For Some Reason, Avengers is Becoming More of a Grind

Avengers, assemble more slowly.

Marvel’s Avengers is probably a frustrating project for publisher Square Enix. What should be a slam dunk of a successful game has been plagued by roadmap delays, criticism of a repetitive grind, and a dwindling player base. Developer Crystal Dynamics has been quietly keeping their heads down as they work to get the content back on track with upcoming updates for Clint “Hawkeye” Barton and next-gen releases, but today announced a confusing change to the game’s experience system.

In a blog post today, Crystal Dynamics announced that their intention was never to allow players to level up as quickly as they are. Thus, in an upcoming update, they plan to make the path to leveling take more experience points than it previously has.

“The current XP ‘curve’ isn’t really a curve at all,” the post reads. “In most RPGs, the amount of XP you need to level up increases as you gain levels in a curve, but our system is a straight line. This has led to pacing issues, such as skill points currently being rewarded too fast, which may be confusing and overwhelming to newer players. We want each decision to invest in a skill or Heroic to be more meaningful.”

The solution for this, Crystal Dynamics argues, is to increase the required XP to level up from level 25 on. They believe this will keep from overwhelming players with skill tree choices too quickly by letting them breathe between levels.

It’s an utterly baffling solution to a nothing problem.

I am not sure what exactly would “save” Avengers, but I assure you that making it more difficult to level characters up is not it. None of the criticisms of the game, and there are many, have ever mentioned it being overwhelming or confusing to choose which skills to take at leveling up. It’s so much more often the opposite — players wish to get to the big skills earlier and find the grind to get there tedious.

It’s also confusing for a game that theoretically is releasing new characters on a schedule for the remainder of its natural life. There’s almost no reason for a player to pick up Hawkeye or Black Panther if it will take longer to get to an endgame state with them. Hell, even without considering DLC, this seems like it discourages variety by taking longer to get even the base game’s Avengers up to fighting shape.

Perhaps the most baffling bit of this is a line in the post, wherein Crystal Dynamics states “If you have a character who isn’t level 50 and want to speed up their progress, take this time to do so before the update on March 18.”

They’re encouraging players to get in under the wire for a change they argue is for the better because they know it’s going to be more of a slog. If they are acknowledging that, then why is it being changed in the first place?

Avengers is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia, and will get next-gen updates for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X on March 18.