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MK11 Single Player Modes and Grind Discussion (Towers of Time, Augments, and Krypt) - Towers are Fixed.

Prateek Shekhar

LeggoMyEggo
FINAL? EDIT: Towers are Fixed
EDIT 7: Towers Already Easier?

EDIT 6: Streams are up. Reviews are out. This is my goodbye. Have fun.
EDIT 5: I finally understand the Tag battle mechanic by playing in Window mode, and beat it.
EDIT 4: I unlocked Char Tower 4 and quit this mode for now.

EDIT 3: Clarification on Augment sockets.
Hey just an update because I was the one who described the sockets/augments.
There are 3 slots in gear, but you can only even unlock 2. I assumed the third is another socket, there to give you a better chance of getting the 2 you want on a reroll, since you can only equip 2 augments on a gear piece.

But no, gear stops levelling after level 2. In the kustomize menu, the third socket says 'Koming Soon'. Maybe special sockets that change effects of abilities for characters like injustice legendary gear? Who knows.
EDIT 2: Review is here
EDIT1: Posts from other users here: Link


Hi everyone. While the other early copy holders are working hard on bringing stuff like frame data, combos and gear to you, I wanted to take a deep dive into the single player suite of the game. While this is not that big for most of the competitive community, a lot of people are excited for MK11 for the single player options, and seeing as how NRS is using customization as a selling point, I wanted to talk about 3 areas - Augments, Krypt and Towers of Time, and why they might turn some people off.

Towers of Time:

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The towers of Time are like the Injustice 2 timed multiverses with some bullshit added on top. I don’t know how the larger community felt about the multiverse, but I had fun with them. Once you leveled up your characters to level 20 and had epic gear, even the harder bosses were fun. Before I get to the negatives, let me breakdown the mode first.

Tutorial towers: Before you even begin to see the real towers, you’ve got to do 4 tutorial towers. These are the same for everyone and teach you about endurance battles, consumables, and boss battles. Once you finish the tutorial towers you see the real deal.

Timed Towers: Just like the IJ2 multiverse, there are about 3-4 timed towers (or islands rather) that refresh hourly, daily, or every 3 or so days. These might be specific to certain characters, or more general. They may have only a single tower with a single boss, or a progression of towers that unlock as you achieve objectives. More or less same ad Injustice 2.

Summoned Towers: These are special towers that you can only access by summoning through Tower Keys. I do not have any tower keys yet and am not aware how to get any. So I can't elaborate on the rewards you can get from these towers.

Character Towers: These are another type of tower that you can summon in exchange for coins. These are like the Injustice 2 character specific multiverses. Initially, you can summon a tower for your character for 25,000 koins. Once you beat that tower, you can summon the next tier of tower for the same character for 50,000 coins, and so on. These towers award brutalities, intros, gear, skins, variation icons and augments for your character.



On paper this system is fine, even generous, but in practice it is anything but. First of all, the towers themselves have really bad difficulty spikes, due to some of these insane modifiers and stage hazards that only affect the player and not the AI opponent. So far I've come across unblockable laser grids, hsu hao's laser, homing missiles that lifesteal, periodic earthquakes, frozen ground that freezes you, tanya's tonfas, acid clouds, etc. Some of this may sound like standard NRS fare, but trust me, it was never this frustrating in earlier games.

First of all, about half of this shit is unblockable. Second, enemy AI loves reading your inputs and using what counters you. Stand blocking? Here comes a low. Crouch blocking? Here's an overhead string. AI's below 30% and you let go of block for a couple seconds? Here's a FATAL BLOW. Now don't get me wrong. Despite all this, in a fair 1v1 fight the AI is almost a pushover. You can breeze through entire rounds with just jump in 2s and down 2s. However, when you mix in these hazards that only affect you, these pushover opponents become worse than final bosses in other NRS games. Here are a couple of examples:


There are a few reasons that I could think of for these difficulty spikes. Either the mode wasn't playtested well, or it was rushed, or they playtested it with unlimited konsumables and never had a problem with any fights. Or, as the cynic in me thinks, it is because they want you to purchase Skip Fight Tokens, which they slyly push on you when you lose a fight.


