Taming RNG in Champion Crystals

Since Kabam released information about their mega-mega Abyss nexus crystal, I decided I might as well post this idea on tackling the problem of RNG champion acquisition as it pertains to higher progress through the game. Its long, and I've been fiddling with the ideas for some time, and I removed 90% of the math. Otherwise it wouldn't fit on the forums and humans would die of starvation before finishing it, which would be counterproductive.

This post presents the issue of acquiring champions with RNG crystals, and specifically why this isn't a straight forward problem to solve. If you're someone that thinks this can be solved by just doing X because why not, this is post is probably not for you. If you want to know why we can't just do X or Y, and how we can still tackle the problem within the limitations of how the game operates, grab an adult beverage and dive in. Warning: no pictures this time.

Short version: We create two classes of crystals: Annual Crystals that contain all the champs released in a particular calendar year, and Progression Crystals that contain champions most appropriate to doing content at a particular progress tier. Annual crystals are intended to allow broad targeting of champs of a particular era, and Progression Crystals are intended to provide curated crystals appropriate to a particular progress point in the game. Gate these to progress tiers, allowing only players of appropriate progress to acquire them, and limit the rate at which they can get them to control the rate at which champions are acquired.

Long version:

Everyone knows the basic problem, but to make this remotely able to fit into a single forum post I'm going to state a specific instance of the problem and its specific related issues, then maybe try to generalize beyond that. As we progress to higher difficulty tiers of content, the content becomes more specialized in its requirements. This currently culminates with Act 6, which first gates out all champions below 5* rarity, and second presents many fights and paths that have very specific requirements. Sometimes those requirements are literal gates, such as in 6.2, and sometimes they are implicit gates such as the power sting paths in 6.4 where reasonable attacker options are extremely narrowed. Kabam refers to this as RPG-like fights, where the fight requires certain "roles" to be satisfied by the champions the player brings to counter the meta-problems of the fight design. Sometimes this requires very specific champs with specific abilities, and sometimes this requires specific synergy teams to provide specific combinations of otherwise esoteric ability combinations.

In general, players have no way to target one specific champion for acquisition. Champion crystals are random, and often contain so many options that the odds of picking a specific one are extremely low. When the pool of possibilities is low, the selection itself is generally out of the player's hands, and the ability to acquire more than one is rare. The result is that progress through the primary progressional content is gated behind a champion acquisition process that can be both extremely slow and have no guarantee of success on any time scale.

So why not just let players target specific champions and somehow buy them through some process? There's two problems with that. First, there's the general problem that a critical foundation of the game is that it is a collection game, where players chase champions. The chase is as fundamental to the game as running content is. If the game allowed players to target specific champs this would significantly devalue and derail that chase. Not only would players be able to simply catch whatever they wanted, they would suffer from declining returns. Since every player would chase their most valued champ first, every champ they go after would be less valuable - to them - than the previous one. This is psychologically problematic. The second problem is monetization. The very fact that it is difficult to acquire champions creates the monetization opportunity for players to spend money to get them faster. If players could get everything they wanted quickly, it would be much less valuable to spend money to get them even faster. That tampers with the ability for the game to sustain itself in a way no developer would take significant chances with.

Demonstrating both issues would take more time than available here. The point is that the developers believe both to be true (at least, I'm asserting this is the case), and thus any change to champion acquisition must honor both assumptions. So any attempt to alter champion acquisition must not allow players to prioritize targets on an individual and specific basis, and it must affect monetization in the smallest way possible.

How much of an advantage do whales have now when acquiring champions through things like the initial featured crystals? Well, there are multiple paths to getting newly introduced champions, from the initial Cavs to Featured 5* crystals down to eventually players getting them in the basics. From the time the champ enters the game until when it enters the basic crystal is approximately 100 days. They enter the featured crystal in batches; each featured lasts for three months and contains six previous new champions from three weeks old to thirteen weeks old. For a point of reference, lets calculate how long it would take for a player who is capable of opening about six basic 5* crystals a month (60k shards) to get one specific champion using the strategy of buying the featured crystal that contains that champion until it disappears, and then hoping to get it in the basic crystal, as reasonably representative of a player who earns champs with gameplay instead of spending. Someone who could earn 60k shards a month can open four 5* featured crystals (not counting the Sigil discounted crystal) a month, or about twelve across the three months the crystal is available. The probability of pulling one specific champion out of that crystal is about 40% (the odds of missing entirely are (23/24)^12 ~= 60%). Once you start pulling basics the odds of pulling one specific champ are approximately 50/50 after 103 pulls (this assumes ~150 champs in the basic pool, which it will be soon). This means the average amount of pulls necessary to pull one specific champ is about 64 (weighted average: 40% chance for average pulls to be 6, 60% chance for average pulls to be 103). The average amount of time this would take would be about 11 months (654k shards). Factoring in the average time it takes for a champion to enter the featured 5* crystals, we can call the overall time advantage approximately one year. This is the rough statistical time advantage the whales get against the tier of players below them, earning 60k 5* shards per month. This is the minimum advantage any new champion crystal system should attempt to preserve.

