My issue with Summer of Pain

BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 4,898 ★★★★★
So don’t worry, this is not a SoP is too easy it should be harder I’m a bored end game player post. I’m writing this post to share my feedback. It’s a long one, so while I appreciate anyone taking the time to read it, I’ve also done a TLDR at the end.

I think it’s safe to say that endgame players feel like Summer of Pain may not have hit the mark when it comes to what it was hyped as. Take a look at the text below from the announcement of SoP.

“As if the summer didn’t have enough, we’re designing a brand new challenge for the best of the best of MCoC Players. Something for those that have blasted through all of Act 6, beat the Abyss while on vacation, and treat Variants like a stroll along the beach. In response to these feats and to deliver challenges which will test your sanity, we’re working on something that may make you question life itself. The strongest, most fearsome, and finger breakingly difficult fights from across The Contest will return but with unique roster requirements, smaller teams, and new ways to play them."

Really think about the fights that we’ve been shown and ask yourself if that fits the description of what is above. I’d argue definitely not. The fights have been fun, they’ve tested which champ tags you’ve got ranked up. But ultimately, they aren’t finger breakingly difficult. And honestly, I would be ok with that if that’s what this was advertised as. But it’s been advertised as the hardest thing in the game, maybe ever.

So what’s the solution, and why is this post not just a “MaKE SumMER oF PaiN PaiNFuL KabOoM” post? I think the structure of summer of pain doesn’t really allow for the content to be as hard as it was advertised as. And that’s because it’s temporary.

I think there should be some really hard content like summer of pain that’s permanent. The potential issue with making hard content temporary is that people feel hard done by missing out. But by having it there whenever you want to tackle it, you can have a progression goal to aim for.

New interesting fights or quests that are genuinely painful but that you can get through and target when you’re ready, but that aren’t gonna go away if you can’t do it in time.

That way, kabam can really go wild with the difficulty. Because right now unless there’s a dramatic rise in how hard these fights are, I’ll view this event as decent, but ultimately mainly because of the rewards. In regards to the pain? More like summer of mild discomfort. I did enjoy the fights, but I’ve not really felt challenged, so that box hasn’t been ticked for me.

This isn’t so much of a complaint, as a grudging acceptance that this event, while being touted as the hardest event we would have ever had, is not what was advertised and I’ll take it for what it is, a weekly fun challenge to see which of my champs I can use to solo for fun this week.

To be clear with my feedback, I was hoping for something that I would open each week and spend a couple days trying different counters, struggling through until I finally cracked it. Not something that I open, take one look at a screenshot of the nodes and decide which 3 champions I can solo with to complete the objectives, go in one at a time, and only need to restart the fight if I make a mistake.

This event for me out of 10, in terms of fun is a 7. I enjoy doing the fights, and using different champs for the solo.

In terms of difficulty is a 4. I’ve not felt challenged apart from trying to get perfect runs, or trying to solo rogue with professor X (not the best champ for it). The fights themselves generally don’t have many layers of complexity, you’re usually presented with one challenge and have to solve that.

And honesty, all of this isn’t bad. I’ve actually enjoyed the event, especially as a challenge on my second account with a much shallower roster. But my mind is split in two, the disappointment from not getting the challenge that was promised to end game players is there too.

I think expecting kabam to make this temporary content as difficult as I imagined may have been a bit short sighted, and not in a bad way. I get wanting to involve a majority of the community, and making something so hard that 1% or less people are gonna complete is closer to a waste of time than kabam probably want it to be.

I think making end game permanent content solves these issues. Any cav who is currently finding SoP every bit the challenge that I and other end game players wanted, would be able to work towards it, while end game players (that 1%) will struggle through it and have their challenge. I mean just look at abyss, nowadays your average Cav, who at the start of abyss had 0 chance of making it through without a small fortune, is tackling it. And the rewards are still relevant. But the end game players enjoyed it when it was released. I imagine something similar with the next hard content to be released. Make it like that please!

Maybe I’ll eat my words if SoP gets a lot harder, and honestly I hope this ages like milk and I’ll be able to say thank god it picked up difficulty.

