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Rethinking the "Content Issue"

Posts: 954 Amazing
edited September 2015

Since MH went live, there has always been a cry for more content. At first, this was a reasonable complaint. The end game was still under development and the grind to max level was repetitive and daunting. Now there is more to do, but we are burning through the content so fast, it can seem just as light as before (though there is much more of it).

Now there is a lot more to do but still it is not enough for some and maybe never will be.

For me, the issue is not a lack of content, I think the MH has a great deal of content. Rather, it is a lack of efficient use of much of the content already in place.

For example, I love running around in Hell's Kitchen. Sadly, it takes all of about 15 minutes for this map to become irrelevant for the level (Heck, some players don't even bother to go there at all and skip right to Shocker).

Alright, it is what it is.

The idea is to rush your current Hero to 60, which seems to be both what Gaz and the players want. Unfortunately, this leaves what I consider to be many great maps dying on the vine until you get back to them with a new Hero, and again only for a very short period of time (if at all).

What if Hell's Kitchen was available post 60 in some sort of meaningful way? What if all of the cool maps could be revisited, as we like, after our Hero is fully leveled? This would add as much as 20 additional maps available in the end game (including other great maps like Lowtown, Morlock Underground, Mutate Marsh, etc.)

By "meaningful way" I am suggesting the maps be re-imagined as a Terminal, a "one shot", a patrol zone or something akin to an explore and collect adventure.

In essence, Gaz could rework and add things to the maps they already have, providing a fulfilling adventure and giving us a reason to revisit them post 60. This would be far less of a time/money investment for them and possibly the addition of a new terminal/patrol/adventure on a monthly basis.

Simply put, I could easily spend several hours in Hell's Kitchen (and other maps we already have) if Gaz gave us something to do there after we blow through on the warp speed rush to 60.

Location GreymalkinPosts: 6,285 Cosmic
edited September 2015

I think they said they were planning a cosmic story mode for end-game characters. Not sure what that entails exactly beyond increased difficulty though.

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Posts: 5,435 Cosmic

Even treasure rooms. There are some pretty cool ones but other than achievements are under utilized. Throw in a random boss.

Location Resigning from X-MansionPosts: 11,943 Cosmic

@Lenelor said:
I think allowing meaningful loot to drop off of trash and not just bosses would help quite a bit. Now maybe it takes 5-10 minutes (optionally) to run a terminal instead of 30 seconds to teleport to the boss. Plus it gives a bit of variety in clearing the map versus staring at loading screens and makes the entire map useful and not just the boss room.

The bounty chests already can drop boss specific artifacts and such. An easy solution would be to just increase the drop rate from the bounty chests. If it were a fair amount higher than the chance of a drop from the boss himself, that would accomplish much the same thing.

Could also give mobs their own things too.

Note: I am no longer actively playing Marvel Heroes.

Posts: 954 Amazing

I would personally sincerely enjoy redoing the story at level 60 the whole way through.

@TheConundrum said:
I think they said they were planning a cosmic story mode for end-game characters. Not sure what that entails exactly beyond increased difficulty though.

@TheConundrum said:
I think they said they were planning a cosmic story mode for end-game characters. Not sure what that entails exactly beyond increased difficulty though.

Posts: 382 Amazing

@GnomeErcy said:
Could also give mobs their own things too.

I know the bounty chests can drop them, but their drop rate just doesn't seem to really justify the time. Besides, this could apply to all zones (not necessarily just terminals). I would really consider it to be almost one of the key tenets of arpgs that loot can drop anywhere off of anything (including barrels, etc...). Even if you're clearing for a bounty, you still don't have to pay attention until the boss room because you know there won't be anything useful until the boss kill/chest opening.

Location Resigning from X-MansionPosts: 11,943 Cosmic

@Lenelor said:
I know the bounty chests can drop them, but their drop rate just doesn't seem to really justify the time.

I agree, which is why I said up the drop rate from the chests.

Besides, this could apply to all zones (not necessarily just terminals).

Yep, hence me last sentence...

Note: I am no longer actively playing Marvel Heroes.

Posts: 954 Amazing

Symbiote Infestation is another mini adventure I would like to do post 60. How hard could it be to make it available as a nice little cosmic run "I haven't done in awhile".

@xanderbigzz said:
Even treasure rooms. There are some pretty cool ones but other than achievements are under utilized. Throw in a random boss.

Posts: 1,098 Fantastic
edited September 2015

Gaz is developing a level 60 story mode. It will likely have increased rewards, xp gain, etc. Maybe even a couple new items. But the game desperately needs new content to keep long term players engaged.