The same numbers that inform what we can't do also hint at what the problem is. Targeting a single champ under very high crystal earning levels can still take a very long time. This gets multiplied by the number of such champions players have to chase after when trying to progress in game content above Act 5. But if taking a long time is what gives early crystal purchases value, how do we address the problem of champion acquisition? The answer is not to look at ways to improve the ability for a player to "hit" the desired champ, but instead to focus on how to make the "misses" more useful and valuable. And we can do that in two separate but related ways.

First, we can improve the ability for players to target newer champs. Players currently have two shots at getting a newer champ (without spending cash). First they can try to get them in the 5* featured crystal. And second, they can eventually get them in the basic crystal (I'm setting aside buying featured Cav crystsals with gameplay units for now). The chance to get a specific new champ is not bad in the featured crystal but it is time-limited: eventually you run out of shots at it and have to chase the champ in the basic crystal with an enormous pool of possible drops. We could improve that situation by extending the time window in which a player could continue to target newer chamnps. Approximately three months after the last crystal containing a calendar year's champions expires we create a "year" crystal containing all of that year's champs - generally around 24-27. So although technically the last 2019 champ (Silver Surfer) was in the March-June 2020 Featured, let's say that in June 2020 a 2019 crystal becomes available for purchase that contains all twenty five 2019 champs. The average amount of crystals you would need to open to target one specific champ would be about 17. If they cost 15k shards (more on this later) the average amount of shards to get a specific champ would be 255k. our 60k/month player could do this in just over four months. That would mean the best case scenario would be grabbing a champ four months after being put in a crystal released three months after the last December champ was released, or seven months later. That's too short, if we want to preserve the one year monetization advantage. Also, if the intent of these crystal opportunities is to reflect the challenges that players face as they run higher content but the goal is not to flood lower progress players with the strongest champs in the game, there should be a way to reduce the ability to use these crystals to target champs at lower progress tiers and increase it for higher progress tiers.

We can use purchase cooldowns to do that. Suppose this crystal could not be purchased below Uncollected. At Uncollected status you could only purchase one a month. A UC player could get at most twelve per year, which means they have only a 40%-ish chance of landing on a specifically targeted champ (depending on the number of champs released in that year). It would take a year and a half of non-stop buying of these crystals to increase the odds to 50/50. That's far outside of infringing on the monetization advantage limit. But we need to distinguish Cavalier players who have a much higher requirement to build up 5* roster. If we gate them to one crystal every two weeks maximum, then it would take thirty-four weeks to have a 50% chance to pull a specific champ, spending about half of all their 5* shards on 17 of these crystals. That's about eight and a half months, plus the three month delay equals about twelve months. So Cavalier players could be earning, on average, a specifically targeted champ about one year after release, which is comparable to the current average monetization advantage the whales currently possess.

If these crystals are "better" for targeting specific champs, then how could they possibly not erode the monetization advantage? Well, actually they do, but in a way that isn't obvious, and is probably psychologically "soft" on monetization. The combination of high value but restricted purchase rate means a player spends less than their maximum output of shards to maximize the return on these crystals. Only half their shards go to these (in my example). The other half go to 5* basics. A player could get lucky opening basics, which subtly reduces average time to acquire. And a player could also go after both the normal featured crystal and these yearly ones. But because the current featured crystal already exists, its devaluing impact is already factored into the monetization value of buying early access crystals for champs. The *incremental* impact of adding this "annual" crystal falls outside the monetization advantage, and is therefore less likely to be seen as impactful on its own.

[There's also a ton of math that can further elaborate on that, but I've decided to eliminate a lot of math since the post wouldn't fit the forums if I didn't.]

