Ruskin's Journal

Today’s topic: F2P Superiority

Being F2P can often give me a sense of superioirty over other players. This can be from ranking higher in wars, events, or any other part of the game. But what really gives me a sense of superiority is when folks complain in a way I think is disingenuous.

One thing I’ve noticed is folks like to use time as part of their complaint. I’ve been playing for almost four years now, so when I hear someone say “I’ve been playing for five years and …” I immediately get triggered. What inevitably happens is the player is using time because they are not an active player. Has it been months since you have received a roayl tabbard? Well maybe you simply missed the rare quests.

I often compare my in game level to other players. Again, because I’m an active player, I know anyone who has played longer is essentially less active. Me being active by itself isn’t what makes me superior. It just gives me a sense of “hey if you just did X you would solve your problem”.

I also find prioritization interesting between F2P and spenders. As f2p, getting heroes like Jackal and Falcon were high priorities for me given their value (they’re still my top EDD for Red and Holy). Due to both old Guardians being an outddated portal and higher powered legendary heroes, I see some folks enver get around to these two. I’m not sure I’d totally do it differently if I were them anyways.

Well, now you all know whenever you post, I’ll probably be thinking about how superior I am to you. I hope you all can still like me.


I only feel superior when people post stupid things

(So basically a lot if not most of the time)

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:rofl::joy: love the landmine loaded topic.

I tried to be f2p but was deeply offended by a now retired player, who was way more senior than me but didn’t have enough brain matter to be diplomatic towards a player who was less than 3 months old.

Telling someone to get stronger to not let the alliance down when player is in her game infancy, and still exploring EP can go both ways: player exits game or player releases wallet.

That alliance is a mixed alliance. No KPI etc. that player was just being a complete jerk.

The wallet opened. With guidance from a more compassionate senior alliance mate: In came event heroes. Mana troops purchased. 4AM purchased. Tournament packs swallowed in a jiffy. Emblem offers grabbed. Etc etc

5* defence, complete with epic mana troops, went up in a matter of months.

The obnoxious player piped down, more and more, and reduced play time as he clocked in lower titan loot tiers until he stopped hitting titan. This then gave me an excuse as co-lead to boot him permanently. :smiling_imp:

So would being f2p give me a sense of superiority ? Probably with time if I had given that Avenue a proper go.

As things stand, I can never lay claim to being a true f2p; at most a vc2p due to my predilection to buy comfort and convenience.


I appreciate the honesty from all you superior beings!

:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

That was a very satisfying story, thank you @BlackZed

Re hero choices, I never did manage to get Falcon @Ruskin505 . I was lucky enough to get c-Marjana though. I’ve recently restarted HA to try for Falcon, just to have another EDD option esp for Epic tier of challenge events. As an FTP, relative ease of getting a certain hero is a big factor in my decision-‘making, for sure


I take it you may be a tad bit disappointed with that “prove RNG is rigged” thread you started? or maybe you got exactly what you expected, and had the forum-base prove “worthy” of your lowest expectations again?

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Haha love it!

I guess I am a much more zynical being: I know that I know nothing. I get exasperated when people know less than I do, especially when they insist being right, when it is so obvious they are wrong :D. Can´t say I get anything positive out of that part lol.

Do I compare myself to others? Well since there are so many influencing factors that seems a silly undertaking. How can I compare myself to someone who plays in a different alliance and hits different targets? Successrate is completely meaningless.

fair enough! You´ll have a pretty high success rate with a blanket application of that principle :smiley:

That´s an iffy one, implying anybody liked you in the first place :stuck_out_tongue:


Today’s topic: crime and punishment

So SG was bought by Zynga who was bought by Take Two. Take Two makes the NBA 2K games (of which I’ve played a few). They recently had a situation I found intriguing. They issued a ten day suspension to many players who purhcased in game currency in a less than standard method.

So in order for this to happen, player A has an account solely to farm in game currency. Player B then pays Player A outside of the game. In game, Player B sells something relatively worthless to Player A at an incredibly high markup.
Player B is happy because they received in game currency (say gems) at a much lower cost than they could get otherwise. Player A is happy because their account is made purely for these type of transactions.