Story mode? I've run through story mode (or pieces thereof) over 100 times, because you previously had to run through it 3 times on each hero to get all of your rewards. And that's ignoring that terminals are just pieces of story mode you run over and over again. Terminals? I've spent countless hours grinding terminals to get boss-specific items–remember how hard getting Gems of the Kursed used to be?–and omegas. One-shots? Have never really been worth time invested.

Cosmic patrol zones are much, much better with the gate. But I've spent countless hours running around in there.

The newest content out there is Limbo, which took over a year to develop. And 95% of the assets are reused from old Limbo or Muspelheim. Then they locked it behind an event that's on a 4-6 week rotation.

The Danger Room better be something special. But some of the leaked info makes me really concerned (e.g. chips are no longer reusable).

Spend all the time you want tweaking drop rates and adding new items, but all that doesn't matter when the content to get those items is stale.

Posts: 5,435 Cosmic

@Exqzr said:
Symbiote Infestation is another mini adventure I would like to do post 60. How hard could it be to make it available as a nice little cosmic run "I haven't done in awhile".

There's some pretty cool stuff already in the game for sure. I kind of forgot that until I started running story mode again for some achievements.
The only problem I see with a lvl 60 story mode is again loot. It has to be worth while or players won't bother. It'll be a wasted effort.

Posts: 1,307 Fantastic

I have only played when there is just 1 storymode and not 3, disclaimer.

Anyway, I agree with the OP storymode has quite a few areas which could be great if they were lvl 60 areas and had the rewards to match. Cosmic storymode sounds great. Atm the dynamic is to rush throu the story, often missing huge chunks out, basically because the areas have no rewards, so what's the point?

Some of those like Hell's Kitchen, certain treasure rooms area's could be repackaged for lvl 60 content of some kind. Hopefully, this would reduce the dev time and such content could be brought out quicker.

Posts: 954 Amazing

I agree with you on new maps still being needed.

I did not mean to say that "new" maps should be discontinued. This is important. I am however concerned about how much time/money it takes for Gaz to do these maps and how fast we as player eat them up. I don't think that Gaz can keep up.

Look at Lower Asgard or even Bronx zoo. These are beautiful maps. A huge investment had to go into them and how much player time to they get? What ever it is, I am sure it is not enough to warrant the hundreds of thousands of dollars it cost to produce them.

Give me some harder, chunkier, more rewarding play on these maps, and I believe I won't get "bored of the scenery" anytime soon. If I play an hour in Midtown, get a little bored of it, I can switch over to Industry City. Another 30 minutes and maybe a switch to the hypothetical Hell's Kitchen or a quick 15 minute treasure room mini. My point is there would be enough scenery changes to keep it reasonably fresh. It would be even better if there were quests involved.

If there were 30! terminals, yeah you probably will still feel like you are doing the same thing in the same places 7 days a week, but that is a lot of zones to change it up.

All of this in addition, of course to brand new maps being added.

How often is D3 putting out a new map? And yet, some people feel it has "more content".

@HateradeACTUAL said:
Gaz is developing a level 60 story mode. It will likely have increased rewards, xp gain, etc. Maybe even a couple new items. But the game desperately needs new content to keep long term players engaged.

Story mode? I've run through story mode (or pieces thereof) over 100 times, because you previously had to run through it 3 times on each hero to get all of your rewards. And that's ignoring that terminals are just pieces of story mode you run over and over again. Terminals? I've spent countless hours grinding terminals to get boss-specific items–remember how hard getting Gems of the Kursed used to be?–and omegas. One-shots? Have never really been worth time invested.

Cosmic patrol zones are much, much better with the gate. But I've spent countless hours running around in there.

The newest content out there is Limbo, which took over a year to develop. And 95% of the assets are reused from old Limbo or Muspelheim. Then they locked it behind an event that's on a 4-6 week rotation.

The Danger Room better be something special. But some of the leaked info makes me really concerned (e.g. chips are no longer reusable).

Spend all the time you want tweaking drop rates and adding new items, but all that doesn't matter when the content to get those items is stale.

CovertLocation MadridpoorPosts: 3,407 Cosmic
edited September 2015

I like the idea, I agree story mode has some awesome but underused maps and I'd love to have a reason to play there at lvl60.

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Posts: 1,098 Fantastic

@Exqzr said:
I agree with you on new maps still being needed.

I did not mean to say that "new" maps should be discontinued. This is important. I am however concerned about how much time/money it takes for Gaz to do these maps and how fast we as player eat them up. I don't think that Gaz can keep up.

It's definitely true that demand will always outpace supply. But they still need to have a quicker pace of content. And the smart reuse of preexisting assets is important. That being said, Limbo was rather ham-fisted in the reuse of preexisting assets. Devs keep talking about how beautiful the Danger Room hub is, and Hammer Bay looks really good. Pretty hubs are nice, but they're just the places we stand in between content runs. More development time should be pushed into the gameplay maps, because that's where the action is.

