I’m someone who supports the game with my wallet, but I play in a guild where many people are free to play. I typically have more gems available to spend than most of my guildmates.
This week we had Council of Chiefs, which offered rewards that cannot be completed by most guilds. In the past, my guild has completed every weekly event. We are far from a top-ranked guild, sitting around #350 or so at the moment, but that has always been enough to complete events (driven mainly by the portion of the guild that spends more deeply on the shop tiers than the f2p players).
This week, we also have a guild event on the weekend (Invasion), and because it is a 2nd guild event in the same week, most people in my guild can’t afford to invest more than a couple of tiers. I buy to Tier 7 every event, often multiple times. There is no reasonable number times that I could buy Tier 7 that would allow my guild to finish the weekend event. This means that this week I have spent several thousand gems on these two events, and I will not be collecting a Major Orb from either.
I’m not interested in moving to a more active guild in order to complete events under the new paradigm. If the weekend event had been an individual event, I would have completed it, and I would have received something in return for my investment. This is going to sound like a familiar refrain, but I can’t help but feel as though the devs either (1): have really given very little thought to how their decisions are impacting the players or (2): they have given thought to it, and they don’t care.
Having Council of Chiefs’ rewards be so much more difficult to achieve might have been an innocent miscalculation, but I don’t think so. I think it was an intentional decision to require virtually everyone in a guild to buy to Tier 6 or 7. Having Invasion on the weekend might have been the result of careless design, but I don’t think so. I think it was an intentional decision designed to create a further gem sink, in order to drive spending.
When there is a guild event, there is some degree of pressure (even if it comes from the within the player, rather than from his/her guild) to spend, because you’re not just supporting yourself. If this weekend had been a Bounty Event or a new Faction Event or a new Class Event, then every player in a guild would have the option of not spending on one or more of those without feeling that they’d failed to support their guild.
I really feel as though the actions of the devs this week have either been a chain of innocent, but unfortunate mistakes, or else a vile campaign to hyper-monetize the game. I hate to say it, but my money is on vile.