Marvel's Avengers dev attempts to justify slowing down levelling

Kate Bishop
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Last week, Crystal Dynamics announced some sweeping changes coming to Marvel's Avengers' levelling system. They didn't go down well. In fact Rich S felt they sucked hard, making the game's harsh grind even grindier. Now, the developer has admitted that its announcement may not have been "comprehensive enough" to explain the rework.

Speaking over on the game's subreddit (via Eurogamer), a Crystal Dynamics spokesperson attempted to explain the changes, which would see significant increases to the amount of XP required to level up from levels 25 through 50. While that initial announcement read to many as the game making its levelling system even more of a chore, the developer insists: "We did not change XP to increase grind for grind’s sake."

Our initial blog was not comprehensive enough to convey what we were doing and why," the developer wrote. "We caused confusion... we get it."

Elaborating on those pacing issues, Crystal Dynamics explained that players were levelling up too quickly (often gaining 2-3 levels per mission), and that the influx of new skill points could be confusing or overwhelming. These changes should slow things down, giving players more breathing room to explore builds—adding a total of around 3-5 hours to your climb to the level cap.

"We want people to level up, in fact, we really want to see more people level up more Heroes, as playing the full Avenger roster should be the most fun thing you can do, but we don’t want the levelling up experience to be too overwhelming or diminish exploring each skill purchase.

"We consider this a way to achieve clearer 'ding' thresholds, and more time to engage with and enjoy each skill purchase. We also tuned the game to make early levelling slightly faster, giving players more advantage against enemies when first starting out and hopefully making them feel more like a Super Hero faster."

Pacing might be on Crystal Dynamics' mind, but fan response seems to show that folks are more worried about the lack of content—content that players will now have to repeat more often to gain levels. Along with other changes to how in-game cosmetics are acquired, there's some speculation that Avengers is preparing for an unfortunate free-to-play pivot.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.