4 years of playing as 100% FTP

This week marks my 4th year of playing as 100% FTP - $0 spent, no Google Play credit, not even friendly invites. (Here is a thread for 2-year progress: Progress from Two Years as FTP, and I have previously shared my progress and accomplishments here:
The Diary of the FTP who finished 53rd in legendary)

I haven’t made a push in challenge events ever since. These are the ranks I usually achieve/have achieved:

  • Challenge events: top 10k in rare/top 5k in epic/top 1k in legendary
  • Mythic Titans: top 1% in both individual categories, top 1000 alliance
  • Ninja tower: top 2500 in October, 990th in December, skip in February, 460th in April, 1208th in June (I skipped one NT because of the insane amount of time it takes)
  • Tournaments: high variations, top 1% to top 50% (I never spend gems to continue, it’s not worth it for most FTP players since we usually have the mats but lack the heroes. By spending 75 gems, I could only hope for ehts and emblems, which is just not enough for me)

Profile:

Highest titan hit:

My inventory:


My troops:

My roster:





Summary

Maxed 5*(32):
B: Isarnia, Miki, Magni, Vela, Thorne, Richard
R: Azlar, cElena, Anzogh, Marjana, Khagan, Santa
G: MN(x2), Lianna(x2), cKadilen, Bertila, cHorghall, Margaret
P: Hel(x2), Alfrike, Domitia, Zulag, Sartana, Quintus
Y: Malosi, Joon, Norns, Leonidas, Vivica

Maxed 4*(56):
B: Frank, Grimm, Kiril, Jott, Sonya, Triton, Boril, Agwe, Mireweave, Valeria
R: Boldtusk(x2), Wilbur, Falcon, Scarlett, Colen, Carol, Gormek, Kelile, Shadereave, Sumitomo
G: Almur, Brynhild, Buddy, Melendor, Kashhrek, Jack, Caedmon, LJ, Skittleskull
P: Rigard(x4), Sabina(x2), Proteus(x3), Merlin, Tiburtus, Gafar, Cyprian, Stonecleave, Jabbar, Fura
Y: Jackal(x2), Wu, D’Andre, Mist, Li, Woolerton, Chao, Hu, Danzaburo

Maxed 3*(54):
B: Nordri, Gato(x2), Chick, Ulmer, Valen, Gunnar, Karil
R: Hawkmoon, Namahage(x3), Wabbit(x2) Rudolph(x2), Sudri(x2), Nashgar, Azar, Ei-Dunn, Jahangir
G: Brienne, Grevle, Hisan(x2), By-Ulf, Belith, Gramps, Mnesseus, Muggy, Berden, Carver, Isshtak, Friar
P: Tyrum, Bjorn(x2), Balthazar, Gill-Ra, Chochin, An-Windr, Bat, Renfeld, Vlad, Oberon
Y: Melia(x2), Bane, Kvasir, Arman, Agnes, Gan, Kailani

Timeline of 5* heroes (14 non-S1 heroes + 3 costumes):
June 2017: started playing
March 2018: Elkanen from TC20 (first 5* hero)
March 2019: Hel from AR (first non-S1 5* hero)
April 2019: Anzogh (first bonus draw)
May 2019: Margaret
August 2019: Miki
November 2019: cElena (first 5* costume)
December 2019: MN (first 5* seasonal event hero)
January 2020: second MN
January 2020: Santa
April 2020: Malosi
May 2020: Norns (first 5* S3 hero)
September 2020: Elena from TC20 (last missing S1 hero)
October 2020: Zulag
January 2021: Bertila
January 2021: cHorghall
March 2021: second Hel (first HA10 non-S1 hero)
May 2021: Alfrike
June 2021: cKadilen
June 2021: Vela (HA10)

Some silly conclusions based on the timeline:

  • Apparently, I get 0 non-S1 heroes in February, July and September. I get a Hel every second March, a 5* S3 hero every May and two 5* heroes every January.
  • Also, I only get heroes whose design is a bit weird/creepy (exceptions: Bertila, Vela, cElena, cKadilen). SG, please release more ugly heroes so that I can get them!

