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Rethinking Endgame content

Yes, this is about the revive farm changes. But no, this is not exactly about the revive farms themselves. Rather, it is about one aspect of the revive farm changes that I believe is the most divisive component of the change, and yet it isn't something that is being directly discussed. Its being danced around, sure, and people are mentioning it in passing, but I haven't seen an actual discussion directed at the core point. In part, I think there's a real fear surrounding opening this Pandora's box. But I think it is a necessary discussion to have, and I'm going to jump in and see where it goes. Hopefully somewhere productive, but then again that was the last evil of Pandora's box (hope).

I'm going to present what appears to be a suggestion. It is, but its one I don't think has a snowball's chance in heck of happening. Instead, I want to present my ideas in the form of a suggestion, so that everyone can see where I'm going in the simplest way possible, rather than circle around the ideas too much.

Warning: every single one of these ideas will probably be super controversial on the surface. If you're just going to flag the post without reading them thoroughly, might as well hit the disagree now and save yourself some trouble. I guarantee there will be something here you don't like. Heck, I'm going to start with the biggest one right now.

There is a TL;DR at the end, but more for summary purposes. The point to the post is the discussion of the ideas itself.

Proposal Number One: Retain all announced changes to revive farm and the Apothecary numbers exactly as they are.

Yep, I'm going there. I'm just going to say this up front now: the amount of revives we could get from maps like 3.2.6 were blatantly ridiculous, and for basically no effort. I've stated elsewhere what the actual numbers were and I won't repeat those calculations here, but a free to play player could easily count on saving up a hundred revives or more without spending, and without even seriously impacting their game play by much, relative to the value they would presumably be getting from the content they were using those revives on. The numbers are just plain bananas, and would be plain bananas even at half the value. Even at one third the values. There's really no point in nit picking over the difference between thirty revives (which is more or less what you can count on with the Apothecary) and forty, or fifty. There's no real point to trying to squeeze five more revives out of the devs, when we're dropping from 150 to 30. Just accept the fact that in the new reality of the game, absent massive crystal stashes or unit grinding or spending cash, 30 is more or less what you're going to be able to save up before they start to expire.

Still here? Okay. So what are the ramifications of this? Well, lots. The obvious one is that players will no longer be able to plow through content with an essentially unlimited revive stash. But we need to consider how this affects different content. For the core progressional content, like the Story Acts, this is a good thing. We don't want players to blast through that content by simply reviving past it. There are always other options. The most obvious being: it is progressional content. You are supposed to progress to the point where you can beat it. For some players, this will take more roster progress than others, because some players have more skill. But even average players - or even below average players - can expect to eventually get past Act 4, and the Collector, and Act 5, and Act 6. If they are impatient, they can try to do it with thirty revives. If that's still not enough, they can wait until their total progress catches up with the difficulty. Or they can spend, which is fine: we need impatient people spending on stuff to keep the game alive. But that's their choice: no one is "forced" into spending on progressional content, because the *intent* is for them to do it at the pace appropriate to their skills and roster development. If they want to go faster than they are capable of going without spending, that's their problem not ours.

But that doesn't quite work with the non-progressional challenge content, i.e. the so-called "Everest content" like Grandmaster's Gauntlet, or EoP, or Carina's challenges. These things are not designed for everyone to necessarily do. If you can't do Carinas without spending, that might not be because you need to wait until your progress catches up. It might be that you will *never* be strong enough to tackle that piece of content without spending. But that's not a problem like it is for core progressional content, because it isn't intended for everyone to complete. Maybe you're one of those people.

This idea that some content is aspirational, but also some people might never be able to achieve that aspiration, is a bit daunting. If the game was always like this, then okay. Life's rough. But the game hasn't always been like this. In fact, it has never been like this. Some of us might have inferred it to be that way in theory, but the experience of most players contradicts this. Instead, the vast majority of players' experience has been this: if you can't do it with skill, you can do it with skill plus a stronger roster; and if you can't do it with skill plus a stronger roster then you can do it with skill plus stronger roster plus some cheese options; and if skill plus roster plus cheese is not enough then you can spend time collecting the tools you need to beat the content by grinding out resources. Skill plus roster plus cheese plus resources always wins.

