What Is Winning?

So many of you have likely seen this thread…

…which is a good summation of many other threads that came before it: the game is perceived by many to be “Pay to Win” (P2W) or at least have P2W elements in it. As I’ve been reading this forum and specifically that thread, though, I’ve seen remarkably different viewpoints on whether this game is P2W or “Free to Play” (F2P). On one side, there are plenty of posts about not being able to compete unless you spend thousands of dollars for hero pulls and ascension mats. On the other side are a lot of posts assuring that TC20 and a lot of time waiting for lucky pulls and trickling ascension mats are sufficient.

Perhaps what is driving these differences is not how much money is perceived to be needed so much as the definition of winning itself. What does it mean to “win the game”?

For me, that definition has evolved gradually as I’ve progressed through the game. The first thing the game shows you is the season 1 map. Naturally, then, my first definition of winning was to finish the map, which I did a while ago with a team of 4* heroes without spending a dime on the game. From there, my overarching goals have shifted to the other game modes: defeat a 7* titan, assemble a team strong enough to raid in Diamond tier, assemble a bench strong enough to win wars, complete every level of each challenge event, etc. Along the way were numerous smaller goals like “max out Wu Kong” or “obtain a red 5* hero” or things like that. While I have paid for hero pulls during events, I don’t really need to pay to accomplish any of those goals, so I’ve always considered the game to be F2P with the option to spend money for quicker progression. I realize that there are goals in the game, particularly for events and raiding, that would be very difficult to achieve without spending at least a little, but I’ve always considered those goals to be not worth the effort anyway.

So I’d like to start a discussion here about how P2W applies to this game so that we can better understand each other’s viewpoints rather than throwing around the same blanket terms all the time. What does “winning the game” mean to you, and do you feel that you must pay to achieve that win?


This is my definition of what constitutes a P2W situation in this game.

  • If you ever want to be a part of an end game alliance that takes on 11* titans and above without being one of the 5-10 worst hitters. Then you need to shell out cash.

  • If you ever want to stand a chance of competing in events for top tier rewards. Then you need to shell out cash.

  • If you want a good stable of 5* heros and the ability ascend them within a reasonable time. Then you need to shell out cash.

  • If you want to keep up with the troop-meta. Then you need to shell out cash.

You need to get HotM.
You need to get Event heros.
You need to get deals for gems and ascension materials.
You need to spend a fortune on troops.

Yes, there are people (an extreme minority) that do this while being F2P or C2P. An extreme minority. Extremely extreme.

On the other hand, if playing the game for the Average Joe, hitting some titans, making some war hits, playing the map etc is good enough. Then the whole “P2W debate” isnt an issue.

My 2 cents


If by spending money you could achieve the same results (but faster) as FTP players then the game isn’t PTW. If the time is huge than it could tend towards PTW (see it like a 100m run but starting to run before).

If by not spending money you can’t have the same winning opportunities of paying players on ranked-based prizes (events) or you have to collect for a unreasonable long time enough items/materials for be on pair with paying players then there’s a PTW aspect.

If you have both those aspects, to me, than it isn’t enteirly FTP or PTW.

what “win the game” means to me? To play successfully every content while enjoying the game.


I win if I have fun playing this game. :slight_smile:

Right now I have goals that will make me happy if I reach them.

Geting a rainbow 4* team which lets me finish epic events and hard quests.

Finally geting Bilith because she seems to be the most important 3* hero and so far has eluded me.

Finish the map .

Kill my first 2* titan. Right now I am more or less in a solo guild )

and many more things.

As you can see I am still at the beginning where there are so many great goals you can pursue. :slight_smile:


Lots of good replies already :relaxed:

I’m pretty sure I’m winning the game!

  • I’m making progress with my team at a pace that keeps me interested

  • I’m part of an alliance that allows for, but doesn’t insist on, great social interaction

  • my alliance is also unified in making progress as a team

  • I enjoy raids and wars and understand enough of the mechanics to avoid frustration about cups Vs team power

  • I have made peace with the board and know that five or even ten consecutive losses does not mean a conspiracy (I’m not saying I’d enjoy it!)

  • I engage with this forum of, predominantly, intelligent, diverse and creative people, I share knowledge, receive knowledge, debate controversy, challenge error and incivility and create material for others to enjoy.


For me, winning means that the enjoyment I get from playing is worth the amount I spend. So far, it definitely has been. I still have goals that I haven’t achieved yet, but they are in sight and achievable. I have an alliance full of great people that make the game more enjoyable. I understand the mechanics well enough to be competitive with other players close to my player level and budget. I am making steady progress on my stronghold and my heroes, I’m able to raid into diamond most days (even though I drop back to platinum when I log off), I can complete all the rare quests and Challenge Events.
I don’t feel like I need to crack top 100 to be “winning”, although it would be sweet if it happened.


