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Re: Pay to Win

by TAllenSr
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Pay to Win

★ Apprentice

After playing this game from almost the start, I am sad to say that it is definitely a "Pay to Win" game. To be clear, I am NOT saying you can't win without paying ... not at all. I win all the time and I have never spent a dime on this game. But the simple fact that someone with more money than sense can spend hundreds of dollars and get WHATEVER Legendary card they want, WITHOUT even having to deal with "chance" or drop rates, is really sad.

 

It is extra sad because the only reason I even started this game is because the Editors on the Apple Store called it, "Free to Play Game Done Perfect". I had never played a "card" game before, and one of the reasons was "pay to win". But I love the PvZ line of games, so I jumped in. I advanced through the single player levels quickly, and started playing multiplayer. I played every challenge, and maxed out my event cards each week. Basically, I absolutely maxed out EVERY POSSIBLE GRIND to get the maximum benefits without paying.

 

Then it started to happen. I would be playing and then I would get hit with not just one ... or two ... but THREE OR FOUR of the SAME legendary card in a single deck. Or so many legendary cards ... one after the other ... I thought, how did they get those already? Remember, we are talking really soon after game launch.

 

I looked at the pricing on Jewels, and thought, "man ... that is EXPENSIVE!" Especially seeing the drop rates of Legendary cards. I thought there was no way people would spend hundreds if not thousands on a silly mobile game just to win. I was wrong.

 

But then I discovered the "sneaky" way to get EXACTLY the card(s) you want with zero risk of not getting them: Simply find a premade deck that has the card(s) you want, and click the "Complete this Deck" button. Sure, you are probably going to have drop serious coin on the jewels required, but you are GUARANTEED to get the cards you want.

 

It really stuck in my craw at first, but then I thought, "Well who cares about a few foolish people with money to waste?"

 

Over time, however, every time I thought a Legendary card was OP, I would think, "But hey ... they ARE Legendary and rare, right?" But no ... not so "rare" when you can buy it whenever you want, right?

 

So now when I get multiple Dragonfruits dropped on me, I have to think, "Did they grind for those like I did, or did they buy them?"

 

I know the Devs need to get paid too, but allowing "Pay to Win" should NEVER be an option.

 

I guess the Editors at Apple did not play the game long enough to realize it is nowhere NEAR "Free to Play Done Perfect". If it was, grinders could always keep up with buyers. And with this game, that is simply not the case.

Message 1 of 54 (3,009 Views)

Accepted Solution

Re: Pay to Win

★★★★★ Apprentice

 

Mr TAllen Sr, I respectfully disagree with your views.

 

I think the main issue I have with what you wrote is that calling PVZ:Heroes Pay to Win essentially makes the the term completely meaningless and thus, I don't understand why the desire to call it pay to win in the first place other than to voice your displeasure at losing to a powerful card played the way its meant to be.

 

Why is it meaningless? Because by the definition you are applying, every single game with any kind of rarity distribution and micro transactions is pay to win, and if that's the case, then any game where you have to pay to play it, for example call of duty, or the sport of golf, is pay to win. In golf, you need to buy golf clubs. The better they are, the better equipped you are to play. However, nobody calls golf, or any other sport for that matter, pay to win. In call of duty, you have to pay $60 for the game itself. If you don't you can't even play. Nobody calls that pay to win even though those who pay have a complete advantage over those who don't, given that those who don't can't even play.

 

With CCGs, you also often have to pay to play, depending on the economy of the game. For MTG, you will likely need to pay quite a bit if you want to play competitively. But really, what is the difference between paying to purchase the right cards to build a competitive deck and purchasing golf clubs of the quality necessary to play in a competitive tournament?

 

With a CCG that is advertised as free to play there is an important difference: it has an avenue of progression for people who don't wish to pay money to be competitive. What you are saying with this rant is that the free progression in this game is too slow for you because you don't already have absolutely all the cards and would like to without spending any more time or money. Even if you remove the p2w label, I disagree with the notion that the progression is too slow.

 

For starters, at least one public player has shown that they can create a new account and get to Ultimate league within a couple of months without spending any money. I personally did this too with my son's account and I've seen a few posts on reddit from players boasting that they got to Ultimate with budget decks or within a small amount of time. To me that shows that the game has a pool of cards that enables skilled players to created decks with minimal rarity count. In my experience this game has a progression much faster than most other f2p online CCGs and a design much more balanced towards budget decks, and to me these examples are proof of that.

 

That's not all. The ladder system, while not ideal, tries to ensure that most matches are fairly even. Thus, a player should be growing their collection along with their skill, that's what progression should work like. It sounds like to you a game can only be truly f2p if from the get go you have all the cards. I hope you realize how bad that would be for any game's reward system. In this game people complain that once you get to UL you don't get anything. Imagine if you started with all the cards and never ever got anything! nobody would be interested in playing.

