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MCOC: From Casual to Hardcore in 2018 - A Wake Up Call for Kabam

I'm an officer in a relatively successful Platinum 3 AW alliance. I've seen the game transition from a casual-friendly game to a hardcore grind-fest which is likely to require pots/revives and ultimately units to progress at any kind of competitive level, along with an unhealthy investment of time. This worries me greatly, and I believe it should worry Kabam.

The two main issues are AW Seasons and now the recent AQ changes. I wanted to summarise this for @Kabam Miike and @Ad0ra_ for consideration by the game team.


AW Seasons:

AW has gone from being the game mode that gave sub-par rewards and could be played infrequently to the primary focus of every alliance leader. Competition in Platinum (and below) is stressful for most people. Alliance officers recommend boosting up for fights and demand zero deaths, achieving full attack bonuses every time. This puts considerable pressure on players of a (previously casual) mobile game to perform flawlessly in every fight, 3 days a week.

Nodes like 24 with champs like Medusa on them can lead to players quitting their alliance in rage or shame, as they are literally insurmountable road blocks for some. This kind of intense pressure leads to pots being required to top up lost health constantly, including revives where necessary. Many players are now spending their glory purely on pots and revives, supplementing with units when they run out, making AW the expensive game mode that Kabam always wanted it to be.

But this isn't sustainable for many. After the last season ended, we lost a load of players who moved to a "retirement" alliance where they could still progress but without the stress, pressure and resource cost. Speaking personally, when I lose a fight, even though I later clear my node, I feel affected by the experience for a good period of time afterwards because I let down 29 other people and I won't get a chance to redeem myself until the next war. That feeling can actually affect the way I interact with others - family, friends and colleagues - throughout the day.

And this is a mobile game that many of us use to temporarily escape the stress of our everyday lives.


AQ:

So AW is a potentially high pressure game mode which has left many players feeling burned out and questioning their commitment to the game. But the game SHOULD have maybe one hardcore game mode.

At least AQ is easy, right?

Now with the sentinels who become unblockable when analysis reaches 40, AQ has become yet another stressful and high pressure game mode. Our alliance finished in the top 300 just running 5x5 for the first time ever, clearly due to some of the previous top 300 alliances not cutting it with the updated AQ maps.

This affects players across the board. If you don't have the right high-damage champs to bring down the sentinels before they become unblockable, you need skill levels that the majority of players (both casual and previously hardcore) do not possess. The sentinels are clearly using an AI which obstructs parry and heavily favours the SP2. I appreciate that some players are having an easy time, the right kind of roster can steamroll sentinels as it can all other content, but the majority of players don't have access to that kind of roster.

All this, and no increase to the rewards whatsoever.


TL;DR: The Death of the Casual

AW and AQ are now both high stress / high pressure game modes with no relief in sight. For many, spending items/units weekly on AW was already borderline unsustainable, now the same players are being forced to spend to complete AQ as well.

The block recovery time increase bug introduced with 17.2 is also costing players dearly, it's still under investigation with no resolution forthcoming.

In addition to this, players are grinding arena every spare minute they have due to the more competitive 5* featured arena and the desperate need to obtain gold for progression. 6* champs require crazy amounts of gold and ISO, 5* champs are increasingly more available and require more gold and catalysts, with virtually no increase to supply outside of paid offers. The event quests are longer than ever, requiring more time and unit investment to complete all difficulties for rift shards.

The concept of saving for a 20% chance at a new featured champ is now gone, meaning the options are A: to spend on FGMCs or B: to spend probably the same amount in the 5* featured arena to hit 40 million plus.

It's easy for players to feel like it's all take and no give at this point. The game has gone from being casual friendly to being very much a hardcore game, and the number of players who can sustain that level of play is relatively small. I believe we're heading for another mini 12.0, but in reality it could be much worse if changes aren't made soon.

I hope Kabam is listening.

