I started playing Marvel Snap on the same night that it won Mobile Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2022. I have spent a fair amount of time and money on the game to properly understand it more than I did when I wrote about the bundles the first time. As much as I am enjoying the game, I am still bitter about the paltry rewards offered to players in exchange for their time.
Addressing The Galactus In The Room
I am going to use Hearthstone as my example as it is the only other CCG (collectible card game) I have played extensively, and because I find its reward system to be one of the best from my personal experiences when trying out other CCGs. I could be wrong, but this is why I am limiting my arguments only between Hearthstone and Marvel Snap.
Both games have ranked seasons that last 1 Month, and allow the player to climb a series of ranks via a ladder. These are done by building decks and competing against players of equal or higher skill levels. Sometimes the game will throw you a free win in the form of a bot or a weaker opponent. However, when you are giving your 110% in each match, I do expect to be rewarded for it too, to motivate me to climb the ranks.
I can honestly say that ever since starting the game, I have barely ever had the motivation to play any game once I have done my dailies and Battle Pass challenges, and my highest rank till now is 45, and I am okay with it. Why? Because The slog to 50 will just get me credits. Stuff I already get for progressing the Battle Pass and doing Dailies + Weekly challenges.
Me getting to Rank 50 means I get 400 Credits. I get 450 Credits every day from just doing 6 dailies every day (3 sets of easy daily challenges at 50 Credits each, and 3 sets of hard challenges at 100 Credits each). This is why the community and players deserve better.
Marvel Snap – A Fantastic Game, Held Back by a Weak Reward System
To preface this, I just want to say that I come off the Hearthstone bandwagon. I was an ardent player of the Blizzard title starting my journey a couple of months before The Curse of Naxxramas expansion. I played the game heavily for years on end, and while it took me my fair time to reach Legend rank for the first, every season I climbed in the game, I was rewarded for my climb with a good amount of rewards.
Even if you don’t reach Legend, look at the rewards you get. You get an offering of rare cards (that are random) and packs that can range in value from 100 Gold to 1 pack, all the way to 500 Gold for 5 Packs. This also does not include the value you get in dust for the Rare or Epic cards that you can choose to dust and use toward building a better card, and sometimes you can even get a card you would need for a deck.
A Look At The Rewards In Marvel Snap (Ranked and Weeklies)
When we look at the above and compare it to Marvel Snap’s less-than-desirable offerings:
|100||A Gold Cardback|
To save you the math, getting to Rank 100, will net you a total of 500 Gold and 1350 Credits for that season. That’s it. Hearthstone already gives you a regular card back just for playing 5 ranked games and never climbing the ladder.
Yes, a Gold Cardback does allow better-bragging rights, but the time required to climb the ladder paired with the slow progression in the game, it can feel like the game deliberately keeps players down.
If you think this is bad, here is what doing the weekly rewards gets you:
Doing The Math
To save you from doing the math again, when you complete 25 weekly challenges by Friday, you are rewarded with 200 Gold, 1350 Credits, and 2000 XP for the Battle Pass. When you add this up to 4 weeks of rewards, it becomes 800 Gold, 5400 Credits, and 8000 XP.
The Paltry Rewards Offered
All in all, your monthly rewards from an average season of Marvel Snap round up to 1300 Gold, 6750 Credits, and 8000 XP (this is just from the weeklies, not including the Battle Pass XP). All of this is considering you have reached the 100 Rank, which is one of the most hardest feats in the game unless you have the most busted cards in the game to get you there.
I have not played Hearthstone for some months now, but the time I did, completing the Battle Pass and earning cards and rewards in that game was a satisfying experience. I understand that Hearthstone has been around for much longer and has a more robust model than Snap does, and perhaps the wrong kind of reward system can break the game by giving players too much power too quickly, but with the right motivation, I can maybe push myself to go for that rank 100…Someday.
You might be asking, I clearly love Hearthstone, so why am I forcing myself to suffer with Marvel Snap? It’s because I genuinely enjoy Marvel Snap. I have tried my hand at Gwent, Legends of Runeterra, and other CCGs, but none of them have been able to hold me the way Snap did because I enjoy the universe, the location mechanic, and the fast matches. When I last reached Legend in Hearthstone, I had to spend upwards of 10 minutes minimum, and some games would go to 20 minutes if not more.
