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SnipeyMcSniperFace

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Another set of examples for the record. 

I thought we might have turned the corner on getting the Roman numerals right (I still have no idea why Roman numerals are used in the advertisements at all - minds greater than my come up with this incontinuity).

Again, I'm not going to explain what's wrong here - there's ample explanation in this thread (above).
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Player name: SnipeyMcSniperFace (was 'Snipe' temporarily in 2021) / DT: a78d2d5b (was a78d2d5) / Version: Android / Server: APA / 1. ​Been playing SF since UPD6 (Aug 2016) & every day since Nov 2016 / 2. I am a Gameloft customer not employee / 3. I find unannounced SF changes annoying / 4. I value privacy so I am not on Facebook / 5. I do not take cosplay selfies dressed in latex as SF characters like Val or Daisy, etc. (no matter how cute it would be!)
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Decker

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More to that is that even though the question has been asked numerous times, is there actually any point in purchasing Arena weapons?

A question GL seem to be dodging so they have nothing to answer for!
Turns out I wasn't just old and grumpy - I was right to be p!ssed right off!
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SnipeyMcSniperFace

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Decker wrote:
More to that is that even though the question has been asked numerous times, is there actually any point in purchasing Arena weapons?

A question GL seem to be dodging so they have nothing to answer for!
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Dodging the question
Forget meaningful input from Gameloft on this specific topic is my suggestion for the purposes of this response. To be frank, I think it is unlikely that we will be given a meaningful answer on this matter, in these forums, any time soon. More broadly, increasingly, useful information all throughout the game seems to be held in the same safe that Colonel Sanders keeps his recipe for the 11 secret herbs and spices - this only leaves us players with our abilities to observe and, where possible, compare/measure from there. I suspect that same safe is where the user doco is kept also. ;)

Answering the question
I can, simply and very confidently, answer your question (as at this point in time in the game - pre-UPD49): Yes - there is a point to purchasing Arena weapons, because (spoiler alert): Not all Arena weapons of the same class are equal. You heard it here first!

Disclaimers
Now I want to be very clear in stating that the "yes" answer can not be concluded by looking at the numbers alone - in fact, once aoarp (as objective as reasonably practicable) testing is underway, it becomes obvious that the numbers provide a point of confusion. Perhaps this is deliberate deception or a different paradigm is applied to Arena weapons than other weapons in the game - who knows. See above in this thread for some other relevant points like: can't compare weapons prior to purchase, meaningless numbers and can't see how many mod slots there are prior to purchase, etc. Somewhat park these inconveniences for the purposes of this reply.

A comment on data overload / usefulness
It's no secret that a bunch of us have been testing (various things) in the Arena for many months now (almost a year). Some of us are using iOs and others Android. One of the things we observed very early was noticeable differences in weapon performance (even though we have been lead on a bit of an ambiguous wild goose chase in relation to the usefulness of the numbers - see below as to why I think we should ignore this), and, yes, we compared like with like. I'm sitting on a whole bunch of data that needs to be collated and distilled into meaningful player focussed posts - the weapon effectiveness notes and observations are but one part of this data. Frankly, it's a big job, I don't quite know how to present it because more weapons got added as time went on, and, I question the overall usefulness of the exercise, because:
a. By playing the game enough it's pretty easy to figure it out for yourself, and
b. There's no point using it for a 'gotcha Gameloft' exercise here in these forums either, this will not achieve anything in my opinion, and
c. You could say Daniel sorta kinda gave us a wishy washy answer to the numbers questions way back when - who cares, this won't solve anything by pointing it out, and
d. Someone has to own the weapon before it can be compared, and
e. Testing methods have to vary based on the circumstances from player to player.

Weapon variations observed
So... characteristics like: Stability, damage, range, cyclical rate of fire, reload speed, trigger delay and (in the case of assault weapons) number of projectiles per burst, have all been noted to be possible variants between different weapons in the same class (i.e. comparing: Assault vs Assault, Sniper vs Sniper , Railgun vs Railgun) regardless of the number of mod slots the weapon has and (tellingly) regardless of the displayed numbers recorded at the end of the match (which is a variable btw). We had an early assumption that, season to season, (artwork aside) Arena weapon underlying mechanics were just a cut'n'paste from the previous season but this was recently disproven (particularly when looking at Railguns). Anyhoo... I confess my motivation is low at the moment so I have defaulted by only posting the easy stuff (disconnections, displayed weapon number variations, score anomalies, pack drops, critical hit boost anomalies, consumable trumps / obvious uselessness, bot super powers, not being able to see what you are buying, in-match bugs, mindnumbingly calling all weapons the same name with Roman numeral prefixes, etc.). Collating all the information on weapon performance (and turning it into a meaningful post) is not a high priority for me at this point in time, so please just take my word for it for now.

