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How valuable are boosts, and why are they so disruptive? I applied some data

So, it’s no question that boosts are hugely disruptive to the game, as they’ve been implemented in a way that makes them far, far too powerful. I think boosts are a fantastic idea, but they’re too powerful, too common, and not limited in terms of scope/application (i.e. too many per dino).

But how valuable are boosts, really? And why do they feel so disruptive - or unjust - to some players? I threw some data together to try and quantify what we’re all feeling (or, most of us). My conclusions don’t really tell anyone reading this what they don’t already know, but sometimes, seeing the data helps us visualize the effects of something. Upended, in a bad way.

The TL;DR is this: if we take Indoraptor, look at the gains of leveling it from L26-L27, and compare the leveling gains to applying one boost set (HP+Attack) to the same Indo (the same 5% gain for each stat in each case), boosts are the equivalent of getting 50,000 Velociraptor DNA, 1,800 T. Rex DNA, and 143,200 coins (assuming an average of 22.25 DNA per fuse for both Indo and I.Rex, and counting 200 and 1000 coins/fuse for I.Rex and Indo, respectively, along with the 120K coins for level-up). That’s Table A, below. In terms of time, I estimate it to be a shortcut of 33 days. See Table B, below. As for upper and lower bounds on time, see Table C. In all of this, I’m not even counting the cost of a boost pack, because it’s a rounding error in all of this.

And this is why boosts feel so wrong to most of us: they allow for a shortcut to power for players with lower-level dinos that pretty much negates the work (grinding time and/or money) everyone put into building teams over an entire year. To be clear, I think boosts should be in the game, but not like they are currently. I also want to state that it’s not that someone with lower-level dinos shouldn’t be able to win, or that higher-level teams have a right to always win, but in how boosts can laugh in the face ot the time and money spent on grinding and team building.2

…and that’s just with 33 days as a rough starting point for one dino; apply this analysis across multiple dinos, and multiple boost levels vs. level-ups, and the effect is exponential. And, of course, this analysis ignores the impact of speed boosts, which is arguably much greater.

The following table lays out the data used in my example. It’s perhaps a bit clumsy, since trying to adapt a matrix to a 2D table is inelegant (especially with markdown, LOL), but this is a good representation of the math behind the example:

Table A: Theoretical DNA Required to Bring Indoraptor from L26 to L27

Indoraptor (L27) Velociraptor I. Rex Velociraptor T. Rex
DNA for Level-Up 350
DNA Yield/Fuse 22.31
Fuses Needed 16.0
DNA Used/Fuse (Indo.) 2,000 50
DNA Needed (for Indo.) for 16 fuses ----> 32,000 800
    Fuses Needed (I. Rex) 36.0
    DNA Used/Fuse (I. Rex) 500 50
    DNA Needed (for I. Rex) for 36 fuses------- ------------- -------> 18,000 1,800
---------------------------- ----------------------- ---------------- -------- --------- --------
Grand Total Velociraptor: 50,000 T.Rex: 1,800

 

Next, I put these DNA needs in terms of collection time, and basing the time on assumptions about DNA per encounter, and encounters per day. These assumptions are going to vary by quite a bit across all players, but again, it demonstrates just how much value boosts have from a time standpoint:

Table B: Theoretical Collection Time, Velociraptor & T. Rex (Indo. from L26 to L27)

Total DNA Needed DNA/ Encounter Encounters Needed Encounters /Day Total Days
Velociraptor 50,000 325 154 10 15.4
T. Rex 1,800 160 11 0.33 33

 

Throwing that into a sensitivity table around T. Rex encounters, and holding that 160 DNA/encounter constant, the range of days to level-up looks like this (obviously, for all values below 15.4, Velociraptor becomes the gating factor, so I’m holding that constant as well, hence the 15s in the NW quadrant).

Table C: Range of Days, T. Rex Encounters (Indo. from L26 to L27)

T. Rex Encounters L24-25 L25-26 L26-27 L27-28 L28-29 L29-30
1/Day 15 15 15 15 15 24
6/Wk. 15 15 15 16 18 28
5/Wk. 15 15 16 19 21 34
4/Wk. 15 16 20 23 27 42
3.5/Wk. (1 every 2d) 16 18 22 26 30 48
2.3/Wk. (.33/d) 25 28 34 40 46 73
2/Wk. 28 32 39 46 53 84
1/Wk. 56 63 77 91 105 168

If anyone’s interested, I can easily run sensitivities on different variables, and/or change the base dinos and assumptions (since it’s all in Excel, including a programming of the markdown language for posting tables).


