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Thoughts on improving arenas

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  • Thoughts on improving arenas

    Arenas could use some love, an idea I realize that it not novel with me.

    On the simpler end of things, the rewards from arenas too often reinforce some of the weaknesses of the game. By that I mean that arena rewards are too frequently focused on cards that combo with Totem/Vambrael/Galzra. This only makes those three cards more dominant in an ecosystem that desperately needs more variety. This exacerbate the current drag in the upper-mid portion of the game where all players do is try to get these three cards. No other 6* cards particularly matter, nor really 5* cards if they don't combo with one of those three. So let's use arena rewards to diversify the combos played by increasing the odds that players have good combos to go with Veteran Paladin or Weapon Master or Soul Cage or MORE IMPORTANTLY with new combos that allow more 6* cards to be playable.

    Then, the actualy mechanism for assigning Might has to be re-worked. First, what are the goals of such a new mechanism?

    1. Longer term players and folk who have spent money on this game should have a material advantage to show for the time/money.
    2. Mid-to-upper-range players should not be shut out, and should be able to complete pretty much any arena -- if not necessarily every arena running at one time. In other words a mid-level player might have to choose between two attractive arenas because he/she only has the resources to complete one of them.
    3. Newer players should be able to progress far enough in one or more arenas to further themselves: a few summoning stones, what-have-you.
    4. The reward mechanism should encourage a diversity of lineups, or at least should not discourage them. [Spoiler alert: this is a problematic side effect with the current mechanism.]


    1. Use ELO to allocate Might -- both giving and taking away Might accordingly. If I beat a player significantly weaker than me I should not get very much Might, however, if I beat a player that is stronger than me I should get a lot of Might. But we can't beat players at our level, much less above it, reliably. So we have to look at the winning streak.
    2. Remove winning streaks as a metric and instead use winning RATE. If I have won 200 of my 200 previous matches that should correspond to the the current bonus of +200%. From there it should decrease exponentially, something like: 95% winning rate gives a 100% bonus, 90% gives a 50% bonus, 85% a 25% bonus, etc. Vary the exact numbers as needed, of course. The goal should be to encourage players to take on other folk at or even above their level. These are more interesting matches and should be where the big rewards lie. [Aside: a player weaker than me just got lucky and beat so and I lost my streak. Now I'm in "The Contest" rebuilding it. This is boring.]

    So how should this fit into the arena Might calculation?

    Current metric...
    Victorious (Challenge/Average/Easy): 10/8/5
    Survival: 3
    Streak Bonus: 0% to 200%
    Bonus Might: double the above until the pool empties

    Proposed metric...
    Victorious: Use ELO to increase OR decrease Might
    Survival: same as current
    Winning Rate: +0% to 200%
    Bonus Might: same as current

    Now we encourage taking more risks. As a nice side effect we get an improvement on point #4 from above. Now unreliable combos that might help me occasionally take down a stronger player are more attractive. Currently we ONLY play very reliable combos because losing is so penalized via the winning streak portion of the metric.

    I will leave the determination of matchups to another post. As a teaser though: matchups should vary a great deal more than they currently do.