Crystal Dynamics has clarified the reasoning and intention of some upcoming changes to Marvel’s Avengers and the rate at which players will be able to level up their characters.
From 18th March, as part of the major update that will add next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X support, the rate at which you can earn XP will be slowed. From level 25 up to the maximum level50, the amount of time required to level up a character will be stretched out. This was explained in the original announcement as coming from the original design not having an ‘XP curve’ as you rank up. “This has led to pacing issues, such as skill points currently being rewarded too fast, which may be confusing and overwhelming to newer players.”
Players obviously reacted a bit negatively to this, pushing Crystal Dynamics to clarify their intentions. As they explain it, the game currently lets you level up rapidly, doing so 2 to 3 times per 10-20 minute mission. This, they say, led to players getting “more skill points than you had time to review, apply, and get used to, before embarking on your next mission”. They want people to level up but for this not “to be too overwhelming or diminish exploring each skill purchase.”
So the solution is to stretch things out:
So we smoothed out the higher-level curves to make it so you were less likely to “ding” more than once or twice per mission at the higher end. There is so much variability in how quick you can gain XP (level types, mission selection, etc…), but the end result of our tuning was meant to add around 3-5 hours to reach the maximum level in total. This means leveling at a steadier place around every 2-4 missions at the upper end. We consider this a way to achieve clearer “ding” thresholds, and more time to engage with and enjoy each skill purchase. We also tuned the game to make early leveling slightly faster, giving players more advantage against enemies when first starting out and hopefully making them feel more like a Super Hero faster.
Lastly, more powerful enemies will grant additional XP, which makes them more rewarding to take down.
It’s a strange problem for Crystal Dynamics to find themselves with, and perhaps shows some of inexperience the studio has with action RPG mechanics or naivety in creating a live service going into the development of Marvel’s Avengers. It’s a decent game, but per our Marvel’s Avengers review, one that didn’t quite mesh its storytelling with loot chasing and live service chops.
Either way, March 18th marks a huge day for the big budget superhero RPG. Following on from the Kate Bishop DLC, her mentor Hawkeye will finally be reunited with his Avengers pals in a new time-bending storyline that also features supervillain, Maestro. Hawkeye will join the Avengers roster as a new playable character, complete with his own powers, cosmetics, and upgradeable skills. You’ll also be able to dive into new HARM missions that push the game to its limits.
March 18th will also see Marvel’s Avengers make the jump to new consoles including the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
On PS5 Avengers will offer two settings, allowing players to choose between a high performance 60FPS checkerboard 4K mode or native 4K mode.
This beefed up version of Marvel’s Avengers will support cross-generation online matchmaking allowing PS4 and PS5 heroes to team up. A cross-generation save file import has also been confirmed, so you won’t have to start the game from scratch. Sadly, Square have yet to announce cross-play between PlayStation, Xbox, and PC platforms.