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Fights If defender diversity returns, attacker diversity should be introduced as well

Would you like defender diversity to return in Rift battles? How about attacker diversity?

  • Only attacker diversity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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Randomizer

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There are many amazing things in this year’s road map, and potential rift changes with defender diversity possibly coming back is one of them. I’m sure this would be a much anticipated change for anyone who knows what the top bases have been turning into over the past year. However, I’m afraid that not much is going to improve if attacker diversity is not introduced as well.

What I mean by attacker diversity is a penalty for using multiple copies of the same variant per rift base. When you’re just starting out in Rifts, the game explicitly tells you that you can’t use one fighter on attack more than once. What the game doesn’t tell you is that you can bypass this restriction by investing into a duplicate of the same fighter. You can make as many copies of the same variant (provided you have them) to use them multiple times per Rift battle. All you need is one good move set that you can rotate between them.

This loophole has been in the game from the very beginning, and one could say that right now it is counterbalanced by the absence of defender diversity. The problem is, some variants are just better than others at countering specific defenders and catalysts, and some are capable of getting the highest score in the safest way possible. When you have the resources to use only the best options, there’s pretty much no need to use other variants if you're aiming for the highest score possible. Initially, there weren’t that many people who used dupes on attack, but it was still pretty frustrating to get matched with them and see your base get obliterated by an army of dupes. Now, as more duplicate defenders began to appear, people adapted to it by making more duplicate attackers. It seems pretty fair, after all – if a base is designed with multiple nodes requiring a very specific counter, which in some cases might be limited to just one or two variants (e.g., two solo nodes with Blue Screens and Frost Armor that are best countered by Silent Kill), it will lower your score unless you have the right answer. But the real problem might come later with the return of defender diversity. With dupes on attack now being common, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to make a challenging base. If everyone has an army of dupes for all occasions, and bases are no longer as challenging, then offense becomes overpowered, and there’s no longer an incentive to improve your base, because it’s bound to get obliterated no matter what you do.
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Here are the main reasons why I believe dupes on offense should not be a thing:

1) They arguably go against what the game actively incentivizes you to do (via Prize Fights, Accolades, Deployments, Dailies, Story mode and in-game economy in general) - making a diverse collection of various characters and their variants.

2) The fact that you can’t have dupes on defense but are welcome to use them on attack doesn’t seem fair and consistent in general.

3) A meta revolving around dupes gives a disproportionally big advantage to older players. It takes a lot of time to collect precious resources like essences, keys, fodder and skill points, not to mention multiple copies of specific natural diamond ‘meta’ variants.

4) I believe that there should be an accessible theoretical ceiling that everyone can reach and stay at in order to compete at the highest level (e.g., all the ‘good’ attackers and defenders for Rifts at lvl 60 with perfectly optimized full lvl 15 sets etc.). Dupes increase this ceiling many times over which, again, can be very frustrating for newer players. I myself have experienced this back in Rifts 1.0 when I was fighting for my life in diamond ranks only to get matched with a top 3 player and get destroyed by dupes. Essentially, the way things are right now, you will always be at a disadvantage unless you have a few extra copies of the ‘top tier’ variants for any extra node you might need them on.

5) As mentioned before, some variants are just better than others when it comes to particular niches. Some variants are so strong that they are practically unstoppable and can be used on many different nodes to get a very high score safely (e.g., Neuromancer, X-bot and a few others). If you can invest in a few dupes that are the best at what they do, why invest into anything else, even if it’s the second best thing? With multiple dupes like these for all occasions, no base will be able to stop you because you will always have the best counter for any situation.

6) Making dupes requires a lot of additional and often times unenjoyable effort to set up. Sometimes you feel like you’d rather spend your resources on something else but still feel obliged to do the ‘optimal’ thing. If you want to stay competitive, you'll be slowing yourself down unless you do it. And I’m sure that it’s discouraging for many people.

