First let me get 2 things out of the way: I did not play Trials last weekend (I would have, but I just didn’t have time to play). So I didn’t experience this all firsthand. But I did watch trials nearly all weekend and I read tons of feedback on these forums and on Reddit. So I did witness a lot of the experience and I understand how things work.
Also, to be clear I am not saying these are changes that need to happen to trials. I am not saying they will make Trials better. I am just saying they’ll get more people to play Trials.
TL;DR Give an alternate way to unlock the 3-win reward from Trials token engrams, such as being available after 15 match completions.
[spoiler]Overall, the Trials token system is a good idea. But there’s a problem in only letting people buy the gear they’ve unlocked through wins. I’m not saying all gear should be made available- or even that all gear for that week should be available. BUT there should be an alternate way of unlocking at least one item from the weekend. There are some people who played a good bit over the weekend and couldn’t even hit 3 wins. All I’m suggesting is to give an alternate condition to unlock the 3 win item through engrams. Maybe make it 3 wins or complete 15 matches or something. That way, those who aren’t that good still know that they can receive something for their efforts. It would be an awful experience to jump in as a new, inexperienced player and try 5-10 matches, get stomped every time, and have absolutely nothing to show for it since tokens go away every week. This way they know that worst case scenario, if they put in the work week after week, they can still get something.[/spoiler]
TL;DR Cap light at 1000
[spoiler]Light level should be capped at 1000. Period. Removing artifact LL was a good and necessary step. BUT the problem of pinnacle power remains. Anyone can do a whole host of activities to get to 1000. So that’s fine. But there are limited pinnacle activities, almost all of them require a group, and there’s a lot of luck involved in going 1000 to 1010. So if you want to be at the most competitive LL spot, you need to go make sure you do your raid, master nightmare hunt, 100k ordeal, etc… all before Friday, otherwise you’re at a disadvantage in Trials. It’s just a huge chore list. Personally, I think pinnacle power should be done away with altogether, but that’s a totally different issue.[/spoiler]
TL;DR Make the last match or two on a card tier-based (basically ever so slightly closer to SBMM)
[spoiler]I know, I know- before you roast me just hear me out. I’m not saying we move to SBMM. But the problem with SBMM vs CBMM needs to be acknowledged. With CBMM we get a better connection/latency experience, and high tier players are happy because they get to play against players below their skill level (that sounds rough, but youtubers and streamers have basically said exactly that). Of course the problem is that lower level players get farmed and they have a terrible playing experience because they’re constantly getting stomped. So lower tier players are usually willing to take a worse connection experience in favor of actually standing a fighting chance in their matches: so they favor SBMM. Of course, in SBMM the obvious downside is the connection issue. Additionally, top-tier players don’t like to constantly be in sweats. So CBMM means lower tier players have a bad playing experience and SBMM means high tier players have a bad playing experience. I think that overall there’s just not a good solution.
But here’s what could happen in Trials. Matches 1-5 or 1-6 work exactly the way they do now. Connection based and card-based. But matches 6 and 7 (or even just 7) become card-based and tier-based. In other words, teams of stacked s-tier players get put up against other stacks of s-tier players. Carries go against other carries. Mid-tier players go up against other mid-tier, etc. That way lower tier players still have to go through the tough experience of the first 2/3 of the card. And they still have a challenge at the end. AND people still lose right at the foot of the lighthouse. But you’ll have less times when a player works super hard to go flawless in 1-6 and then gets in 2 back to back matches where they don’t even stand a chance. A variation on this, by the way, is to have different matchmaking qualities on different passages. For example, a passage of mercy gives you a slightly easier last tier experience, and confidence puts you against much harder enemies. The point is this: it’s incredibly demoralizing for a low to mid-tier player to work super hard and finally go 6-0 after getting stomped week after week, just to be destroyed over and over in game 7. That experience causes people to quit Trials and if you want more people to play the mode, it’s an experience that needs to be addressed somehow.[/spoiler]
Final thoughts: again, I don’t think these changes need to happen in Trials. If you want the lighthouse to remain exclusive, keep things as they are and add adept weapons and flawless ornaments. But if you want more of the player base to play this game mode- and come back week after week to play it, consider these changes- or at least the underlying issues they represent.
I have an idea.
Give the weapons and armor out for a certain amount of matches but the perks are more limited and the weapons can't roll with celerity.
For people who get the wins or flawless, let them choose between two perks like the sundial guns.
I know why there are no adept weapons. The same "reason" there are no ritual weapons. No room?
How to get people to play trials more
1 win - Allows for Tokens to be turned in
3 wins - Random Weapon
5 wins - Random Armor
Flawless - 1 Adept Weapon of Choice, 1 random weapon and 1 armor of choice.
Past 7 wins - Scarab Emblems, extra loot such as more coins.
That would be my idea to give incentive.
The light level is now capped at 1010, which is pinnacle light. It was only last weekend that the artifact was going to apply. The patch yesterday officially removed artifact level from mattering in trials or IB.