For me, winning is having fun. Based on the posts of 98-ish% of people in the ‘P2W’ thread, no one can have fun in this game. :grin: I have to disagree with them as, after 8 months, I still thoroughly enjoy this game - esp Alliance Wars.

I’m goal oriented so I set mini-goals for myself which I get a kick out of accomplishing (right now is a team that can stay in diamond). I also have a great alliance which keeps things stress free. This is a game…it shouldn’t be stressful.

(Shameless plug - @Elayanith if you ever decide to leave your solo alliance just hit me up. We have people of all team levels :laughing: )

I also enjoy the unexpected surprises like getting a mysterious tonic today from a titan chest. It’s like getting a Christmas present in August… lol! Since I don’t have the expectation of receiving an ascension mat in every chest, it’s fun when I get one.

This said a lot to me. I’m a c2p player so don’t spend a ton. But I do enjoy the occasional pull or cheap buy. I know spending the $100 on some of the offers would not make me happy so I don’t buy them. Sure, I’d like the tokens, tonics, etc. etc. that comes with them, but going out with hubby for a nice night out would be more fun. For me, it’s about keeping a balance and that keeps the fun.


The sense of accomplishment.

Accomplishments gives the sense of confidence and encouragement.
If it was easy, it would take away my sense of accomplishment.


Don’t forget the missions! Only 600m food to go…


Yes. And just 1500 heroes to summon and 500 titans to kill…I am quite near!

I disagree. I am in a top 30 alliance with regular 11* titans. Mostly B- or C-rankings with an occasional A. I have spent little money to advance, about 70-80€, but I could have done it easily without paying anything. And I joined the alliance just some weeks ago (so not like I have been with them from the beginning) and feel very welcome. The titans are hard for me, but it is a great challenge to think of the perfect lineups and items to use, just to be able to keep up with the big guys, which feels like winning.

I disagree even more with this. That is just your feeling. It is definitely not an extreme minority. You just feel like that, and this is the problem with most issues here on the forum. Like there might be a player who feels special chests are nerfed because he doesn’t get any gold summon coins anymore. He writes about it on the forum. Another player reads it and thinks he must be right, as he got only greys from his last special chest too. Another 40 join this misinterpretation conversation and suddenly all of them feel it is this way, because there are so “many” with the same opinion. The 100.000 (or how many are actively playing?) other players keep quiet as they truly understand the randomness in the rewards. But these players aren’t existing for the one starting the topic… misconception confirmed.

And to go back to the original topic. I totally agree with OP and asked myself this question many times too. And I am winning, even without paying that much.


Feel free to dissagree. However you are wrong on all accounts haha! :slight_smile:

Take a quick survey of the top 50 alliances and ask how much has been spent on heros, troops and deals.

Not saying people cant play without paying, but the vast majority of top alliance players do spend. And there’s nothing wrong with people choosing to spend. Heck, I spend too.

And I’ve been in your mental situation feeling like you’re fighting “windmills” on the forum People seeing conspiracys everywhere and feeling everything has gotten stealth nerfs. And a lot of the times you’re right people get agitated.

But lets continue on the original thread idea.
If you feel you’re winning. Great! Power to you :slight_smile:

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Now this topic is one I love to add my contribution to. I have been participating to multiple international championships in the sport I practice and this topic is one I have discussed often with my team members. I’d love to share my thoughts in short. Almost short. Oke, not so short. Skip to the end to see what winning in E&P means to me or read through it all and find out how I figured that out.

----What are my thoughts about winning?----

As the OP almost wrote: the meaning of “winning-the-game” depends on how someone describes the meaning of “winning” in general.

Some are ego-oriented when it comes to winning and they believe it means:

  • Coming out in front of someone else
  • Ending far ahead of anyone else
  • Performing better than others

Other people are task-oriented and they believe that it means:

  • Performing to your highest abilities
  • Overcoming yourself
  • Surpassing yourself
  • Making your dreams reality or achieving set goals

And occasionally you stumble upon people who are both ego- and task-oriented and mix it all together at times.

I think the definition of winning is situational and depends on your objective(s). Here is why:

SGG can be more profitable than a competitor, but if it does not reach its full potential…then did they really win?

SGG can reach its full potentional, but if it’s not more profitable than a competitor…then did they really win?

We can have an infinite discussion about answering such questions. I think that the answer to the question ‘‘Did I win?’’ can only be found by evaluating your objective(s). These objectives can vary a lot and are too many to mention.

----What does “winning-the-game” based on set objectives mean to me?----

I am someone who will always be task-oriented to bring the best out of myself, but with the greater goal in mind to win all my games (ego-oriented). I just don’t want to lose. My objective during my sport games almost always is that I want to perform to my highest abilities, knowing that performing to my highest abilities will make me win more often than not.