This is an obvious reason any trading can be a concern within the game. We’ve seen plenty of folks with alt accounts. The moment trading become legal, I’d gladly trade some heroes I have on an alt that I don’t have on my main. Any and all sorts of farming become possible. How you limit this is an obvious thing to concern.

So the players invovled in these transactions all got a 10 day suspension. 10 days, not a huge deal. To prevent revenue leakage, it’s certainly something to consider from the business.
I wonder how many players never play again due to their 10 day playing gap. One, some players may be so upset, they may not want to play again. Two, some players may find alternative methods of entertainment. This is a tough decision for a business. You certainly want to prevent that revenue leakage, but do you want to kill off some of your most engaged players?

It goes further. NBA 2K runs a yearly $250,000 tournament. Imagine if once a year the top player in the top alliance received $250,000. That would have some serious implications on competitiveness. Well, players who got suspended were not disqualified from this tournament, even if they already qualified from previous events.

Imagine you’re the person who has won the past few years and now you’re banned. How do you proceed?

Terms of Service
All of this makes me think of how and when you enforce terms of service. You can take action, but are you willing to deal with the consequences. I used to want to censor trolls on the forum and watched how they constantly broke the rules. But SG should never do that. SG shouldn’t hurt their revenue based on forum disciplinary actions.

When previous events had questionable behavior, is it worth it for SG to punish them? When folks figured out how to not use items, does SG want to get rid of them?

Next time you see the latest weird issue, ask yourself if you would punish them if you were SG. Are you willing to say revenue is down because you enforced terms of service?

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Shouldn’t it be that Player A is happy cos he received Real Money for his farming efforts ? And Player B is happy cos he “purchased” in game currency at reduced prices ?

Once trading is allowed, all sorts of transactions will take place, and inevitably involve Real Money in some way or other.

Some games end up with a real marketplace, to Developer’s delight, which then allows them to manipulate marketplace by controlling supply of hard to get items or hero.

Your scenario is very likely to happen in any game with a marketplace. It is hard to detect, and usually requires whistleblowers.

As for that 10 day suspension, that in itself is a slap on the wrist. It could have been worse : ban for Player A who benefitted with Real Money, and removal of in game currency for Player B.

With regard to EP, SGG was swift to deal with fraudulent transactions involving gems. Buy gems, then cancel transaction. SGG removed purchased gems, usually leaving negative gem balance.

As for incidents like MorloviaGate, SGG only responded when it became inevitable that they had to respond cos someone posted in Forum after having had no proper response from SGG. Once that became public, SGG had to be seen to be doing something.

Before MorloviaGate exploded, I was told that this farming of 4AM was already happening in Dunes, 2020 (or was it 2021). And SGG was fully aware of it happening. And nothing was done because damage was limited, and involved players from top tier.

It was hearsay to me since there is no proof. Then MorloviaGate broke.

My reaction : oh so that gossip is true. Kudos to the whistleblower for blowing up this issue, thereby forcing SGG’s hand.

SGG did what they had to do. It was sufficiently effective, forcing out some players who were aghast at having to make good the gem deficit.

I never understood why these players didn’t stump up the real money to fix that deficit and just continue playing. To me, it’s the same thing as paying a traffic fine or paying for damages in real life. Apparently there is a difference.

Now if the issue was cheating in a tournament, has this ever happened in EP ? I heard about the “outsourcing” complaints. Is that considered cheating ?

I am not sure cos I have played my friend’s accounts before to help them out (not this game though). No money exchanged hands. Reward was a treat: a cup of brewed coffee. Is that still considered cheating ?

Anyway That was all hushed up cos it involved certain prominent top tier players. To this day, no announcement. The thread was closed quickly.

Compared with other game developers, SGG is comparatively secretive. I have read, with amusement, announcements from other game developers on how they dealt with cheaters: temporary ban, lifetime ban, fine, and the perpetrators were invariably from the top tier.

Yeah I felt reassured by those announcements that justice had been served. Would it buy me additional loyalty towards that developer and game ? Doubt it cos it’s only a game and I will move on when it’s time.

Should these Developers then be more lenient ? If it’s at the early stages of the game, probably not cos they need to appear credible.

If the game was mature, it would depend on how much revenue is involved. Even then, some developers, with more backbone, would still proceed based on principle: cheating is cheating, should not be tolerated.

