Author: Andrew Rowe, Obsidian Entertainment Systems developer
Regarding the Update 0.10 PvE Progression Changes
First off, let me apologize for the confusion in the patch notes. Initially, we had planned to buff all of the PvE rewards by the same values: 20% for Reputation and 35% for Credits. From a design standpoint, this was the first change we made.
After looking at more recent live telemetry data, we realized that PvE Hard was already performing well above our expectations, and was in fact rewarding more Reputation on average than PvP even without these changes. It was also already rewarding more Credits than PvP on average at high tiers, assuming no bonuses from Premium Accounts or vehicles.
There were a couple reasons why PvE Hard's telemetry showed higher results than we expected. First off, win rates have gone up drastically as players have acclimated to maps over time. We based our initial numbers on projected win rates that were slightly higher than what we were seeing in telemetry at the time - but players have proven that they'll get specific maps on "farm status" more quickly than we expected. This makes average rewards much higher than expected.
In addition, our original estimates were largely based on the expectation that players would be dealing approximately the same amount of average damage in a PvE match regardless of difficulty. While this was closer to accurate in EA, now that players are winning a lot of matches, they're also clearing out all of the enemies - and the total HP pool for enemies in Hard is higher than that of other difficulty levels. This means that there's a higher reward pool available in Hard even without any of our modifiers, and that's not something we were initially taking into account in our projections.
As a result of these two factors, we realized that PvE Hard was more efficient to play than other modes, at least with a non-Premium account. Many players have already figured this out, especially at high tiers; we see more PvE matches proportionate to PvP matches as tiers go up. (This is in part due to queue times, but some of it is almost definitely because players are figuring out what is most efficient for them). It was also pointed out by some of our other designers that we will be reintroducing Insane difficulty - and if Hard is already giving better rewards than PvP, reintroducing Insane could make the discrepancy between PvE rewards and PvP rewards even more problematic.
We still wanted to increase progression in both PvE and PvP, but we didn't want PvE Hard getting such a huge buff that it absolutely eclipsed PvP in both Reputation and average Credit earnings. As a result, we made a second change, which reduced our difficulty level modifiers. This is still a buff to all PvE difficulties, but it should have been presented with the total value changes, rather than being broken down into two confusing sections - as such:
Increased PvE Reputation gains:
- by 20% on Easy difficulty
- by 13% on Medium difficulty
- by 6% on Hard difficulty
Increased PvE credit gains:
- by 35% on Easy difficulty
- by 30% on Medium difficulty
- by 25.5% on Hard difficulty
For example, if you played on PvE Hard before with a base reward of 100 credits, your result with the +50% multiplier would have been 150 credits. Now, you'd have a base value of 135 multiplied by 1.3, or 175.5 credits, an increase of +25.5% above the base value for Easy (or 1.17 times what you got pre-patch, if you prefer it rendered that way).
Some comments on PvE credits vs. PvP credits:
- PvE Medium and Hard tend to have lower gross rewards than PvP, but higher net rewards, at high tiers. This is because repair and ammo costs go up with each tier (affecting PvP gross rewards), but PvE rewards only go up, since they do not have ammo or repair costs. Note that this is going to vary a lot based on player skill and expenditures. We expect that PvE will remain the more efficient way to farm credits for a non-Premium player at high tiers post-patch even with the repair and ammo cost reductions because we are also boosting PvE credit values by enough to compensate.
- Since PvE tends to have lower gross credit rewards, PvE doesn't currently get the same level of benefit out of Premium. We are looking into ways to address this.
- Basically, the above two items mean that PvE credits are currently balanced somewhere in between "PvP without premium" and "PvP with premium", and the more premium bonuses you have, the more likely PvP will end up being more efficient for Credits. Player performance is also a major factor here; PvE is more reliable on rewards, whereas PvP has more "spikes", benefiting players with high performance.
- PvE has Daily Rewards for each difficulty level that PvP does not have. This is another factor that helps PvE average Credit rewards be competitive, but it's not super obvious right now how these work. The current formula is (3000 Credits x Your Top Tier Vehicle x Difficulty Level Modifer). This means your daily bonus for PvE Easy if you have a Tier 6 vehicle is 3000 x 6 or 18000 Credits. We are looking into expanding this system to make it both more rewarding and more intuitive.
- PvE Hard is currently generally better for reputation on an average match than PvP. High skill players can still get bigger spikes in PvP, but the averages in PvE Hard are currently higher. Since Premium accounts and vehicles affect Reputation equally in PvE and PvP, this means that even with Premium, PvE Hard is better for Rep.
- For non-premium, PvE Hard is generally better for Rep at all tiers and better for Credits at high tiers. This will vary based on player skill
- With just a premium account, PvE Hard is generally still better for Rep at all tiers, but PvP is notably better at Credits at low tiers and a similar amount to PvE at high tiers. This will vary a lot based on performance and tier.
- With both a premium account and a premium vehicle, PvE Hard is generally still better for Rep at all tiers, but PvP is probably considerably better for Credits. This still will vary based on performance and the tier of the match.
We realize this is not currently not very intuitive and we are looking at ways of making it clearer and continuing to try to make both modes as balanced as possible. Again, I apologize for the confusion, and I hope this helps shed some light on the process we went through to make these changes.