Pay-to-Win is not something new by any means. The concept has been around for well over a decade and practically every gamer knows what it is. Pay-to-Win, or P2W, infects every gaming platform from PCs to mobile. However, Bekko's galaxy battleship takes the cake for a new level of P2W: Pay to Farm.
Yes, that's right. In Galaxy Battleship you have to pay to farm. If you play for free you play to farm. No amount of grinding or strategy or tactics will allow a free player to compete with the paid players. You will find free players that claim they can but they are either new, faking it, or secretly pay to win themselves.
Galaxy Battleship in a nutshell
In Galaxy Battleship you will find yourself as the commander of a base and up to 3 fleets of ships. You are part of a permanently selected faction staffed with other humans also playinng as commanders in the same situation you are in. Together you must fight for control of the galaxy by attacking planets to hold control of them and attacking other players on other factions. Holding the planets will earn you or your faction-mates ship components to use to upgrade your ships. Higher level planets have a greater chance of dropping better components. Attacking enemy bases has the chance of dropping parts for ships that you may or may not already have and plundering resources from their bases.
Progression is fairly controlled. Bekko spins up new “servers” every few weeks that allow players to have a fresh start with other players.. a “clean slate”, if you will. This way you aren't starting off as a level 1 with level 75 enemies in the pond. This also allows Galaxy Battleship to have a nifty galactic progression system, where players start off in a 8 small ponds all on the same server but inaccessible to each other until certain time or goal gates are met.
Kryptonite, the game's only weakness
The game revolves around a premium resource called Kryptonite or Kr for short. It can be collected in sparse quantities or purchased with real money. 100 Kr will set you back $1.99 and 5000 Kr will set you back $99.99 with different quantity break-downs in-between. Kr is used for practically everything: You can use it to pay for Action Points to attack other player bases or attack the npc rebels and earn commander experience to level up your account. It can be used to purchase ship chests to have a chance to get a new “better” ship.
Spending Kryptonite isn't actually required to play the game at any point but not spending it sets a player far behind those that do. Even a free player who just hordes the trace amount of free Kr that they might earn is far behind another free player who smartly spends their free Kr as they earn it.
The problems start when a “whale” dumps a lot of money into the game so they can believe they are winning. A lot of times this happens after their base is destroyed – there are a lot of emotions over that for some reason. In all honesty, losing a base in the game is an absolute joke – you lose some resources, some soldiers, maybe a few resource collections and that is it. It's really more about bragging rights which are absolutely worthless in the grand scale of things. In fact, there are ways to reverse farm by having your base destroyed. I've been doing it for weeks. (If you haven't experienced a base loss in the game yet, take my word for it: Don't get upset over it.. seriously. It's not a set back at all.)
Now this whale has dumped money into the game. (I use the word dump because the initial game packages that give you items start at $20 USD and they go up from there as you progress through the game.) He uses the Kr to buy Gold ships via the Shipyard and now has some serious firepower that nobody else can contend with toe-to-toe. Now he is the big fish in the little pond and can really throw his weight around. Two of his fleets outmatch three of yours – he is worth more in battle than you are.
This big fish can now throw his weight into fights over planets and conquer them more easily with help from his faction. His faction now needs less fleets than your faction requires to defeat and hold a planet. This enables his faction to statistically hold more planets than your faction. By holding more planets than your faction, the opposing faction farms better ship modules from the planets resulting in that faction building better fleets. Now the entire enemy faction has better fitted ships and you can no longer go toe-to-toe with any similar level enemy commanders.
I used the word “similar” because the level difference isn't set in stone. As the enemy fleet compositions and fittings grow ever more powerful, the level difference between you and a more powerful, but lower level, enemy commander that can defeat you grows day by day. Eventually you are logging into the game to see that your base has been raped 4 or 5 times while you slept by players that are 10 levels lower than you but have all somehow managed to field ships that are entirely superior to anything you have.
At this point, you have one option: Get farmed or uninstall the game. The enemy attacks your base because they can defeat you which gives them more ship parts to make their fleets more superior. In turn you lose your soldier stockpiles (Soldiers are used to replenish hitpoints for ships) and ultimately end up logging into the game to see you have barely any soldiers and therefore cannot really do much until you've regenerated them.
A Bekko problem, NOT Galaxy Battleship
Don't get me wrong – Galaxy Battleship is really a lot of fun. The game's mechanics are great and in an even fight it really is all about tactics, strategy, outwitting your opponent, and most importantly: teamwork.
Bekko has a few other games. The issues are all the same. The players of the other titles all complain about the same issues: Excessive and unbalanced pay to win.
This points, very obviously, to a greed problem within Bekko. Bekko does not care about YOU, the player, the paying customer. Bekko only cares about farming your money while you farm people who play their games for free.
Bekko might as well just send you a credit card machine and let you swipe for ship chests or Kr as you need it. Or even better: Swipe for damage. The more you swipe your card, the more damage you do.