Over the past month I have been playing with friends, some paying to progress, some paying just for patron and some totally free. I've noticed some of the limitations and struggles that don’t really make any sense to me so I wanted to have a discussion on improving the current system. For credibility sake, I am currently in the top 100 ranking for Lunar Lancer and farming in U9.
Gem upgrade limitations
Free to play players are very crippled in the current Gem system. The main reason being the number of gem upgrade attempts they have per day. If a person can earn 500 Cubits a day, they have 1 chance guaranteed with the, Re-Gemerator or they may get lucky from a few boosters from the Gem Booster Box. The Gem Booster Box is normally the way to go but if they get dust then they cannot upgrade for the day. Patron users have a very similar situation but they have 3 chances to find boosters.
I also want to note that after 100 mastery, Cubits are no longer rewarded making it an extremely slow grind. For a free to play player with 500 Cubits a day, it could take well over a month to level 1 gem to 20. Putting that into perspective, 1 month per gem would mean a free to play player would need to spend around 9 months upgrading their gems.
I have bought the £35 Gem pack and very comfortable with the boosters that I received. I have had no issue and able to carry on with the grind. However I can say that I would not continue playing if the number of upgrade attempts were limited to around 5 per day.
Comparison to another game
The gem system is very similar to another games rune system, I won’t say the title if there are rules against advertising. They have a very similar system in regards to game progression. Level up runes, move to harder area, get stronger runes and repeat. They have some significant differences, runes do not crack nor do they have boosters. The risk of having a gem breaking creates a significant difference in the progress of any that does no buy gem related items. This in turn pushes new players away.
How can it be improved?
The first obvious solution would be to remove the cracking aspect however I understand that would render the boosters much less desirable, Jade Clovers useless. Another way would be reverting back to having Jade Clovers for 50 Cubits. At least free to play players can have 10 guaranteed chances of attempts, Patron 30 attempts. This is also somewhat limited by the number of Cubits you get for your mastery and as said before. After 100 mastery you no longer receive Cubits as rewards. Another way could be to make it so just Lucky clovers are tradable. The key part that needs to be changed is the number of attempts players can do.
Why change needs to happen?
It can be seen through Steamcharts that Trove is on a steady player decline.
Money spent on the game is probably higher due to the recent expansion however a game with a declining user base is never a good thing. This is to not say to remove the grind, the grind is the bread and butter of Trove however, I feel when they are limited to 1 upgrade on their gem per day and can take over a month to level 1 gem, 9 months to level all their gem, it does not make sense if the process needs to be repeated multiple times.
This discussion is more aimed towards new users who are most likely to be put off by the current system. It does not make sense that players need to spend 9 months to move onto a higher difficulty to repeat the process all over again. That will only cause players to quit.
Most games usually have a better free to play experience where they don’t feel as forced to spend money. In my opinion people who like the game and spend more time playing are those who spend money and support their game of choice however the current system impacts the amount of time players can improve their characters in turn making them play less, that goes for any entertainment media. The more time users spend on that platform the more money they will typically generate.
I understand that this was a long way to say to improve the number of attempts free users can have to level their gems but I wanted to discuss the impact and other subjects that I have seen or read about. I hope this can improve the game itself and with a more free to play friendly environment we can see Trove grow with old users coming back as well as new users as well as growing the community.
If there are any more suggestions on how to make the gem system better please comment.