In any case, thanks for reading my opinion on SoP! I’ve tried to view it from both sides and be as objective as I can, so I hope that’s come through

TL:DR Summer of Pain isn’t as hard as expected, and that’s ok. I think that really hard content should be permanent, not temporary. As temporary content has limitations with how many players will actually end up playing it. But permanent content is, well, permanent and can be done at any point
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Comments

  • HoitadoHoitado Posts: 2,274 ★★★★★
    edited July 21
    I think that they are nerfing some fights lately because of the Parry/Dex bug
  • Thanks_D19Thanks_D19 Posts: 1,192 ★★★
    Hoitado said:

    Hoitado said:

    I think that they are nerfing some fights lately because of the Parry/Dex bug

    I don't think so, these fights are planned months (if not perhaps a year, considering this event was delayed) in advance. I doubt there has been a last minute change seeing as the parry bug hasn't been around long

    You saw the description of SoP

    This is for people who beat the Abyss on Vacation and stuff. I haven’t even beat Labyrinth and I’ve only missed one fight and it was because I had no counter

    Not really Summer of PAIN
    I think they did a similar thing for Gaunlet though. Grandmaster Gaunlet was touted as something that would be harder than abyss but it ultimately ended up being significantly easier. I just think we have to take what kabam says about challenging content with a grain of salt because I don’t think kabam will make something harder than abyss for a long time
  • booscka2536booscka2536 Posts: 834 ★★★
    what we need is a new r.o.l 2.0 exclude aegon styfe an guilly 2099 type champs . just so the ramp up isnt a breeze send the stats through the roof slap a tb gate an make it so even throne breakers will have to aim to defeat it in time (which is almost impossibke i kno but i loved the idea of beating rol when i 1st started . having that "dream" again would be great . abyss isnt for me i dont have the time . i have the roster sort of have the skills lol but not a full day . ill get it donenlater an im fine with that . new rol is what we need . i dnt even care if the rewards are sad the more average the rewarda the more ppl will do it when they are ready for it not rush throu throw units pots an revives at it ..
  • BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 4,898 ★★★★★
    Zahid said:

    I agree with you that some sort of permanent content would be ideal for really really hard content. While being pretty fun in this boss of the week style thing, the summer of pain just hasn’t been a challenge really (so far, might change my mind in the last few weeks) and every fight has been solos so far.

    I’d be happy if they made some sort of permanent content with maybe the old variant style of quests with 3 chapters with 3 quests per chapter, but only one very hard boss fight per quest with increasing difficulty and rewards based on linked nodes and gate restrictions maybe. That way everyone can still have a go like the summer of pain and not be left out but the really juicy rewards would have to be earned and people could work towards them over time since it’d be permanent.

    Yeah I like the sound of that, maybe the paths could be incrementally hard as well, so you have Cav level, late Cav, early TB level, TB level and Rip your hair out difficult. Have rewards on each path like gauntlet so you can get something for each level
  • PsychoakumaPsychoakuma Posts: 449 ★★
    edited July 22
    DNA3000 said:



    The fact that the content is temporary does play a role here, in that if you aim for the absolute best options to still be very difficult, anyone without them will be seeing such ridiculous relative difficulty that it won't be possible for them to do, and they won't have time to adjust. But as I said earlier, the trade for making the content permanent is making the rewards less spicy, and if you don't allow the content to be temporary, it becomes harder to make the rewards match the expectations of the players for such high difficulty content.

    Agree 100% ! I like this type of content as it's VERY difficult if you do not have the right counters (which some people don't), and reasonable while challenging if you have sort of ok counters, and easy'ish if you have the right counters.

    many people finding it easy of course have a well-developed roster and have the resources and also the skills.

    If i didn't have Mojo in my roster and the rank up resources to R5 him straight away today, I'd be contemplating what other way to get the villain+XL point today as my only other ranked champ Sentinel wouldn't be ideal at all, thus earning this week's final extra point to be obtained worthy of the "summer of pain" title.
  • BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 4,898 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    So what’s the solution, and why is this post not just a “MaKE SumMER oF PaiN PaiNFuL KabOoM” post? I think the structure of summer of pain doesn’t really allow for the content to be as hard as it was advertised as. And that’s because it’s temporary.