Comments

  • shchong2shchong2 Posts: 2,421
    WAKE UP CALL, it is in my ringtone, set as my alarm! And I agree with most things you mentioned above. Thanks for sharing.

    bvpc4zbnr1h3.png
  • So basically youre saying you want the game to be easy so you dont have to spend time or money on the game. Sounds like a money maker for kabam haha
  • You can always play casual, nobody is asking you to go hardcore, but if you want the good stuff, you have to do what it takes, and unfortunately for you, it will require you to become a “hardcore”player
  • Stark_90Stark_90 Posts: 11
    Things have indeed changed from what they used to be, from fun and enjoyable content to make-do and pressuring environment. Content like LoL needs specific Champions to clear. Now with changes to AQ, it seems like one needs specific champions even to play AQ.
    As for kabam listening to our views or not, color me sceptical. I have questioned if it is worth posting anything all in forum and if we are being heard then where is the acknowledgement?
  • One of the best posts on Forum....
  • Anurag1606Anurag1606 Posts: 865
    I agree with OP completely. People will spend money if they are having fun or If they see that will have fun once money spent. But now it's all about pressure of performance which is taking away the fun factor out of equation. Come on kabam you need to bring ideas that can make game fun and not about the pressure to get rewards. All of a sudden there is too much pressure in last 2 months or so. End of already exhausting war season coinciding with buffed up AQ was particularly a very bad timing. Few of the guys in my alliance have left the team, they were old timers.
  • PeterQuillPeterQuill Posts: 730
    reading this makes me want to quit...Now i have some thinking to do.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 14,145
    You can always play casual, nobody is asking you to go hardcore, but if you want the good stuff, you have to do what it takes, and unfortunately for you, it will require you to become a “hardcore”player

    This. People are free to play as hard or as casual as they like.
  • A lot of us are feeling this way...

    the ante has been upped to be successful, but the rewards have not been increased.

    too much time needed to continue level or progression.

    letting folks down in AW and AQ.

    I am about ruined.

  • Ace_03Ace_03 Posts: 486
    I think the game has always been a grind fest, at the top specially. This is not really a recent development; it's always been the case. What happens now is that we have more game modes that consume time and energy constantly.

    When it becomes a hassle is when it consumes in game currency and at worse real life currency.

    AW: I think the biggest issue here is game cheating, piloting and god knows what other underhanded tactics just to be ahead. The game mode itself however, it's puzzling to me, you need to use the best 8 champions you have available and there is a good chance you will fight a modded to the gills alliance.

    The whole gimmick with the portals is dumb, the amount of bugs the game mode has and is capable of having is frightening and it's a challenge that it's more about how much you are willing to spend, then actual skill IMO.

    The added stress, of proving some digital individual who anointed himself as leader of an alliance and his minions that you are worthy is idiotic and dumb.

    I play for my own satisfaction, my own goals, my account is mine, it belongs to me and no one else, I understand constant mistakes, but to always be under a microscope and being held by the unreasonable standards of others is ludicrous.

    Finally, if you tally up all of the money spent by the high end alliances, the rewards don't add up, I bet you that combined, some folks spent LOL levels of money to be at the top.

    That's just stupid and it will continue once again in the next season. Not to mention, that combined with AQ, you have 11 champions locked up.

    What about story quests and monthly event quests? You either need a monster roster or you better have extremely good skills with far lesser champions, since the best you've got are always tied up.

    What is the purpose of all those rewards, if you can't play, rank up and use who you want?

    AQ: Outdated alliance milestone rewards, outdated items and materials you get, they have to increase the amount of shards we get.

    If you are uncollected, the PHC shards should be changed to GMC shards, I mean they act like GMC shards are gift from god, when in reality they are just roided out ultimate crystals, I have yet to pull a 4* yet alone a 5* from the free one we get every 2 weeks.

    The AQ timers have to be reduced to 30 minutes, this alone would destroy piloting. This is the answer right here, but for some reasons they just want us slaving in the game for no reason. It just feels forced and it's moronic.

    Also about piloting, we have to make up our minds with what it is, because you have some spectacled dude claiming it's ok if someone moves you in AQ, if you want to go out one night.

    Let me reiterate this very clearly:

    If anyone but you, even touches your account...

    This

    Is

    Breaking

    The

    TOS

    I'm not saying you should lose your account, or be banned forever, but a 3 day ban should be given. If you continue the same practices, then you should be banned permanently.

