I recently discovered this game and felt in love with its art style and concept, but quickly realized how disgustingly unfair it can get.
I know this is a free to play game and that developers need a way to make the game profitable, but I feel like this is not the right way to proceed at all.
Not being able to be on an even field in a competitive game completely prevents me from aiming for top ladder. Not aiming for top ladder completely removes any long term objective I have in this game, so I know I will basically quit in a few weeks, so why would I bother paying for a game I will not play for long?
I understand that you don’t want players to progress too quickly to still incentivize paying, and it’s perfectly fine, any free to play game does that. But it’s all a question of balance. If you’re too greedy, only people with a gambling addiction will play your game and your playerbase will never grow. Economically, it might work for some time, but one day they might get fed up to play a dead game and will quit. I am confident this game can get as successful as a Supercell game. But you also need to adopt Supercell marketing strategies. I feel like they managed to strike the right balance between keeping their core and hardcore players along with casuals.
Right now, I refuse to pay for a game full of scummy deceitful patterns.
Here are some things I would suggest that would make me interested in investing money in Phobies:
→ Being able to see what phobies my opponent can play: even if I only have suboptimal counters, I can at least adjust my strategy depending on what my opponent can do and mitigate this unfair surprize effect that happens when an opponent plays a completely new and cheesy phobie that I cannot see in my album.
→ Being able to choose which phobie to upgrade: this would still require colossal efforts to max out just one phobie but hopefully this would allow good players to prioritize spending and be able to get a decent core of upgraded phobies to face overleveled opponents. They would still be disadvantaged because they would still lack versatility in the options they could choose but at least they’d have a chance to win.
Basically, you could make the max level for a phobie… Attainable (I can’t believe I am writing this but I am). As of right now, I am not sure there is even ONE player who has a ONE level 30 phobie, which is absolutely absurd! I cannot even imagine this is a thing but apparently it is. For a very slow and painful progression, I’d say that a free to play player should be able to max out ONE phobie every 3 months if they get every possible reward the game offers for free without missing anything (which means reaching all the caps every day, and getting the best possible weekly and season rewards). Like this, it would still take 42 years of diligent playing to max out all 168 existing phobies. So don’t worry, there will still be money to make for some time.
I am perfectly OK with totally random phobies drops and caps per day, they are necessary for your free2play model to work.