The most overlooked problem with shiny troops/keys/token is, as stated by Idle earlier in this thread, that there’s no way anyone could use their keys efficiently to surpass the initial need of 1050 (30x35 token) plus another 35 token each week for the newly released troop.
A player looking to max them out needs to:
Buy both headstart and heroic offers for 10$ each
Be in a guild who completes all extra stages (13-16 whichever applies)
Pay gems to complete the extra stages yourself
And even then they’re prone to a 50% success rate getting more than 2 token per key to keep up with the rate new (and possibly) shiny troops are added.
This is always the way in long-running games in which there’s a (semi) steady stream of new content being released. Balance is an impossible task under those circumstances; either you have a “vicious” cycle of power creep with new stuff overwhelming the older stuff and “newer new” stuff having to be released to counter that, or you have a “virtuous” cycle of power degradation in which the new stuff is largely cosmetic but a gradual dwindling in power of new stuff simply shifts more and more influence to the long-term players who have plenty of the older stuff – especially if that older stuff is limited in some way.
Gems of War is like this now. When I was in college – something that was a long, long time ago in what feels like a galaxy far, far away – it was like this when I was admin’ing a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon, a text-based online RPG that was the great, great grand-daddy of today’s MMORPGs). And it was probably like this going even further back into the mists of time, things like the old table-top Dungeons & Dragons games and the like.
The GM giveth, the GM taketh away. If the heroes end up with an overly shiny new thing, that makes them more powerful or wealthy than they should be, expect it to get stolen, lost, destroyed or, with especially sadistic masters, them having to sacrifice it by themselves. (“Oh, so you have found this enormous treasure in the frozen wastelands. And now you ran out of wood to light a campfire. Say, did you know, that diamonds can burn?”)
I know, unless it is a singleplayer offline game, you can’t really pull that off as a commercial developer, but you name the core issue right at the start. More and more and more content, so that the endgamers keep their wallets open.
This game modell is broken in its foundations.
$2 for doubling 5 more room rewards, you call it inordinate amount? wth
Any late-game player can spend 50/150 gems daily with no regret reaching for free extras, meanwhile you can spend $2 and get those double.
The only issue with underspire is all hints regarding the maze are unofficial, which is targeted against non-guild non-communitive players.
More gem purchases added with more activities means that not everyone will be able to do all activities for the rewards and some will be more inclined to spend gems to fast track the rewards.
More gems spent means a higher likelihood these people will spend money to buy more gems in time to fast track the current activity they wont have time to do.
$2 here, $4.99 there, oh 9.99 and i get the dragonite without having to spend the gems i dont have to find that dragon.
FOMO is a strong feeling, any and every micro purchase is designed to make you feel better when you might otherwise miss out on getting Dia or Ctharrasque or that new shiny troop. Its a psychology game and most people, not to even mention the player base, are susceptible to these mind games.
Endgame content is made for endgamers, not for everyone. And Im sure low-level whales are happy to spend anyway. So you only defend those poor souls who can’t stand fomo. Well, can’t support you there.
Someone pointed out to me today, that Arena and Treasure Hunt are the only two modes, that are still mostly the pure match 3 gameplay, that this game used to be, when it was fun and before it became flooded with features.
But also the two modes, pretty much nobody likes.
How much of the mess, that this game has become, is to blame on us, when we choose hunting for virtual carrots over stuff we might enjoy…?
The justification may be simple. Arena and Treasure Hunt. What are the rewards gained from those 2 modes that effectively help advance in the game? Those are the modes that received few or none improvement through the years. GoW received so many new game modes with the need to get so many new resources and micro transactions that it become useless those 2 games. Anyone wants only a 3-match game? GoW is not this kind of game anymore. The blame is on us? Definitely, but not because we neglected Arena or TH. Because we are eager for completion and try to endure the continuous mess made by the devs.