Because you gotta gacha!
This post is part of a series on the mobile action RPG by Nintendo and Cygames, Dragalia Lost. For additional context, please read the earlier installments of this series.
Natalie Rambles About Dragalia Lost:
Chapter 1: Story and Aesthetics
Chapter 2: Systems, Gameplay, and Progression
Chapter 3: Quests, Events, and Endgame
Chapter 4: Summoning, Monetization, and Gacha
Chapter 5: Love, Loss, and Gripes
Chapter 6: Dragalia Digest and Developments
Note: This post was finalized on September 14th, 2020. Any changes to the systems, mechanics, and so forth announced or implemented after this date are not reflected in Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Chapter 4-1: Bang! Bang! Bang! Love and Buy!
So, in describing all of this gameplay, mechanics, and player-based progression systems, you might have forgotten that Dragalia Lost is technically a gacha game. Well, it is. While the principle progression system is predicated on the completion of quests, spending of stamina, collection of resources, and development of adventurers, dragons, wyrmprints, weapons, and facilities, players ultimately only have unfiltered access to a small pool of adventurers and a smaller pool of dragons in the game. And in order to get more of these two things, they need to spend summon vouchers, the freemium currency Wyrmite, or the premium currency Diamantium, to test their luck on summon showcases to expand their teams with laterally different, or directly superior, adventurers and dragons. Who I’m just going to call units for the sake of simplicity.
As is customary for the genre, what characters one receives via summoning, also known as pulling or drawing, is determined by a probability table that divides characters based on rarity, with rarity being denoted as 3-stars, 4-stars, or 5-stars. By default, players have a 80% chance of summoning a 3-star, 16% chance of summoning a 4-star, and a 4% chance of summoning a 5-star. All of which fluctuates and increases in accordance to a “pity rate,” where the chance of summoning a 5-star increases by 0.5% for every 10 times the player fails to summon a 5-star.
New adventurers are added to the player’s collection, where they can be used and developed as the player sees fit, but duplicate adventurers are exchanged for Eldwater, a valuable resource in unlocking adventurer mana circles, promoting 3-star and 4-star adventurers, and purchasing wyrmprints. 3-stars give 150 Eldwater, 4-stars give 2,200 Eldwater, and 5-stars give 8,500 Eldwater. Dragons meanwhile are simply added to the player’s collection, where they can be leveled up, unbound, or sold for Eldwater, the rate being identical to that of adventurers.
In order to summon, players need to select from an available showcase, also known as a banner, which has their own distribution of characters. Sometimes the showcase has a limited pool of characters, most often as part of an Elemental Focus. Sometimes they contain limited or seasonal characters that are not normally available, such as the Gala or Holiday-themed showcases. And just about all of them have featured 5-star adventurers and dragons who have a higher rate of appearing, which are THE things that players typically summon for.
You see, 3-star summons are so common and their numbers are so small, boasting 19 permanent adventurers and 15 dragons, that players should be able to complete their collection very quickly. 4-star summons, while far rarer, still have a fairly modest roster of only 10 permanent dragons and 44 permanent adventurers, who players should obtain all of within a few months of regular summoning. 5-stars, however, feature a pool of 65 permanent adventurers and 42 permanent dragons. Combine this with the default 4% appearance rate, and the fact that roughly 4 new permanent 5-star adventurers and 1 new dragon are added to the game every month, and it becomes increasingly difficult for players to summon any specific “off-focus” 5-star unit.
The low odds of summoning non-featured 5-star units and the fact each banner only runs for a limited amount of time goes to create a sense of FOMO, and while Dragalia does a good job of not locking content behind characters or dragons, there are a lot of reasons why one would want to summon a specific character. They have an aesthetic appeal in their artwork, 3D model, voice clips, and general personality. They have a mechanical appeal, with certain units being meta defining or crafted to efficiently tackle specific content, or just being fun to play in general. They have a narrative appeal, as each new unit brings with them an unlockable story. And of course, each new unit goes to further flesh out and develop one’s collection, so there is also a completionist appeal.
These appeals are what drive people to summon, and while Dragalia Lost is very generous with its free summoning currencies (Wyrmite and Vouchers), some players will inevitably spend money on the game by purchasing Diamantium for additional summons. This is how the gacha game genre has been persisting for well over a decade, and most games make the process of simply buying into the game’s economy very clear and seamless to spur impulsive spending decisions. But Dragalia Lost… doesn’t.