    There is no such thing as "my personal opinion" or "my personal view" on piloting.

    It's breaking the rules, plain and simple.

    "Well, officer I crossed after a red light, but IMO I did it within reason and I was running late to work, so it’s cool."

    "Sure my kind sir, here is your ticket, have fun".

    Also try to argue that to the judge, good luck.

    3 day quest rewards

    Duels

    Arena milestones

    Event quest rewards

    All of these need to be increased exponentially. How is it possible we still duel for PHC's?, give me a break. GMC's we're introduced in the game like 6-7 months ago, and other than the free one we get, there is no way of getting them other than buying them.

    That's no bueno, if we could amass more of those, we could have more chance to get 4* and 5* and it's not like they have great odds anyways.

    3 day quests should see an increase in all milestones, across the board. 3 alphas instead of 1, 4* shards instead of PHC's or some GMC shards maybe. The final milestone should be 1/8th of a 5, just like right now it's 1/8th of a 4.

    Arena milestones are a joke, specially the units payout, each arena should give a reasonable amount of units; 150 for the basic, 200 for the 4* featured and 300 for the 5* one. GMC's in the 5* and full PHC's in the 4* basic and featured.

    The 5* arena too, I was wondering, like bro, if you are rank 1, it wouldn't be a bad idea to also give that guy a 2-3 rank up gem, think about it, how much time, effort, money and mind numbing wrist and finger pain that person has to through, the least they can do is give him that gem so he can rank him up right away.

    Finally, quest rewards even do they increased them late last year, they are not on par with the progression of all summoners. How can I do uncollected and just get one T4CC? For most super alliances this is trivial at best, but for all the effort you have to put into completing it, it just seems too little. The 6* shards could use a small bump, like 3000. So can the T5b, 10,000. Uncollected has no units, this is so beyond logic.

    TL;DR: I agree, rewards are outdated and need to be increased across the entire game, all modes all milestones, everything.
  • HulksmasshhHulksmasshh Posts: 695
    It is a double-edged sword. People have been asking for more competitive content before AW seasons came out. What AW seasons is doing is separating out the more casual players with the more hardcore players. If your alliance wants to push for a high rank in its bracket, you're going to lose the more casual players and hopefully pick up more competitive players. There has been nothing as competitive as AW seasons before so this is first time such a roster change needs to be made. It is tough because Kabam tries to peg you to your alliance like family and leaving/booting can be difficult. By season 2 when people understand where they are and what alliance they want to be in, the turnover should be less.
  • Ace_03Ace_03 Posts: 486
    Content is not for everyone.

    Sure, whatever you say.

    The point is, make it more worthwhile, this elitist mentality is what is enabling this chaos.

    Get out of that bubble and think about the majority, instead of only the few.
  • gohard123gohard123 Posts: 674
    I think I can put it in simpler terms for people saying "some content isn't for everyone"

    The threshold for normal progression has been shifted. The amount of time invested for you to progress normally is now higher than it was before. If 3 hours a day was the previous threshold, it is no longer enough. Now it is 5 hours which maybe some people cant possibly do. (Those numbers are completely arbitrary and are not indicative of the real numbers)
  • Blax4everBlax4ever Posts: 683
    Kabam has some work to do, strangely enough the game really isn’t that competitive.

    You have a small percentage of players and alliances at the top of the game and thousands of others that have no realistic chance.
  • EvilEmpireEvilEmpire Posts: 581
    Blax4ever wrote: »
    Kabam has some work to do, strangely enough the game really isn’t that competitive.

    You have a small percentage of players and alliances at the top of the game and thousands of others that have no realistic chance.

    This is true the war brackets are so large below platinum it seems to be similar rewards for all players in the same range as long as they are actively making sure to be in an alliance that suits there commitment level. You don’t have to try very hard to be in gold 1 but after that it’s kind of a dogfight.
  • Solrac_2Solrac_2 Posts: 362
    Thank you for this excellent post. Hopefully Kabam will respond to the plethora of complaints.

