As a member who cannot afford to spend money on subscriptions to sites like Kongregate and, therefore, cannot accumulate Powerup Points and the like, and as a ‘lone wolf’ type player who plays these games not so much to interact as to have something rather fun to do (heck I even enjoy just putting my character on AFK mode and watching the slow, murderous grind), I find an extremely annoying aspect of this game to be the fact that there is no alternative to collecting crystals, mount tokens, etc except to spend Powerup Points or to team up with other players and enter dungeons.
I understand that the payment-for-crystals system probably generates a lot of money, much like the prahmin system for the Grinn Adventure game, and therefore attracts more developers and such to the game (for updates and improvements) and provides more server space as well. I can’t argue with that.
However, the Powerup Points method of collecting prahmin is counterbalanced by the daily quest and story line quest chances to do the same. There is also the random-chance method wherein monsters will randomly (read: rarely) drop a prahmin after being defeated. The first two alternatives often take some time, some grinding and some days of waiting to achieve. The last is an almost eye-gougingly long process. I’ve gone days playing this game with nary a prahmin in sight after all, but the value of a single prahmin is rather high in terms of what you can do with just one or two and so all the time and effort is worth it for a patient or (more accurately) slow-paced player.
In this game, on the other hand, a single crystal doesn’t seem to count for much. Indeed, the first quest offering a method of crystal-enchanting a weapon (I think this pops up sometime before level 30 is reached) requires you to purchase 200 crystals in order to enchant the weapon. 200. That’s only 100 less spartans than Leonidas took to fight the Persians. And it’s still a whole mess of spartans. But, again, you have to PURCHASE them. Before ever having used a single crystal in the game, you have to BUY them to complete a quest. It might be better marketing to give them to you as a special promotion to encourage you to actually buy them in the future instead of thrusting what is, essentially, a marketing ploy in the middle of your gameplay.
Now, again, I have nothing against the idea of the individual player buying the crystals in order to utilize the full experience that this game offers, but for those of us who live frugally and cannot AFFORD the same, how about a similar random-chance system as in the Grinn Adventure where we can have a chance to at least hope to participate even half as much? The Powerup Points can be used more as a way to speed up the process (thus: full experience) and the alternative can be a soul-crushingly exhausting grind house where we still have a chance to accomplish the same things given more time and dedication.
I already live in a reality where I feel limited, restricted and even excluded by the fact that I simply do not make enough money to participate in the more desirable events of life like taking a trip to another country or owning a (cheap) car or having a stable job or even just going to graduate school. I also live in a reality where I have very little chance to ever STOP being poor. That is why I play games: I get to escape that reality for a little while and indulge in a virtual reality where, after the investment of my free time, I get to hoard together entire caches of imagined riches that I can admire as Scrooge would admire his coins, thus counterbalancing an internal sense of the real world’s iniquities with a fantasy of wealth.
This game kind of bursts that fantasy bubble and I’m really discontented with that…and would really be happy if someone would take a moment to maybe think up a different system and maintain the integrity of the bubble?
Just an idea: maybe there could be a way to transform crystal essence into crystals? The jump would seem logical. Maybe using item synthesis? As to the dungeon systems that give you mount tokens, I find this a woefully inadequate way to compensate: I don’t like making ‘friends’ over the internet. Mostly because I am very frightened of interacting with strangers whose faces I cannot see: a phobia that leaves me unable to answer anonymous texts, even from marketing companies (and irritated my psychologist I think: never could make a judgment on what she was thinking because my reasoning skills weren’t working so well back then). You could imagine that this makes it very uncomfortable when some of the quests in the game are only soluble through making friends or completing dungeons or the like.
This is a nice game otherwise, and I am getting a good deal of enjoyment out of what I’m sure took a lot of time and effort to think up, set up, keep up and improve. But I just felt like these two aspects of the game (to be clear: the crystal system and friends-to-enter-dungeons system) have been more than a bit exclusionary and I was hoping writing a forum about it might convince the devs that set it up change their minds…or accept this as a challenge they could solve or not accept at all. I’m sure that if other players agree with me there’ll be some growth on this forum. If not, then I suppose you could just ignore me: there are plenty of awesome games on Kongregate that I could just move on to. Half the comfort has just been starting this forum and placing my frustration in the ether-space where it can’t make me a sad sack.
But in case anyone does agree and in case any of the devs ever does listen: please stop bursting my fantasy bubble, overly realistic game.