The refresh for Droids Fight Back uses only ally points at lower tiers, then ally points+crystals (but fewer crystals than in the past in similar cases) for the higher tiers. Having an alternate way to spend AP is very, very good.
EA/CG can't go giving out insane awards for Bronziums just because we've exceeded the power levels where free Bronzium gear is likely to be helpful.
This does nothing to make the 5 free Bronzium cards/day more useful to high level players, but it DOES give higher-level players a different way to spend AP that used to go to 3 largely-worthless Bronzium Cards.
We've been asking for that, and mostly I've only heard people talk about an improved (more expensive) Bronzium that gives more relevant gear and/or better chances at shards/characters. Maybe once or twice I've heard people suggest something different for ally points.
I think that this is a great development. It really does give high-level players a more useful place to put those ally points, but it doesn't penalize low-level players in any way. They still get to play the event and they still can refresh the event with ally points at any time they think that's more useful to them than another Bronzium.
This allows the PLAYER to make the decision about when ally points are best spent elsewhere, rather than putting in some artificial level-requirement and effectively making decisions for the player. This is good. Player choice is good; leaving strategy to the players' creativity and judgement is good.
NOW, this also raises new possibilities for improving other aspects of the game.
We've all noticed that the training droid/ cash farming events are pretty useless. You get far more out of putting your energy towards LS/DS missions. EA/CG tried to fix this by at least granting XP=energy spent so that those events don't cause you to lose XP relative to your peers.
What, however, if they went back to granting no XP for these events...and you entered them using Ally Points instead of energy?
With Bronziums, there is always the hope - however faint - that you'll open a good character. It's something like 0.5% to 2.5% that you'll open a character, but then rarity means that even less often will you open a character that's actually useful. Losing out on the opportunity to open Barriss (or add 40 shards to her) is a loss. It's a faint loss, since it's a faint probability, but it's still a loss. Moreover, the Bronziums do provide Training Droids & Credits all the time. It's the gear that becomes largely worthless, not the droids, credits, or shards.
But what if you could put 100 ally points or so into fighting another battle and get only droids or credits (your choice)?
You lose all possibility of snagging those 40 shards of someone great ... but you won't get worthless gear and the credits you get will be more than you'd get from a Bronzium. The droids won't always be more (I've gotten pretty generous drops of droids from Bronzium cards), but they will be if you work your way up the event Tier, and in any case, it will always be droids if it's droids you want.
Moreover, if the amount of credits/droid-xp-value is non-linear, then there could be a linear increasing cost.
Say playing Tier 1 costs 100 Ally Points.
Tier 2 can costs 200 AP as long as you're getting more than 2x the credits/droid-xp-value.
This works fine with droids, since going from a 1* to 2* droid multiples the xp-value of the droid by 5. Later droids only double the xp value, but that's later: going from 300AP to 400AP doesn't double the cost, so only doubling the xp-value is perfectly fair.
If you make the Credit-farming tiers hard enough, you can give out more credits and help a bit with credit crunch (for those willing to take the time to play the battles) without changing game balance at level 50.
Simply make level 50 a reasonable amount of credits, possibly less than now (say 10k to make our math easy). Boost the credits by 50% every time - to 15k, 22.5k, 33.75k, and then 50.625k at Tier 5.
If the cost increases by 100 AP every time, you earn less at tier 2-4 than you would earn just replaying Tier1 multiple times. Tier 5 is almost exactly the same Credit value per AP as Tier 1 (500 AP gets you 50k at Tier 1, 50.625k at Tier 5).
BUT, if there's a tier 6 and a Tier 7, and if you have to fight through each lower Tier to get to any higher Tier, then at tier 6 you get 75+k for 600AP and at tier 7 you get 113+k for 700AP. That's decidedly better than you get at Tier 1.
It provides a reason to work through the Tier challenges: the reward for beating Tier 2 isn't only the 15k credits, it's also the right to fight Tier 3, etc.
I simplified the math but we could still start out at 18k if that's what makes for a reasonable reward at Tier 7.
Ultimately, you're not going get many more AP than you spend Energy, so 700 AP/day is reasonable. It's possible to get more, of course, but only if you're actively using your ally lists. When you sim a battle and get 10 AP, you could get an advantage on battle stages that cost 6 energy, but since these events don't open till level 50, the gear you want to get by simming won't be available on 6-energy battles. For shard-farming, you spend a minimum of 12 energy to sim, which gains you 10AP. So if you're doing any shard-farming, you're going to end up with less AP than you spend energy.
So 700 AP is a good estimate of what high-level players will reliably get on each day that they are actively playing.
If you get to Tier7, you only have to play the battle once (saves you time) and you get a better reward. But you're still only adding 100-200k credits a day (depending on where EA/CG sets the value of Tier 1). By the time you beat Tier 7, the cost to level up a single toon by a single level is more than that anyway.
it doesn't completely resolve the credit crunch. EA/CG wouldn't want it to - they obviously want some level of credit crunch, and every game has to have some resource that is limited or there's no reason to play. But it can give you a serious influx of cash that, carefully hoarded from level 50 on, would be worth (to most players) the loss of any Bronzium shards one would statistically expect to come from putting all those AP into Bronziums.
My biggest concern is that AP don't depend on levels, so from the very beginning a player would be able to get 70k credits/day if they were willing to play stage 1 seven times a day.
The counter to that is to start the credits lower, but not have them sag in Tier 2-4, by doubling the # of credits.
Say that 100AP gave you a shot at Tier1, with a prize of 4k credits.
200AP = Tier2 = 8k credits (no more credits/AP, but you only have to play the battle half as many times)
300AP = Tier3 = 16k credits (now you're getting more credits, but you're only where you would have been at Tier 2 in the earlier example)
400AP = Tier4 = 32k credits (now you're at almost exactly where you would have been in the earlier example)
500AP = Tier5 = 48k credits (now we're going up 50% instead of doubling)
600AP = Tier6 = 64k
700AP = Tier7 = 96k
This isn't to say these should be the exact numbers, but note that now if you play either Tier 1 or Tier 2, you're getting 40credits/AP while at Tier 5 you're getting 96 credits/AP. Thus what you're able to earn when you first open the event is very different than what you're able to earn at Tier5 instead of exactly the same as Tier5. This allows EA/CG to provide a more modest income boost to players at level 50 than they give to players at level 70+
That would fix the problem of Ally Points being (perceived as) useless to higher-level players. It would help with the credit crunch, but wouldn't help so much you wouldn't still be chasing credits.
Also, since there's a training droid event as well, the time period in PlayerLevel 55-65 when you're shorter on droids than credits, a player can choose to chase droids (short term gain) or the patient players can stockpile credits knowing that eventually they'll start earning more droids than they have cash to activate.
This allows a true difference in strategy to emerge. Perhaps some people are trying to dominate the Arena to get more shards of someone, and they might take the short-term gain in droids because the shards they earn in the Arena would otherwise be lost - meaning that there's a long term gain there as well, albeit a very different long-term gain than stockpiling credits.
Are shards or credits more important? Well, that's up to you & your personal strategy.
All in all, the use of AllyPoints for refresh in the Droids Fight Back event is a good idea, and if applied to other events might help other areas of the game as well.