Gems of War - A Game for Mid-Level Players

Hello all,

Gems of War sports the best match 3 gameplay I’ve ever played, as well as having a ton of content that is continuously expanding. Unfortunately, as it stands, the game is only psychologically rewarding for mid-level players.

The low-level problem: As a new player you are overwhelmed with how many troops there are, and underwhelmed by how many you can obtain. It seems like every team someone recommends has two or more Mythic troops (which you are far from obtaining) and your sweet Ranger team starts running into problems pretty quickly. The great majority of troops you are getting are fully unusable and souls are tough to collect. The events ramp out of your power level immediately, and the PvP wall happens pretty quickly. You are functionally useless to your guild, and if you are in a good guild your PvP suffers for it. You unlock the SoulForge and realize how amazing it will be in three months, but not amazing at all today.

The mid-level nirvana: Once you hit the mid levels, you have a really strong team or three, you are getting further than ever on events, and you have finally hit Level 10 on all Kingdoms increasing your team power greatly. Your effort vs increase proportion is excellent and are rewarded well for playing a LOT. If you target PvP opponents with good counter teams, you are winning quite often and being rewarded for strategy. You are now a contributing guild member. You can build fun teams because you finally have enough Legendaries and even a few Mythics. The sky is the limit.

The high-level let down: You have your teams. You have your troops. The kingdom increase process is a purposeless slog. (Fully upgrade weapons you won’t use, fully level troops you won’t use, waste your traitstones.) PvP has degenerated to players that field purposefully weak teams hoping you will lazily steamroll them for rewards, or meta teams that stomp a mudhole in the strongest teams depending on RNG alone. Events are all lessons in diminishing rewards. Can you beat Zuul at Level 30? What about Level 30,000? Let’s Delve a weekly foe for ten hours. Look, more Chaos Shards you don’t need. Scaling is not content.

Like many I’ve put a lot of hours into this game. I want it to be awesome. The content has painted itself into a corner by having weak AI, crazy RNG, and scaling as the only challenge. Being Level 650 is a great feeling. Level 50 or Level 1100 just feels like an unpaid job.

Recommendations in no particular order:

  • Treasure Hunt Rewards Rework - It’s a valid game, make it worth playing.
  • Delve Rework - Instead of making Delves get harder with each battle, start players small and have them get bigger. Growing feels better than hitting bigger walls. Make a Delve feel like a risky go in the first battles, then like runaway freight train at the end. Make the room rewards unknown and make them important. Good buffs, passive effects and environment changes.
  • PvP Rework - Change rewards based on team rarity on both sides. If the opponent fields a joke team, lower rewards significantly. If the player fields a weak team and wins, increase the rewards exponentially. Add a LOT more teams to each players opponent list. We should not be seeing the same opponents over and over. Allow every player to have one ‘ban’ per day, be it troop or weapon, so they will not see that troop or weapon that day on any opponent team.
  • Kingdom Power Level Rework - Just leveling things isn’t enough. You can make this a grind, but the current grind has no point. Attach weekly event style challenges to it (kill x enemies in explore, etx)
  • Weapon Availability - Many of the most interesting weapons are not readily available. When you made the hero almost required with the Class rework, you should have made fun weapons return.
  • Class Talent Rework - It’s not hard to see that some trees are far and above others. Change it.
  • Tribe Bonus Rework - If you are using 4 Knights (or beasts, or goblins, etc), it’s shouldn’t increase a stat by 4, it should increase a stat by 25%. This is one place scaling is necessary. Make these bonuses matter for everyone, not just very new players.
  • Until Level 100, allow new players to find Potions randomly while exploring. +1 to all stats, explode 2 gems at the start of battle, double gold, double souls for just an hour all matter when you are new.
  • Guild Wars Rework - I have a lot of suggestions on this, but I will keep it short. Any guild that has a zero score for two or more days drops 500 positions at the end of the week. We need dead guilds out. Top three places get an addition reward in each bracket.

I’ve tried to not make this only “Gems Bad.” I’ve tried to think of some way to make it better. I hope any of it is useful. I want to love this game. I have a lot of sunken cost fallacy in play here that I cannot bear to lose.


