Category Archives: Random Thoughts

[PSA] Dragonbound & Dragon Caller REM Returns Monday, April 23

Title is somewhat self explanatory and official post can be found HERE. This is important because Dragonbound & Dragon Caller (DBDC) is arguably the best event in Puzzle and Dragons as it contains incredible value at the 5* rarity and having 2 of each is still reasonable overall. Furthermore, all the older cards gain Limit Breaking and Super Awakenings.

This would be the ideal  event to roll in for the vast majority of players and is worth saving stones for.

I will being work on my review tomorrow and should finish sometime on Sunday as it is a very time consuming process (a good estimate is if it took 1 minute for you to read it, it took an hour to write). If eager for more information, you can read about my older review HERE.

Previous event rolling video

Please no more Shazels

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Memetastic

Introduction

Meme – an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.

-humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

– Google

Basically memes are a fun way to express frustration or joy for any particular topic and in our case, Puzzle and Dragons.

My discord Discord Server has a Memetastic channel that is periodically updated; however, I wish to share all of my glorious memes on my website.

Enjoy!

Memetastic



Continue reading Memetastic

Lootbox Controversy & REM Renewal

**Disclaimer**
Some points of this article may be out of my scope of knowledge

Introduction

Over the past several months there has been significant focus on gambling within Video Games which has led to the entire Lootbox system being put under scrutiny. This has led to additional transparency from Apple for disclosing true rolling/summoning rates.

In essence, the Lootbox system involves the opening of randomized rewards that can either advance your own level of progression or are simply cosmetic in nature.

While cosmetic items are less detrimental overall, it is the notion that you can be gated by luck in progressing through a game that has drawn negative attention as it can be considered a negative form of gambling, especially when most of these games are targeting minors.

This article will attempt to summarize my thoughts on this topic along with my predictions for how this will impact Puzzle and Dragons moving forward.

Video commentary

–video coming soon–

What are Lootboxes?

Lootboxes are an umbrella term for “boxes” that contain randomized in game loot/goodies. Gatcha-style games is another term that utilizes a Lootbox System and enables players to acquire cards to use as they play through. Regardless, the type of loot that is distributed varies from game to game, but can be broadly categorized as either Cosmetic or Progression-Oriented.

While the concept of Lootboxes is not new, they have now become a monetized item throughout many popular games. Unfortunately, it is this monetized concept that has drawn a negative light on the gaming industry as it is thought to encourage gambling while having a portion of their audience being minors. This has led to changes being made within Europe and Apple.

Cosmetic

Cosmetic rewards from Lootboxes are anything that will alter the appearance of your characters or game. Cosmetic items have no impact on your performance and will not help you progress through the game, you will just look prettier.

Overall, Cosmetic Lootboxes are the healthier form as they are not required to excel and are purely for vanity purposes. Games such as Overwatch only utilize Cosmetic Lootboxes and the negative backlash has been small by comparison as you do not need them to advance and improve.

Progression-oriented

Progression-Oriented rewards include anything that can alter or improve your game play and overall ability to progress. This can include, but not limited to, weapons, new characters, gear, or in game currency to buy new loot.

Compared to Cosmetic Lootboxes, it is the Progression-Oriented ones that have drawn negative attention across the gaming community.

This is because these Lootboxes are usually gated by a Premium Currency (Magic Stones in PAD) that have either a small trickle or are unavailable outside of purchasing them. This is a double edged sword as you have to either get exceptionally lucky or pay more money to progress/stay relevant in the current meta. Furthermore, because of the random nature of Lootboxes, you do not know what you are going to get and you can spend large sums of money and not actually receive your target item. This can naturally lead to feelings of frustration or continuously feeling like you are missing key aspects to a game.

While the concept of Progression-Oriented Lootboxes is not new (it is the business model for all Gatcha games such as PAD), it began to draw negative attention in Europe and can be largely attributed to EA Games and their latest Star Wars Battlefront game. This Star Wars game had a massive paywall that gated players from accessing in game content. This level of greed combined with a mainstream franchise inevitably led to changes within the European gaming industry.

Europe

Europe has begun to crackdown on gambling within the gaming industry and their prime target is Lootboxes and their variants. Now, it is my understanding that they are targeting those that only grant Progression-Oriented rewards as these are required to succeed within the game.

It is most likely these changes that have signaled the end of Magic Stone purchasing in Europe and GungHo is either going to shut down the Europe server or completely remodel the IAP-structure to comply with these laws. With that being said, I have no clue nor idea what will happen with PADEU.

Apple

Apple is one of the primary platforms for mobile games and they are now forcing developers to disclose the true rolling/summoning rates within their games. This is important because it will enable players to make an informed decision as to whether or not they should roll or IAP.

From the company’s point of view, this is a major problem as they do not wish to disclose the true rates as it will most likely result in fewer people participating. We have been able to guesstimate the rolling rates within PAD based on thousands of rolls and is probably quite accurate, but is never confirmed by GungHo.

As a result of the Apple changes, PAD is now undergoing a REM Renewal.

Puzzle and Dragons REM Renewal

Taking all of the above points into consideration, GungHo has unveiled a REM Renewal across all regions at the same time. From past experience, it is rare to ever see NA/EU receive new content at the same time as JP as we are almost always 2-3 months behind. Thus, it is safe to assume that this stems from the Lootbox Controversy.

Notable changes

The REM Renewal does come as a bit of a surprise and is GungHo’s answer to disclosing true rolling rates. Players have never known the actual odds of acquire a particular card, but were able to guesstimate through large sample sizes. However, it is a general agreement that it is challenging to acquire the better cards. As such, the Renewal will try to put on a better front by altering the odds before transparency becomes mandatory.

