Warhammer: Chaos and Conquest Guide: Game imbalance


Broken – by design

I won’t comment much on the PvP mechanics that aren’t simply unbalanced, they are clinically, certifiably, psychotically insane. A level 20 can crush a level 10 with less effort than stepping on an ant, a level 30 can crush an entire alliance of 50 lower players. If you play, you already know this, if you don’t play, if you don’t believe me, feel free to find out the hard way.

You are talking about a game that considers £2,000 a “micropayment”. About wealthy players willing to pay hundreds, even thousands of pounds a month to “win” a “free to play” game. Wallet warriors, eh. Whatever makes you happy.

I firmly believe the studio, the developers could and should code some of this out as a deterrent. It won’t stop it all, but at present the developers – by design – actively encourage and reward high level players for crushing new players. This I find baffling ‘cos it can only destroy the player base. All they have to do is toss in diminishing rewards, less points, even negative points for attacking a player several levels lower.

The way I see it, they make their money by you struggling, suffering, or you paying to advance in the game so you don’t suffer, but others do, at your hands. It is, as I say, psychotic, certainly sociopathic.

Here’s how it goes:
Player A zeroes and tiles play B, taking all their resources, getting points, experience and potentially £100 worth of warpstone (‘cos leaderboard can reward up to 35,000 warpstone).

Player B now has no troops, no resources, no defences and must beg from allies, or farm. But they can’t farm because they need resources to heal (which can take hours, days, months, even a whole year, depending on your level). Maybe they heal enough to gather a bit, just to try to recover. And get tile hit by the same person, again (and again, and again). It does happen.

So, player B has two options:
Either quit the game (sometimes to the delight of player A who – with the tacit permission of the studio – has openly stated that such is their intention).

Toxic pay to winners

Or buy enough resources and power-ups to rebuilt their army. You are, of course, talking tens, hundreds, many thousand pounds for this. The developers welcome your cash. All you can afford, and if you can’t afford it, so what, all sales are final. No refunds. Complaints or queries are met with jeers of ‘buyers remorse’ and openly, nastily mocked by the pay-to-win brigade. (Watched by quietly nodding developers in the Discord channels).

All transaction are final. No refunds, ever.

Welcome to Free to play, Pay to Win.

(Yes, I’ve ignored the expensive fortress shields which you can earn, or BUY, but if you are permanently shielded, you are not really playing PvP, hmmm).



The game has bigger problems though!

Below are three short videos relating to the ‘Great Unclean One’ Ritual Completion Event. I have spoken about these insane hikes in the game elsewhere, below they are highlighted in video form. Frankly, the best way to “win” this game is to get a keep to level 7 and stay there, indefinitely. Impose your own cap.

This is the ‘Great Unclean One’ event as seen at levels 7, 10 and 18. The different is telling. It isn’t just this event though, as I noted on the events page, it’s all events.

The difference can be 100x more difficulty, more EXPEN$IVE to achieve at higher levels – for the same rewards. Hunted Cows’ Warhammer Chaos and Conquest is the only game I have ever encountered that actively pushes levelling – and punishes you when you do.

It’s a pay to win game that makes all it’s money from high-level players. So, coincidence, or by design. You decide!

The first fortress below, level 7, is only 3 days old, it already has over 7,000 warpstone. With no effort it added the epic warlord to the account. No money was spend on this account, though the fortuitous timing of the game’s anniversary did boost its funds.

The achievement only needed 30,000 points, as you can see.

The next fortress, level 10, 27 days old, was sat on over 42,000 warpstone, over 60,000 when I closed the accounts a few days later, tired of the game. Again, as you can see, no money was spend on the game. It had nearly 100 gold achievements when I deleted; I was going to go for 500 gold achievements in 4 months but the game – by design – is so toxic it was starting to depress me.

The achievement now needs 160,000 points, in 48 hours – which can only be achieved by boosting. (Farming constantly, or paying, cash).

The final one, a few months old, is a level 18 fortress. Shielded, permanently, of course. Most events are depressingly hard in not impossible to achieve a at gold level without spending hundreds of pounds a week, every week. So you just grind, aimlessly, pointlessly. You can feel your soul withering playing this game by this point!

The achievement – for the same reward – now needs 1.25m point which – as can be seen in the video – would takes MONTHS of training – unless you spend somewhere over £500 to speed it. And another £500 for the next event, and the next, and the next. Or be fodder, to be farmed by the high-level ‘pay to win’ at any cost brigade.

£500 for one event in a ‘free to play’ game – that is effortless at level 7, hard at 8, and effectively impossible by level 18.

These mammoth jumps are every 5 levels, occurring at 8, 13, 18, 23, and 28. If you are not aware of them (and even if you are) they are so demoralising that you just want to walk away from the game. (Which indeed I did, leaving this guide incomplete, not worth any more effort or time.)

But you put so much time, effort and perhaps cash that you push on. Right? No, you walk away. Google ‘Sunk cost fallacy games’ and you’ll understand. I have covered it in this section too.

The game is completely, unashamedly, a cash grab. They do not care about you, they do not care about the game, you are just cattle to be milked.

You might also want to Google ‘cognitive dissonance games’. Essentially it’s about beliefs, thoughts and feelings if you prefer, you can have the easy lie, or the uncomfortable truth, most people prefer the easy lie (hence religion, gaming addiction and many other contrary systems).

cognitive dissonance an easy lie verse uncomfortable truth

If you genuinely like games like this, genuinely enjoy throwing all your time and money to “win”, fair play, but if you are trying to convince yourself and failing, and keep playing just ‘cos, well, that’s cognitive dissonance at work.
(Though it says an uncomfortable amount about your personality if you are happy to pay to gleefully, gloatingly crush people though, hmmm.)

The problem – perhaps – isn’t the game but what’s missing in your life for you to get immersed in it to the exclusion or cost of everything else in your life.

The problem though is the developers, the studio, the publisher, even the IP holders KNOW this too, and are using it and other psychological ‘tricks’ and hooks to keep you playing as long as possible.

Warhammer Chaos and Conquest could be a great PvE game, for completists, but as a wholly unbalanced cash grab, no.

If, like me, you are getting uncomfortable in the game, cave all your highest troops, discard all your defences, turn all your warp into resources, give the lot away, and delete the game.

If you haven’t started playing, by all means try it, but bear everything I’ve said in mind.

~ Ack

Ack

Been playing with computers since the stone age, online since the '80s, and developing websites since the '90s.

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