A game in which I did reach my highest possible abilities is therefore always a win for me, knowing that I can not blame myself for anything. A game in which i did not reach my highest abilities is therefore always a loss for me, knowing that I can blame myself for not having achieved highest abilities.

In order to reflect wether I succeed in this, I think it is important to determine in advance what these highest abilities for me are. And thus what they are for me related to E&P.

I find this is impossible to determine in this game for certain aspects, such as raid- & event-rankings and titan- & war-scores. These aspects often depend on what board I get served during the start of my gameplay and what gems replace those I have removed. Unless I spend an infinite amount of money, but then still RNG has it’s influence. So RNG affects me and is an external influence that I can not train myself for, but which could affect my highest capablities in a bad or good way every single time.

I can give winning-the-game for these aspects a certain direction, such as the height of my titan damage that I want to deal on average or an estimated guess about which teams I ‘‘should be capable of beating’’ in raiding. I can give winning-the-game a more specific direction also, by ascending certain heroes first in order to increase my average titan damage. So if I reach or increase the predetermined average titan scores and beat the teams I thought I should be capable of beating, then I could feel some sense of winning-the-game based on my highest abilities.

I do however succeed to determine my highest abilities on other aspects, such as opening a max number of chests with a set amount of gems I am allowed to use for resetting them. Or helping my alliance members as much as I can with knowledge I obtain by reading a lot about the game. RNG doesn’t affect this and therefore I am in control of achieving my objectives. If I manage to open my set number of chests or to help my alliance members, then I am winning.

----What does “winning-the-game” really mean to me?----

The way I approach my sports-environment isn’t applicable for all aspects of this gaming-environment. For some it is, for some it isn’t. The last paragraph of this book’s second chapter already shows you in what direction I am heading.

A common situation is that people who do not achieve their objectives feel that they have ‘‘not-won’’ and thus have no sense of satisfaction. In order to prevent that I do not feel satisfied at moments, I therefore have to adjust my thoughts:

Winning-the-game means feeling satisfied to me.

I order to feel satisfied I do have objectives:

  • I want to learn from my past mistakes
  • I want to contribute positively to the experience of other people
  • I want to aid others in reaching their objectives
  • I want to be kind
  • I want to be dedicated to mini objectives (such as the previous mentioned titan damage averages) and be determined to see it through to the end
  • I want to search for ways to better myself
  • I want to spend a little money sometimes and reward my effort with what possibly could be a valuable hero or item



I’ve already hit most the goals I set for myself.

Wanted to one day get into top 25.
Wanted to max all my buildings.
Wanted to always get Tier IX Titan loot.
Wanted to finally kill 10* Titan.

But as for winning, as long as the game remains enjoyable I think that’s the true measure of winning.


I win 90% of the time in every aspect of the game. To me, spending more money doesn’t provide much of a return on investment. The game developers will then move the goal posts by introducing new heroes only obtainable by spending money. At that point, if you care about being a top player and “winning”, it becomes pay to win.


I love your post!

My goals in the game—or, what determines whether I’m winning, to ME—is:

  • I love my alliance
  • I enjoy playing titans at my current level
  • I have fun with AW even when losing
  • I like making shtuff
  • I like leveling heroes
  • I can ignore parts of the game if I choose
  • I have more ascension materials than heroes to ascend - WIN!
  • I have a/some/many HOTM - __
  • … Event Heroes - 1!
  • … 5* heroes - 2!
  • … 4* heroes - 34 (that I kept!) :grin:
  • I haven’t lost my sense of humor
  • The game is still fun
  • Looking forward to the next shtuff!

Now I know I’m relentlessly cheerful, but I measure E&P versus other online games I’ve played, and 15+ months is a long time for me to give any game my attention.

I’d say “win”. :wink:


Big big big big WIN! when you have 34 4* heroes! :rofl: #jealous


That’s not a matter of personal goal man, is a matter of how the game is and how it used to be.

Since the first day in this game there was F2P, C2P and P2W. Since the first day.
But it was ok, people paid for having the advantage to having things faster (sometimes much faster, i play for 16 months and still don’t have Lianna, or Joon, or Magni, or Marjana).
But it was ok. Never complain about that, because with patience and grinding you may someday reach exactly the same results, so that gap can be filled with dedication.
And there was people happy to spend the same!
We all was happy!

But all this fall apart when it comes to limited time heroes, ascension material offers, and buying your ways in refills in events with huge price.
That gap can’t be filled anymore with dedication, and it become a race on who get what.
A race where there’s no winners, cause there’s always something better replacing what you buyed before.

That’s it. There was a time when the balance between spenders and not spenders was much more fair.

My goals hasn’t changed since then.
The game changed.

U must be a psychologist :slight_smile: the post on polarities was awesome, thanks for the great insights, keep it up!
Rastaman Vibration yeah Positive!

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