 

In addition, this game actually has a very fair and generous rewards system. Veterans and people who paid or have played for long don't get much of an advantage in terms of rewards because the bulk of it comes from the ads and daily quests and the difference in gems of what a newbie can get to what a veteran can get is about 20 gems every day, on average, essentially 2 more quests. I say that these rewards are quite generous because within a year anyone playing this game will get over 72 legendaries without spending a dime. I challenge you to show me another online CCG with a more generous reward system.

 

To me, the pay to win term should be used for games were at least one of these things happen:

- Paying more GUARANTEES winning.

- Paying more is REQUIRED to win.

 

For example, a pay to win game is one where you can purchase additional life points. Such a scheme would allow you to guarantee a win since you can just buy as many life points as you can to win the game. There are plenty of games like that. Calling a well designed CCG pay to win just makes the term meaningless.

 

I'd like to also answer to a few of your points.

 

  • Games should not allow paying for individual cards if they are free to play. I disagree with this strongly. The quality of your collection of cards dictates what level you can compete at. Some people want to play at the highest level from the get go. Having the option to pay in order to quickly complete their collection allows them to do this and generates an effective business model for the game. People not wishing to immediately compete at the highest level can still have a great experience by following the natural progression of the game.

 

  • People playing with 3 or 4 of the same legendary in their decks MUST have payed! This is also not true. A person who is focused on being competitive has the option of sparking all their cards and using those sparks to build the few legendaries they need to build the most competitive deck. A person could have easily opened up a couple of the same legendary and crafted the other 2. It doesn't take long to generate enough sparks to craft 2 or 3 legendaries, without spending any money at all, if you are focusing fully on that.

 

  • Dragon fruit is pay to win! Not really, there are lower rarity solutions to this card, including a general aggro strategy and some removal.

 

  • Free to play means grinders can keep up with buyers. Not sure why you think this would be true. Free to play means that there is a way to enjoy the game for free. It also usually means there is a natural progression that lets you eventually reach competitive levels. It does NOT mean that you can immediately be on the same competitive level as someone who spends money to compete professionally immediatelly, otherwise there wouldn't be a point to the financial model.

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Message 36 of 54 (2,146 Views)

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Re: Pay to Win

★★ Novice

Hi TAllenSr - hello to you!

 

I share your pain brother, but I will respectfully disagree.

 

I too am a long time player, and for a long time I was suffering under the same feelings as you.  I had relatively few Legendary cards, even though I had bought an Events rewind pack for £5.99 and at some point I'd spent some Google Play credit (about £10) on diamonds and or packs - so unlike you I had paid, and I wasn't even winning! Imagine the pain!

 

But after complaining on this very forum I got some really useful advice.

 

Specially, save up 1000 diamonds to buy the multi-packs.

 

You can do this a couple of ways

 

1) Multiple accounts on different devices

2) Nox

 

1) I've downloaded PvZ on my phone, my tablet and my wife's phone and tablet - so I've got 4 copies of the game in the house, then while watching the TV in the evening, I'm sat with the devices on the coffee table just pressing [Earn] every 30 seconds, which equates to 1000 diamonds every 2.5 days

 

2) Nox is an Android simulator on the PC, you can downloaded multiple phone emulators to the computer and do the same as 1

 

I have a job, family, other things to do with my life - so I can't hammer this as much as some maybe, but I like to have at least 1000 diamonds a week.  Over the last few months, I've gone from 10-12 Legendary cards to 38.  Don't forget, as well as lucking out with natural drop rates, every-time I get an 11 card bundle, the number of recyclables is huge, so each bundle I have about 1500 sparks - so every 3 weeks or so I can afford to craft a legendary (or 4 super rares which I think is where the smart money is).

 

Take my advice and give this a go if possible, focus on the bundle packs and your collection will go through the roof.

Message 2 of 54 (2,932 Views)

Re: Pay to Win

[ Edited ]
Champion

This game is very much in line with your more traditional tcg/ccg, i.e. magic, hearthstone, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, etc.  Can you name one that isn't pay to win?  Where the more money you sink the better decks you can build...  Can you name one that is more fair than this one as far as that goes?

Message 3 of 54 (2,741 Views)

Re: Pay to Win

★ Apprentice

@barrysh1tpeas wrote:

Hi TAllenSr - hello to you!

...

Take my advice and give this a go if possible, focus on the bundle packs and your collection will go through the roof.


Thanks for the tips! Yes, I do that on phone and iPad. And yes, I always do "10 packs". I max out events and diamonds, as much as I am willing to invest in a silly mobile game anyway. :-)

 

I have built some good decks and have 9,000 in sparks to spend right now -- trying to decide which cards to build.