All the heroes I’m missing:

Summary

3* (21)
B: Gunnar(c), Jarvur, Helo, Vodnik, Frosty, Greymane(n/c)
R: Bauchan, Nashgar(c), Vollermork, Shrekok
G: Shrubbear, Whacker
P: Morris, Oberon(c), Prisca(n/c), Jack’o’Lantern, Edd
Y: Candy, Poppy, Kailani(c), Pixie, Dawa(n/c)

4* (36)
B: Kiril(c), Zila Lei, Sanngrior, Sapphire, Captain
R: Lance, Colen(c), Scarlett(c), Eichbelborg, Sumle, Mack, Rokkamush, Shale
G: Hansel, Marcel, Kashhrek(c), Caed(c), Peters, Tettukh, LJ(c), Skittle(c), Gad, Gobbler
P: Cat, Tib(c), Ametrine, Cyprian(c), Ameonna, Boomer, Ingolf
Y: Gillinbursti, Griffin, Gretel, Wu(c), Hu(c), Chao(c)

5*
Blue (29)

  • Ariel, Frida, Bobo, Athena, Finley, Isarnia(c), Lepus, Magni(c), Arthur, Cobalt, Krampus, Alasie, LordLoki, Skadi, Crystalis, SnowWhite, Alice, Fenrir, Theobald, Glenda, Russula, Misandra, Rumpel, Thorne(c), Raff, Richard(c), Frosth, Aegir, Perseus

Red (29)

  • Marjana(c), Azlar(c), Zim, BK, GM, Garnet, Vanda, Gefjon, Grazul, Elizabeth, Emilio, Tyr, Mitsuko, Khagan(c), Kong, LadyLoki, Kestrel, JF, PinB, Baldur, YangMai, Asterius, Isrod, Ares, Reuben, Natalya, RedHood, QoH, Noor

Green (27)

  • Alby, Frigg, Toxicandra, PhileasFogg,
    Ratatoskr, Evelyn, Francine, Zeline, Lianna(c), LotL, Heimdall, Tarlak, Garjammal, Eiora&Fluffy, Kingston, Hatter, LadyLocke, Elradir, Morgan, Chameleon, Yunan, Atomos, Telluria, Greg, Elk(c), Zocc, Jade

Purple (30)

  • Panther, Jabberwock, Killhare, Ursena, Onyx, Domi(c), DrMoreau, Karnov, Seshat, Sartana(c), DarkLord, Bera, Quintus(c), Kunchen, Khiona, Lepiota, Kage, Clarissa, Freya, BossWolf, MT, Mok-Arr, Myztero, Sargasso, Malicna, Grimble, Victor, Thoth-Amun, Obakan(c), Aeron

Yellow (29)

  • Leonidas(c), Viv(c), Odin, Gazelle, WhiteRabbit, ProfLidenbrock, Sif, Joon(c), Onatel, Roostley, Drake, Poseidon, Faline, DirectorZuri, Akkorog, Uraeus, Mica, Thor, Owl, Justice(c), Neith, Rana, Bai, Delilah, Roc, Guinevere, Musashi, Ranvir, Inari

Now getting serious: Perseverance

  • Looking back, I’m quite impressed with my younger self - 31 months of playing with only S1 5* heroes! To be fair, back then, there were fewer portals, fewer free pulls so the chances of getting a new hero were much lower. But it’s a fact that I was extremely unlucky to never pull a special hero in all that time. I can’t believe how I could continue to play a game WITHOUT having A SINGLE special hero for 1 year and 9 months!!! Patience/perseverance is key in the life of the FTP.

