Well, as for the axiom that a good deal is one where no one’s happy, my feeling is that it only applies to negotiations or pareto efficiency situations that address some sort of unjust inequality. 1.7 is neither of those things.
Now, per the whole “suck it up” matter, I’ve read many posts over the last five days where people state that it’ll settle down in time, and that this chaos is just a temporary part of the game related to change. I’ve argued the same many times over the last eight (?) months, in my alliance, Discord, and here, that over multiple trials, players will normalize to a place that’s appropriate to their respective levels of skill and teams. I usually remind people of this at the beginnings of tournaments, when it’s a bloodbath as the order shakes-out. Change causes some friction. So, the premise is correct…
… but the predicate is wrong. The predicate here is that the changes are awful because they reflect a sharp and dramatic change in the rules that punishes players who diligently built teams over an entire year. All of a sudden, the countless hours of grinding and spending of real money are suddenly usurped by a new order that allows players with much, much less progression to build teams that are far more powerful than yours for a fraction of the cost in time and money.
That’s utter and complete garbage. It’s moving the goalposts unfairly, and that’s just a reality that exists without regard to player category (whale-to-win, pay-to-win, pay-something-but-grind-a-lot-to-win, or free-to-play). It doesn’t matter whether everyone has access to the same stat boosts, it’s the fact that the sudden change negates the efforts of game progress over the last year.
And it’s not the same as changing small rules, such as nerfing Stegod to eliminate DSR, or remove bleed cleansing; that’s a situation that might have been a bit frustrating for some, but it was good overall and it was small in the scheme of things. A small move in a bigger picture that had balance, and was “just,” and it was reasonable to expect players to adjust. The one-two punch of boosts and trophies have upended this game, leaving it unbalanced, so the hate and vitriol toward it is appropriate and justified.
So, your view of the trophy board being a reflection of a class system… of course it is, but it’s actually irrelevant in this discussion, because of the predicate I mention. Your sense of satisfaction here is misplaced because of the predicate - that it’s a sharp, dramatic change in the rules, and it purely isn’t fair to allow players to skip the line, regardless of how much people in line did, or didn’t, pay. If we were at endgame for the majority of players, and the upper-tier players were cawing about not having an advantage, then yeah, I think you’d be justified in your view. But 1.7 is not that.
I accept that it’s a class system, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that it’s a class system. Immediately upon opening this game, it was abundantly clear that the upper tiers were P2W. And, at the time, progression itself was disgustingly P2W, and I didn’t think I’d be around long, since it was mathematically impossible to make any progress without spending real money. Then, they released Strike Events and coin boxes, and all of a sudden, progression was within reach with a reasonable amount of time spent grinding. Then, with the introduction of Alliance Rewards, and increasing the encounter radius for Supply Drops, the game became far, far more accessible to players who can’t/won’t P2W, and its appeal to me grew significantly. There’d still be a class stratification in the arena and in completion of the collection, sure, but I was fine with battling in my bracket and my rate of progress, knowing that there’d be tiers, and I’d be able to settle-in to where my team/talents/time battling should place me. Not so, now, and I reject the “suck it up” arguments because they’re predicated on an unfair rules change.
Oh, and BTW, I fall in the third category above. I’ve spent a fairly modest amount on this game, with the overwhelming majority of my resource spend in time, not money. Aside from VIP for me, and my son, I haven’t put any money into this game since early January, when I exchanged a few small gift cards for hardcash that I’ve been hoarding until recently, when half of the aged hardcash balance went to a relatively small number of boost packs.