In Marvel Snap, even if the opponent and I do not press the End Turn button, nothing prolongs the game. Even a game that goes to Turn 7 is incapable of lasting past 10 minutes.
As my personal life has gotten busier, I no longer have the time to facilitate ~20-minute long matches, especially when I have long reached my destination and am sneaking turns while in a class or in a group study, as conceding would mean I effectively end on a tilt and ruin my mood.
Marvel Snap allows me to just end that game and continue with my life in a matter of 5 minutes on average. This is why I am motivated to keep wanting the game to improve so that I can better encourage my other friends from other CCGs to join, because, in its current state, none of them will see the rewards as anything worth their time, as such, I have told them to stave off the game until I tell them the rewards are worth it.
Punishing The Players Climb
To preface this information, I will have to introduce the Ladder. In Hearthstone, you climb a ladder starting at Bronze 10, and work through Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Legend. Each has 5 levels to climb numbered 1 to 10. At every 5 Levels, you reach a stop. This is where you can’t go lower, no matter how much or how badly you lose. For example, I can go all the way to Diamond 2 and drop all the way to Diamond 5, but I will not drop down to Diamond 10 because now my floor is Diamond 5 and nothing will change that until the end of the season when I am reset back to Bronze 10.
Unlike Hearthstone whose ranked ladder prevents players from falling down every 5 ranks, the same protection is not there in Marvel Snap.
A Terrible Fall Down The Stairs
The floor is literally lava in Marvel Snap.
There are only 2 floors in the game. Level 10 which is literally the level you begin with after beating the tutorial, OR Level 100. There is no in-between. I have seen multiple players on Reddit, Twitter, Discord, and other places where players congregate and share their journey of reaching the ranks of 80 or 90 and going all the way back to 60 because of tilting. You have NO protection stopping you from falling lower.
Yes, this does come down to self-control, perseverance, and knowing when to quit, but this also should not be the way to climb, especially when the rewards are so barebones. I would be okay with the floor being at every 10 levels because I myself have fallen back to 39 from 45 more times than I care to count, but that’s just it, I don’t care about my rank because I look at the reward track and say, it’s not worth it. I would rather end my run at hitting 40 constantly than see myself steadily go 39 and lower when a half hour ago, I started my run at 44.
When Marvel Snap punishes you for playing the game longer than you’re supposed to, it should also place measures to protect players from falling after a certain level as well. Many will argue that the present system is perfect as is, but I argue that I am angrier at being at 39 and knowing I can fall lower when I should have 40 as my floor.
I am by no means a game designer and nor do I wish to do the job of one, however, as a player who is currently close to finishing Pool 3 (until new cards are added), I would like to have the motivation to climb. As of the time of writing this, there are a total of 186 cards in the game when talking about Pool 1 -5 Cards. Perhaps a reward to further motivate players could be a random card from Pool 3 to 5 after every 40 ranks? Even separate them into Random Pool 3 card at 40, Random Pool 4 card at 80, and a Random Pool 5 card at rank 100. These are just suggestions off the top of my head and am welcome to hear other ideas.
Admittedly this does sound busted but hear me out. Marvel Snap is actively adding cards every week now to Pool 5 and is demoting cards from Pool 5 to 4, and 4 to 3. As such, a card that is powerful today can be nerfed next month (Leader, Zabu, and Silver Surfer are some of the most recent examples).
Remove Titles and Avatars from Collectors Reserves
In addition, the weekly rewards should also be bumped up a little bit more. Especially for Gold and Credits.
This can also help with the slow progression of cards when you consider how players in Pool 3 and above have to deal with Collector’s Reserves that can have the following rewards:
- 22.25% chance of a Series 3 Card (replaced by 200 to 600 tokens after you complete Pool 3)
- 2.5% chance of a Series 4 Card
- 0.25% chance of a Series 5 Card
- 10% chance of 300 Credits
- 5% chance of 400 Credits
- 10% chance of 200 Gold
- 25% of 100 Collector Tokens
- 10% chance of rare variants of cards you own
- 7.5% chance of an Avatar
- 7.5 chance of a Title
Many people say that Avatars and Titles should not be a part of the reserves, and I am in complete agreement with them. Similar to the Variants, they should have their own section in the shop. Literally, I don’t think anyone in the present player base gets remotely excited about pulling an Avatar or Title from a reserve. I would much rather get collectors tokens instead
Let us know if you agree with the suggestions here and what you think the rewards should be reworked to.