Mercs for Gems: An idea to give access to higher heroes without trivialising the game


#1

An oft reported frustration is the poor draw rate for 4* and 5* for gems… and hence the poor value for money that gems represent.
An oft used argument in favour of the current system (a fundamentally sound argument I might add) is the fact that you can’t make the best heroes too ‘cheaply’ accessible otherwise it would trivialise the game.
I previously posted an idea that heroes have limited life span as a solution. It was unpopular. People get too attached to their heroes and would not like to see them go after substantial investment in them.

My proposed answer to these dilemmas: Another type of summon portal that allows you to summon a ‘Mercenary’.

It works something like as follows:

  • You have an extra summon portal (does not replace any existing) for the mercenary for 300 gems
  • Mercenary would be 4* or 5* with probability split in the order of 75% vs. 25% for 4* vs. 5* (split can be decided)
  • Includes HOTMs from previous months.
  • The Mercenary has limited life span. Lasts (say) 30 days or so. (time can be decided)
  • You level the merc similar to other heroes, but with the exception of Ascensions. When it comes to ascending, you can EITHER ascend with items, or you can pay the Merc in gems for him to source the items for you (i.e. option to ascend with gems instead). Why? For the obvious reason that 30 days won’t be enough to fully ascend a 5* due to scarcity of ascension items. Thinking in the order of 50 gems for 1st ascent, 100 for 2nd and 200 for 3rd.
  • And now the clincher: You can only have 1 active merc in your team at any one time. (You can summon as many as your gems can afford, but can’t fill your team with them.) May want to modify this to only being entitled to summon 1 per 30d period, but I prefer the thought that those who want to invest more gems for a better one should be entitled to do so. Ultimately it’s funding the game (as gems largely equate to real money on the whole).

Benefits?

  • It’s a great sink for gems… which ultimately translates to more revenue for SG
  • It makes the best heroes in the game accessible to all if they are willing to spend the gems.
  • It doesn’t detract from the core mechanic of the game. You still need a good team of ‘perms’ to support your merc. He can’t do it all just by himself.
  • It won’t over-power anyone. It may make up-and-comers temporarily able to play ‘with the big boys’ for a bit, but won’t ultimately change the overall balance of power in the game.
  • Does not overtly swing the advantage to P2W, because only 1 can be active. If anything, F2P will now have access (through just gems earned through time) to a good temporary boost to their team to allow them time to ‘compete with the best’.
  • It is ENTIRELY opt in. Don’t like the idea or feel you don’t want to ‘waste’ your gems on a hero that will be gone again in 30d, then don’t use the summon portal.
  • At only the cost of some gems, can be used to ‘preview’ a ‘permanent’ version of such a hero to see if it’s worth maxing your perm before you have to commit the substantial time and ascension materials to do so.
  • It’s not a major change to the mechanic of the game. Low cost to develop this, and I feel it would boost revenue. Certainly I (who have undertaken to spend no more in the current system) would happily start shelling out real money for the gems to be able to play with different 4* and some interesting 5*.
  • Making more people more competitive is a good thing. But it won’t unfairly disadvantage the most powerful, as they would already have fully developed stables of the best heroes.
  • Introduces freshnesh for those who don’t have massive depth in their team. Introducing a new hero creates opportunities for new and different team dynamics; changes in strategy to titans; a chance to excel in events; etc.

Downsides?
Erm… struggling here. But I’m sure you lot can think of some.
About the only one I can come up with is those who already have a well developed stable of perm heroes may feel ‘cheated’ by the fact that others will now have possible access to some of these rare heroes without putting in as much time or effort.
(Frankly I think blocking the idea on that basis would be mean spirited… but bears mentioning as a potential issue.)

Let me know your thoughts, please, and ‘like’ and/or bump the post if you like the idea.

(Right… with that out of the system, maybe I can now get some sleep).


#2

The ascension items would likely cost an absurd amount.

Hard to see the math for virtually anyone how they wouldn’t be better off rolling Legendary of Event TBH, but I suppose that depends on pricing.

Also it would need to be temporary.