Chapter 4-2: Dollars and Diamantium
In gacha games, you typically purchase premium in-game currency in exchange for government-issued legal tender (real money) where there exists an exact exchange rate for the financially savvy player to calculate what the exchange rate is, and realistically how much money it costs per summon. This is typically indicated by a simple screen where the player can easily calculate the dollar per premium currency rate, and where buying the most expensive option is the best bang for their buck, as it were.
Dragalia Lost, however, lacks any such screen and instead offers players the ability to buy its premium currency, Diamantium, either directly or as part of a pack, where Diamantium is bundled with other materials. This might sound simple, but the game currently features 32 different permanent purchase options, 21 of which are packs, some of which can only be purchased a set number of times, and others operate on a weekly or monthly cycle. This instantly makes it confusing as to what the player should buy if they want premium currency, and damn near necessitates a spreadsheet in order to make an informed purchasing decision… that also highlights just how bad many of these packs are.
For example, the weekly Booster Packs offer materials that are only of value to early game players, can easily be obtained via farming, and are worth little once they enter the mid-game. The monthly Unbind Packs offer some valuable tools for progression, but really only the Mana Circle and Dragon packs are worth considering, as the materials they offer are limited and difficult to substitute. While purchasing Diamantium directly and in bulk offers one of the worst Diamantum per US Dollar ratios of any purchases available to the player.
This all begs the question of how players are supposed to monetarily engage with the game, and after staring at these numbers trying to make sense of them, I think the general logic here is this: The developers of Dragalia Lost want players to spend SOME money on their game, but not too much money, and they want that money to be spent REGULARLY. That is why the two best recurring ways of gaining Diamantium, the 7-Day Pack (Resources) and Featured Diamantium weekly deals (amounting to 1,355 Diamantium for $16.96), and while other options exist, they are mostly there in case players want to be big spenders. Or in cynical terms, I think Dragalia Lost does not want to be a game for ‘Whales’ who buy huge stashes of in-game resources, but rather ‘Dolphins’ who make small regular purchases.
Assuming this is indeed the intention, I respect this approach, as the absolute worst thing about the gacha game genre is how it financially DESTROYS so many people. On the other… The shop is in no way designed around this and is this horribly segmented mesh of options that make it hard for players to monetarily engage with the game, rather than allowing them the simple option of buying premium currency and then allowing them to spend the premium currency.
I don’t think the ideas behind the shop are terrible, they just need to be culled, reorganized, and redistributed to be more approachable to players by limiting their options and making the exchange more beneficial to the player. Weekly and monthly packs ought to be removed, the direct Diamantium per dollar exchange rate ought to be adjusted to better incentivize players who want to spend a lot, and overall it should be easier for players to enter the premium ecosystem of Dragalia Lost, instead of needing to weigh and compare so many options.
I say limit the monetary transactions to the limited packs (or Starter Packs), the 7-Day Pack (Resources), the featured weekly Diamantium deals, the ability to buy Diamantium in bulk at a better rate (perhaps 60 Diamantium per dollar instead of ~50), and whatever limited packs are ongoing. This would nearly half the amount of transactions presented to the player and make it easier for players to assign a dollar value to the things they purchase.
Plus, you would not need to split things up between four screens, and could pretty much keep them all contained in one main screen, with the Starter Packs, 7-Day Pack (Resources), and Limited Packs all presented on top before the Diamantium, as they are typically the better deals with regards to Diamantium per dollar.
Chapter 4-3: Diamantium and Summoning
Okay, so you bought the Diamantium, you have the premium currency, and now the question is how one should use it… which is not as simple as just summoning, as Dragalia Lost presents a plethora of fragmented and eclectic options on how players can spend Diamantium. But let’s start with just summoning.
Okay, so you bought the Diamantium, you have the premium currency, and now the question is how one should use it… which is not as simple as just summoning, as Dragalia Lost presents a plethora of fragmented and eclectic options on how players can spend Diamantium. But let’s start with just summoning.
