Sunday, December 4, 2011

Super Hero Squad Online's Paywall vs. Friendly

I’ve been playing the free-to-play Super Hero Squad Online game with my kids, and I think I’ve finally found the first big pay wall in content.

**UPDATE** If you read down in the comments, Alric Griffintamer showed me the error of my ways!! Apparently I had over looked a couple of things, and I HAVEN'T hit the pay wall after all . . . but that's ok . . . read on . . . you might find something interesting in this post. Thanks, Alric! **UPDATE**

The game is pretty fun actually. So far, the whole purpose of the game is to build a squad of Marvel's awesome, super-deformed-style superheros and level up your squad. You basically start off the game with four superheros, then by completing challenges, running missions, finding tokens, and doing other random stuff around the four zones of the world, you eventually earn silver and gold (which can be used to buy superheros) and unlock superheros by progressing through the game's main quest line, aka challenges.

Here's my current challenge progression screen.

And here's my current challenge progression screen with an explanation of what I need to do next.

Here's a picture of my current squad.

The problem there is the math. 8 heroes at max level of 11 each equals a total squad level of 88 when I need to get to 110. THEREFORE, I need at least 2 more heroes to reach my challenge objective.

**UPDATE** This is where I was wrong. Heroes have an innate Marvel Lore number that adds to your squad level and you receive +2 squad points when a character hits max level **UPDATE**

Now, I could play every day for a few months until I earned enough gold and silver to buy two more heroes. It would be perfectly possible to do this, but if I either purchased gold or joined with a membership, things would suddenly happen a ton faster. Why? Because members earn 500 gold off the bat and everyday their prize wheel repopulates with gold, thus making it extremely easy to pick off those low gold cost super heroes (like Plastic Man for 350 gold.)

Let’s review my options.
1- Buy only the 500 gold I need. Cost = $5
2- Subscribe for a month and buy as many low gold amount characters as possible. Cost = $10
3- Spend a lot of time earning tickets and spinning the pay wheel, logging in every day until I can finally earn around 700 gold to buy the two lowest costing characters and raise them to max level. (Time = priceless)

You can see where I'm going with this. The main problem here for me is that I can’t feel good about myself getting any of these things for "my" account without shelling out the same for my son’s account . . . that just wouldn’t be right . . . like at all. So, double the cost of all the above.

The next question for me would have to be, is it worth it?

At this point, it’s simply an easy, but fun, fighting and card game (love the card game) with a little running around in the four available zones thrown in (although necessary--collecting those hero tokens daily is the fastest way to level your squad with the least amount of effort). Social interaction is minimal with menu chat. I like the game! There's something carefree and fun about it that's got me and my kids hooked.

Now, if you're looking to build your own superhero instead of play a pre-made one, DC Universe Online’s free to play seems vastly vastly superior in just about every aspect . . . for an adult or teen . . . because after watching my son’s reaction as Superman was killed in the opening credits of DC Universe Online told me that we probably ain’t going there. Nah, we ain't going there, at least just yet. I felt really bad about that. It was pretty graphic and he had to cover his eyes and look away from the screen when it happend. :( Super Hero Squad Online is vastly vastly more kid and family friendly. :) In fact, comparing DC Universe Online to Super Hero Squad Online is no more than comparing ye' old apples and oranges cliche. dig?

Sooooo, this is the IRIDESCENT TIME HOUND, blasting my way to squad level 88 free-to-play style! I think we'll most likely subscribe for a month and unsubscribe the same month. /shrug

Any of you playing this game and have some advice? If you see me there, gimme a wave!

Happy Dueling!


Alric Griffintamer said...

Nope. Have you noticed the Marvel Lore number? You get that added the moment you earn a hero. Plus, max counts for 2 points. (I think) There ya go. The game is a great casual game once you get into it. I've had membership for a pretty long time and I'd say it's worth it.

Stingite said...

@Alric: Ohhhhhh! That's AWESOME NEWS!

I had no idea about the Marvel Lore number and that you get +2 for max level. That should put me right at 110. :)

Well, dang . . . where's the retract post button. LOL

Stingite said...

I've gone through the post and added a couple of Update notes. thanks again, Alric!