Blueprint and Golden Ticket crisis
Minion Rush is currently facing a Blueprint/Golden Ticket crisis, and it grows worse with every update. I'll discuss each topic separately within this thread and suggest ways to help fix the crisis.
Blueprint (Minion Rush)
Blueprints are special items that were introduced following the release of the Horror Night Party Special Mission in Despicable Me: Minion Rush.
Players can earn the blueprints by opening Horror Night Prize Pods (later only in following Special Mission Prize Pods), or they can be earned when they finish collecting as many items as needed in the Special Mission. They can also be won at the Final Competition at the very end of the Special Mission if players are placed and finish in at least top 1000 or better. Players can use the blueprints to unlock Disco Minion costume, which takes 20 blueprints to unlock. Players can also use blueprints to unlock the Skater Minion costume which take 25 blueprints to unlock. After unlocking one or both of the costumes, players can keep collecting blueprints in order to upgrade the ability levels for the costume which gives +1 Multiplier for each upgrade until Max level is reached. Once max level is reached for both blueprint minions, players will also have see a +10 multiplier increase than what it was originally before maxing out the abilities levels.
Blueprints share many feature in common with puzzle pieces, as they are both able to unlock costumes; however, blueprints are much rarer to be obtained because the special pods mentioned above are only available during special missions, and it's impossible to find blueprints in golden or silver prize pods. Also, blueprints can be used to upgrade costumes while puzzle pieces don't.
In addition, blueprint-only costumes are the only ones to have two abilities while owning them. For example, Disco Minion's abilities are all power-ups last 12 seconds longer and the first revive is free, unlike regular costumes which only have one ability.
- Initially, Blueprints were not directly purchasable and they can only be obtained by participating the Special Missions or purchasing and opening Special Mission Prize Pods. The first Special Mission Prize Pod awarded from the mission was always a blueprint. Currently, Blueprints can be purchased by Market Tickets.
Ah, yes... Those hard-to-obtain blue slips of paper that can buy generally powerful costumes! The main problem with Blueprints is that new BP costumes and very expensive upgrades are being churned out faster than we can physically upgrade them with available BP's unless we spend hundreds of thousands of tokens. No one can get that amount of tokens without spending thousands of US dollars, so Gameloft leaves us in the dust with the new costumes.
Think about it: When Spy arrived, he took 77 BP's to fully max. This does not even consider Time Attack at all. The most BP's one could reasonably obtain during Episode 2: Operation Bubble Gum was around 20, and that's being extremely optimistic. (3 + 6 + 6 + 4 = 19; forced BP from special Prize Pod brings the total to 20)
The market in Special Missions is the easiest way to obtain Blueprints since the other ways (special Prize Pods, Blue Prize Pods) are far, far, FAR less fruitful. With the Prize Pods, you'd spend on average 800 tokens per Blueprint (roughly 5% chance for a Blueprint, 40 tokens per pod), and token rewards do not outweigh the cost at all. You can still fully max a BP costume, but that means leaving your other BP costumes in the dust.
New players are in quite the bind with Blueprints. The best way to obtain BP's are in Special Missions, but their high prices require lots of grinding to obtain. What's the best and easiest way to collect items for Market Tickets? Fevers. How do you get the most out of your fevers without spending hundreds or thousands of tokens? With Skater or Spy. What do Skater and Spy require? Tons and tons of Blueprints (33 to get the fourth Fever from Skater and to purchase him, 25 to purchase Spy). Fortunately, Skater can be found in the SM Market from time to time, so you really only need 8 BP's to get the fourth Fever, but Skater costs about six thousand Market Tickets, which requires many hours and even days of arduous item grinding/Fever chugging.
Basically, to get BP's easily, you need Skater or Spy, but those require tons of BP's. See how new players are in quite the bind here? If anything, the high prices only discourage new players from even continuing in Special Missions, and they will get BP's much more slowly if at all. Outside Special Missions, BP's are impossible to obtain unless the respective special Pod remains for some reason. How are new players supposed to experience the power of even the cheapest Blueprint costumes easily?
On a rather stupid note, the description of the Blueprint item is "Collect all the needed Blueprints to unlock Costumes for FREE!"
Isn't that true for Bananas and Tokens? Of course you have to collect all the Bananas/Tokens to unlock the costumes for free. In the extremely long Game Guide that can be found under Settings, it says that Blueprints can be obtained from doing well in events. You know, the events where you compete with other players? Not a single Blueprint is to be found in those events. They should remove that line since it's a lie, or they should allow you to win varying numbers of BP's based on your position in the event.
EDIT: philgaldong raises a very good point. Part of the problem is that we expect to be able to fully-max many/all BP costumes quickly when the BP system forces you to be selective. Although this isn't bad in and of itself the implementation isn't good. Not enough Blueprints are available to make reasonable progress on a single costume without leaving every other costume in the dust, especially with more expensive BP costumes.
EDIT 2: With the two-lap Special Missions, the Blueprint crisis is improving slightly. BP's are easier to get because of the sheer amount of Market Tickets available in the second lap, and you have the sheer abundance of Fevers to help.
I have various solutions since I am not dead-set on one, and I fully know that some players will prefer one option over the other, and others will prefer a mix of options.
Solution One: Make BP's easier to obtain in Special Missions.
With the current setup, you can buy up to 15 BP's with Market Tickets. The first three BP's cost 1,500 MT total, the next six bring the total to 6,000 MT, and the total price of all 15 BP's is 12,000 MT, which is barely enough if you purchase nothing else. New players will find this to be impossible, and they will probably not bother to figure out that Skater plus the first nine BP's is a total of 12,000 MT, which happened because the planets aligned.
