Continuing the discussion from Discussion about pay-to-win frustrations:
There were discussions, so I just go for TLDR-ish. TH has 2 major letdowns. One is the obvious ‘extra turn’ limit. The other, more serious is the internal economy. 4 and 5-matches, especially cascades puts you into a WORSE economic position.
Both points can be trivially fixed. The latter i.e by spawning multiple targets like in galactrix crafting or by falling-in tiles are not the cheapest but based on those removed. Plus in the final payout every next tier must be more than 3x the value of previous.
With such changes It would be a “strategy” game in the original sense. (Sure with the current rules it still is, just for the best output you must play a very weird way that goes against most traditional m3s. I seriously doubt playing that way would be fun for all but the nerdish.)
Reshaping it that way need not even contradict any other economy targets. It’s all about the relative value between tiers. What is assigned to tiles in the final state can be tuned by that.
The way it is it is but a time waster. What is no contradiction with your observations – there is a good niche for time-wasters. Especially on mobile. I was actually mentioning that, probably multiple times, GoW looks switching its player base. From strategy players to hoarders and time wasters. Who most likely fit the economic targets too.
In practice it does mean that – you just didn’t. Despite the minimal dev effort.
You know, if you just introduced a clone of TH with altered rules, that doesn’t even pay out anything, just announces a score, I’d play that. Consuming real treasure maps.
And that could be improved with little effort further by just tabulating scores, pay nonresources (like trophy for some score), etc. Several variants could run along. Just like with arena – variants with different levels, card sets, etc.
Chasing the usual public for freemium game consumers NEED NOT be completely tied to alienating the other player types. It just HAPPENS to be happening. Because … reasons.
Just like in other games genres. Some games have sophisticated combat, abilities to use wisely, cover, enemy recognition, resource management, stealth… Others just want you spam the A button.
And there is audience for both. All the late trends I see shows general shift to the latter. Good PC games get “consolized”. With all the effects. Some good review said about the recent blue X-Com that it compares to the old X-Com like playing guitar hero to playing an actual guitar.
To summarize my point, I see GoW started well but for long time is going in that direction. And it just sucks being me.