I think this is the core problem. On the one hand, we have a game trying to continue to add challenging content for a variety of reasons, and we have an evolving playerbase that has continued to escalate the arms race to beat that content in ways other than the content intended. This arms race has led to revive megafarming, and content that requires revive megafarming for most of the end game players to tackle. It is a locked cycle that Kabam is trying to break with the elimination of the easy revive farms.

Okay, but what about the generations of end gamers that did not sign up for that? For them, this is an abrupt and impossible to predict dramatic change in the way the game works for them. In effect, the game is saying the skills they have been using all this time to advance in the game will stop working overnight. They used to be able to play the game with two hands, and now they are being told they have to play with one. Can anything be done about this? Maybe.

Proposal two: create a new game mode "container" that contains Everest content. In this game mode champions being used in any piece of content within this container behave as if they were being used in another game mode, like Incursions. In other words, you can still use them elsewhere, and you can still enter content in other game modes.

I'll give that a minute to sink in.

What this means is, if a piece of Everest content is placed into this content container, you can run it simultaneously with normal single player content. That's right, if you die, and you're out of revives, you can run the Apothecary and get more. In effect, this means you will never be "stuck" in such content. You can always leave, earn more resources, and then come back.

Wait. Didn't I just effectively add infinite farming back? What's the point? Well, kinda. First, farming rates will still be much lower than before. You could still use a hundred revives on something, but it will take months to grind those, not weeks. You would be slowed down. There would still be a strong incentive to get it done with less, because less is faster. But also, creating this new Everest content container allows for an additional way to try to balance the challenge of challenge content with the player expectation that end game players should have a path to complete such content. When any new Everest content first releases, it releases in the normal game. In other words, it is still exclusive to all other solo content, just like now. During this initial release phase of the content, everyone would be limited by much lower revive capacities of the Apothecary. The content would be "harder." Only after the content has been around for a while would it get moved to its permanent home in Everest-land, where it would then be much easier to use resources to plow through it.

The combination of Suggestion One and Suggestion Two is to create a new game environment where in effect all existing Everest content is "grandfathered" into a system where its all still "grindable" with revives, but at a slower pace. And all future Everest content has an initial "high challenge phase" where it can't really be grinded with unlimited revives, and then a long term "moderate challenge phase" where players are no longer going to be first past the post and getting those juicy rewards early, but they still have a chance to get them while they are still relevant to them.

I'm pretty sure no one is going to like this, especially the devs. I'm basically recreating the problem they are trying to solve. But I believe I'm doing so in a way that is more fair to the players, given that the game itself led many players to have the expectations they now have. The current Everest content has already been beaten by revives, and is continuing to be. That ship has sailed. Grandfathering it to be doable with unbounded revives contains the problem while offering a more nuanced option for future content. With this system future Everest content starts off more or less the way the devs appear to be intending them to work, with the proposed changes to revive farming and all the limits those imply. But as that content ages, we can downshift it to work more like how Everest content works now, with players combining skill and resource management to tackle that content and stay within striking distance of the rest of the top tier end game.

Is anyone still here? One last suggestion:

Proposal three: add a new resource potion to the game, called the restart potion. The restart potion restores the player back to full health, but it also resets the defender back to full health (and resets all other state information, like persistent charges, timers, etc). Basically, this allows a player to restart a fight from scratch if it goes south.

This is the most technically tricky, and for that matter conceptually tricky suggestion. What do I even mean by "reset?" If we set aside all the weird problems this might create, the rationale for this new potion has to do with what revives are supposed to be for. They aren't really supposed to be content fuel, where you burn X revives to complete Y content. Instead, they are there to allow the player to overcome a mistake, a glitch, an error. To oversimplify, you're not supposed to take 5% health from the defender, calculate that implies it will take twenty revives to kill the defender, and just chip away. You're supposed to try to beat the defender without using revives, but if you make a mistake when the defender is down to 15% health, the revive is there to reduce frustration. You made a mistake, that mistake can be erased at a cost, the revive is the mechanism to pay for those mistakes.