 

Speaking of 10-Packs ... I have had THREE 10 packs lately - which is really an 11 pack -- that have dropped ZERO Legendary cards. So I am starting to doubt the "10% drop rate". I know stats are not guarantees, but 3 times out of about 20? And I think I have only had MORE than one (2 to be exact) Legendary cards drop per 11 pack in that same time. So the stats are well below 10% drop rate.

 

And the 3% drop rate for Heroes? Nope ... I have now opened well over 200 Premium packs, and STILL NO Huge Humungus nor Beta Carotene. Maybe someday I'll get to try those decks. :-(

Message 4 of 54 (2,689 Views)

Re: Pay to Win

★ Apprentice

@daalnnii wrote:

This game is very much in line with your more traditional tcg/ccg, i.e. magic, hearthstone, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, etc.  Can you name one that isn't pay to win?  Where the more money you sink the better decks you can build...  Can you name one that is more fair than this one as far as that goes?


I have never played any other card game (like I said in my OP) like this, so I can't tell you. Do those let you BUY EXACTLY the rare cards you want? Or do you have to count on the drop rates and hope for the best?

 

I have no problem with dummies spending their own money "rolling the dice" like the rest of us. But seeing they can get GUARANTEED cards for money, that bothers me. If the other games do that as well, I guess it is the same. That is still not "Free to Play Done Perfect" as th editors claimed however.

Message 5 of 54 (2,687 Views)

Re: Pay to Win

[ Edited ]
Champion

Hearthstone is very similar to pvz in that you can buy packs and dismantle cards you don't need in order to build the ones you want...  But they give nothing even close to the amount of freebies as this game.  Magic I'm only familiar with as an irl game.  But you buy packs irl, open them and it's all random.  What you get is what you get.a  no dismantling, you can only hope to trade them with another player who wants your crappy cards. You can buy individual cards, but there are some that you will spend upwards of a 1000 dollars on.  My friend plays on consoles.  Those games generally aren't f2p, you get the game and the cards all at once, but he didn't care for it because the decks are premade and they generally don't have all the cards.  Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon are similar to magic.

 

You can get about three multipacks of 11 every two weeks in this game, if you maximize getting all the gems.  You can earn all the event cards, just by playing.  This is unheard of in a free to play card game.

 

Also consider, maybe the level youre at is the one where you belong.  You aren't entitled to make it to legendary. It's more a matchmaking tool than a measure of progress. Legendary is for the strongest players with the most experience and the best decks.  If you don't have all that, then maybe you're taking losses because you're at the level you belong. 

 

The game is the most f2p ccg out there (of this style) and I wouldn't even call it p2w...  It's more p2 play at a higher level against stronger opponents more regularly.

Message 6 of 54 (2,680 Views)

Re: Pay to Win

★ Apprentice

@daalnnii wrote:
...

 

Also consider, maybe the level youre at is the one where you belong.  You aren't entitled to make it to legendary. It's more a matchmaking tool than a measure of progress. Legendary is for the strongest players with the most experience and the best decks.  If you don't have all that, then maybe you're taking losses because you're at the level you belong. 

 

The game is the most f2p ccg out there (of this style) and I wouldn't even call it p2w...  It's more p2 play at a higher level against stronger opponents more regularly.


Thanks for the overview of the other games. Sounds like you can't DIRECTLY buy the rarest cards you want, in-game (not on secondary markets), for what is relatively a low amount of money as it is in this game. Pick any Legendary card, and you can probably buy it and several super-rare cards for $19.99 or less.

 

Not sure what you are saying about "the level I belong". Legendary is a CARD TYPE ... not a status. ULTIMATE is the highest league during tourneys (level 50), and I reach that within days of the tourney starting. So not griping at ability to win etc ... especially now that I have been grinding so much for so long. Just saying in this type of game, no one should be able to buy specific cards. Or at least that should have been taken into consideration by the Apple Editors. But in their defense, that "back door" is just that ... it is not obvious on first look. And it still costs a lot of money for a mobile game.

Message 7 of 54 (2,673 Views)

Re: Pay to Win

Champion

Buy a legendary directly?  When did that become a thing?  The only way even remotely close that that I'm aware of is when you choose to complete premade decks...  Which can be done with in game currency.

Message 8 of 54 (2,668 Views)
Highlighted

Re: Pay to Win

★ Apprentice

@daalnnii wrote:

Buy a legendary directly?  When did that become a thing?  The only way even remotely close that that I'm aware of is when you choose to complete premade decks...  Which can be done with in game currency.


Yeap ... that is exactly how you do it. Find the Legendary you want in a premade deck, click "Complete Deck", and when the price in jewels comes up, you can buy enough jewels with real money. So yes, very easy to pay with dollars to directly buy the card(s) of choice that you want ... including Legnedary ones.

Message 9 of 54 (2,651 Views)

Re: Pay to Win

★★★★ Novice
That's 10x real price you dummie
Message 10 of 54 (2,646 Views)

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