I love your post and I find every point valid. I hope this post gets a lot support and I urge everyone in forum to do so and last I hope the DEV can prove us wrong by listening and implementing some changes. :v:


I agree with basically everything. I will add… Damn I only got through bullet point #1 before realizing this was going to be an even larger wall of text.

This is a big issue for me. The things end up feeling like chores. This week I grabbed Tier 6 in Tower of Doom because I want the Forge Scrolls (as usual), but I highly doubt I will play out every last sigil. Every new event after Guild Wars has been more of the same level of slog. And I just don’t get why some people are so enthusiastic about them sometimes. (Potions have made things much faster/easier, thank you for that, but its still a band-aid.)

I have a dramatic suggestion here: rework or remove Valravens. We don’t need extra extra extra extra game play. Steamline the hell out of it, scale the rewards accordingly when we capture/kill/etc the birds, don’t make us (feel like we have to) play more for it. Look at it this way, people might throw more gems at the event shops … or not, we will see hopefully. Hell, removing them entirely reduces the amount of RNG in the system, that’s a plus.

And give us some option to burn through maps like crazy. If I took one minute per map and did maps not only instead of standard GoW play, but also instead of all of my regular gameplay, it would take… months! And I usually need at least 2-3mins per and that’s if I’m not trying to play well.

Which is another problem, because right now we feel no small amount of pressure to finish the maps as fast as possible - whether its for an event or because of all the other things to do, or, oh yeah my favorite, the fact that we get a sigil bonus for 60+ moves but it stops there and doing 120 or 180 is therefore “wasted”. And, as mentioned, the part where we have a giant stockpile of them. Fact of the matter is, I’d like to take 20 minutes to finish one map and get epic rewards out of it, but on top of everything else, they don’t even scale up particularly well.

Of course, this needs to be done in a way that doesn’t mess with how they work for the low-level players - I’m under the impression that they like maps just fine how they are.

Part of this is a result of players being locked out of certain weapons …

The real pain point here is the faction team difficulty. We do know they have a fix in the works, but no info or timetable. It has been mentioned a lot, but having the hero be allowed on that team would go a long way towards fixing things (besides which, except things with skull generators and Mang/EF, most of them aren’t going to become instant-win teams with the hero anyway). I personally think dramatically increasing the amount of stats a faction team gets would be good, probably scaling with treasure hoard stats or something.

Change it all. I’m sick of the points being as stupidly disparate as they are right now and very tired of hearing dumb excuses and unlikely explanations. And dud teams… I mean, I’m trying to enjoy myself here, I don’t have to explain that.

Same opponents, yeah, bit of an issue.

Banning troops is probably a greater hassle than its worth and, functionally, only really a band-aid fix instead of neutering the problem in a better way, but I’ll take it! I mean, I’d probably use it on Firebombs…

Current system isn’t particularly interesting, no. The rewards aren’t rewarding, and the ways of getting them are pretty odd in some cases. Attaching niche cases like mythics and pets is a no-no, not everyone can magically get those.

Could give out some way-stronger buffs but have them be specific instead of global (and leave the global ones as they are!!). For instance Whitehelm (because a ton of us are there because Glory*) could have some potent flat or scaling stat buff for Divine troops, or Whitehelm troops, or simply another buff to the 2/3/4x Whitehelm troop buff like we get from pets.

*: Tribute currency is literally the only non-aesthetic reason to pick a home kingdom at the moment.

Collectively, some or all of the above should be giving us reasons to actually choose our home kingdom. Maybe if leveling kingdoms or selecting them as home will boost a certain thing we like, it will inspire us to commit to doing so.

90-95% of weapons should be IN THE SOULFORGE, everyone knows this including the devs, devs are far too quiet about it. Dozens of those threads. Tell the publishers to go do something crude and so on, if that’s the issue. Moving on.

Wait, while we’re here, lets talk about the Brown/Green/Purple Dawnbringer-like weapon. There, we talked about it.

