Just my opinion, Season 3 onwards has changed so much of the dynamic between spending big versus spending and FTP. We see more powerful specials backed with higher base stats, and niche “must-have” heroes that swing the balance to success versus failure. If you’re not spending big, the gap widens even if you are actively playing and improving your roster.
I can’t speak for everyone, we may have different motivations. I play this game to enjoy advancement in a game with no end. It feels like with every new release, instead of moving forward, I’m losing ground.
For me personally, the game has evolved through stages:
“If I can just level up these heroes”
to “if i can just level up these troops”
to “if I can just emblem these heroes”
to “if i can just limit break these heroes”
to “my heroes are too weak, lack utility”
The light at the end of the tunnel has been shrinking, I can’t see it anymore.