1. The 22.3 DNA per fuse figure is one that I’ve roughly observed, but is backed by the Metahub analysis from last year, using a larger dataset than just my n=1.
2. To those who mention that, since boosts are available to all, the new ranks reflect a new normalization based on player skill and team level over X number of trials, you’re theoretically correct, but it’s erroneous in practice because of the deeply flawed boosts system as implemented. That everyone has access to boosts does not make the system balanced, since certain dinos can be so OP that they obliterate everything in sight. Not only that, true normalization would include the ability to reallocate boosts once players have seen how they’re performing, but that’s not possible. Add to this the inanity of how trophy wins/losses are allocated, and you have the broken system before us.

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Simply fantastic

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Great work. But we all get boosts every day. So in total, all that math and short cutting is =. The only built in security blanket for the long term players is most of us/them are in the top 2 arenas. So we get 1 extra boost per day over those who are not. Even 2 and 3. (Which I think is unfair cause new players at this time have no way of making up that difference and will eventually never be able to get in.).
As far as the rest of this, it’s cute when you look at it from the perspective every one is getting boost.

The moment when the players are much more qualified in game making then developers. :smile:

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Re-read my footnote. You’re theoretically correct, but the practical impact is different because boosts allow for Super OP dinos, and they can’t be reallocated. I kept this out of the analysis because it merits a separate discussion. To add to it, it’s true that we’ll all normalize eventually, over the mid-term or long-term, but the problem comes in how we subjectively look at an acceptable mid- and long-term, and the friction experienced in those timeframes. It’s very clear that most players are not happy with the timeframe or the friction, since we’ve been living with boosts for six weeks and it’s still a mess. It’s also conflated with matchmaking, but the truth is that they’re interwoven right now.

Thanks for the work you put into this. This is really interesting and voiced my exact issue with boosts.

Thank you…

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You’re welcome - I thought it would be enlightening for some of us.

Wow for putting all this together. I applaud you for this.

Also, about boosts I want to say…

Nerf Thor Speed. No Thors at 135 speed. Bump it down to 130 tier 6. Its ridiculous right now and a lot of players use this crutch. Not many teams really stand much of a real chance against that. Not fun totally misbalanced.

Nerf DC somehow that also doesn’t make him useless. This thing shouldn’t be dishing out 3-4k damage in a spamming technique like this.

Those two dinos with boosts make the arena very dull ^^

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Cracking bit of math!! Seen you theorising in other threads, good you got it all down and clear for them to understand. Well done, great work :+1:

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For me the biggest problem is the lack of strategy you need.
Battles used to last a couple of turns in which you had to anticipate enemy choices and strategize your own moves to come out on top in the end.
Now, people just 1 hit k.o. your entire team with thora, and if you somehow survive, a 4k DSR draco will crush any hope left.

Wins might become balanced again in time, since your thor can do the same, but outthinking opponents is just plain dead.

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I read your foot note. There are only a couple of scenarios that make boosts unfair in my opinion. For those players that don’t have all the Dino’s yet. They want to be competitive, so they apply boosts to Dino’s. Then when they do get, let’s say Thor for the sake of this, they don’t have the boosts cause they are applied some where else. Valid point, I get, but I have 4 players in my alliance, that have not used boosts and they are still in aviary. Their point is they still get the max per day, and are saving the boosts to see how things pan out. So not seeking that immediate gratification. Boosts, except for speed, are a percentage of stat. So the grinding that has been done should still give advantage to the stronger player.
Where your hole post blows apart, is the fact people have applied their boosts, to either the wrong Dino’s and are sour over it. Well bad choice and that has an effect, as all bad choices in life do. Or they mega boosted one Dino, which can lead to a sweep, but can also lead to a lot of losses.

