Chapter 15 Disappointment

You level up to 50. You put in the hard work. You beat chapter 15. What do you win? A neat sword? A legendary cloak? Oh no. None of that. You win the game devs trying to sell you a $50 game pack.
Are the game demons serious?
There is no curse in middle earth to explain this treachery.
I feel so cheated.


Originally, the reward for completing Chapter 15 was unlocking the Citadel, which was at the time a rather huge reward. Technically, the Citadel is treated by the game as the Chapter 15 follower.

Late in beta, the Citadel unlock was moved to be automatic as soon as the player became eligible to use the it once any character class reached level 50. This was done because the difficulty curve is rather steep in the last chapters and players had to rely purely on gear alone at the time, where full Epic gear was difficult to achieve.

As you point out, nothing has replaced the Chapter 15 reward as of yet. It is unknown, at least publicly, whether or not there is any planned replacement reward for completing Chapter 15.

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Having some sort of Story reward would be a nice touch

Belt of holding perhaps :wink:


Congratulations on defeating the big bad and saving the world. Here’s a Citadel with the lands around it.
Cool - does it contain any great item as a reward? Err… No
Seriously? A full on castle and it doesn’t contain a single sword, shield, helm, boot, belt or even ring? No
It must have lots of rooms - can I use them to increase my storage? No
Can I improve the lands around to help Brie grow more food? No
Can I invest in the mines to make Adhakus produce more ore? No
Can I invest in a forge to make better weapons / armour? No
Can I invest in a wizard’s tower to research spells? No
Can I invest in workshops for any of my crafter followers to make them better in any way? No
Can I invest in a marketplace to attract traders with items to buy/sell? No
Facilities to train my minions? No

Soo… err… what CAN I do with this Citadel that was the big prize for saving the world?

How about some Critical Hit chance - sounds good - but only 0.1% per level? With it only coming round every 7th level I need to be Citadel 70 to even reach +1% chance.

And this is where the 75% reduction to XP with v1.0 launch bites HARD. A player that reached C50 before launch would now only reach C18. C100 now C48, C150 now C86, C200 now C132.

I’d like to think the state of the Citadel is just a placeholder for a future update, but it is another area of the game that I don’t think has really changed since the first release of Early Access nearly a year ago. Suggestions on ways to better use the Citadel have been around for nearly as long.


Unlike all of the other game systems that have changed over the course of Early Access, the Citadel is in the same state now as when Early Access launched all the way back in 0.34, around game mechanics that no longer exist.

I would like to think that the Citadel, as it is currently designed was based around a similar concept to high-level leveling in GoW, but to give actual meaningful benefits to players for grinding XP in the long-term. To that extent, it is fairly obvious that the intent was for players to max out one if not two limited boosts for each color and then invest the excess in the unlimited option. At seven categories in the Citadel, 50 ranks in each option would require 1050 Citadel levels to be earned.

But, the nature of the XP curve already made that an impossibility. As has been stated on the forums by multiple players, Citadel 200 was already pretty much the realistic max for most grinders, with perhaps those fortunate enough to grind with ultra rare +XP gear at very high rarities maybe making it to 250ish before the exponential growth curve makes leveling nigh impossible.

Now, there’s the 75% XP nerf on grindable encounters. That alone destroys the concept of the Citadel in its current state, as the combination of the XP nerf and the exponential XP curve makes reaching 50 ranks in a single limited boost functionally impossible.

And then one has to consider the imbalances already present among the boost options for each upgrade category in the Citadel. For multiple categories, the unlimited option is superior (sometimes vastly superior) to the limited options (see: your example on Critical Hit Boosts). For some character classes, the selection of options for a given category places them at a distinct disadvantage over others. An example of this is again the poor Necromancer, who just can’t catch a break ever. Necros have to make the hard choice of sacrificing either Ice Mastery for mana generation or Block for survivability.

So, yeah, the Citadel needs a revamp badly on multiple fronts and really needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

For the sake of discussion on this topic, I’ll add some observations from Lyranica and myself on the current state of XP gain.

We are at roughly Citadel 160. After the 1.0 XP changes, playing ~3k crests per week, it takes us 2 - 2.5 WEEKS to make a single Citadel rank. Lyranica absolutely hates these changes. Not on the grounds of the XP nerf directly, but rather that she feels that she can’t level up at all despite the exceptional effort she applies to grinding rank XP. To her, the emotional weight of the glacial speed of leveling post 1.0 is “soul-crushing”.

So, in a theoretical revamp of the CItadel system, which option would be more preferable, given that all three options would lead to the exact same outcome for the effort applied through manipulation of numbers?

  1. Very high Citadel Ranks possible (perhaps 1000+) and high rate of level ups (possible maximum cap on XP requirement to rank up, several rank ups expected weekly), but in exchange very low incremental boosts per rank to offset the high level up rate. [Players choosing this option prefer seeing the XP bar fill as a satisfying completionist goal, with stat boosts being secondary to being awarded level ups.]