  • This post is pretty spot on about the issues we've been facing in the game over the last few months. Veteran players have no content to challenge them and all that's left for us to do is grind out AQ and AW day after day to make bits of progress towards ranking up a single one of our champions. On the flip side Beginner and Intermediate players are struggling to advance since so many game systems, such as the availability of any tier of class catalyst, have not evolved to match the new tiers of champions. Then you have the constant and sometimes game breaking bugs that affect all players and put a damper on the whole experience. Overall it feels like the game requires more and more of our time and keeps giving us less and less in return.

    Kabam I really hope you take this opportunity to communicate openly with your players about the future direction this game is taking. We don't need the exact details and we don't need promises, but what we do need is more communication from you regarding these issues and what, if anything, you are doing to address them. Lot's of community members are giving great feedback on these forums and over on Reddit but honestly it feels like talking into a void most of the time since we rarely get input from the game team. Playing other games where the developer is actively communicating with their players about upcoming patches, fixes, and features has shown me how much better of an experience that is when compared to what we often experience with MCOC.

    I think it's fair to say that in general most of us really enjoy the game which is why we are so passionate about fixing these problems. People are playing less and quitting because they are getting frustrated and feel the game isn't respecting their time and effort anymore. We can fix it! We just need you to join the conversation.
  • This is the new normal. So you have to adapt by either grinding harder or stepping down to lower maps/alliances or I guess quit. The top alliances are happy with AW because the rewards are great. Sentinels do not effect them. 12.0 was successful because the top alliances and spenders were also upset. They are not upset now.

    This is how the game is and I doubt it will change. In fact, I expect AQ to take yet another step up in difficulty when they refresh it.
  • RodimusPrime26RodimusPrime26 Posts: 2
    edited April 2018
    so true, Sentinel AQ 40 analysis and become unblockable is totally unacceptable,
    imagine those Sentinel at Day 5 map 5 AQ with 11k prestige hmmm...
    Oh wait... there is revive and health potion on the store you always can buy it with unit :smiley:
  • goodellspamgoodellspam Posts: 1
    edited April 2018
    You can always play casual, nobody is asking you to go hardcore, but if you want the good stuff, you have to do what it takes, and unfortunately for you, it will require you to become a “hardcore”player

    Pretty much this. It boils down to people being mad that in order to be in the top 100 or whatever alliances they have to play a lot. If you want to be in the top 1% of players, you have to play more/better than 99% of players. This is a grinding game, so playing more is generally the requirement.

    I have no idea why anyone would want to put in the grinding to be in that top 1% or whatever, but clearly there are people who do. Now we've got campaigns of people who want there to be less content in the game so that everyone is capped on the amount they can do.

    Just play the stuff you enjoy, ignore the stuff you don't, and get the rewards you get. But, but, the person who grinds 12+ hours a day will get better rewards than me, that's not fair! Yes it is, and they should get better rewards.

    If AQ/AW aren't worth it to you anymore, stop playing them.
  • PatPat Posts: 25
    You can always play casual, nobody is asking you to go hardcore, but if you want the good stuff, you have to do what it takes, and unfortunately for you, it will require you to become a “hardcore”player

    Pretty much this. It boils down to people being mad that in order to be in the top 100 or whatever alliances they have to play a lot. If you want to be in the top 1% of players, you have to play more/better than 99% of players. This is a grinding game, so playing more is generally the requirement.

    I have no idea why anyone would want to put in the grinding to be in that top 1% or whatever, but clearly there are people who do. Now we've got campaigns of people who want there to be less content in the game so that everyone is capped on the amount they can do.

    Just play the stuff you enjoy, ignore the stuff you don't, and get the rewards you get. But, but, the person who grinds 12+ hours a day will get better rewards than me, that's not fair! Yes it is, and they should get better rewards.

    If AQ/AW aren't worth it to you anymore, stop playing them.

    You clearly don’t understand this post, and it’s clearly due to a lack of experience.

    These arn’t people who are striving to become the top, WE/THEY are ALREADY the top. We know what it takes to be here. The problems lies with the fact that to maintain what we’ve already achieved, the grind/time/resources required to continue to play at the same level has doubled or trippled, with no alteration to rewards, the ingame economy, quality of life updates, or anything of that nature.

