Kabam has just released Part 1 of the 2020 Road Map – The Future of Quests. This is a very long blog post, and I recommend you read the entire post when you get a chance for more insight from the Developers, particularly when it comes to changes to design philosophy. That being said, let’s break it all down!
ACT 6 CHANGES
Release Date: Unknown
Important Notes: The big headline is the 6.2.6 Champion Boss Fight is being changed. The No Retreat node is being removed, damage taken from Nullify in the “Main Event” Phase is being reduced from 10% to 2%, The Champion’s Block Penetration is being cut in half, and the number of Dexterity triggers required in the Final Phase is being reduced from 5 to 3.
Regarding the rest of Act 6, attack values will see a big reduction. Attack values in 6.4 will come down 40-60%, which will put them in the 5K-9K range. Acts 6.1-6.3 will be scaled down accordingly. The attack values of the 6.4 final bosses will also see reductions of 60-75%, with corresponding drops to the earlier bosses as well.
Kabam will also be conducting a review of the Act 6 Boss Fights to identify “Pain Points” with a player focus group of 20-30 Summoners. The rest of the community can submit feedback via the official forums.
My Thoughts: As far as The Champion fight goes, I’m very happy. No Retreat had to go, that was a terrible node considering the requirements of the fight. The Dexterity reduction from 5 to 3 will help make the fight more accessible as well.
The reduction of attack values is great, as is the idea of a player focus group to help the Developers better understand the trouble spots in Act 6. The review of Act 6 looks like it will take a fair amount of time, so players choosing to hold off on further progress in Act 6 until the changes go live may be waiting a while.
Unfortunately, those hoping for a removal of gates and the lifting of the 4 star ban appear to be out of luck. There also isn’t any information on compensation for those who have already explored Act 6, other than options are being discussed.
BOOK 2 ACT 1
Release Date: December 2020 (Projected)
Important Notes: This section of the post has a good deal of developer information on how they want to change their fight design goals following the reaction to the Book 2 Beta.
As part of the new design of Book 2, Kabam is going to add in Path Rewards to smooth out the map exploration process, keep paths under 70 energy, reduce the time required to run a path, and reduce the need for specific champion counters.
There are also two new big features coming with Book 2. The first is that Quests will now feature multiple Final Bosses, which should significantly reduce the repetitive nature of beating a boss 6-10 times per quest. The second is that Champion Swapping (like we have in Incursions), will also be a feature available to players in Book 2.
Other design intention changes include a reduction in number and length of paths, reduction and simplification of Defender Nodes, and more clarity on which paths are the “easy paths” and which paths are the “hard paths.”
My Thoughts: There is a lot to take in here, and even more to execute. It looks like Kabam is moving in the right direction thanks to the Beta feedback. I really like that they are getting creative here, bringing multiple Bosses into play for the first time, which will make for some interesting strategy choices and should allow for easier initial completions. I’m very excited that they are stealing Champion Swapping from Incursions. Hopefully there will be a new Book 2 Beta in a few months and we’ll really get to see that Story Quest is headed in a more player-friendly direction.
BACK ISSUES #5 – BLOOD AND VENOM
Release Date: Sometime in August as part of v28.0.
Important Notes: Blood and Venom will have Champion requirements, as well as tag-specific buffs. Since this issue features Venom and Guillotine, I expect their enemies such as the various Spider-Man champions and possibly Morningstar to be the beneficiaries of these buffs. Maybe Classic Spider-Man will be the Sentinel of Back Issues #5! We’ll have to wait and see.
Variant 6 wasn’t officially confirmed. For those wondering, the 6th MCOC Event Quest was “Contamination,” and it featured Luke Cage, Netflix Daredevil, and an NPC version of Jessica Jones, so this will likely be the next Back Issue. Kabam hopes to have Variant 6 out by the end of 2020.
My Thoughts: What’s really interesting to note is that Kabam was planning on scaling back the release of Variants, which we already saw from the 9-month gap between Variants 4 and 5. It’s hard to understand how they interpreted the overwhelmingly positive reviews to past Variants and decided to slow down the release pace, but thankfully the community has bumped Back Issues up on the priority list.
Release Date: Late July
Important Notes: Get ready for “The Summer Smackdown” which will feature not 1, but 5 Boss Rushes, each released weekly. Completing all 5 five weeks will grant you access to the OMEGA Quest, which will feature the Bosses from each of the previous 5 weeks.
My Thoughts: I’m very excited for this. I love Boss Rushes and this should make for some excellent community content. Between this and the Cavalier Side Quest, people should have enough to keep them busy in-game until Variant 5 drops.
Release Date: September 2, 2020
Important Notes: As we learned from the Road To Cavalier Difficulty post, we’ll have Cavalier Side Quests in July and August, culminating in the first Cavalier Event Quest in September. The team will be gathering feedback during the months of July and August to help tune difficulty and rewards for the September Event Quest.
My Thoughts: We didn’t learn too much new here, but it’s great to finally have a confirmed go-live date for Cavalier Difficulty.
SUMMER OF PAIN
Release Date: Summer 2020
Important Notes: This is a new challenge for Endgame players. We don’t know much but expect a very difficult challenge that is geared toward the Top .1% of the player base.
My Thoughts: This sounds to me like The Maze 2.0. Could make for some interesting challenges and videos from our high-end content creators.
REWARDS UPDATE FOR EARLY ACTS
Release Date: Unknown, likely staggered per Act
Important Notes: In March of 2020, Kabam updated the rewards for Act 1 to bring them more in-line with where the game’s progression is at in 2020. The Act 2 update is imminent, and it is likely – although it was NOT confirmed – that Acts 3 & 4 will eventually be updated as well. If you have completed Act 2 within three months of the update, you will receive compensation.
What’s interesting here is that all players will have the option to rerun Act 2 to pick up new path-specific rewards.
My Thoughts: While this likely won’t change anything for the majority of players reading this post, it’s a nice update for newer players to smooth out their progression. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out on my new account.
Release Date: December 2020 (with Book 2)
Important Notes: We’re getting 4 new audio tracks added to the game with the release of Book 2. There will be new battle music, a special track for boss fights, another new track during quest exploration, and finally a new track on the champion selection screen.
My Thoughts: The addition of new music and audio wasn’t on anyone’s list, but why not? It’s been 5 years, we could use a little variety to the soundtrack.
That’s it for the Quest Road Map. Stay tuned for the release of the Alliance Road Map on June 25.