This improves the ability to target newer champs. But it doesn't *directly* improve the ability for players to target champs they can use to progress in the game. For that we need a more sophisticated crystal. The second crystal is the Progress-targeted crystal. It works like this. For Cavalier players, we presume their current roster challenge exists somewhere in Act 6. Certain champs are more useful in Act 6, some are less useful. We datamine which champs are the most effective for the most critical fights and create a crystal with the top X such champs. Let's say the top 24. A discussion of the best way to datamine and curate this crystal is also beyond the scope of this post, although I have some ideas there. Let's assume here that we can make such a list. We then strike out any champ that is less than one year old and put the top 24 that are left. Every four months we reevaluate, adding in champs that are now at least one year old. We then let Cavalier players also purchase this crystal, which would basically be a curated set of Act 6 viable champions.

Question: how long, on average, would it take for a player to get all 24 champs from such a crystal? It is approximately 91 crystals. But what if you needed only a small subset of them, say four. How long on average would it take to pull four specific champs from such a crystal? It will take about 50 pulls. Notice the average to get one specific champ is about 24 pulls, but the average to get four champs is 50, only about twice as many pulls. And the average to get all 24 is less than twice that amount. This is how concentrating useful champs can increase the rate at which players get useful champs without altering the odds of specifically targeting one specific champ. It is basically easier to aim at four, then three, then two, then one, then to aim at one four specific champ separate times. *Specific* targeting is still difficult, but *general* targeting delivers progress-useful champs to players quicker regardless. Buying one a week, a player could, on average, snag four desirable champs out of 24 in about a year.

The larger point to this crystal isn't so much the specific numbers, although the numbers can clearly be tuned to any requirement we need. The point is the crystal is specifically a progression-focused crystal. It targets specific players of a specific progression tier and provides them with a crystal dominated by champs likely to help them advance in the content they are likely to be running. And we curate the crystal based on the champions actually being used to complete that content by players so there's no debate about whether the champs are "useful" or not. This concept can be both expanded to target more narrow ranges of players (you could make a crystal that players who complete 6.2 can buy that contains champs useful for exploring 6.2, or completing 6.3, for example), and extended into the future of the content. When Book 2 is released, Kabam can datamine to determine which champs are most heavily used for the most difficult fights, and then provide crystals curated to give a more focused higher probability of obtaining those specific champions in a reasonable amount of time after the early pioneers complete the content.

So to summarize. We want to preserve the psychology of chasing champions, and we need to preserve the monetization value of acquiring champions quickly. Within that scope, we want to provide players with a way to increase dramatically their avenues for acquiring champions more relevant to their current progress level and content hurdles within the structure of RNG champion crystals. We do this by creating two classes of crystals: Annual Crystals that contain all the champs released in a particular calendar year, and Progression Crystals that contain champions most appropriate to doing content at a particular progress tier. Annual crystals are intended to allow broad targeting of champs of a particular era, and Progression Crystals are intended to provide curated crystals appropriate to a particular progress point in the game. We gate these to progress tiers, allowing only players that need them to acquire them, and even for those players we limit the rate at which they can get them so that we limit the effects on monetization but still set an adjustable average time players will take to build an appropriate roster for their current content challenges. The calculations above are examples of how the numbers could work out, but can be adjusted depending on the target goals of the system. And the system scales over time to newer content and the ever increasing pool of new champions.

Comments

  • LeNoirFaineantLeNoirFaineant Posts: 6,179 ★★★★★
    These crystals would be fantastic additions.
  • OneMast3rOneMast3r Posts: 121
    The easy fix would be to have crystals produce two champs and you get to pick one. This would eliminate the complaining so much.
  • Notsavage19Notsavage19 Posts: 1,535 ★★★★
    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?
  • LeNoirFaineantLeNoirFaineant Posts: 6,179 ★★★★★
    I really like the newer champ crystal. Going 6 months to a year with nothing but 2017 champ drops can be very demoralizing. No one who isn't a whale expects to get every new champ, but providing a way to guarantee getting at least some newer champs would help take the sting out of bad RNG.
  • Thicco_ModeThicco_Mode Posts: 2,984 ★★★★★

    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?

    Also, how would the champions be decided? Forgive me if you put that somewhere
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 10,692 Guardian

    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?

    In both cases, I presumed the cost of the crystals was the same as the current featured, about 15k shards. However, this is an adjustable and negotiable cost, because they are also purchase limited. Purchase limited crystals have softer cost requirements, because you can only buy so many: the cost doesn't have to function as a throttle for them.
  • SpideyFunkoSpideyFunko Posts: 4,790 ★★★★★
    Nice Ted talk
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 10,692 Guardian

    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?

