I have an addictive personality. In this regard, I have been lucky in some areas and unlucky in others. Lucky in that I inherited on my mothers side the high tolerance that comes with alcoholism, but not the addiction to it. While I served in the military this was handy, being able to drink anyone else under the table. I now have a bottle of Long Island that sits next to me for a very long time now, untouched.
However, when it comes to gambling addiction, I have been very unlucky. I am addicted to it. I am a respectable Texas Hold Em player and Black Jack player. I am fairly smart and can memorize odds and hands probabilities. I can count cards to middling degree. One(myself on reading this back) can hear me justifying myself being good at it, LOL.
I have had therapy, so some degree of psychological basis may find its way into this response on various topics.
I’ve given you some background on myself so that you can identify with me and understand my experience and point of view on these matters.
Controverisal Discussion Points:
- Is Gacha (E&P) equivalent to loot boxes? Is this Gambling?
A. I want to say Yes. Unequivocally. My gut reaction is that it is. And I want it to be, but I’m trying to be objective. It may not be… (I’m going to hate myself for arguing this…)
I live in a highly religious state(Utah), where gambling is illegal. No lottery, no casino, and even personal card games are technically illegal, but not policed actively, unless someone is a sore loser and calls them in. This is healthy for me on a personal level, as I have to drive to another state to find a casino.
But what is NOT illegal are the Chuck E Cheese Pizza places and mini-theme parks, where you pay money for coins, go play the arcade games and Skeeball, etc., are rewarded with various amounts of tickets and then exchange these tickets for prizes. We pay real money for fake money(coins), use that for entertainment purposes(tickets), and rewarded with items of little value(prizes for tickets).
This comparison challenges my belief that Gacha is gambling. In E&P, we pay real money for fake money(gems), use that for entertainment purposes(summoning or shop items (WE refill)), and rewarded with items of little value(3* - see summoning odds).
Interim Conclusion: Simply based on the lawmakers in my state, and the above comparison, I must conclude that Gacha is not Gambling.
verb (used without object), gam·bled, gam·bling.
to play at any game of chance for money or other stakes.
to stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance:to gamble on a toss of the dice.
verb (used with object), gam·bled, gam·bling.
to lose or squander by betting (usually followed by away):He gambled all his hard-earned money away in one night.
to wager or risk (money or something else of value):to gamble one’s freedom.
We pay real money for a chance at something valuable. The desired outcome is a 5* hero. The risk is Enormous! 98.5% of losing vs 1.5% chance of winning(desired outcome)!!!
What sane person would do such a thing!!???
One with a gambling addiction. Therefore, based on the above dictionary definition and the evidence of gambling addicts’ response to E&P, It appears that Gacha is indeed gambling.
True Conclusion: …hrm… I’m undecided… guess that’s why it’s controversial…
This is a good segue into my next point.
- Is marketing Gacha to adults and children morally wrong?
These theme parks and video games are designed and marketed to children. Let’s be honest. And adults. From here on, I will refrain from the children argument because what we’re really upset about is that we have such a small chance at getting what we want. So really this all about the summoning odds being so low. Marketing to our inner child is simply good business practice. We won’t be challenging the marketing tactics, themselves. But I WILL refer back to them(marketing to children, and adult’s inner child) in combination with a lack of warning signs for gambling. Besides the answer already exists. Children are not allowed into casinos. Therefore if we determine that Gacha = Gambling then the answer automatically becomes, Yes: Marketing gambling(gacha) to children is morally wrong.
Using the “think of the children argument”, opens Pandora’s Box to getting off topic with irrelevant responses, such as “you’re the parent” and “control and guide your children”. We won’t be going there.
In reality and most cases, if it’s wrong for children, it’s wrong for adults too.
Therefore, the new question becomes
- Is marketing Gacha and lootboxes to adults morally wrong?
Again, we are left returning to the argument of Gacha=Gambling. Adults can gamble if it’s legal in your area. So no, it’s not morally wrong to market your game to adults, even if we determine that gacha = gambling.
- a. Do game companies and casinos have an obligation to announce their odds of winning and give warning signs against gambling?
- b. Does E&P do this satisfactorily?
B. No. They do make the odds available, behind a little “i” in a circle that sits quietly in a corner of a very particular screen that is buried a couple layers deep. Stated plainly, they hide it the best they can, while still making the information available. They do not have any kinds of warnings that you are playing a Gacha game, that you will need to spend either alot of time or alot of money to advance to endgame. They DO capitalize on the new players extensively before said players can come to this realization.
This IS morally wrong.
Unless you visit the forum BEFORE playing the game, read all the hateful and angry responses about spending money and not getting anywhere, and then find the article on Gacha, you have no idea what you are signing up for. This is unlikely. Most active players don’t even know the forum exists. What exactly is a Gacha? (Read before posting things about "unfair pulls")
That title makes me angry. The title of that article says read before POSTING about unfair pulls… That title discourages posting about your feeling of being duped. It should instead say (You got screwed. You should have read this BEFORE PLAYING) Now all you can do is post about it!
Only after you get the sense that something is wrong do you come here to the forum and discover that you’ve been duped.
This should be required reading, BEFORE PLAYING!! This would appease my sense of E&P’s moral obligation to the player base. If they included a little box that had to be checked after reading but before playing, I would be appeased on this point. Most of us auto click these disclaimers anyway without reading, so it would not hurt E&P. Also, even if someone DOES read it, it most likely would not be UNDERSTOOD until sometime after being in the game anyway. So E&P would still hook their new fish.
In conclusion, I feel duped into playing this game. (Sunk Cost Fallacy Applies) I did not understand the Gacha system prior to playing. It is marketed to my specific weakness. I love character building and leveling. I love match 3 games. I think the battle system incorporating match 3 and troops is brilliant! I enjoy playing this game for it’s mechanics and design of game-play.
I DO believe that the odds of 5* are WAY too low. I feel that the Second layer of Gacha system of ascension materials on top of the 5* odds is extremely excessive. I feel this game is designed to squeeze the player base into paying more than they can afford, and that it takes WAAAYYY too long to achieve endgame status, even if you can resist the bling popups, and sales that are recurring and persistent, without giving up.
My opinion in short : this game costs too much, takes too long, is evilly designed, and I will continue to play it, because it is marketed to my specific weakness.
I want to see a disclaimer on Gacha prior to playing.
I want to see better summoning odds especially on Event heroes and all 5* heroes across the board.
I want options to obtain what I need for ascension mats. The solution for this is already in the game:
I want to see an Alchemy Lab level where I CHOOSE the mat I NEED.