One key aspect of the Renewal will be the removal of countless 4* cards that were arguable garbage. The only major exceptions would be Exa-Hydra Zeta Hydra and the 3-turn bind clearing Dragon Knights.

Furthermore, various 5* Godfest Exclusives will now be restructured into normal 5* status that will rotate within the REM moving forward. This comes as a bit of a surprise as the term GFE may become a thing of the past and we have no clue as to how that will impact their rolling rates. While most 5* GFE have become lackluster, some still retain relevancy such as Green Odin 3390, Saria , Urd , and Verdandi 

As a result, Gold becomes the new Silver as it is my belief that the 6* GFE will retain their elusiveness and still be challenging to acquire.

The core line up of the Rare Egg Machine will rotate periodically and Highlight different cards.

Godfest formatting

In addition to the changes within the Rare Egg Machine, GungHo is now releasing a new format to deliver Godfests. These new events still retain the name Godfest but instead of stating increased rates, they use the word Highlight to showcase featured cards along with being the only time you can roll 6* GFE.

As a result, Godfests will now use the Renewed REM compromising the core of rolls with the 6* GFE sprinkled in as the “Highlight” with no indication of increased rolling rates (some will still be missing and will also follow a rotational pattern).

Furthermore, cards that are not included in their long list will not be able to be pulled during these events. This line up is not permanent and will rotate around periodically.

Judging from the list of highlighted cards, we will be able to acquire what were 5* GFE, certain Pantheon cards, along with miscellaneous cards that no one really wants.

It is my belief that future events will follow this rough template:

  • Featured 5* Pantheons that will rotate
  • 6* Non-GFE that will rotate
  • Junky cards will always remain (those at the bottom of the list)
  • Some 6* GFE will only be available during their Godfest events and will also rotate

This new format will condense the pool of available monsters so you should in theory have a higher hit rate for a card you are chasing. At the same time, this will also improve or at least create the illusion of better rolling rates just in time for the transparency from Apple.

The official Godfest post from GHNA can be found HERE.

Upcoming event

I am not sure how I will be delivering my Godfest reviews moving forward due to the formatting change as we have no idea if these events will be worthwhile.

Conclusion

The landscape of Puzzle and Dragons is quickly changing and this REM Renewal comes at a time when I was actually in the middle of writing a new article about how PAD has changed over my 1,500+ day career (still a work in progress and coming soon).

The clampdown on Lootboxes along with rolling rate transparency will all have an interesting impact on Puzzle and Dragons. However, I do not foresee an improvement of rolling rates, just adjustments to give the illusion of better odds.

Let me know what you think about the changes in the comments below.

Finally, I do not know the future of PADEU so asking about that will do no good.

Happy Puzzling!

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I am Moving again, 5 Million Website views, and 1,500 Day Box Tour Coming Soon!

My life has been quite hectic this past week and I finally get to move out of MOMtastic’s condo and begin painting my new place today! As a result, I may be more absent than usual as I am painting and moving this next week but I will still try to reply to comments if possible.

On a different note, I managed to hit 5 million website views! This feels like a monumental milestone and I could not have achieved this without your continuous support. So thank you once again for visiting my site and contributing your voice to the discussion.

Happy Puzzling!

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Full image if anyone is wondering or wants to have a sweet new phone wallpaper.

Meta Trends in Puzzle and Dragons

Introduction

Meta is an abbreviation for Most Efficient Team Available and is essentially a term used to indicate if a card is currently strong in this day and age. However, the meta is not fixed and is ever evolving and changing. Thus, what may have been strong 6 months ago may have fallen out of favour due to new evolutions, awakenings, or new dungeon requirements.

This article will be examining the current state of affairs in Puzzle and Dragons and the direction I foresee the game heading.

Video commentary

—video coming soon

PAD is a Puzzling game at heart

No matter how long or how much Puzzle and Dragons develops, it will still be at core a puzzling/matching game. Thus, there are only so many boards one can solve/match before it can become tiresome. As a result, GungHo has introduced new matching requirements and larger board sizes.

New matching requirements constitutes anything that goes beyond matching a vanilla set of 3. At first we had mass attack and then awakenings were introduced along with a wide variety of leader skills.

However, there are only so many different twists you can impose on matching and there is a certain degree of recycling older styles over time. As a result, it is not uncommon to see similarities over the years in terms of the matching strategy. Continue reading Meta Trends in Puzzle and Dragons

One Shot Challenge Rewards: Whaledor, Raguel, and Drahklist Analysis

Introduction

This current set of One Shot Challenge (OSC) is one the easier side compared to previous incarnations. This is due to both Powercreep of available cards (think Monster Hunter and pairing everything with Diablos ) and easier spawns overall. As such, many players may be completing their first OSC and will now be the proud owner of one of three new cards.

Each of these cards has tremendous value and you will be able to acquire all 3 over time through future OSC. Furthermore, there will be limited time Guerrilla dungeons that will allow you to skill them up and farm as many as you are humanly able to.

This article will highlight how all three cards can be used and why they are worth pursuing.

Video commentary

—video coming soon—

Anubis x Diablos Whaledor clear

Whale-done me. Pretty much any combo leader with Diablos will waltz through this OSC
__

3 new cards

All three new cards feature majestic artwork along with niche applications that can dramatically enhance your gameplay. Continue reading One Shot Challenge Rewards: Whaledor, Raguel, and Drahklist Analysis