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gigazelle

5 bonus maps daily isn't going to magically fix progression.

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Okay, let me start by getting this out of the way:

LEVELING ALTS SUCK.

It is hands down by a huge margin the crappiest part of my experience playing the game. Despite this, I do it anyway and I do it after every single wipe. It isn't something new to DD2 either - in DD1 I've had entire evenings devoted to Tavern Defense pure strategy just to level up my alts. These are entire evenings that I deliberately choose to sit around bored out of my mind waiting for my heroes to level up just so I can increase my build diversity. Doing nothing while completing content clearly below your level is not fun in the least bit, but since it's the most efficient way to level up, I'm going to begrudgingly endure it.

With this latest update, getting all four heroes to 50 was especially painful. The most effective way to progress in the game is also the most boring, and 5 maps daily with +XP isn't going to help. Best case scenario is that it's going to deter players from farming easy maps for the first hour they play, then they're going to go right back to farming the same map over and over that gives the best XP. Worst case scenario is that the effort it takes to play those 5 maps exceeds the reward, so they'll ignore it entirely and go straight back to Free Play Easy.

Two things to make progression fun

I'm assuming that Trendy does not want players sitting around doing nothing as the most effective way to progress. In order to resolve this, I recommend two fundamental changes to how XP and progression work:

  1. Remove individual hero levels and instead make it account level. This has several distinct advantages:
    - You effectively trim the least fun part out of the game. If anyone is concerned about lost content, may I remind you that playing Throne Room Easy or Free Play onslaught for hours on end is not exactly missed content.
    - Players would not experience regret in which hero they picked. I have seen numerous complaints in which players realize they aren't as big a fan playing a certain class as they thought. They either get to make the choice of continuing along as a character they don't enjoy, or starting over and losing progression just so they can play a class they like more.
    - If players hit a wall in terms of difficulty, the game would encourage switching up strategies. Instead of pounding your head trying to use the same setup, you can swap heroes and try it from a new angle. 
  2. Change XP from raw exponential numbers to become static goal-based. Games like Robot Unicorn Attack 2 and Paper Mario both have level up requirements that never change. In RUA2, you must get 9 stars to rank up. In Paper Mario, you must get 100 star points to level up. I'd like to see DD2 adopt a similar model.
    - Give players a static goal to level up - this quantifiable objective would never change between levels 1-2 to 49-50.
    - Give players the most progression by playing content suitable to their account level. They earn the most points by playing more challenging content, and merely a tiny trickle of these points by playing content that's far too easy.

The above points coincide perfectly with the bonus XP on 5 maps per day, so that can be implemented to improve map diversity.

The ideal experience

For me, the ideal experience to progress is by having as much fun as I did while completing the campaign, only layering additional game mechanics each time I play through it. As I level up I unlock additional hero deck slots, which increase my utility as a player. If I ever feel stuck or at a dead-end, I can swap out heroes and try a new strategy without losing progression. If I'm feeling adventurous, I can try new builds without being gated by how long I've sat doing nothing. And best of all, the most efficient way to progress is also the most enjoyable; completing content that isn't too hard or too easy for me.


How many alt heroes do you have? How long did it take you to get them where they are now? Has it been a fun experience leveling them up?

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Leveling my first hero was tons of fun

And leveling the others was fun in a way

But when I finally could level by myself I was doing tons of other things along the way

I always do multiple things when I game/read unless the game/book is too good

:)

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You're first point was their original idea for the hero deck, well mostly, I think they wanted to lock in hero's to the deck.

I'm torn on this, I kinda feel levelling is part of DD, but having to grind endlessly to try a different play style is not fun, so I could get on board with an account level. No more wipe though please, please!!!

Currently 5 @ 50, working on 2 more, plus want another monk.

Given the roll back news I've stopped looking for gear and will just level when (If) I play.

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Leveling the first char was pretty good this update but the alts was boring. 