  2. Medium number of Citadel ranks possible (perhaps 300-500), with slower rate of level ups, but still possible for a dedicated player to rank up once a week. Rank up boosts are higher to compensate in relation to the number of total Citadel ranks possible chosen by the dev team. [This is the balanced option between rank-up times and rank-up benefits.]

  3. Low number of Citadel ranks possible (<200, perhaps very low with milestone requirements), but with significant/meaningful benefits for each and every rank-up. Time needed for a rank-up might require months of dedicated play at higher Citadel ranks. [Players choosing this option are likely those who view the journey to a goal as being worthy of the prize awaiting at the end of the rainbow.]

What are everyone’s personal opinions on this question?

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The formula for level requirement XP is 2% more than the previous level, and seems to hold in a straight line from L0 through to at least L210 with only minor rounding errors. That formula does not seem to have changed despite the amount of XP we can earn being reduced 75%.

I can completely relate to that feeling. With the state of the game now I feel I cannot make any progress and it is killing the fun of the game.

Progress from the Citadel has been killed with the XP nerf. I now measure my progress there in weeks per Citadel level, not levels per week. Any individual level gain there is also a fairly inconsequential increase, that may be of no use to your preferred class(es). So progression here is virtually zero.

To level faster means playing more, but there hitting other caps - chest limits, gold/food/ore caps, storage limits - that mean scrapping many rewards is the only way to keep playing.

To make progress with gear - if I find something I want to keep I inevitably have to scrap another item to make room for it - deciding between good colour Rares vs not ideal Epics just to make space. Upgrading and evolution is held back by Glyphs which don’t drop and Relics which don’t drop more so than the drip feed of higher rarity shards.

A grind that results in some progress can still be fun. But a grind with no sense of progress isn’t. Grinding the old goals system was an example of that where I wouldn’t have chosen to use specific weapons for 100 runs each, but there was some reward at the end besides the loot (99% instant salvage). Then the update wiped out that and replaced it with a new system, new grind, but also greatly reduced benefits.

It feels more and more like each area of the game is being designed in a way to stop or greatly slow any sense of progress.

This is all very relative to the excruciating parts of the game to the high time invested gamer, but my original gripe speaks more to the in your face slapping of the average cellphone gamer.
To not give an actual in game prize to the completion of said game, that you most likely already spent more then $100 in micro transactions to get to. Is already insulting. But to really stab the hard core fan of the game in the back and then twist the knife while laughing in their face… they try to sell you a FIFTY DOLLAR PACK that’s essentially worth nothing… because the pvp system is garbage meaningless.
Whatever good will I felt to the makers of this game is forever tarnished.
Never in my time…40+ years have I ever encountered such a (expletitive) insult I the gaming world.
It would be one thing if it was an expansion pack to finish playing out the story and explore the world… but no. It’s just meaningless cash grab useless garbage.

The game is not complete, though. You’ve only reached the ending point of the current story arc.

Unlike past Puzzle Quests, PQ3 follows a live-service model, which means that the game will continually be updated with new content, stories, and challenges for as long as the game stays in service.

If you want to take a breather while waiting for the next set of content to come out, go ahead and do so. Your characters will still be here and you will be ready to go when the next batch of story content releases.

I’m admittedly curious about this. There are numerous F2P live service model cell phone games that provide in-game purchases to speed or enhance your path during game play. But I’m less familiar with “an actual in game prize” model that requires you to spend money to complete. Can you give an example? I’ve also been playing games nearly 40+ years and I can say I have a very different feeling than you experienced so I’m just curious what you mean in this context.

(I don’t know if you actually spent money, but no money actually needed to be spent to play the game)

That’s kind of my point. I’ve never come across a game that “ends” with the game devs trying to sell you experience, runes etc… While this game doesn’t require you to spend money…I can only imagine how long it would have taken me without the vip pass which is at least 9.99 a month. 99.00 a year. As is, it took me 3 months.

WoW, and all copy cat games after that will sell expansion packs. Which instantly gives more game play. But not… well congrats, you reached the end, saved the day. Here’s a treasure chest with nothing in it, some fancy graphics, and oh btw can you pay us $50 for little in game trinkets? We know there’s nothing else to do. But hey…Up your citadel for absolutely no reason. Not even Raid Shadow Legends is that greedy. And I completed their map too.
Its just absurd. All f2p, microtrans games usually have never ending arcs.

As to me keeping this game. No. I’m not. I uninstalled. There has been no mention of anything past 15 that I’m aware of. And yes I looked. And I’m not going to spend any more precious minutes of my life to up the levels of my characters, just to have them nerfed as others have pointed out that is done constantly in every upgrade.
I’m just not going to waste any more time on this. The game devs have decided profit is above all else. They won’t give the dog a bone, and it starved to death.
I can’t wait for the noobs to reach 15 only to find nothing besides a cash grab. This game is going to be ratioed hard core.

The irony being we would have to salvage something to keep it heh

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