I love the battle mechanics of the game. In traditional RPGs, it could be a grind to battle, with the exception of Square’s active battle system used in Final Fanrast and enhanced in Chrono Trigger where you can cast team spells. Match-3 requires less work and the special attributes of each character, along with the color dynamics (green>blue, etc), is simple but adds a timeless dynamic. It’s brilliant.
However, two key elements are missing from this RPG when compared to traditional console RPGs, which would alienate most gamers:
Story: think back to a favorite RPG you play. The characters meant something not only because of what they can do in battles, but because of their story in the grand scheme of the game. You identified with certain characters and there was an emotional investment in the game. This is sorely missing and the seasons become a grind to get mats and characters, as opposed to advancing through a story.
Sustained Progress: farming 8-7, over and over again, does not increase your TP once your heroes are maxed. It is a way of filling monsters chest to get a chance of getting mats to ascend your heroes. It is such an indirect way of making progress, where luck trumps effort. As such, we pray to RNGeus to get troop drops, for better loot. Getting better in the game relies more on luck than actual skill. For any real gamer, it undermines the purpose of an RPG, which is to build experience through hard work and strategy as opposed to leaving it up to chance.
Without those elements, what are you left with? A match-3 game that relies on luck, flashy heroes without a story, it’s a more nuanced casino. It’s hard for many people to like casinos, especially when they are losing money. In essence, this game is not a game once that facade is shattered. It is a money-grabbing machine, albeit a great one at that.
Here are some suggestions:
Better war dynamics: create ways to unlock buffs. For example, once you take out a column, you can unlock attack boost for 4 hours for your whole team. This adds a great element and it could be enhanced if you can place where your team is to “protect” a lane.
Stronghold Buildings: create a non-linear way to build your base that can help out in battles. For example, allow a fixed number of buildings (3-5)to forge emblems. A paladin guild can craft paladin emblems, using resources like rugged clothes. So in essence, you can pick 3-5 classes to help focus on. It can be a slow grind but at least there’s progress.
Practice Arena: allow alliance members to practice fighting each other without using any flags. This will help players understand how the characters work, the synergy between them, and some friendly rivalry.
Viewing War Battles: allow players to watch teammates’ battles. This can be very exciting if the scores are close. It makes it more engaging than simply sitting around and watching the score number go up or down.