Why Explore is So Boring and How to Fix It

Can we just trade (Arcane) traitstones for (random) tokens?
Endgames get more tokens but have more troops to upgrade - still an infinate goal but feels like a bit more progress is being made
Early and mid-game players highly unlikely to take the option - but it’s still there for say key PvP troop or a specific delve troop
Economy is still OK, gem value unaffected = win?

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I’m an Endgame Player (Level 1200+) and, for me, Level 12 Explores are pretty mindless because I use:

Mountain Crusher (usually with a class that gives Barrier on Brown and 50% mana)
Ethereal Sentry
High King Irongut
Vash Dagon

Eagle Banner (Brown++ Yelllow+ Purple-)

Match Brown to charge MC, fire it a couple of times to get ES powered up. Use ES to boost HKI’s attack to around the 100 mark, then Devour the enemy.

If, somehow, they manage to kill the Hero and ES, then HKI is sitting there ready to finish them off.

Vash is just there to Curse any enemy that usually can’t be Devoured.

I do four basic battles, Mini Boss, Mythic Boss and repeat.

About every 5th or 6th round I don’t get the Mythic because the Mini Boss doesn’t give 100 Mythstones each time.

2 Likes

I liked the sound of new Explore on paper, but agree with all of the above. It’s SO clunky and pays out SO slowly I haven’t even completed a single set of medals. I’d rather grind out 50 PvP matches and get 100 class XP or spend some sigils in an event.

If I got 2 class XP, or heaven forbid, bonus class XP from the bosses, I’d consider it over PvP. But as-is it feels just as worthless to me as old Explore. I get that epic levels or whatever are eventually going to gate kingdom power, but I simply don’t care about things that require such a long time investment to give me +1 to a single stat.

The rewards in this game have become completely disproportionate to the costs. It’s like getting paid minimum wage per day instead of per hour.

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I generally don’t explore anywhere without the 20% bonus, so my personal pain point is that the damn thing makes me jump through so many hoops between kingdoms. If it somehow just presented me with a little screen of the four current +20% kingdoms or something … I don’t know.

This is on top of all of the other obvious issues, i.e. the fact that the whole process is faaaaar too slow.

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I have to say I agree with most, if not all the above. I am toward endgame right now (lvl 1237) and only do explore when I got that 150 color troops task and I am running outt of time

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Hmmm, perhaps this is just a beta-test for now, while they’re already planning on improving?

With the currently poor Mythic and Legendary tokens drop rates it’s a truly depressing mode IMO. I do a few now and then, but ran out of fuel doing them for hours, due to the lack of being rewarding.

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This. This is the problem with explore and it’s the same problem as with all the other endgame ‘challenge’ content.
It would be great if the rewards and other aspects were improved, but what they really, really need is a major rebalance so that more teams and troops are viable. You can only do so many irongut/scorpius/gobtruffle cheese games before you find yourself wanting to not play the game again (but you do).

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If you expect monotonous mind numbing grind to pay (very occasional) dividends then this is the game for you. If you really want to test ur mettle then pick gears or another shooter. I guarantee its more fun. Of course gems is boring. Lvl 12 explore needs niche teams. Events are tedious, pvp is tedious…etc…it’s all tedious. But it fills the day right for whatever reason you switched off from the real world in the 1st place.

I have to disagree with some things here…

As a mid-gamer, I think the new explore is a significant improvement. I hated the randomness and mindlessness of the old explore with a passion, and appreciate the sense of progression, and the guaranteed arcane reward.

I do think the new explore has problems due to it being yoked with the new token/elite level system, and that most people (rightfully) are disappointed with the implementation of this new time/resource sink.

To improve explore, I agree with:

  • shortening the cycle; 4 battles before getting to the good stuff is just excess content padding, it should really be half as long before getting to a mini-boss. It’s also dumb to see the computer pick essentially the same troops in each explore round, make them choose different teams.

  • give more ways of receiving tokens (enter epic tasks): it was expressed that while it wouldn’t be reasonable for players to expect to epic level their entire collection, upgrading your favorite and most-used troops was supposed to be a reasonable goal. That’s laughable, under current conditions. Most players’ favorite troops are of legendary rarity or higher, and it could be months before they get a single medal of Anu (forget about Nysha), let alone six. If this is an attempt to encourage gambling with lower-rarity medals, it’s a failure - the soul costs are too high.

