Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Done With SolForge

A couple weeks ago I came to the conclusion that playing constructed in SolForge is a bad idea. The number of legendaries in a deck seemed to be a very strong indicator of who was going to win a given constructed game. I have a large number of legendaries but not as many as someone who would have paid a lot of money. This means I found myself in games where I didn't feel like I could win (people with 3 phoenix and 3 Zimus) and in games where I didn't feel like I could lose (the average person). Neither of those were terribly fun for me. Just like how I don't like playing League of Legends against a team full of diamond players, and I don't like playing against a team full of silver players. It just isn't an interesting challenge to stomp or get stomped. This does mean I need to lose some games, and I don't like losing a given individual game, but I accept that I need to lose some of the time to make winning a tight game something that can happen.

Unlike LoL SolForge doesn't have a good matchmaking system. It doesn't matter if I play in tournament or just random online matches... A large number of my games will not be interesting. So constructed is out. Drafting is still pretty fun though. Most people won't have any legendaries at all in a draft, and most decks will be of comparable power. Some people will draft badly and be easy wins, and sometimes I'll draft a sick deck and stomp everyone, but I expect to have fun games a pretty good chunk of the time. Enough that I want to draft more right now!

Unfortunately I can't draft right now. The system is not designed to let people draft constantly. SolForge drafting essentially uses the same content gating system that other free to play games use... You can spend a bunch of money or you can waste a ton of time to get what you want.

Now, I'm someone who is more than happy to spend money on a good game. I'm also someone with a ton of spare time to spend getting what I want. So why am I so unhappy with SolForge? It's the scaling involved. A draft costs 7 event tickets and will on average return 4.125 tickets. So each time you draft you need to come up with the missing 2.875 tickets. A ticket is about a dollar, so you can spend about 3 dollars on a draft. Alternatively you can sometimes get a free ticket from one of the 3 daily quests. I don't know the exact odds but they seem to be pretty low now compared to when they first launched. I had to play for 11 days to get the 3 tickets I needed since my last draft, and one of those was by cashing in 40k silver. So I can spend 3 dollars, or I can win 3 matches every day for a week and a half per draft.

When constructed still had some appeal to me winning 3 matches per day didn't seem like such a terrible chore, but now when I don't want to play constructed I really don't enjoy feeling forced to play for a week and a half per draft. On the other hand spending $3 per half hour seems pretty excessive too. I could sign back up for World of Warcraft and only need to play for a couple hours per month to have a better deal.

There's also the problem of needing a sufficiently large bankroll in order to actually keep paying 4.125 tickets per draft. The 4.125 only works if you get your 3-0 early in your stream of 8 drafts. If you kick off with the 0-3 or a 1-2 you're set way back. This is what happened to me. I went 1-2 a while ago with a pair of incredibly close losses. Then after I finally scrapped together 3 more tickets I went 1-2 again today. I'm now looking at needing to play a game I don't want to play every day for 2 weeks before I can get my 30 minute draft fix in again.

I'm not interesting in doing that, so either I spend a bunch more money or I'm done with SolForge. It would be so easy for me to keep spending money. Once I get started I'm unlikely to stop. I'm very prone to addiction and once those floodgates open I don't know that they get to close. I know from my Magic days in my teenage years that I am the whale these payment schemes are targeting. So I need to stay strong and not give in. I hate this payment scheme. Hate it. So even if I would have reasonable fun per money buying in for more drafts I just can't let myself do it.

So I'm done with SolForge. Maybe when trading comes in I'll be able to liquidate some cards for more drafts and I'll come back and draft for a couple weeks. I do like drafting. But I will not pay them any more money, and I will not continue to log in and annoy myself playing a game I don't want to play.

1 comment:

Matt V said...

I hear there's a Magic pre-release in a few weeks...