Since the announcement that FFRK's company, DeNA, is ceasing its NA operations, and a general malaise at supremely geared teams can still run into hours of retrying the harder fights, I've gotten into Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes
. Yes, it is EA. In light of that, it is a lot easier to succeed at being F2P than FFRK or FFBE.
I've been playing for probably 2 months, and I still enjoy regular progress. The core fights are squad-based battles, like FFBE and FFRK, but the timing is like FFBE, where the next character to act immediately does, rather than FFRK, which can sometimes suffer from issues where careful timing is necessary but there's no way to see timers (on buffs, etc.).Core mechanics
- You put together a squad of heroes and villains from all of the (new canon) SW properties, such as Luke Skywalker from ANH, Wedge Antilles, Darth Sidious, and Dengar
. Some battles are designated as Light Side, where you can only have Light Side heroes (including Jawas, who I guess are at worst neutral), and some are Dark Side (where most Droids are, as the combat Droids are generally baddies). Each hero has a Basic attack, like shooting a blaster or swinging a lightsaber, and 1-2 special attacks which have CDs in turns. The specials are anything from a taunt to an AoE, or a particularly hard hit with a chance at a debuff.
In addition to LS and DS squads, there are several neutral squads. There is a PvP Arena, where you pit a squad against another player's squad, though this is not real time. Your opponent's squad is controlled by the AI, so it won't use Specials at optimal times and may blow heals for little benefit, so even a tremendous disparity in power can be neutralized by good tactics. There is also a Cantina, which is like LS and DS battles but with a neutral squad, and the Galactic War, which is like the Arena, but your health and CDs persist from battle to battle, and you can swap out squad members for fresher ones.
You can also use a Sim Cards currency to grind previous levels for you, so obtaining gear and shards by grinding is a bit more palatable. You can just queue up 10 attempts at a fight that has a chance to get Shards for a character you want, then collect rewards. I do this like 40 times a day, and it takes less than a minute total.Acquiring characters/gear
- Unlike the FFRK and FFBE methods of acquiring whole characters (BE) and gear (RK) through a gachapon, characters and gear are acquired incrementally in SWGoH. There are some characters that can be acquired through gacha, but usually they are acquired by collecting "Shards" over time. For example, Rey can be unlocked at 4* rarity by collecting 80 Rey Shards, or you can get lucky with Chromium packs (a bad use of in-game crystals). You can collect Rey Shards in Hard Mode battles or with Guild Currency. You can also increase Rey's rarity to 7* with those same shards, though each level requires more shards (5* is 65, 6* is 85, 7* is 100, all iun addition to the initial 80). Sure, this will take a long time, but if you concentrate on it, you can do it. I've been ranking up Qui-Gon Jinn for as long as I could, and I'm about to finally finish him off at 7*. It's better to have a core squad of high-rarity team members than a broad roster of 3* and 4* scrubs, so concentrating is key. It's not easy to concentrate, especially when something shiny like Boba Fett appears, but it's the best method.
Gear is crafted from drops, but there is no choice in what each character can use (thank god, as there are several tiers of 6 pieces each). You can choose a piece of gear you'd like, then find where its components drop all from the character screen.
Characters' stats can be tweaked with components called Mods, which unlock at character level 50. Once you go through the tutorial, ti's straightforward, but that's where some of the optimization comes in. For example, you can equip some mods that affect character health or crit chance, then later swap them around. Trust me, this is simpler than it looks.F2Pness
- This is the most important aspect to any of these games, in my mind, and SWGoH is one of the best. Since you have measured progress towards goals, like character shards, it's less blind than pure gacha, and you can plan your team out better. Premium currency (Crystals) comes pretty readily from all sorts of rewards, giving an F2P player enough to refresh energy and Sim Cards a few times. Spending Crystals on gacha packs is actually less efficient than just refreshing energy. There are a lot of activities to do outside of energy, so there's plenty of game to play each day if you'd like.
There's other stuff like Guilds, Raids, Ships-but I'll leave that for a follow up if anyone is interested.