It only takes 4 hours AFK in onslaught now, I'd rather it be AFK than hands on tho as once a player hits end game he doesn't wanna go back through the noob stuff. Once you hit maximum level you should be able to make as many 50's as you want, making players AFK adds nothing to the game.

I have 6 50's.

When i am AFKing i can do other things, watch sport, read,, go through steam game explore queue, imdb explore queue watch movie trailers ETC

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@Hover Tower 2000 quote:

You're first point was their original idea for the hero deck, well mostly, I think they wanted to lock in hero's to the deck.

I'm torn on this, I kinda feel levelling is part of DD, but having to grind endlessly to try a different play style is not fun, so I could get on board with an account level. No more wipe though please, please!!!

Currently 5 @ 50, working on 2 more, plus want another monk.

Given the roll back news I've stopped looking for gear and will just level when (If) I play.

I have 4 heroes at 50, and if anyone has the same and tells me that they legitimately leveled up their heroes without resorting to farming the same map over and over again, I will mail them one of my wife's delicious home-made cookies because they deserve a cookie for spending so much time progressing in such an inefficient way.

If the path to 50 was 4 times as long but we only had to do it once, I would not complain about that at all. Having all the tools (i.e. heroes/defenses) at my fingertips would make the game so much more enjoyable.

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Once the EXP bonuses were fixed, I didn't care. Before that it was a pain, but at this point I'm fine with it. I am glad they didn't do a full wipe so I have to relevel, but with bonuses (and maybe they'll bring back the passive on items? I read the patch notes and it said they only removed it from top end gear, and it vanished entirely on the second day) I don't care that much.

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Leveling really isn't that bad at all. They've already given us bonus xp for each 50 in the deck and now the bonus xp spheres work. I have 4 50s and honestly, I feel the gear grind is way more intensive than the leveling "grind".

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I have 2 of each toon, a hero and tower.  So I have leveled 8 times to Cap.

Personally, I don't mind leveling them up.  I believe it is still a bit steep.  Maybe XP needs to be increased about 100% to cut the time to cap in half... especially for alts.    I think instead of 35% XP per 50, they made it +100% per 50 it would hit the sweet spot.

I would not like to see an account level though.

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Well its a good thing they are addressing it then?

Next patch every day you log in there will be 5 maps to do with increased XP.

Plus they said something about the further you get to end game, the more XP will be rewarded.


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6 level 50's, hated leveling every one of them except for the first.

If Afk farming had not been possible, i would have probably simply quit.

5 maps with an XP bonus will not make leveling any better imo.

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@tonyb quote:

I have 2 of each toon, a hero and tower.  So I have leveled 8 times to Cap.

Personally, I don't mind leveling them up.  I believe it is still a bit steep.  Maybe XP needs to be increased about 100% to cut the time to cap in half... especially for alts.    I think instead of 35% XP per 50, they made it +100% per 50 it would hit the sweet spot.

I would not like to see an account level though.

I would love to hear your perspective on why you don't want an account level. I have a feeling you're not the only one who shares this sentiment, so hearing the other side of the coin would be quite beneficial to this thread.

As for me, leveling alts is equivalent to not playing the game. Instead of enjoying the gameplay mechanics, combat, and beautiful visuals, I'm standing in a corner waiting for each wave to end so I can press G again. DD2 is on one screen while I browse the forums or watch a show on the other screen. That's not an experience I want to have or encourage. Since it is the most efficient way to progress, Trendy is technically encouraging it and I don't like that.

The bottom line is that I want an experience where actually playing the game is the most efficient way to progress. While account-based level is one way to do it, I'm most certainly open to alternate ways to accomplish this. Turning this into a collaborative thread to figure out the best way to level alts is something I'd really like to see.

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Just wow. Do I understand you right you basically suggest gaining levels through some kind of ingame-achievements instead of experience points?

Getting away from the xp-grind would be a dream but I have never thought about this because most of the games I know use this.



