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Eltro93 @Eltro2kneo

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The Difficulty Curve of MSL and the Player Base that Contradicts it

Posted by Eltro2kneo - June 23rd, 2018

The Difficulty Curve of MSL and the Player Base that Contradicts it

____I've been playing this gacha game since early December 2016. I've taken my several month breaks whenever I either finish the game's single player content, or was frustrated with one of the capture events (or when a large hurricane knocked down my electricity forcing me to wait four months to be back online).

The game's units are broken down in five levels of rarity, all of which can be ascended to 6-stars (unlike Dokkan Battle where most of the units can upgrade their rarity only once):

1-star: Common unit with single target active: Slimes, Mimics and Sparklers.

2-stars: Common unit with either ST, AoE or healing active.

3-stars (84% summon rate): Rare/S. Rare unit that can be summoned from the Special Shop.

4-stars (15% summon rate): Legendary unit either exclusive to story stages or can be summoned from the Special Shop.

5-stars (1% summon rate): Heroic unit that can be summoned from the Special Shop.

____Regardless of further expansion, the game's difficulty curve allows for nat2 units to still be able to beat the original campaign and their limit would be half of the first continental expansion most of the time. Nat3s can get past a good portion of the second expansion, while nat4s are the minimum to finish the whole campaign. When nat5s are a necessity is during the mid to high portions of the dragon dungeons, as well as pvp and guild battles.

____Despite the game's easy difficulty curve, the units below the nat5 (sometimes nat4) rarity are regarded as a waste of resources by the player base. This is exclusively based on multiplayer modes like pvp and mostly guilds. Typically the complaint is "this unit is useless for end-game" or "this unit is strong in early-game but it's quickly fodder in mid-game". The "end-game" argument is where the bias normally comes from and is a poor justification to dismiss certain units when there's no concrete "end-game" to begin with.

____What's "end-game"? In this context, it's pvp and guilds. It refers to the last thing the player would be doing after passing all the relevant single player modes and starts participating in multiplayer modes that reset weekly. "End-game" can be another way of saying that the player has beaten the main game. So the "end-game" goal can be other things like completing the whole album of units, grinding in preparation for future content, or just taking a break until new content gets released. You can do whatever the fuck in the "end-game" state.

Let's go back to the player base's histrionic judgment regarding a unit's strength. Because from there comes a lot of fallacious arguments and some minor misconceptions about the game's content:

Appeal to Authority:

____This one's the originator of a lot of misunderstandings and misinformation about the game spread by a large number of scrubs who've recently read beginner guides and calculations from the game's sub-reddit. When you ask them why they came to a particular conclusion, they answer with "because a veteran player says so".

____The "veteran player" who's assumed to have infallible authority is either A) a youtube channel with a big following, B) a player with a high profile level, C) a player who's been around since the early days of the game, or D) a player who ran through the game in a very short time.

____The problem with all four options is that none of them directly correlate to how much the player knows about the game. It doesn't matter how many subs, profile levels, months or how fast the player was at clearing content. All that matters is how far in the game the player has gotten, how that experience is exercised, and the research that was done. And even then, "because mom says so" is still not a justification.

Some players have genuinely datamined the game and shared the info around in the game's subreddit.

Ad Populum:

Similar to the appeal to authority, except it's under the basis of a popular practice. When you ask them why they came to a particular conclusion, they answer with "because a friend told me", or "because everyone does it".

____A certain practice is said to be popular, but it doesn't explain why it's a popular practice. This lead to common myths like the Pugilist gem set being based on hits, Predator being a direct multiplier to damage (when it's a flat increase to the elemental damage multiplier), and that Golems B7 and B9 are "too hard". When a certain practice is demonstrably good, it spreads, not the other way around.

False Dichotomy:

____This is done to primarily butcher what "usability" means. Most of the time, it's not a question of "is it usable?" but more so "how usable is it?". When there exists 500+ units of distinct purposes and strength, simplifying it to black and white is not a good form of judgment. This type of judgment can also be considered a bad generalization.

____Another instance of a false dichotomy is when it's used as an excuse to dismiss probabilistic math just because of Critical Hit Rate not being 100%. They simplify it to being either 100% or none when it statistically doesn't work that way.

Circular Reasoning:

____This one's very annoying because once the question is made, the answer leads to nowhere. They answer with "X is Y because X is Y". Or "this monster's stronger because it just is". Answering a certain question with circular reasoning is like saying nothing at all.


____This happens when a particular word (or formula) completely changes meaning mid topic. An example of this is when a passive skill formula is considered to be a "multiplier", only for it to be used as an "additional increase" when applied. Originally, it was going to multiply damage, but half way it was changed to an additional increase onto a base of 1, which is way different from multiplying.

This was an awful argument to come across because the guy making the "CS is a 5x multiplier" argument was being serious about it while demonstrating that it's a 6x multiplier based on the logic of it being an additional increase of 5.

Argument from Ignorance:

____This is the absolute worst of all the arguments I was thrown at. Most of the time, this is used to dismiss the concept of probability (a thing that's essential to understanding the game's RNG). Other times it's to dismiss the stats of two units as an excuse to downplay a high grade unit, just because the low grade has slightly better proc rates in its passive skills despite the stats being abysmal.

____Just because the person doesn't understand or doesn't care about it, doesn't mean that the thing in question shouldn't matter or doesn't exist when it's in the game.


Nat5s are undoubtedly the strongest rarity along with a few nat4s, but the game's main difficulty curve makes them a bit overkill, to where there's no problem in using nat3s.

(Originally this was going to be much longer, but I rambled too much on the game's development over time and the good and bad decisions they made along the way.)