Context for Challenge Changes
April 24, 2020

We recently published an announcement in regards to the action the team is taking to address the incorrect character values in the Ability Enhancement Challenge, especially at the top tiers. There have been some questions in response to this announcement, and we would like to provide additional context.

The current scenario is: many players were unintentionally able to bypass the difficulty of the Ability Material Challenge Tiers and earn extra rewards/materials that they otherwise would not have been able to earn. This was an unfortunate side-effect we caused in the Red Stars Rework (rebalancing PvE content) and is not the fault of the player. This allowed players to earn additional Purple & Orange Ability Materials as rewards. The forthcoming action will be to put players back where they originally were in the Ability Enhancement Challenge before April 14th (when the error began), but allow players who completed those Challenges to keep all earned rewards. And as the extra materials will not be taken away from players, there’s only a net benefit in this situation.

First, action like this is done only in extreme cases and has been executed very infrequently -- this is the second instance in two years. The dev team discussed this issue intently and considered a number of possibilities, but in this particular instance, correcting the intended difficulty of the affected Challenges was the clearest path forward. Ultimately, the other considered options would have created permanent negative experiences, including a massive power jump in the subsequent Challenge progression. Players having to go from Gear Tier 12 up to a potential future Challenge tier would find the difficulty increase extremely jarring. We took into consideration the long-term effects that this and other options would carry with them, including how both current and future players would be affected. We concluded that simply correcting the intended difficulty of the Challenges; restricting players who shouldn’t have had access to them in the first place because of our error; and letting those players keep the earned rewards from those affected Challenges was the equitable course of action for the health of the game and community.

Next, there was a previous problem where Captain Marvel (PvE) incorrectly always targeted Summon characters, which was temporarily present in this Challenge. This gave a slight advantage to players that used characters like Hela, as the Undead Asgardian would always be targeted. So, why is that situation different? The difference is that in one instance a character’s AI not performing as intended, providing a slight advantage to a few players, and the other is that every character in the battle had stats set to less than half of what they should be, providing a huge advantage to many players. The teams necessary to beat the top-tier challenges in those two different scenarios are vastly different in terms of the necessary characters & power.

Lastly, the team knows that there are other technical issues that need to be addressed and many of them are currently in various stages of progression in the studio. We will continue to fix bugs and add quality-of-life improvements in each major version, and many issues highlighted recently are on that roadmap.

The team doesn’t like taking action like this, even though it was a side effect of an erroneous change we made, and we’ll continue to evaluate scenarios to attempt to avoid it whenever possible. And upon further discussion, the team would like to send out additional compensation to all players in the near future in appreciation of your understanding.

Thanks for all the feedback on the topic.