@gigazelle quote:


How many alt heroes do you have? How long did it take you to get them where they are now? Has it been a fun experience leveling them up?

I have 3 heroes at level 50. After that I wanted to level my Apprentice to level 50 too but after reaching level 6 I realized that I have absolutely no more fun playing. That's why I stopped playing 2 days ago and I am pretty sure I need to take a break if I want to have a chance to enjoy DD2 again. The xp grind somehow burned me out.

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I have 4 50's. My secondary huntress is 34 and the only reason she isn't 50 is because I seem to end up the builder almost every single time I play, and with the addition of frost I just have no room (well, lately I've been going without walls so I can switch out).

I know lots of people abhor the idea of good exp in NM; however I would at least like to see it decent if not even with free play. Why? If I'm the builder and I'm comfortable with my setup, I should be able to play what I want. If it's hard or someone is just coming to leech, its a different story. I realize there is a fine line between this and that if its a public game and only 3 of you I don't think? you can vote to kick till a 4th shows up.'

Regardless I'm fine with it. One other suggestion I think would be awesome (maybe overkill? Or maybe not) is having dailies reward exp to all heroes in the deck. Yeah, I said that. Half the time I forget I have a trap kill or tower damage daily and get exp on a hero it is useless on.

My 2c. Also maybe have exp bonus for 50s include all heroes, in deck or not. While I don't "love" leveling, I don't mind going to free play and chatting with people who join my games there.

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@gigazelle quote:


I would love to hear your perspective on why you don't want an account level. I have a feeling you're not the only one who shares this sentiment, so hearing the other side of the coin would be quite beneficial to this thread.

So when they eventually launch new heroes how good is your system then? What is wrong with actually leveling up? 

When I ask that I want to stress that you think of other things than numbers and how long it takes to level up and alt. Since they have already said they are working on smoothing it out. 

5 more maps will mean five less maps to "grind for xp" on the road to the first 50.

I have gone from level 1 to 36 in a single onslaught game(wave 20ish) with 3 level 50s in the deck. For me all this discussion of it being too grindy just does not fit my experience. I have 6 level 50s and a 41.

As for me, leveling alts is equivalent to not playing the game. Instead of enjoying the gameplay mechanics, combat, and beautiful visuals, I'm standing in a corner waiting for each wave to end so I can press G again. DD2 is on one screen while I browse the forums or watch a show on the other screen. That's not an experience I want to have or encourage. Since it is the most efficient way to progress, Trendy is technically encouraging it and I don't like that.

So if you find a build that you are able to AFK with, that means that hero levels are not needed? Sounds more like a balance issue to me. Again I have to bring up what they have said will come, harder maps will yield more XP so AFKing easy maps wont be the most efficient way next patch(hopefully). 

The bottom line is that I want an experience where actually playing the game is the most efficient way to progress. While account-based level is one way to do it, I'm most certainly open to alternate ways to accomplish this. Turning this into a collaborative thread to figure out the best way to level alts is something I'd really like to see.

I think all our feedback and discussions right now does not mean much since we got a big patch incoming. Asking for drastic changes in terms of leveling before trying their next patch is sort of meaningless. 

As I said earlier. And I would like a response to that specific thing. When they release new heroes, will I simply be able to put my gear on it and I am set in your account based system? 

I cannot see any solution to a account level system where getting a new hero will enable it to have progression. Other than "unlock this after gaining X account levels". Then what would this system really bring?


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I often find myself wondering why levels are even part of a game and how do they add value to the player experience? 

Simplistically levels provide a mechanism for a goal that provides incremental success/rewards/power and are a method to control content consumption. I think the issue occurs when there are misaligned expectation/needs and compounded by "sins of the past" (or in other words, every other game does it.)  You start to see developers think that more levels are better, more characters means they play everything again and stay here to spend money, etc... Meanwhile you have players that are enjoying consuming the content with the basic assumption that I only need to complete this scenario/map/level until I succeed (maybe again if it was fun...consume, consume, consume) and I get to move on to the next. When those two elements aren't in alignment you end up with repetitive grind with players stuck on the scenario/map/level that optimizes their output. Developers see players playing the game, maybe thinking more game time=win...and you have players thinking is this over yet? I'm bored...the players keep grinding to unlock the next step, but it doesn't mean they are having fun in the process. 

