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I am working on an endless mobile game right now and I'm currently in the designing phase. Most (or all) mobile games especially endless ones now have leaderboards and a player's position in the board is determined by their score. I want to implement a store from which people buy upgrades, new cool stuff that help them gain more score. Will this cause an unfair leaderboards. Should I remove the upgrades and replace them with only customizations in the store like clothes that don't affect the score?

Thanks in advance.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Alexandre Vaillancourt, Kromster, Anko, Jesse Dorsey Oct 31 '16 at 14:59

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Generally any game where upgrades improve your progression of the game are classes as pay-to-win. This makes a lot of players avoid it like the plague, while others think it's great as they can get to the top of leaderboards without skill. I guess it depends a lot on what type of game you want to make, and specifically how you implement your upgrades. The most important part is making the game itself as fun and addicting as possible.

My advice is try to avoid a pay-to-win design, but find other ways where upgrades can help. Cosmetics is one big thing, but addition game "features" as paid upgrades are an option as well, statistics, metagame, or stuff that could indirectly help you achieve a highscore. Maybe a practice with checkpoints mode or something similar. Get creative.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. So what are Cosmetics exactly? \$\endgroup\$ – Creative Turtle Oct 26 '16 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CreativeTurtle Cosmetics are upgrades which look good but don't affect gameplay. Clothes, for example. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Oct 26 '16 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phillip that's exactly what I am planning to implement. \$\endgroup\$ – Creative Turtle Oct 26 '16 at 22:23
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I'm currently developing a 3d low poly strategy turn-based multiplayer game, which consists of each player maintaining four actors each. Each actor/unit has their own class(bard,priest,warrior,rogue,etc). I have already decided that upgradable loot would always be a part of the game. The players gain loot by raiding chests in the grid-based dungeon, making the items outside of battle using resources they collect in battle/destroying mineral veins, etc. The thing is though, the gear will not be overly-critical to victory. At most a sword may have +12% Strength on it. Granted that may seem like a lot in the grand scheme of comparatively not having it, but it really means nothing when it comes to the bonuses that actors receive by executing strategic placement and environmental hazard opportunities. What I'm really trying to say here is that your game should be ideally balanced. Two Warriors should have an equal chance of killing each other, regardless of the gear they wear. I have gear, but it is not an integral part of the gameplay.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So what you're saying is: the skill of the players and the upgrades, gears, weapons, etc are balanced so that there's a chance for low skilled players to defeat highly skilled players. \$\endgroup\$ – Creative Turtle Oct 26 '16 at 23:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. Strategy is the core concept of my game, and no amount of gear will save you from someone who breaks a wall next to your actor and kills them with a flood of torrential water from behind it. \$\endgroup\$ – Krythic Oct 26 '16 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ So that means if you implement a leaderboard the top player won't necessarily be the most skilled. That's the point of my question that's why I'm replacing upgrades with cosmetics because I want the most skilled to be the at the top. \$\endgroup\$ – Creative Turtle Oct 26 '16 at 23:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Define "skilled". Because that's an awfully broad word from where I'm sitting. \$\endgroup\$ – Krythic Oct 26 '16 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ For example in your game, the most "skilled" player would be the one to come up with the best strategy. \$\endgroup\$ – Creative Turtle Oct 26 '16 at 23:51

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