7) This has already been touched upon, but here a couple more points. Dupes discourage creativity and arguably make defense obsolete. If you have a ready solution for any occasion, there’s no more strategy left, just a flowchart. There’re no such interesting elements as counterplay or designing your base to force out counters – no matter what base you make, it will not be good enough. This might be especially discouraging to players who enjoy designing their bases the most.

8) Dupes are at odds with Prestige abilities. They have been a fun addition that adds another layer to the gameplay and collection aspects of the game, but when it comes to dupes, as much as you might want this nice border and extra ability, you are better off making a copy instead.

In conclusion, I believe that Rift battles could only benefit from attacker diversity. It would make it more fun for veterans, less hopeless for newer players and more nuanced in general, as opposed to a game of ‘who has more copies of the ‘strongest variants’. I believe that this would be a step towards making Rifts more accessible, enjoyable and fitting into the overall flow of the game.

TL; DR: without attacker diversity offense will become overpowered, it goes against what the game incentivizes you to do in all other modes, doesn’t make sense to exist with defender diversity, is not fun for anyone except for those competing for the top by any means necessary, frustrating for newer players, discourages creativity, makes defense obsolete and conflicts with Prestige abilities.

P.S. If you disagree with my post and/or have voted for options #2, #3 or #4 in the poll, please let me and others know why in the comments! Any feedback will be greatly appreciated! I'm just proposing the changes I believe would make Rifts more fun and fair, and if my opinion turns out to be unpopular, then it can't be helped.
 
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ZeoW

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Love to see this post from a top veteran Rift player. Agree with all points, investing in dupes should be punished.

List of common variants used for dupes in no particular order from the top of my head:
1. Neuromancer
2. X-bot
3. Model Leader
4. Immoral Fiber
5. Harlequin
6. Surgeon General
7. Sketchy
8. Red Velvet
9. Silent Kill
10. Splitting Image
 

evilgordo

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It's delicate balance, isn't it?
Players will always want to play with every card in their collection. And those players that have already paid (in-game) resources to grow their collection (of dupes) only later to be restricted to one copy will cry foul.

And this seems to be an 'enfranchised' player problem. Maybe the 'collection comparison' algorithm needs to now factor in dupes in the collection just not how many of rarity and/or total fight score strength. I'm no Rift pro, I can probably reach D4 if I wanted to (I find Rifts to be incredibly boring), but up to G2-G1, I don't really see dupes being an issue. D4-Legend, we're talking 200 players out of thousands(?) the pool itself seems rather shallow to begin with, I doubt diversity will help at that point.

I'm not saying your thoughts on Dupes in Rifts is misplaced, but Dupes happen and if the game itself doesn't discourage the usage of dupes everywhere, I think restricting dupes in the mode referred to as the 'battle of player collections' seems counter to the mode's spirit.

I do agree that Rifts needs to be more FUN. Any game that tracks an "ELO" type score (and a very poor one at that) never ends up being fun for the majority, only the highly competitive. There's no variance in SGM (except opening relics) There's no luck or skill to Rifts, so stronger collections will always win due to brute force. Rifts is all about NET wins vs. loses. Image if ALL your loses (including your Defense loses) in a PF subtracted from your PF score! It would be very demoralizing.

IMHO, the problem is with Rifts and it's implementation, not so much Dupes.
 

ZeoW

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Maybe the 'collection comparison' algorithm needs to now factor in dupes in the collection just not how many of rarity and/or total fight score strength. I'm no Rift pro, I can probably reach D4 if I wanted to (I find Rifts to be incredibly boring), but up to G2-G1, I don't really see dupes being an issue. D4-Legend, we're talking 200 players out of thousands(?) the pool itself seems rather shallow to begin with, I doubt diversity will help at that point.

I'm not saying your thoughts on Dupes in Rifts is misplaced, but Dupes happen and if the game itself doesn't discourage the usage of dupes everywhere, I think restricting dupes in the mode referred to as the 'battle of player collections' seems counter to the mode's spirit.

