Bit before the end but I feel I’ve seen enough of it to make a valid judgment, and don’t want to get buried by the upcoming Assault stuff. TL:DR at the bottom for those who looked down and felt sick.
First of all, Nightmare SR was another good thing in theory. However it’s first trial run presented several flaws, as always some might say. In my opinion, this can be another decent addition to the calendar, but it needs improving in several areas. Mostly one huge area then some smaller fine-tunings.
- Less Levels. Easily the biggest fault and easiest fixed. I get the allure of an ‘endless SR’. But this wasn’t it. People are able to finish and milestones exist to show there is an end point. Instead the impression given was this was a move to snatch 2/3 milestones out of the F2P. Future Nightmare SRs should be able to be completed with free energy as per normal 2 day SRs. Why reduce levels?
- NSR requires you to stop, select teams and manually play, it takes more time, the solution is not to double the level count. Your average player doesn’t have time for that. NSR should have LESS levels, not more. Return to 25 per stage
- It motivates people to use their energy and spend the time, the ability to complete is a driver. The ability to go all out and finish mid gold, isn’t.
- No reward boxes were present after 25. We know it’s bad design but no need to fix, just scrap 26-50.
- Most importantly it doesn’t feel and look like you’re dangling carrots out of the majority’s reach. Intentional or not.
Pre-set teams. JB already acknowledged this so I won’t linger on it. But with the extra time spent on this tourney, having a few pre-set teams you can switch in would be super handy and make life a little bit nicer.
Easier Bronze. So the first milestone is reachable for any 6* composition (not necessarily one fully modded, fully weapon kitted, or maxed out). This is mostly to cater for newer/weaker players. They can’t miss 2 days staring at Bronze 2.
Bring back ascending milestones. I say this because with a completeable, difficult SR, you probably do deserve better stuff for lasting longer. Same milestones at regular intervals works better if this was an actual endless SR.
Get rid or limit drug kits. It is Nightmare mode after all. ‘But what about the profit’. It’s a long term gamble but it means roster have to fleshed out and the most aspiring whales can’t just rely on the 5 best toons to carry them through. They may even buy obscurer 6*s! Plus I’m not saying to remove energy or anything radical like that. This one isn’t a priority and maybe a pipe dream, and that’s why it earns No.5 on the list.
Don’t burn out the tourney. Okay Scopely hasn’t had chance to do this yet to be fair. But this is a very time-intensive tourney and it should be used sparingly or people will pass it by once auto isn’t an option. Better to drop it in early.
That’s the bad. A deal-breaker is the less levels but the others aren’t actually all that major, 5’s even optional. In the interests of fairness, it is fair to note the good things too:
- The extra difficulty. It’s what many have wanted and here it is. I never got to Platinum (see less levels), but having an added challenge that made you stop and think, was fun. If milestones were closer together, even better. Don’t need to water this down, it’s what was intended and tis good.
- The rewards. Yes they are better than usual SR, and rightly so given the extra time investment, but they didn’t start NSR conservatively in this regard. They’re nice, don’t change. The milestones too were good. (Although I suggest switching back to ascending, that doesn’t mean they have to go rubbish…)
A note on ‘Endless’ vs ‘Difficult’. I feel Scopely tried to mix both, and this is what caused some issues. A ‘Difficult’ SR is pretty much what the above improvements lean to. A finishable end and achievable end reward, depending on your team quality. It fits within the current SR model and doesn’t require an overhaul, it’s basically just more difficult. An ‘Endless’ SR however I feel is a different type of tourney altogether and shouldn’t take place within the current tourney SR structure. Boxes and milestones aren’t fixed and limited, and appear at regular intervals along an infinite, or extremely long road. There isn’t an ‘end point’ or ‘final milestone’. JB’s much-shared statement of being ‘virtually impossible’, is valid here. An endless SR should absolutely ban drug kits and rely purely on roster strength and depth. In that regard, there is potential to create two different SR tourneys out of this (total 3, gotta keep normal too). But let’s just perfect the catch-all ‘Nightmare’ SR first.
All in all, Nightmare SR is a good addition but got botched in execution - for now. Get rid of all those extra levels and focus on the difficulty > endless. For this anyway. This would bring some back on board. Then there’s extra improvements which would bring more back on board. And of course, don’t touch the two good things for sake of throwing people over board.
Good: Difficulty / Reward Quality
Bad: Levels / Pre-Set Teams / Access to new players / Milestones / Drug Kits / Potential Overuse (Yet to be seen though)
Ugly for sake of referencing the film but not actually Ugly, more… Extra, or Bonus: Split Difficult SR and Endless SR into two different tourneys and don’t try to splice them together, it failed. For now just focus on the difficult aspect, it’s the smaller of two steps.