Since I have always been active and outspoken, I thought it fitting that I make a good-bye post with the reasons why I've left Everytown! This will be my last post.
I have loved Everytown more than any other mobile game I've ever played! It's one of two mobile games I've spent real money on. However, the game has revealed itself to be poorly managed and very greedy and way too dependent on the microtransaction-based pay-to-win game-style that makes playing and enjoying the game infinitely more difficult and infinitely more expensive than a normal game. I will not spend any more time or money on this game, and have to admit that a large portion of the time I've spent lately has been irritating and fruitless. The only reason I stayed was because 1) I'd already invested time and money, 2) I LOVED the decorating aspect of the game and WANTED to be able to enjoy it and collect what I wanted and build what I wanted, and 3) Because I had some awesome friends that I enjoyed visiting, helping, and talking to every day <33
But here's a quick rundown of why the game began to suck more and more for me. Developers, please consider this list when planning future updates for the global version.
1. Relying too heavily on the Korean model of the game for Global ET's development
The global market is very different from Korea's. More cultures to consider when communicating via social media, more poor people to consider when pricing things, more timezones to consider when giving event start and end times, more ranges of poverty to consider when blithely making the majority of the game unreachable for people who don't spend $30/mo at the minimum, ETC!
Global is not tied to a Chinese or Western equivalent of Korea's ubiquitous Kakao-Talk. Unless you partner with Facebook, you aren't going to get the popularity and giant, active community that you have in Korea. You can't start milking the cow when it's not full grown. You need more game support, more community support, more social media communication, etc, in the major trade languages at least. You need more FAQs. You need more active devs answering questions on forums. You need more game mechanics that help facilitate game play instead of assuming the community is going to make up for it.
Seriously bro money. Game developers seem to think now that if some rich Americans spend 5$ a day on overpriced coffee that it's ok to ask for $1-5 a day on their game to access the majority of it's contents. BRO I GOT NEWS FOR YOU! Most "rich" Americans I know CAN'T AFFORD $5 a day on overpriced coffee. I can't afford $20 on haircuts. I cut my own hair. I can't afford new clothes every season, I shop at the thrift store. What about the poorer countries where they have even less disposable income? SURE a few of your rich Chinese and American users can afford to throw money at the game with abandon, but does 1 person spending $30 a month make up for 200 people spending $1 a month? NO. Do more research into the global market monies. Seriously you guys I'm not just whining about your overpriced game here, I really do think you're choking your own profits and success by having prices so high.
2. Cost of seeds / Percentage of game that requires seeds to enjoy
Even the cheapest possible seeds, currently the 50% off sale, is infrequent and too expensive for how little can be purchased with them. I've previously calculated it in another thread, but it's over $300 just to expand your towns, and the last time I counted all the seed eco items (not including shops/mills, or backgrounds, or heart items) was over $1000 worth. It's ridiculous. If I bought a gameboy game for $50, I would expect quality, bug-free, amazing content that development teams worked on for who-knows-how-long, and I would expect to be able to access 100% of that content through just my time unlocking it. But this game, I spend $80 in a year, and I don't get even a fraction of its content unlocked even if I spend all my time on it? That's just... that's terrible. I know the mobile game industry is built on this pay-to-win uber microtransaction model but this is ridiculous, insulting, taking advantage of compulsive people, collectors, people with limited free time or who are confined to super portable games.
3. Difficulty of leveling / Slowness
It makes sense to keep a game from being too easy to beat or too easy to collect everything, however, this game's leveling mechanics are very imbalanced. Even with 3 towns, all the villagers, some villager outfits, high eco items including sky and landmark items, high level high xp shops, helping 24 high xp shops at friends towns per day, using all my villagers on high xp restaurant combos, and checking my towns a few times a day to make sure all shorter quest mills get reset for maximum xp........... IT IS STILL TAKING FOREVER TO LEVEL. And I am probably one of the fastest leveling players out of the friends I've had for months. The only people who level faster than me are the ones who have all union mills or use seeds to restart mills for bonus xp. And yet, at the rate I was gaining xp, it would've taken me one and a half MONTHS just to get from lvl 55 to lvl 56. So at that rate, assuming 4th town didn't come out soon and that 800xp shops are the majority of what will be free and open to help, it would take me a full. entire. year. Feb 2018. To get to lvl 61. I can understand the last 5 levels - currently 65-70 - taking longer than normal to keep the overachievers and big-spenders from getting bored, but I'm far from level cap right now and it's just crazy how long it takes to level. I know it'll get easier to level as they add higher xp shops and new features, but even then, how much faster would I level realistically? And what about the people who don't play as much as I do, with less villagers and xp bonuses, less expansions and mills? It was frustrating for me, and my goal wasn't even to level. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to the majority of players who feel like they're stuck in the game.
