Time for another serious discussion about "the long game"

I will try to keep this as short and concise as I possibly can, but I am not known for my brevity, and this is not really a topic that can be fully discussed in just a few words…

Recently there are a lot of topics discussing F2P, C2P, whales, etc.

Now, I have officially taken the position that this game leans heavily towards P2W (pay to win). Meaning that those who pay the most will have most of the advantages in the game.

I believe this to be 100% true myself, but some have disagreed with me, citing the following reasons:

  • people who spend a lot are not always guaranteed to get good pulls
  • people who spend nothing sometimes get good pulls
  • even those who have good heroes are lacking the materials to level them up anyway, so what difference does it make?
  • F2P are able to get several free summons a month, so a dedicated F2P should easily be able to keep up with a whale

Et cetera.

Okay, yes. Granted. There are extreme examples where F2P have gotten many insanely lucky pulls, as well as extreme examples of whales spending $$$$$$$$$$$$ and only pulling :poop:. And therefore, I am supposed to just accept the premise that everything is perfectly fair and balanced for every player, regardless of their personal spending levels, because a very lucky F2Per can get better pulls in one month than a very unlucky big spender.

Um… alright. That’s a little thing called “the exception, not the rule.” Not that there are any concrete binding ‘rules’ when it comes to RNG, but… okay, I’m not a mathematician myself, and I realize that every flip of a coin has 50/50 odds every time, regardless of whether you flipped the coin once or 1000 times. However… just because a F2P gets lucky and pulls a HotM in one pull, and a big spender gets unlucky and doesn’t pull the HotM in 100 pulls, does not mean that the game was totally fair and equal to both of them.

“Of course it wasn’t fair,” the spender might argue. “If it was fair, I would have gotten the HotM and they (the non spender) wouldn’t have!”

Well then, at this point, whether you recognize it yourself or not - you are arguing that the one who spends the most is the most deserving of the best stuff. And if the outcome results any other way, something must be broken. That, my friend, is blatantly pay to win.

Take any two large batches of players with similar experience in the game… similar amount of time playing (let’s say… 12 months), similar time spent playing each day, etc… all other factors being similar, only difference being that those in group A are 100% F2P, vs. those in group B have all spent on average about $100 a month…

I mean, duh. Obviously group B is going to have better rosters.

Naturally, right? I mean, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. I’ve played many games where you can spend some extra money in order to speed up your progress a little bit. That makes sense! Some people have very busy lifestyles and don’t have enough time to play several hours a day… so they spend a few dollars to be able to “catch up” to those who have plenty of time.

Ahhhh… but now we are getting to the crux of the issue. The point I’ve been leading up towards (and apologies for taking so long to get here, but you’re all E&P players, so you should be used to having to grind forever with a fairly good chance of it all being a complete waste of your time) :laughing:

The question / topic of discussion is: for those who say that this game is NOT “pay to win”, that you CAN, in fact, “grind your way” towards obtaining all this great stuff without spending :poop:tons of money…

Take any top roster from this game’s biggest spenders, and ask yourself - how long do you think you would have to grind as a F2P in order to get even half the heroes that they have?

Probably the rest of your natural life, right? And that’s probably assuming that you’d live to be over 100 years old, and that this game will even still be around then.

“But TGW… you don’t need all of those heroes to be good at the game!” That’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that, any game where it is not realistically even remotely feasible for a “free” / non-premium spending member to obtain all the same stuff as a high paying player through normal gameplay alone, is by definition, “pay to win”.

Would be completely different if the “fancy stuff” was purely cosmetic and had no impact on gameplay - but as we all know, there are several heroes in this game that can have dramatic impacts on gameplay, and these are not heroes that are obtainable by everyone. There is no amount of time that one can grind in this game in order to get most of the best heroes; on the other hand, give someone a limitless number of summons? Sure, they might have to summon 10,000 times or more to get all the heroes they want, but they’ll get there eventually. Vs. just grinding day to day as a F2P, saving up all your gems and EHTs? LOL.

