Just in case anyone wants my perspective, I am a player who doesn't plan on spending money (I will probably support the game if I stick with it and I come into disposable income, but not now). I started in April or so, and I got addicted pretty quickly. I greatly enjoyed the game, and for a few weeks it was great, until I left Crest Arena and got beaten heavily in Folrart. I don't care too much about winning most of the time, since I am here to have fun.
At the time, I felt horribly outclassed, going from an 80% win record to a 50% win record in about a week. About half of my losses were due to Elite Fencer completely ruining Falkow Starter, and that has been fixed, since I haven't seen it much after the errata. Whether my discouragement is simply because my skill level isn't up to par, or my cards truly put me at a monumental disadvantage, or simply the sudden shock of not winning every game twisting my perception, I can't say for sure. I hadn't given up entirely though, and I had planned to play MM and events where I don't bring my own deck for while to build up gran and eventually a card pool that can compete.
I created a second account as well, so if I save up gran on both of them, and one account gives me awful pulls, it wasn't a complete waste of time. I play MM on both, and I get the same point cards through both. This also gives me the option to try different strategies. My first account (this one, Tropicallo) is where I go to spend gran more for the short term. For example, I put some gran into the seasonal lottery to try to get some higher rarity cards when the picking was better. My second account will save up for the long term, and shoot for a buying strategy of filling out a full set, and to diversify.
Now I am here, with some Gran to spend and some Point Cards saved, and I am trying to get my skill back to see what I want/need. I wanted to share my review of the good and the bad that I have come across. I don't think my situation is uncommon. I even managed to have 3 or 4 friends play the game, and they all stopped when they couldn't play in Crest anymore. Any constructive comments, criticisms, and questions would be great.
1) Limited events (a Magic term for events where you don't have to bring your own deck) kept me playing the game through the summer. Since I wasn't playing the game every week, I lost a lot of skill, and did poorly. They are also spaced pretty far apart. I would like a small weekly event if there was any way to manage it. But it was fun to participate in the events, and may have kept me from just giving up on the game entirely.
2) Mirage Master gave me a means to feasibly stick with the game on the long term.
3) Certain events like 5of7 pay out enough point cards for participation to make it worth my time. Farming for FM for point cards seems like it wouldn't be worth the time, so these events are the only reason I have any point cards at all.
4) After basically restarting without Crest Arena, I feel less overwhelmed. This could be due to errata, due to a lack of overconfidence, due to me relearning strategy in a strong, more dynamic environment, or something else entirely. But taking a break instead of making a strict transition from small pond to big ocean seems to have helped.
1) Mirage Master feels like a chore. For the record, I'm quite good at memory puzzles in general. Every time the computer boots up, I go to Alteil to do my job. At times, it's very aggravating and I spend half an hour before I can earn my 15 Gran. It also gets harder as it goes along. I usually shoot for Advanced Master or 4-star, but after 2 tries there, I won't come anywhere near success, so I drop to Intermediate 4-star, which is usually just attrition until I get a pattern that doesn't guarantee a loss.
2) The randomness of the cards obtained may make all of my effort for naught. On my second account, I already have better high rarity cards. I played one battle during an increased treasure battle time, and won a Beast King/Rivera. I kind of want to make a magic doll deck of some kind eventually, and I managed to get 2 Scarlet Rose through the level-up card selector (My least favorite of the command dolls, but I'm not complaining). It is very likely that Tropicallo will get nothing noteworthy in the end. It is also likely that each account has half of a good deck, but no way to finish it out sufficiently. My suggestion to fix this would be a faster, more stable method than point cards to fill out my collection after I build bulk.
3) The forums are helpful at times, and unhelpful at other times. There is a lot of information to be had, but a lot of it is speculation or unhelpful ranting. Sifting through topics is a chore, and the search function only gets me where I want half of the time. It's a mixed blessing, take it at that.
In the end, I plan on sticking through it and working everything out. But for those of you who hit the 'Folrart Wall', I feel your pain. To those of you who are just starting out, don't take this as an ominous sign, but we aware that it may happen to you too. For those of you that are veterans or staff, I hope one person's insight can give you some perspective. Everyone is different, and this was only my experience so far, but I hope it helps.