Overall, I'm quite mixed on Towers of Time. The amount of work you need to put in to clear a whole island vs the reward you get for it sometimes doesn't seem worth it. Would I like to spend 2 hours to clear a whole island in order to get 2 skins, 2 gear pieces, and a couple augments? I'm not sure. In Injustice 2, I could clear one whole character multiverse event in 40-50 minutes and get a full epic set, few motherboxes, coins, and character gear specials. Oh, and I didn't even explain the consumables. For an in depth look at towers and a TL;DR, just watch the following video:

Character Augments:

Even though NRS said they are getting away from the Gear score RPG system from Injustice 2, that system feels downright friendly compare to Character Augments. MK11 had way more layers to the RPG grind than some real RPGs I’ve seen.

Character augments are these little gems that you can slot into your gear that give you passive bonuses. Here are some examples of bonuses.
Gem 1: 9% extra damage on raiden Superman
Gem 2: +20% poison resist, 3% overall damage
Gem 3: 4% less damage to the whole team in AI battle

On paper, the augments sound pretty good, and honestly they’re not hard to come by. They are fairly common rewards in towers of time and the Krypt. While these are randomized for the character they drop for, you can focus on your character by summoning a character tower and getting augments for your main from there.
What sucks, however, is the amount of preparation and RNG you need to even use a gem. These gems aren’t one size fits all. Just like the infinity stones, they come in different shapes and colors. I don’t have the game in front of me right now so I cant remember the exact names , but there are 5 types of gems, and for this example, let’s say two of these types are chaos, and order.
Say you’re a Noob Saibot player, and you want to use Augments for Noob, here’s the process for start to finish.

Step 1: Get augments for Noob Saibot either randomly or through Character Tower

Step 2: Level up your gear to unlock the gear slots on your current equipment. Those gear icons you see in the preview footage at the end of fights with the little xp bar at the bottom left? Yup this is it. Your gear has xp. It takes about 25 wins to level up all your gear once and unlock the first augment slots on them the it goes exponentially higher for other slots. Each gear piece has upto 3 slots for augments that you can unlock, but you can only equip two augments per gear piece. Also this xp is tier to the individual gear piece. So if you just leveled up the “Brother of Kuai" mask for Noob to level 3, and find a cooler mask that you swap out for, you gotta level up the new mask from scratch.

Step 3: Match the slots on the gear, with the type of augment. Remember how augments are one of 5 types? Your level 3 mask might have 2 slots for chaos augments, and one for order augments. But all the chaos and order gems you have may not even be for the mask. Your order gems might be for the shadow and chaos for the sickle. So not only do you have to match the type of gem to the slot of the gear, but the gem itself should be for that gear piece. If the gear piece does not have the slots to match the augments you have, you can pay coins to reroll the type of slots in the gear piece in exchange for coins. I don’t know the cost yet because I believe rerolling only works on max level gear.

Step 4: So now everything is set. Your Noob mask is level 3. You’ve rerolled it so that the augment slots match the types of augments you have for the mask, and you just placed the augments into the mask. However you just realized that the bonuses these give you don’t really match your current load out. The poison resist gem isn’t going to help you in this tower with blood damage, and the special move bonus that the augment is giving you is for a special you haven’t equipped in this variation. Oh well, hopefully you get another augment soon and you better hope it’s for the mask and matches the slots on the mask, otherwise you gotta reroll again.

Step 5: You just found a sick looking new mask, sickle, and shadow gear. Aw shit here we go again. Oh, and we cant just let you remove your augments from your old gear for free. Freely swapping would be too friendly. You gotta pay 1000 coins for each augment you remove from your old gear. Shao Kahn needs his tribute!


Here's a video explaining the Augment system in more detail:

Krypt:

The krypt by itself is pretty cool. However, like the rest of the game there is a lot of padding in the Krypt. Off the top of my head, here are the things we would like to get from the Krypt, in decreasing order of usefulness.