Quests. There should be a lot more of them. The weekly quests should have scaling XP for higher lvl people. There should be a lot more quests at higher levels, seeing as how one quest can take a week to finish.
More ways to get xp period. Better XP from the train, better XP from restaurants, etc. I know more features and weekly quests and stuff are coming to mirror those in KET, but they also have more levels, which brings more challenges. Let's be honest - it shouldn't take 5 years to get to level 60 out of 80 when you're spending less than $100 a year on a game. That's beyond being challenging, that's purposely frustrating players in the hopes of getting them to spend more money to level faster and unlock more of the game.
4. Game mechanics that discourage players from... well, playing
Helps. Not being able to accept help after mills are finished, when help is asked before mill is finished, diminishes a large part of the fun of the game, especially if you can only check once a day or irregularly. You lose out on visitors, on extra items, on the gold, and on the valuable help for completing quests. As someone who helps others, you lose out on your helps, lose the items and their value in gold, when people can't accept your helps in time. As a large part of the game is visiting friends, helping to get xp, and helping for quests and such, this is really annoying that you can't just have an auto-accept help feature set up. I would have completed quests so much faster if I had been able to get help on mills even when I wasn't able to check in to accept them. How many people who log in once a day or so lose out on soooo much because of this game mechanic?
Poor heart drop rates. If you visit 150 friends every day for a month, you should be able to get enough hearts from that alone to get all the monthly special heart items. The current heart drop rates are too low for that. I'm sorry, but, if I was a developer, I would make heart drop rates much higher, on top of having heart boost events. If someone plays every day... visits friends every day... is such an incredible faithful player who devotes so much time to the game... bro, they DESERVE to have one of every heart item, at LEAST! What kind of game would hesitate to reward loyal, daily, active players? And the heart boost event I would add just as a gift. People who want to get extras of heart items can get the chance by spending lots of effort and time. Because that's how it should be - time + effort = rewards. Not time + effort = nothing but money = the game. As they are, current heart drop rates discourage people from visiting friends even more because if you're tired and you get 1 heart per visit who cares right?
Friend limit & lists. First, there should be an "online/offline" indicator to show you when a friend is currently playing the game, meaning the game is open on their phone, so that you know you can ask for help on shorter mills for example. Second, the "follower" list is outdated and useless, only showing dead accounts of people who followed you long ago. Third, the "visitor" list only shows the last 50, but we have 150 friends and often more visitors than just our friends, so if you want to see who visited you it's difficult unless you check several times a day. Fourth, of course, is the annoying fact that you can only have 150 friends total. We should at least be able to have more friends at higher levels. Or even purchase more friendslots, something.
5. Lack of focus on one of the main draws of the game - beauty and decorating
The beauty of the different town maps is what drew me to the game in the first place, Irvin's towns inspired me to keep playing and grow my town, and the beauty of the cute items and decorating my towns has been the only thing keeping me going through the daily grind. YET the game is so imbalanced that 99% of players have towns that are just a bunch of their highest-eco items crammed together with their highest xp mills, and it's just... it's unsightly. The game emphasizes leveling and packing eco items in more than making beautiful towns. People want to have beautiful towns, but they can't afford to, because they will level soooooOOOoooo slow if they do.
The game doesn't have decorating features to help aid town beauty and ease of decoration. We should have basic decorating features like, "map save" so that we can put away an entire map (or even just the eco portion of it) and take it back out at will. We should be able to select multiple items at once and move them all at once instead of one square at a time. We should be able to link multiple items together. We should be able to sort things in our inventories better, like having different "trunks" - items that we store for holidays can be put away instead of clogging our regular inventory.