    I think there's a little truth to this, but this isn't really the whole story. Yes, the parameters for temporary content are different from permanent content. But that isn't just a question of difficulty. Do you think the rewards would have been as high if the content was permanent? Permanent content can be more difficult if it is optional content because it eventually targets a wider base of players, both the players that can do it now and the players who will eventually do it. But the rewards for permanent content also have different balancing parameters: rewards for temporary content tend to be higher than permanent content, pound for pound, because their long term impact on the game economy is lower overall (basically, they don't stick around).

    We've had super high difficulty temporary content in the past. The Maze, for example. Such things are uncommon, but it depends on what you count. Omega Boss Rush and Grandmaster's Gauntlet are also very high difficulty content. Maybe not the hardest content in the game, but there can only be one hardest content.

    I think the real reason SoP has the difficulty level it does has to do with the current design ethic of MCOC's higher tier content. It used to be difficult content was designed with sledgehammer nodes and effects that would bludgeon the player and were all but impossible to genuinely counter. Today, content is designed to be more interesting and tactically interactive. Most effects have counters or mitigators via roster options or tactics or both. Difficulty is always relative, but in the past content could be designed to be 50 out of 100 and some players would perceive it to be a 40 and some would see it as being a 60, but there was only so much you could do besides attack the fight via the most optimal methods of beating it. Today, content that is designed intrinsically to be a 50 might seem to be a 40 if someone used a good option, but it could also be a 20 if they used the optimal roster option. It could look like a 75 if the player had not yet mastered certain tactical skills like intercepting. The range of difficulty depending on what skills and roster a player brings to the fight is now much wider, and deliberately so: that's part of what makes the fights more interesting to tackle.

    But it also means if you want to make "the hardest fights evah" if you aim for 200, players with the best options will still see an 82 and yawn. Meanwhile if you aim so that the absolute best options is now 200, most players without them will now be seeing 800 and the fight will be ridiculous. Difficulty is now much more "fuzzy" and I think that is part of why aiming for specific difficulty targets is much more likely to fail to meet expectations from players expecting something in particular.

    The fact that the content is temporary does play a role here, in that if you aim for the absolute best options to still be very difficult, anyone without them will be seeing such ridiculous relative difficulty that it won't be possible for them to do, and they won't have time to adjust. But as I said earlier, the trade for making the content permanent is making the rewards less spicy, and if you don't allow the content to be temporary, it becomes harder to make the rewards match the expectations of the players for such high difficulty content.
    I mean when you look at Abyss and what that offers as permanent content I think the rewards are very comparable to SoP. In terms of champion acquisition you get more. 50k 6* shards plus a 10 class selector is better than 1 class 3 selector. A generic gem plus 150 class crystals is better than 75 generic gems for most people. Whether people want 2 classes of t5cc of choice or 3 random is up for that person but again its comparable. I'm not sure where SoP blows abyss out of the water in terms of rewards simply because it's temporary. And we are a year and a half on from Abyss, yet we haven't seen anything close to tickle end game player's pickles. But if you insist that should this event have been made permanent with no other change, then the rewards would decrease, then honestly, I'd take permanent harder content with reduced rewards (as long as it wasn't like a 5* nexus and 1k 6* shards). I think the rewards for SoP are super generous and really great, so I could conceivably take a hit to them in return for some damn good content.

    But you might say, well why compare Abyss and SoP, it's different content. Well Kabam launched this whole event by mentioning if you liked abyss then this will be harder. Frankly, I had a tougher time with abyss. I had a tougher time with gauntlet, which while not perfect for the challenge I had in mind, was a lot harder than SoP - but perhaps that's owing to the lengthy structure, as opposed to the one fight that you can repeat as many times as you want.

    I think my main bug bear with this entire event is the hype that Kabam built onto it. Either they knew this wasn't what end game players wanted in terms of a challenge, and hyped it up as that anyway, or they just don't know what we would find interesting. The former means they knew they were setting us up for disappointment, and the latter means content is a hit or miss based on what kabam decide to do without knowing what this section of the playerbase truly want.

