The advent of the ZERO type is the retraction of everything I used to praise Cosmic Break for. Horizontal expansion is completely irrelevant now. The ZERO type “robot” Resha defeats all other roles without fail, the epitome of vertical expansion. I say “robot,” but not only is she not a robot, she does not use any mechanical parts and by all previous standards wouldn’t even fit into the storyline.
The following is a letter from Klinkin which sums up essentially all of the problems currently faced in Cosmic Break.
Well, I was going to submit this via the “contact us” option, but, there’s a 2000 character limit, and I’ve got over four times that in this letter. It may be for the best; I feel the community should see both this letter and CyberStep’s responses.
For those of you too lazy to read the whole body, just skip down to the questions at the bottom. Needless to say., any and all CyperStep personnel or game moderators should not take this lazy option.
Hello. I have been playing your game for about half a year now, and over that time I have noticed a rather disturbing trend: your cash-shop (RT) bots regularly out-perform your free-shop (UC) bots in most cases (though various high-tier UC bots do avert this pattern), and both RT and UC are out-performed by the more powerful slot machine (Garapon) bots. Recently, this trend has accelerated; while the Sugoi Gara saw the introduction of various Gara-bots that were effectively large RT bots in smaller, more powerful forms, even they have begun to be eclipsed by recent bots. Essentially, I believe I am seeing what is known as “power creep,” where a game creates more powerful items/characters in order to create interest in new content at the expense of older content. The recent Mega Gara 2 can easily be seen as the pinnacle of power creep in CosmicBreak, with Resha and Eris being widely recognized by the playerbase as superior in almost every aspect to comparable bots that existed previous to their release. As history has proven, for a game to have staying power it must avoid power creep, and to that point I offer two examples: the collectible trading card game Magic: the Gathering (Wizards of the Coast) and the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends (Riot Games), both of which are very successful on a long term and have avoided power creep very well. As such, I believe it is not only in the best interests of the players, but in the best interests of CyberStep and its continued success in the online game market, to not only actively avoid, but attempt to reverse power creep in CosmicBreak. CyberStep has been rather complacent, as very few bots have seen adjustments after release; this contrasts sharply with League of Legends, which sees bi-weekly patches that constantly attempt to balance champions, both new and old, against the ever-changing meta.
On a related note, as I already mentioned, UC bots are almost always less powerful than comparable RT bots and Gara-bots. While I understand that you would wish to create incentives for players to spend money (you are a business, after all), you should also be aware from your competitors that empowering paying players over free players is counter-productive to a successful business model. Again, I point to League of Legends, an extremely successful online game that has earned Riot Games profit enough to be almost constantly expanding for the past two years. Not only does League of Legends offer all non-ascetic content to free players, they actively prevent cash-shop currency for being used to purchase runes, which are similar to tunes in CosmicBreak and the only item purchasable in the League of Legends store which gives you an in-game advantage over other players. Obviously, this has not hurt the success of League of Legends one bit. However, I could understand giving paying players a slight advantage over free players, but the degree in which CosmicBreak gives advantage to paying players is, quite frankly, ridiculous. I could quote several high-level players (eight-star or crown rank and all recognized as not only competent players but also community leaders) who have told me quite seriously that the number of viable UC builds in the modern meta can be counted on one hand, and all tend to involve either hopping (a behavior which I consider abuse of the aiming engine CosmicBreak uses) or a Seraph Crimrose (who, as you most certainly know, has access to anti-homing wings, effectively making her invincible to over half the artillery units and weapons in the game). I could understand UC players not having the same variety as paying players, but being forced to resort to a handful of builds that require abuse to work is not fun for either free players or paying players who have to face those builds. More importantly, new players are almost exclusively UC-only, and will be loathe to spend hard-earned money on a game they are put off by because they are unable to compete as free players; this has the effect of stifling growth of the playerbase.
Now, I am aware that you regularly offer UC players to buy up to 50 RT per month, and some small amount of RT can be gained from completing offers (most of which are either spyware, phishing, or other attempts to gather personal information for profit). I am also aware that the Super UC Gara receives regular updates and has just received an update with a new transforming bot, Vulder, and several popular RT parts. I appreciate the new options for UC players, even if they do require massive investments of time to obtain, thanks to the luck component inherent in the Garapon system. However, the amount of RT a UC player can obtain and the Super UC Gara updates do not allow a UC player to keep up with the power creep I mentioned in my first paragraph. This has become especially apparent with the release of both Mega Garapons; the first one made many high-tier (which, in the minds of most of the community, means “overpowered”) Gara-bots available again, increasing the frequency of encountering those bots on the battlefield. The second one introduced Resha and Eris, about which I believe I need not say anything; if you are unfamiliar with how their power level compares to other bots, simply watch general chat in Channel 1 for a while. I am not exaggerating when I say the vast majority of the community feels these two bots are easily the two most powerful bots in the game, and eclipse the average bot by a near-insurmountable margin. To even have a slightly reasonable chance at obtaining these bots, a UC player would have had to save RT from three consecutive months of UC > RT conversion (and get a bit more RT, probably from offers), and that would only net them 5 rolls of the Mega Garapon 2. While I am not privy to the exact calculations that control the frequency of prizes in the garapons, both Eris and Resha are gold prizes, and two of almost ten gold prizes in that garapon. This puts the chance of getting even one from five rolls at rare at best. Players willing to invest hundreds of real-life U.S. dollars in CosmicBreak, however, can roll dozens of times and have, while not guaranteed, much greater access to these two bots, along with all of the other Garapon-only bots that are notorious among the community for their high power levels and, sometimes, lack of skill requirement (mostly leveled at homing core weapons).
The results of these various issues can be seen in CosmicBreak; the community has shrunk noticeably since I first joined, and I have seen many high-level, respected players attribute their discontinuation of CosmicBreak to the various ways in which they feel CyberStep does not respect the wishes of the community. I believe I should not have to point out that a smaller community results in lower net profits. Now, as I am contacting you, Cyberstep, I ask you, what are your views on these issues? Specifically, there are several questions I wish to see answered:
1. How do you plan to address power creep and the growing number of robots that are no longer considered viable because of it?
2. What is your view on UC-only players? Do you feel they should be able to compete in arena with RT players? Do you see UC-only as a viable playstyle?
3. Have you considered using patches to balance bots based on community feedback? If so, why have you not balanced bots that the community recognizes as unbalanced?
4. What are your plans to deal with Resha and Eris, specifically? These two bots are prominent enough to deserve their own question.
5. What are your plans to prevent the death of CosmicBreak as a game as more and more players leave, while fewer join?
Please do not simply wave off these questions with simple propaganda or attempt to cast me as ignorant. It should be obvious by the eloquence, length, and quality of this message that I am an intelligent member of your community and am familiar with many online games. I have treated CyberStep with plenty of respect in this message, and if any disrespect is perceived, I assure you that it was not meant. However, many members of the community are not as respectful as I am, though they are just as intelligent, and do not have my patience or understanding, but I feel they still deserve a serious explanation regarding the above questions.
One person even had the gall to suggest that it was negativity driving people away from the game, while he himself was playing Resha, the source of the negativity and the force driving people away from the game.
I honestly believed this game had a lot more potential. I considered paying real money for it. But this just goes to show what a poor investment most online games are.