Pay to play vs free play

So I started two accts at the same time. One I would pay a little to play, get the cheap vip pass, pay for valor pass once in a while, and even purchase a few gems. That acct is doing really well of course.

The other I just played. Collected my free gems. The free Monday gifts, tried to level up the best I could. I cashed in my gems quite a few times. And I have gotten trash. It is very hard to enjoy the game like this.

I know that these games have to make money to pay the devs but it wouldn’t hurt to throw the non players a bone. Maybe make a gaurentee 4* if you save up a certain amt of gems. Not asking for a top player in the game. Just somebody to help them move along in the events. My 2nd acct has barely played the alliance event. Can’t get past the rare 7th level.

I know that if you throw these non pay to play guys a bone every once in a while that some of them will turn into people who drop a few dollars. They tend to stay with the game a little longer. Get into a group, or an alliance, then they don’t want to let their teammates down so the spend a little. But if you strangle them out of fun events before they get used to an alliance they quit and move onto the next game.

How does everyone else feel?

Have fun with the game, spend only what you can afford, and put real life first. Enjoy.


There are many who thrive on the challenge that playing with zero spent gives them. They’re rightfully proud of their achievements. There are others happily playing at moderate expense. The problem group is the few vocal players who want what the other groups have. They want all sorts of stuff for free… or the flip side, they want to be able to beat anyone who doesn’t spend.

The moral of this is to find happiness in how ever you choose to play, and stop worrying about other players and what they “feel”.


Don’t get you hopes up. The developer tends to cater only their top 5% playerbase. Their business model doesn’t contain words like ‘free’, ‘loyalty’, ‘goodwill’, etc… :man_shrugging:


I don’t spend money on the game but I’ve been quite lucky with farming and drawing heroes of the month. My top 5 teams the lowest one is 4,978 It just takes a lot of time and patience. Plus have some luck on your side.


Very well thought out and written down.

Many people have said this before you and will in the future but ultimately this game is a business, it’s rare to get anything for free except the air we breathe.

Best of luck to you

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I have a 5.5 month old FTP account.

These are my heroes:

I can complete:

  • All challenge events including Pets etc
  • All class quests
  • S1 and S2 normal and made significant progress through S3->S5 normal and S2 hard
  • All aether quests
  • All alliance quests
  • All levels of covenant quest
  • TOL (I think - the last one I finished 9 levels but that was when i had less roster depth)
  • Styx tower not impossible levels (probably the other towers also now)
  • Raid in diamond

The one that I am still (very) far from finishing are the various elemental quests.

I would say that my hero and mat pulls and progress so far are more than satisfactory for not investing any money


The biggest challenge for a full f2p player is the time to get the entire base going (maxed farms/mines, multiple TC20, HA10 etc). It took me just about 2 years of religious construction queueing.

With that amount of time, you’re bound to pull some good things with free coins you get along the way.

I have been following the development of your alternative account for some time. Really very interesting experiment, but… it turned out to be not quite clean. You started in the top alliance, high-level titans non-stop give a lot of resources that normal f2p players have been waiting for months.
Express leveling of heroes has yielded results. And then it’s a matter of technique, using a lot of experience, you really achieved amazing results.


I don’t agree with this at all. Firsty it was a few months before I joined my current alliance, which (based solely on alliance quest score) is a top 4.5K alliance. Mid level? Or maybe mid-high level. Hitting 11 to 13* titans. I moved to this alliance when I felt I was ready to contribute - and I have done so consistently. I hit titans for C or B rank usually (100K is probably my average) which is somewhere near the middle of the pack. I usually OS 1 and clean for my other hits in war, landing somewhere in bottom half/bottom third. I finished all levels of alliance quest, and hit the mythic titan decently. In short my place in this alliance is earned, and not gifted. Did I get in quicker than an FTP that started playing for the first time? Probably, yes. But my pace throughout has been accelerated because of my prior knowledge and experience, and the alliance stuff has been no different. Which kind of says that the main thing holding back FTP accounts is that aforementioned knowledge and experience, and not any shortcomings in reward/progression in the game.

And also just to clarify titans for me have been one of the lowest sources of mats. I have gotten 2-3 4* mats and maybe double that in 3* mats. Other sources including MV but especially PVE content have been more generous.

Well, thanks for that.

Maybe we can have @Saros weigh into this conversation as he has a lot of FTP game experience across many accounts, including a similar recent experiment to mine…

I don’t doubt it. Even if your contribution was much less, your experience makes up for everything, it is an invaluable resource.

Okay, not top. But very well. :wink:

Today it is a really good source of resources for a novice player.
At one time, compasses and traps were my curse, one item a month and the torment of choice - Sabina or Tiburtus :joy:. On the fifth month of the game…
I am absolutely sure that a F2P player can quickly develop his account and take his rightful place in the game. Wish you luck!

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Agreed. So much more PVE content, so many more portals, POV, tournies, etc. etc. I also remember 3/4 years ago when I had severe 3* mat bottlenecks especially for cloaks. Now 3* fall very regularly. .