At its basic level, Diamantium is a 1:1 replacement for Wyrmite, and players can spend 120 on a single summon, or 1,200 on a tenfold summon. However, players have access to a Daily Deal where they can use 30 Diamantium to perform one summon. Which is a good way to keep players engaged with summoning, but because the goal of summoning for most experienced players is getting featured units, its purpose has become somewhat confused, as the odds of getting featured units with Daily Deals is incredibly low, due to how short the most valuable showcases durations are. So I guess this can mostly be seen as a way of getting a dip of Eldwater. Which, admittedly, is a valuable resource always in demand.
But generally speaking, I think the idea of spending Diamantium on summoning is… just the worst. It is the act of spending a converted version of legal tender on the chance of getting a rare and useful unit in a video game, and while you always get SOMETHING from this investment, there is no CERTAINTY, there is always a RISK that what you spent your money on will not be wanted. And maybe it’s because I am a risk-averse accountant who has been cataloging her finances since she was 16, I cannot condone anybody to actually spend Diamantium for summoning unless they think it is worth the worst possible outcome. Which would be spending increments of 120 (or 30) Diamantium on increments of 150 Eldwater.
However, those are merely the permanent ways one can use Diamantium for summoning, as there are also the increasingly common Platinum Showcases, where players can spend 1,200 Diamantium on a Tenfold summon with one guaranteed 5-star unit from a predetermined list. This, like regular summoning, represents a risk of getting something the player did not want, but at least presents a solid guarantee and a worst-case Scenario of spending 1,200 Diamantium on 9,850 Eldwater. Unless the player doesn’t have any of the featured 5-star units, in which case they are a guaranteed new unit, who might be worth 1,200 Diamantium. But there is still a risk of an unfavorable outcome for most.
I would say that the only way summoning and Diamantium could work well together if there is a guarantee like this. And, much to my surprise, there is. Dream Summon Specials are showcases held every few months where players can spend 1,200 Diamantium on any permanent unit of their choosing, along with a bonus tenfold summon voucher. This is a wonderful deal, as it lets players get exactly what they want, and allows them to address the billowing sense of wanting they might feel when they miss a featured 5-star unit. If anything, I think the game should be filled with these specials because they are so much more pro-player than anything else in the game. But instead, they are only hosted every few months.
I would personally be delighted to see these specials become a monthly thing, as they are a great way for new players to catch up with the most OP and meta units, and an excellent way for veterans to polish up their collections. However, some could say that if they were too common, then people would keep using and buying them and not spending their Diamantium on summoning. However, these specials would still be limited, still be slower than the output of new characters, and not include Gala, Seasonal, or Collab characters. But fine, if this is too generous, I have another suggestion:
Have monthly specials where players can spend 1,200 Diamantium on one unit amidst a small pool of adventurers and dragons instead of all the permanent ones. This is quantifiably worse than a Dream Summon Special, but players can still choose a unit to add to their collection by buying them. It’s really not an unfamiliar concept for a lot of free-to-play live services like this, and I think many players would take advantage of such a special if it featured a unit they wanted, but lacked. Otherwise, they’d need to rely on the gacha to snag an on-meta 5-star waifu or dragon.
I know the idea of buying the specific thing you want is somewhat antithetical to the idea of a gacha game, but this is something that Dragalia Lost already does, does well, and I wish it did more often. Because I like this game, want to spend money on it, and want to do so through a risk-free transaction like this. Although, if I really wanted that, I suppose I could just spend Diamantium on other things.
Chapter 4-4: Diamantium and Resources
Aside from summoning, you can spend Diamantium on quite a lot in Dragalia Lost, but for the most part, you would never want to. It is a waste to spend it on anything that Wyrmite or something else can do, such as upgrading weapon, dragon, and wyrmprint storage. And it should never be used to revive during a quest or to rush a facility to completion. But focusing on the offerings of the slop, let’s go over what is currently available.
Elemental Tomes: These are used to unlock shared skills with Adventurers and are occasionally distributed as part of events and log-in bonuses. While shared skills are a handy mechanic throughout the game, players start out with an ample roster of useful ones from characters obtained throughout the story, and there are only a few truly worth the investment due to what they bring to the table mechanically. But hey, it’s nice that they’re here as an option, and the price is at least mostly reasonable since you do get a permanent upgrade out of it.