The idea is to make Blueprints cheaper, so new players can afford them and other items in the shop as well. A system like this could work:
5x Blueprint (200 MT each)
5x Blueprint (400 MT each) (Unlocks when existing stock reaches 0)
5x Blueprint (600 MT each) (Unlocks when the 400-MT BP's stock reaches 0)
Solution Two: Make Blueprints Event Prizes
The game's help guide says that BP's can be obtained as prizes during "weekly" events. Unfortunately, that's not a thing. The answer is simple: You can win varying amounts of Blueprints depending on your performance in the event along with the normal prizes. I say "along with the normal prizes" because you don't want a single prize bracket having the Blueprints, like this:
Winner: 100 Tokens
Top 20: 40 Tokens
Top 50: 20 Tokens
Top 100: 5 Blueprints
Top 500: 10 Tokens
Top 2,500: Useless bananas
Players like me would not aim to win, but to place within #100 to #51. Obviously, this would create a "do well, but not perfectly" mentality that undermines the point of having a winner's prize. If the Blueprints were the winner's prize, that would ruin the point of the suggestion. How about something like this:
Winner: 100 Tokens + 5 BP's
Top 20: 40 Tokens + 3 BP's
Top 50: 20 Tokens + 2 BP's
Top 100: (random standard prize) + 1 BP
Top 500: 10 Tokens + 1 BP
Top 2,500: Useless bananas
The prizes could be raised for VIP events. This gives you a constant opportunity to earn Blueprints outside the Special Mission.
Solution Three: Increase BP Chances from Pods
Blueprints have an outrageously low chance of being rewarded from Prize Pods. By increasing the chance from 5% to 15% or so, the price for a single Blueprint is cut down by a lot. Outside the Special Mission, the Blue Prize Pods would appear with the same Blueprint chances (15% or so).
Golden Ticket (Minion Rush)
- EDITThe Golden Tickets are a kind of special item that were introduced following the release of the Mower Minions Special Mission in Despicable Me: Minion Rush as of version 4.0.0. It is the fifth and one of the premium currencies in the game.
- Players can earn golden tickets by opening Costume Improver Prize Pods, which they can be earned by directly purchasing them or by collecting all fruits of a jelly machine in higher Jelly Lab levels. A golden ticket can be (and only) used to a costume, if the player has collected enough tickets and unlock the costume's ability (known as golden skill), the user can activate the Ticket Shredder to convert the remaining ticket(s) to golden dust, which can be converted to another ticket if enough is collected.
- The golden ticket can give certain costumes for more ability, for example, if Boxer Minion's golden ability is unlocked, its abilty can be upgraded to making all power-ups last 32 seconds longer if it is also upgraded to the highest level, even longer than a fully upgraded Lucy Minion. Compared to the Blueprint, the golden ticket is much easier to unlock for the costume's additional ability, golden skill, though the ticket of costumes the player hasn't owned yet may also spawn; these tickets can't be shredded or converted to other uses.
Golden skills are meant to be mid- to late-game bonuses to costumes earned through varying numbers of Golden Tickets (either 6, 10, 16, or 25). Apart from the Market in Special Missions, which GT's you get are completely based on luck and when the pod lotteries are available with certain tickets available. It already takes thousands to tens of thousands of tokens to get a single costume golden, and we're getting an influx of 25-ticket costumes, which make things worse.
What happens as we add more golden skills? It will take longer and longer to get costumes golden, which means we might get to the point of having to spend hundreds of thousands of tokens to get a single costume golden. Natalia said somewhere that most costumes will eventually have a golden skill (can't find the thread where she said that, nor do I want to dig through for that thread), so something needs to be done. I might be making mountains out of molehills on this, but who knows?
Solution One: Make Golden Tickets easier to obtain.
To get a ticket from the pod lottery, you have to spend 60 tokens. Most of the time, it's one of the high-chance pods rather than a typical Costume Improver Platinum Prize Pod, and I find myself needing a ticket not found in either of those! When you do get a normal Costume Improver Prize Pod (the one worth 40 tokens), it's only found once in the Special Mission and for collecting almost all fruits in a high Jelly Lab area. This suggestion will involve the following:
Normal Costume Improver Prize Pod is always available once you reach level 300. (New players will find golden tickets a waste of tokens.)
The platinum variant (unbiased chance, high-tier costumes) is always available for 55 tokens once you reach level 300.
The high-chance platinum pods will remain untouched.
Solution Two: Pods will always give two tickets.
This idea simply allows you to accumulate golden tickets twice as fast. It will still take lots of tokens to get a costume's golden skill, but it feels like less of a soulless token grind, especially when more costumes receive golden skills in the future.
Solution Three: Improve the Ticket Shredder.
Right now, the shredder is a good idea, but the execution is more than questionable. For some reason, each ticket yielded will mean more tickets needed to shred to create a new ticket. It starts at just a few tickets to shred, but it eventually caps out at 30 or so. That's ridiculous! I have two ways of dealing with this issue:
Version A: Weighted tickets
Tickets that belong to costumes that require more golden tickets carry more weight for the shredder. In other words, they fill up the meter more than tickets for costumes that require fewer tickets.
Version B: Much lower requirement to produce ticket
Simply produce a new golden ticket from shredded tickets for every 10 tickets shredded.
Both versions of the shredder suggestion will fix the main issue with the shredder: the sheer amount of tickets required to produce anything. This entire thread took me two hours to type, which meant not studying for a test in school tomorrow. Let me know what you think (things to change/add/remove), and I'll revise accordingly.