First of all, I want to say congrats to the designers of this great game. It's innovative in TONS of ways, and really different from every other tcg I've played so far, a breath of fresh air in an ocean of MTG clones. And it even has great art! Perfect, really.
And then, there is the bussiness model...
There is a reason why this beautiful games fares so much worse than a game that's just a half-assed copy of WoW tcg (you know what I'm talking about...) and even WoW tcg isn't really innovative, when compared to MTG!
The main problem, is in my opinion, having both randomized cards and restricted trading. Every real-life tcg has randomized cards BUT they have trading, and as such, there are third-party markets when you can get the cards that you need for your deck, or you can just trade them with other players.
Opening a super-rare cool card is good even if you don't want it for your deck... Because you can trade it.
What makes things worse is that the mechanics of the game really favor having a full set of a given card insted of 1 or 2 copies (of course I'm talking about everything but grimoires).
Point cards don't make things better, the exchange ratios are absurd, so you can't rely on it unless you're a SUPER hardcore player.
And there's the problem: the way the "geek" market works. Basically "fans are going to pay anything, so let's just charge a LOT". Selling to a super-specific niche of people that is willing to pay waay too much. Everything, from comics, to manga, anime, tcg's, tabletop rpgs manuals... Is way overpriced. Crack is cheaper
This is preventing the fanbase from growing.
The free-to-play model is, also, in my opinion, flawed. The FM lottery selects from a very small subset of cards so you can't rely on it for expanding your collection, the point cards are overpriced so they really aren't viable, the only other 3 ways (level up, monday gran, and treasure cards) are available only if you win, which really throws off new players (that, by definition lack both skill and a good card pool, so they are going to mostly lose).
A good (from a marketing standpoint) free-to-play model keeps you wanting more, makes you want to play, it throws you virtual candy for playing (NOT just for winning), after every game you feel that you've acomplished something. That you're closer to your goal.
This is lacking in Alteil. Picture this situation: you play, lose, then you've only gotten 20 FM that you're going to save for the VERY expensive point cards that have absurd rates of exchange... For ONE card. That's right, you've acomplished nothing.
The gran-per-day for playing mirage master doesn't really change anything, it doesn't makes you want to play more. Hell, it's not even making you play the game itself.
Why not a set amount of gran every third game you play in the day, for example? Say:
Lose all games: 5 gran
Win 1: 10 gran
Win 2: 15 gran
Win 3: 20 gran
Or something along that lines...
So, in resume:
1) I love the game, it's REALLY good.
2) Randomness in card acquisition and no trading is not good. You can't have both.
3) Make it so that the player feels that he's advancing when he plays, even when he loses. That's the key to adictiveness, and adictiveness is the key to success. =)
Please don't hate along the lines of "you don't want to support the developers because you don't want to pay, so GTFO". =/
I'd love to support the developers but I'm:
-Young (19 years old), in college and living with my mom and my brother, so I don't really have money.
-I don't have access to credit cards (mobile payment would help me a lot).
-The conversion from dollars to pesos (the local currency) is reaally bad. 1 dollar = 4,5 pesos. So if I want to pay 10 dollars, I have to pay 45 pesos.
It's my opinion that a f2p player can also support the developers, I can tell people about the game, I can click ads. Having f2p players makes for a bigger player base. (And a bigger player base attracts more people).
That's why I think having a viable f2p model matters. =)
Well... that are just my opinions. Please don't hate.
What do you guys, think?