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Discussion concerning arena trends and design
#1
What is arena for me?

A place where other players can do their best to make a 5 round stage that is supposed to be difficult to pass for me and make me get as least as possible points while they battle other players stages to gain most of points.

That concept is very simple and is expanded by some elements as trials/boosted monsters/new effects on defense cards with some new series.

This week we had no point boosted cards, so I noticed something that I wouldn't when we have.

That is, people get so much worse scores overall and that got me thinking. Why did I jump 500 places up compared to boosted weeks?

I am 100% aware what kind of business is Madhead, but there are some things that could be different than they are now. So this is a disclaimer of a sorts, since I am still ok with how things are but they could always be different.

In no case I am against arena as it is, but I wanted to take a closer look in this thread at elements that make up the arena experience.

For one I support the recent change of max 2 available stages resets per day.



1. Should we have cards that boost your base score points by 10%?


If you have those certain cards at the time, you will say yes. If you don't have them, you will feel bad and say no. Yes, this is a simplification but illustrates a problem for some of the players. Many times it happens I do a 3-3.2k score without boosted cards, check out the current stage top list to see how good I was, and up there is someone with 4k score, who did worse in round count, combo count, pass time while using boosted members.

From a financial standpoint for madhead, having boosted cards means they will be more desirable, usually those cards happen to mostly be from new series too. So it is somehow implicit that you need sometimes to spend diamonds and get those new cards in order to be competetive, source of those diamonds either being buying them or saving up.

To close off this question I asked. If arena was to be a skill based area of game, where your own skill at spinning counts, then boosted cards shouldn't be there. They give a handicap to those who don't have them and advantage to those who spin poorly and even greater advantage to those who spin very well.



2. Should we have forbidden/blacklisted cards in arena?


As far as I am aware, only forbidden cards in arena currently are sealed lords, which, if you look at it that way, would be sort of game breaking if they were allowed, as some synchronize very well with other cards and would make the experience imbalanced. At least it was that way when they were first forbidden.

If you follow Magic the Gathering or any other bigger card games, usually they have temporary lists which blacklist certain cards as they break the balance in favor of some decks.

Cards that I see as breaking the balance in a way that they trivialize arena content and make up for lack of spinning skill would be :
  • Lionel/Sariel type cards with clear all effects in play skill for all those 5 round effects or rune element nondissolvable for 1-2 rounds
  • Ghroth, he simply trivializes any kind of tri/quad/quint shield and to a degree Aloha (but aloha doesn't give you as much combos and you have to spin yourself, time extend helps though)
  • Pompeii, the new card, easy enchanted wfe breaker, paired with ignore puzzle shield, which trivializes 90% of arena stages (as you know how much everyone loves putting puzzle shield in almost all arena defense teams)
I'll stop at these cards for now. 

Yes, anyone could say, many cards have many effects that essentially help to deal with certain effects, and that is the deal with arena, to overcome those stages by having the correct card, which also pervades other parts of game like ultimate stages.

But, in a competetive part of things, there is a difference between a card helping you to deal with something and flat out ignoring or negating whole parts of stages.

How to deal with it? Either introduce blacklists, which isn't really a way to go. Or, the way I would go with it, introduce even more complicated  bosses. 

Example : Puzzle shield boss, but with additional effect that says, if it was killed by ignoring the puzzle shield, next 1-5 rounds, spinning time reduced to 2 seconds.

So instead of blacklisting cards, why not keep them, and introduce harder content that will still rely on people having the spinning skill to deal with it and keep the magic of having to come up with teams that can deal with certain stages. I really hope madhead will work on arena and introduce some harder effects.



3. Rank not resetting with weekly reset, rather it falls down by 1 division.

As you all know, if you finish a week with legend rank, next week you fall to warlord, and it repeats with lower and higher ranks than these in example, until patch total reset of leaderboards.

Problem with this is that it makes retaining ranks easier once people reach a certain rank, which gives a big advantage, depending how high that rank is.

It may seem fair on surface, as your own hard work makes you rank better for long term, but below surface, it makes select people retain their ranks much more easier.

Starting each week from 0 points or the system we have currently? I don't know, but combined with all the other factors, it isn't objective as it could be.



There are a few other issues, but given the already sizeable post, I will stop here.

I want to hear your thoughts on arena. Could it be better than it is? Do you want to see more cards with more card effects as arena bosses? Do you want more challenge or different ranking system?

