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Rage of Bahamut: Holy Wars XII, Craptastic Features, and Freemium BS

Posted by Yogizilla on April 16, 2013

I am back with a vengeance!

After wasting a good year with a startup called Social Prize and some bean-counting, vision-less partners, I have decided to return to my roots: gaming, writing, game design/development, and a little dose of cartooning.  So much catching up to do!  As of late, League of Legends has taken a backseat to Rage of Bahamut, where I have finally fully established the Nipples of Fate (N-o-F or “nawph”, for those new to this site).  Now, I will say this straight-up: League of Legends is by far the better game but I go where my clanmates are and, well, all my LoL friends are slackers!  LOL

Rage of Bahamut - Pseudo TCG - For Android and Crapple iOS Devices

Rage of Bahamut – The Mobile Game You Will Love And Hate!

I’ve been meaning to write a series of R.O.B. related posts with full reviews and wishlists in the mix (I’m a slacker too, apparently) but here is the skinny for now: Rage of Bahamut is a pseudo TCG where you buy or, if you’re lucky, obtain virtual cards to build powerful decks and battle other players or raid bosses.  The game isn’t much to look at, is rather buggy, and can be frustrating for newbies but, once you get past all that, it is very satisfying.

In fact, I would say R.O.B. is one of my favorite games of all time and certainly my favorite mobile game right now, after maybe Shadow Era (a REAL TCG).  There is actually more good than bad but here my biggest gripes, which also open up discussion about the soon-to-end Holy Wars XII/12:

  • Cygames pushes for paid aspects in their freemium model TOO much; almost to the point at which playing for free is unplayable.
  • As a result of the above, many players cheat and buy items/cards illegally, creating a huge rift and balancing issues within the game.
  • Bugs and random lag will often screw you during events where real-time response is necessary.
  • The so-called premium packs and event rewards are usually eclipsed by how much time and/or money you spend to get them.  WTF?

Now, I want to get this post out there ASAP while Holy Wars XII is still the topic of discussion.  Anyone else severely annoyed that they have kept this stupid new format/schedule for three or four consecutive clan/order wars?  Grrrr…  Now, before I get into what I absolutely detest about Holy Wars specifically, let me be clear: this is a great game.  There are many reasons that this is one of the Top 10-50 mobile games on Android and iOS.

I love my order, formerly the Wizards of the 1st Order, now officially Nipples of Fate (we got rid of one guy that had an inflated ego and three people went to sniff his farts – good riddens..  now we can really have fun) – w00t!  I won’t get into that story just yet but, really, having a good group of active fellows and a fun order makes this game SUPER awesome (say it like Franky from One Piece).

Franky - One Piece - "SUUUPEEERRR!"

SUUUPEERRRR!

There’s many layers of strategy and plenty of room for mastery at any level.  It’s quite shocking how deep this deceptively simple game is.  I notice half the players get into it mostly because of the artwork and I can’t blame them.  Sadly, if you don’t learn the core mechanics, like how to evolve and skillup your Rage of Bahamut cards, you will be at a severe disadvantage.  Even so, many of us find tons of bliss just looking at the wonderful eye candy.  Look at what I mean…

Bunny Lilith Limil - Keepers of Easter Event

Bunny Lilith Limil – Keepers of Easter Event

Almost every card can be evolved (yeah, another thing I don’t like are awesome cards that don’t evolve – like Camulia..  WTF 2x?!).  Check out this very popular card.  Note it is a low rarity card yet many people set here as their leader.  I wonder why…

240px-MaidyCat1 240px-MaidyCat2 240px-MaidyCat3 240px-MaidyCat4

…YUM?  Personally, I like Maidy Cat in her 2nd, 4th, and 1st form most.  What do you think?

I personally love stamina/quest events because they do not require you to spend tons of money, though it certainly helps, to rank up and unlock the best rewards.  The loot you get from these events tend to be best and, if you’re lucky, you will triple, if not quadruple, your investment of time and money.  I love these events, even if some people say they last too long.  No one asked you!  LOL

On the flip side, I love the concept of Holy Wars but there is just too much wrong with the new format to really enjoy them.  In theory, it’s about teamwork and skill coordination but, in actuality, it’s about who cheats or spends the most money.  Most Holy War matchups become a contest…

Which team can burn through the most resources faster?

