Transformers Earth Wars And Gambling
After the disastrous event this past weekend in Earth Wars, Let’s talk about their crystals, the loot boxes of the Transformers world, for a minute.
So what happened this past weekend? Space Ape went a space bridge too far, and lowered with the drop rate for the newest character on a Leader board event to abysmal rates. How low? We at the Allspark, have a family of 8 alliances(one of which in the top 30 of the world), with hundreds of players, opening thousands of these crystals, and we had a mere ten players get the new bot after the rewards went out Monday morning. The vast majority of the rewards were pitiful amounts of premium shards and spark.
This greatly upset almost all of the players, prompting some to start a movement to lower the game’s ranking from five stars to 1 star on Google play and the IOS App store. It even upset the players in the top five teams that always spend anywhere from $200 to $500 for each player every Leader board event to ensure that they get the four star version of the newest bot. Seeing how upset their most valuable players were, Space Ape addressed the issue, acknowledged that it was their fault, and promised to do nothing about it. See below for Space Ape’s response:
I think that this just brings to light Space Ape’s extremely shady and almost illegal business practices. Primarily on how their practices work with players gambling with crystals.
For those of you that don’t know or haven’t played the game, Crystals are used in the game to power the Space Bridge, which is how you get new characters to add to your forces. The character that you get is completely random, with the only guarantee is it be at least a certain power level based on the crystal that you use. There are numerous types of crystals that you can buy, and a few that you can earn. The few that you can earn are two star crystals, three star crystals, four star crystals, five star crystals, and special crystals that you get from participating in the weekend events.
You can earn the various star crystals by getting shards from duplicate bots from lesser crystals. For example, if you were to open a two star crystal and get a duplicate bot, it would give you 60 three star shards. Get 2000 three star shards, and you can turn it into a three star crystal. Space Ape has also recently introduced Premium Crystal Shards to the game. These shards work similarly to the example, but they unlock a premium crystal. Now these Premium crystals have been available for years now and can also be bought. They give you either a two, three, or four star bot. Now the percentage of these crystals is abysmal with 91% chance of a two star bot, 8% a three star bot, and 1% a four star bot. All of these crystals will favor more common types of bots, such as warriors, gunners, and flyers. Special bots, triple changers, and medics are much more rare. This can create an issue with the three and four star crystals. An experienced player in a good alliance can earn a three star crystal about twice a month and a four star about once a month. After a while, you will go six months before you get a non-duplicate three star bot.
The crystals that you can buy however, are different. They sell them to you in two different ways, in game currency, called cyber coins, and straight up cash. Now, while you can earn cyber coins, you earn them at such a rate that you might be able to buy 12 premium crystals over the course of two years before you run out ways to generate the in game currency. Remember the odds of that crystal? You might get a single three star bot with in game currency, and it will probably be a duplicate at that point.
The way they sell you bots for actual currency, is rather dubious as well. They will sell you bundles where you pay $19.99 for 10 character crystals with a slightly increased chance of getting a three star or higher bot of that particular character. An example of this is the Wheeljack bundle that is currently for sale. Out of the 10 crystals, you will get something like 4 two star Wheeljacks, 4 various other two star characters, and the other two might be a three star or higher bot. They won’t always be. Most of the time they won’t be anything but two star bots in the bundle. Also, the three star bot that you get won’t always be a Wheeljack in this situation, but could be a three star version of another character even though you bought a bundle trying to get a three or four star Wheeljack. If that wasn’t bad enough, once you start buying these $20 bundles, Space Ape will stop offering them to you, and start offering you $40 bundles with twice the amount of crystals to double your odds of getting the virtual character that you want. Eventually, they will start offering you bundles for even more! You can pay for $100 bundles to increase your odds of finally getting the last part of that combiner you want or that special bot that you could use. You probably won’t, but it is possible.
The silver lining here is that once you spend over $500 on this game, you be inducted into their VIP program. That allows you to get 10 free premium crystals for both the Autobot and Decepticons to keep you motivated and playing the game so you will keep on buying more bundles!
But what about the Free Crystals that they give out every 8 hours? Well, let’s talk about that. You have to be in the game to receive these crystals so you will have to be online 16 hours a day to get all three. Most people don’t want to wake up at 6 AM, log in at 2pm, and then open up the game at 10PM right before going to sleep. It eventually wears you out. However, even if you stay up 16 hours every day and get the free crystals three times a day like clockwork, you will soon realize that the crystals are worthless. Last year, Space Ape introduced Power Cores to the game. Since that point, they changed the code of the free crystals to make more useful crystals more rare. Before the update, you had a 4% chance to get a three star bot from the free crystal. After the change, the odds are about 1%. So even if you got three crystals a day, you are looking at an average of a month or more before you got a three star bot, which is all likely to be a common bot and end up being a duplicate of one you already have, thus turning into a small amount of four star shards and some useless power core.
Lets take a more detailed look at the free crystal results. After tracking it for about a year, I can give you these results. I have recorded the last 633 free crystals, all of which starting after Space Ape made the change to ratio following the introduction of power cores. Of these crystals, 272 were battle boosts with 80 being MK3, 113 were MK2, and 79 were MK1 versions. This is actually not that bad, as the battle boosts are fairly diversified and some of them are legitimately useful. I should note that you are more likely to get either a field repairs or a nano frost boosts over the others. Then we get to the 92 Spark rewards from the crystals. 15 were a mere 200 spark, 32 were 400, 42 were 800 spark, and 3 were a semi useful 2500. This would give you enough spark to do a level 5 upgrade to the special ability of one bot after a year. Again not really all that useful in game.
However, when we start to look at the bots, that is where it takes an interesting turn. Most of the 264 bots that came in the free crystals were mere 1 star bots. 193 of them to be exact. I think that anyone that has played this game knows that the 1 star bots are useless after a couple days of playing. 62 bots were two star bots, which also lose their usefulness after a few months of playing. 9 were 3 star bots, which are actually useful up until the end game zones. I should note that two thirds of these three star bots were duplicates and most of them were the more common bot types such as gunner, flyer, and tank. Also, out of all the bots, you are most likely to get a 1 star Rust renegade or a 1 star Aerialbot, with them taking up a 172 of the crystals.
Now I know that this is a Pay to win, “free” to play game. I know that Space Ape has to make their money somehow, but these odds are straight up horrible no matter what crystal you are opening. You can very easily spend hundreds of dollars on this game chasing after a particular character and be unsuccessful. This free to play game can easily cost you thousands of dollars, as you gamble on getting a new useful bot.
In my opinion, Space Ape is deliberately lower the odds of the crystals for the non-Chinese market. Space Ape is already making money selling you fuel packs to power your shuttle to attack more during events. They are raking in money hand over fists to sell you cyber coins to not only speed up your base development but also get your bots out of their post battle cool-down period faster. This cool down period last for over an hour for bots at the competitive level, and to skip it for the entire team, would cost you about $2 in cyber coins each time. Both of these speed-up functions require massive amounts of money to speed things up. An example would be that it takes about $20 worth of Cyber coins to skip a week’s worth of upgrade time on just one of your base defense upgrades.
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