    While I agree with you that temporary vs permanent may not be the entire picture, I think if Kabam wanted to do something will finally get that itch scratched for end game players, it should be permanent. Because to me, that's as close to a win-win scenario that Kabam can get. Cavs and early TB may not be ready, but they can get ready. How often do you hear a complaint that Abyss is too hard? Vs how many complaints we got for gauntlet/maze/SoP.
  • BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 4,898 ★★★★★

    DNA3000 said:



    The fact that the content is temporary does play a role here, in that if you aim for the absolute best options to still be very difficult, anyone without them will be seeing such ridiculous relative difficulty that it won't be possible for them to do, and they won't have time to adjust. But as I said earlier, the trade for making the content permanent is making the rewards less spicy, and if you don't allow the content to be temporary, it becomes harder to make the rewards match the expectations of the players for such high difficulty content.

    Agree 100% ! I like this type of content as it's VERY difficult if you do not have the right counters (which some people don't), and reasonable while challenging if you have sort of ok counters, and easy'ish if you have the right counters.

    many people finding it easy of course have a well-developed roster and have the resources and also the skills.

    If i didn't have Mojo in my roster and the rank up resources to R5 him straight away today, I'd be contemplating what other way to get the villain+XL point today as my only other ranked champ Sentinel wouldn't be ideal at all, thus earning this week's final extra point to be obtained worthy of the "summer of pain" title.
    Yeah this is a great point! And I'm really glad you've found this content fun. My argument is that since I have a developed roster, I don't have the same challenge and therefore fun. All I'm putting forward is that for me, I'd like to have some content that challenges me, while will still be doable by the entire playerbase as they progress. If kabam don't do that, sure, that's their prerogative, it's their game. But I'm happy that I can give my feedback and hope that others agree, want the same as me - to enjoy the game :)
  • BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 4,898 ★★★★★
    Buttehrs said:

    I'm not saying that they did this but, this was originally supposed to come out last summer. They might not chave changed anything about it since then and had it saved somewhere to toss in when they were ready. Could be why it seems easier now because we've had buffs and new champs that make these easy fights compared to when they were still difficult.

    I had actually considered that, I wonder what exactly has changed since last year and now. I also wonder how 1 year ago BitterSteel would have felt about this level of difficulty, maybe it would have hit the spot!
  • ButtehrsButtehrs Posts: 2,075 ★★★★★

    Buttehrs said:

    I'm not saying that they did this but, this was originally supposed to come out last summer. They might not chave changed anything about it since then and had it saved somewhere to toss in when they were ready. Could be why it seems easier now because we've had buffs and new champs that make these easy fights compared to when they were still difficult.

    I had actually considered that, I wonder what exactly has changed since last year and now. I also wonder how 1 year ago BitterSteel would have felt about this level of difficulty, maybe it would have hit the spot!
    For one, there were hardly and r3 6* out there like there is today. That alone makes a tremendous difference.
  • SwarmOfRavensSwarmOfRavens Posts: 925 ★★★★
    edited July 22
    ChiliDog said:

    Maybe they should have made this event for Cavalier only and excluded TB from the extra side points. Probably be less complaining about it then. o:):p

    How would that solve anything? It'd just mean less rewards which isn't even relevant to the complaints.
    Probably less interesting too since objectives have been one of the few things giving the last few bosses variety.
  • MrInsanityMrInsanity Posts: 1,539 ★★★★
    ChiliDog said:

    Maybe they should have made this event for Cavalier only and excluded TB from the extra side points. Probably be less complaining about it then. o:):p

    Bruh what
  • Mathking13Mathking13 Posts: 905 ★★★
    I think for the average Cavalier player (such as myself), this event was made VERY well. I've had to think through which champions I use (used Claire for Darkhawk and the Hydra Adaptoid, and Aegon for Venom), and the fights are very touch-and-go (no I'm not cheesing the fights with magneto or ronan, I don't enjoy doing that). They're fascinatingly-crafted fights IMO. And they're made generally fairly accessible because of the objectives (that we don't have access to, but hey I'm fine with that)
    For TB players however, I can definitely see why the objectives are frustratingly easy. The fight has been made easier mainly to account for the accessibility required by the objectives.
    honestly I just want to see one of the last 9 objectives require TB players to use, for example, a 4 star champion that isn't one of those cheese champions. I think it'd be cool to see people struggle with that, and hey it's simple.
    Definitely not as tough as I think some people were expecting, but I understand why the problems are there. People expected something like the first three bosses, but objectives make that type of challenge unreasonable to force on people for those objectives.