I do agree that Rifts needs to be more FUN. Any game that tracks an "ELO" type score (and a very poor one at that) never ends up being fun for the majority, only the highly competitive. There's no variance in SGM (except opening relics) There's no luck or skill to Rifts, so stronger collections will always win due to brute force. Rifts is all about NET wins vs. loses. Image if ALL your loses (including your Defense loses) in a PF subtracted from your PF score! It would be very demoralizing.

IMHO, the problem is with Rifts and it's implementation, not so much Dupes.
Since Rift 2.0 and asynchronous match making, I don't think there's any collection comparison algorithm anymore. Players are matched based on their current Rift Rating. Naturally, the higher you go up, the tougher bases you'll find. I could be wrong though, feel free to correct me.

I have personal issues with Rift as well but I think that's a completely different topic of discussion. You raise valid points though. The people who care about Rift Battles are a very small minority and I think that's fine. Majority of players are casual and want new content/game mode for the most part. With how Rifts are, you can't really compete until you've played this game for at least 6 months. But I very doubt the devs are going to make a huge overhaul like last time again (I believe they said this).

Adding diversity and restricting dupes is more of a quick band-aid than a big fix but for the small majority who actually enjoys it, it will be a significant change. Suddenly new strategies might pop up; variants thought to be bad might see some play, etc. I believe penalizing dupes (not outright banning them) provide more good than bad and I think it's not hard to implement either.

I also think a part of the reason why this issue is raised is because the Rift meta is solved. We know who are the best defenders, and who are the best counters. So now most people build dupes of those defenders and counters. I think this would not be that big of an issue if the meta is constantly changed, such as through addition of new catalysts. But that has been absent for the past... year or so? Rift is now literally a grind fest and dupes help the grind by a considerable amount.
 

Randomizer

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Great points, thank you! At the end of the day, a lot here comes down to personal opinion. Such terms as 'fair' and 'fun' are always subjective, and ultimately it's up to the devs to make a decision. I believe the issue of dupes does mostly affect higher ranks but still creates a not-so-fun meta that players more or less have to stick with in order to climb ranks more efficiently. I'm speaking from personal experience here, but I found Rifts much more fun in that regard back when Defender diversity existed and making dupes for attack was still an unpopular choice.

It's true that many players who have already spent a lot of resources on dupes are probably not going to be happy with such changes. However, one can argue that this is a necessary evil. Ever since defender diversity was removed, many people (from what I've seen) have been complaining about annoying bases with an increasing number of dupes of 'meta' defenders. Considering that the devs mentioned the reintroduction of defender diversity in the Roadmap as one of the changes that will be considered, those complaints might have been heard and recognized. The point I'm making is, if the devs do decide to add defender diversity back despite the potential backlash from the people it will impact, doing the same with attacker diversity might still be for the best.

And I do agree with ZeoW here, Rifts might not be the most popular game mode, but adding limits to dupes will definitely spice things up for those who care about them the most and add variety to a pretty stagnant meta. Another positive change that might come from it is increased accessibility, as I mentioned in the post. Those who are just getting into Rifts and are interested in climbing the ranks will not have as big of a 'collection wall' they will have to overcome.

Lastly, what I believe could make a much bigger difference in terms of variety to Rifts is an update to catalysts - not necessarily adding new ones but just giving some serious buffs to many of those that don't see any use. I might make a separate post about that later.
 

Dusty00

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Good to see you posting about this Rando! Diversity on both end will help for sure as we’ve talked about this since rift 1.0. Pork with multiple Xeno and SK back then was the beginning of it all.

I think ZeoW and Gordo are on the right track that this would be a bandaid rather than a solution to why rift isn’t fun anymore. Personally I think it’s probably easier to scrap rift mode all together and invest Dev’s limited time and resources in a new game mode that makes more sense with our larger and newer player base.

The underlying principle we’ve seen over the years is promoting a wide and diverse collection. The main fun factor of this game boils down to solving a puzzle (team of defenders with a vast combination of gimmicks) using the tool (your variant and move collection) you have. Rift was fun at first because players are essentially given the power and ability to create puzzles for each other to solve (base). However, there are two main flaws:

1. Despite more ways to level up faster, the heavy RNG nature of a gatcha game combined with the amount of time and luck required for newer players to invest in makes it almost impossible to catch up and truly enjoy a competitive game mode.

