I am finding myself becoming really disturbed by the amount of value that Lilith gives its paying customers in proportion to what they receive. While Soul Hunters doesn't meet a general accepted definition of gambling (where you have a chance to recoup actual money), the amount of money required for "the chance of an item" is starting to become alarming. especially when large amounts of money don't seem to shift the odds significantly.
Case in point, my guild leader recently spent $100 USD for two 4,000 diamond pulls to obtain Petros. He obtained a maximum of 22 soul stones for Petros. Not even a card from 20 pulls. He's understandably angry at himself and at Lilith Games. He's not complaining because he realizes that he only had a chance to obtain Petros, but in good faith he believed there was no way that he could fail to get Petros with that much of an investment. Before anyone argues with me, he accepts responsibility for his choices. Let's turn that around now. Is it appropriate for Lilith Games to actually charge someone that much money and have them not reach their objective? Or even come close? Should the odds ever be so skewed that this is possible, let alone likely?
The position is does Lilith Games provide $100 USD worth of content of $100 USD? Or is this a gambling device without a monetary payoff?
I realize the counter-point is that if one could purchase Soul Stones for a flat fee, whales would dominate the game and the F2P would suffer. That's a fair counter-argument and I acknowledge it. The problem is that also works in the company's favor as an excuse to create situations where hundreds of dollars are spent with nothing more than diamonds to show for it. (Diamonds are useful but they don't have the value of soul stones)
It seems like a more equitable formula should be possible.
This is a related example that does not involve an RNG table. Some of Lilith's marketing and sales strategy does not make a whole lot of sense to me. I'm not sure if its intended to catch the unwary, or they just don't think about it this stuff from a Western point-of-view. I mean, perhaps this acceptable in Korea and this is a difference in cultures?
Here's the specific example: Recently we had a double purchase offer where if you bought x amount of diamonds you would obtain Hurok and Goram soulstones. I have a three star Goram and have not been able to obtain many soul stones. I have a 4-star Hurok that I got from a conjuring stone event—4 stars being the most I could obtain. I looked at this double purchase offer and I realized that I could not advance these characters a single star for any less than a hundred dollars. $19.95 wouldn't help me. $49.95 would not grant me an upgrade. If I had purchased the $19.95 and $49.95 packages together I STILL would not have enough to advance either character a single star. That, to me, seems outrageous. And if you're prone to addictive behavior, it comes across as positively exploitive. I didn't spend any money because it became apparent that the only way to improve these characters would be to drastically hurt myself and my family. So I declined. Good for me, but Lilith didn't obtain any revenue from the promotion. Not from me anyway. And does that make any sense? To create a sale where there's no point in buying anything? Or to have a sale where I might spend $70, just to be ready for the day that they have another sale—which might be 3 months away? Folks, if I drop that much money on a game today, I damn well want some value today. Not months from now.
This is where questions about value for your money really should come in focus. We're not talking about new content and experiences. We're talking about a modest upgrade to a single character in a phone game.
I've avoided blanket statements like "greedy" on purpose. It's my position that Lilith Games and its regular customers should have a thoughtful look at the value given for the prices being charged.