Talonstones: These materials are used to upgrade various dragon-related facilities and are rather hard to grind for, so it makes sense for these to be sold via the shop like this, as players are constantly running low on Talonstones. However, you ultimately need 8,932 of these things to upgrade every facility, 1 Talonstone costs 30 Diamantium, and you can get a wide variety of them for free just by being patient, waiting until they are distributed as part of various events, playing High Dragon Trials, and by boosting bonds with dragons. Speaking of which…
Four-Leaf Clovers: These items are used to boost the player’s bond with various dragons in exchange for extended shapeshift time and various materials offered as rewards, most notably other Talonstones. However, every single day players have the ability to boost their dragon bonds by 3,800 or 4,000 points in exchange for a paltry sum of Rupies. Meanwhile, each Four-Leaf Clover only boosts the bond by 1,000 points, and they are priced at 30 Diamantium a pop.
Skip Tickets: These are a gacha genre staple that curbs the grind and tedium of daily and repeat quests by letting players skip through them and get all associated rewards. They are ultimately time savers, and players are provided with six of them upon logging in each day. As such, there really is no good reason to ever purchase them, even if they only cost 10 Diamantium per ticket.
Astral Pieces: These items are normally earned just by completing quests and are used to partake in Astral Raids held during weeks where there are no ongoing raid events. Players can only hold a maximum of 300 of these things, and they can be converted into 50 wyrmprint augments and 50 adventurer augments by defeating the Master difficulty of the respective Astral Raid boss. This serves as one of the most reliable ways for players to obtain a large sum of augments, though they are also obtained as regular drops in certain Void Battles, the High Dragon Trials, and the Agito Uprising.
Or in other words, buying Astral Pieces is basically buying augments, which is a rather sensible inclusion, as augments provide a significant boost in HP and strength when equipped. However, the pricing scheme for the Astral Pieces is… broken. Every week, you can buy 300 Pieces for 300 Diamantium, 120 Pieces for 1,000 Diamantium, and 60 Pieces for 100 Diamantium. While there is a logic to buying 300 Astral Pieces for 300 Diamantium, the other options are so outlandishly laughable that I simply refuse to acknowledge them as anything other than an unintended mistake by the developers who forgot how math worked for a hot minute. Overall, I do not mind this idea, but I think weekly augment packs would be more direct and sensible.
7-Day Pack (Double Bonus): In Dragalia Lost, players are given daily and weekly bonuses for tackling certain content as a means of incentivizing regular play and keeping players coming back to the game day after day. This pack simply takes this existing bonus and gives you twice as many of the resources you would normally receive. While this is a seemingly useful boon that allows the player to get more by playing less, it does little to justify its 500 Diamantium price tag next to an alternative that costs just as much.
30-Day Pack (Recovery): This pack grants the player the ability to collect 120 stamina and 12 getherwings on a daily basis, allowing them to take on more content in a day for a whole 30 days. I consider this to be the most useful thing players can routinely do with Diamantium, as it lets them do significantly more in the game. However, a similar effect can be achieved by simply using items like Honey and Ethon Ashes, which players can obtain a surplus of during certain events. Still, you are getting quite a lot when you do the math, and if you are trying to tackle a bunch of content and expedite your progress throughout the game, or just get extra grinding in, this is a pretty solid investment.
After all, stamina is arguably the most valuable resource in the game, as it can be used to gather and accumulate most other resources. Agito materials, HDT materials, Tier 4 orbs, augments, Draconic Essences, and the laundry list of resources need to upgrade facilities. And if materials can be obtained in this manner, I honestly see little reason why the developers should even bother making them available for sale. Because so long as players have the Might and stamina, then they can get as many of these materials as they want.
But in highlighting this, I am broaching the question of what players cannot reliably and readily farm by repeating existing quests, and the answer is pretty simple. Eldwater, 5-star unbinding items, and Rainbow Orbs. Technically, players can grind for these items through certain means, but they are resources that I see players routinely mention having a shortage of. When there is a shortage, there is a demand, and when there is a demand, it makes sense to supply and sell something to fit that demand.
As such, I think all the Diamantium shop really needs, aside from a redesign, is the introduction of ways to buy these elusive materials. I could easily see the developers introducing the option to purchase all of these for, say, 500 Diamantium, as that is a nice even number, and making them available as part of weekly deals. So that players who want to max out their brand new 5-star dragon can do so relatively quickly, and can get all the elusive materials they need to max out a new character’s Mana Spiral within a 7-day period.