    Also, how would the champions be decided? Forgive me if you put that somewhere
    I touched on it a little: the simple answer is the progress crystal contents would be decided by datamining the content at or around the progress tier for the crystal. So for example, a Cavalier Progress Crystal would likely have champions datamined to be useful in Act 6.

    How *precisely* to do that is a separate question. I would say the devs should look at three separate parameters. First champs players bring into the content more often should be weighted higher. This not only counts champs actually used for the content but also can pick up on popular synergy partners. Second, champs that are more effective at completing a fight should be weighted higher. If thirty different champs are used in 99% of the times players fight a particular node, the one that defeats that node more often should be considered over those that defeat that node less often, all other things being equal. And third, champions useful on fights with the highest defeat counts or the highest exit conditions (players give up on that fight and leave the map) should be weighted higher.

    When I say "weighted higher" I mean given higher priority to be in the crystal, not have their drop odds influences by those factors when included in the crystal. Champs most players bring, champs most players actually use, and champs used at all in fights that appear to be the hardest should be the pool from which the Progress Crystal contents are selected.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 10,692 Guardian

    I really like the newer champ crystal. Going 6 months to a year with nothing but 2017 champ drops can be very demoralizing. No one who isn't a whale expects to get every new champ, but providing a way to guarantee getting at least some newer champs would help take the sting out of bad RNG.

    This might not be clear in the post, so the reason why there's two crystals is because the primary problem is being roadblocked in content. If you simply don't have the right champs to progress, you're stuck, and RNG can literally require years of roster building if you're unlucky. The progress crystal reduces the chances of being roadblocked indefinitely.

    But you might not be totally roadblocked. You might not be horribly unlucky, but you still want to make progress with your roster. If you have valid counters for the content in front of you, your progress option is then to try to build up roster for the future. Being able to take shots at newer champs - or for that matter any slice of time that you're deficient in - gives you a way to build roster until you do find the need to use Progress Crystals to improve your roster in a more targeted way. Maybe you want to try to get that Magik, or that Crossbones, or maybe you missed that Iceman the first time around. I thought it was important to address both possibilities.

    I did not mention this as it would complicate the basic idea, and it is lengthy enough as it is, but one thing you could do with annual crystals is increase their availability the older they get. So hypothetically they'd get cheaper and with higher limits, to reflect the fact that those champs are already widely available and also less likely to be as valuable for newer content. So it would be cheaper to target Magik than Iceman, because you're so much more likely to be pulling duds when you target Magik than Iceman.
  • Notsavage19Notsavage19 Posts: 1,535 ★★★★
    edited June 17

    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?

    Also, how would the champions be decided? Forgive me if you put that somewhere
    I think the champs would be decided through datamining the "MVPs" of content completion at your specific progress level, and the pool would be reevaluated every 4 months.

    In a hypothetical scenario where after the 4 months, the "MVPs" are the same (meaning that the characters in the next 4 months are less valuable than the current pool), would the crystal still contain the same pool? Or would it choose X amount of characters out of the new 4 month period?

    Also, I'm curious as to what the criteria would be for choosing the champions. There are great champions that excel in different pieces of content and do poorly in others, so what do you think would be the judging criteria for their place in the pool, or do you think that it should just stay in the scope of Act 6?
  • Thicco_ModeThicco_Mode Posts: 2,984 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?

    Also, how would the champions be decided? Forgive me if you put that somewhere
    I touched on it a little: the simple answer is the progress crystal contents would be decided by datamining the content at or around the progress tier for the crystal. So for example, a Cavalier Progress Crystal would likely have champions datamined to be useful in Act 6.

    How *precisely* to do that is a separate question. I would say the devs should look at three separate parameters. First champs players bring into the content more often should be weighted higher. This not only counts champs actually used for the content but also can pick up on popular synergy partners. Second, champs that are more effective at completing a fight should be weighted higher. If thirty different champs are used in 99% of the times players fight a particular node, the one that defeats that node more often should be considered over those that defeat that node less often, all other things being equal. And third, champions useful on fights with the highest defeat counts or the highest exit conditions (players give up on that fight and leave the map) should be weighted higher.

    When I say "weighted higher" I mean given higher priority to be in the crystal, not have their drop odds influences by those factors when included in the crystal. Champs most players bring, champs most players actually use, and champs used at all in fights that appear to be the hardest should be the pool from which the Progress Crystal contents are selected.
    Thanks for clearing that up. This would definitely open a new and exciting avenue that kabam could explore if they really want the game to improve
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 10,692 Guardian

    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?

