The Nexus Events fiasco: Loot boxes make their ill-fated debut in Marvel Snap
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For weeks now, the developers at Second Dinner have been promising players frustrated with the current state of the economy and progression in Marvel Snap to wait until all features have been added to the game before making any final determination. Well, with the release of Nexus Events, we now have another large piece of the economy’s puzzle in place and we can start to realistically calculate what it will cost to keep up with the game’s regular card releases. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot of money.
First off, what are Nexus Events? They are essentially a loot box that appears in the Shop for a limited time. You use Gold to purchase “pulls” with one pull costing 180 Gold. Each pull can be a common reward of Credits or Boosters, a Rare reward of an avatar or card art variant, or Super Rare reward of a new or featured card or card art variant. The current plan is to have two Nexus Events per month, which each containing one new card. Those new cards will only be available to acquire during the week the Nexus Event is live, after that they will go into Pool 3, but only after an eight week delay.
What this means is that unless you are content to remain two months behind the curve in terms of attaining the new cards, you are going to need to invest Gold into the Nexus Events. The question then becomes how much Gold is needed to realistically get those cards every time the Nexus Events roll around. And that’s where things get ugly.
Always Tell Me the Odds
The odds of acquiring a Super Rare reward is only 1.5%, which is obviously very low, but there is a pity timer of 50 pulls. So if you haven’t pulled a Super Rare after 49 pulls, you are guaranteed to get it on your 50th. That means pulling all four Super Rare rewards will take, at most, 200 pulls or 36,000 Gold. That is $450 USD in real world money. And, remember, there are two of these each month! So you are looking at potentially $900 USD a month to complete the Nexus Events. Yikes!
Now, if you don’t care about getting both of the card art variants, then the maximum amount of pulls needed to get just the cards themselves is 150. This is because you aren’t able to get a Super Rare variant without already having the base version. And if you already have the previously released card, you will need 100 pulls to get the newly released card. This brings the cost down to 27,000 Gold ($337.50 USD) or 18,000 Gold ($225 USD) per Nexus Event period, respectively.
Obviously luck will determine the actual cost of acquiring the new cards. You could get extremely lucky and get both cards in just two pulls! But for most people, you will often rely on the pity timer getting you the rewards you are looking for. And that could cost you roughly $450-$675 a month to get all the cards released from each Nexus Event period. That’s $5,400-$8,1000 a year! That is an absurd amount of money to expect people to spend on only two new cards a month.
Now, yes, you will receive a lot of additional Credits with that money spent and those Credits can go towards increasing your Collection Level. But if your goal is to get Credits, it’s much more efficient to just buy them directly. The average value of Credits you can expect from a single pull of a Nexus Event is 106. That’s an exchange rate of 106 Credits for 180 Gold. Or you can just buy the Credits directly in the shop and get 150 Credits for only 120 Gold. Which do you think most people are going to choose?
Nexus Events are Unsustainable
The end result is that if people feel that buying a Nexus Event is bad value, they just won’t buy it. And that is worrying for the long term health of the game. People are either going to get frustrated they can’t reasonably get the exclusive new cards from Nexus Events and quit; or they stick around but don’t spend any money on the game since they feel the value isn’t there. Either option isn’t great if we want the game to succeed and the developers to have the resources to continue supporting it.
Obviously, something with the Nexus Events needs to change. I just don’t see it being a viable way of releasing new cards in its current state. Either the drop rates need to increase or the amount each pull costs needs to change. Otherwise, its just not worth sinking your hard-earned Gold into and certainly not worth spending real money on.
The feedback from across the community has been overwhelmingly negative, so I have a feeling the developers will do something. I just hope it is enough and that, in the long run, this misstep will simply be a small bump in the road of largely successful game.
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