An Update to Balancing in MCOC!

MCOC TeamMCOC Team Posts: 520
edited April 2022 in General Discussion

Greetings Summoners!

In the coming months, we are going to be introducing a new Champion Rating system to help better visualize the strengths and weaknesses of any given Champion, giving you all a better understanding of the Champion at a glance.

Coinciding with this new rating system, we are creating a new rebalancing process for that will apply to all new Champions coming to The Contest.

This new balancing cadence means that reworks for older Champions will slow somewhat but will still occur!

These new balancing initiatives will be spearheaded by an expanded Champion Balancing team here at Kabam. The newest recruit to the team is a beloved community member who will make themselves known when they feel the time is right!

If you want to learn all of the details, read the expanded version below!

Let's talk about balancing and a new Ability Rating System coming soon to MCOC. Ready? Let's go!

Today we would like to talk with you about the next chapter of balancing in Marvel Contest of Champions and a brand new initiative we are undertaking to help new and old players better understand the capabilities and kits of Champions.

So far, since starting our rebalance initiative, we have updated 32 of your favourite Champions to varying degrees. Our initial implementation of balancing in The Contest was new territory for the Champions team and the community alike. We believe that balancing as a whole has been great for the health of the game as we have taken the opportunity to go back to review and refresh Champions that may have performed differently than we intended or the Community expected.

When we set out to create a Champion, we outline goals for the Champion that we want to hit, usually aspects of the Champion’s core identity that we want to highlight, and gameplay opportunities that we feel would be fun and useful in our different game modes. Our intention with balancing is always to go in and have a second look to make sure that we are adhering to the initial goals we set out when building the character from the ground up.

So, let's talk about the future of Balancing and our ever-evolving initiative to educate Summoners about the nuances of The Contest and visualize that information in-game.

Enter: MCOC’s Brand New Ability Rating System!

One huge piece of feedback we have received from a wide range of Summoners is that currently, it's hard to know what is and what is not intended when it comes to Champion Balance. This can cause confusion amongst the player base when Champions behave in new or peculiar ways.

Starting in March, we will be adding a brand new 5-Point Ability Rating System to all Champions in the game.

What does it look like?

We will be rating Champions on a few different aspects of their abilities and general strengths and weaknesses.

While we are still hammering down the details, we are currently looking to implement ratings for Damage Output, Survivability, Utility, and Ease of Use.

For example, Cull Obsidian is a great Champion with high damage output, but not as much utility, so he would have a 5/5 in Damage, but closer to a 1 or 2 for Utility. Magik, on the other hand, is a Champion with high utility and ease of use, but a lower damage rating.

These are still a work in progress but should give a general idea of what you can expect.

Further, we are launching a brand new rebalancing initiative for new Champions, here is how it's going to work:

Champion Balancing will work in a six-month cadence from the release of a new Champion. One-third of that time will consist of that Champion being in the hands of experienced players and will include back and forth feedback between the community and the development team.

This change to balancing also means that over time, we will be bolstering and expanding our beta program to allow more Summoners the opportunity to interact with new Champions updates as much as possible.

After release, a Champion's live data will be reviewed for three months (this is not a new addition, but has only been done behind the scenes for the most part). After that period, changes will be made off of the collected data and put on the beta server for further testing and feedback collection.

Changes will live on the beta server for two months where we will be collecting player feedback at this time. The updated Champion will then be released to the live game.

Let’s use the first Champion releasing in March as an example.
  • Release: March 17
  • Data Collection: March - Mid-June
  • Changes live on Beta Server: June - Mid-August
  • Changes Released to Public: Late August
This is where the new rating system comes into play: Using these new ratings, we will compare live data of the characters to the original goals in the ratings and if needed, balance the Champion based on the difference between the new and old data.

We believe that this process is an improvement because it is more inclusive of the community than we have been in the past, and take away the mystery or “will they, won’t they?” of Champion's balance changes.

