What level of support should a successful game developer be expected to offer? - Macenstein

What level of support should a successful game developer be expected to offer?

I’ll admit upfront that I am writing this article out of personal frustration towards BackFlip studios, formerly one of my favorite iOS game developers, but my long-standing support issues with them raise a question that ALL successful developers should be asking themselves – namely, “How much support am I morally, ethically, and perhaps even LEGALLY supposed to offer for my game?”

I’ll go into my personal struggle below, as briefly as I can, and perhaps it will only make sense to those familiar with the game, so if you are not interested in the WHY part of why I’m pissed, you can just scroll down to the “So why such bad support?” section of this article.

My main issue is with Backflip studio’s DragonVale, a game long-time readers know I play religiously, despite my being a grown man and it being a complete time-wasting “click to collect gems, gotta catch ’em all” sort of dragon breeding game. The graphics are cute, the gameplay is inventive enough to cause it to stand out above similar games… it’s a nice time waster for 5-10 minutes a day.

Two recent DragonVale issues that have cost me over $100 have motivated me to ask this question of game support in general and whether DragonVale’s developer’s (or perhaps Hasbro, the company who bought the game last year) in particular should be doing more in the way of supporting its customers, and I’ll try to make this description as brief as I can.

DragonVale is a freemium title, which means it is free to download from the app store, but it offers you the ability to spend real money on in-game currency which you can use to buy things like dragons and decorations or speed up the breeding time of dragons. Last year DragonVale ran a promotion where each player was given a “Friend Code” unique to their game. You could enter this code, and both you and the person whose code it was would receive gems, usually 25-50 or so. Well, I posted my code on my site, and received an INSANE amount of gems. Like 50,000, maybe more. (Thanks to all who sent them btw. I still have over 20,000!). The problem was, after a few weeks of this, Dragonvale would crash for me when I would click on the redeem button. Long story short, BackFlip (eventually) got back to me after a week or two and told me that I simply had too many pending gems I needed to collect, and the game couldn’t handle it. They did something on their end, and I was able to log in, and I tried my best to collect the gems, logging in 5 times a day and collecting hundreds at a time. It still froze one or two more times during the Friend Code period, and I had to have BackFlip fix things again each time, usually within 6 days of me asking, which wasn’t great, but was fine. I’m an adult after all and I can wait.

Sadly (or luckily) Apple changed their policy on how freemium apps could award in-game currency, and BackFlip had to remove the Friend-code feature, which ultimately led to a much more stable game-playing experience for me, albeit one with less daily free gems.

Fast forward a couple months and DragonVale begins the first of many “special events” where for a limited time, usually 3-4 weeks or so, you can collect a special item (berries, flowers, etc) each time you click on things in your park, and you can then redeem them for special limited time dragons that you can only get during the event. After the event ends, you basically lose any unclaimed items, and cannot get the limited dragons and decorations. During the events, you can also send these special items to friends (This may still ultimately be my problem, as I have 500 Game center friends sending me gifts daily, perhaps DragonVale for some reason cannot handle this. But why? Apple has set a 500 friend limit since Game Center debuted many MANY years ago. It should not be a surprise to BackFlip’s developers that SOMEONE might have 500 friends. And I have tried deleting over 100 friends, and it changed nothing, so I am stumped.)

These special events were pretty much designed so that the average person could not realistically collect enough of the special event items to unlock ALL the prizes and dragons, thus forcing you to spend real money on the game if you wanted these dragons, although I am sure it must be mathematically possible, just not realistically possible. And honestly, that’s fine. A little devious, as these games are played largely by children, but fine. I have no problem paying $10-$50 a year on gems for a game that I play every day for “free”. Keeping a freemium game like DragonVale in constant development costs money, and I’m fine with supporting developers.

This message pops up about 20 seconds into gameplay each time I load the game

This message pops up about 20 seconds into gameplay each time I load the game

Perhaps due to the large amount of complaints on DragonVale’s Facebook page over the following year, they gradually began making the events a LITTLE easier to get enough special items so you could ALMOST unlock all the special items without paying, but, you did have to play a LOT. Every Day. And even then it was iffy, so BackFlip would sometimes extend the event an extra week or so or add a “double event” weekend when people got really mad.