I think my thoughts and spreadsheets on this subject have been noted. Bloody Wind talents. *eyeroll*

I do love the idea and think it should be done, but we must bear in mind that we have pets now. I have a Guild Wars-viable team that gets bonuses that look like this:

But yes, incentives to use themed teams would be excellent. Just have to avoid stuff like the original Blighted Lands / Daemons event week with +50% to the whole set… I mean, it was funny, but it was so wrong.

That would be cool, just difficult to find an appropriate place to draw the line and so on … I see risks of “gaming the system” (like we have for PVP at the moment…) in order to retain access to the things. Interesting challenge for the devs to implement that one properly.

Keep those potions to be explore-based only? That way it doesn’t turn into an issue when they level up and lose access, because by the time that happens they will have grown past explore being remotely difficult. Or something.

Generally speaking, the idea represents a strong activity hook for players. Which is a good thing.

Guild Wars rewards could be more incentivizing, yeah … I mean, my guild is top 10 in trophies but hanging in B3/4/5 in GW because we don’t particularly care.

I just did that because it’s a consistent heading-looking-thing. Ah, lets see…

  • Fix Orbs. Goddamn things. Chaos Orbs feel so dodgy because of how (struggling not to curse) bad Growth is, and Wisdom for that matter. We should be able to sell the ones we have zero use for (read: most of them), and we should be able to Forge them down as well as up (i.e. turn the big ones into multiple small ones). This does not impact the usefulness they have for newer players.
  • Make delve treasure stop being counted as troops. They’re not troops. April Fools is only one day of the year.
  • Make class events that happen on the weekends have the same level of rewards as other weekend events.

I think I’m done but ask me later.


Oh gosh I feel this. I like them as a mechanic and they probably help people who don’t buy a lot of tiers, but I really, really feel this thread. Sometimes I look forward to running out of sigils, and Valravens prevent that!

Basically, in most events there comes a point where there’s no reason to go on. If my guild hits the last reward tier, why should I spend the remaining sigils? I’m usually 150+ sigils away from even thinking about the leaderboard. So I usually resent the tiers I bought, even though they were sort of required.

All in all I just agree with this thread. I had a lot more fun as a midgamer. I had goals then. Now my only goals are “wait for ascension orbs” :frowning:


I agree with most things posted. On treasure hunt in particular you could just allow us to gamble more maps per hunt. Even if it scales down I would be happier than 1 at a time.


Thank you for taking so much time to respond and assist with ideas. I don’t this game has run its course, I just think it needs course correction.


Great suggestions @Zepp and @Shimrra, couldn’t agree more! If some of these proposed changes were implemented it would be really welcome.

Just to add to it, one particular source of annoyance for me that I think you haven’t touched on: why in the world do we get the same time (24h) to complete a delve event on Tuesday, and a pet rescue on Wednesday? I would really appreciate getting at least 48h for delve events, and both could take place at the same time anyways, pet rescue isn’t a “real” event (no sigils/leaderboard/dozens of battles)


Not even dramatic, as far as I’m concerned :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: (just sensible). It’s a fun concept on a smaller scale; with events stretching on as they do, just eugh.

So apparently some of the feedback they’ve received is that lower-level players like Growth orbs, which is why they have no plans to change anything at the moment.

I strongly suspect this feedback made no differentiation between Minor and Major Orbs, though, as otherwise I find it very difficult to swallow. I’ve made and levelled up new accounts several times, and a Minor Growth Orb is disappointing no matter which way you look at it. I could understand Major Growth Orbs being liked, though.

This could potentially also allow for integration with the Soulforge to allow for the crafting of higher rarity treasures, if that were deemed sensible!

:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :laughing: Don’t be silly.


I would like to point out I’m cynical the spirit of this thread will be respected because this is the nature of F2P.

(Disclaimer: I don’t have GoW numbers, maybe they’re different, this is just the industry average.)

Newbies are hard to get! The store is full of options, and getting them to click on your game in particular costs a lot of effort, which usually means ad money. Other excited players are a factor in influencing them too. Newbies are very likely to spend money, both because they want to catch up to other people and they have no clue what the wisest purchases will be. So every game wants a constant influx of newbies.