    Let me make this a simple analogy: You’re working a job, and you work 8 hour days. For those 8 hours, you get paid $200. But wait, due to a random unjustified reason, you now have to work 22 hours a day but you still earn the same $200. Because this is logical, right?
  • Malgus86Malgus86 Posts: 15
    Couldn't agree more. When this past AW season ended we lost 9 people because of what AQ and AW have become and its been a little difficult finding replacements. If things continue down this path I foresee alot more "retirement" alliances forming along with several alliance mergers due to a lack of available players.
  • PalanthraxPalanthrax Posts: 530
    Well, we've had our response from Kabam to this highly constructive thread. They've marked it as "spam" and it's now languishing on page 3, despite having received a reply just now. They've removed the ability to bump it, so they can bury it and our concerns along with it.

    Luckily I cross-posted on Reddit and it's heading for 400 upvotes right now.
  • Pat wrote: »
    Pretty much this. It boils down to people being mad that in order to be in the top 100 or whatever alliances they have to play a lot. If you want to be in the top 1% of players, you have to play more/better than 99% of players. This is a grinding game, so playing more is generally the requirement.

    I have no idea why anyone would want to put in the grinding to be in that top 1% or whatever, but clearly there are people who do. Now we've got campaigns of people who want there to be less content in the game so that everyone is capped on the amount they can do.

    Just play the stuff you enjoy, ignore the stuff you don't, and get the rewards you get. But, but, the person who grinds 12+ hours a day will get better rewards than me, that's not fair! Yes it is, and they should get better rewards.

    If AQ/AW aren't worth it to you anymore, stop playing them.

    You clearly don’t understand this post, and it’s clearly due to a lack of experience.

    These arn’t people who are striving to become the top, WE/THEY are ALREADY the top. We know what it takes to be here. The problems lies with the fact that to maintain what we’ve already achieved, the grind/time/resources required to continue to play at the same level has doubled or trippled, with no alteration to rewards, the ingame economy, quality of life updates, or anything of that nature.

    Let me make this a simple analogy: You’re working a job, and you work 8 hour days. For those 8 hours, you get paid $200. But wait, due to a random unjustified reason, you now have to work 22 hours a day but you still earn the same $200. Because this is logical, right?

    It's ironic you should say that goodellspam was missing the point, and then go on to show that you didn't get his.

    Yes, you are required to put in more work to get the same rewards (which isn't true, when you consider AW season rewards, but whatever). The point is that it's a choice for you to make. You can rise to the challenge, or you can step back and take a more casual approach. This is entirely up to you. Being at the top requires you to expend effort that matches the position, and that expectation can change. This is real life.
  • MhykkeMhykke Posts: 374
    This is where the lack of a robust single player aspect to the game hurts. If I feel like stepping away for a few days I basically would have to leave the alliance....but fact is you have 29 other people relying on you logging in multiple times for war and aq daily....

    Game is feeling more and more like a chore.
  • Urkel2Urkel2 Posts: 109
    This is the new normal. So you have to adapt by either grinding harder or stepping down to lower maps/alliances or I guess quit. The top alliances are happy with AW because the rewards are great. Sentinels do not effect them. 12.0 was successful because the top alliances and spenders were also upset. They are not upset now.

    This is how the game is and I doubt it will change. In fact, I expect AQ to take yet another step up in difficulty when they refresh it.

    You are the nostradamus of mcoc it has only gotten harder now the cap for map 5 is gone so us new players who barely got through before due to our rosters and unavailability of good heroes or sig stones can no longer stand a chance in map 5 i was once in a great alliance but they will kick me now once this aq is over.. I cannot do enough damage to the sentinels and even if i have the skill to evade them it only makes their specials unblockable faster and their damage higher.. The new player base is shunned and defeating heroic monthly is not worth the rewards and we dont have the rosters to beat master which is really not worth its rewards either unless you are new and need them desperately im losing the will to play and soon i wont be able to because a map 5 alliance requires 300k base hero rating which i cant get for 2 more years since i wont be able to get into an alliance that actually earns things.. This is a game and it is supposed to ne fun not constanly stressful
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