TL;DR version, condensed into meme format:



Liking post before I read it entirely! :joy:


I don’t really get the hate against P2W, EP like other mobile games are a business first and I don’t get how that’s surprising to so many people? Plus I really believe that if the game didn’t have so many heavy spenders F2P wouldn’t get even half of the free tokens/coins/keys which actually add up to a lot in the end.


I thInk you’re really getting to
The core issue of “it’s all just luck anyway.” Whether ptw or ftp, the painful part of this is that it’s all luck.

Your skill matters very little in high level end game play-the board, your roster, your troops especially make a world of difference.

Additionally I don’t think ftp people need good heroes, but they do make the game more fun. My alliance mate reached Top 17 In the world as a total ftp the only non season 1 5* he has is mitsuko.

I just put up an idea in the new ideas section to try and bridge a good bit of the gap you’re talking about here for 30$.


For me, it’s not about p2w or not p2w, because there’s nothing to really “win”. Like a marathon with thousands of runners, the vast majority have no hope of finishing first and couldn’t care less. It’s all about the experience for them.

If one sees “success” at E&P only as finishing in the top of some event, then it’s easy to get disappointed. If one is content with merely finishing the event to get the loot, then it’s easier to stay satisfied with the game. :woman_shrugging:


No hate against the players themselves. If I had a bunch of excess money, I’d be spending for top heroes too. The hate is against the model. Because games are supposed to be about the game itself - how long you’ve been playing, how hard you’ve grinded to level up, how “skilled” you are at the actual gameplay - not the size of the wallets of the people playing the game.

It’s not surprising to me that it’s a business that wants to make money. I mean, duh. That’s a given. But games weren’t always like that. I don’t get how so many people think all games are supposed to be like this? Because they’re not.

And I also don’t get why it’s such a foreign idea to some people that a game company can still make money without relying solely on heavy spenders. The “free stuff” that we get in this game is stuff that was once upon a time taken for granted in other games. Now we’re supposed to be eternally thankful to get it?

And you are absolutely 100% correct, that luck is the main factor in this game, and that you don’t need all of the best heroes to get a top score. There are people in the super top secret FTP Rebellion group who are able to dominate leaderboards, because they are really effing good at the game. But these are top level, highly skilled, very dedicated players. Compared to some schmuck who comes in and drops a bunch of money to buy a top team, then comes here to whine that they’re losing raids against teams half their size. Because while they can afford to buy all the heroes, they apparently have no clue how to use them.

PvP games should be based mostly on skill, period. Not on what kind of heroes or gear you can afford to buy in the cash shop. Cash shop would be fine if those heroes were also available to people who don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend. But they’re not, are they? That’s the point of this thread. The fact that the majority of the heroes in the game are almost completely out of reach for the average player to obtain, ever, no matter how long they’ve been playing.

You and several others might think that’s fine, “nobody was meant to have all the heroes anyway”… but the problem is, some people do have “all the heroes”. Or at least most of the good ones. Because they spent a small fortune to get them. Because that’s the only way to get them.

That! That is the issue to me. You either get rich, or you get lucky… or, you suck it up and play with your vanilla ice cream, and hope that maybe in the next 6 months or so, you might get lucky enough to pull a single cherry to put on top.

You are 100% correct in this… even those who make top leaderboards, only stay there for all of what… 5 minutes or so?

I am somewhat competitive in the game… I never expected to be able to beat everyone. But maybe eventually reach a level that was at least somewhat respectable?

Anyway, even pushing all that aside, as I personally have no interest in trying to go up against the most hardcore players… the main thing that is bothering me is the fact that there are so many awesome heroes in the game, and no guaranteed way to get them. Your best bet, if you ever want to have any hopes of “collecting them all”, is to do a 100+ summons every time a new event opens up.

Otherwise? Fuggedaboutit.

Where is the reward for eternal grinding? Where is the “pity timer” to stop you from pulling duplicate after duplicate? Where the heck have the Atlantis heroes disappeared to? How many years must one play before they can finally pick up some more of these awesome heroes?

