I remember the magic of my first few Pandora plays - how excited I got as I strung together a few wins in a row and wondered what kind of rewards I might earn as the treasure pile grew higher and higher.
After three or four runs, the rewards became very predictable, and that magic is gone. In particular, when running records like 1-2, it becomes hard to get excited about trying to win another game for 10 gold (or even worse, reaching the 2-packs-40-gold level at 3 wins which means waiting longer until another Pandora run). Until you reach 5-6 wins, it feels more like you’re buying two Battle Chests and collecting another 10-20 gold per win.
Pandora is still really fun because of the creative draft format and the climaxes that happen once Treasures start rearing their heads. I enjoy it a lot, but I feel like the current “fixed” rewards represent a huge missed opportunity.
Casinos, game shows, and many corporations have gotten wise to the fact that unpredictable rewards in variable amounts create the strongest excitement (and addiction) in consumers. Why don’t we add a little of that same excitement into Pandora?
My suggestion: Before every match you play in Pandora, a semi-random reward is chosen and displayed to you - this is the reward you are playing for in that match! If you win the match, you win the reward. If you lose the match, you don’t get the reward. As you rack up more wins, the chances of playing for something big increase. Like in the current system, three losses ends your Pandora run.
Earning the maximum number of wins (9 or possibly a higher number like 12) could yield an additional “big reward”, or the number of wins could be left uncapped since the scaling doesn’t need to be as extreme on the high end anymore. The system of earning Pandora Points for ranking/end-of-season rewards could remain exactly the same.
This really reinforces the feeling that you are fightling for a “prize” in every match and leaves open the possibility that any given match could bring something huge, which I think would be very fun and exciting for players. It leaves the possibility to take a big loss on “value” versus buying Battle Chests if you have a really bad run (0-1 wins), but on the whole could easily be balanced to be value-neutral against the current rewards.
Here are some examples of the kind of rewards a player might play for at different levels of wins (assuming a 12-win cap or no cap). These are just meant as inspiration; the numbers would probably need to be adjusted:
- A player with 0-2 wins has a 40% chance of playing for a Tier 1 prize, 30% to play for a Tier 2 prize, 20% to play for Tier 3, and 10% to play for Tier 4
- A player with 3-5 wins has a 50% chance of playing for a Tier 2 prize, 30% to play for a Tier 3 prize, 18% to play for Tier 4, and 2% to play for Tier 5
- A player with 6-9 wins has a 60% chance of playing for a Tier 3 prize, 30% to play for a Tier 4 prize, and 10% to play for Tier 5
- A player with 10+ wins has a 75% chance of playing for a Tier 4 prize, and a 25% chance to play for a Tier 5 prize
TIER 1 PRIZES
(When playing for Tier X Prize, the reward selected will be one of the following, at random.)
- Gold (20, 25, 30, 35, or 40)
- Memoria (5 or 10)
- 1 Pandora Shard
- 1 Random Rare Card
TIER 2 PRIZES
- Gold (50, 60, 70, or 80)
- Memoria (15 or 20)
- 2 Pandora Shards
- 1 Battle Chest
- 2 Random Rare Cards
- 2 Random Mythic Common Cards
TIER 3 PRIZES
- Gold (100, 125, 150, or 175)
- Memoria (30, 40, or 50)
- 1 Pandora Coin
- 2 Battle Chests
- 1 Random Epic Card
- 1 Random Mythic Rare Card
TIER 4 PRIZES
- Gold (250, 300, or 350)
- Memoria (70, 80, 90, or 100)
- 2 Pandora Coins
- 3 Battle Chests
- 2 Random Epic Cards
- 2 Random Mythic Rare Cards
TIER 5 PRIZES
- 3 Pandora Coins
- 5 Battle Chests
- 1 Golden Battle Chest
- 1 Random Legendary Card
- 1 Random Mythic Epic Card
- 5 Random Mythic Rare Cards
- 1 Random Mythic Legendary Card (very infrequent)
- Random unowned “Rare”-level Item (well, orb, card back, etc.) from shop
- Random unowned “Epic”-level Item from shop (very infrequent)
For clarity, an example of a player’s Pandora run:
Game 1: Plays for 10 Memoria, wins game and collects reward.
Game 2: Plays for a Forbidden Library card, loses game and collects nothing.
Game 3: Lucks out and draws a Tier 4 reward of a Groundshaker and Luduan!, wins game and collects reward. Does a little dance to celebrate.
Game 4: Plays for 35 Gold, wins game and collects reward. With 3 wins, the player will now have a better chance to draw higher-tier prizes.
Game 5: Plays for 2 Battle Chests, wins game and collects reward.
Game 6: Plays for 20 Memoria, loses game and collects nothing.
Game 7: Plays for 125 Gold, wins game and collects reward.
Game 8: Plays for 2 Pandora Shards, wins game and collects reward. With 6 wins, the player will now have a better chance to draw higher-tier prizes.
Game 9: Plays for a Royal Guard, wins game and collects reward.
Game 10: Plays for 3 Battle Chests, loses game and collects nothing. With 3 losses, this Pandora run is over.
The player finishes with 7 wins and receives the appropriate number of Pandora Points. While the player already knows which rewards she won, she is shown them onscreen once again to revel in her loot: 160 Gold, 10 Memoria, 2 Battle Chests, 2 Pandora Shards, Royal Guard, Groundshaker, and Luduan.
I know that this is a pretty radical suggestion that would require not only a fair bit of implementation effort, but also a change in the “expectations” of Pandora. However, I also feel that my idea has a lot of merit - greatly increasing the excitement and thrill of the Pandora experience without changing its core gameplay at all, and fitting perfectly with Pandora’s “treasure hunt” theme.
It would be amazing to see this in the game someday!