Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

A (nother) Rant – The Problem With CoW and DV

The problem with the game isn't as simple as pointing to Neo Visions in my opinion. While they did complicate the game in a lot of ways, they aren't really inherently a problem.

The problem with FFBE is the content and who it targets, more specifically, Dark Visions and Clash of Wills (ironically, I wonder if it's the class of wills between the playerbase and the development/pricing teams).

Anyway, Dark Visions is clearable by almost anyone with a decent team. And you get rewarded for doing so:

  • 200x Dark Matter
  • 500x Lapis
  • 10x King Metal Minituar
  • 3x 3/4/5/NV Summon tickets
  • 1x 4* Guaranteed/5*/NV summon ticket
  • 1x 5% Trust Moogle
  • 3x 10% Trust Moogle
  • 2x 5* Select Summon Tickets
  • 10x Gil Snapper Family
  • 2x Gil Snapper Tower
  • 1 Transcendent Pearl

What does this mean for the person who just completes the content with no additional ranking rewards?

Well, it takes 2,800 Dark Matter to complete the latest Dark Ragnarok++. So you would only need to do DV for 14 months (a little over a year, no big deal) to complete one weapon. Compare that to three months for a rank 1 DV player.

One pity for a 60,000k premium unit would take 120 Dark Visions, or 10 years. Or, more reasonably, 10 times (almost a year) for 1 5k pull.

The rest are so negligible I won't even continue with the exception of the T Pearl.

In comparison, the top reward for DV is:

  • 800 Dark Matter (4x the amount of completion)
  • 5x NV EX/NV Summon Tickets (not obtainable in completion)
  • 3x 30% Summon Tickets (5*/NV) (not obtainable in completion)
  • 10x NV EX (3/4/5/NV) Summon Tickets (not obtainable in completion)
  • 100x Super Trust Moogle Tickets (not obtainable in completion)
  • 100% Trust Moogle (I think it's 100% might be 50%)
  • 10x King Metal Minitaur x10

Let's be real, these rewards aren't game breaking, but are effectively locked behind thousands of dollars of spend. The reduction to lower rankings aren't terrible, but ranking significantly impacts rate of acquisition of Dark Matter and thus competitiveness.

The same sort of reward to rank ratio exists in CoW. The problem with this game is NOT SOLELY super expensive premium units, though I won't deny it's a contributing factor.

It's not even that these events are ranked events. It's that top rank is gated from anyone but the highest paying players and even inside of those players can literally come down to who rolled variance better.

The problem with CoW is you need to have the RIGHT EX3 units to rank first. In DV, basically the same exists. To get a top score, you need the RIGHT units at EX3. What are these right units? Usually the units that just came out or recently came out. The units are tuned and the bosses are tuned such that to get a top score you need the right units with the right gear. Gear and units accessible only by an exorbitant amount of spend.

Now I get the arguments. They pay more, they should get more. They're keeping the game alive, etc. First, I while I can say that whales definitely contribute a lot of revenue to the game, I'd be interested in seeing some real numbers before assuming too much. Especially relative to advertising revenue. I'm all for giving whales their due, but I want to know what that actually looks like in percentage of revenue. Second, let's look at what they're already getting.

  • EX3 units.
  • Double the VCs of the EX player.
  • VIP rewards far above what the regular F2P player gets.
  • More lapis
  • Thousands more units pulled than F2P in just a single month, hundreds per banner more, and the TMRs/STMRs that come with said pulls.

Now we're making the argument that for them to realize the benefits of whaling, they also must rank first in events. So they get exponentially more rewards than a F2P completion level player.

Let's review what this game offers if you're not a DV/CoW high ranking player:

  • Pretty Sprites to look at. I think this is a terrible measure of the success of the game, but people use it a lot so I'll include it. You could just play the original games or Dissidia?
  • Nostalgia. Again a crap reason, but whatever. Why not just play the original games?
  • A good combat system. FFBE truly does have a fun and robust combat system. Mastery of it allows for the quick dispatch of the latest trials.
  • Trials. Becoming fewer and farther between. Last for a day to weeks unless you just put it off. All rewards may be gated until powercreep lets you get a unit capable of doing it faster.
  • Story events. Not always bad, so I'll be gentle here.
  • Farming events. Kill the same thing over and over and over for rewards.
  • Okay rewards in the ranking system.

Now I can see how some players are satisfied with that.

DV began as something that if you played well and had a decent selection of characters and gear you could rank 1. Then they made it harder. Why? To induce more spend. It wasn't to give whales exclusivity, though that might be an added incentive to spend. It was to necessitate spending. And not just spending, but who can spend more. Let's say this all worked and SQEX capitalized beautifully on the mobile game spending spree the COVID-19 pandemic brought on. SQEX is suddenly making a killing from whales. We should be seeing something else as a result of this sudden influx of cash right?

We got CoW! Another whale oriented game mode.

We didn't get a lot of JP units and content. We got compromised releases. We got "premium" units with barebones kits and a higher cost. We got unit exclusive VCs moved to EX3. EX2 unlocks skills (if you're able to spend even that much on these "premium" units).

But are we really realizing a "better" game as a result of this increased spend from whales? Is defending whales as the protectors of the game really in most players best interest?

The game is literally punishing players for not spending. F2P gets a significantly different experience in the game than paying players do. And not just paying players, but high spenders.

I personally am not spending any more in the game because while I still enjoy it, my spend is meaningless in the larger scope of things. What I can accomplish as a result of my spending isn't significant enough to warrant spending anything. The game is tuned such that F2P players will take years to accomplish what whales can do in a few months. Certain rewards and EX levels are essentially gated from F2P players indefinitely or so far into the future it's irrelevant.

To Gumi/Alim/SQEX:

This game needs to lighten up on how hard they're pushing players to get rank 1. I think any good player with an intelligently built and moderately new team should be able to cap. Not a system where the absolute biggest whales can't cap and who wins largely comes down to variance. Include all of the player base who wants to compete. Don't lock people out of content for not having the willingness or ability to contribute financially to your game. And if you really are seeing more revenue, we should be seeing a better game, not one only tuned to your highest spenders.

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