Something non-FTP players often do not realise:

  • Many players do a 10x pull in pretty much every event. However, the average number of gems an FTP player gets per week is ≈170 (I’m probably being a bit generous with this number). This means that it takes ≈15 weeks (4 months) to gather gems for a 10x pull. So the FTP player can collect gems for ONLY 3 10x pulls per year! Much less than many players do in a single event. Also, 170 gems per week are ≈8800 gems per year! For reference, a 30x pull in Atlantis/Valhalla/S4 costs 8400 gems. So if an FTP wants to do a 30x pull (again, something many spenders do multiple times a month), the FTP would have to save gems for a whole year!!! And we know that getting a 5* hero on a 30x pull is not guaranteed…

My biggest mistakes:

  • 75 gems on a challenge event continue: while replaying stages in a challenge event, my heroes suddenly got killed by the bosses, but I was still clicking quickly trying to make a match and accidentally clicked on the “continue” button. I lost 75 gems and I still can’t forgive myself for that…
  • 200 gems on food: I made a similar mistake recently. When I got Alfrike in May I was very excited, power leveled her in ≈40 minutes and started giving her emblems. However, it turns out that I ran out of food. I joined Beta last November and we do a lot of re-embleming there so it’s a practice to use gems for food/iron (it costs 1 gem in Beta). Therefore, I instinctively clicked on the “buy hams” option, not thinking that it is the live game, and the next thing I know was that I had 200 gems less… It hurts a bit since I have enough stored food, but I got Alfrike from Valhalla coins (aka for free), so I’d just pretend that I spent 200 gems to get her. This thought helps me not to feel so bad.

Being FTP in Beta

  • As I mentioned previously, I joined Beta last November. Initially, I didn’t want to be a Beta tester because I was worried that having the opportunity to play with so many heroes I don’t have, would make me start hating the live game where I have a limited number of heroes. Luckily, I don’t have such feelings.
  • However, I have noticed that I have a very different perspective from most Beta testers. I personally believe that new heroes should not make old heroes obsolete, but others do not share my view - quite a few Beta testers support the power creep since they believe that new heroes need to make players want to chase them (which often means OP heroes). I do not think that this is healthy for the game - if every hero starts getting a better version within a few months of their release, the game would have a shorter life - why should players pull for X, if the Devs will release a better hero a few months later. And when 10 people give feedback and 7 of them say that the hero is ready for release, the Devs would not listen to the 3 people saying that a hero is too powerful. Therefore, I would strongly encourage more FTP and CTP players to join Beta so that there are more different perspectives. (Not like the Devs always listen to testers, as we saw this week, though).

The moment I was the closest to stop being FTP:

  • the first “Share the Gems” offer - as an alliance leader I really wanted to give something to my teammates, but buying the offer meant going against my principles - it’s quite manipulative. If I had bought it, I would have bought the subsequent share the gems offers, a cheap deal, then another one, and another one and another one… The next moment I’d realise I’ve started spending quite a bit on a mobile game. Just to put things in perspective, if I were spending $50 every month for these 4 years of playing (a monthly amount that is considered low by many), I would have spent $2400 in total on a mobile game…

Why am I sharing this?

  • I just want to show that this game can be played without spending. I feel like spending in this game is so normalised that it has turned into something toxic. Let’s be honest, there is a huge potential for a gambling addiction here. I have seen people on the forum asking SG to change the timing of the deal because they haven’t received their monthly paycheck yet and they can’t afford to buy the offer at this moment in time! I have also seen people who have spent $20k+ on the game and want to quit because this has had big negative implications on their real life. Games are not supposed to ruin your life…

Just to summarise, despite many difficulties, I’m still playing happily (at least for now). I know that I can’t have high expectations so the moments when I actually get a hero I want are absolutely priceless!

56 Likes

Thanks for sharing! I have been playing for almost 3 years now and I am also a 100% ftp. But you have much better heroes.

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wow, that is seriously impressive @D_DI , and you’ve hit benchmarks I would never even dream of for myself (I only aim for top5% individual hits mythic titan, and top 10k legendary challenge event…)

Would you be so kind as to share some of your tips, suggested teams and/or strategies for Mythic Titans? Do you rely heavily on items?

also impressed at your record-keeping. I can recite the general order in which I got my 5*s, but not the exact months without looking them up…

ad thank you for doing the math re how often FTP can expect to do a 10-pull. I think many forum users do not appreciate this fact, that non-spenders really are limited in the number of pulls we can do.

And thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggles and mistakes… helps uplift and encourage me to keep grinding!

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Thank you for your kind comments @lightsmessenger and @sleepyhead.

I always choose extreme battle. I use a lot of items on my first and second hit (tornadoes, hurricanes, scrolls of alteration, super mana potions/revive scrolls) and I use heroes of the strong colour. For example, if the mythic titan is green, I would use Wilbur-Falcon-Miki-cElena-Azlar.

Afterwards, I use some items like revive scrolls (maybe even a few tornadoes, if it’s worth it), but it’s nothing crazy. I use my best titan team in each colour. Using Norns + heroes of the weak colour also does wonders.

Summary

E.g. green mythic titan:

  1. Wilbur-Falcon-Miki-cElena-Azlar
  2. same
  3. same
  4. Jackal-Malosi-Joon-Leonidas-Wu
  5. same
  6. same
  7. Isarnia-Norns-Magni-Miki-Jott
  8. same
  9. Buddy-Almur-Lianna-Lianna-Wu
  10. Buddy-Almur-Lianna-Lianna-cKadilen
  11. same
  12. cRigard-Tiburtus-Domitia-Hel-Alfrike
    Or something like that.
4 Likes

thanks for sharing this. i am also 100% ftp, now completed 3 years and will continue till i enjoy the game.

3 Likes

awesome, thanks for the tips! I also use my best teams in every color - except the color the Titan is strong against. I need to stock up on the good items though.

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Unfortunately scoring high on [mythic] titans relies heavily on access to elemental defense debuffer.

Something very unfair.

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true… which is why I don’t aim too high.

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Very impressive @D_DI. You show amazing commitment to the game, and a deep understanding of it as well.

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Unless that titan is blue. Then it relies heavily on having heroes like Miki and Tarlak. Which is also unfair.

When it comes to big hits against the mythic titan, I’ve heard nothing different from anyone than use premium heroes + extremely hard to obtain items like scrolls of Alteration and Hurricanes.

I just wanted to ask, @D_DI , do all of your alliance members buy those special “Mythic titan” bundles and do you get many rare items (Hurricanes, Scrolls of Alteration) from those monthly? Just out of curiousity.

Otherwise I just wanted to say this: I watched your interview with @JekylandHyde , and while it was impressive, the details which probably every aspiring f2p would need were somewhat clouded - for example, how to start, what are the biggest pitfalls as a f2p, what to focus on early game, when to start completing harder quests/challenges, etc, etc. I guess that this information changes over time (for example, nowadays an aspiring f2p will have many more free pulls compared to when you started) but still…

There is one more issue…while there are probably some f2p players that are willing to play as patiently as you, @D_DI , progressing very very slowly, most of the aspiring f2p will get discouraged fast if they don’t make some significant progress in the first several months of the game…and then they may start spending out of frustration or out of desperation. In addition, the power creep nowadays between newer f2p players and older p2w players is simply enormous - this is way more demoralizing to a f2p who starts the game right now.

So in conclusion, it would be a really good idea if all f2p players who have gathered here share valuable information with aspiring f2p here.

Just a tiny example why I think it’s important. A P2W player in Peer Support recently tried to teach an aspiring F2P player by stating “Troops are very important, start to level them up as soon as possible” which was completely misleading due to the simple fact that being F2P, the second player could not have amassed that many feeder troops in order to level any of his own troops significantly.

2 Likes

I am also a F2P player such as yourself and am very impressed with your progress. I agree there are a lot more places for free pulls nowadays than there used to be.

Were you as excited as I was when you learned that mystic vision would be every 4 hours instead of 8? That alone should add a few hundred more gems to our yearly total.

Do you save all your coins from completing stages (ex. Atlantis or Valhalla) for certain months or heroes or do you spend them as soon as you have 100? Despite completing both Atlantis and Valhalla on easy and hard modes I have never gotten an Atlantis or Valhalla 5* hero. I did get Kingston from an Atlantis coin pull when he was featured but he is the only one.

