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Marvel Snap is at a crossroads

by: Rob -
More On: Marvel Snap

Marvel Snap is my current card game obsession, but it might be time to move on. It seems all I do is dump on this game, but in between fits or rage that provoke news articles, I really do enjoy it and play it every day. I think because it could and should be such a good game is what motivates me to call it out in frustration.

At the moment, I would contend Marvel Snap is at it's worst place in its young history.  

It's a perfect storm of another season pass card in Blink that tilts the scales decidedly against free to play players. We've seen this before and surely we will see it again but Season Pass cards are regularly released overpowered so Second Dinner can get their $10 a month. That coupled with the worst buff to a card that I can ever remember: Leech was buffed two weeks ago. Leech is probably the most annoying and un-fun card in the game and he was made into a monster taking away his only drawback (5 cost in a 6 turn game kept him in check but now he's 4 and basically free to play) and creating a wicked synergy with the Season Pass card above that can swap him out for a free 6-cost monster card (cha-ching season pass!). So the meta, like before, is in a terribly unhealthy state but this time not because a card is pumping out too much power, but because Leech and junk decks just make it so you can't even play the game (which is also not new, not even a little bit). 

But now we've kind of crossed the Rubicon with the pay to win nonsense, as a few weeks ago Second Dinner tried their latest monetization sleaze by directly tying purchases to wins in a test mode called Leagues. Leagues was just a trial in select territories but dropped you into a bracket with similar players based on a few factors like collection levels and time spent playing. Leagues was just a leaderboard transposed over top of normal play. So as you played other modes your rank might change based on wins and losses. However, there were two boosts available for real money, essentially one that made you not lose rank on losses and another that doubled your rank on wins. Not only did this make the league unfair, but it polluted every other game mode because you might be matched in any other mode against a player focused on their league who is playing on un-level terrain. What's to prevent them from snapping on turn 1 and doubling the jeopardy if they have nothing to lose and can actually cheaply gain free ranks when the opponent has to assume they have a strong hand - but in reality they are just playing without penalty for having a weak one. 

It's a bad deal right now and it's causing me to step away more and more from the game. There is some light on the horizon - rumors are the Leech buff is being reversed later today at the first opportunity (I hope it's accompanied with an apology... grumble, grumble). But the sleazy monetization... Leagues might have been met with near-universal derision but I'm sure the next strategy is cooking in the incubator right now. It's just a matter of finding what players will accept, sadly. And there is still no universal mute option, sigh.