I am more or less satisfied with the game, enough to keep on playing it for now at least. But it still bothers me that they keep releasing newer, better, stronger heroes, without any real guaranteed path to be able to get them…

Only “surefire method” is to keep spending until you get it. Until the event is over, then… okay, see you again in 6 months! And if you still want that same hero 6 months from now, it’s going to be tossed into an even bigger pool of heroes where you will have an even lower chance to get it!

That’s not cool.

I’m perfectly content to run the marathon if I know that once I finish, I’ll get something neat.

This game has so many neat heroes. That I will never, ever be able to use, no matter how many years I play the game.

That’s just really annoying to me! I mean geez… once a fancy new toy has been on the market for 6-12 months and their original owners have already gotten tired of them and moved on to the fancy new toys, I should be able to find those old ones in a bargain bin. But nope! Not in this game. Everything but vanilla gets locked in a vault, and the only way to get the others is to have the winning raffle ticket. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been playing for 10 months or 10 years (assuming this game still exists that many years from now). They don’t care how many quests and provinces you grind, how many titans you kill, how many wars you participate in, etc. You’re still not guaranteed anything more than another scoop of vanilla.



Must say P2W right now is not only about heroes, but much more about how much retries/carpet bombing you can do, lol.


Yeah no, I didn’t mean this post was about hating the P2W just wanted to point it out cause it’s not uncommon in the forum.

And I do think that the game is about skill too, there’s plenty of people with great rosters that still aren’t that great at the game, or doesn’t understand the mechanics that great.

And yeah games wasn’t always like this but with electronic payment methods came money making opportunities so it’s only natural, and when there’s people to spend you take advantage of it. And yeah, not all games are like this, but most of the mobile games are exactly like this on principle. (Or EA lol)

And I do think that devs could be a little more generous and offer better ways to grind the tokens etc… play more -> get more. But if I look back maybe a year or so, there wasn’t more than ETH’s and ETT’s to give us free pull’s so it’s gotten a lot better.

Either way I don’t want to change this into some debate, and I’m not a big spender my self, but just wanted to take a little stand after a few beers lol.


Ohh yes there is that aspect too… I’m glad I stopped caring about my rankings in those types of events / tourneys. You have my sympathies if you are participating in them as a F2P/C2P and trying to get a top score without buying your way to a top score.

All good! :grin: :beers:

I’m not at all opposed to a game making money. I’m not at all opposed to a paying player getting to speed up the leveling process. What I’m opposed to is the fact that there are now so many new heroes, many of whom are much better than the originals, yet the odds to pull them are still ridiculously low. How many pulls can a F2P expect to get in a month? Let’s just say 10? Okay. Well, based on posted odds, that will likely result in seven 3* heroes and three 4s. Majority of those will also be vanilla.

That same player could then maybe expect to pull three, maybe four legendary heroes a year from summon portals (excluding TC20, obviously).

You could say, “hey, 3 or 4 legendaries in a year, that’s not bad!”

LOL but wait! You don’t get to pick which legendaries you get. You might end up with 3 Obakans. Over the course of a year.

Does that still sound good?

How many years do you think it would take for the average F2P (or even C2P) to get their hands on, say, a Gravemaker?

And I say average. I know, everyone “knows” someone who got a Gravemaker in a single pull from ToL, but that is the exception, not the rule. Statistically speaking… how many years would it take an average F2P player to pull a nice hero like that out of a summon portal?

Yes, I am measuring that in years. Because that is what it would take. Many, many, many years. I know that heroes like that aren’t supposed to be easy to get, but it shouldn’t be that damn hard either.


Yea I know, I’m on a serious lucky streak rn (last 12 pulls got me Alfrike + Vanda + Victor + Glenda) or maybe like last 8 if I don’t count all the Valhalla one’s before Alfrike, but yeah without these super streaks it’s a pretty dry run.

EDIT: lol Zulag xd

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TGW, I’m not sure how this post relates to “the long game,” but for me, “winning” is completing each season, event, etc. and I’ve been able to do that with my TC20 Vanilla (1 costume), 4 HOTM’s, and 3 event 5-stars.