Ultimately developer’s reaction and response would depend on their business ethics and morals, which can range from conservative to very flexible.

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Good catch. I should really understand my own post :frowning:

Market manipulation happens in NBA 2K as well. Some of it is controlled by bots too. It adds another element to the game.

Yeah it’s quite an oddity. I think it’s a psyhcological barrier. It could just be the final straw for some players. If I got a ten day no play stint, would I really come back and play after those 10 days?

Yeah I bet these are in depth conversations. I’d be interested in participating because of the number of variables involved and the complexity of the calculation.

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Good question. :thinking: I do go back to some games after ignoring them for awhile but that’s on my own volition. I wasn’t suspended. Think it’s >50% that I will just delete that game if I am suspended.

Cos I got irritated when I was kicked out after login in another game (their servers were running full; players were kicked out in turn to facilitate another player logging on :confounded:) I deleted that game immediately after the weekly tournament concluded.

If it’s a gem fine, resulting in gem deficit, I would probably just buy back in. If I liked that game enough to explore loopholes, paying a fine for being dumb enough not to stop when I should, should be doable.


It’s easy to think the game is rigged when randomness happens to you.

1 No red tournament this week and I get red diamonds in back to back attacks
2 go 4-1 in covenant quest and lose because I didn’t get enough tiles of my 4 on level 3! Oof embarrassing.
3 On that same attack, Waddles revived 8 times in a row, trying to make sure I won on an easy level.

I don’t actually think anything is rigged. I think random number does enough screwing one way or another.


This will make many happy


:joy::rofl::joy::joy::joy::rofl: got to start somewhere. :joy::rofl:


Strikes are in the air.

We see it in Team Korea.
NBA 2K is seeing a lot of flack from content creators and many are talking about a pack strike.
Another game I play has recruited the top 10 alliances to boycott spending on an upcoming event after they fixed a “bug” that gave out too many rewards.
I’ve heard some say it helped Madden, but who really knows.

Maybe folks are enjoying life more. Maybe inflation is putting pressure. Many it’s the deep state. But every game I play seems to have a push to not spend. Let’s see where this takes us.


Whereabouts are you from Ruskin? Here in Oz, prices (houses, construction costs, food, everything) are crazy. So inflation is definitely a factor I would say.


I’m in the United States, but pretty sure inflation is up in most places. That can be inflation you see in every day things as well as in game costs we’ve seen a number of posts about.


Gaming industry revenue is generally ailing, even with player, and corresponding revenue, growth in certain regions.

Outlook is not good. Developers, who have been cushioned and cosseted during Covid, now find themselves beleaguered on all fronts:

• declining player base (RL effect)
• declining revenue (RL effect)
• increasing costs (RL effect)

One of my games has recently improved their monetisation efforts in the last 3-6 months:

• improved special offers (not much increased value)
• premium with purchase (not exciting)
• events tied to offers (should have caused a furore but I gamely threw some money in cos I like the developer)

Will be monitoring revenue for this game for awhile. Another interesting business case study.

The other games are still same same. Business as usual.

Looking forward to an update from you on those games you mentioned.


I do tnink inflation is playing a factor…

I personally stopped spending as much as before because of inflation… I would rather save the extra cash these tough days… I am in the US and raw chicken breast prices have increased by 50%… with everyday spending the price increase on most items comes out to a decent amount of your paycheck…

I also think that the ongoing war between russia and ukraine plays a role. Players from these countries are not regular like before and I think this drops the revenue generated from these countries.

Of course another factor is my bad summoning luck :muscle:

Also this game doesn’t really reward your spending which always makes double think when I decide to spend. Yes there is Fated Summon but its still lacking (not complaining though… its better than nothing).

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For the past three days I have not looked at the forum in the first half of the day and then only spent a few minutes at night. This is the least I’ve used the forum in as long as I can remember. My interest in the game hasn’t changed. My interest in the forum certainly has. I’ve also been spending more time outside these past few days.

As I’m set to return to the office a few days of the week, I’m curious how my play time will change. It’s very easy to play when I work from home 5 days a week.

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Same here, don´t spend much time on the forum these days unless I am looking for something specific. Started a new job, so I just don´t have the time… Still playing the game as before, well maybe more time efficiency in playing, but still getting the same things done and ignoring the same things, just less dawdling in between :smiley:

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