Leaderboard Event Rewards and Shops... Why I constantly feel cheated

I’m going to focus on Tower of Doom, because it’s this weeks’ event, but this applies to nearly all events. The guild I’m in has completed all 12 stages in Tower of Doom, there are no more rewards to earn from there. But there’s another set of rewards, over in Leaderboard, and this is what drives me crazy. We are rank 59. The rewards are as follows:

I purchased up through Tier 6 and did a ton of scouting for my guild, which someone always has to do (you don’t want everyone scouting, lots of wasted sigils, and I feel bad for guilds that go in blindly without coordinating this!), which cost me 1350 gems (30+70+150+250+350+500). I didn’t buy any of the repeatable Tier 7 (which is also 500) this time. I’m personally on Floor 33 and I’ve collected 48 dooms.

Naturally some other players in my guild haven’t had to scout, but they get Boons when they go past Floor 25, one Boon (generally speaking) from each floor’s doom. This is a completely rough estimate here, but if everyone in my guild played perfectly and everyone spent 1350 gems in the shop, I think we’d all have about 50-60 dooms (remember that scouting also means you see more ravens, so a lot of those scouted rooms have their sigil cost returned to you).

At 50 dooms per player, that’s a total of 1500 Dooms, for a cost of 1350 per player. That would put us currently in 8th place, which would give everyone in our guild a reward of 75 gems and 10 Doom of Light. So let me get this straight…

Everyone in the guild spends a combined 40,500 gems. And for that, you give us 2250 back. You’re giving us a “reward” of 5% of our investment. If we somehow all did 60 Dooms by now with the same investment of 1350 gems each, we’d be in 5th place and we’d be looking at 100 gems and 12 Doom of Light. That’s 7.4% return. And so I have to ask, with regards to giving us gems as rewards…

Why. Even. Bother.

First place currently has 5266 Dooms defeated. They’re looking at a reward of 500 gems each. You’d think that’s a lot, wow, everyone in the guild gets 500 gems! But then you realize either someone in the guild spent tens of thousands of gems by themselves, or a lot of people are repeatedly buying the Tier 7 package for 500 gems, which doesn’t make any sense.

If everyone in my guild spent another 500 gems, we’d all get 20 more Doom Sigils, and we’d have spent 15,000 total gems, and I think, MAX, those 20 sigils would get us each maybe 25 more dooms (1 sigil for Unlock, 1 for Doom, then ravens, Haste, Luck, Fireball, Heroism, etc.). In fact, let’s say 20 sigils gets us each 30 more dooms. That’s 900 more dooms for the cost of 15,000 gems. We’d go from Rank 59 to Rank 5.

Instead of 10 gems and 5 Dooms, we’d get 100 gems and 12 Dooms. The increase reward per player would be 90 gems and 7 Dooms. So everyone in our guild would each be spending 500 more gems… to get 80 more gems as a reward, for a net loss of 400 gems. Oh, but we’d each get 7 more Doom of Light. So you’re telling me 7 Doom of Light costs 400 gems. But wait, you also get 25k Gold, 25 Random Yellow Troops, 3 Light Force Scrolls, and a guaranteed Doom of Light with that 500 gem purchase!

Yeah, doesn’t cut it. Those random yellow troops CAN be any rarity, I know that, but they are mostly going to be commons, rare, and ultra-rares, with a FEW Epics in there.

The only event in fact where the Gem Reward ACTUALLY makes sense is Guild Wars, where the top guild gets an astounding 1500 gems per player, and the most gems you could possibly invest into Guild Wars is 340 to max all the sentinels. Top Guilds -actually- make a gem profit with Guild Wars, but in every other event, you lose gems even with the rewards.

The real difference of course between Tower of Doom and the other two (invasions/raid boss) is that, like Guild Wars, it’s a guild effort. And in Invasions/Raid Boss, the top places are competing for Major and Minor Orbs of Growth, while first place gets 1/8th of a Zuul’goth.

You know, you don’t have to rip players off, right? You know how much 500 gems for Tier 7 costs me? $30 (and hilariously, even then, I’d be short 7 gems!) And that’s with VIP level 9. If I wanted 500 gems as a new player, I’d have to spend $50!

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I’m absolutely flabbergasted at whatever marketing genius comes up with these prices and rewards. I absolutely love that Gems of War is a completely free to play game. There is nothing in the game (minus a paltry amount of cosmetics) that is paywalled. And as I mentioned, I’m sitting at VIP 9, I’ve spent about an average of $30 a month on this game, that’s twice as much as I spent on World of Warcraft monthly.

And yet, when I log in, I am constantly bombarded with screens like this:

I honestly feel bad for players tricked into buying these packs. I mean, maybe you should also tell people that in order to upgrade those Legendary troops to Mythic, they’ll need to spend $300 total to get 6 of them. And 4500 Souls? It costs nearly 18,000 to upgrade to 20.

I look at the Shop and I’m just… embarrassed.

You want me to spend 300 gems on 75k Gold? Excuse me? Well, 300 gems is going to cost me $20, so in other words, 75k gold is worth $20. Perfect, cuz I have 10 million gold I’d like to cash out for $2,600.

What’s going on with this guy?

16 copies of this Rare troop is worth $25? I have 47 hours sunk into Earth Defense Force 5 and that cost me $35. How many hours of entertainment do you really think that Rare Paladin is going to get me? And how many hundreds of him do you think someone will end up with from Gold and Glory keys? I just disenchanted all my extra troops maybe a day or two ago and I already have 10 copies of Paladin. If I had spent $25 on him, I’d want my money back by now.

I know you guys need to make money, but this isn’t the way. It’s just plain deceptive, and I feel bad for new players coming into the game. I had to explain several things to my wife when she first started playing:

  • I noticed she was spending Gold on Gold Chests thinking she needed to get more troops, I told her to only spend Gold on upgrading Kingdoms
  • She was also spending Gems on things like Gem and Event chests
  • She was using Guild Keys before the guild chest had reached level 6
  • She would forget to check in with Soulforge to level it up for “free” (after 100 kills) and instead would ask if she should spend the gems to upgrade it
  • She’d ask me if she should use Diamonds to craft Souls or Legendary troops
  • She’d wonder if she shouldn’t use some of her Orbs of Ascension to level up troops, not knowing that they are one of the most rare items in the game and you need them for Zuul’goth to make Orbs of Power

Like, it was startling to watch her play and jump through all these hoops. I’d feel safer if she was talking to a Nigerian Prince.

Yeah, let me just get out my credit card and pay $35 to upgrade this new mythic… oh wait, I have 3.5 million souls and tens of thousands of every runestone. So I take it this $35 offer is for a new player who just happened to score this sweet mythic. Well, I have to ask you, how much do you expect players to spend on your game? Because you release 1 Mythic a month, and it’s $35 for the “upgrade” and then there’s the $20 Ring of Wonder, and the Flash Offers, and these Weekly $50 pack offers… god it’s annoying.