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There is a difference between earning XP, and effectively spending your resources (skulls/coin).
I don't think it is an XP problem. If people focussed on upgrading one or two traps instead of buying deals and unlocking too many heroes at once they would do a lot better.
The problem you describe is that they want to play higher difficulties as soon as possible because they think they will get better items, and that those items will be more powerful. The truth is that many common and uncommon traps at high levels are still the basis of many Loadouts, and that on lower difficulties expensive traps can be a hindrance.
XP is important because at a point some people are going to consistently fail a map. You shouldn't be stuck on that map for no reward simply trying to pass it. XP provides a method to make you gradually stronger so that passing that level gradually becomes easier.
Heroes and minions alike can walk through this round section of wall in the Eventide Ramparts Kitchen
Let's see how many people drop off in the following months. Open beta started with 2700 people average and dropped to 850 within 4 weeks according to Steam charts. 6 months later the average was 80.
Hooefully the same thing doesn't happen here.3
Traps have changed a bit since OMD2. You may find yourself using ones that you didn't use before, and not using ones that were previously your favourites.2
The minions need to have a rift rush timer and then check again to see if they are still within range of the rift.1