Mid-game players are still valuable. They’re making progress, and feeling good about it, so even though they know what impulse buys to ignore, they’re very likely to bite on good deals. Since mid-game players are easy to keep happy, they tend to help a lot in terms of attracting newbies.

Endgamers are problematic. They’ve seen all of your content, so it takes something very big and very new to keep them from burning out. The game has probably changed dramatically since they started, and each change is more likely than the last to be something they didn’t like. Since they’ve seen and experienced everything, they are least likely to spend more money. Since they’re disgruntled, they’re more likely to talk people out of joining.

When your revenue is monthly, you don’t care how much someone spent last month. You care how likely they’ll spend that or more this month. Endgamers are the people least likely to spend. They’re also the people most likely to sour the community and prevent new signups. So most games are optimized to send smiling people to take endgamers by the hand and lead them to a Pain Room until they decide they don’t like the game anymore. Preferably quickly.

So is it any wonder that the PvP reward system, the game’s most important grind, is designed to:

  • Present high rewards to newbies but create a sense of frustration because the most rewarding teams aren’t teams they can beat.
  • Give mid-game players the highest average rewards just as they’re able to maintain high win rates.
  • Progressively lower the rewards for endgamers such that they have to win multiples of matches or ask their guild to abstain from rewards just to feel like they break even.

GoW wants endgamers to leave. Not stay. Unless you’re going to spend a lot of money and recruit a lot of newbies, then you can stay. (But the game won’t be any more fun.)

The devs will deny it, and deep in their hearts they probably care about endgamers and want a game that keeps them. But actions speak louder than words. I first saw someone point out the PvP disparity more than a year ago. The only adjustment that’s been made is to make it worse for endgamers. It’s hard to ignore the writing when it’s in flaming letters.

(That has the cynical bit built right in, too. The reason PvP revamp isn’t and hasn’t been a major focus is it affects every group of players. If it’s unsatisfactory for newbies it’s probably also bad for mid-gamers. It’s hard to prioritize something that will give you three groups of unhappy players instead of two.

I really hope the next update fixes one of the major endgamer gripes. It is very true that sometimes they do that. 4.2 was the “make classes interesting” update by removing the class change fee. But we had to whine for years to get it. Nobody was asking for emoji with such vigor; they just wanted functional chat. We’ve had quite a few “for the newbies/midgamers” updates. It’d be nice to have one for the endgamers.

Because in my eyes, everyone eventually becomes an endgamer. So even newbies should care how they’re treated. Why would you invest a year into a game that will show you the door when you get there? What’s the point?)


I have, kinda. :wink:

But, of course, you meant the devs.

With the way things are trending, and with the mandate by decision makers to find “creative” ways to increase microtransactions, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a furtive method implemented that somehow monetizes Treasure Hunt, disguised as a “rework”… like, how they “reworked” event keys. :unamused:

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They could always add negative valraven boosts to shop tiers. Like if you don’t buy any tier, you have the nominal chance for ravens. Each tier you buy descrease the chance for ravens to spawn with like 10-15% per tier. That should be a middle ground between allowing non spenders play more than 4 matches/day in an event, and the too many sigils issue.

Except then you’re effectively punishing people who make purchases compared to those who don’t.

Having fewer battles than everyone else is way less cool than everyone just having fewer battles, especially for anyone trying to compete with others’ scores.

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You don’t really punish them, as each tier had a bunch of sigils too, and those tend to be far more than you’d find with ravens alone without any tiers bought.

I guess the problem is some people really want Valravens and other people don’t. Not everyone buying a lot of tiers is an endgamer, so some people are going to struggle even though they have a lot of sigils/potions.

Maybe the solution isn’t to nerf Valravens directly, but give you some other outlet for sigils. Maybe at the end of the week, unspent sigils could be converted to something?