These all seem like basic concepts to me, but in all honesty, I am just talking straight out of my ass and playing armchair monetization designer as I make these suggestions and make spreadsheets comparing the current options available to players and what I think would be better. But the basic gist of this whole segment is that I think the developers could do a better job of profiting from their playerbase while giving them exactly what they want. And as somebody who peeking over into the community, diving into the subreddit, watching a couple of YouTubers, and sticking my head in a Discord or two, I think I have a decent idea of what people might want.
Chapter 4-5: Summoning Solutions
So, where was I? Right, I just went on a tirade about how this game is monetized, but that was inspired by the… summoning system! Okay, so the summoning system in Dragalia Lost is honestly pretty standard, what with its rarity rates, distribution, and pity system. However, it is also running into the same problems that many other long-running gacha games encounter with their summoning pool. But rather than just describe the problems wholesale, I have been thinking about this subject in-depth for a while now and came up with some solutions to Dragalia’s summoning-related problems that I consider to be quite reasonable.
Problem #1: 5-Star dragons are so plentiful in the current summoning rotation (42 permanent, 7 limited, and 2 collab) that it can be difficult for players to obtain non-featured dragons via summoning, let alone extra copies for unbinding.
Solution #1: The developers introduced Draconic Essences in July 2020 to allow players to unbind a pool of 15 5-star dragons through the use of a newly introduced and limited yet farmable item. I think these were a wonderful addition to the game, and have been steadily using them to expand my roster of usable dragons. However, Draconic Essences are of no current use to players unless they have their corresponding dragon. I propose a method of using Draconic Essences to obtain the dragon they represent, via Treasure Trade, so that players can more easily obtain and use these 5-star dragons.
Seeing as how it takes 50 Draconic Essences to unbind a dragon a single time, I believe that 100 Draconic Essences would be a reasonable requirement to redeem a new copy of each dragon. But the first redeemable copy should only cost 5 Draconic Essences, so players can more readily obtain a single copy of every dragon. In following the format established by other Treasure Trade dragons, such as the Greatwyrms and the Void Fafnirs, I believe that only 4 copies of these dragons should be obtainable through this method, as players have no use for more than 4 of them.
After this method is introduced, all dragons with their own Draconic Essence should be removed from all future summon showcases. For players who have not obtained or fully unbound these dragons, this represents an opportunity for them to do so, as Draconic Essences are a permanent item that players can obtain 6 of every day. And for players who have obtained and fully unbound these dragons, they have greater odds of summoning something new from a smaller pool of 5-star dragons.
Problem #2: 5-Star adventurers are so plentiful in the current summoning rotation (65 permanent, 29 Limited, and 9 collab) that it can be difficult for players to obtain non-featured adventurers via summoning.
Solution #2: The 5-star adventurer roster is growing every month, and it will only become harder and harder to obtain off-focus units going forward unless the pool is limited. The Elemental Focus Showcases have attempted to address this problem, featuring roughly a fifth of the full 5-star roster, but this does not truly address the problem. In order to lower the size of the 5-star roster, I propose that several members of the roster be demoted from 5-stars to 4-stars and be moved to the 4-star summoning bracket.
I previously discussed how promotion works in Chapter 2-2, and how it was largely a way to unlock the limiter on characters, raising their level caps and allowing players to fully upgrade them to 50 (or 70) mana nodes. The rarity of a character, and whether they are promoted, does not change anything significant about the character, and simply limits their potential to be upgraded until the player spends Eldwater on promoting them. As such, I think and hypothesize that it would be relatively easy for the developers to create lower rarity versions of existing units.
For players who do not have the demoted adventurers, obtaining new copies will enable them to more easily broaden their collection, as 4-stars are statistically easier to obtain than 5-stars. And for players who already have these demoted adventurers, this changes nothing about their collection, and only increases their odds of summoning from a smaller pool of 5-star adventurers. Players without these adventurers will need to promote them in order to obtain them at their original form and level of Might, which will cost them the usual price of 25,000 Eldwater, but they will have an easier time of getting them in the first place.
As for which 5-star adventurers should be demoted to 4-stars, I have no preferences. I suppose it would make the most sense for launch and year one adventurers to be demoted first, as the playerbase is most likely to have them, but any random grab bag of 5-star adventurers would be similarly effective.