    who wants to see grandmaster with some regular nodes btw? i think that could be interesting.
  • thehamtheham Posts: 117
    The pinnacle of endgame contest was The Maze and we will never see that magic ever again. Times were different then. Piloting was big, buying cheap items was a thing, and overall game knowledge was very low.

    And it was difficult too..

    Purify Killmonger
    Powergain Heimdall
    Mephisto
    Korg
    IMIW
    Iceman
    Champion

    All tough fights because no one had all the tools. Proper counters were too new and too hard to get, so we used whatever **** we had.

    Power control, incinerate immune, korg counter, imiw counter, emma counter, iceman counter, buff control counter for champion. Easy now but 5*s were hard to get, we had a few rank 5s at the most and they were probably Blade and Stark Spidey.

    These days every endgamer knows what they're doing and has a fully ranked 5-man-team of EVERY TOOL. Back then we had one yellow number champ and then Blade, and almost no utility.

    If we want content like The Maze again, Kabam has to force us to use non-optimal attackers. Start with major attacker bans and build content around that. SOP is a welcome change but we have all the tools.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,834 Guardian

    I mean when you look at Abyss and what that offers as permanent content I think the rewards are very comparable to SoP.

    Keep in mind the Abyss rewards were substantially increased from their original design, specifically because they did not meet player expectations. The rewards were not bugged: they were set to what the developers felt was appropriate for that content. Because the player reaction was very strongly negative, and because the Abyss was a singularly unique piece of end game content, they altered the rewards.

    The question here is what should we take from that experience. I think some players think the lesson Kabam learned was make the reward better. But I don't think that's the case. Instead, the lesson they learned was: be careful about making permanent end game content like the Abyss, because players won't be satisfied with the rewards you want to give out for it.

    Rewards are not set individually for every piece of content in isolation. They come, in a sense, from a reward budget. There's a dude at Kabam who is the god of rewards, and he decides how much stuff will flow into the game every month, every year, every decade. From that stream of rewards, content designers allocate rewards to content. If they give more for this, they have to give less for that. They can make local decisions like increase the rewards for this side quest, but they can't arbitrarily add rewards to the game from nowhere.

    This is an oversimplification, but it captures the core idea. The devs that make content like the Abyss must follow the design rules of the game. The win for the players that allowed them to get much bigger rewards for the Abyss than originally intended came from somewhere. We will never know from where, but somewhere out there is a basket of rewards we would have gotten, that now we will never get. And maybe it was attached to content that we will never see. And if you're the designer of content like the Abyss, you've now learned how difficult it is to meet player expectations, you'll likely get burned if you try again, and you can't keep pulling rewards out of thin air to make the players happy. We squished him between our desire for more rewards and the directors and managers who actually run the game.

    I don't think you can draw a straight line of cause and effect directly, but I suspect the player reaction to Abyss rewards, and the impact that the higher rewards had on the game economy, has played a role in why we don't have another Abyss in the game and why we have more temporary end game content. Temporary content quickly goes away, and takes most of the economy problems it might cause away with it.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 12,834 Guardian

    Buttehrs said:

    I'm not saying that they did this but, this was originally supposed to come out last summer. They might not chave changed anything about it since then and had it saved somewhere to toss in when they were ready. Could be why it seems easier now because we've had buffs and new champs that make these easy fights compared to when they were still difficult.

    I had actually considered that, I wonder what exactly has changed since last year and now. I also wonder how 1 year ago BitterSteel would have felt about this level of difficulty, maybe it would have hit the spot!
    You have to wonder if the people who implemented the content are even the same people who initially proposed it. On a time scale of years, companies do have turnover.
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