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Maybe they could only appear in the preliminary stages of an event, e.g. before Zuul, before 4x Towers, before the first Ultimate Doom? :man_shrugging:

Raid would then have fewer battles in which Valravens could appear, though, so it’s not ideal. They could alter the chance to appear, but you might end up with Valravens galore (potentially very helpful for lower levels trying to claim those Raid rewards, though!).

since potions have been brought up. I really like potions. what if there was a way to get potions in-game? like on rare occasion, a potion could drop from the top of the board and you have a small number of turns to get it to the very bottom of the board (like 2 or 3, and maybe it depends on the potion). if you get it to the bottom, you get the effects of that potion. this could be something like a shielding potion, or maybe a potion that gives you double coins at the end of the battle. any explosions or aoe remove/destroy gems effects that hit the potion destroys it.

Given how many battles you need to do for Tuesday Delves I’d even appreciate that event running for the whole week. Or at least from Monday to Thursday, Friday to Sunday being reserved for new release events. The same handling could be applied to Pet Rescue Wednesday and Class Thursday, so players have freedom of choice when to play which event. Note that this would require the Pet Rescue event and the gnome triggered Pet Rescue to run in parallel as two separate games, which would by itself make Wednesdays much less boring.


Because in my eyes, everyone eventually becomes an endgamer. So even newbies should care how they’re treated. Why would you invest a year into a game that will show you the door when you get there? What’s the point?)

So I don’t intrinsically agree with this notion that eventually everyone aims for the top of the leaderboard in PVP or in events. I don’t believe every player wants the grind or hassle or spend to be an endgame player. I’d go out on a limb and say most players remain in and around the mid game stage for their time in GoW and this is why the mid game phase is the most attractive portion of the game.

That’s not exactly unusual though for mobile games, endgame players are the most susceptible to burn out and so investing heavily in an ever shifting end game goal is rather pointless. You’re attempting to pacify the most vocal but not largest group in the game. The people who consistently spend money and support the game are committed players who are in guilds that don’t generate millions of gold, complete 100’s of legendary tasks or max out the event rewards often (if at all).

These are players of enjoy the game, you don;t see them on the forum because they are happy to play the game as it is presented. They don’t attempt to get every mythic and every weapon in the game the day it’s released, they spend the cash when they feel like it and enjoy to consistent reward of random mythic drops as they play. Sure eventually they are likely to end up with all of them but it’ll take a long time. Endgame players who spunked a load of money to max everything out and now can save up oodles of gold, glory and gems to hit the new mythic or new faction days to simply won everything ASAP aren;t spending to do so regularly.

My point in reply to this and the OP is not to believe that because the people you hear from most often are the ones complaining about how PVP works for the high end (and I don’t say it isn’t an issue) but looking to fundamentally change large chunks of the game to suit that particular section is a dead horse waiting to be flogged. Everyone who played or is playing LGOH knows very well what it;s like to play a mobile match game where the devs are out to fleece every cent from end game players.

That said there’s nothing in OP’s plans that I think significantly play to end game players. Treasure hunt is a dead game mode and could have a lot more done with it or with treasure maps in general, Class talents aren’t well balanced at each level meaning there is rarely an actual choice with one trait being vastly superior, Delves are really end game fodder and could do with some rework on making the daily grind more appealing and Guild Wars probably does need a quicker way of sorting the wheat from the chaff. However I think most of those changes benefit the early/mid game players than endgame :smiley:

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End game isn’t a phase that starts when you decide to chase a goal like leaderboards. It’s a phase that starts out of your control.

No matter what you do, you’re accumulating souls, traitstones, ingots, etc. At some point you will have more of those than you need unless you’re playing at an extremely casual rate. That’s when I think “endgame” begins. Suddenly you don’t care about rewards that were a big deal before.

A lot of people can and probably do quit before that point, but I don’t think players who participate in the forums or other social media start playing GoW with the idea “I’m going to quit in a month or two.” If you think you’re going to be here for a year or two, you’re going to be endgame.

You’re going to get there, and then you’re going to ask, “Now what?” The answer’s in this thread: “just keep grinding and hope it amounts to something”.

Endgame does not equal leaderboard chasing, no.

I’m almost lvl 1300 and I think know that leaderboards are trash.