2. The stronger gets stronger with how the rewards system works. Top players have steady income and over the past years have exhausted all possible combinations, leading to a stale meta.

The gap between the two groups of players keep widening, and it’s not easy for devs to find ways to make a game mode that is fun and meaningful for both groups. One of the closest idea Liam posed a couple of years back prior to 2.0 is the idea of having two leagues / divisions. Basically, diamond rank players would have their unique set of rules that are more challenging. More restrictions and rules.

For example, one restriction idea is to randomly limit which characters and/or elemental types are allowed for the week.

another restriction could be to “lock in” 20 characters at the beginning of the week without knowing what modifiers and catalysts would be available. You can only use those 20 for that week.

Yet another restriction I’d like to see is locking the moves in rift mode so there is no move swapping for the week.

finally, maybe there could be three tiers of bases that players can choose when they set up the base. 5 nodes (current), 10 nodes (rift 1.0) and 15 nodes. More nodes = more points but will require more tickets to enter.

I could go on and I’m sure you all have great ideas too. Sorry this probably went off on a tangent re the topic of the thread.
 

Randomizer

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Thank you for your input, Dusty! Honestly, all of your ideas sound really fun, couldn't agree more. I too am in favour of more rules and restrictions when it comes to Rifts. Especially randomized ones, like modifiers that are not tied to a particular node on a specific week, or some elements/characters/variants being locked out on a given week, as you suggested. Being able to swap moves is also something I've always felt was a bit too strong.

I feel like such restrictions force you to think outside of the box and adapt to various unexpected scenarios working with what you've got, which is, in my opinion, where Rifts truly shine.
 

Dusty00

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We are getting some nice tweaks for 5.1. I like that dupe attackers = lower score and dupe defenders are weaker (lower hp/atk) although doesn’t effect score.

Glad I didn’t invest in any dupes! Now give us 20 node bases and 100 more new catalysts to really challenge us ultra end game collectors!
 

Randomizer

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We are getting some nice tweaks for 5.1. I like that dupe attackers = lower score and dupe defenders are weaker (lower hp/atk) although doesn’t effect score.

Glad I didn’t invest in any dupes! Now give us 20 node bases and 100 more new catalysts to really challenge us ultra end game collectors!
Rift changes was the last thing I expected from this update, especially after the first two teases :O These are some amazing improvements, couldn't have hoped for more!

I like the different penalties too. I think it's both fairer for dupe defenders (since they are much more expensive than attackers) and might also make for some interesting choices on both sides. Having to deal with some dupe defenders, although weaker, without relying on dupe attackers could become a new fun challenge.

You sure made a good strategic choice👌 I stopped all dupe investments about a year ago but I'm still likely going to lose tons of resources because of all the stuff I'd made earlier. No complaints though, I think it's only fair.

Totally agree about more nodes and catalysts haha🤝 In fact, I was also planning to post a gigantic overview of the current meta and all catalysts with some buff suggestions (already wrote it), but now I'll have to wait and see how the new changes play out first.

Looking forward to the update!
 
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Dusty00

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In fact, I was also planning to post a gigantic overview of the current meta and all catalysts with some buff suggestions (already wrote it), but now I'll have to wait and see how the new changes play out first.

Looking forward to the update!
Ohhhh can’t wait to see this post when you get around to it! The forum has been too quiet in the past year in terms of in-depth discussions. I get that it’s easier to do it in discord but this is where ideas are officially documented and sometimes become references/inspiration for devs!
 

Randomizer

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Ohhhh can’t wait to see this post when you get around to it! The forum has been too quiet in the past year in terms of in-depth discussions. I get that it’s easier to do it in discord but this is where ideas are officially documented and sometimes become references/inspiration for devs!
Thank you! I'll try not to drag it out for too long but I also want to make sure I have a good grasp of the overall balance with the new changes. We'll see!
 
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