Hopefully Danger Room is a smash hit. From what they've said, it's very modular. Modular content is a good direction to go, will make content easier to expand.

Look at Lower Asgard or even Bronx zoo. These are beautiful maps. A huge investment had to go into them and how much player time to they get? What ever it is, I am sure it is not enough to warrant the hundreds of thousands of dollars it cost to produce them.

Beautiful maps, yes. But it's not the players' fault the maps don't get much play time; it's the developers' fault. Give people a more rewarding Bronx Zoo experience and people will go there. But right now it's just not worth it. It takes waaay too much time to get to Lizard, which is the biggest attraction in the zone. Take 5+ minutes to get an infinitesimal chance at a Lizard Formula? I'll pass.

Even then, they still need new content. It'll help the longevity of the game to design one-shots to be rewarding, but new content is needed.

If there were 30! terminals, yeah you probably will still feel like you are doing the same thing in the same places 7 days a week, but that is a lot of zones to change it up.

More terminals would help freshen things up a bit, but at the end of the day terminals–as currently constituted–is just rehashed content itself. Eventually you need to quit reusing the same assets and start making new things.

How often is D3 putting out a new map? And yet, some people feel it has "more content".

I haven't played D3 in a long, long time. I quit because of lack of content, so I can't really compare and contrast. But from what I understand, rifts are modular and procedurally generated. That keeps things fresher than, say, running the same terminal over and over again. Danger Room is a step toward modular, procedurally generated content. It's where Gaz should go. Not only does it keep things fresh for the player, but it cuts down on development time because you create the pieces and let the server make the content.

True BelieverLocation The Birthplace of MarvelPosts: 8,495 Cosmic
edited September 2015

Here's the thing. They already have a lot of different maps and environments, but like you said, it's way too easy to blow through them or skip them entirely. No one beyond a brand new player has to actually do quests and do everything in order. It's just not efficient or worthwhile for us long-time players.

What can they do to fix this?

  • Provide level 60 versions of story maps that have brand new (harder) events and additional enemies/objectives. It's important that there be more interesting events, or multi-stage events, almost like turning the story maps into scaled-down Age of Ultron mode (ie. do a bunch of smaller things in order, which causes a powerful world boss to spawn). Imagine a tuned-up Electro who is constantly arcing electricity everywhere and manifesting "beasts" made of electricity, or a Rhino who is charging around destroying sensitive cargo on his rampage and must be stopped before he succeeds. Even boss fights can have other objectives besides "stand there and wail on them."

  • Provide all bosses with new attacks and patterns. They already successfully did this to Living Laser, Black Cat, and Green Goblin. Now it's everyone else's turn. Guys like Shocker, Hood, and Doc Ock are so boring to fight. Bosses will have more value if they're more exciting to face and defeat, especially for veteran players.

  • Give these level 60 story bosses a chance to drop boss-specific loot. A lot of bosses already have this, but too many are still missing such items. The game is already a loot-grind, giving people even more options for how to grind loot is a good idea.

  • Add more treasure rooms, improve the loot in them, and put more unique mobs in them. They shouldn't be little diversions that have no purpose. They should be able to actually kill you fairly easily, but also give you a nice drop if you succeed. Maybe a timer starts ticking down when you enter, and you only get the "good" reward if you complete it in time. Otherwise you get the same old crummy chest as usual.

  • Encourage grouping. Let people play solo if they want, but give a bonus of some kind to people who want to cooperate (maybe to XP or RiF/SiF, or whatever). It can be something small so it doesn't penalize loners. The point is that we're playing an online action RPG with other people, based on a universe of superheroes who are all about teaming up to face threats and save the world. Nobody should be forced to join groups, but it's already a big convenience and it makes sense to push its importance further and add incentive to doing so.

In short: increase diversity, provide challenge, engage the players, and give incentive (rewards, fun, etc.)

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Posts: 573 Amazing

@HateradeACTUAL said:
It's definitely true that demand will always outpace supply.

This is a truism most of the time someone brings it up. Most of the time complaints about lack of content are made they are made by people who play 50+ hours a day and burn through new content in a week. Steam says I have 716 hours in this game (and my avatar tells you how long I've been playing), 500 of which were logged by the 1st anniversary. The content can't keep up with me. That's a first. For at least a year I play what little I do solely because I've sunk too much money in the game to completely quit.

However, Gaz has added a lot of new content to the game in the last year. 2 raids, Ultron mode, Limbo (occasionally), and another One-Shot, not to mention cMM/cICP (and the less mentioned of them the better). However, these are all forced-grouping content (except the one shot, though if you're not well-geared or on a top 5 character, you can't complete it alone after level 50), not the kind of content people play an ARPG for. Aside from Danger Room, most of what I've heard in the pipeline is more forced-group content.