  • increasing gnome rate to compensate for players playing less games

disagree with:

  • muddying the system with any further upgrade tiers: three tiers is too convoluted as it is, they should have just released it with badges and medals, and made the cost for medals higher

  • forcing players to choose between rewards: this would require non-endgamers to increase their explore-grinding time, as they will want both arcanes and tokens (unless you double the rewards for each path, in which case, sure that works).

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I didn’t bother reading most of the OP’s essay.

The devs definitely won’t, as they have expressed previously in regards to such long posts.

The end.

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Making you change teams slows it down even more, so rewards would have to be adjusted upwards even more to compensate. It’s a vicious cycle.

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Explore needs to be made efficient again, the way it was before the change.

The following needs to be changed:

  • I shouldn’t have to select my difficulty on every single explore run. Having to click on the difficulty, scroll all the way to 12, and confirm it is a phenomenal time waster. Put a “start round” button on the Explore screen to give the player the option to immediately begin a round.
  • The mountain of extra clicks has got to go. I don’t need to know I’ve unlocked the mini boss. I don’t need to know I unlocked a mythic battle. When a battle finishes, there should be a “next battle” button on the victory screen. There could be a caption under the “next battle” button indicating if it is a mini boss or mythic. Stop forcing all the extra clicks as a way to slow us down, please.
  • There should be an option at the end of an Explore run to jump to the next bonus kingdom without having to exit out to the map and scroll around like a doofus looking for it. The option to immediately jump into another battle was one of the best QOL from the last Explore rework and excluding it from the plan this time was a terrible, short-sighted decision.

Also, as cited here:

I paid for my VIP level specifically for the extra Gold bonus. Please stop devaluing my purchase by constantly putting mechanics in the game to slow down how fast I earn Gold.

17 Likes

+1000
taraji-clapping

The only thing they need to change is all the excessive clicking imho. In every other game, the game automatically moves to the mini-boss or final boss battle screen.

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Thank you, for all the replies.

On reflection, I thought it might be useful to resummarise my main points.

My first point is that the psychology of new Explore needs to be tweaked, in order for it to appear more rewarding. Emphasising the guaranteed Arcane Traitstone seems to be a key element of this.

My second point is that new Explore has a real impact on reducing certain rewards, mainly Class XP, but also the entirety of Gnome weekends. And the two are intimately connected for many players. The solution here needs to compensate for the losses in a real way.

Something I hadn’t thought of explicitly was that boosting rewards (real or psychological) will offset, to some degree, the aspects that feel negative. This can work either way, and is a powerful tool for balancing things out.

Also worth noting is the number of respondents who spontaneously asked for the number of clicks to be reduced, even though I barely mentioned it (because it’s in my previous thread). Please take note that this is a major concern for people.

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An outstanding post. I just hope for an exception here and that at least one Dev will take their time to read the whole post. The summary was a nice addition too.

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I’m not talking about being forced to change team every match, I am talking about being able to. Because at the moment there are, what 700 troops, 300 weapons and 30 classes, and it feels like there are only about 4-5 teams who can efficiently do level 12 explore battles.

But since you mention switching teams, would it be so awful if they did something like making it on every explore kingdom, troops from another kingdom would get a bonus? So you wouldn’t be forced to change, but it might be an option.

‘Too much attention’ You want to remove all skill from the game? Play an autoclicker instead. At level 11 or 12 you get a mythic boss battle quickly. I also find it necessary to keep the difficulty choice, in order to avoid starting at too high a difficulty level for certain mythic boss battles. Not everyone can beat them all easily.

I know what you’re saying, @Vorlon. It’s okay.

There are certain grinds that are much more palatable if you can multitask with watching TV, without having to think too much. Class XP is one of them. If that weren’t true, I wouldn’t have all my classes (except the new one) at level 100.

The Gnome grind on a Vault Weekend is much the same. It’s much harder to make yourself drop to D2 for fast wins (hence, more Gnomes), when you feel you’re missing out on Tokens. That makes Vault Weekends less exciting, hence I’m less engaged with the game and play less. That’s not a good thing.

Any grind is about the balance of reward to time/effort. But because it’s all psychology, when it’s broken, it can often be fixed in surprising ways that don’t actually change the economy.

:smiley:

1 Like

Incidentally, I’ve just figured out that the Maraji Queen/Scorpius team is a much more brainless variation than the Apothecary version. Not as tough, nor as fast, but more versatile, and much more grindable while watching TV.