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#2
What’s wrong with Aloha? -_-

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#3
(05-27-2018, 09:55 PM)Dominator Wrote: What’s wrong with Aloha? -_-

As I mentioned in my first post :

"and to a degree Aloha (but aloha doesn't give you as much combos and you have to spin yourself, time extend helps though)"

Keyword is to a degree. It doesn't fit every team, but it does what it does really good, enchanted quintet with 9 second spin time. It is just an example that is relatable to Ghroth against any kind of color shield in arena.

Nothing wrong with card itself. And I will repeat again, there are cards that are utility, and there are cards for arena that completely trivialize bosses. For any element be it enchanted or regular quint/quad/tricolor shield, these 2 cards can do it.

It is just an example that there are outlier cards that can overpower a wide range of things that should be difficult, and they make those effects nonexistent.

Yes, we do have a point cost for actives, but compared to the time you would lose trying to get past it manually, you would lose a lot more score than using 1 active especially if runedrop doesn't favor you.

I will repeat again, nothing wrong with aloha, it is one of my favourite cards, together with white Lionel and Sariel too. But I had to make a point.

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#4
I don't think the arena was ever meant to be an area based solely on skills, since the only way that that would be possible is if everyone had the same card pool to form teams from (and no boosted cards). For me, the arena isn't just about getting the highest scores for the ranking, it's also about conquering arenas for the prize points. So I'll go looking for the more difficult arenas with enemy skills that doesn't favor the current boosted leaders. E.g., if the stage has an enemy with "dissolve 10 fire runes" in it, chances are that you won't find a fully boosted faraday team at the top. Often this means that I'll have to use some non-boosted cards to deal with specific shields, which will reduce my overall score but instead get me a better chance at conquering that arena.

1. I don't mind MH giving boosts to selected series, as long as it is varied every week (leader cards especially). It rewards players for having trained a wide variety of cards, and forces you to use different leaders to solve the arena shields if you want to rank high. For example, using Babylon leaders in the arena when it was boosted was quite challenging for me spinning-wise early on when the arena was first released. Unfortunately, the boost for the newly released series seems to have gotten longer (the boost for Ravages of Fever lasted for a whole 4 weeks) compared to previously, and there was only one other series (perennial elves) with leader cards in the rotation.

2. I agree that Ghroth is unbalanced in the arena - not only does he solve a bunch of shields, but he is also the perfect burst for the final round. I think this is most apparent during times without any boosted cards since you don't have to sacrifice bonus points for using him. I like your idea of having enemies with more complicated shields, but your given example seems to target Pompeii too specifically, which some people might not like given the cost to obtain him. Maybe something like a skill lock + puzzle/combo shield instead?

3. To catch up from the bottom, you'd only need to score on average of 1.9k points for about 2 weeks. By the third week, your starting point would be the same as the top King scorers, which I think isn't that bad. (assuming there are <10,000 people in Legend and above, which I think isn't a problem for EN server? I may be wrong though)

Suggestions for how the arena can be improved:
- MH could provide more details into how the scores are calculated. It isn't stated in-game that the max score is only calculated from the final round, whilst the max combo could be determined from any of the 5 rounds. People who don't go looking for guides in forums/chat groups won't know this, and this is the kind of information that will affect their scores.
- Publish the scores at different rank divisions. E.g. what is the score of rank no. 500 at the end of the week? That way it'll be easier to judge whether or not it is worth it to refill your vigor if your score is nearing the cut off point.
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#5
(05-28-2018, 12:29 AM)rocelle_t Wrote: I don't think the arena was ever meant to be an area based solely on skills, since the only way that that would be possible is if everyone had the same card pool to form teams from (and no boosted cards). For me, the arena isn't just about getting the highest scores for the ranking, it's also about conquering arenas for the prize points. So I'll go looking for the more difficult arenas with enemy skills that doesn't favor the current boosted leaders. E.g., if the stage has an enemy with "dissolve 10 fire runes" in it, chances are that you won't find a fully boosted faraday team at the top. Often this means that I'll have to use some non-boosted cards to deal with specific shields, which will reduce my overall score but instead get me a better chance at conquering that arena.

1. I don't mind MH giving boosts to selected series, as long as it is varied every week (leader cards especially). It rewards players for having trained a wide variety of cards, and forces you to use different leaders to solve the arena shields if you want to rank high. For example, using Babylon leaders in the arena when it was boosted was quite challenging for me spinning-wise early on when the arena was first released. Unfortunately, the boost for the newly released series seems to have gotten longer (the boost for Ravages of Fever lasted for a whole 4 weeks) compared to previously, and there was only one other series (perennial elves) with leader cards in the rotation.