Problem #3: The summoning probability rate in Dragalia Lost weighs 3-stars above all others at a rate that is higher than many other gacha games. It limits the amount of Eldwater players get by summoning, makes the process of diversifying one’s team early on more difficult, and just makes summoning less interesting, as 80% of the time, you are going to see the same 34 units.
Solution #3: The current base summoning rates for Dragalia Lost are 80% for 3-stars, 16% for 4-stars, and 4% for 5-stars. And while I would LOVE to see the base 5-star rate increased, it is far more reasonable, and cost-effective, for the 4-star rate to increase to a higher percentage, while the 3-star rate decreases accordingly. I propose that the appearance rates for 3-stars be lowered to 70% while the appearance rates for 4-stars be raised to 26%.
Doing so would make it easier for new players to obtain 4-star adventurers and dragons, make it easier for all players to accumulate Eldwater, and overall improve the summoning experience, as players feel like they are getting more value with each summon. Because, statistically speaking, they definitely will be.
The only issue I foresee with a change such as this is that tenfold summons will become less valuable, as tenfold summons offer one guaranteed 4-star unit. However, I would argue that does not matter, because players do not summon for 4-stars in the vast majority of cases, and that is not why they prefer tenfold summons. They prefer those because of how the pity system works. Because whatever your appearance rate was at the start of the tenfold carries over for the entire tenfold. As opposed to resetting with every summon, like when summoning singles.
Problem #4: The developers of Dragalia Lost have not added a new non-5-star dragon to the game since Halloween Silke on October 17, 2018. This makes the pool of 4-star dragons limited and generally uninteresting.
Solution #4: The reason why more 4-star dragons are not added to Dragalia is because players are supposed to move past them quickly and onto 5-stars. And unlike with adventurers, 5-star dragons are almost universally better than 4-stars… at least once they are unbound. However, I do believe there is enough room for a total of 15 unique 4-star dragons, all with the same basic abilities and niche across all elements. Have a dragon that boosts strength by 45%, a dragon that boosts HP by 45%, and a third dragon that boosts strength and HP by 20%. This was what the developers seemed to be working towards when Dragalia Lost launched, but… then they stopped adding new 4-stars a month after launch.
I mean, as a 13-month player, I probably would not use any of these new dragons, but I would like to see the roster evened out a bit.
Problem #5: It sucks that players can summon and summon while trying to get a certain featured 5-star character, but walk away with nothing after investing hundreds of summons.
Solution #5: I have seen many people look at this problem and immediately identify the solution as being a “Sparking system.” This is a reference to GranBlue Fantasy, another Cygames mobile gacha fantasy RPG live service, which has a resource called “Cerulean Sparks” that are earned every time a player summons within a promotional period. One spark is earned with every summon, and 300 sparks can be exchanged for one featured unit.
As a mechanic, I am of two minds about it. On one hand, it could easily justify players into spending a large sum of money as they reach the 300 Cerulean spark limit. But on the other hand, they get exactly what they want when they reach said limit, which I like. And as somebody who spent ~500 summons on a Gala Cleo back in July 2020, I definitely would have appreciated a feature such as this. Even if that was a pretty good summoning session beyond that. I got 9 copies of Gala Mars, and 10 new adventurers
That being said, I think 300 might be a bit too steep for such a feature, and given Dragalia Lost’s more generous nature with regards to resources, I think the sweet spot would be closer to 250, or maybe even 200. Sure it sounds crazy, but Dragalia Lost got where it is today by being so darn generous, and that would be pretty on-brand for the title as a whole.
Problem #6: Sometimes the developers split a Summon Showcase into two parts. This makes it difficult for players to get the newly featured units, as they need to divide their summoning resources across multiple places in order to get multiple new characters.
Solution #6: Okay, this is something that was sporadically seen throughout Dragalia Lost from 10/31/2019 until 5/12/2020. Since then, the developers have not held any split summon showcases and hopefully will never do one ever again. Not only was it anti-player, but it got utterly disgusting near the end during the 2020 Fire Emblem event.
- On 4/20/20, they released a rerun showcase for the 2019 Fire Emblem event, which featured 3 collab adventurers who may never return to the game.