    Also, how would the champions be decided? Forgive me if you put that somewhere
    I think the champs would be decided through datamining the "MVPs" of content completion at your specific progress level, and the pool would be reevaluated every 4 months.

    In a hypothetical scenario where after the 4 months, the "MVPs" are the same (meaning that the characters in the next 4 months are less valuable than the current pool), would the crystal still contain the same pool? Or would it choose X amount of characters out of the new 4 month period?

    Also, I'm curious as to what the criteria would be for choosing the champions. There are great champions that excel in different pieces of content and do poorly in others, so what do you think would be the judging criteria for their place in the pool, or do you think that it should just stay in the scope of Act 6?
    It is a question of granularity, and how much work Kabam would be willing to put into the idea. There are relatively simple iterations that don't take a lot of work, and there are versions that could be actively curated constantly. And not being able to see the raw data of the game, I would have to make educated guesses on what would and would not work.

    But I think one simple idea is to take a range of content, let's say Act 6 (we could have crystals focused on 6.2, 6.3, and .64, but just for simplicity here). Some fights are much harder than others to get past. We could look at those, by trying to find fights where players quit the map most often, or fights that recorded the most deaths. Of course we'd have to normalize for bosses - Boss fights are a little different because there's no fight after that, so players can throw their entire team at them with much less regard for survival (as long as they can beat the fight) than fights in the middle of the map. So let's say we have a list of the top twelve hardest Act 6 fights We then datamine which champs are most successful at bringing down those fights. We pick the top two from each fight. If there are repeats, we will in with the third, fourth, and so on down the line until we have 24. Then that's your crystal.

    There are more complex metrics we can come up with, but they all try to figure out which fights are the hardest, which champs players use on those fights, and which subset of those make the most sense to put in the crystal. And if there are too many show-stopper fights, that might suggest we need more crystals and more granularity in how we unlock them. Maybe "Cavalier" is just too big of a title, encompassing a huge range of champions a roster must contain. But I think that's something for the data to tell us.
  • BigPoppaCBONEBigPoppaCBONE Posts: 1,272 ★★★★
    I would be interested in who the dev testing showed as the most effective for the hard fights prior to the content going live. Could be some surprises.
  • Notsavage19Notsavage19 Posts: 1,535 ★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?

    Also, how would the champions be decided? Forgive me if you put that somewhere
    I think the champs would be decided through datamining the "MVPs" of content completion at your specific progress level, and the pool would be reevaluated every 4 months.

    In a hypothetical scenario where after the 4 months, the "MVPs" are the same (meaning that the characters in the next 4 months are less valuable than the current pool), would the crystal still contain the same pool? Or would it choose X amount of characters out of the new 4 month period?

    Also, I'm curious as to what the criteria would be for choosing the champions. There are great champions that excel in different pieces of content and do poorly in others, so what do you think would be the judging criteria for their place in the pool, or do you think that it should just stay in the scope of Act 6?
    It is a question of granularity, and how much work Kabam would be willing to put into the idea. There are relatively simple iterations that don't take a lot of work, and there are versions that could be actively curated constantly. And not being able to see the raw data of the game, I would have to make educated guesses on what would and would not work.

    But I think one simple idea is to take a range of content, let's say Act 6 (we could have crystals focused on 6.2, 6.3, and .64, but just for simplicity here). Some fights are much harder than others to get past. We could look at those, by trying to find fights where players quit the map most often, or fights that recorded the most deaths. Of course we'd have to normalize for bosses - Boss fights are a little different because there's no fight after that, so players can throw their entire team at them with much less regard for survival (as long as they can beat the fight) than fights in the middle of the map. So let's say we have a list of the top twelve hardest Act 6 fights We then datamine which champs are most successful at bringing down those fights. We pick the top two from each fight. If there are repeats, we will in with the third, fourth, and so on down the line until we have 24. Then that's your crystal.

    There are more complex metrics we can come up with, but they all try to figure out which fights are the hardest, which champs players use on those fights, and which subset of those make the most sense to put in the crystal. And if there are too many show-stopper fights, that might suggest we need more crystals and more granularity in how we unlock them. Maybe "Cavalier" is just too big of a title, encompassing a huge range of champions a roster must contain. But I think that's something for the data to tell us.
    That sounds like a great idea. Sorry for asking so many questions lol, it just seems like a very interesting and promising idea!
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 10,692 Guardian

    DNA3000 said:

    One question. How much would the progression-based crystal be sold for?

