I was introduced to gacha games with the initial release of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. I am a huge FF fan so I dove in head first knowing nothing about the gacha system.
While I never spent outside of my means I did spend a decent amount of money on that game (and a few others, mostly Fire Emblem Heroes). I no longer play FFBE (still play FEH though).
For anyone new to the genre or anyone considering spending money on gachas for the first time I hope some of my experience, which I will lay out below, may help you make responsible decisions:
The money you are spending now will likely be obsolete in a few months. It is impossible to definitively state a timeframe however gachas are progressive games which means they maintain profitability by moving the game forward both from the perspective of relative player power and content difficulty. In some instances old characters are brought back into the “meta” but largely when new content is released it is scaled around the new resources that are created to accompany it.
When you spend money in a gacha game you do not own anything you receive in return. There is no direct exchange of goods. Even when you pay $$ for a character at a set rate you aren’t actually purchasing anything. You are purchasing the right to use something. Whatever you acquire in a gacha game remains the exclusive and sole property of the developer. The reason that is important is that if Cygames closed down you have no tangible physical benefit for any invested money into the game. It is a total loss. If you are a collector you are much better off collecting tangible property that can be traded or sold than investing money into a gacha game. You aren’t buying something in a gacha game, you are renting it. There is no recurring rental period (Unless you consider the need to “rent” additional units as a recurring expense) but when you are considering paying money into a gacha it helps me to remember now that you are paying money for the chance to rent someone else’s property.
The game isn’t designed to allow you to play all the time. Gachas are multi-tiered machines in their objective to compel you to use limited/premium currency. Refreshing Stamina and Getherwings is an example of this. There is only so much free Wyrmite that can be obtained in the game therefore any decision you make with Wyrmite comes at a cost. In terms of business this is the “Opportunity Cost” discussion where one choice impacts other possible future choices. If you use Wyrmite for Stamina Refreshes but you know you want to use tenfold summons in the future then your decision affects future decisions putting you in a situation where you have to decide if you want to spend money to accommodate both desires. If you find yourself in this situation then the system is working as intended against you. It is all about priorities. If you don’t mind using 3 and 4 star characters then using more premium currency on resets is probably fine. If you really desire the highest chance to obtain 5 star characters / dragons / wyrmprints (boo) then using premium currency on resets may not be the best decision for you and you may want to consider just playing as much as the game allows you to play.
Nothing is guaranteed in a gacha game. I’m not just talking about the actual rates or summoning. I’m talking about the game even existing. This goes back somewhat to the previous discussion about what you actually own when you invest money. You are basically investing into their game but not receiving stock or ownership shares in return. If the company decides to close the game down due to inactivity/disinterest by the player base some time from now, or really for any reason, you don’t get a say or an opinion on that decision… regardless of how much you’ve invested.
This is a well crafted game that I really enjoy. I’ve spent a bit on the game and I will probably spend a bit more. The purpose of this post is to attempt to give anyone new to the genre some insight into what “gacha” actually means and maybe equip you to make some more responsible decisions than I made when I played my first gacha game.
Join this Dragalia Lost Facebook Group for tips & discussions with other players! 😉