When we conducted tuning changes in the past, the majority of negative feedback from the community was due to the fact that these tuning changes were conducted in a vacuum. Players had a hard time understanding what was overpowered and underpowered and had no input into what was changing.

Now, with the rating system, players will be able to better judge if a Champion is in the right place, and be able to give feedback along the way while updates are being made.

The first Champions to release with this new System and be subject to the new rebalance cadence will be the 2 new Champions set to release in March

What would the Balance Changes look like?

Balance Changes should be somewhat familiar to the majority of Players at this time since we’ve done more than a few of them by now.

For examples of tune-ups, you can take a look at Mole Man or Terrax, while a tune-down would be more akin to Cull Obsidian or Namor.

While Cull Obsidian or Namor’s changes were initially seen as majorly negative, Summoners soon found that the changes were not major, and continue to use those Champions to this day.

We also want to re-emphasize that any changes will be made with much more visibility this time, and will be incorporating player feedback during the process, instead of after.

What does this mean for the current balance program you ask? Good question!

Reworks are not going anywhere. However, with the new balancing initiative outlined above, there may not be 2 major or medium reworks a month moving forward.

If a Champion releases and we are content with where they have landed as far as power and design goals, the team will then use that extra development time to work on other balancing initiatives like new reworks!

We don't have any major reworks lined up for February but you can look forward to a value update for Psycho-Man to go live in March.

In April, we’ll be moving back to our 2 updates per month, but will not guarantee what kind of updates they will be (overhaul, moderate, or value only). We’re also spending some time to give some more love to Champion animation updates, so look forward to animation and ability updates coming for Gamora, Storm, and Deadpool (X-Force)!

Why is Balancing Important?

In the past, we’ve tried different ways to address balance in The Contest, but have worked to improve our approach based on response or other factors.

Balancing new Champions is important for the health of The Contest, and also allows our Designers to continue to innovate and try new and interesting mechanics with more confidence, knowing that if something doesn’t come out the way we had intended, we can go back to address that.

Many of the most popular Champions in The Contest are those Champs where we try different approaches to their abilities, but without the safety net of being able to take a second look, we often find ourselves being more conservative in our approach. We want players to be excited about the possibilities every new Champion presents, and a new Balance system gives us the opportunity to be more ambitious with new designs, or tune-up Champions that maybe were not ambitious enough!

To complement this renewed commitment to Balance in The Contest, we have some Balance team updates to share with you:

We have recently expanded our Balance Design team on Contest and brought in a beloved member of the community who possesses a deep knowledge and understanding of the game to assist Kabam John with the monumental task of keeping the pain trains running on time in the Battlerealm.

This new team member has already had a hand in helping to plan this new rating system, as well as future Alliance War Tactic updates and the next iteration of Carina’s Challenges.

We won't reveal who that new team member is yet but will let them do it themselves when they feel the time is right!

The Balance design team is set to continue to expand with the hopes that we can have a closer ear and eye on all of the content in the Battlerealm and be able to more quickly and efficiently provide fun and engaging content to all of our amazing Summoners.

That's all we have for you today Summoners, but moving forward, communication and feedback are going to be paramount! So, sound off in the comments down below how you feel about everything we’ve talked about today. What do you like or dislike about rebalances to new Champions? While we may not be able to take action on something right away but want to take your thoughts into consideration as we make decisions moving forward.

Until next time!
Post edited by Kabam Miike on


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    magnus_xixmagnus_xix Posts: 2,018 ★★★★★
    It's Brian Grant isn't it? Or DDD?
  • Options
    magnus_xixmagnus_xix Posts: 2,018 ★★★★★
    The scenes if it's Prof Hoff... 🤣🤣🤣
  • Options
    FlyGalaxyBombFlyGalaxyBomb Posts: 777 ★★★
    Interesting to say the least how this is gonna work out. Only time will tell
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