Despite the amazing new character additions, the only one I wanted was Doctor Strange himself. But in leveling him up (which can ONLY be done through the 46 "Epic Quest" missions) I found he's got one monstrously large problem- and it's one that definitely feels like a paywall. In order to rank up and master the good Doctor fully, you HAVE to get Baron Mordo, Wong, Ancient One, and Kaecilius to 4 stars, and then get Clea, Satana, and Hellstorm to 5 stars.
What makes this so awful is the extremely limited way to obtain the biometrics to unlock and rank up the new characters. Wong, Baron Mordo, Ancient One, and Kaecilius are available through the Epic Quest's "Memory Missions" which only allow for 10 runs for each character a day- meaning a maximum of roughly 10 bios a day (occasionally it'll give you 2 on a run)- and you need 150 total to get to 4 stars. Whereas Satana and Hellstorm are available in the Epic Quest's "Dark Dimension," and Clea can be found as a Shifter in the same area. Because each of them need to make it to 5 stars we'd need 310 of each character's biometrics. Making things even worse is that the only way to get Clea or Satana outside of the extremely limited biometric chances a day is only via the store's Monthly Selector because they will not be available with the regular selectors. I also don't know if rank up tickets will work for them yet, so that may be a small relief.
Considering the total number of biometrics rewarded through the Epic Quest is a meager 250, that means either an absurdly long farming task, or a bunch of purchases- making it seem like the trip to Strange is a multidimensional journey through the metaphysical paywalls of gaming.
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind the need to purchase stuff- as I do for extra costumes (including Strange's film one) and characters, and as I did for both Gwenpool and Carnage. It's just here, they've made Doctor Strange ridiculously difficult to get to his full potential because you need to get all the other new characters boosted. I mean why couldn't I just buy his character and feed him surplus biometrics as is necessary for the Boss characters like Thanos? Why force us to obtain and rank characters we may not want just to get the one we actually do want?
Strange is coming out in a movie and will likely draw in a crowd of potential new players, and what they've essentially done is create a funneled paywall to the in-game store in order to play him. It definitely appears to be a frustrating limitation for not just us long time players, but will very likely be a reason many new players may give up or quit.
On a side note, where the hell is Dormammu? One would think that great Doctor Strange staple villain and fiery-headed mystical arts user would be a wonderful addition to the game instead of the slightly more obscure Satana and Hellstorm. And now that I think of it, what happened to Enchantress, Sandman, and the Netflix Daredevil costumes for the Punisher and Elektra?
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