Recently, a couple things have occurred that led me to do some math and analyze LoS from the standpoint of spending money to boost creatures. This came about due to the conversations we have been having in my guild, as to which lineup would be best to focus attention on for dungeon battles (and how long it would take to get there). In addition, a recent player joined our guild who hadn't played in many months, and was checking out the current state of the game to see if he wanted to start playing again. He left soon after saying the game had changed and is just a "cash grab" now. Is LoS a "Cash Grab" game? Let's look at the numbers:
The best deal for spending money on in-game currency would be the 14500 diamonds for US$100. With dust being the rarest commodity in the game (aside from maybe legendary gems), we will use it to analyze the real-world cost of creating a top-tier lineup. The best deal for dust is the 5000 for 450 diamonds. That can be purchased 32 times for US$100 (14500 diamonds), giving a total of 160,000 dust in the process. To upgrade the abilities of an epic from level 7 to 10, it costs 72,500 dust, therefore to upgrade both abilities from level 7 to 10 would require 145,000 dust, leaving you 15,000 dust (or 1450 diamonds) left over. So for $100, you can basically upgrade both abilities for one epic creature the last 3 levels and have a little bit leftover to put towards the gold fee of upgrading those abilities. Keep in mind, this is looking at the math of a perfect scenario of only buying dust at the best value exchange of 450 diamonds for 5000 dust, which would take a very long time, due to how often that offer shows up in the shop. That means that 4 a lineup of 4 epics, you are easily looking at over a thousand US dollars to buy your way from level 1 to level 7/10/10. With legendaries, it would be considerably higher. In addition, even if you were willing to spend hordes of cash on this game, you still have to put plenty of time in just to get the dust from the shop and find the gems you need to get a top-tier lineup.
After looking at the numbers, it is clear to me that in this game, it is time-consuming and incredibly expensive to try and throw gobs of money at the game to quickly improve your team. In fact, there is no "quickly improving" your team -- it all takes time. Money will help speed up the process some and will help you purchase some of those hard-to-find items, like legendary gems and certain idol molds, but it will still take a while to get to the top (and gets expensive real fast -- 100 diamonds roughly equals US$1, so an idol mold that costs 6000 diamonds is US$60). There was plenty of discussion throughout the short history of the game how the developers are "just being greedy" with their decisions, or the game had too many "whales" who had paid to get their 7/10/10 legendary lineups. That is definitely not the case IMHO, and in fact, the whole dust/gold experiment that got so many of us frustrated and upset, was a necessary process so that the game could be set-up to avoid people coming in and paying their way to the top. I, for one, am very glad that it is so expensive to upgrade creatures, knowing that it is not economically feasible for 99.9% of the players to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade a handful of creatures. I think it's great that the developers have come up with a plan to keep the playing field fairly level, while still building in the opportunity for them to make their money and speed up the process of upgrading one's creatures, without letting it turn into a total "Cash Grab."
What are you thoughts?