OK, so that’s the background on how DragonVale works. And while these events are clearly designed to wring money out of players, I don’t even have a problem with it, so long as it was always theoretically possible to get the limited dragons without paying. I figured I would get close to gathering enough items each event, and then buy $5 of special items and everyone would win. But here’s my problem…

Each time DragonVale runs these special events, my DragonVale crashes. Usually I am good for the first 7-8 days, but inevitably, the game crashes, and I am unable to play and collect the special items. This has been the case for the last FIVE events. And with each subsequent event, my support emails have taken longer and longer to get a response. It has gotten to the point that back in January, for DragonVale’s winterberry event, I wrote an email January 8th (and another on the 12th) asking them to please fix my account as I had gotten locked out of the game for the past WEEK and could not log in to collect all the “magic winterberries” and unlock the special dragons and decorations. I received my first response February 3rd (27 days later) and 23 days after the event ENDED. Just so you know, at the end of an event, if you do not log in and redeem all your special items, DragonVale converts them to FOOD, just so you feel better. Food?! If you have ever played DragonVale, you know that it is impossible to run out of food after the first week. I’m 4 years in. So now I have 3.5 MILLION food sitting in my “Gift” section that I refuse to collect out of spite. What I WOULD have liked was to be able to collect those Winterberries, and get the special dragons and items I earned. But I could not, because DragonVale locks me out about a week and half into every 3-4 week event, and I am never able to get support in time to fix it.

Here’s a 20 minute video of DragonVale crashing on me, sped up to 3 minutes.

You can see each time it crashes it does not count the Roses I collected. I am currently sitting on a stock pile of Roses from my friends I cannot collect, not to mention the weeks of roses I WOULD have been able to collect every day…

So, how have I lost $100? Well, now each time there is a “Special Event”, I know that I have to buy all the special currency on the first day, redeem it, and pretty much BUY my dragons, because I know I will get locked out and miss those dragons otherwise. Support simply takes too long to respond. So for the last 2 events, I have spent $50 each time, played for about a week, legitimately collected a large amount of “winterberries” or whatever, redeemed what I could, and then, true to form, my game locks me out. And I would like to point out that even playing for a week AND spending $50, I am not able to claim all the special event prizes. THAT’S how difficult they make it.

So, here I am, the last day of DragonVales “Festival of Roses” Valentine’s Day event. I have spent my $50, and I have not been able to play the game for at least 8 days. My last support email was 6 days ago, and I know I will not receive a response until sometime in March. All my uncollected Roses will be turned into even more FOOD. Great.

The really sad (and suspicious thing) is as soon as the event ends, my DragonVale always works again. So hopefully at least I will be able to get back into the game today or tomorrow when this event ends, but of course, it will be too late for me to collect any of my earned goodies.

So why such bad support?

One could certainly make the argument for many games that success on the iOS app store can LITERALLY happen overnight. 99% of game developers are 1-2 man shops, and if their game suddenly begins getting downloaded a hundred thousand times a day, one could certainly forgive them if the two of them could not handle the flood of support emails that would invariably come in. However, we can’t really let BackFlip slide on that excuse. DragonVale has been around since 2011. Backflip Studios sold 70% of its company to Hasbro for $112 MILLION. This is not a mom and pop operation. The game is making money. Lots of it.

Now, I don’t want to pick solely on BackFlip, although they are the studio currently affecting ME personally. Clash of Clans developer SuperCell isn’t exactly stellar with their support times either. We had a member of our clan have his base disappear and it took well over a MONTH to get it sorted out with their sluggish support.

So why is game support so horrible? Do the studios grudgingly hire ONE guy to handle all support requests just so they can have a “support” link on their website to satisfy Apple’s requirements? I think it’s safe to say that if you can afford Liam Neeson in a Super Bowl ad, you can hire 10 more support staff and help make your paying customer’s lives easier.