  • Fatalities and Brutalities
  • Character intros, outros, and end of round taunts
  • Character skins
  • Character gear pieces
  • Combat card icons and backgrounds
  • Variation icons
The variation icons are the least useful but the biggest source of padding. Assuming character unlocks are split 50-50 between towers of time unlocks and krypt unlocks, there are approximately about 120 pieces of loot per character to unlock from the Krypt. Each chest in the krypt usually rewards 3 or 4 items.

What throws a wrench in the works however, is how much extra filler the game has that is also obtained from Krypt chests. Here’s a list of non-customization stuff you can get from the Krypt:

  • Character Augments
  • In game currency (Jade Coins, Hearts)
  • Krypt key items (Consumables to open certain doors)
  • Tower Consumables
  • Forge recipes to craft aforementioned Krypt key items
  • Raw materials to craft krypt key items using aforementioned recipes
  • Concept Art, music, character renders
So now you have chests that might cost you 14,000 coins to open, and yet only give you a bunch of consumables and tokens that you probably wont end up using. While I have not forged any Krypt items using recipes, I get the sinking feeling that there are areas in the Krypt that will only be accessed by using one of these items. Once you use the item, it’s used up, so you will either have to get another as a tower of time reward, or as a reward in a krypt chest, or get lucky with a crafting recipe for it, but then still have to find the materials that go into the recipe to craft it.

There is also an item that you start with that references Kronika that let’s you reset the chests in a room for 2000 coins per chest. So say you clear out all 10 chests in a room, for 20,000 coins you could reset that entire room and open the chests for different rewards. Seeing as how this game has more items to obtain and a lot of filler and padding icons, I believe there are less chests than there are items and you will have to reset the chests a few times to get some exotic stuff.

This is the most grindy and padded the Krypt had ever been. While this game does not have real money lootboxes, the Krypt might as well be a loot box wet dream.




Of course, in peak "Nothing can be as simple as it seems" fashion, any recipes you unlock for the Krypt forge, don't show up in the Krypt. At least I haven't been able to access them in the Krypt screen. Instead I have to back to the main menu, go to my Kollection, and then the recipes section. Oh and, the recipes are incomplete even then, because they only show you 2 of the 3 components required, the third being ???. Oh, and if you use the wrong materials to craft the item in the forge, it gives you a crafting failed message and you lose the items for daring to trial and error, because of course it does.
 
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Scyther

Mortal Kombat-phile
Premium Supporter
Yeeeesss! More information! Sustain me, OP! XD



In all seriousness, that's fucking awesome. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to provide such an in-depth look at the single-player aspect of the game (something I'm going to spend a lot of time with).

Unicron approves of this info ;)
 

Scyther

Mortal Kombat-phile
Premium Supporter
I'm liking what I see, despite what the OP points out as 'negatives'. Not having played the full game myself, the fights don't look overly difficult based on the first two videos embedded in the OP. Tough? Sure. But I'd rather the fights be on the tougher side of things than too easy. Plus, 2 hours for a couple of skins, augments, a heap of coins, etc? Doesn't sound too bad to me.

As for the Krypt being 'padded'? Meh. I'll have to see for myself, but I kind of expected the Krypt to be that way somewhat anyway.

Come on April 23rd ^^
 

IceNine

Tired, But Strong
Thanks for the info.

I think I'll be bypassing the "gear-augment loop" by simply picking a single set of gear to use for single player early on and leaving the rest for multiplayer. Maybe a second set once I've collected a fair amount and think I've got a fairly perfect aesthetic. At least, this sounds viable enough - All that makes a piece of gear more powerful than another piece is the number of levels and augments attached, yeah? So my first mask is as good as my last mask at the start.
 

Gegz

It's all in the game yo'
I'm liking what I see, despite what the OP points out as 'negatives'. Not having played the full game myself, the fights don't look overly difficult based on the first two videos embedded in the OP. Tough? Sure. But I'd rather the fights be on the tougher side of things than too easy. Plus, 2 hours for a couple of skins, augments, a heap of coins, etc? Doesn't sound too bad to me.

As for the Krypt being 'padded'? Meh. I'll have to see for myself, but I kind of expected the Krypt to be that way somewhat anyway.