    I might have read your analysis wrong, but I'm interpreting it as all 24 champions in the crystal are "god tiers", for lack of a better description. Unlike the annual crystal, the progression-based crystal would contain more "useful" champs. That could warrant a higher price tag to keep the value of the champions from depreciating, right?

    Also, how would the champions be decided? Forgive me if you put that somewhere
    I think the champs would be decided through datamining the "MVPs" of content completion at your specific progress level, and the pool would be reevaluated every 4 months.

    In a hypothetical scenario where after the 4 months, the "MVPs" are the same (meaning that the characters in the next 4 months are less valuable than the current pool), would the crystal still contain the same pool? Or would it choose X amount of characters out of the new 4 month period?

    Also, I'm curious as to what the criteria would be for choosing the champions. There are great champions that excel in different pieces of content and do poorly in others, so what do you think would be the judging criteria for their place in the pool, or do you think that it should just stay in the scope of Act 6?
    It is a question of granularity, and how much work Kabam would be willing to put into the idea. There are relatively simple iterations that don't take a lot of work, and there are versions that could be actively curated constantly. And not being able to see the raw data of the game, I would have to make educated guesses on what would and would not work.

    But I think one simple idea is to take a range of content, let's say Act 6 (we could have crystals focused on 6.2, 6.3, and .64, but just for simplicity here). Some fights are much harder than others to get past. We could look at those, by trying to find fights where players quit the map most often, or fights that recorded the most deaths. Of course we'd have to normalize for bosses - Boss fights are a little different because there's no fight after that, so players can throw their entire team at them with much less regard for survival (as long as they can beat the fight) than fights in the middle of the map. So let's say we have a list of the top twelve hardest Act 6 fights We then datamine which champs are most successful at bringing down those fights. We pick the top two from each fight. If there are repeats, we will in with the third, fourth, and so on down the line until we have 24. Then that's your crystal.

    There are more complex metrics we can come up with, but they all try to figure out which fights are the hardest, which champs players use on those fights, and which subset of those make the most sense to put in the crystal. And if there are too many show-stopper fights, that might suggest we need more crystals and more granularity in how we unlock them. Maybe "Cavalier" is just too big of a title, encompassing a huge range of champions a roster must contain. But I think that's something for the data to tell us.
    That sounds like a great idea. Sorry for asking so many questions lol, it just seems like a very interesting and promising idea!
    There are a lot of details, so questions are welcome. I actually edited this down so it wouldn't be too long. This is the abbreviated version.
  • ChobblyChobbly Posts: 36
    @DNA3000, both ideas have merit and I suspect would be a cleaner and quicker solution to implement than many other options. I mentioned something similar to the progression crystal on the big thread (called them story crystals rather than progression crystals). But yours together fulfill a specific need and complement the other.

    Where you set the bar for attaining progression crystals is interesting. My original thoughts were to receive these on story exploration for Uncollected and onwards, to encourage the full exploration of content. Limiting the acquisition of progression crystals to Cavaliers would benefit that player group sure but by implication then deny Uncollected players trying to beat 6.1 with the difficulty spike coinciding with the roster changes that block the use of their 4*, even for synergy purposes.

    There are other aspects of the game which need work, but these two crystals could offer a solution to some of them IMHO.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 10,692 Guardian
    Chobbly said:

    @DNA3000, both ideas have merit and I suspect would be a cleaner and quicker solution to implement than many other options. I mentioned something similar to the progression crystal on the big thread (called them story crystals rather than progression crystals). But yours together fulfill a specific need and complement the other.

    Where you set the bar for attaining progression crystals is interesting. My original thoughts were to receive these on story exploration for Uncollected and onwards, to encourage the full exploration of content. Limiting the acquisition of progression crystals to Cavaliers would benefit that player group sure but by implication then deny Uncollected players trying to beat 6.1 with the difficulty spike coinciding with the roster changes that block the use of their 4*, even for synergy purposes.

    There are other aspects of the game which need work, but these two crystals could offer a solution to some of them IMHO.

    The concept of progression crystals could theoretically be extended much lower. I discussed them in the context of Cavalier Progression Crystals because that's the most obvious place they seem to be necessary. They could also be extended to UC players, with champions consistent with completing 5.3-5.4 or especially 6.1. UC is a bit more complicated to consider as the kinds of champs you need span a rarity: Solid 4* champs are good enough for 5.3, while 5* champs are mandatory for 6.1. So that's a more complex issue to consider than the Cavalier case.
  • Cooljj12Cooljj12 Posts: 1
    Need six star champions
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