While I’m not sure about “advantage” for the game proper stats would impart (the one-shot threshold for Guild Wars does confer an advantage, but that is a very specific break point for one player to have an “unfair” advantage over another). Better tools beat better stats 8 days a week. With identical tools, first turn advantage still has a distinct advantage.
Personally, I think the bonuses you get from leveling to 15 are rather pathetic. Stat bonuses in scaled content are relatively minimal and usually having a bunch more stats equates to “I can use the fun team for one or two more rounds before I switch to my scaling team”. Even the hoard stat bonus might not even let you reach a break-point for not getting one-shot (or if you aren’t getting one-shot, not getting two-shot). This certainly isn’t any kind of long term “solution” for the pure faction team viability… it might make a few viable ones a bit less painful, but most faction teams still play like either “pray you get the right gems to fall” or “throw this out and hope”. Stat bonuses for homogenous teams only matter if the team was already synergistic or the stat bonuses are monstrous, not seeing a ton of that really. For PvP… well… I frequently crush 14k point meta teams with my account that only has +4 life +10 magic +6 attack from kingdoms and nothing from guild or renown.
Theres also the nagging matter that Level 15 kingdom stats are very likely to increase score bonuses, and gold payouts in PvP are still score-differential based, and matchmaking still offers you opponents well below your score, so…
I think what people are reacting to is that “progress” is the main measure of “winning” in Gems of War in general.
The problem is twofold:
- The only “gameplay” way deeds will be offered (for now) is through Adventure Boards, which will be the same for everyone.
- AB interaction is akin to a “second login bonus” by the time you hit midgame - anything important in the daily section you can close out in a few minutes. Long before you can even finish five star kingdoms, in fact.
These two factors combined will make it very obvious when someone already at endagme paid to accelerate their kingdom level past anyone else. Also, this is offering “progress” to people beyond that which there is any in-game avenue for.
Whether or the stats you get confers a competitive advantage in a specific mode, deeds for cash that puts players that pay distinctly “ahead” in progress for an extended period of time above players that don’t spend cash is going to come off as “pay to win”. Because it applies directly to the main “goal” of the game, affects gameplay (however small), and free players can’t have it (yet).
Flash offering them for gems would be a different matter though. Yes, beyond a certain baseline, an offering for gems would just translate directly into having to spend cash for some players, but this isn’t even remotely the same. Guild obligations (and grabbing the weapon-of the week) aside, you have a choice on whether or not you want to spend gems on any of the incentives. And while endgamers might view a gems-for-deeds offer as compulsory (so they can “keep up”) and earlier players might find it attractive (since you don’t need troops to get that set of stat bonuses, just a bunch of deeds and gold), the gem costs would have to be absolutely exorbitant for this to equate to “pay to win” above any set of purchases that already exist. Veteran players would find a way to have those gems without cash purchases. Newer players would have to further budget if they didn’t want to pay… but I see a lot of less experienced players just kind of throw gems at things that they could afford not to, so, maybe that isn’t the worst.
Back to what I said before about tools beating stats - most of these “tools” are also frequently sold, and people are mostly ok with that. Believe it or not, one of the reasons for this is that they are actually cost-prohibitive. But the main reason is because they aren’t offered to the “paying customer” before they are offered to everyone else. Imagine if instead of legendaries being in event keys when they are “released”, that they go into event key pools when they go into other pools a month later (meaning you could get them in the next kingdom event like 9 months down the line)… but they kept selling them for cash. Imagine that was the case for even a “bad” legendary, like this week’s Gruz the Undefeated. How would that make most of us with complete collections (plus or minus a Zuul’Goth asterisk), feel? Now what if it was a good legendary, or just something that looked fun?
Thats what putting out deeds for cash above what anybody can earn through in-game means is flirting with. Yeah, I know, “other games do this”, but it is line that I hope does not get crossed here. And all they have to do to not cross it is make sure in-game means can continually equate or surpass purchases.
So… as for the “one year” projections… I was going to do this earlier and in my AB data thread, since I known about “deeds” this for a while and was waiting for the announcement, but I got busy. But lets take a look at projections for what it will take to get everything to level 15 with just AB deeds counting just Imperial Deeds as bottleneck.
We need 104 imperial deeds alone to get every kingdom to level 15. Imperial Deeds are stated to only be in legendary and mythic adventure boards.
In my data collection thread, legendary boards were found to have an appearance rate of roughly between 5.5% Lets round that up to 6% for a best-case estimate. The boards are then split between one of three types, with gems recorded being slightly less frequent than the other two. Salty stated on stream that the frequency of the 100 gems board would not be reduced for this, so we have to assume at least a 30% chance for “not deeds” in the legendary slot. If we split the chance of keys and shards evenly, deeds will have a about 23.3% chance to appear on legendary. Unless legendary board appearance rate is significantly buffed, that is an upper bound of about 1.4% chance of deed legendary board per slot, conferring to an average of about 1.25 imperial deeds per month from legendary boards.
So, mythic boards always trended below 1%, but lets round up for the sake of argument here. Mythic boards are currently shared between two task types, keys or shards, found to be split about evenly. If a third task were added, also evenly split, we’d have a 33.3% chance to earn two imperial deeds every time a mythic was rolled. Unless mythic board appearance rates received a significant buff, this equates to an average of about 0.6 imperial deeds per month for mythic boards.
Based on these projections, through boards alone, it will take approximately 55 months (almost 4.6 years) to gather enough imperial deeds for 34 level 15 kingdoms. Just the imperial deeds. There is still the possibility of getting color bottlenecked, which is sure to prove even more frustrating.
But… theres a chance they might increase the appearance rate of these rarities boards, or that deeds will comprise a higher percentage of them. So lets take a look at what it would take us to get 102 imperial deeds in a year.
If every legendary board at the current legendary board rate gave deeds, that would give us 5.4 imperial/mo high estimate. If every mythic board at the current mythic board rate gave deeds, that would give 1.8 imperial/mo high estimate. At 7.2 imperial/mo, it would take about 14 months and change to get 102 imperial deeds. Thats sort of a year if we all had really good luck with some minor flash offer supplementing maybe… so… if they doubled mythic and legendary board appearance rate (reducing common and rare souls and stones appearance rate I guess would be the best possible outcome), and 100% of this rarity tier increase went to the new deeds tasks, and we got better than average RNG, then we might be nearing full level 15s in “about” a year. Somehow, I don’t see this happening.
Either that, or a new game mode has to enter in the next couple patch cycles that absolutely dwarfs the amount of deeds offered by AB. And it still has to be limited entry, because it is pretty clear they don’t want deeds to be farmable. Level 20 teased as a future extension to this system on stream will likely have increasing costs, so deeds would have to be much more available for this to even be a possibility in the next several years. However, since level 20 is also their current plan to prevent deeds from eventually becoming worthless… well, if its even possible to attain level 20 on everything at any point and deeds don’t have another use, then the currency is still effectively dead at at that point.
However, if flash offers are indeed what is intended to take us even close to the “one year” mark, then flash offers would be most of where deeds are. And yes, I would see that as a problem, regardless of how impactful the bonuses you get from it are.