Come on April 23rd ^^
It's not about the difficulty. It's about how dumb it is, and like the OP said, it's the first time in a NRS game when i feel frustrated by the solo content. I expect drastic changes in the Towers anyway.

The Krypt is cool but the fact that the location of each item is random really sucks. And the forge system too.
 

Scyther

Mortal Kombat-phile
Premium Supporter
It's not about the difficulty. It's about how dumb it is, and like the OP said, it's the first time in a NRS game when i feel frustrated by the solo content. I expect drastic changes in the Towers.

The Krypt is cool but the fact that the location of each item is random really sucks. And the forge system too.
To each their own. If they end up changing it, cool. If not, I'm still fine with it.
 

Prateek Shekhar

LeggoMyEggo
Can we use AI against the computer (like in I2) in the towers of time ?
Yes you can.

Do you fight any fodder enemies in the krypt, or is it simply a glorified walking simulator?
So far I have not but I've only done 2 rooms of the Krypt

Apparently, Cyrax can be summoned as one of the consumables

He comes into the fight and either shoots a bomb out, his saw, or his net, then just jet packs away.
I have the Cyrax konsumable but have not used it thus far.

I'm liking what I see, despite what the OP points out as 'negatives'. Not having played the full game myself, the fights don't look overly difficult based on the first two videos embedded in the OP. Tough? Sure. But I'd rather the fights be on the tougher side of things than too easy. Plus, 2 hours for a couple of skins, augments, a heap of coins, etc? Doesn't sound too bad to me.

As for the Krypt being 'padded'? Meh. I'll have to see for myself, but I kind of expected the Krypt to be that way somewhat anyway.

Come on April 23rd ^^
Yeah, I'm guessing people will find out cheese strats for some of the tougher fights. I'll update with some info after I complete the second Noob tower
 

Kiss the Missile

Red Messiah
I appreciate the fuck out of this write up, but actually watching your footage is like. . . maybe the problem is you? That does not look that bad at all.
Hell nah dude, that Kano video was so obnoxious. Those grenades did so much damage and hit at a ridiculous arc. Plus reversed controls? And the ai is immune to the bombs? That shit is going to be so annoying
 

LarSanity

Who hired this guy
As someone that plays single AND multiplayer this seems just very frustrating as for unlocking stuff. In injustice I would get gear and boxes out of towers quickly the jump into MP.
Now there are more dumb layers, my bet is there is like a 50$ Unlock krypt all pro and tournament holders will have to buy
 
That sounds like an even bigger time waster than Injustice 2 sadly.
How does Shang Tsung narrate the items you get? Does he narrate all the coins, consumables, recepies or does he just narrate the crypt quest items, like Scorpion's spear?
 

Scyther

Mortal Kombat-phile
Premium Supporter
As someone that plays single AND multiplayer this seems just very frustrating as for unlocking stuff. In injustice I would get gear and boxes out of towers quickly the jump into MP.
Now there are more dumb layers, my bet is there is like a 50$ Unlock krypt all pro and tournament holders will have to buy
If it's a big deal to you, then why not just buy Time Krystals and unlock content by outright purchasing it? That way you're not stuck grinding away and can get what you want immediately.
 

Pazuzu

Noob
Hell nah dude, that Kano video was so obnoxious. Those grenades did so much damage and hit at a ridiculous arc. Plus reversed controls? And the ai is immune to the bombs? That shit is going to be so annoying
This is why I asked if we can use AI. It helped a lot against the most annoying fights in I2.
 

Scyther

Mortal Kombat-phile
Premium Supporter
That's essentially paying to not play the game, lol.
I wonder if they made it annoying on purpose so people would purchase time crystals.
Sooo...you're not okay with having to grind and play the game to get to the content...and you're not okay with having to pay for the content outright.

So, do you just want the content unlocked from the start?
 

xenogorgeous

How could you tell?
Premium Supporter
They doing this, in order to extent the usefulness and time life of these features into MK11, and in association, extend the life cycle on MK11 itself, putting a pinch of grind on all .... but, probably they will release later a "unlock the Krypt and everything else in MK11" brundle DLC bullshit to be bought for those who have none patience to spend countless hours unlocking everything in this game .... :D
 
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