Test methods
The test methods to ascertain this information, during match play, are remarkably simple, but, the conditions take some discipline to ensure consistency. As I've said in other posts, we clean the bots out, get all of our health back up to 100% then head to the same pads in the Arena (depending on what we are testing these vary). It takes time just to get this happening. One of the most frustrating things is that mods can not be unequipped pre-match - so it can take time (sometimes weeks) to get several players into a position where their gear and weapon mods are objectively comparable for testing purposes and, therefore, results comparisons are made on a level playing field. Over time we have learnt to stream line this process using the k.i.s. principle - but there's only so much that can be done. There's some other challenges too, for example, recently on global chat a number of high end Arena players have noted that the stability of certain weapons has changed - this is anecdotal of course - but we haven't been bothered to go back over old ground and measure this again (there's only so many bricks in the wall you can bang your head into before you couldn't be bothered any longer). Let me know if you want more details on the testing (but I'm confident you get the point here - just think it through for a while, it won't take long).

Punchlines
There is measurable Arena weapon variation.
The only way we can test Arena weapons is to buy them and use them in-match.
Buying Arena weapons is a leap of faith.
It takes considerable time to test Arena weapons against each other - testing has to be conducted over multiple weapon characteristics.
There is absolutely no reliable way - that we have found - to know what the weapons will be like until they are purchased and used in multiple matches.
Individual Arena weapon characteristics are just as susceptible to nerfing and buffing by the developers as any other weapon in the game.
It could perhaps be said that it would be much more difficult to measure and prove any nerfing or buffing of Arena weapon characteristics given the absence of (meaningful) consistent weapon comparison data.
It could be reasonably suggested that the general absence of (meaningful) weapon data, and the limited use of variable (inconsistent) weapon comparison data displayed, is deliberate.
It is reasonable to suggest, based on what I've observed to date, that there is little progressive and/or ever inflationary arms-race style escalation of weapon and gear strength in the Arena - this appears to be by design.

References
(Note: No long list of links here - but there could be).
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Player name: SnipeyMcSniperFace (was 'Snipe' temporarily in 2021) / DT: a78d2d5b (was a78d2d5) / Version: Android / Server: APA / 1. ​Been playing SF since UPD6 (Aug 2016) & every day since Nov 2016 / 2. I am a Gameloft customer not employee / 3. I find unannounced SF changes annoying / 4. I value privacy so I am not on Facebook / 5. I do not take cosplay selfies dressed in latex as SF characters like Val or Daisy, etc. (no matter how cute it would be!)
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Decker

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Well put, and received, Snipey.

I'm just so tired of being a 'beta tester' for GL (or alpha tester in most cases).

AND I never took the opportunity to thank those that do dive in to the dark dangerous realm that is anti-social media for their reports on what GL is saying outside their own platform (as that gets indexed on search engines so is free advertising), so thanks folks for exposing yourselves in that fashion for the players benefit (and no sarcasm there, I'm being genuine) :)
Turns out I wasn't just old and grumpy - I was right to be p!ssed right off!
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SnipeyMcSniperFace

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Decker wrote:
Well put, and received, Snipey.
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Thank you.

Blind gambling
The broader concern here, in my opinion, is that the purchase (of an Arena weapon) is (in itself) a completely blind gamble. Sure, I know I'm most likely going to get a weapon I can use in the Arena and that it will be a Sniper, Rail or Assault - but I have no idea as to its effectiveness or if I already own one that is better or number of mod slots or what performance characteristics it has when compared to other weapons.

Helping out fellow players
To compound this, there's no point in one player buying the weapon then advising others to purchase or not - because the window of time to make such decisions (effectively) is way too narrow. I know this because I tried it with 4 Railguns recently.

Comparison gamble
This situation is is akin to having an SM for sale in the shop for real $ / £ / €, but all you could see was it's name and if it was Elite / Assault / RPG / etc. - imagine if the level number, counters and perks were not visible. You know you're going to get an SM, the artwork looks great, but it's usefulness to you is not able to be determined prior to purchase.

