I've been playing this game since 2016 (with two "breaks" when my kids were newborns). I had a few thoughts on the state of the game currently and was curious how the community felt on these topics. This is the perspective from a 100% F2P player. I have never spent a cent in this game.
First and foremost, this game is more F2P friendly than any other mobile game I have personally played. I have over 9mil GP. All GLs except Rey (farming tickets currently). I have Starkiller, Executor and Raddus. Kyber 2 for GAC. Despite never spending money, I have stayed relatively competitive in this game for the entire time I have played (thanks to a few wonderful guilds).
GAC: Grand Arena feels boring. Perhaps this is simply the inevitable result of large, endgame rosters but every match-up feels the same. No variety. Jabba, LV, Rey+Ben + standard Omicron teams on defense. As has been stated, the "matchmaking" is as fair in a technical sense as it could be. A question I've been considering is if the most "fair" matchmaking = the most fun experience. I'm not sure the answer to this question but I lean toward no. The one thing I do know is that GAC used to be by far my favorite game mode and now it feels like a chore I am unmotivated to engage with.
TW: A mode I have usually enjoyed. In the past, I really felt like my roster as a whole was largely utilized and that made it a lot of fun. I was able to use many teams for both offense and defense that did not get much use elsewhere. Very fun to engage with the guild and work together. This simply is not the experience I have anymore. Similar to GAC, nearly every TW is the same now. Both front walls are all GLs with level 9 datacrons (only counters generally being other GL w/ similar datacrons). The overwhelming percentage of our rosters are completely useless now. This is not fun and most of the guild just does not engage anymore. We rarely get through the first wall. The pattern is now lose 3-4 in a row, win against a massively underpowered guild, lose 3-4 in a row, etc.
TB: Another mode that I loved that has now become a chore. I believe my guild got 29 stars in RotE last time. Can get all stars in DS Geo and nearly all in LS Geo (as I understand it is still mathematically impossible to get all stars). This mode really felt like it rewarded your progression. Working through Hoth to Geonosis. Feeling like LS was insurmountable at first but slowly making progress. Geo TB was not without its issues but overall I looked forward to it every month. RotE has potential but currently it feels like a chore. It is not fun to dump the absurd amount of resources into a character to get them to relic 7/8/9 just so you can platoon them. I want to actually PLAY with the characters I am putting all these resources into. This is a poor design and forces players to apply very high relics to characters we have no interest in (a recurring theme over the years). The battles are largely not fun to me. Reviving Nightsisters that hit for 500k damage? These battles take WAY too long. Applying confuse whenever you want to, ya know, use your character abilities? Getting dazed constantly. Many of these mechanics do not make for fun strategizing. They are just frustrating and time-consuming (to me at least). In my guild in particular, only a few members have some of the more obscure characters at high relics and we are dependent on them alone to fill the platoon. This has created large coordination issues that did not exist before and leaves many members frustrated. I think it is likely that in a few years as the power creep continues, many of these issues will resolve themselves much like LS Geo. In the meantime, a bit of a headache.
Conquest: The first few iterations of Conquest had me really excited. Fresh, new game mode where you could use a variety of teams. I was able to get the red box with a handful of energy refreshes. It feels like each new version just gets worse and worse. The game mode now consists of 3x refreshes daily (if not more), playing the same battles over and over again to get 40 battles with "____" faction. The teams never change. The team modifiers never change. Overprepared stats are absurd and hidden from the player completely. The player modifiers are also boring now (the fact that we still get duplicates on nodes boggles the mind). Fun modifiers seems to mean that players will theory craft too much and find ways to get achievements more efficiently. Like so many other modes, this is a chore and I have lost all interest. This game is time consuming enough. Playing the same battles against the same teams with the same modifiers repeatedly is not a good use of my time. So I don't do it anymore.
Arena/Fleet: It is strange that there are still crystals in Fleet Arena while they have been removed from Squad Arena. It was nice to no longer have to do an arena climb daily. Past time crystals be moved somewhere else from fleet arena. I understand CG would be reluctant to invest any time/money into Arena but it would be nice if they simply changed your arena shard to your guild. A sandbox to play against our guildmates (won't hold my breath on this one).
DATACRONS: The driving force behind my waning interest in the game. As a long-time player, one of my advantages has always been mods. I took pride in meticulously modding my characters. I have a vast collection of great mods with high speed that took many years to build. Pay-to-play users can buy gear and build rosters much faster than I can. Always have. But you can't buy good mods generally speaking. They have massive RNG factors and require consistent farming over long periods of time. At the level I compete at mods now feel nearly useless. Offense/Crit Damage doesn't matter when they have +200% defense. Speed doesn't matter when Datacrons grant turn meter at the start and throughout the battle. The stats granted by mods are so overpowered by the stats granted by datacrons that my years of investing in mods feels devalued to almost nothing. Worse, a pay-to-play user can achieve this immediately with zero time investment. Buy the datacron packs and you instantly have a library of datacrons that invalidates my 7-year mod inventory. As a F2P player, crystals must be allocated efficiently. Adding a new mechanic that demands crystals feels like a nail in the coffin to F2P players that have any hope of being competitive. Moreover, the kits are so convoluted nowadays. Combined with ever-changing datacron abilities and I hardly understand what is going on half the time. Now add datacrons to GLs that already cannot largely be countered by anything else and you get boring stalemates. Walls of teams that have little to no counters. It would seem that datacrons are here to stay. The people I match with in GAC have massive libraries of them so CG is clearly making money.
I understand I may be alone in a lot of these thoughts. Maybe I've just run my course in this game after 7+ years. Maybe I am just far more busy than I used to be and the time sink feels more substantial. Maybe I am just an old curmudgeon (likely!). Ultimately it just makes me sad because I've enjoyed this game for so long and I am at a point where I don't enjoy it like I used to. Anyways, thanks to anyone that took the time to read and I am interested to hear how the community feels.
The Force will be with you. Always.