So, I think Exqzr's idea would help, I'd play a bit more than I do now for awhile certainly, but, it won't really solve the overall problem.

Location Depends on who's asking.Posts: 996 Amazing

@Xionmercury said:
Here's the thing. They already have a lot of different maps and environments, but like you said, it's way too easy to blow through them or skip them entirely. No one beyond a brand new player has to actually do quests and do everything in order. It's just not efficient or worthwhile for us long-time players.

What can they do to fix this?

  • Provide level 60 versions of story maps that have brand new (harder) events and additional enemies/objectives. It's important that there be more interesting events, or multi-stage events, almost like turning the story maps into scaled-down Age of Ultron mode (ie. do a bunch of smaller things in order, which causes a powerful world boss to spawn). Imagine a tuned-up Electro who is constantly arcing electricity everywhere and manifesting "beasts" made of electricity, or a Rhino who is charging around destroying sensitive cargo on his rampage and must be stopped before he succeeds. Even boss fights can have other objectives besides "stand there and wail on them."

  • Provide all bosses with new attacks and patterns. They already successfully did this to Living Laser, Black Cat, and Green Goblin. Now it's everyone else's turn. Guys like Shocker, Hood, and Doc Ock are so boring to fight. Bosses will have more value if they're more exciting to face and defeat, especially for veteran players.

  • Give these level 60 story bosses a chance to drop boss-specific loot. A lot of bosses already have this, but too many are still missing such items. The game is already a loot-grind, giving people even more options for how to grind loot is a good idea.

  • Add more treasure rooms, improve the loot in them, and put more unique mobs in them. They shouldn't be little diversions that have no purpose. They should be able to actually kill you fairly easily, but also give you a nice drop if you succeed. Maybe a timer starts ticking down when you enter, and you only get the "good" reward if you complete it in time. Otherwise you get the same old crummy chest as usual.

  • Encourage grouping. Let people play solo if they want, but give a bonus of some kind to people who want to cooperate (maybe to XP or RiF/SiF, or whatever). It can be something small so it doesn't penalize loners. The point is that we're playing an online action RPG with other people, based on a universe of superheroes who are all about teaming up to face threats and save the world. Nobody should be forced to join groups, but it's already a big convenience and it makes sense to push its importance further and add incentive to doing so.

In short: increase diversity, provide challenge, engage the players, and give incentive (rewards, fun, etc.)

You bought me. I want this.
@Ryolnir he bought me.
Yay for cosmic story mode! (any insights about it?)

Posts: 954 Amazing
edited September 2015

@HateradeACTUAL

I agree with your last again. I think you explained it well. Gaz already has many good "assets" that they should try to breathe some life into.

While at the same time developing totally fresh zones.

There is also another issue here where we may differ somewhat and this is in terms of the rewards.

Based on your stated experience, it is clear that you (like many others) are outpacing the game. On one hand Gaz loves this - you are playing a lot and probably putting a lot of your hard earned into supporting it. On the other hand, you are getting a bit jaded with the game - this is to be expected and might leave for another newer game.

What's a game company to do? Well, power creep is usually the first and cheapest way to keep players playing. Sadly, this comes with its own problems as it furthers the gap between the haves and have nots and it also starts to get crushed under its own weight. The more powerful you get > the more the existing content becomes irrelevant > the more you need new content > the more you need more powerful items to make the new content irrelevant and so on.

And the answer to that is progressively harder missions - a "hidden" leveling that is determined by the "level" of difficulty you can conquer.

Ideally then, this type of play would be available on whatever map the player wants to play on, with the rewards being determined by the difficulty level not the map itself. Thus the play gets progressive harder AND you can adventure on what ever map you like, when ever you like.

For me, that would be perfect and it would satisfy just about everyone.

Posts: 243 Amazing

@Exqzr said:
For me, the issue is not a lack of content, I think the MH has a great deal of content. Rather, it is a lack of efficient use of much of the content already in place.

Doop portal's, cows, xdefense, holo-sim, 2 raids, ultron, terminals, Story with all its chapters (where btw are the most interesting scenarios) , limbo, one-shots, Midtown/ICP, there's no shortage of content.

The problem is, as you said, lack of efficient use of the content...

Most people see content as what they play... And right now people are only playing CMM/Ultron, because why bother with the rest? it's not efficient to farm those other places...

And in that sense, the community is right: there is a lack of content.

Solution:
Make the drop ratio in CMM be the standard for all modes (and launch a lvl 60 story, so people that like playing in Hell's kitchen can be there with their geared toon)

Adjust CMM drops to be minimum 50% of the range on the roll (quality for cmm), quantity for all...

See I made a slogan:

Quality for CMM, quantity for all

Let me hear you say it...

p.s. I just got out of a loong meeting so I might not be making much sense

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