This game is as much about stats and basic mathematical calculations in a dungeon as it is about art and orb matching. From the early days of our gaming careers we are faced with the simple but important decision of whom to invest in. Well, it’s either that or a lot of regret later on.
Another perfect example of pazudora’s perfect, subtle mash of gameplay and business are the stat-exp/lv growth curves. While the monsters might vary from early (stats peaking around lv50) to late bloomers (stats peaking around lv99), one can observe a rule of thumb which is that lv66 (two thirds of the maximum level) can be reached rather easily by simply feeding the “trash mobs” from normal, special dungeons etc. For it is up to around 1M exp that one can feed those monsters of no value such as knights, devils, goblins and ogres – and not have the cost of the power-up fusion exceed the experience gain. This sum of exp more or less coincides with lv66, or around two thirds of the maximum stats. With the right monsters and utilities, a good player can make do in pretty much any dungeon without maxing out their team (just check out dacho’s “work” – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxJXwYLqwpT7ZOw8Qy4eqJw). However, it is the not-immediately-noticeable benefit of the added last third of the stats/levels (66-99) that really makes a difference. GungHo’s brilliance in crafting descends is soon made apparent with every team you might choose to take; the enemies’ skills, which are dependent on their HP, timers or just chosen carefully to inhibit certain popular strategies (e.g. delay, nukes) diversify the challenges that the game presents and encourages having multiple teams. At the same time, descends are almost always possible to clear with any decent/fashionable team but require meeting a precondition that can be summed down to either having some monster with a rare skill (pulling a gacha), or increasing your team’s levels (more feasible and easier to plan, but requiring time and effort). It is here that the last third of the stats and levels of a given monster card comes into play. Unsurprisingly, that part constitutes the large majority of the total exp (2 out of 3M, 3 out of 4M, 4 out of 5M exp), and is in fact the crux of a monster’s excellence, and excelling does make a difference in the merciless pit of randomness that is a descend dungeon.
Similarly, plus eggs, the abundance of which is a trademark of pros and super IAPers, even further enhance a team’s capabilities and are also dependent on one’s investment in the game. Compared to maxing out a monster, +297-ing it takes a lot more focus and deliberation, and the cost and time required is tenfold. It opens a lot of possibilities, much more than can be gleaned from the added stats; even a single +297 monster paired with a helper of the same caliber makes for a significant change as that combination is practically like adding a seventh monster. In addition to that, through plus eggs one is able to show his love for a god or a hero to the world, attract friends and pal points. All that leads to every player’s roster being distinct, and the game subsequently feeling more real and important.
As in real life, only on a considerably smaller scale, learning a skill and being merely good at it is far less difficult to achieve than to excel at it. The nuances of the latter, and the saturation of the effort-to-reciprocated-reward ratio are ever so reminiscent to the growth curves and the “last thirds” and “+297s” in pazudora. There, the question of whether to settle for the comfort of mediocrity without failed dreams or strive for greatness at the risk of getting crushed under the weight of one’s own aspirations arises in the depths of each human soul.
Perhaps it’s nice that we’re able to peruse this great dilemma of life in a smaller, more contained medium and to attempt to solve it here, in pazudora. It might lead us to a greater knowing of our own selves, or a more transient, virtual happiness, in life where nothing is certain…