When I ask this, I don’t mean to use this as an insult to the game, but I mean to ask it as a genuine question. None of you know me, but I’ve been playing Road to Survival on and off since August of 2015. I have always been F2P and I plan to keep it that way. My first account was in Brooks, until I unfortunately lost it. Since then, I have started fresh in Chester, where I have been consistently playing for almost a year. Lately, I’ve been losing interest in this game due to a variety of factors, most of which I will discuss and criticize.
The biggest problem with Road to Survival is the company behind it, Scopely. As most of you should know, Scopely had unintentionally done an exposé on themselves through an interview with their senior vice president, Spencer Tucker. Since everyone and their mothers have criticized Scopely about the article, I will refrain from discussing it. However, I believe that it is still very important to outline the way that Scopely treats their customers. The response to the VentureBeat article shows the players that Scopely won’t change. They owe it to us to admit when they’re wrong and that they have been caught lying and using predatory tactics. But the VentureBeat response was not an apology. It was damage control. No answers, no compensation, no apology. After so many different gates, after the embarrassment that was “Albert Wei’s promises”, and now with the “Promises for the Future,” We as players need to realize that they will never change.
State of the F2P Playerbase
The state of the F2P playerbase is unacceptable and does not look like it will improve any time soon. Since the introduction of the S-Class, Scopely has released a total of 19 toons: 13 P2P toons, including 4 S-Classes, and 5 F2P toons, 2 of which are S-Classes. I don’t count Zhu as an F2P or P2P toon, as it’s a bit difficult to distinguish what he may be. Scopely has released 2 legacies since the S-Class reset, with Romanov considered to be below average and Hershel considered to be decent. Stephanie, the league toon, is also considered to be below average. With James and Christa being the only free and widely available S-Classes, it’s noticeable how they are both nowhere near as good as the current P2P S-Classes: Pete, Priya, Laopo, and Raulito. It’s not expected that James and Christa should be on par with the P2P S-Classes, but notice how every other S-Class brings something new to the table, things of which are not widely available to the F2P playerbase. This includes double reviving, triple/increased leader skills, daze, exhaust, crosshairs, and a bleed leader skill. James and Christa come with specialist skills that are not useful in the current meta and do not bring anything new to the table other than slow, which is somewhat comparable to impair. Sure, they may be a nice gift for everyone, but remember, it’s only a way to speed up and force the S-Class reset.
A major issue with the game is the lack of balance. Why is payback so unbalanced, that when you use an Adrenaline Rush on a payback possessing enemy, it will cause that enemy to single handedly wipe out your own team? Why can a single toon deal 1,000 maim damage to an entire team, drain AP, recover their entire team of penalties, and completely heal himself? Why did Scopely further buff the S-Classes stats, to have twice the stat total of a regular 6*? Why is there no limit on duplicate toons, S-Classes, and/or specialists on the same team? Why do we get legacies that are already outdated and overshadowed on release? The playerbase has given feedback time and time again for simple fixes, nerfs, and buffs to rebalance the game, only to be ignored by Scopely.
RTS is a Chore
This next point may be subjective, but I feel that this represents most of the active playerbase, if not, then it’s just my opinion. Road to Survival feels like a chore. It’s repetitive, unsatisfying, and ultimately, not fun. It’s the same cycle of events throughout the week, Level Ups, Raids, Survival Road, Arenas and Wars, with Hordes and Onslaught being thrown in once in a blue moon. Let’s be honest, Level Ups are not fun. In terms of enjoyment, it’s essentially the same as folding your laundry. Raids, Survival Road, Arenas, Hordes, and Onslaught share the same formula of doing the same thing over and over again. Wars are more fun, as it allows you to coordinate with your faction to help win against another faction. The increase in daily roadmaps does not help the game feel less like a chore. The repetition of these events can be excused if the rewards are satisfying enough for the player to feel the need to grind for them. Lately, the rewards have gotten worse, with the players receiving Red Velvet Cakes and Daoist Prayer Beads. With Red Velvet Cakes, you need a specific toon in order to get museum collectables for an S-Class, or 2 toons with Red Velvet Cakes to get an ascendable as well. Most of these toons have been difficult to get for the F2P, as the only way to get them were typically through previous War Wheels or from Premier Recruits, both of which being luck-based and/or spending-based. With Daoist Prayer Beads, the rewards include refills and S-Class collectibles, but the main reward is Zhu. It’s unknown if Zhu is an F2P toon or if he can only be obtained through spending, but the lack of knowledge certainly does not motivate me to attempt to get him, not to mention the fact that he’s not that useful of a toon. Sure, you don’t have to make this game a chore, but to do well in events and maintain a high league score you need to make this game a chore.
Deterioration of Rewards
Event rewards have significantly deteriorated over the months. Let’s start off with the “Whisperers Event.” This is an example of a good event, and it’s something that Scopely should do more often. The rewards were great, namely Michelle and coins. Players did not need to grind too much, but just needed to get over half of the milestones in tournaments and you would have enough collectables to obtain Michelle. The “Pathways Event” was another good, but incredibly grindy event, and while Piper was not as good as Michelle, the hundreds of Benedicts made the event worth it. If you were lucky enough, you could have obtained a lot of coins. The “Anniversary Event” was disliked by the playerbase because the rewards, including Sergio, were just bad. Not only were the rewards bad, but players who achieved all milestones in every event did not have enough tokens to redeem Sergio, meaning that F2P players could not obtain him. The “Typhoon Event” is alright. Like I said earlier, it’s hard to tell whether Zhu is F2P or not, and the stash rewards are mediocre at best.
To wrap it all up, and give a TL;DR I bring up the question and the purpose of this post once again, “Is there any point in playing anymore?” If you think that there is a point in playing, I would like to hear why. Road to Survival has been going downhill with no signs of stopping, especially with Scopely remaining to still be… well, Scopely. Scopely viewing the players solely as moneybags and the disrespect that they show towards us, the players, will not help them in their “attempts” at improving. I have no motivation to play a repetitive game with worsening rewards, especially one with a total lack of balance. Most importantly, I just don’t find the game to be as fun as it used to be. With all my points being made, I really struggle to find a point in continuing to play this game. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.