I am “winning” the game and enjoying the challenges put in front of me with the new events - Legends and Tower. While I used way more battle items than I wanted to in the Tower, I was very pleased to not only finish, but do so in the top 25,000. On the flip side, I was actually able to complete the entire Return to Morlovia without using a single battle item.

I occasionally finish in the top 1% of Raid tourneys and average well into the Top 25% and have completed all the Season III normal levels and am working on province 25 of Hard - slowed down by the Morlovia event.

I am winning the long game and thoroughly enjoying the journey. Would I like to have pulled a bonus draw or Tavern of Legend HOTM with one of my 197 pulls this year, sure, but I’ve added a ton of new 3-star and 4-star heroes to my roster and leveled them up quickly.

I don’t see this as a PTW scenario, but more of a pay to show-off. All those people that have spent to have the super deep 5-star rosters are not “winning” anything other than the heroes they are pulling.

Bottom line:
Focus on winning the events and seasons and everyone that plays can win.



You don’t play ANY gacha game and expect to get any hero of the highest rarity (i.e. a 5* in this case). Not just half the heroes a whale has, I’m literally saying any given 5* hero.
You don’t expect to have GM.
You don’t expect to have Ursena.
You don’t expect to have Finley.
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Gacha games are all p2w by nature, that’s their general design.

As f2p, you can play to be competitive, but you have to accept that you won’t (often) find yourself in top titan/war hitters of an alliance, because you won’t have a diverse bench of 30+ 5*s or Tarlak/Miki/Gazelle.

F2P life is about being the best you can be, but it’s not worth to compare your achievements to someone spending 300$ on getting each worthwhile HotM or event hero.


Do people really need to be reminded that spending more money improves your chances? To me, it’s obvious but I guess the existence of this post means it’s not?

I was F2P for awhile and have converted to C2P, probably starting a couple months after VIP originally came out. My rationale at the time was to get to TC20 ASAP to start getting a real shot at 5*, since that’s the only way you’re going to get them on the regular if you’re F2P. I still run a TC20 for Dom and Elena (I have every other S1).

Personally, I’m fine with knowing I’m never going to be hyper-competitive at the high end, because I know I’m never going to be fine with becoming a whale. I choose to spend my efforts in other ways, like 3* specialization (I can field a 2950+ TP 3* team). For awhile, particularly before Raid tiers, I was cup dropping just to make it easier to fill raid chests because raids generally irritate me. My max win streak got to 833.

I’m at endgame (again) with all buildings and research done. For awhile, part of my fun I guess was managing everything to bet it all built as efficiently as possible (no rushing jobs, but using VIP). Now that that’s done, I’m just enjoying whatever content is there. The desire ebbs and flows, more and more these days, but I still play. Last challenge event I did 2 levels of each difficulty, that was how little I cared. Stopped caring about ninja tower in the 30s. The flow is coming back, though, I’m about 5/6 through Return to Morlovia, and catching up on s3 again.

There are ways to enjoy the game as long as your self-worth isn’t so strongly determined by constantly being at the top of the raid leaderboard.


I had a very brief lucky streak myself in Morlovia… pulled both Francine and Jack from the handful of EHTs I had saved up. Jack is only a 3* of course, but I still consider it lucky because he’s a shiny new toy.

Overall, I’m still only averaging about 3 legendary hero pulls a year (again, excluding TC20).

Those show off heroes are quite potent though. It’s quite difficult to beat many of them in wars and raids, lacking sufficient firepower of my own. I don’t have any heroes that can do half the fancy tricks that they can do.

They don’t even have to try! They just put up their heroes, and watch the cups roll in as idiots like me struggle in vain to try to beat them, wondering why their team keeps reviving and healing themselves back up to full health every other turn.

Okay, fine, they have better heroes… I just need to get some of those heroes for myself…

Except that I won’t. I have a better chance of being struck by lightning.

This is my first (and definitely last) experience in the world of “gacha” games. I don’t even know why that’s a thing.

I tried to spend money in the beginning. I thought I was spending “a lot”. LOL no no no! Silly me. $100 is not “a lot” in this game. It’s a drop in the bucket. And that’s exactly what I got for that money - a drop in the bucket.