6. Just being mean or insulting to players.
Why do you guys keep having "events" that are insulting? SPECIAL LOG IN TODAY ONLY TO RECEIVE 100K GOLD AND 2 C-CLASS GATHERING ITEMS! That's like... a boss telling their employees that if they work extra hard, they'll add $.01, one penny, to their paycheck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOW THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And remember that !!HOT TIME EVENT!! where we got a 1000g low eco item bike for our reward? That's insulting. "It's better than nothing! Be nice!" NO, that is not better than nothing. I was already expecting nothing. But going through the effort of making an event post, getting me excited for an event, getting me to log in at a weird time, only to have the reward be a penny? That's getting someone's hopes up, trying to make it look like they're doing something nice for us and being kind, but giving you nothing. That's like a boss telling their employees they're having a party after work, so they have to stay after work to get to the party, and wow aren't they SUCH A NICE BOSS for having a party for their employees, but the employees wait around for the party on their own free time and the party is.... nothing. There's one peanut each per person and then ok go home you're done. It's insulting, it's a waste of time, it's rude, it's acting like you're nice and thoughtful and charitable, but it's all a front, a facade, an act, a lie.
Why do they ignore so many forum posts/emails/social media posts? Do you know how many questions I've asked they ignored? Tom, if you're truly the ONLY one working on the forum and social media, and only have ten minutes per day to do it because you're so busy, then just know, I forgive you. But bro, you guys should have realized how much support, how many answers, how much information, how much love and energy this global game would need in at least Chinese and English when you launched the global version. You guys must have foreseen the need for public relations and social media support in Chinese, English, and other languages for the new games to get help and get off the ground. So I'm sorry if you guys are too busy to answer our questions (You could at least have responded with "i don't know" or "i'll get back to you when I can" or a quick "yes"/"no" instead of ignoring them) but you should have known better as a company than to do this to your customers.
That facebook art contest where they let cheaters win. And didn't apologize. You could've revoked the seed prize of the cheaters, you took seeds away from me when I asked for a refund, remember? Don't make excuses, you should be ashamed of yourself for sweeping that under the rug without at the very least a public apology.
Seriously, if you guys are so busy and can't afford English/Chinese/etc translators for social media, you could at least look for unpaid interns to do it for you, or volunteers from amongst the qualified members of your dedicated userbase. I can think of quite a few that would love to help you with judging art contests, making new contests and moderating the posts, etc, and all you'd have to do is give them a small in-game seed stipend or something.
Where did the daily log-in gifts go? Even the most greedy games out there give gifts every day or every couple hours or something. Now we only get once-a-month hot time events to get the same low-level, super-cheap junk. We should be getting that every day, and the hot-time events should be special, high price, rare stuff.
The English version of the game still has that incorrect, annoying tooltip "product rewards are better if higher level friend helps!" I already informed you that in the English that means lvl 50 player helping your mill will get you more items than lvl 10 helping your mill. Because of that lots of people deny low level players' help requests because they think they'll get better if a higher level comes along. Poor lowbies!! You could help with misinformation RIGHT THERE by just removing that single tooltip. While you're add it, add more useful tooltips that should also be in an FAQ that is linked to from the help settings menu in-game. HAVE PEOPLE WHO SPEAK NATIVE ENGLISH/CHINESE/ETC PROOF-READ YOUR STUFF. It can't be that hard to find volunteers or something.
There's more reasons that I don't remember right now and don't feel like trying to think of right now.
I know there's lots of bad, poorly-made, moneygrubbing, microtransaction-based worthless mobile games out there that make Everytown and Flero look like perfection, but I'm measuring Everytown to a better standard, not making excuses for them because they're better than some other junk games. All of these issues together have just become too much and I can't play anymore.
I really am sad though. I loved this game so much for so long. The biggest thing honestly is the cost of seeds. I can't play a game where I have to spend $60 a month to get even 75% of the stuff I want out of the game. Playing the game without spending any money, only getting a handful of seeds from quests and daily ads, is just unbearable since you can't afford anything the game has to offer. Every update just brings another 500 seeds worth of stuff I want but can't buy. I think the gathering SS materials being soooo rare to gather or find for sale and costing 50 seeds apiece just broke the camel's back. I am just... I'm done.
I'm sorry to all my friends that I just left coldturkey like this, with barely a good-bye. So I'll put it here real quick! You guys are all so awesome, I loved visiting your beautiful towns, I loved making different random emotes to leave as thankyou notes or whatever, I loved getting kind messages and funny jokes and stuff from you, and the wonderful goodbye messages I've seen make my heart so sad. You are all so so so so very wonderful! Thank you for being my friends and always coming to visit and give hearts and help me! Especially to Stacy and Britt, you guys were my ET besties. ILU <3