On Reddit, the official developer account for the game wrote, “We did not change XP to increase grind for grind’s sake. Our initial blog was not comprehensive enough to convey what we were doing and why….so we caused confusion,…we get it.”
In the clarification, the developer explains that the progression curve will now mean that players level up faster than before at low levels, and take longer than before at higher levels – it estimates later levels will take 2-4 missions for each level, rather than once or more per mission as can happen in the current version. More powerful enemies will also offer additional XP, further incentivising fighting them.
In all, Crystal Dynamics expects that reaching maximum level with heroes will take around 3-5 hours longer than before the changes.
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While it’s certainly a clearer picture of the changes, fans on Reddit broadly remain unconvinced by the changes’ usefulness to the game. The top-rated reply to the post comes from antca87, who puts it simply: “This is a terrible move. Leveling up was never the issue. The lack of content was.”
Last week, we wrote about how the move represents Avengers fixing the wrong problems. “In a year’s time,” reads the piece, “I want to look back and see the success it’s become. For that to happen though, there needs to be better communication with fans, and a genuine back and forth regarding the issues fans have with the game. Of all the complaints I’ve seen about Marvel’s Avengers, none were about how surprisingly quick leveling up your heroes can be, but almost all have been about the dearth of fun to be had once you’ve done that.”
The XP changes come alongside next-gen versions of the console game, and the addition of Hawkeye content. Besides the promise of PlayStation exclusive Spider-Man content, long-delayed endgame missions, and Black Panther content, very little is known about the future of the game beyond that.
Leveling up your heroes in Marvel’s Avengers will take longer after Crystal Dynamics announced it will be changing the way XP progression will work.
On March 18 the newest DLC character Hawkeye is set to be released alongside the next-gen versions of Marvel’s Avengers. But Crystal Dynamics is also changing up some key progression mechanics along with how random cosmetic drops will work.
In a new developer’s blog, the Marvel’s Avengers team shared that the current XP progression curve “isn’t really a curve at all.” Whereas most RPGs increase the amount of XP required to level up as players get stronger, Marvel’s Avengers’ XP system is linear and static.
“This has led to pacing issues, such as skill points currently being rewarded too fast, which may be confusing and overwhelming to newer players,” says Crystal Dynamics in the blog.
To fix this, Marvel’s Avengers will begin increasing the amount of XP required to level up starting at around level 25. The required XP will increase the closer players get to level 50, which is the current max level. Crystal Dynamics says players looking to max their characters quickly can try and grind before March 18, when the update is set to go live.
As for cosmetics, Marvel’s Avengers is getting rid of random cosmetics entirely. Starting today, random cosmetic item drops will be temporarily removed and they’ll re-appear later in the cosmetic vendor and can be purchased through Units.
On the r/PlayAvengers subreddit, players are somewhat divided on the XP rework. Some argue that characters don’t even begin to feel good to play until level 50 and that adding more grind to progression isn’t a solution. Others say this change will only impact new players and that easing them into characters through a longer progression will breed more familiarity with the game’s systems.
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Crystal Dynamics has shared some of the changes coming to the native next-gen version of Marvel’s Avengers on PS5, including native 4K resolution or 60FPS checkerboard 4K (in performance mode) as well as improved load times, higher-resolution textures, and more. Check out the full next-gen details here.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.