What you chart does not include, is that over time, things will even out. Cause under current game you get 4 a day per catagory. To go to lvl7 you need 128, or 32 days. Pretty equivalent, to leveling up a Dino. The difference is, you can level up faster if you spend the time playing, where you can’t get more boosts per day. Tier 8 being 64 days, tier 9 being 128 days. Tier 10 being 256 days. I see that being well over a year. Where this game being just a year old has multiple players, probably hundred thousand or more with multiple lvl30 Dino’s, if not a whole squad. So saying this is a rampant change, it is actually way slower then normal game play. Remember we are talking about leveling just on Dino from tier 6-10. 450 days. Another point, how long did it take to level v-raptor to lvl10. Even 6. 1 week??? 2 maybe. I am sure when a lvl2 vraptor faced a lvl6, the player on the other end felt it unfair. The smart player Early on, spent a lot time leveling that vraptor as fast as possible.
The real question falls, when and if they nerf a Dino, or change a move set. Let’s say they take away Thor’s instant move. It just becomes a Rex. Pretty easy to beat, even boosted. It would be at this point, Ludia would have to allow players to change their boosts from one Dino to another.

So dramatic, according to your post, to fast, it is in reality just the opposite. And the only real unfair part of this whole boost system, is players in lower arena get less from their daily incubator. Put that into a chart and examine it. I believe, at 128 days a player in to the top 2 arenas will have 4 Dino’s all tier 6. While arenas below, it will take them 184 days, 296 days, 512 days. Basically, in 50 days, there will be no way for a player to change their arena. It means no new influx of a players to upper arenas. Cause they simply won’t be able to compete.

They don’t need to take away Thors instant attack. They just need to bump her speed tiers down just a bit.

Ludia encouraged spreading boosts around. Most did that, and will reap the rewards later, much later.

But many players put everything into Thor so you see a Thor that outspeeds 80% of the time. This leads to a huge misbalance.

I love Thor she’s my favorite always was with Tarbo. But even I say…no just no, to 135 speed tier 6 Thor. Nerf the speed tier for Thor. Tier 5 is 127 and that is much better. When Thor has 135 speed its horrendous it leads to many 3-0 battles. Thor doesn’t need a nerf exactly it all leads to boosts needing nerfs.

And Dracotops doing 3-4k damage is simply out of control for spamming boosts.

And you already know these players using these crutches are just saving there boosts just for them.

Two thoughts, okay, so making them less powerful is an option (limiting the amount, or making the % lower). Easy enough.

But, what about maybe if they make applying boosts related to the level your creature has? So for example, you can boost a T Rexs speed, health, attack to a certain point but not further unless you level it up some more. The limit of boosts would be dependent on the creature’s level thus making it still necessary to collect more dna and coins to level it up before you can continue boosting it.

So each creature level would have a specific pre set max. Once you level it up you will be able to boost it again until you reach the next max.

What do you think of this idea? Could it solve something?

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Here’s your gold. +1

This is my biggest complaint as well. JWA used to be chess, now it’s a half-used box of crayons. That and the kid down the street just bought a bunch of firecrackers and is looking at you with an evil grin…

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Haven’t seen this suggestion before (not that I have waded through all the boost posts); so something like:

Unique:

L21 Max Tier 1
L22 Max Tier 2
L23 Max Tier 3
L24 Max Tier 4
L25 Max Tier 5
L26 Max Tier 6
L27 Max Tier 7
L28 Max Tier 8
L29 Max Tier 9
L30 Max Tier 10

Legendary:

L16 Max Tier 1
L17 Max Tier 2
L18 Max Tier 3
L19 Max Tier 4
L20 Max Tier 5
L21 Max Tier 6
L22 Max Tier 7
L23 Max Tier 8
L24 Max Tier 9
L25+ Max Tier 10

Epic:

L11 Max Tier 1
L12 Max Tier 2
L13 Max Tier 3
L14 Max Tier 4
L15 Max Tier 5
L16 Max Tier 6
L17 Max Tier 7
L18 Max Tier 8
L19 Max Tier 9
L20+ Max Tier 10

etc.

Plus make them less powerful and limit shop sales to special events.

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Your article is very informative and satisfying to read. It would be sweeter to draw a brief conclusion at the end though. Maybe just a simple sentence like: Boost is just (insert whatever dirty word you want to use)

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I saw this. Will respond when able.

Haha, indeed. I did say that, though, in the preamble (nee pre-ramble). And thanks - glad it’s valuable.