Now, I realize I am talking about games with literally MILLIONS of players, and even if only a small percentage of those players have issues that must translate to thousands of support emails a day. However, that is the price of success, and while your fan bases may be large enough that you do not HAVE to keep everyone happy, when your sloppy programming ends up costing your customers money to compensate for your game not working as advertised, or your support being so slow to respond that a player who enjoys your game is forced to restart a corrupt game, there is a special place in Hell reserved for you, and I hope your children end up buying hundreds of dollars of Smurfberries on your credit card.


The event is over! and Guess what!?



Yep, I got 5 million more Food for my unclaimed/unclaimable gifts! I’m up to over 8 million extra food, which is great, because I only have 59 MILLION FOOD ALREADY!!!

And YES, the game seems to be working fine again.

[UPDATE: It is now MARCH 23rd and I never heard back from DragonVale support about that issue. Luckily the game started working fine when they ended that special event, but they since started ANOTHER special event. The game continued to function during this Egg-finding event for about 9 days or so, then stopped working, as per usual. I’m not even sure I’m going to bother reporting this issue anymore, as BackFlip appears to have no interest in fixing this. (FYI, Backflip, if you ARE reading this, the problem is in your coding for users with large amounts of friends. Since you limit the amount of special Eggs/gifts we can collect every day, you cause a backup that crashes the game. Look into it.)

DragonVale crashes constantly

Yup, the egg even crashed too, as do ALL events. I do not expect to be able to get into my park for at least 2 weeks until this Easter Event ends, making it impossible to get all the dragons.)

26 Responses to “What level of support should a successful game developer be expected to offer?”
  1. Pam says:

    Dr Macenstein,
    You are absolutely right. If you bother to contact backflip studios! they will tell you that there is nothing wrong from what they can see so you must have and old device (which I do not). And again you are right, it ONLY happens during these “special” events.
    One time I had 1000 gems vanish overnight. I was positive that they would correct this since there must a trail showing this, but no, same answer, everything looked fine on their end. I must say I too am shocked by the lack of customer service. Frustrating.

  2. Taylor Marks says:

    The game doesn’t work so you spend more money on it? You realize that this makes:
    1 – You retarded. You’re rewarding them for making something that doesn’t work.
    2 – It would make them retarded to fix it, since they make more of your money by not fixing it (not to mention they also save money by not fixing it.)

    You shouldn’t pay for a product that doesn’t work. Throwing money at them doesn’t obligate them to fix it.

  3. Andrew says:

    What a classic rant! You go girl er, Doc.

  4. Veebeegee says:

    I wonder if this is why during the Hallowe’en event the whole game went down. I assumed somebody hacked the site which forced Backflip Studios to reward everyone at least on more item, plus gems. That suited me fine because otherwise I would never have got the final gift (it was one of the themed islands). Btw, my issue with the whole thing is that I could only click on limited friends islands for additional treats, and I guess I was unaware of being able to gift more treats. Perhaps with the gifting you can get everything, but otherwise the few events I played it was impossible to get everything without paying cash. That annoyed me. As a result, I stopped playing. Enough was enough.

  5. Maggie Wise says:

    I have gotten frustrated at their special events also. I’m playing every day several times a day and there is no way you can get enough berries or flowers etc. to obtain all the special things . I think if you are loyal player and play all the time you should be able to get enough or close to enough to get the special items .

  6. Long time visitor says:

    Just for the sake of clarity, it’s actually been easy to complete the last there events without putting any money in, I’ve played since nearly the beginning and never spent a dime. Admittedly the dark light dragon event was too much to keep up with and the dawn dusk event I didn’t even get the habitat, but for snowflake, candy/Halloween, and rose petals I ran them clean and got full completion. A few tips for those that care:
    -figure out the caps on each activity and make a point of it to hit the easy ones. For roses it was visit two friends, proc petals 20 times food farming dragon snaps, find that chick once per day, hatch 80 petals worth of dragons which was 4 hatches as long as you weren’t trying to sandbag air with fast incubations, make sure to complete your coliseum cycle every day, it’s pretty much the same every event.
    -when you unlock an island don’t touch anything just save it for events, I got 10 petals a day clearing off my most recent island
    -save all your gems for the event, they allocate 40 petals or w/e to purchasing things with gems, if you buy a large habitat for 25, get 25 petals, sell the habitat for 10 gems, but another and get 15 petals, then sell it for 10 you get 40 petals a day for 30 gems, 80 on double days
    – personally I don’t bother counting the drago cash petal procs, but I always count and farm to 20 food petal procs it’s the easiest part of the events to control and makes a difference.

    You get out what you put in, but it’s getting easier with every event, I actually missed a day of rose petals and still finished you just have to plan accordingly which seems reasonable to me.

    As for the docs participation woes, while I feel for you, frankly I’m not that impressed, being that you’re the clear leader in breeding information backflip has netted you a filthy amount of site traffic for next to no effort and are the only reason I even know who you are, which translates to advertisement page views, and while I’m no whiz at math I’ll wager has equated to a shade more than the $100 bf has “cost” you. In your position I’d be more than happy to shell out the 50 per event considering the dividends dragonvale breeding coverage has paid me, or not considering the event rewards are wholely nonessential to my continued profits, but frankly I woudnt complain unless I saw less unique cases meeting the same problems. I’m sure receiving all those free gems was a very trying time and after the first couple thousand it never occurred to you that you could take down your code and end the suffering, even putting up a disclaimer asking that people not send gems for the sake of your vale running smoothly, but I guess we all must make sacrifices. These are just suggestions really it’s up to you but please recognize your problems are only created by your desire to have your cake and eat it too. You’re smart enough to see that this is just a simple time wasting farm game, expecting them to tailor it’s processes to meet your unique status is a little silly.

  7. Samuel says:

    First I’d just like to say that I love your site, the DragonVale portion mainly, and that I’ve relied on it for a long time.

    Some background on me and how I play. I was among the first people to download DragonVale. It was the day it came out and I played for months. Then sometime in early 2012 I just stopped because I got busy with school and I didn’t think I’d ever get some of the dragons. This was before I thought enough to Google the answer. Anyway I started playing again in the Summer and in September my iPhone met with a sad end. I didn’t get another iPhone until September 2013, which meant I had been away from the game for a year.

    I have played every day since. Not too long ago I finally received all of the dragons, events and all. When I have had issues and emailed customer support, I have gotten a reply in no more than a day. Sorry to hear that it took you so long. Maybe they have you blacklisted? lol Just kidding but I guess you’d never know.

    But I have felt that these events were nothing but a ploy to get money. I play this game religiously. As soon as I (would, alerts for income gone now) got alerted to a habitat being full, I would go in and clear them. So I’m on top of it to say the least. Well even with all of my playing, doing everything I can to maximize fireflies/roses/ice berries/candycorn I still didn’t get close to the final reward without buying them during the Double Event. I wouldn’t mind paying for this game if I didn’t start it under the impression that it was free to play and spending money would only speed me along, not be essential to completion.

    The only way the roses would have done me right is if I had more friend gifting me. I have about 2-3 people who I gift and they gift me back daily that I can rely on. I believe I found them on this site.

    Hopefully with enough complaints they fix their issues

  8. JV says:

    How long to support a game? Well that’s simple, as long as you have it on sale in the App Store!

    How long should you have a game on sale on the App Store? As long as you’re willing to support it!

    For example, I pay for games. But I did once back when I had an iPhone 3G. I purchased geoDefense and I loved it. Play it every once in a while, well worth the 99 cents I assumed I purchased it for. Fast forward many years later, get a new iPhone with a fancy new screen, of course I want to see how geoDefense looks like, only to find out it doesn’t work well on the new iPhone 6.

    Surely enough, eventually, there is an update for the game to make it work. The author made no new revenue from a sale many many years ago, but earned a lot of good will from the people that have purchased the game. And now that it is updated the game will continue to make revenue for the author. He could have just as easily pulled the game from the App Store and issue a few refunds for new purchases from iPhone 6 users, but that’s not a good business model.

    In short, if I purchased a game from an asshole clown company and kept giving them my money and the game didn’t work as advertised, I would do everything in my power to 1)stop giving them money, and 2)make sure everyone that everyone who is willing to listen knows what kind of asshole clowns are able to so easily get your money from the App Store with a product that does not work.

    Just sayin’.

  9. Jan says:

    I totally agree on the FACT that it’s impossible to collect enough of WHATEVER to get all the (bonuses/gifts/etc.) that they offer while the SPECIAL event is on. I don’t have to spend money but they make it so tempting not to. Thanks for your speech it was great!!

  10. Juli says:

    I agree. I did purchase a bucket of Roses (400) towards the end of the event so I could complete the second dragon and work on the omnitat and of course it went through facebook ok, but just as it would have updated dragonvale, i got the infamous message something must have gone wrong in your park and when I re-loaded the rose bush was covered in roses, but the roses weren’t actually in my roses to turn in. So now I am going back and forth with support providing receipts and such to prove it.

    I will be ok if they give me easter eggs, but who knows.

  11. bbinmbsc says:

    I totally agree with you 100%! I can’t get on the game right now with this silly egg hunt. This happens every time there is an event. Some time during it the connection fails and I know there is nothing wrong with my tablet! I gave up sending reports. I guess I could send an email, but from the sound of your problem, it won’t do any good. They need to get their act together or stop these events until they can fix the problem.

  12. bbinmbsc says:

    I agree 100%! I have the same problem right now with the egg hunt. Haven’t been able to log in for 2 days. UGH!! And no help from support. I’ll keep trying but will miss out on collecting eggs. What to do?

  13. Deebo says:

    Has anyone noticed the insanely large park value increases that seemingly happen overnight? Quite a few of my friends have had increases of 30,000,000,000 or more! Not sure what’s happening, and I know for a fact that they’re not hacking.
    And I agree that it’s impossible to get all of the event rewards without making a purchase…very frustrating!!! If I didn’t invest three years into this game, I would delete it lol

  14. Adam says:

    This will probably piss you off, but I rarely have any issues with the game and the few times it does crash( maybe twice over three months) closing it and restarting it fixes it. I have not spent a dime on this game and refuse to. but damn, it would seem as thought they would have to do something about that. and it is possible to run out of food, I am farming it as fast as I can, but still have so many dragons to feed, especially since they went up to lv 20. Once I get a monolith I am considering letting the rest of my eggs convert to food.

  15. Sara says:

    I have had the same thing happen during events and I have no friends and an empty in box. A couple of events back my game crashed and wouldn’t load until the event was over. 🙁 The draw of these types of games, which you hit on earlier, is to collect em all. That implies that if you work hard enough and wait long enough you’ll be able to collect all the dragons. The problem with this is not only are the events buggy and designed for you to spend $$ or fail but now they include two dragons. One is set to be attained by a normal player checking daily. The other is just out of reach and buried behind a pedestal or something that you don’t have to have. How does that make sense? So my question really is….when do you get fed up and cut your losses? I’ve bought gems and rushed breeding to get a limited time dragon in my hatchery before it’s gone and what has to got me? Why would I keep spending and breeding while knowing that next Easter they’ll have a new dragon and the Monolith (using most recent for an example) may never be back? I hate to give up since I’ve spent so much time and effort collecting so many dragons but I feel sum for continuing to play when the game is rigged. If the claw is too loose to pick up the stuffed animal you don’t continue to pump quarters into the machine. You cut your losses, cuss the system and walk away.

  16. Jodyelizabethp says:

    I totally get this. I’ve been playing three years. I’m 40 – I started playing with my two sons so we could gift each other gems and now theyve moved on and I play morning in bed, on my work break, and at night as I’m falling asleep. It’s relaxing to zone out on.

    That being said…I’m a pretty high level player and have all but SIX dragons. Some I won’t be able to get for another year. BUT during the bring’em back events i should be able to get the ones I’m missing since THE SOLE PURPOSE OF MY PLAY AT THIS TIME is to get the few missing dragons.

    Then the events come. I have to have all the dragons so I’ve paid over $200 this year to get the event dragons during events. I realized how much I was spending and last event I didn’t pay. Now my park makes so much money, and I play so frequently, that OBVIOUSLY I SHOULD be able to earn all the dragons during an event, right? Nope. These events are specifically geared to earn money and it is IMPOSSIBLE to earn all the dragons during the event just by collecting whatever – winterberries, roses, stardust, whatever. So I only have one of the four dragons from the last event. I don’t even have one so far from this event AND i already made a $10 purchase.

    So their “events” are totally unfair to all the players.
    But seriously when we get to the pint where we only need a few dragons can’t those be available to us???

    I did not breed ONE SINGLE DRAGON that I needed during this past bring them back event. And that was with level 20 dragons.

    If this is all a ploy to get me to pay hundreds of dollars for my missing dragons I’m fed up.

    Games are only fun when they are challenging – NOT impossible.

  17. Debbie says:

    Ditto! I am an adult and I love this little game I bought a brand new Samsung Galaxy tablet because my iPad was obsolete. Then I found out that my old game was not transferable between IOS and android. okay. I will start a new game. It has been exactly as macenstein described. Sitting here locked out since a new event has begun today May 5, 2015. I should just quit and not bring sadness and frustration I to my life. Afterall there are lots of good games that load. But I have friends who play and look for the gems. Hopefully support will resolve these issues.

  18. Anna says:

    Spend money when an item is worth it to you. Reward BFS for a job well done if you like. Or play like me and refuse to pay no matter what. I forgo the various gimmicks. I didn’t get a Midnight dragon in the last event and only one Monolith last time. I’m patient. There’s ALWAYS an opportunity to get rare dragons and most items later. It’s just a matter of time. I wish there was a non freemium version of dragonvale without the constant pressure to buy more in-game stuff. I’d pay $5 for an app like that. Maybe even $10.

    BFS responded to me and gave me extra Winterberries when I was locked out for a few days. Given the number of support requests they get I was surprised to get a response at all – let alone within a few days. I’m sure they have a room full of people responding. During the events the volume may just be unmanageable.

  19. LoreneGo says:

    Thanks for such a great guild! I’m so glad I found it! I feel bad for you and I hope they fix the problem before the next event! On the other hand, I really wish I had your problem. Your islands are amazing. I hope to one day have gems that I done have to pay for! Lol.

    Game Center ID: AngelBabyGirl53

  20. LoreneGo says:

    Doc, just wanted to say ,after reading the comments from Taylor, I don’t agree with his analogies of the support system for dragon vale. When you send them a support email, they look up your id to get to know about you as a dragonvale player. In my opinion, by supporting the game they can make a better one! Dragonvale programmers probably are not sure how to handle your problem during events. Gave them time to work it out! I’m sure more gamers play during those times than any other time. Doc, you are my hero! You have made dragonvale more enjoyable. I’m a proud Grandmother of a Dragon loving grandson! Using your guide has made me a Hero to my precious grandson! Every time I spend with my grandson, he is amazed by the new dragons I have gotten! I couldn’t have done it without you! Thanks again for all the research you do for all of us!

    Game Center ID: AngelBabyGirl53

  21. Ali says:

    I deem myself to have developed a love/hate relationship with this game.

    Whilst I have not experienced The Doc’s woes in regards to rubbish support or too many crashes-that-result-in-total-game-block-out. I now find myself disenchanted with a game I’ve loved for the past four years. Chiefly that now, the games primary objective is about making money from users and a lot of it.

    I try my upmost to ensure that I play every day, in fact most days I play several times. During events I’m even more driven to play to achieve the unacheiveable without spending actual money. Alas, it is mostly impossible on a few fronts to manage to obtain all items, decorations and the coveted dragons.

    The most recent event saw me spend $30 and that didn’t even get me all the items. I am without a Relic of the Ages, (I also only have one monolith dragon, as I refused to spend money) no doubt that this will be offered to us at some stage (like the twilight tower) for some exuberant gem fee, likewise the tower currently listed at 1750 gems or thereabouts. That translates into some extensive ‘real-money’ value or just a very, very long wait till you can collect enough.

    Collecting enough is now another issue… Mostly I’m happy to wait for breedings, I’m an adult and not everything has to be expressed in the ‘now, now, now!’ Of youth, which the games also relies on.
    The latest addition to dragonvale parks the Elysium Dragon, well… If only I realised it was going to be around for a few days at that, I would have commenced double breeding earlier. Upon noticing that there was only 36 hours to go before the dragon Foxtrot-Oscared out of our parks, I had to start using my gems (I spent hundreds during the winterberry event to avoid spending too much money) of which my stash was just nearing the 750 mark. The failed breedings had HUGE waits, mostly around the 36-40 hours, that’s a lot of gems, my stash has now dwindled to around 350, as I had to stop somewhere, but sadly I didn’t achieve this dragon, is it a wait till the end of the year bring me back, no doubt.

    So, now dragonvale attack us on two fronts, events that require actual cash and very limited time available Dragons designed to make part with more gems and money…

    Also, visited your friends park recently? I reach levels of petty jealously when I notice a friend has a dragon I do not, or all the decorations/objects from an event 🙁 this makes me kinda sad. The game is designed to bring out our ‘must have it all – decorations and funky relics included’ or our sense of total achievement is lost.
    I for one want it all, but at what financial cost?

    Furthermore there is another bind to continue playing, now I’ve spent actual money on this game, I’ve invested in it. To stop playing now because I feel oppressed at the level of ethics displayed by the developers would be the right thing. But that to me is a waste, I enjoy/used to really enjoy this game. Now it’s a little tainted.

    Maybe if more of us took a stand, revolt, create a revolution… But in the end, do they really care?

    There’s an interesting doco called The Corporation. Doc, if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch 😉

  22. Pam says:

    i totally agree with you Doc! Every time a new event comes out, the company finds a way to keep your game crashing so that you can’t even play the game to collect the items being used during the event. My game will also crash 99% of the time also when I try to visit the few friends I have to collect the measley 5 items per friend (at least for the last couple of events – used to be it was only 2 friends you could collect from then nothing from any of your other friends). I am a level 70, and was able to breed every dragon they put out so that I had at least 2 of every dragon plus a display egg. That was until the company thought up this “brilliant” idea of having these events, and in the beginning, I would usually spend around 85.00 per event so that I was able to purchase everything they had available for each specific event. Then came the dreaded event when they started you off with 1000 free items (I can’t remember which event it was but it was one of the last 2 or 3 events they held – it was the one where they offered the pink Momolith Dragon). I might have had enough of the items being collected to get every dragon (after spending 50.00 on the event), if they hadn’t forced us to purchase a Fire Island theme. Then in the midst of the new dragons, they placed dragons we already had such as the Thorn Dragon and a couple of blue Monolith dragons that I had gotten in an earlier event, but never figured they were putting already offered dragons and so bought 2 that I already had, causing me to miss getting the Darkling Dragon. With every event, if you have noticed, each cost to redeem the dragons has gone up outrageously! This latest event, the 2015 Halloween Candy Event, the last dragon is over 9000 pieces of candy. I’ve played the game every day (when it will let me play it without crashing) several times a day and I have barely a little over 3000 pieces of candy. I refuse to buy any candy during this event! I refuse to spend another penny on this game! I am so sick of the way they have taken a game that was fun to play and ruined it!

  23. Shelia says:

    Having same problem with Spellfall. Spent a large amount of my coin, before realizing it. Adds up fast. Then game crashed. Oh no. All info is local. REALLY….then why did it disappear, but the game swas still on my machine? Similat play, not getting very far very fast without spending $$. Decided to only use in game $$ and play that way. Mostly made that work, until…boom, crashed, locked up tablet and NADA when logback in.

    They did “restore” some items when I contacted support. But iad to send in screenshots from ggogleplay snowing i had spent the money. Weapons only but they were pricey ones. But you need runes in these to actually defeat some creatures…and they cost amazjng amounts of ingame coin which of course you can purchase…49.99 gets you enough coin to do one weapon, maybe….but when you get the next better weapon, which usually costs again, earned or bought, but then there are those rune spots with nada in them allover again. But a game crash shouldn’t lose my items if it is local. Only the game locked up, nothing else lost from the tablet.

    Why do I feel like I have been totally taken, because I have. I also play Dragonvale, but have quit paying for much except gems. I have no friends as I never tried to find out how to get them. Now thatbi know more, I’ll see what happens. However, I do not feel a driving need to get everything but I do get impatient to see what hatches.

    Thanks for this

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