Dumb Decisions: Hyper Universe And the 2 Hour Tutorial

Forcing players to complete tutorials are often a necessary evil from a game design perspective. I personally don't like these kinds of tutorials but I can see why games have them. When given the option to skip a tutorial, players may do so only to end up frustrated down the road. Anytime I run into a mandatory tutorial I typically just grit my teeth and complete it as fast as I can. Rarely do they last too long anyway so it's usually no big deal. This isn't the case with Hyper Universe though, an early access MOBA from Nexon. With Hyper Universe the tutorial is a big commitment. A 2 hour commitment.

Hyper Universe's developers made the decision to require players to complete 2 hours* worth of AI matches before they can start queuing up against actual players. This is so unimaginably dumb and frustrating that I can't believe it made its way into the game. Before any Hyper Universe fanboys start flaming me, Yes, I understand that the game only puts you into AI matches if it can't find a normal match within 15 seconds or so, but I tried queuing up for PvP ~8 times only to be thrown into an AI match, which I promptly left. Why shouldn't I leave? I queued for PvP and the game put me in an AI game. Why does the game even let me queue for PvP if it's just going put me in an AI match anyway? Well, according to Nexon:

Regular Match

  • Players level 5 or under can queue for a Regular Match. If there are no matches found within a certain period of time, they will automatically be queued to an AI match instead.
  • When a player reaches level 6, they will no longer switched to an AI match when queuing for a Regular Match.
  • If a player level 5 or under is partied with a player above level 6, they will not be switched to an AI match.

This feature was added because we had players entering Regular Matches when they weren't ready to. There are some unique aspects to Hyper Universe that players needs to learn. It isn't a good experience when a new player comes in and gets annihilated by a group of more experienced players.

According to Nexon I should have a chance to match up against actual players but I never did. My brother didn't either. Why does Nexon think players are going to put up with this nonsense? I only did so to cover the game here on MMOs.com but I would never in recommend Hyper Universe to any of my friends simply because of the game's garbage tutorial (I consider the AI matches an extension of the tutorial). While Hyper Universe isn't the only MOBA to require players to complete AI matches, it takes it to the extreme with its silly level 6 requirement. Compare it to some other popular MOBAs:

League of Legends - Players need to be account level 3 to queue for normal games. (2-3 games) ~40 mins

Dota 2 - Zero AI matches or tutorial required. ~0 minutes

Heroes of the Storm - Skippable tutorial. Zero AI matches required. ~0 minutes

Gigantic - Tutorial + 2 AI matches before being able to queue for normal matches ~30 mins

Nexon claims that Hyper Universe has some "unique aspects" that players need to learn. Every MOBA has some unique elements that people need to learn, but no other game requires players to go through this much bullshit just to play against real opponents.

Here's the thing Nexon doesn't seem to understand. AI matches aren't fun for most people. And they're definitely not fun when you have to do them over and over again. Especially when they're made brain-dead easy due to incredibly dumb bots diving towers and the massive +dmg and +defense bonuses players have in these matches. So not only are these games not fun, they don't even prepare players for a live PvP environment. This would be a non-issue if players only had to complete a single match, but from my experience it takes 8+ matches to reach level 6.

If Hyper Universe wants to set a level requirement to play RANKED matches that I can understand. But to queue vs normal matches players shouldn't have to grit their teeth and go through 2 hours of boring AI matches. Fortunately they won't have to because people are just not going to play Hyper Universe. And why would they? The first 2 hours are simply not fun.

Disagree? Do you enjoy tutorials and being forced to complete 2 hours of AI matches? Feel free to flame me in the comments!

*2 Hours is the average time it takes to reach account level 6 (According to Hyper Universe's Community Manager). After level 6 you will no longer be put into AI matches when queuing for PvP. From my experience queuing solo takes longer and queuing with others speeds it up.

Update: August 30, 2017: A small patch was introduced that slightly addresses this issue:

To continue our improvements with the new user experience, the following changes will be applied during maintenance:

  • Lowering the level it takes to get moved into AI Match if you queue for Regular Match from 6 → 5.
  • Increasing the time it takes to switch from Regular Match → AI queue if you are under Level 5.
  • Added a warning message when players below level 5 try to queue up for Regular Match
  • Lowered the new user program buff during AI matches.

Been playing MMOs since I first got my hands on Ultima Online when I was 12 years old. Played so many games from Star Wars Galaxies to MapleStory to DAoC to World of Warcraft. Long time League of Legends player too! I'm also Known as "ReMo" and "Remotay"