If you run out of resources, namely HP (Holy Powder – the stuff that allows you to attack more in a shorter time frame), you lose.  Pretty lame.  We’ve developed strategies to minimize resource use and win more matches but the kicker is that the schedule usually prohibits half of our order from showing up.

I can rant on and on about how terribly-executed Holy Wars events are but here is the “short” list, along with what we should be demanding from Cygames if they want to keep making money:

  • Badge Rewards – The guy that came up with this system must have been half retarded.  I’m sorry..  But badge rewards expect you to show up to every battle and essentially never get sleep.  It would be somewhat reasonable if the rewards were worth the sacrifice but they throw in useless things like Magic Circles and single-use items.  I mean, realistically, you’re barely breaking even unless you let your teammates do all the heavy lifting.
  • Scheduling – It used to be that you could declare war every two hours or so, coordinating with ordermates to ensure you have enough people available for battle.  Now they have a stupid schedule where battles have less than two hours in between them.  So you start battling at 1am EST, then throughout the early morning/late night and the rest of the next day.  It’s a wonderful way to burn out!  I vote we go back to the old way or the option to select preset schedules at least.
  • HW Packs – After each battle, you receive silver and gold coins based upon performance.  Gold coins only drop after victories while silver coins are purely based on your individual HWP (Holy War Points) and how much you share coins.  Exchanging these coins generally gives you craptastic rewards such as normal cards and tiny amounts of rupies.  In short, you put valuable resources in and you get poop back – brilliant!  I would like to see gold coins give nothing less than a High Rare card.  Getting Rares here is a slap in the face, especially when they are useless even as feeders when you are trying to skill-up Legends!
  • BS Wins – About 80% of our losses during Holy Wars have been purely because the schedule screwed us and we had opponents score on us at the last minute or very last seconds of the match.  These BS wins are frustrating, especially when you know you could have stopped them by using defensive skills like Braveheart and Phalanx..  But, nope, most of your order is sleeping or at work..  Cause that’s what normal people do.
  • Limited Positions – Instead of limiting certain positions, there is a limit on the overall amount of positions you can assign.  This sucks because, as mentioned before, the schedule makes it hard for you to show the same people all the time.  Sure, you can rotate the positions all the time but coordinating that is more time and sleep lost.  I would say they limit Defense, Atk, and Vice Leader positions because they could all be abused if teams get to stack them and are lucky to have elite members with no lives.  LOL
  • Blackhats – Mobile games have become particularly nasty with the hacking, cheating, and exploiting.  Rage is no different.  You can usually tell who is not playing legit because they will use HP as if they don’t care how much they spend.  Clearly, they obtained it illegally so it has no real value to them; otherwise, I can’t see people spending 500+ HP in one match and not thinking, “Geeze, I could have bought a powerful card with that…”

To be fair, I am sure Cygames is forcing the issue on monetization because they are exceeding server capacity and need to reinvest their money into operational overhead.  I get the business side of business but, if you get too greedy, you lose your core players.  Also, let’s be honest: with millions of players, even if only 3-5% spend money to support the freeloaders (pretty standard for freemium games), you have players spending hundreds or thousands of dollars a month.  Cygames and Mobage are making their money back NP, I am sure!

Mobage and Cygames better wake up.  Look at Zynga: they exploded so fast and got greedy.  Now they can’t sustain their growth and have offices shutting down.  As a result, they are bombarding end-users with advertisements every few seconds, making games unplayable.  They will lose many players and eventually tank unless they make some big changes.

In order for a freemium game to succeed, the free version has to be fully playable and you can’t make it so that non-paying players have no chance of winning or at least contending a bit.

I hope Cygames wakes up.  I know I have emailed them countless time with strong action calls.  If they don’t make changes, they will lose money in the long run and a wonderful game will die.  That would be a shame.  They did do right by us with the free ten-card super pack celebrating the recent 1-year anniversary but it’s the consistent rewards and benefits that keep players happy, not the little band-aid fixes.

So who else thinks Holy Wars need to be retooled big time?

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