My first focus was on getting a good PVE team functional so I could churn through that PVE content which would in turn help me with my roster development. And it worked, I had a really good 3* team going early that got me access to a lot of PVE rewards that would be a bit tricky to get at that stage of the game otherwise.


Ya, ok, I will weigh in.

Here is my own F2P account, 108 days old (and the screenshot to prove it):

Level and progression:

I choose to stay in Platinum by cup dropping with a weak defense team (although I reached Diamond arena on day 90 of creation) because of easier to pick targets with richer towers to loot if raid is successful.

Hero list:

As you can see, I lack the 3* (all the blues) and in some cases the 4* mats (G. panther) to continue further, which is the result of me not killing high level titans. Arguably those give 4 x mat rolls daily, which in a couple months should supply everyone’s needs for 3* mats sufficiently.


Free ViP last session activated recently, 33 days left:

Recent Alliance quest completed in a fully F2P alliance made up by my own alts:

I don’t focus yet as much on progression in Seasons (except for S2 N completion) because I focus on xp, resources and feeder troops farming. That would explain my account’s higher level for a shorter period of time compared to @Homaclese .

Other achievements:
Can complete any quest except for:
Covenant (last one got to 8, probably could do 10 but I value my WE flasks way too much to burn them here)
Elemental (that thing still can be achieved via huge waste of bomb-type items, which can allow to pass it with lvl 1 heroes up to and including stage 5)
Tavern of Legends
Tower events, Impossible floors (but completed two Normal already, plus 5 Impossible Ninja floors)
Won almost all wars so far - had only 1 loss.
Got twice to top 1 ranking in my warband in the Wo3K event
Tournaments not so good, only two top 5%, rest between top 10-top 50%, never rebuying.

Base levels:

Watchtower is level 19 (not seen on screenshot) while I’m just a few hours away from TC level 20 and House level 18 (advanced House takes priority over many buildings). Forge was level 19 ASAP, because those items surely help a lot with tougher PvE events.

In general, one could argue that this is also no ordinary F2P account because of free ViP, of numerous F2P alts helping with titan farming and recently unlocking Alliance Quest Epic and Legendary, but the latter could be coped by any mid-level alliance which would most probably gladly take this account in their ranks.

Still, I am in no rush and am happily wrecking limit broken 5* defences in mid-to-high platinum daily.

Edit: Troops:


this sums up my feelings well. I used to be more willing to spend on VIP, and maybe the occasional summon deal. but after being often disappointed by the odds, and also after being overwhelmed by all the new hero releases, I’ve thrown my hands up and am firmly not spending now :slight_smile:

although, even before I reached that point, I already knew that I would not be able to/willing to spend enough to compete at the very top. So I set my sights lower (e.g., top 10k in Rare Challenge Event instead of top 1k). I’m happy at the competitiveness tier that I am in for various events :slight_smile:


I tried going f2p and it just wasn’t fun. I’m either going to keep spending or quit. Honestly, the thing that has always irked me about this game is the ridiculous cost to level a unit. I can understand poor summoning rates, I can understand bottlenecks in progress, what I can’t accept or fathom is that once you finally do get lucky, you have to wait over a month before you can actually use the one damn thing that brings you joy in the first place…a new unit. It’s already been several weeks since I got Diaochan, Himeros and Erlang Shen, but the leveling is so ridiculously slow. Only Diochan is finally at 4/70 so she’s almost there. The sheer amount of time and mats is infuriating.

It is assumed, that if you pay to summon a hero, you will also pay to ascend them faster.

I started playing last year and spent at least $200 per month. My friends who have been playing for 5 years and got the occasional Valor purchase, i am all caught up with them when it comes to war scoring and Titan scoring. On the flip side, i may get the satisfaction of beating them and their 5 years of playing but they get me back that i am a couple of thousand dollars poorer than them. It all balances out.

It’s the only game I’ve ever played like that. Almost every game I’ve played you can reset levels for a new unit you want to try, and leveling happens naturally why you enjoy gameplay. This is the only game I’ve played where you have to make feeders, using resources so you are bottle necked by more than one thing. It’s crazy how they decided to go that route.

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It seems experiences can differ a lot. In your roster, I see ten legendary heroes (including a duplicate). Five-and-a-half months after I started, I had gained two legendary heroes. And I certainly didn’t have the materials to ascend them.

Other than not being in a great alliance, I do think (perhaps unjustly so) I did put in the effort to make progress; I wasn’t inactive or anything.

I do think the game has gotten a bit more generous, so it may be that my experience isn’t in line with what happens when you start an account now - but I’m also thinking your luck may have been a bit above average.

I can feel lucky, as I had four :wink: But first of them was fully ascended after almost a year.

For sure it has.
When I started there were 2 MVs per day, now you can easily get 6-7, and now they are quite generous with costume keys.
There are also more portals with associated events that allow you to gain free pulls.
Plus there is a FS portal.
All this allows to build the roster faster.

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This is spot on. I made so many dumb mistakes early on as FTP, but once I came to the forum and started reading up, my progression went so much smoother. You have to know how to play the game, or you will probably get really frustrated and quit as FTP.

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