But what if the game glitches? What if the AI goes nuts? What if your heavy turns into a back dash, or your debuffs bug out? There are lots of ways for the game to unintentionally kill you, and those events are just as much, if not more a source of frustration for the player. But if we allow the player to use an unlimited amount of revives to overcome glitches, we can't tell the difference between a player using twenty revives because the game messed up and they messed up. We just made revives much more expensive, in the sense they will be harder to farm and also there will be fewer at the player's disposal. What if we offered players a cheaper way to erase mistakes without giving them a way to just chip away in an unlimited fashion.

The restart potion does that. If you *can* beat the fight but a game glitch messed you up, a replay of the fight from the start would benefit you a lot. But for a player trying to overcome the fight with revives, the restart potion is worthless. Suppose we just straight up hand these to the players for minimal or no cost. They would only be usable in Everest content, and maybe only once the Everest content "retires" to the Everest content container. Players attempting such content would now have two tools at their disposal. They could revive through them, or they could save the revives and restart fight if they think they could beat it, but just had something go wrong that one time.

The overarching idea, and this is I think a controversial one, is that the game should have tiers of challenge, and by definition challenges separate the players into those who can, and those who can't. By extension, those who get certain rewards, and those who don't. At the moment, that separation is very binary. There are no shades of grey in there. The combination of these three suggestions are really ideas to highlight how that separation should work moving forward. It should be less binary. There should be more of a separation between those who can, those who can with help, those who can only with unbounded help, and those who can't even with unbounded help.

This is less refined than some of my other posts, because a lot of this is still raw ideas. It took a day to reduce it down to this level. I could probably make it more eloquent after another week or so, but I think it is sufficiently worth discussing to just throw it all out there even if it is in a form that can be pecked to death by ducks.


1. Eliminate the revive farms and leave the Apothecary as announced. This reduces the rate at which players can farm revives to a level that means at any one time revives are a limited resource.

2. Create a permanent home for Everest content which is separate from solo content. Players are allowed to run content in this section of the game independently from the rest of solo content. Meaning they can be running Everest content and other solo content simultaneously. This allows players who get stuck in Everest content to farm resources they can use to go back and finish it. Slower, but still.

3. Release future Everest content in the normal game as now, where it is exclusive to all other solo content. During this release phase, players cannot farm and run the content at the same time. After an appropriate amount of time has passed, move it to the Everest content section as above.

4. Add a restart potion/token to the game that would allow a player to restart a fight within content in the Everest section of the game. Make this token much easier and cheaper to get, so that players who experience problems or glitches in Everest content have a way to restart the fight without using revives. This should still be a limited resource, but because it does not allow players to preserve progress within a fight, they are much safer and reasonable to offer to players running such content. This should be limited to Everest content only.


  • OKAYGangOKAYGang Posts: 524 ★★★
    I don't often agree with you, but I have to admit options 2 and 3 make a lot of sense, hope someone important at Kabam reads this, agrees and implements those suggestions in some form.

    I don't see option 4 being feasible, although if Kabam was willing and could pull that off without completely breaking the game, it would be a nice feature to add for sure.

    Reality of the situation is as good and well written as your ideas are, I wouldn't expect anyone at Kabam to care unless the revive farming nerf hits their sales numbers and active player counts in a significant way and they are forced to care or sink with the ship.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 17,152 Guardian

    TBH, this is just too much work and will never happen.

    The real discussion is what is the number of revives one should be able to farm in a day and put them in the Apothecary.

    We all can agree that unlimited farming is too much and that 1 revive a day is too few. TBH, if you don't agree with both of those statements then you're not having an honest discussion.

    I did the math in another thread and if 25k people farmed 12 pots a day they'd hit the 300k number mentioned in the OP. If 12 is too many, how about half that number? 6-8 revives a day from the Apothecary is enough that one could still do the content if they farm for 2 weeks, and not so many that they can steamroll it.

    IMO, 6-8 revives in the Apothecary is fair to the players AND slows the farm enough that people won't be able to revive spam for free.

    Seven per day is the sustainable average using non-Sigil boosted energy recovery. That equates to having 98 potions in overflow and 15 in inventory, for a total of 113 revives usable before they start expiring from overflow.