- On 4/24/20, they released a Gala Dragalia for Gala Mars, the best dragon in the game at the time of his release, and arguably still the best dragon 5 months later, but is only available via Gala showcases.
- On 4/30/20, they released part one of a showcase for the new 2020 Fire Emblem event, which featured 2 collab adventurers who may never return to the game.
- On 5/4/20, they released part two of a showcase for the new 2020 Fire Emblem event, which featured a single collab adventurer who may never return to the game.
I still don’t know how I managed to get through these showcases with 4 of the 6 collab adventurers and a copy of Gala Mars, but that arrangement was so terrible that I am almost stunned that people were not shunning Cygames for such a dirty practice. But hey, that’s all in the past now.
Problem #7: As Dragalia Lost has been ongoing, it has introduced 22 units, along with several valuable wyrmprints, that are only available on a seasonal basis. This creates an economy of haves and have nots, as players who failed to obtain these units and items outside of predetermined intervals, some of which only happens annually.
Solution #7: The developers actually addressed this issue once before by making Valentine’s themed variants for Hildegarde, Ezelith, and Orion permanent units one year after their February 14, 2019 debut. However, this remains the only time the developers have done such a thing, when I think that is a mistake. I propose establishing the precedent that seasonal units will be added to the permanent a set amount of time, such as one year, after their initial debut. That way the new units will still spark the flames of FOMO something fierce, but players who miss out on these units will have the many opportunities to get them at a later date.
I also want to clarify that when I am referring to seasonal units, I am not referencing units available as part of collabs or a Gala. While I would love to see those become permanently available additions, collabs cannot be permanent content due to the agreements they are founded on. Meanwhile, the developers have actually been doing a good job distributing Gala units as part of semi-monthly Gala Dragalia showcases.
Problem #8: While there is always a summon showcase for players to pursue and spend resources on, just about any player of the game will tell you to hold out on summoning anything until the next Gala Dragalia. These are special showcases held with a default appearance rate of 6% for 5-star units and are the only way to obtain exclusive Gala adventurers and dragons. This is enticing on its own, but as of late, Cygames has only been encouraging this mindset. As of June 29th, 2020, no new summonable units in Dragalia Lost have debuted outside of a Gala Dragalia, and as of July 2020, every month has been home to two Gala Dragalias. Because of this, knowledgeable players have little incentive to summon on any other banner.
Solution #8: …Damn, dude. That’s a real toughie. Well, if you make Gala Dragalia showcases less common, players will be mad and will keep saving their summoning for the next Gala Dragalia, seasonal summon showcase, or collab showcase. In order to incentivize more diverse summoning, the developers would need to offer something different than just a regular boilerplate showcase. And while they have been trying to satiate players with Dragon Specials and Elemental Focus, they simply cannot compare, as they do not offer anything truly special, and the base appearance rates for 5-stars are only 4%.
There’s gotta be something that can be— Wait I’ve got it! Boost the appearance rate of featured units! Instead of making featured 5-star adventurers appear .5% of the time, have them appear .75% of the time. And instead of making featured 5-star dragons appear .8% of the time, have them appear 1.2% of the time! That way players have a better chance of getting featured units than they would on even a Gala Showcase! Sure, your chance of getting 5-stars, in general, is lower, but if you really want featured units on what would otherwise be considered filler showcases, this would be every player’s best chance.
Or maybe just do a Prize Showcase again. They did one of these back in December 2019, and it was “freakin’ amazeballs.” Because in addition to summoning new units, players would receive resources and items for each summons. And even in the worst-case scenario, the resources received were still something valuable. You had leveling resources, stamina, items usually only obtainable via events, and even 5-star unbinding materials. I honestly wish the showcase wasn’t in the middle of so many others, because you could make an argument that it was among the best in the entire game.
…So, yeah. Maybe alternate between those two ideas and Galas and… maybe that will fix the problem. I dunno. This one is super tricky, and these were the best alternatives I had. Feel free to shout me out in the comments below and tell me how you’d fix these problems.
Also, for the record, I have only spent $28 (plus tax) on Dragalia Lost when I bought the Beginner’s Pack and Trials Pack. But I’m definitely gonna spend an extra $20 to $50 when they get those wet hot anniversary specials. My wallet is ret-2-go!
But before I discuss the second anniversary special, I have some extra baggage that I need to air out… in Chapter 5!