I’m not sure that’s the right split for this, or maybe the cost would need to be tweaked, but they should pop out max ascension max level: instant gratification.

It is an interesting idea but it fundamentally would alter too much in the game, and think I’d just apply for beta and then use the 3000 gems each copy over to pull to find some new heroes to play with if I weren’t looking to spend my own money.


#3

Lol, you steal my idea.
I posted something really similar some months ago.


#4

Thanks for the feedback.

Think you may have missed it - I addressed the ascension issue in the post.
I propose for mercs to be able to ascend using gems OR items. (So if you have the items (especially for ascensions 1 and 2 which are ‘relatively’ more common) you can save gems by ascending a merc with those, whereas you may opt to pay the 200 gems for the 3rd ascension. Or any combination.

So gem cost to get a fully ascended 5* without using existing ascension items would be 300+200+100+50 = 650 gems. I think that’s reasonable, and can be tweaked. (Most won’t pay the 50. First ascension is with readily available items).

The maths is pretty simple. Merc gives you guaranteed 4* (with 25% chance of 5*) for 300 gems. Rolling Legendary of event would cost a lot more in Gems to get anywhere near the same. What would you get from Legendary pulls during event with 650 gems? High probability of 2x 3*. If you’re extremely lucky to get a 5*, it will take you a long time of levelling and cost in ascension items to experience it fully (and you may then find it’s not a great fit in your team).

As you say, however, the pricing is tweakable.

What needs to be temporary? The summon portal, or the Merc (which obviously IS temporary)? I don’t think the summon portal needs to be temporary, because the mercs always are. Seeing as you can only have 1 in your team, I can’t see how it will drastically alter game balance, so why make the ability to draw temporary? (Again, the amount of times you are permitted to draw from it in given time is tweakable… but imo if people want to spend more money (gems) for greater choice of merc (you can only still have 1 in your team at any time) then power to them.)

If you can ascend them with gems instead of items, I don’t see the need for them popping out maxed. I don’t like the idea of instant gratification, and that’s not what this proposal is about. You still want a gem sink, and you still want people to have to earn the right to use these heroes. It also means the more experience and effort you invest in the game, the longer you get to use it fully maxed, as you’ll get through the levelling stage quicker. You also then have option of parking your merc at ascension 3 if you don’t want to spend for full ascend. Again, the pricing can be tweaked.

The problem with the beta idea is that it is separate from your real in-game progress. If you’ve invested a lot of time and effort building a strong core team, you don’t want to have to do it all again in beta only to have it potentially reset at some point. This way you get to inject some fresh blood in your team and contribute more to your core game progress and items with that team.


#5

Then link it in! Obviously it’s a great idea! :grin:

(I promise I didn’t see your idea and try to take it for my own. If I had seen it I would have linked to it and/or endorsed it.)


#6

No worries, it was not as detailed as yours and just a vague concept of using 5* for a limited time to test them with the sinergy of your team and see how they’re doing, just to know before hand if it is worth to keep/invest to have them, and to make avalaible to all heroes that they probably never have for a limited time.

Too lazy to search the post, and i don’t mind of not have any credit for it.

What’s important is that maybe this time can have some more visibility.


#7

I like this idea. Might need to think about it a bit more to be sure, but at first glance it seems pretty appealing.

I wouldn’t participate, personally, but it would do me no particular harm (aside from seeing a merc in opposing teams sometimes), it might generate revenue and it might keep players interested.

Huzzah!


#8

Hm… I am not convinced why I should pay good money for a hero that goes “poof” after 30 days.

Maybe this idea is interesting for the absolute end-game players who already have all the heroes they desire … and have them maxed as well.

I myself am still in the stage of leveling heroes. Heroes that I can keep and use whenever I wish. Because they are mine to keep. And to use as I desire.

edit:
actually, I would not enjoy meeting all these “temporary workers” in pvp. As an incentive for me to invest in such “temporary workers” as well? I do not think so. On the contrary.

edit2:
It may be a matter of mindset and upbringing.
I would never think of driving a “leased” car, for example. Either it is mine. Or it is not. And if it is not, then I do not want it, need it or have any desire for it.