(sorry had more to write, but work is calling)

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I just took a part of your quote there as I think this simple thing gets missed along the way -

*BAM* first 50!  woohoo! dang I'm gonna need some better endgame / even NM gear now!

Wow though, I don't have nearly good enough [insert 1-2 of 3 here] : 

Barricades, Physical Tower DPS, Magical Tower DPS  .. 

I have other toons though, maybe I can get gear for my 50 and level an alt at the same time *NOPE!*

Even if you just want the variety / can handle the difficult stuff in End Game and get equip, your reward for unlocking this whole new set of modes is NO XP for your alts 

[Just a cheap way to keep people stuck in Free Play even though they've unlocked End Game]

tl;dr I like OPs ideas but at a minimum (and very easily done) - End Game content should offer similar XP gains to Free Play, make the alt leveling situation suck less


@Angelatic-Birdy quote:

..But when I finally could level by myself I was doing tons of other things along the way..

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@gigazelle quote:

How many alt heroes do you have? How long did it take you to get them where they are now? Has it been a fun experience leveling them up?

I have leveled 4 (solo) to 50 and it sucked. It was not fun at all. The first one and a half were fun, after that it was not enjoyable. I agree, if you are afk leveling, you may as well not even be playing the game. Can't tell you how many times I played the same maps over and over and over. It's a waste of time and I could be enjoying the game more.

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@gigazelle quote:

 delicious home-made cookies because OMM deserves a cookie 

If the path to 50 was 4 times as long but we only had to do it once, I would not complain about that at all. Having all the tools (i.e. heroes/defenses) at my fingertips would make the game so much more enjoyable.

Cookies... did someone say cookies?

I agree with that, I would spend more time leveling if I only had to do it once.

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i actually have more fun leveling alts than doing endgame content, specially now, i think is a waste of time to keep playing until they reroll (useless reroll)

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@PandynatorDD quote:

As I said earlier. And I would like a response to that specific thing. When they release new heroes, will I simply be able to put my gear on it and I am set in your account based system? 

I cannot see any solution to a account level system where getting a new hero will enable it to have progression. Other than "unlock this after gaining X account levels". Then what would this system really bring?

In short, my proposal is that when a new hero is released, yes the new hero would be able to join your existing heroes to tackle late-game content if you're already at that stage. Perhaps there could be a tutorial that you'd go through that would unlock everything step-by-step showing you how each defense/ability works. That would be a lot better than dropping the new hero in a round of onslaught, watching a movie on your other screen as they level up on their own. At that point you're not even playing the game, so why subject players to it?

To any DD1 veterans out there, be honest with me here. When the Jester came out, did you start over and progress through the campaign on normal/hard like you did with your first hero? Of course not, at least not for me. I plopped her in tavern defense or glitterhelm for a few hours until she could equip mythical/transcendent gear. The end result is the same between power leveling and account levels - in both cases you end up with the new hero who is able to complement your defense utility, except the account level scenario cuts the crap of the boring time gate of AFK leveling.

The concept I'm getting at is that these heroes are a team, and you're using them as utilities to beat the old ones. New heroes would join your team as they are released. They would still equip gear individually and could be customized with skill spheres and accessories, but you could mix and match as many of the heroes as you'd like to discover new builds and strategies.

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^ this this this this this

My Squire gets to 50 and I want to take on tougher stuff, but my tools are limited (good blockades, ok harpoons).

I have enough for an Uber but the Squires isn't great and doesn't really help me.  Hunter or Monk ones would.

And Apprentice freeze buff.  But they're low.  So to repeat the current 'suck' - ready your Squire or an alt, not both.

