I generally try to avoid this kind of thing. I don't like it and I don't like doing it.
As I've said before on the subject, it usually comes across as pointless whining.
But more and more lately I'm getting anxious and even a little nervous about the state of this game, which has left me feeling the need to get this off my chest.
To start off, this is my go to game. I've been playing it almost since it came out. This was one of the first games I ever played on my first tablet and I'm still playing it today, on multiple accounts and OSes, on a daily basis. In fact, I even played the *shudder* Facebook version for a (very) short while.
Next I want to point out that I am a light/casual P2P player on both the Android and Kindle/Amazon versions of the game, at least relatively speaking. I've spent enough to get two SMs on Android, but not enough to get a Mino (yet). I've not spent enough on Kindle to get an SM (yet... -ish), but have still put in a not insignificant amount there, as well.
So this is not F2P whining, as I'm sure some will try to label it. I'd like to think it's not whining at all, simply observations and a statement of concern, but take it as you will.
Now that I've "established my credentials", so to speak, my thoughts...
First is that I've noticed a significant downturn in activity since the advent of the Wardens/Factions system and removal of Artifacts. This is, at least in my opinion, undeniable.
Since this was added there have been numerous people who have quit or drastically reduced their playing of the game. Some have blamed it on this, some have just said it's not fun or too expensive to keep playing.
This is most noticeable in terms of the number of YouTubers who have vanished, openly stated they were quitting the game, and/or have drastically reduced their output of videos (which is both a draw to the community as well as a health indicator of the community, IMO). I could list them, but most know the names and I don't see the point.
I'm not saying get rid of Wardens or bring back Artifacts or anything like that. I've made comments and suggestions about the system before, so that's not the point of this. This is simply an observation of a potential correlation of events.
Second, P2W, while it has always been at least a part of the game (the rolling system makes such a thing inevitable), has quickly become the de facto method of play if you want to be even remotely competitive. I don't mean being in the top ten or hundred or thousand. I mean even being on the board. That is not a good thing.
This is in vast majority a direct result of the Bazaar's implementation and the rapid and ever increasing "deals" tossed out there, as far as I've seen.
The Bazaar itself is a good idea. Being able to outright buy the Heroes we want was a welcome change for many of us. The astronomically increasing deals being tossed out on a near daily basis, however, are a very bad thing, in my opinion.
For a game to have a point, there needs to be some things that can only be earned. As it stands right now, that is exactly nothing, AFAICT. I literally can not think of a single game mode where you can earn something that you can not simply buy outright.
You can literally buy everything you need to be a top player without ever actually playing any part of the game. Need xp? Buy it. Skill food? Buy it. Fame? Buy it. Merits? Buy it. Stones of any kind? Buy it. Crests? Talents? Skins? Buy it.
The skyrocketing deals and offers, while good in moderation, are bad in abundance. Too much of a good thing is a cliché saying for a reason.
Personally, I think most of the deals in the Bazaar should vanish. Special events are one thing, but it is almost literally an every day thing to see a ton of bonuses up there (EG: a dozen talents for less than $20), as if IGG is starving for sales to th point they're willing to throw anything at you to get more.
This results in a very P2W-centric game.
When the casual P2P or F2P see they have no chance, that affects morale. They eventually just give up. And when they give up, most often that means they move on to a game where they will have a chance.
That is not a good thing, though I'm sure some of you would cheer at that. Which leads me to my third point.
Third, the semi-toxic F2P/P2P interactions seen in the community.
Yes, this is a business. P2P are important to that. But that business also depends on the players, and F2P make up a large portion of that. It's a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitical one.
Multiplayer games rely on their player base. Not their P2P or F2P players, but all of them.
The P2P pay the bills. Get rid of them and your game will die due to lack of funds. It's simple math. A game needs cash to keep everything running. F2P people? Deal with it.
The F2P gives the P2P someone to play with. Get rid of them and your game often will languish due to lack of players, which results in less fun and thus less people spending money. That also leads to game death.
Are F2P required like P2P are? Not directly, but indirectly the answer is often a resounding yes. So P2P people? Deal with it.
Think about it this way. Would you care to play the game if only ten or fifteen people were playing against you? When you can't find a Lava team, because there is no one to team with? A few might say yes, but the vast majority would say no.
A thriving player base is good for everyone, plain and simple.
This means you need to try to keep the vast majority of players happy. Not just the P2P or the F2P, as so many seem to think, given their attitudes here. It's not an either/or situation. It can't be, without a major overhaul of how the game works.
This leads me to my final point... I'm concerned.
I'm concerned at the state of the game and the state of the community playing the game.
People are leaving, people are arguing, people are complaining, the game becomes more P2W every single day, and I'm worried the ever increasing deals are IGG trying to cash in before it all collapses.
I love this game. As I said, it is my go to game. But I honestly don't see how things can keep going the way they are and the game continue without collapsing under the weight of these growing problems.
Just my opinion, though. Feel free to ignore it. Maybe I'm just channeling my inner Chicken Little, right now.
Move along, please.