Those still playing Marvel's Avengers and the wider gaming community did not react well to last week's news that developer Crystal Dynamics will be nerfing the game's level progression once the PlayStation 5 version launches on 18th March 2021. The studio has confirmed it will increase the amount of XP needed to increase your rank as you work your way through the back half of the progression system, with many fans thinking this will increase the grind needed to experience end-game content. Instead of reversing the decision based on negative feedback, the team has now doubled down on its commitment to following through with the controversial update.
In an official Reddit post made by the developer, Crystal Dynamics attempts to clarify its decision. The developer starts by setting up the scenario where you level up, or "dinging" as Crystal Dynamics puts it, two to three times per mission. "So what’s the problem? This is great, you might say. The problem we were seeing, and hearing, was that you would immediately get more skill points than you had time to review, apply, and get used to, before embarking on your next mission and gaining your next few levels. Hopefully, you can see the issue here."
The studio goes on to explain that while it absolutely wants players to level up all of their superheroes, it once again doesn't want the process to become overwhelming as you're inundated with skill points primed for allocation.
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.
Crystal Dynamics then stated the upcoming patch will actually make progressing through the early levels easier and that taking down more powerful enemies will grant bonus XP. We'd argue that a level progression system feels more overwhelming at the start instead of halfway through, however. Once you've got to grips with the skill tree and what it has to offer, that feeling can dissipate fairly quickly.
RPG progression systems have always worked how they're set to once the PS5 version of Marvel's Avengers rolls around, but Crystal Dynamics' reasoning doesn't add up. We don't know about you, but levelling up always feels more overwhelming at the start (which will now be done even faster) rather than halfway through. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.