clearing the first would mean the other would now be unbuffed. So how the player chooses to do the map would be meaningful. Let's say the left has the Size Matters nodes and the right side has Biohazard. If you have XL champs but you don't have good immunity, you can clear the Size Matters path which would then remove the Biohazard nodes from the other path. If you have immunity but no good XL, you could do the reverse.

Expand that to more complex and interesting options, and you could make paths that fulfilled Kabam's desire to make different champions useful in different situations without hard-gating paths that forced players to have certain champs. If your roster has X and Y but not Z, you can try to find the best sequence of paths that eliminates the need for Z, by trying to navigate the paths that require X and Y. You don't have to just wait to pull Z. But if you do pull Z, that means you'll have more options for future content. Also, hold that thought.

Now imagine that every path buffed the boss, but it sent at least two buffs: a detrimental buff for the players, and a beneficial buff for the players. Every time you cleared a path you'd be removing a bad buff, but also removing a good buff. In that way, the order you did the paths would change the boss fight, so every fight was at least a little different. You would have to be very clever with how those buffs worked so they didn't stack to ridiculous levels on the very first clear, but it is possible. For example one path could buff the boss with something like a 50% armor buff, and a different path could have a power gain cornered node, but only if the defender does not have armor buffs, and a third path made the boss immune to nullify. The order you remove those buffs could matter a great deal.

I'm not in the Act 6.3 beta, but I know Kabam is playing around with interacting buffs to try to make more interesting difficulty challenges. I think this is the next step up from that, and I think it is applicable to all difficulty levels not just the highest ones. Master tier difficulty, for example, could have a really hard path that if you do it the rest of the map becomes much easier to complete for players that want to just plow through it and then autofight the rest, and for players that can't do that there can be a way to pick off the easiest path, which then makes the next harder path easier, etc. So weaker players can work through the map slowly, while stronger players can just destroy the map more quickly.

One more thing: I would love to see one path in every monthly map (not story mode, just monthly) have one super ridiculously hard (relatively) path, buffed by all other paths. If you do that path without spending any items you immediately get full exploration credit for the map. If you spend any items at all while on that path, this option vanishes. A weaker player would clear all other paths first, and get full exploration when they actually fully explored the map. A strong player that is clearly way stronger than that difficulty tier could just do that one path, and bingo you're done. A medium player could clear half the paths and then try to short cut into full exploration by tackling the hard path, which would now be slightly easier.

This way, you only repeat the map if you "have to" repeat the map. Repetition isn't pointless: you do it to make the map easier. You get a "reward" for repeating the map. But if you don't need it, you don't have to do it. But you have to prove you are way stronger than that difficulty tier is targeted for if you're going to attempt to get full exploration without doing all the paths. This is especially interesting for players who are "in-between" difficulties. If Uncollected is super hard but Master is trivial for a player, this would allow that player to try to finish Master "quicker" while also allow them to try to find the slower but less difficult way through Uncollected. This also rewards bigger and more developed rosters (thus my hold that thought above) because with more options, there's more chances to take more "short cuts."


1. Make single player maps more interesting, by letting us clear one path to make other paths easier.
2. Make every boss fight different, by using overlapping buffs from different paths.
3. If you're strong enough, you should be able to smash the map by blasting through the hardest path once without the need for potions, immediately earning full exploration reward. If not, you keep clearing paths until you can, or just fully explore the map like normal.

This should make single player maps more interesting, less repetitive, moderate difficulty better, and reward players who are "in-between" difficulties.


  • Haji_SaabHaji_Saab Posts: 5,232 ★★★★★
    They have done the 3rd point in 6.2.6 and 6.1.3. Both of these quests can be done in less runs if u willing to take more challenge
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 26,879 ★★★★★
    The Challenge Path is an interesting idea.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,077 Guardian
    Haji_Saab said:

    They have done the 3rd point in 6.2.6 and 6.1.3. Both of these quests can be done in less runs if u willing to take more challenge

    I'm hoping those smaller options implies they are open to the idea of expanding further. But I'll acknowledge here that story mode is less strongly balanced against energy costs than monthly quests due to the repetitive nature of monthly questing. Still, I think there are ways around this issue.
  • Woody15Woody15 Posts: 507 ★★★
    I always thought why they would have linked nodes for other paths that reset when you replay the quest. I like this idea a lot
  • Mathking13Mathking13 Posts: 877 ★★★
    I still like the ideas of negative linked nodes, and I think this could potentially work into your Persistent Linked Nodes (which will be called PLNs from now on) idea that the OP has.
    Basically, Negative Linked Nodes would activate on the target when the source node's champion is defeated (or maybe multiple nodes being required to activate the node on the target?... why am I sort of thinking of something like seals in other games?)
    I think this could work very well in some situations, like if you wanted to theme your path all the way up to and including the boss (like imagine if you took 5.2.5 but the boss only had the linked nodes from the path you actually DID take).
    You probably wouldn't want to link Negative PLNs to a boss unless you wanted to take that idea of having multiple source nodes that all need to be removed (or at least dealt with before in previous successful runs of the quest), making your final run of the final boss a fair bit harder.
    oh my gosh my brain is going INSANE right now! SO MANY IDEAS
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