One improvement that would work wonders for new players would be a way to get triples of a card:
Say you had a "triple lottery": get 3 random identical cards for 40 (or more) Gran.
In the long run, that lottery isn't as efficient as the normal lottery, but in the short run, the newbie gets to actually modify his deck.
Reason behind this: level-up cards and the lottery are nice, but they rarely give triples (or even doubles) of a card, and so many units don't work as singles (or don't work nearly as well) that the newbie rarely gets a chance to incorporate his acquisitions into his File, and he steps into Folrart with something that still greatly ressembles the starter.
This, this, this, this, this. Forget about increasing the rates or lowering prices. This is the thing we need to do with the game. I'm not sure if this is the way I would go about it, but we need some way to get triples of cards easier, especially rare cards.
This idea would work.
Another idea is implementing some sort of system to "duplicate" a card of your choice. Maybe something that gives you a second card of your choice for a certain amount of gran/FM. And half that price to get a third copy. I'm not setting a price, because it should be different for different rarities
Note: people still need to spend and endure the random to get those first copies. However, they can then divert their attention to auto-getting these second and third copies.
But you're not offended by winning only because you have access to a lot more (and vastly more powerful) cards.
Yet, that's a bigger handicap in your favor than the newbie would get in Pancake's suggestion.
Anyone else smelling some hypocrisy in the air?
Not at all. Believe it or not, I was new too at one point, and being able to eventually figure out a good strategy and challenge and beat some of the top players was certainly a very satisfying experience. Would have been the complete opposite if I had won because of a handicap.
Also, back in set 3, my top file was essentially a mod-Gowen starter, so its not necessarily true that you need those super rare cards to beat "vets" or be on the same level as them.
Finally, the honest truth is that new players don't lose because of lack of cards as much as they lose from lack of experience. The game is all about prediction and strategy. A perfectly played starter (especially lawt-gowen) can be quite scary.
Plus, its not like I haven't earned those cards as well. I didn't just press a handicap button to give me all of them.