There is no reason [outside of current artificial no xp in Nightmare, very bad IMO] to not be able to do both.

And like above, I had 12 characters in DD1 all Mythics +.  I like the variety, the tools, the fun ways to play.  If I could not have levelled them fast that would have never happened.


As much as I enjoy the game, a character / level reset would break me, I would not level all again.  As it is now I have a 50, a 40 + and two 30 +, one of each class.  

If it wasn't so painful I'd be on class variant/focus.


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@gigazelle quote:


@PandynatorDD quote:

To any DD1 veterans out there, be honest with me here. When the Jester came out, did you start over and progress through the campaign on normal/hard like you did with your first hero? 

In all honesty, no. I set something up with my high level builders, plopped in the alts and watched t.v. Same as I did this time around. I'm sick and tired of leveling alts and running out of patience to do so. I have been through 2 accounts on ps3 which took longer to hit max lvl, 3 accounts on pc with a lot of 100's and then DD2. Although it's a new game, I find myself getting bored leveling and not even wanting to play much anymore.

Split screen in DD1 was probably rarely used to actually play with friends at home, more likely just for bringing in alts to lvl and get more gear.

The only good reason I can see to keep the current system is... nope, can't think of one.

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Major problem isn't level, in my opinion, but the requirement for the maps, and items.

In DD1, players are not required to hit LV 100 to be useful or to play NM stuffs (some maps still do), and most items that players get are the 60 and the 74 items (if I remember correctly)... Ultimate items barely drop so level isn't really a thing to consider.

DD2 is different, NM mode is not playable until the player is at end game, which is level 50. I am okay with end game hard items having required level at around 45, since it means players are only required to be 45 to use the gears from those levels. But the stuff at NM1+ gets higher, so even if the player join a private game, gets all the nice loots, he/she still need to get to LV 50 to enjoy those loots.

My biggest concern is that leveling is unfun and unproductive; sure, you are broadening the build variety, but you are not improving anything, you are not doing anything thing other than boring out of your mind, or for some, having fun because you are watching the hottest shows on Netflix at the same time.

I hate to keep bringing up another game called Marvel Heroes 2015 (I will refer it to MH), it is a game I no longer play, but has tons of opportunity, tons of things that the game does right. On leveling a new hero, MH still have the 60 levels, and on top of that, 6 tiers of prestige (which means you can reset the hero to LV1 and start all over for a base costume and a new color for your name for that specific character). FInishing all 6 tiers of prestige for 1 hero requires the same among of EXP as to level 30 heroes to LV 60. How do they do that? 

1. They have multiple type of progression even for playing a low level hero: acquiring a certain among of EXP gives "Omega Points" an account-wide system in which you can spend them to get better stats, higher drop rate, etc. 

2. "Legendary Quest" which can be accessed when a character is LV 20 (which literally take 10 minutes to do), these quests reward money, EXP, and "Odin Marks" which can be spend on buying "Legendary items" (it is a non-standard item with its own item slot), or get "Blessings" (enchantment on artifacts, it is also a universally used trading currency).

3. Relic pieces that drop after level 30, it is an non level scaled equipment, that can be equipped up to 1000.

4. Eternity Splinter, a currency that drops once about every 8 minutes, it is used to buy new heroes, unlock team-ups (which is like a side-kick hero), etc.

5. Exp booster, server side exp boost, can get over 10x exp gain if stacked.

There are just a few things that DD2 can copy and make the leveling feels less of a hassle.

Of course Trendy can always introduce a leveling requirement cap, for example LV after 25 all require the same amount of exp, allowing player with a strong foundation to do harder contents to level up faster.

Having side quest for new character to gain a lot of exp for every map they do can also potentially speed up the process.

Random map challenge bonus, like "finishing map with at least 10 squire defense", "do X amount of hero damage with less than X number of deaths", or "do X damage to bosses and special enemies" can probably stir things up a little bit...

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