    I believe it is highly unlikely that Kabam would consider 113 to be reasonable. The problem is that our inventory and stash are one size fits all. That's what we have to work with, whether we are doing Act 6, the Abyss, EoP, or Carina's challenges. There's content out there that a strong player can do in five revives, and other content that even the strongest players need dozens of revives to reasonably do. And at the moment it is trivial to be able to bring 113 revives to bear on all of it.

    The Apothecary essentially brings that number down to around 30, more or less.

    To sustain 12 revives per day a player would have to use something on the order of 33 energy refills in a fourteen day period. That's possible, but that's also far above both the likely average and the amount necessary to complete almost anything with almost anyone (that farming rate would equate to a total of 183 revives between inventory and stash possible to accumulate before expiration).
  • Savage123456789Savage123456789 Posts: 452 ★★★
    The option of moving Everest content to its own vacuum would eliminate most of the idea that this Apothecary move was entirely based on getting people to spend more money. However, what would the appropriate timeline for moving that content to the area we can do it at our own pace? It’s taken years before we started getting 6* AG more readily available and nexuses left and right. If the Everest content is meant to provide the most sought after rewards, then it might still be a source of frustration when Kabam decides to wait years before allowing that content to be freely accessible for farming. I still believe if Kabam really are making these changes for content sake, then they should also put a cap on the number of revives you can buy with units in a week. Say 10? That way, yes, spenders still get those extra revives and are at an advantage over free 2 play players, but they are also given some level of restrictions. Otherwise, it’s a tough pill to swallow that these changes were motivated more on content creation rather than finances
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 34,895 ★★★★★
    Name a controversial change that wasn't accused of being all about the money.
  • Nalak8Nalak8 Posts: 387 ★★★
    Love all the ideas, especially proposal 2. Why isn’t Kabam paying you as a consultant??
  • DanielRandDanielRand Posts: 293 ★★★
    I think 2 and 3 would be great to implement. Option 1 as presented needs a little more for the player. It doesn't have to be extreme, but more would feel like a win. Appreciate you taking the time to put this together, as it could be a fair compromise. Hopefully, this doesn't get derailed by the usual suspects.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 17,152 Guardian

    The option of moving Everest content to its own vacuum would eliminate most of the idea that this Apothecary move was entirely based on getting people to spend more money. However, what would the appropriate timeline for moving that content to the area we can do it at our own pace?

    I don't have a solid answer for that question. At the end of the day that would likely be a judgment call (in theory, assuming any of this was actually done) based primarily on the kinds of rewards the particular content contained.

    I would presume that if it exists now, it would go there immediately or very soon after the option existed, on the assumption that an entire generation of players has already had the opportunity to bring effectively unlimited resources to bear upon them already. But I admit that this is one of the tougher sells of the constellation of ideas.

    Whatever time frame is chosen, people are going to think its wrong. But that's no different than almost everyone thinking the revive situation right now is wrong, and probably will no matter what it gets changed to (on the assumption the floodgates aren't going to be reopened). But I think this could at least be a more nuanced decision, with the majority of future Everest content having a "standard" timeframe for shifting over, with the option for occasional special content having special time frames. This is an option that doesn't currently exist (at least, not to the degree it would).
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 17,152 Guardian

    If the Apothecary gives one a day, and Solo Events give one a day, that's about 60.

    The Apothecary in its current form can give no more than five per week (assuming you don't hit the lottery with the 1% chance for rare drop). If you manage to get one per day from other sources, that would give a total of 15 (inventory) + 10 (Apothecary) + 14 (one per day on top) = 39 before revives begin to expire from stash.
  • willrun4adonutwillrun4adonut Posts: 2,105 ★★★★★
    edited March 30
    I'm heading off tonight to do path 2 with Carina's challenge: come out to play with 188 revives. I admit that is unreasonable.

    And if #2 was an option, I'd just camp out there until it is complete a long time ago and wouldn't have worried about revive farming.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 34,895 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    If the Apothecary gives one a day, and Solo Events give one a day, that's about 60.