2 Likes

The first times, around 10 people would buy it, now it is around 5. I advise my teammates not to buy this offer just for the sake of “gifting alliance mates”, but only if they would buy it for themselves.
I craft quite a few battle items (with titan parts being the bottleneck, we are fighting 14* titans) since I have enough food/iron.

I shared some early progress information in the Diary thread (I have linked it in the OP). I think things would be really different now and I am not sure whether some of the things that happened to me would happen to new players.

I remember that the first legendary challenge event I managed to complete was in March or April 2018 so around 10 months after I started playing and my success was thanks to Wu Kong.

Another memory is the struggle to get Falcon. I was always trying to get him from single gem pulls (challenge event coins were not a thing back then), but was unsuccessful. At some point I managed to save for a 10x pull and got only S1 heroes which was really painful. Later on, I think from another 10x pull I finally managed to get him.

This experience taught me that doing single pulls with gems is a terrible idea. The best thing you can do is save for a 10x pull, in this way pulls are “cheaper” and you have a higher chance of getting a hero you want. Also, as FTP players we should be aiming for 4* heroes, rather than 5*.

It’s always weird for me to see PTW players talking from the perspective of FTPs - most of the time they are quite off.

For troops: I would advise FTP players not to level any troops until they get a 4* mana troop - yes, this takes months and even years, but it’s the best option in the long term. For example, I only had crit troops in blue and purple and at one point and started leveling them, but now I wish that I hadn’t worked on them.

6 Likes

Yes, it was really nice. We are often blamed by PTW players for “not supporting” the game by being FTP, but now with MV being more often, we can support it even more.

It depends on the situation. Sometimes I am not able to resist and I spend them immediately. But if I have a certain goal, I would save for months. For example, I currently have 1100 ToL coins since I am waiting for a HotM I strongly desire to be featured (e.g. Alberich and Frida).

3 Likes

Thank you for your kind words @nevarmaor!

@D_DI

Very impressive, a fresh perspective and a inspiration

Thanks for you input and advise

I really want to help, any advise or guidance on how to become one, I am trying get into it but so far, I cannot find any current way to apply

1 Like

Beta is usually open for applications once or twice a year (the last time was in November). You currently have 32 posts + 1 topic so I’d advise you to be more active on the forum, you need to give advice to others, engage in conversations, etc.

Within one Beta (aka every week) we are often encouraged to provide feedback in 10+ separate threads. So that’s about 40 posts per month (obviously, this is under ideal circumstances and most of the time it’s much less than that).

But the Devs want to see that you would provide feedback if you become a beta tester. They would choose people who are active on the forum, the in-game activity doesn’t matter as much. Even if you’re playing 20 hours a day, you may still not get chosen if you rarely post on the forum.

If you become a forum regular, it’s highly likely (maybe even certain) that you’ll get chosen the next time Beta is open.

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thanks, that helps, I usually read quite a bit of posts but comment in only the ones that I am really interested on, I will try to add more comments

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I’m in awe of your patience and obvious knowledge of the game to be able to work with, and get the most out of your hero roster. I’m blessed to have a couple of F2P superstars in my home alliance, and just marvel at how they also smash titans and war opponents Looking at you @ThePirateKing & @rapcoon Thank you for sharing @D_DI - and congratulations on your 4th anniversary. :star_struck::partying_face::confetti_ball::tada:

Btw, I enjoyed watching your interview with @JekylandHyde - thank you for your positivity. Although I didn’t start out as F2P, I am now :wink:.

6 Likes

Thank you @Sarah2!

I am always happy to hear about other FTP players doing well.

By the way, a few minutes ago I got another non-S1 5* hero, I have been having some really insane luck this month:

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Aspiring F2P players, please check out this thread - lots of useful information here.

Apologies for being off topic… Back to celebrating @D_DI’s awesome accomplishments and accolades achieved after 4yrs as a F2P player. :partying_face::confetti_ball::tada:

Ps.

When did SG send out free gifts lol?! Congrats!

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