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Accidental Ruby Spend
Of course, I refer to the double-up troop button. This has been suggested time and time again. I even received a reply from a CM stating that it would be passed on but nothing could be promised. Why? Is this because you get a lot of rubies spent through this accidental click? Let's be honest, the only reason you added a +1 help button was to put it next to the double up ruby button and elicit accidental clicks. This is generally morally repugnant and most players despise this type of strategy. Solution: Ruby spend confirmation box... simple.
Wheel of Fortune
I detest this event. For starters, it goes against the theme of the game which for me is very irritating. You ask people to not make suggestions which go against the theme, which makes you very hypocritical. However, my main issues with the WoF event is the connotations of gambling. You've already made your stance clear; this is not gambling. Fine. But it is so close to gambling that it becomes incredibly inappropriate for a game which prides itself on being 'family friendly'. The WoF event elicits the same feelings and emotions generated whilst gambling. There are under 18s being exposed to this. For this reason, I think you, as a company, are acting in an incredibly unethical manner. Solution: Remove this gambling feature all together.
Wheel of Fortune: Nobility Contest
Further to my previous point, adding a nobility contest that requires players to do well by spinning the wheel smacks in the face of skill and ethics. This is not a contest of skill. At the end of the day, a game (no matter how it makes its money) should be about skill and this element rewards players for clicking a button. Secondly, you can only really win or do well if you buy rubies. Now, technically it is possible to win because you offer free tokens (1 x spin) as a prize and as an example, I managed four spins today through this method. However, this was still not enough for the first prize. Although technically possible, the chance of receiving enough free spins to compete in the competition is statistically impossible. Whilst you satisfy the legal criteria of running a contest in a free-to-play game (in theory), do you really? Legally it's a grey area but if proved to be statistically impossible to compete (which it is), do you break the legal boundaries of fair trading? If not then you certainly break many moral boundaries. Solution: Remove this nobility contest.
What a horrific implementation of a feature. When I first saw the teaser, I was really excited. When I saw the first update I was bitterly disappointed. When I saw the second amendment you made, I was slightly appeased. The main issue I take with this feature is the over-the-top ruby influence. I loot a lot. The chance of smithing a gem is stupidly difficult (which I must pay for). Then I pay for the gem to be put on a piece of equipment. Then when I want to replace it, it is lost. Three huge restrictions put on the gem process here which I think are way over the top. Now I know you need an income (you're a business). I don't necessarily disagree with the coin cost to upgrade gems and percentage chance. What I do disagree with, however, is the inability to remove gems without destroying them. The gem feature is entirely slanted towards the heavy-ruby players and only widens the gap between ruby players and non-ruby or casual-ruby players. Solution: Provide the ability to remove gems without destroying them.
Recently you changed the building mechanism so that when instantly completing with rubies, the building ring is displayed straight away. You claim that this was to help reduce clicking. It wasn't. It was to increase the possibility of mis-clicks to trigger ruby instant completes when not wanted. If you truly wanted to decrease clicks from the game, you'd scroll through the forums and implement the numerous solutions your customers have suggested to decrease clicks. For example, a Next Message button underneath each message or a help all button. Solution: Listen to customers' solutions. Stop tricking us in to clicking to spend our rubies.
If you take heed of one point I make, let it be this one. GGS' attitude towards its customers has been one of disregard. I understand your need to make money but look at this from our point of view. You create a great game. You create a great community. You crease an addictive scenario in which we all return to. Yet you continue to press ahead with updates which the majority despise. Why do you continue? Because a small minority of big-spenders pander to your every update. Your flirt with these big spenders and don't give a damn about the rest of us. You release update after update and you never really listen to what we want. You just look to see if your big ruby spenders are spending more. One day, this will come back to bite you because you have't paid attention to common business sense. The only time you properly listened to use was on the auto-war update and that was because so many refused to buy rubies (not that you will admit it). Even then, you still force-fed us a small version of the update which most of us refuse to use. Solution: Start listening to everyone. Start with feedback. Be genuine and honest with us in the forums and stop fobbing us off. Most of use are working professionals with a brain.
Ruby Player / Non-Ruby Player Gap
We all know GGS favours ruby players. Of course, they pay for the sever space, the development cost etc. etc. However, GGS has pandered to this crowed too much and have created an in-balance in the game. Unless they have something up their sleeve to truly balance the game, they have made it almost impossible to compete if you are a non-ruby player. Some ask "why is this a bad thing? Non-ruby buyers don't contribute anything!". Wrong. Non-ruby players balance the game. Non-ruby players add community spirit to the game. More realistically, non-ruby players provide additional targets for ruby players. They add numbers to the game. They still add competition to the game. GGS look after a small minority and are driving away a large majority from the game. Sure, they may have their numbers to suggest that the server is growing but is this truly representative of proper active players? In the same way that Facebook claims to have X number of profiles when X% of them are fake. Solution: Decrease the ruby gap. Reintroduce skill. Bring in new players.
I have so many more things I wish to put here but what's the point? Will GGS take notice? Probably not. Therefore, I do not have the time to give them any more feedback. If they continue down this path they will lose revenue. Considering they are looking to float on the stock market soon, they may wish to reassess how they treat their customers. They will soon have investors to answer to.
Consider me as an example. I used to buy rubies three or four times a month. Not massive amounts. This was because I enjoyed spending the money on things I wanted not things I needed. Now, with the way the game is going, I have not bought a single ruby in three months and am finding ways of getting by looting them (being efficient etc). I'd consider buying rubies once more if GGS sorted things out. It is people like me you are losing GGS. By increasing the pressure of buying rubies, you're not encouraging people like me to spend more. You're pushing people like me away instead. I'll be gone s.oon if you don't address these points (along with many others)