Conclusions of a new lv 50, full 0.36 player without gifts

Hey there :slight_smile:

I started writing this in the New Player Experience thread, but there’s a lot of good discussions there from experienced players, that it seemed better to split it.

The goal here is merely to give clear insight to the exact state of gameplay for entirely new players with no previous experience or knowledge, who did not have the benefits or gifts from previous versions of the game before 0.36.

It’s been… 18 days since I started according to my VIP pass :smiley:

:clock1: As a little background, I play several hours a day (way too many at the start), I have many years of experience with other Puzzle Quest games (PQ1, PQ2, MPQ, MtgPQ and GoW) and do all daily content, also spending gems generously.
I am now a level 50, Asssassin, and I am at… mid Chapter 13!

:shield: I have a total of one Epic piece on-color, 5 Rare pieces off-color, 1 Epic piece off-color, and 5 Rare pieces on-color. This obviously is not enough to progress any further :sweat:

:frowning_face: I feel like I can finish Chapter 13 with a lot of restarts and some lucky starting boards. I doubt I can do the same through Chapter 14 and 15 without an absolutely ridiculous amount of restarts. It’s not worth the effort.

:moneybag: Despite 3-4 store rerolls a day, Battle Pass+ + VIP and purchasing pretty much every single Relic I’ve seen at the store - as well as levelling equipment to 5 before dismantling it for that tiny extra chance, I am still lacking most first tier Relics - even with farming.
:paintbrush: I have many pieces I’d like to try and get on-color, but sadly I have never seen a basic tier dwarven relic for example - so that’s not even an option.
:gem: Also, I have obviously never seen a relic from dismantling :slight_smile: I have never seen a relic from completing a dungeon. And I have seen one relic from opening a dungeon chest.

:fireworks: I really enjoy the game. I think it can become something quite special, with a much broader appeal than GoW long-term, if the right decisions are taken. I did consider quitting half-way through - when the repetitiveness hit me, as well as the massive time required for most activities.

!!! Main Takeaways: !!!

  • PvP takes a ridiculous amount of time for very, VERY stale gameplay. I would honestly feel much better if I didn’t have to do it at all - and I am not a PvE only player in most games.

    • Suggestion: Remove the winning streak for scoring. It makes your first matches feel absolutely pointless, and brings nothing to the table but complexity.

    • Suggestion: Without redoing the entire PvP system, I would at the very least reduce the amount of daily tries by ~60%. Playing … 24+ matches a day to a gameplay that amounts to - “Did my Sacred Helmet give me on-color gems on turn 1? Well, guess I didn’t get a decent score then.”… it’s the definition of unpleasant.

    • Suggestion: Redo the PvP scoring. Focusing entirely on turn 1 wins means certain items invalidate all others (ex: Bone Rings, Savior Helms, Firewalker Rings, etc). Things like Heroic Efforts should also award points, for example - it’s a game about matching as many gems as you can in a limited amount of time after all. Some bonuses from matching, say, gems of 5 different colors a turn could also give you points! Or any other interesting scoring systems that make different strategies at least viable and fun.

  • Daily Dungeons - well, they take a ridiculous amount of time. They are somewhat more rewarding loot-wise than PvP, barely. The gameplay is ridiculously stale, the dungeon variance is ridiculously inconsequential. I play a normal dungeon and an elemental dungeon the exact same way. Again - kinda wish I didn’t have to do it!

    • Suggestion: Instead, have different dungeon(s) you can do ONCE a day for extra rewards, with actually different and consequential gameplay mechanics, and quadruple the rewards. It’s the exact same progress, but without the mind-numbingly repetitive gameplay, taking 1/4 of the time.

  • Levelling Up & Story - I am now level 50. I do not have the Citadel unlocked. I no longer feel like playing my main character, because all the experience I might get is wasted. However, I can’t get decent scores for all activities with any other character, because they are low! This is the exact point when I am actually considering, well, giving up on the game :slight_smile: I am missing progression I know exists, but I can never unlock any time soon.