#9

Different strokes… that’s what makes the world interesting.

For my part I’ve reached a ‘plateau’ for my heroes and haven’t got anything worthwhile in the last 14 or 15 summons. As a result I’m not spending, and with the low rate you accrue gems, I’m basically facing a future of little interest outside of whatever content SG choose to provide (which is sparse).

So I’d definitely sign up for a sure return on my gem spend… even if it’s only temporary. Because a temporary sure return is better than a permanent non-return in my mind.

The nice thing though… is if it doesn’t appeal, there is no requirement to take part.

I wouldn’t be any more bummed seeing a temporary merc in my opponent than I would seeing permanent heroes that are stronger than mine. You’d still reach a place of equilibrium in your PvP in any event. (Besides, there’s no saying that the mercs need to present differently in PvP encounters anyway - so you wouldn’t know you’re facing a merc. (Notice: ‘a merc’. Only one. The rest of their team would still need to be competitive.).


#10

Hmm… maybe it is just my mindset … my experience in life … but, say, if such "instant wealth’ and power is available, what exactly would stop others, say, in an ambicious alliance, from pressuring people to acquire it?

Say, to increase their titan damage?
Say, to increase their cups?

And if you do not, then you are not good enough. Because you could. If you wanted to.

Maybe my thoughts are too dark. Due to my experience in the real world. But this is the first thing that came to my mind.

edit:
In addition, what exactly would be the satisfaction in beating players above my cups level by using, say, a rented Ares?
He is not mine.
And any tom, dick and harry (not meaning you, @Little_Infinity) could beat me in battle with their own rented stuff.

And … hm … mindset again … I am far too old to, e.g. enjoy renting a Mercedes convertible for the weekend to say “whee!” on the roads :wink:


#11

Only 1 merc allowed in the team. For any old tom, dick and harry to beat you, they’d still need to have done the footwork to get a good team together, of which the merc would just be a part.

And, again, if you are not of the mindset, you don’t have to use them. Plenty of people ARE of the mindset to want to permanently lease different cars instead of buying one, and to have temporary use of higher class items they cannot afford to maintain permanently. There’s a whole economy out there based on this. ‘Some’ may not be inclined to want to use them is not the same as ‘all’ will not be inclined to use them.

‘Some’ have deep frustration with gems and/or real spend not translating to decent heroes. This is an idea where you can address those ‘some’ without having to force a change on the ‘all’.

While you may not be of the mindset, I know I certainly am… and you can be sure it’s not because I want to do better in raids. All that the single merc would give me in raids is to raise me to a slightly different level, and then have the same frustration. Little point in that.

The reason I pose the idea is simply because I am horrendously bored with the set of heroes I have, and would like to experience new ones, but do not see a way that this is achievable in the current game model without me being required to commit a lot more real world money than what I feel it’s worth. (I fundamentally disagree with the lack of certainty of return on my spend (i.e. gambling, and in this game it’s gambling with poor chance of return on the whole) so I prefer not to spend. Give me some certainty on getting something vaguely worth what I paid, and I’ll happily spend… even if it is just a ‘rental’. In a game, after all, the only reason you pay is for the experience, which will ALWAYS be transitory (just the time period that varies).


#12

The same thing that prevents alliances from pressuring people from being required to spend x amount of real money per month to get the best/latest HOTMs, etc. There’s nothing stopping them from making such policies under the current system, and people will either be happy to accept it and remain, or will not and look for another alliance.

Just because some sector of humanity can potentially do a bad thing with something is not an argument to stop it. (Why have automobiles if some people will require you to have them to get to work? Or some people will not drive them responsibly and kill people in them? etc)

(And it’s far from ‘instant’ power. You still have to train it up and ascend it, which takes work. If you’re slow you’ll only have use of it for a couple of weeks. And it’s not unlimited power. It’s 1 4* or 5* in your team that you didn’t have before. It may not even be better than what you already have. Just different.)


#13

@Little_Infinity

I do get your point now, thank you for the explanation.

So we just have different mindset. And that is quite ok. :slight_smile: