So I have a basic JKR squad with above average speed. Through trial and error I figured out a way to beat DR squads with average and even above average power/speed. I was winning 4 out of 5 battles depending on how the AI utilized and targeted with DR's and DBastilla's kit. This went on for over a month and I was able to break into the top 100 of my shard a few times a week.
Since the last couple of updates I have utilized the EXACT same strategy against the EXACT same opponents (and yes, I checked to see if the opponent rearranged mods or added G12 pieces, etc.)
And my win rate has gone from 80% down to maybe 5%....maybe. And while bad...and I mean absolutely disproportionately ugly RNG on the scale of astronomical anomaly could account for many of the losses, it cant account for the overall dozens of them. (ALL of which have similar outcomes, so I know its not the RNG)
Thank you CG for your utter LACK of transparency. And this isn't just for the latest updates...no, sadly CG takes it upon themselves to tweak the strengths and weaknesses of key OP toons constantly and WITHOUT letting the community know. BIG changes are noted in dev notes, but not the myriad of minor ones that do in fact affect outcomes.
One bug I've noticed lately also: GMY opens with his Masterstroke AOE attack and instantly gets a bonus turn if there is at least one other jedi alive...that's what the character ability notes say. I reliable used this throughout my JKR vs DR matches to spam buffs and get critical turn meter for my main damage dealer. Lately, and this started the same time my win rate plummeted, GMY is NOT getting his bonus turn...even on his OPENING MOVE...when the target is either thrawn or DBastilla which has been marked by JKR...and the entire squad is still alive.
I've noticed other bugs as well where my JKR squad is dying a LOT faster to the same attacks and abilities from the DR squad typical attacks/abilities that previously they help up to.
My hypothesis is simple: the Whales and other long term players have yet again whined to CG that all their money and all their time is not giving them the satisfactory result of resoundingly defeating all others in the game that have not forked over the money to get the premium OP squad of DR Malak, etc.
I mean really...why should F2P players with lesser JKR squads be "allowed" to beat their bought and paid for "automatic win" DR/Malak squads...even if the JKR upstarts through wit and strategy figured out how to beat them within the current parameters of the game?
Well...my theory goes that this simply cannot stand in the world of P2W gaming. And since SWGOH is funded by the whales and dolphins and not by F2P like me. Its totally understandable, its very practical and even predictable. The player base doesn't pay a fee to join the game and then everyone is on a level playing field with no ability to pay to get ahead. This is an inherently uneven playing field and currently the pendulum has swung wildly in favor of the whales.
I can say this with certainty and fact b/c a short time back CG reduced the number of hard battles one can daily max at from 8 down to 5. The reasoning was that (paraphrased) players have had adequate time to farm all the newly released OP toons/ships. Which of course is a garbage explanation no where near grounded in reality. It was just a cheap explanation that CG hoped would placate the low information masses that play their game.
Since the introduction of the new BH's, and BH ships, followed by the Old Republic toons, Chewbacca, the OT Falcon, JKR, 3PO, DR, Padme, the Anakin/Ahsoka reworks, and the GG rework and new SEP droids/reworks I have literally been scrambling with constant meta farming and energy refreshes. I haven't nearly caught up even though thousands of tracked battles have netted me a shard drop rate of 34-35%. So as a daily and consistent F2P player I KNOW that CG's explanation is garbage.
It was just a delay tactic to appease the whales and give their OP squads more TIME at the tops of arenas before the F2P players caught up. And just when they start to catch up....G13 is introduced...and right after that here come the Relics.
For the first year I played, CLS was tops. And he was attainable for a new player rather quickly with a few months of dedicated farming. This last year has been one OP introduction after another...all requiring months and months of farming (not to mention the grind and gridlock of gearing them up), and all introduced at a rate which is impossible for F2P players to keep up.
And while this is expected in order to placate the spenders/revenue supporters of the game, it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth of that vast majority of the F2P player base.
The obvious and glaring conclusion is that sadly, SWGOH is in decline. After a few successful years the game is now on the downhill trend and CG is making a mad cash grab in an attempt to keep the game popular and relevant with the legacy players, the whales and today's culture of gamers for the next several quarterly revenue reports. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and there is darkness now visible at the end of the SWGOH tunnel - the darkness of unpowered servers and a game with no further development relegated to simple maintenance mode until the whales are tired of spending and supporting the platform because there are no more active F2P players to regularly annihilate.
The business model of P2W/F2P games is wildly, WILDLY successful...in the near to short term. Longevity is not the goal nor the ideal. This is a profitable business and for a high quality well developed and largely bug-free and cheat-free mobile game, the large profits are there for the taking.
SWGOH was a really FUN and strategically stimulating game for a few years now...and I think it can hold on for maybe a couple more because STAR WARS is such an iconic and beloved franchise.
But for a competitive (note: NOT professional) gamer such as myself the game has lost its luster and the glimmer has faded. Whereas I once considered spending to keep up (which is the intended draw of the platform), I now see the handwriting on the wall and have settled for much lower expectations in this game. I will continue to play, albeit with lesser enjoyment, until the newer shinier game (TBD) comes out and then I will bid farewell to SWGOH.