    • Suggestion: Count all experience you get post level 50 and add it once you do unlock the Citadel. I consider this to be a very urgent change. Otherwise, you are just waiting for human nature to mentally force your players away from the game.

    • Suggestion: Reduce all monster stats by 30% for Hard, Story & Normal (armor, resistance, hp and damage). Keep levels as they are. It’s the simplest way to make players able to finish the story without any complex adjustments. It also speeds up gameplay - which is one of the current issues. Fine-tune later as necessary.

  • Kingdoms - they are the one thing that keeps players in multiplayer games. That sense of community - otherwise you might as well download an offline game and move along. I was very lucky to get a top-tier, extremely nice kingdom from day 2 (thanks to @Sibelios and Throne of Odin for the opportunity).
    However, there are no tangible benefits from joining a top tier kingdom. No activities you can do together. Nothing you can compete together in. And no ways to manage your basic player roster and contributions.

    • Suggestion: Focus your next, big new features on kingdoms. It’s that simple :slight_smile: Something cooperative, something competitive. Something to make it manageable.

  • Equipment - it’s dreadfully frustrating to try and farm, and upgrade, and try to get that basic equipment you want to level up… But get the wrong mastery for it. It’s virtually possible to never get the right equipment - let’s not even mention the off-color bonuses in Epic and above.

    • Suggestion: When you evolve an item manually, you should be able to PICK the color of equipment you get afterwards. On each evolution. It’s that simple really :slight_smile: You’ll still want multiple sets for multiple characters - but you won’t want to throw the game out the window nor feel blocked for your main one.

    • Suggestion: If an equipment is not designed for a specific mastery color OR item ability, remove it from its table. Example: Nobody will ever want a Serpentine Belt with “Red” mastery. Nobody will ever want a Firewalker’s Ring with “Blue” mastery and a bonus to Yellow spells. Adding these merely frustrates players further.

I hope this was helpful!


This is exactly the kind of catch-22 trap I suspected new players would fall into with the difficulty changes, but it takes a few weeks from the changes for new players to really start hitting those final levels and chapters.

You need better gear to progress, by which I mean several Epic pieces, but you won’t have found this while playing. One offered solution is to grind Dungeons, but these pose the challenge of being either too easy (story mode level but equally low level chest that won’t roll high rarity gear), or attempting player level / L50 dungeons which if you could you would already be able to beat Ch14/15 in the story.

Builds have to become glass cannons - builds capable of taking one, maybe two hits, then reliant on being able to chain together spells and control the board. But first time players don’t have a full library of spells to draw on - likely don’t even have all the spells of their own class, and definitely won’t have a set of ideal gear.

I accept that my end game is going to be grinding dungeons looking for that ideal set of gear, but that is for the end game, not merely finishing the story. It also doesn’t help knowing that all XP earned after L50 is simply wasted because you don’t have the citadel unlocked.

I started playing in 0.35 and was fortunate to be able to beat the story shortly before 0.36 with my Assassin, but spent the final 3 chapters earning 0XP since I’d hit 50 early. Those final chapters were still brutally hard for me as my best gear was Rare, with most gear at 15-25. I’d found 0 epics of any kind, 0 relics from any source.

1 Like

This is a great post that highlights a bunch of good points and possible solutions.

I finished the story with all five characters before .36, so I was lucky. Even before the new events and challenges that don’t advance the story, my first character hit 50 before I finished the story, the latter characters hit 50 later, but that was because I had the benefit of all the stuff I got from my first run. That being said, I didn’t get an epic drop until my third character I think. The final two chapters were a grind fest, prior to the difficulty increase. Now, there’s no way I would have made it to the end of the story. Not earning any XP or advancements for hours of game play is not at all appealing, especially while struggling against an insanely difficult set of fights. The game is so unforgiving to be players, I don’t know how they plan on hooking people long term of they’re not already invested.


Just wanted to say thank you for the feedback you’ve posted about and shearing your experience playing Puzzle Quest 3 with a new hero since .36 update was released, It’s really appreciated. I’ve added this to my report and have sent it to the Dev Team.

Thanks again :slight_smile:

OminousGMan - Support Human :male_detective: