Why I'm considering to quit playing / why I think the game is moving towards p2w


#1

Hey everyone,

Think i mostly need to get this out of my system one way or another - perhaps to see also how widely shared this sentiment is. Sorry for the superlong post! Happy to hear other people’s thoughts, ideally on the thought as a whole rather than hero specifics :slight_smile: .

I’ve been playing for close to a year now (about 11 months?) and have loved the game for most of that time. Loved it because next to all the good features of the community, match 3 etc - it was one of the only games I knew that you could compete in as a non-spending player. Looking at the way the events are developing, I don’t feel like this is true anymore… which is most of the reason why I’m considering quitting.

I’d like to state first and foremost that I don’t mind putting in (a lot) of hours to grind for something, I’m thankful for the paying players and I do think they deserve an edge in the competition for paying. The event heroes, however, are becoming far more than an ‘edge’. To do well in any of the key aspects of the game they are becoming a necessity.

Let’s take a look at this current event. Not even taking into consideration that the difficulty has been ramped up and the completion rewards are worse (plenty of topics on that already), we’ll focus on some of the heroes here.

  1. The main hero I’d like (just like plenty of others) is King Arthur. Why? Because next to the fact that he has 3(!) special effects, good stats and is a 5* hero… he is the only hero in the game that will give you a stackable colour debuff. Having this hero leveled and using him properly, will basically mean that your score on red titans will be on average about 10-20k higher (per hit) than people who don’t have him. Considering the odds for him to drop (from what I’ve seen in chats/peer support/line it takes people about 70 summons at least to get him) - there is almost no way for any f2p to get him… even if you save up your free gems to roll during the event. This is already too much of a difference on itself, but for the inevitable red reflect event that will eventually come… guess which people will have the best chances of scoring high in the event? Bingo! Those that managed to claim Arthur :slight_smile: You can see this already in effect with some of the other event heroes such as falcon, panther and jackall.
  1. Now let’s talk about Guinevere. Those who have been playing for about 8 months or so might remember that every single player in the top 100 used Li Xiu in defense teams because the mana drain is ridiculously effective in raids. They nerfed her once or twice and then it ended (not a big proponent of nerfs as some of you know, but hey… I guess they thought about it). How on earth do you then release a 5* hero with this same ability and not expect it to be overpowered? But wait, just to be sure, let’s add some regeneration. Still not sure she’s OP because someone might double up on the strong purple colour against her? Not to worry! She’s got an extra little nifty trick which makes her strong against her weak colour too! (at this point I’d also like to point out that this is not new info to SG and these points have been made by beta players which resulted in slightly lower stats - problem solved :joy:)

  2. Morgan le Fay. Now I personally don’t think she is a good hero at all, nor did I have any problems with her in the event (surprised to see a lot of other people did, she was the first to die for me before she got her special off usually… or else blinding her helped!). My main problem with her (and a new trend in the limited time heroes) is that her special can’t be dispelled. While this isn’t a problem just yet in my opinion, my gut feeling says that there will soon be a way where paying players can get items/heroes to dispell those specials anyways… where other players won’t.

  3. Not any specific hero for this specific event, but can we please address the fact that not all heroes that are good/fun bosses for the event need to be released as heroes? The difference in for example Guinevere and Guardian Owl (from the other event, both yellow 5*s) is insane. Also perhaps a disclaimer somewhere that the heroes in gameplay aren’t actually like they are in the event (health,stat,mana charge wise). I know I’ve been lucky enough to test them in beta and know this, but i’d be properly ticked off getting the guardian owl thinking his extra slow mana meant he’d fire every 2 rounds… only to find out it means he fires precisely never.

Whilst these new hero changes bother/worry me - it sadly isn’t just that. For this event I feel like part of the beta players also have changed the way they ‘test’. When I raised the point that Arthur was OP, I was told by various other players that he is ‘balanced’ and that he ‘only looked good on paper’ - disregarding the fact that I too had played with him and had seen that he was unbalanced. Sure, he was no Athena the way she was released originally… but heroes like Arthur and Guinevere are by no means balanced. I quit testing because it seemed like I was clearly alone in my observations, but I am happy to see at least the community at large now seems to see the same as I did. It made me lose faith in the sincerity of the testing and I now sadly must say I think some of the people are there to ensure the heroes stay stronger so they’ll have more of an edge when they buy them.

Finally, what is a rant without at least a constructive proposition for improvement?

One of the ways I think it could be solved is by not limiting entire effects to limited time only heroes. Give stackable colour specific debuffs to heroes you can train in the training camp… even if its at lvl 20 only (as I said, i don’t mind grinding). Make (for example) Arthur the only blue 5* available with it and keep him slightly better, paying players need an edge, but create at least a blue 4* with the same ability. This way the paying player still has an edge, but it is not ending the competition completely.

Another possible solution that was offered by one of the beta players (one i’ve disagreed with plenty, but give credit where credit is due) is to release the limited time heroes into the training camp after 6-9 months. This way people have gotten their fair share of a headstart/advantage and others can still work towards eventually getting them.

TL;DR: game is going in a direction where you can’t be competitive anymore if you don’t pay and I don’t like it.


#2

I’m on your same side and you know it.
I gladly want to know too from the developers what’s the road they choose, expecially on limited time heroes theme.
It’s clear that F2P can’t compete anymore.

I’m fine whatever the answer is, just want to know the intentions.
No answers at all is the worst.


#3

I’m F2P (full disclosure: I spent £2.99 once). Yesterday I was ranked #1, very briefly. Most weeks I can claw myself into the top 5, if I put my mind to it. So it seems to me, as a non-spending player, that I can still compete just fine.

Yes, there are some heroes I can’t get without spending - event heroes in particular. I think this is just fine. SG has to make a profit, right? I can live without Arthur and Guinevere, and there ought to be some advantage to being a spender. I’m comfortable with that advantage being the possibility of pulling a really great hero - especially because the low odds of success mean that there is no guarantee of a successful pull even with dozens of summonses.

I think SG has got the balance about right just now. I can compete by grinding, but I have no chance of getting a few very special heroes unless I choose to pay. Cool.


#4

There’s a reason I haven’t really included raids too much in my message … I can get into top 10/top 100 still when I want - as of yet. (edit: of course the top 10 will take me effort! :smile:)

With titans and events I feel like the gap is getting bigger and bigger, hence my worries about the direction the developers are going. Looking at the way it is going now, I expect raids to follow soon-ish (especially with the non-disspellable specials etc).

Had the same opinion as you, just changed for me recently because I primarily focus on titans. Good to hear your perspective though and congrats on getting to #1!


#5

My focus is mainly on raiding, not on Titans. So you may well be right about Titans - they’re not really my focus.

As to events, I’m not sure. On one hand, as a non-spender I finished all three levels within 18 hours using no items, so being F2P can’t be that much of a barrier to success. On the other hand, I will not finish anywhere near the gold summons reward tiers, so maybe there’s something to your concern.

But I think if I really wanted to throw my efforts into this event, I could redesign my team, use a lot of items, and improve my finishing place considerably, all without spending. If I was a better tactician than I am, I think I could even sniff the top 10 places.

I might be overly optimistic, but I still think it is possible to compete in events as an F2P player.


#6

I can clearly see how you feel. I’ve spent about 40.000 diamonds over the last months, only to get the same 3* heroes over and over again. I’m fed up and consider to quit.


#7

I’m not f2p but I completely understand where you’re coming from and you have my full empathy. I completely agree that each event hero and HOTM seems designed to negate the one before it, and urge people into spending just to stay where they are. Also, I can’t name names but I have witnessed “ssh! don’t tell the devs!” conversations between beta testers in the past. Jokingly or not, it’s plain shady.

But to see what f2p players like yourself and others in the alliances have been capable of has been inspirational. If you leave, you will be missed greatly. :anguished:


#8

I have a few sincere questions here as this is my first time playing a game like this ever (I used to play like Plants vs. Zombies and quick games).

I can’t in good faith call myself F2P because I have spent money, but not a lot and ONLY on the deals like $2 for 200 gems and a trap tools or something. But I’m cautious with my spending and certainly and NOWHERE near a big spender. I’d say less than $100 in almost a year or so. Most of that was the winter calendar so very recently.

Can someone explain to me why P2W is so bad? I mean, what incentive does one have to spend if they can’t get something better or do something faster than someone who doesn’t spend a dime? The times I have spent money I have done so to gain an advantage (i.e. faster ascension of heroes and chances at better heroes through summons or faster TC20 through using gems to speed up. That’s why anyone would spend money in a game, no? Plus this game gives you 99% of what P2W gets (though admittedly it does not give you what you highlight as one of your greatest concerns re: HOTM and undispellable specials - but there is also speculation a benefit will come to P2W in the future, but that is speculation at this point).

What really happens to SG if a portion of F2P players leave? I’m not saying all of them. But this game, no matter whether you pay or not, is a long haul game you have to invest in to succeed in. There will be inherent churn in this model no matter what. You can invest in time or money to assist with that. I get that if everyone ups and leaves they are hosed, but the game is compelling (at least to me) so it will attract new people and even people who quit I see back after a cool down (not saying they don’t quit again, haha).

I am being sincere here. I’ve had my bad days/weeks in this game. Days where your mines and farms are maxed because you don’t gave the items you need to use them for crafts, ascension, etc. Days where I just kind of what to give up. But then somehow I get something that lets me ascend a hero, or I get a new hero somehow, or a TC13, then a TC20 and I grind it out. I just did a 10x pull on event summon and got 10 3*. That sucked, like a punch to the gut…but I also have gotten HOTM from free epic tokens the game has given me from a chest. That made my day, so for me, it balanced.


#9

P2W is not bad in and of itself. This game had very God balance between F2P and P2W that has been skewing steadily towards P2W over time. That is the gripe. I don’t want to say bait and switch but along those lines. Balancing p2w and f2p is hard for any game.
The loss of f2p will hurt sg in less ad revenue.
If enough players leave. It can wreak havoc in alliances but should settle over time


#10

Thanks for your elaborate response!

I by no means think that me leaving will severely impact the game or SG :slight_smile: they don’t earn any revenue from me, so the only ‘benefit’ they get from me being around is in the form of contributions i made to the wiki page, beta feedback, and guides like coppersky’s compendium as well as some other guides i’ve written.

I fully agree that people who pay should definitely get an edge over people who don’t pay, and I am thankful other people do pay to keep the game going. This was the case throughout all the months I’ve played and I never complained - I had been able to make up for the lack of heroes with better strategy etc. My concern now is that i can’t compensate anymore (or come close) with knowledge or tactics, the difference in material is becoming too big. I am not trying to claim that I am the best player and that others are only better bc of the money they spent… but if you always have similar scores on titans and fight for the top spots untill they get new heroes and suddenly you’re not in the same ballpark anymore - it’s too big of a difference in my opinion. While p2w is not a very bad thing in itself (some people like p2w games), it is not the kind of game I would like to play. I like becoming good at something (and being competitive) without having to spend money on it - I prefer to spend my money on other things (poor student, I need food :smiley: ).

What happens when a big portion of f2p players leave? Not sure. Paying players like f2p because theyre the players they’d get an edge over by paying. If those people leave you’re spending and still can’t pass anyone :slight_smile: I’m sure plenty of people would continue to play - I’m just saying this game wasn’t like that before and I might try and find a new game for myself to enjoy that will still allow me to be competitive without spending money.

I’ve gone through the same grinds and frustrations as you with items/heroes etc - but at least all of that was possible to farm/train eventually. The event heroes are only attainable by summoning during the event - you can’t train them. And since they are so vital for key elements of the game, it is disrupting the balance between f2p and p2w that used to be there (in my opinion).


#11

The problem with a fully P2W game culture (like Game of War for example) is that the P2W are the only ones truly playing, and the F2P players exist as fodder for the P2W.

What I have always loved about this game is that the F2P can play against the P2W…if the playing field isn’t level, there are still leveling influences that allow both to exist together with advantages to both groups.

I deplore my lack of 5*/HOTM, but I also realize I don’t have the ascension materials for a 5*, so I work on leveling 4*. I think many F2P are in this camp.

I’ll have to think about Arthur, Guinevere and the rest. And the game would suffer for your loss, Loorts. I hope you change your mind. :confused:


#12

Quick follow up:

Isn’t this the benefit of the P2W people, the advantage, per se, that we seem to be in agreement on:

“but if you always have similar scores on titans and fight for the top spots untill they get new heroes and suddenly you’re not in the same ballpark anymore - it’s too big of a difference in my opinion”

I mean there are definitely HOTM haves and have nots - I think of Athena/Hel as ones who if you have one or both of them, you seem to have an advantage. The rest of the HOTM I am not sold on offering THAT much of a competitive advantage. It will be interesting to see who of the Knights and Natalya makes it into peoples ‘real’ teams.

But this may be your point, that some of the Knights may prove out to offer too much of an advantage and that if the advantages continue then maybe it will shift to unfair…time will tell. BUT, I keep coming to the fact that ‘isn’t that the incentive to pay?’

Feels very chicken and eff to me, haha.


#13

Sadly, I have to agree with most of what Loorts is saying (not because I don’t like Loorts, but because it’s sad to see).

Guen’s OP nature was posted time and time again in beta - pretty much anyone in our alliance who tested it thinks she’s ridiculous…unless you have Panther. Another limited time OP 5 star.

It’s one thing to have hotm/event heroes that are slightly more powerful or cool. But when they have mechanics that are flat out unique and better for limited heroes AND they all stack with each other, it’s sending the game to a bad place for several reasons:

  1. titan scoring - we already have the Athena tax (and anyone who says her 65-70% debuff isn’t a significant damage improvement over grimm/tibs/gormek/isarnia is delusional). Now on red titans, you’ll have the athena+arthur craziness, just like yellow titans have athena+panther, etc. At least jackal and falcon were 4 star.

  2. It’s VERY DIFFICULT to balance content that’s fun for slower grind-it-out players and spenders, not just in this game. That’s why this challenge has so much negative feedback - in order to actually be a challenge for people with large hero stables with the powerful limited time heroes, the difficulty has been ratcheted way up and the grinders are really getting left behind. This is the power creep I’ve been nagging at people about for months, both here on the forums and privately on our alliance’s Discord server. Once you reach a critical mass of people with most of the powerful heroes that aren’t available to everyone anymore, you’ve reached a power creep point where you either have two (or more) tiers of players based on spend, or you have to start releasing the more powerful heroes into the general population. That spectrum used to be somewhat blurry and fuzzy. That doesn’t look to be the case anymore. I’ve seen it in MTG, I’ve seen it on neverwinter nights servers, and a variety of other games…and now we’re seeing it here.

If it was just a matter of getting on the leaderboard, ah well, just don’t give a **** about that and ignore it. But now it’s affecting the content of the rest of the game, like the challenges. My alt account for example, I’ve spent $30ish on. Was planning to spend a bit on small deals, but mostly grinding. I have relatively good team there - a few four star 70s, bunch of 60s, sartana, natalya. That team was able to complete intermediate all the previous events. I wasn’t able to get past stage 4 or 5 this time (and I’d like to think I’m a reasonably not sucky player). And you know what, for one compass and one gloves, it’s not worth banging my head against it. So it’s no wonder someone who only has 3-5 four stars is getting mauled.

My biggest criticisms out of all of this:

  1. leaderboard, sure p2w, go for it. but when it affects the rest of the content of the game because the same content isn’t enjoyable for spenders and grinders, that’s a problem.

  2. the game if not already, will very shortly, have hit that power creep mass where the difference between spenders and grinders is so great that they cannot play the same content anymore. That’s when things will take a turn and we are starting to see that with this challenge.

  3. titans - you can see that with titans - ppl with athena + color debuffers have a gigantic damage output difference than ppl with “standard” heroes. and it’s not close. I count myself lucky I got falcon and jackal.

Dante

and just so everyone’s clear, I’m NOT a F2P player, I’ve spent about $700 between now and last august. Though going forward, that big spending is most likely at an end.


#14

Remember Athena got the stuffing nerfed out of her at the beginning. I’m wondering if dear Guin will also have a nerf session or two…


#15

Rook - and she’s still a must have even now (athena that is). BUT there was zero playtesting by quality players back then it seemed. dozens and dozens of people posted about how stupid Guen was going to be the entire beta time and it fell on deaf ears. Most likely, there will be a nerf at some point, which will piss off everyone who ascended her to varying degrees, and all could have been avoided by listening and learning from the past.


#16

What bothers/surprises me is that there wasn’t more warning from the Beta crowd. (I’m guilty here because I had to sit this testing out.) :confused:


#17

Rook a good number of posts in the beta forum thread on those heroes was specifically about this. We posted our feedback to the devs. We responded via the email feedback button in the app. What else did you have in mind?


#18

In my (short) experience in the game is that the game is heading P2W very fast and F2P will be meat for cannon only. But more concerning than that is the amount of spending underlining all this P2W changing culture. The question will not be if you put money or not but how much you put. The summon x10 (and not just in events) is a good example of this. In the end the playing level between small and high spenders will increase over time. Not good news for those that really enjoy the game and cannot put that much money on the game. For me it really feels that the money I spent is not worthwhile.


#19

Forgive. I got the feeling that the seesaw hit “balanced” before the end of testing. My apologies if I misread this.


#20

There were a bunch of people who felt they were “balanced” but also explained that they felt the hotm and limited heroes SHOULD be considerably more powerful and worth pulling for or why keep playing? They are entitled to that opinion obviously.

I just don’t think it’s good for the game. But clearly the devs felt otherwise.