Earlier this week, the popular mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes brought The Mandalorian (Beskar Armor) to the game in an event that seemed like a total home run.
From it being a popular and powerful character, to it being permanently available in the Journey Guide, to it featuring requirements that actually make logical sense, to it having very reasonable gear expectations, to them doing additive cantina drops for some of those characters, to the event itself being incredibly well-done – it was terrific. The only drawback was that the drop rate for those cantina drops is so laughably low that one almost wonders why they even bothered doing it, but since the game has rarely made farming characters easy, this is frustrating but not too much of a surprise.
Simply put, this was one of the very best events this game has ever done.
And Capital Games (CG) deserves a lot of credit for that, because quite frankly, this game has been in a really dark place for the last couple of years. With little content and even less communication, the relationship between the studio and its playerbase was completely shattered. In recent months, with some fresh leadership and actual effort, it seems like the game has made tons of strides forward in all areas, but especially in content and communication. The last couple of months have been some of the best months we’ve gotten in this game in years – and that’s not an exaggeration.
But all of that is what makes their latest actions, right on the heels of such a great event, so disappointing.
Here’s the situation. Galactic Challenges are the big new thing for this game content-wise, even though they’ve been nowhere near what players expected. It’s a work in progress, and it seems that CG recognizes that. But basically you complete tiers and earn rewards that are often mostly lackluster. Recently, they changed the reward structure so that you earn a series of tickets for completing various feats, and the rewards at the end of the event are based on how many tickets you acquire.
Well, this weekend, the Galactic Challenge includes this feat on all seven tiers: “Win a battle with The Mandalorian (Beskar Armor) in your squad.” That means that unless you have the Beskar Mandalorian – which only released a few days ago – you will automatically not be able to earn 21 of the tickets. And that means that it is literally impossible for you to earn the highest reward crate.
In other words, with this move, CG has literally made success in Galactic Challenges a pay-gate only available to whales.
I think Riphraff over on the SWGOH subreddit had the absolute perfect post to describe this:
Now, some of you might be thinking that this isn’t such a big deal, since the people who paid for Mando deserve better rewards. But it really doesn’t seem like Galactic Challenges should be that pay-wall gate. It’s already a relatively exclusive event simply via the fact that you need high gear levels in order to complete all the tiers (and by the way, the fact that this happened during a Galactic Challenge for Resistance is surely infuriating for Galactic Legend Rey owners, as she seems to often get the short stick from CG when it comes to the Galactic Legends). So if the game wants to, for example, make this Galactic Challenge one where Scoundrels get bonuses, and Beskar Mando makes it easier, that’s one thing. But to literally make it only possible to receive rewards with a character that has been in the game for only a couple of days is despicable.
It’s a slap in the face to free-to-play players.
But here’s really why I’m concerned about this move: it seems like this is going to be the case moving forward. It looks like Beskar Mando is also needed in future Galactic Challenges, and CG put out a statement about this whole controversy that basically could just have said, “sorry, but not sorry.” If this really is the case moving forward, then Galactic Challenges will turn into the most pay-gated content in the game.
If that’s the way that CG wants to play it, then fine. But given the state of their very shaky relationship with players already, and fresh off the heels of one of their strongest events, this feels like an incredibly disappointing move. While some things have changed for CG, maybe some things will always remain the same.