    The Apothecary in its current form can give no more than five per week (assuming you don't hit the lottery with the 1% chance for rare drop). If you manage to get one per day from other sources, that would give a total of 15 (inventory) + 10 (Apothecary) + 14 (one per day on top) = 39 before revives begin to expire from stash.
    Ah, thanks for the clarification. I calculated 7 days a week.
  • darjdarj Posts: 12
    So I’ve never been a revive farmer, so to me the Apothecary is just a free revive every day. Knew about 3.2.4/3.2.6 but never had enough incentive to grind out revives. Just saying that since it might mean people should take what I think with a grain of salt.

    But honestly, 100 revives in overflow is overkill. Asking for 6-8 revives a day seems insane to me - I can’t imagine needing that many for 99% of content, and as DNA points out, we can’t design revive availability around that 1% of Everest content since doing so makes all other content meaningless. Again, I’m fine with the Apothecary as it stands, but I will say that to me a reasonable compromise would be one revive a day with a once-daily 50% chance at a second, but for half the energy cost currently proposed for the Apothecary.

    While Everest content is designed to be a revive sink, I don’t want things like Act 8 to be designed that way, and I don’t think it’s good for the game to have people blow through it in a day by reviving their way through when they could complete it itemless or close to it. To clarify, I have no issue with people completing content quickly or even on the first day if that’s how they like to play the game, but I do think design intent matters and players having 100 revives at their disposal when 8.2 drops is not something that the designers should have to take into account. (I also don’t think that reviving your way through non-Everest content is covered by the “play how you enjoy” philosophy, though I won’t get into that here.)

    Personally I love DNA’s idea about having a separate “Everest container” so champs are available outside and you can do other content (including farming revives), but before I saw this post I was going to suggest “Everest revives” which you could grind for in the same quantities as you currently can normal revives. That way the content like Abyss and Carina’s which you can only feasibly complete it by throwing revives at it could still be completed by FTPs, but story content would still use normal revives, allowing it to still be strategically designed and completed. Undecided on whether I think normal revives should be able to be used in both Everest and normal content or locked to normal - if anyone has opinions I’d be happy to hear them.

    Reset potions are also a very cool idea I’d be happy to see in the game, though they might be overpowered against some defenders (e.g. if I slip up against Apoc a reset potion is WAY more powerful than a revive since I can take him back to three charges).

    TLDR; Even to someone who never farms, it’s clear that the quantity of revives required for existing Everest content is too high for the farming and Apothecary changes to come in alone, BUT it’s also clear that revive farming is bad for the health of non-Everest content. Siloing normal and Everest content, by having a separate Everest game mode/container like DNA suggested and/or adding Everest revives that can be farmed in great quantities but only used in that content, should also be considered to address the concerns outlined by Kabam and those voiced by players.
  • GiuliameijGiuliameij Posts: 1,849 ★★★★
    I like idea number 2 a lot actually. I would still increase the revives in the new quest slightly. But only by 1. I would add one garanteed in the easy quest 20% and replace the one in the hard quest to 40%.
    This way it is still much slower than now. But it also because slightly better because you can farm 30 before any revives go into the overload.

    Combining this with proposal 2 would be an amazing combination.

    Otherwise putting the revive quest into this seperate container would be more practical for other gamemodes. But I prefer your Everest idea. Good right up. Hope Kabam takes it seriously
  • Unio77Unio77 Posts: 2,482 ★★★★★
    I ain’t reading allat but it’s a DNA3000 post so I’m recognising the effort 🫡
  • Hickdog27Hickdog27 Posts: 118 ★★
    Nice ideas and nice post, but at the end of reading it, i just feel...frustrated.

    Why isn't Kabam offering up with these types of ideas? Why do they need to rely on the player base to come up with meaningful solutions? It's their game, they should be coming up with ways to make the game more attractive to their players (FTP and spenders alike).

    The players shouldn't need to come up with ways to make the game "less painful."
  • PrentexPrentex Posts: 237
    I like proposal 2, it would acutally be great so you could split an AOL path or similar content in like three or four sessions without blocking all other story or event quests. Playing several hours for a path in AOL is pretty exhausting imo so that proposal 2 would be greatly appreciatet.

    Everest content would be AOL, LOL, Gauntlet and EOP as for now or did i misunderstand anything?
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