More people don't talk about how predatory and dishonest the Collection Book's system is. So let's do that.
At its core, the Collection Book (referred to as CB from now) is not a "fun" side activity for completionists, it is an integral piece of the game's monetization model. Or, at least it was in its inception. I call the CB's implementation dishonest because of how it presents itself to the player – as a way to get "awesome" rewards.
But the CB is not a way to get awesome rewards. At least not in the way it pretends.
The fundamental purpose of the CB is to entice players to artificially halt their own progress by destroying things they have worked or paid for, to be given small immediate gains in the hope that the player will seek to reimburse himself for the loss by spending money later
I guess what I mean to say is – The CB is bullshit.
First, let's address some truths about the CB and the way in which it effects the player's experience positively.
Gaining levels is the collection book early on is easy, and there are, good rewards for doing so – to a point.
The early game hands you an excess of things to accomplish this with.
Levels 6 and 26 give the player 500 v-bucks each. Level 13 gives a Jackpot Llama. These levels are easy to achieve if you're slotting items of lower rarity and duplicates, and therefor the pay off is actually good.
But the next time you get v-bucks from the CB is level 91. The next time you get a Jackpot Llama is level 112.
But because of the way the CB presents itself to the player, you would not know this. Because it only allows you to see the next few levels of rewards.
After the CB's initial pay off, the quality of rewards drop off hard, and while sprinkled with skill points (more on this in a minute), and the occasional evo mats, the rewards are almost entirely inconsequential to the early game when you'll be receiving those rewards in higher quanitities from just playing the game without having to destroy your shit.
Now I mentioned skill points, so let's talk about that as it is (or was) the primary reason mid to end-game players played into this system.
Because of the increase in skill points given to the player recently, almost all of the nodes in the skill tree can be unlocked without the CB. This was not the case before, and players were forced to participate in the CB's system if they wanted to 1. unlock all the gadget upgrades, and 2. unlock the stat nodes relevant to them.
Not only this, but if you were to play through the game unaware of the fact that skill points are hard capped beneath the skill trees' ceiling, and you filled all three skill trees before going into the 4th, your options for 5th tier evolution of heroes and weapon types are limited.
The game hides this fact from you, and in effect attempts to hard cap your progress so that you will participate in the collection book
But wait wait wait, you say. It's not like that anymore.
And you're right. The collection book as it pertains to skill points is not the insidious mountain of bullshit it once was, but it remains a dishonest system – one that has retroactively fu*ked over veterans because…
The CB's rewards have never been adjusted to accommodate the game's reward structure as it has changed
So what exactly do I mean by that, in terms of people who have pushed the collection book to 133 for all of the skill points.
What once was "You can now unlock nodes relevant to you assuming you didn't fu*k yourself too hard earlier"
"Congrats you can now unlock Defender Slots for Storm Shield Defenses that you've already done."
As the game is in a testing state, we can expect things to change and therefor I'm not surprised or angry that the skill point rewards changes – I'm angry about the fact that despite those changes (and the adjustments to the game's reward structure in general), the CB has gotten worse for people who've already invested in it.
There are some good rewards in the CB. But they're so few and far between that I can not stress enough how not worth it they are.
The CB exists primarily as a noob trap that invites the user to play a game without explaining the rules. This has undoubtedly lead to countless people slotting things that they regret, now forever unable to correct those mistakes.
Everything about the CB is unfair to the player. It is both anti-consumer and anti-fun. It is the single worst part of the game's progression system and its even worse because of how it appeals to new players by misrepresenting itself and its rewards.
We need to demand a change to the CB. It was designed as part of a predatory monetization model that Epic has been slowly stepping away from. If they intend to make good on that fact, the CB needs to either go away completely, or change to benefit the player.
My proposed changes would be
Allow players a limited number of items to retrieve from the Collection Book (or clone back into their inventories). This would alleviate the regret many players who participated in the CB early on now have, especially as it pertains to event items.
Buff the rewards and redistribute them to the player base. A rare defender as the reward for level 96 is nothing less than insulting. Lets fix it.
Take all skill points out of the collection book entirely and place them in the Commander Level progression.
Add more exclusive hero skins as rewards to entice players who want to work for a more unique experience.
List all level rewards (or at least the next 100) for the player so they may set goals for themselves and properly plan to reach them.
Thanks for reading this rant. I think this topic is really important and both the devs and the community need to address it. Talk openly about your opinions of the CB. Push the devs on it. Demand change if you want it. So far, they have refused to comment on the CB's reward structure. But if they intend to make their progression systems welcoming to an expanding player base, the CB needs to be revisited.
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