I was hoping for more. I was told that if I grinded long enough, that maybe some day… blah blah blah LOL.

Appreciate all the feedback all around. And I’m not exactly determining my self worth on which heroes I have vs. which ones I don’t, because I know that all comes down to money and RNG. The part that is bothering me is that the farmer / grinder / collector in me wants a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I want to know that after grinding long enough to finish some quest or event or whatever, that I’m going to get something awesome as a reward. I want to at least be able to grind my way towards having a reasonable chance at pulling something other than TC20 heroes.

So many heroes, so little time, such low odds, so few gems, tokens, EHTs etc. …

I get it, I get it, it’s a gacha game. Which I think is a really dumb concept in and of itself, but it is what it is. At least some of you are willing to admit that gacha games are at least somewhat pay to win.

It just still annoys me how incredibly difficult it is to actually get (and then level up) good heroes in this game! I have absolutely no problem at all grinding for something, as long as I know that there is something worth grinding for.

Hence, the title: “the long game”.

How long are we talking here before I’m able to catch up, without spending ridiculous amounts of money? Turns out that the answer is: eternity! I will never catch up.

I mean, sure, there is plenty of other stuff to do in the game in the meantime. But eventually, I will have all of the vanilla heroes, and they will all be maxed, and I’ll just be throwing away duplicates and waiting months and months for something different to finally come along… and that is going to get really old, really fast.


Glenda? isn’t it two days too early to get her…? It’s still October right?

Sorry, just caught my attention. Don’t mean to be picky.

I’m also on a dry streak after a seriously lucky streak in my first 10 months (and I’m f2p who’s only spent 6 EUR total: 200 gems + one month VIP) - got 8 non vanilla 5*s in a row, then a big gap for another 8 months before pulling Malosi. then nothing until now.


Too long… skipped most of them.

All I know is that life is not far. But they say the all is fair in love and war. Reality struck us. Just go outside. You will see the rich and you will also see the poor. You can compare them on the streets: whether a commuter or a car owner, and the type and brand of the car. Just tour around your city and you will see the rich living in their mansions, the poor, well, it varies.

I also consider this game as an art in various forms in the same platform. But in this case, life does not imitate art but the reverse. In real life, the rich have more than the poor and playing this game is no exception.

If you really wanna push things to be equal, then you continue living in a utopian dream. Wake up. Drink your coffee. Smell the roses. Life is unfair and cruel. It has been that for several millennia.

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IMO…the biggest problem SG caused with the P2W vs F2P argument is that it marketed itself as “free”. Yes, the little “contains in game purchases” disclaimer was there, but the game could never realistically be called F2P. Not if you wanted to progress at anything other than glacial pace, anyway.

If there was an option for the true F2P’ers to remove all the many, many, pop up offers, then I’d maybe give SG the benefit of the doubt. But there isn’t. Never has been. So, by ramming all these relentless money grabs in players faces, they are effectively saying “Buy this and you’ll improve. Probably enjoy the game more too!”

Whatever path players do choose, and good luck to all, the game is designed to be P2P, at the very least.


It would definitely be nice if this game weren’t based on luck, but alas it is.

It used to annoy me. But now I’m at a place where I have reasonable expectations on what I can achieve based on my roster / spending habits / amount of time dedicated to the game / interests (i.e. I don’t care about challenge events, they bore me).

Plus I’m in a great alliance with great people.

So… I’m happy and content. :slight_smile: and that’s all I can really ask for.


I started F2P, turned C2P as V.IP. pass got released and stopped spending at the 2nd P.O.V. pass.

I did get some nice heroes as I played 2,5+ years but as I reach 365€ I told myself that maybe I could stop at that.

I’m still enjoying the game even if I dislike how certain premium heroes are still “untrainable” (costumes, 3*/4* heroes non-core heroes, s3 heroes, newer generation event heroes) despite requiring a lot of time to actually start converting them as if players would get them as they appear into the Hero Academy.

This could actually allow players to play the “long game”…


Try this maybe


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