2. I agree that Ghroth is unbalanced in the arena - not only does he solve a bunch of shields, but he is also the perfect burst for the final round. I think this is most apparent during times without any boosted cards since you don't have to sacrifice bonus points for using him. I like your idea of having enemies with more complicated shields, but your given example seems to target Pompeii too specifically, which some people might not like given the cost to obtain him. Maybe something like a skill lock + puzzle/combo shield instead?

3. To catch up from the bottom, you'd only need to score on average of 1.9k points for about 2 weeks. By the third week, your starting point would be the same as the top King scorers, which I think isn't that bad. (assuming there are <10,000 people in Legend and above, which I think isn't a problem for EN server? I may be wrong though)

Suggestions for how the arena can be improved:
- MH could provide more details into how the scores are calculated. It isn't stated in-game that the max score is only calculated from the final round, whilst the max combo could be determined from any of the 5 rounds. People who don't go looking for guides in forums/chat groups won't know this, and this is the kind of information that will affect their scores.
- Publish the scores at different rank divisions. E.g. what is the score of rank no. 500 at the end of the week? That way it'll be easier to judge whether or not it is worth it to refill your vigor if your score is nearing the cut off point.

1. Having boost rotate faster would be nice, and it would reward collecting all sorts of cards, yes

2. My example was a single example of a 30+ new bosses that could be imported into arena, I don't really hate pompeii, just wanted to illustrate an example of puzzle boss countering ignore puzzle active, which could be a template for any active that cancels any shield in that way. For example I don't think we even have burning/frozen runestones in arena as boss effects, only weathered

3. I really can't say for EN as a whole but I do each week in a season around 170-180k score, with average 15k-16k score added daily, which is 3k-3.2k average score daily per vigor which nets me 100% of time legend 1 ranking, never was in king. 
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#6
(05-28-2018, 01:10 AM)vespher Wrote: 3. I really can't say for EN as a whole but I do each week in a season around 170-180k score, with average 15k-16k score added daily, which is 3k-3.2k average score daily per vigor which nets me 100% of time legend 1 ranking, never was in king. 

Players in King will fall to Warlord at the start of the week as well. 

I'm curious to know what the average score for rank no. 500 is on a boosted week. Maybe someone ranked near there could post their rank+score? Mine was ~194k last week which translates to about 3.7k average, and that got me to rank 161.
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#7
I can't agree with you. Boosted monsters encourage people to train a lot of different cards and use different teams instead of passing every arena using the same one. In my opinion, it is only fair, that people who spend a lot of time and resources on getting and training cards have advantages in arena.
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#8
I cant agree too. This week i am 500+ because i lack very much in leader skills (no maya, no azatoth, no daoloth, no groth and so go on) whereas usually I am 100-500
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#9
Honestly arena has almost no skill to it. Every new tos version has the jackpot cards as the bonus for many more weeks than it had initially when arena first came out.  Also defense arenas make new cards have the best def skills.

To top things off, u can throw diamonds at it so of u throw diamonds at the new seal and at vigor refresh u will win eventually.  The real challenge is to get 10 diamonds while not drawing from the new seal and having less cards in general.  U can also refresh arenas two times and check them all day to pick the easy ones.  There is no comparison between a default and the latest bonus def cards.  This is like saying u cleared NM ML two weeks ago and thats the same as QTD nm.

If u do not have daoloth, azathoth or ghroth and u used ur aniversary draw on something else, we tried to convince u otherwise.  If u missed that and the prologues series, i am sorry but there isnt much that can be done besides try to keep up with the new cards.
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#10
Right now the biggest issue is still guilds banding together and making easy arenas for each other. And to be clear, I don't have any complaint with them doing so - they're just taking advantage of the system that madhead has put into place. They are not cheating by any means.
The two refresh limit has barely made a dent on this behaviour.

My naive solution to the problem:
Make it similar to arena trials.
Every day a randomly generated arena is available. 
5 free vigor each day.
Top X scores each hour receive arena points (or a tiered system so everyone gets points but people at the bottom get less). Resets each hour, so you have 24 possible chances to compete. 
Only the top 5 scores each day are counted for weekly arena rank.
Bonus points for team members are still a thing because madhead need to make money.
You can do all 5 arena runs in one go to get it out of the way quickly, or spread it across 5 different hours of the day for more arena points. Madhead gets higher ingame engagement and hence opportunities for ingame purchases so they're happy.

This way the stage is the same for everyone so that's fair. If you have better teams or spinning skill you have a better chance of getting higher scores.
Or to take fairness one step further, give everyone the same fixed team.
The only way I can see to game the system is to login at weird hours of the night to try to get more arena points when people are less active. Even that might not work so well, depending on how many people do it.
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