More digestible gambles
Pack drops are a purchased gamble. The FOMO driven usefulness of an elite weapon after an event is over is also a gamble. I find these two gambles more palettable (than the blind Arena weapon gamble) simply because of the information I have prior to the gamble.
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I'm just so tired of being a 'beta tester' for GL (or alpha tester in most cases).
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I get that - completely. I look at all the "QA" staff that Gameloft have listed in the game credits - I lost count last time I tried to get a total but... it's alot of people. I wonder sometimes if just one of them actually reads these forums.
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Player name: SnipeyMcSniperFace (was 'Snipe' temporarily in 2021) / DT: a78d2d5b (was a78d2d5) / Version: Android / Server: APA / 1. ​Been playing SF since UPD6 (Aug 2016) & every day since Nov 2016 / 2. I am a Gameloft customer not employee / 3. I find unannounced SF changes annoying / 4. I value privacy so I am not on Facebook / 5. I do not take cosplay selfies dressed in latex as SF characters like Val or Daisy, etc. (no matter how cute it would be!)
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You made the point I've always been against - GL makes players 'GAMBLE' now that requires a license in most countries, the UK where I'm in and HMRC & the Gambling Commission would no doubt love to have a chat about how much money and tax they owe and how much jail time the bosses would like to serve (based on just how many others they will stick right in it)...
Turns out I wasn't just old and grumpy - I was right to be p!ssed right off!
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SnipeyMcSniperFace

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The ol' is it 'gambling' question

Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:27 pm
Decker wrote:
You made the point I've always been against - GL makes players 'GAMBLE' now that requires a license in most countries, the UK where I'm in and HMRC & the Gambling Commission would no doubt love to have a chat about how much money and tax they owe and how much jail time the bosses would like to serve (based on just how many others they will stick right in it)...

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When diving a little deeper into this topic ('the topic' being the "gamble" legality interpretations matter as it applies to the Sniper Fury product and Gameloft's efforts therein) it doesn't take long to realise that you're diving into a shallow pool and you may be about to smack your head into something hard. ;)

There's a bit of tomayeto / tomarrto here. I confess to a somewhat exaggerated use of the word "gamble" (sometimes sarcasm is peppered through my posts also). Sometimes in these forums a little sharper language assists with ensuring the point is understood. Perhaps "chance" is a better word than "gamble". More of a blunt instrument than a sharp point (and I know it sounds like I'm splitting straws here).

There was a case in relation to a slot machine app. (There's actually plenty of them - Google it). The brief of the one I recall seeing was that a customer (woman from memory) blew 400k (plus) of real world money on micro transactions in this Facebook based app and had won/earnt in-game currency from gambling therein, but the app had no way whatsoever of withdrawing the winnings back into real world money.

The customer's lawyers were arguing the obvious - the customer was under the genuine impression that there was a way to withdraw winnings after all that investment. In other words: the customer thought they were truly 'gambling' their real world money. The app also looked like a gambling app - although what it looks like, what it's advertised to be and what it actually is, can all be different things (as we know from our experience a little closer to home [nods]).

I'll leave you to guess how the "responsible gambling", "online addiction", "anti-addiction psychology" and "gamblers help" types are responding and how high their horses are - who knows, they might even be funding the customer's lawyers for all I know.

[Edit note: I am deliberately parking three topics for the rest of this reply:
1. False advertising - different consumer laws around the world mean that we're not going to crack that egg here.
2. Certification and testing that a "gamble" is indeed a gamble and what's stated is what is happening (i.e. integrity / mutual trust assurance / third party certifiable fairness of the system therein).
3. The underlying topic of psychological addiction and designing that in to these apps. In comment: Clearly, addiction is a desired outcome - whether that's ethical or not and whether it is grooming or not is a whole other debate.
'Designing in addiction' is an emotive topic when people are shelling out real coin for a gamble - as is the assumption that there is underlying integrity and fairness in the system they are using and/or that customers entered an arrangement based on a misleading or false advertising.
Yes, these are real valid and relevant issues that impact this topic, but, let's leave them aside from this post, primarily because I think they have the potential to further complicate this long response unnecessarily. End edit].

The app's lawyers were arguing that the app was never licenced as a gambling app and that there never was a way to have in-game currency reconverted to real world money and therefore any in-game winnings could not be paid out - therefore the app (as a whole) can not be seen as a gamble - the customer's expenditure for "entertainment" in the app was just that: expenditure for entertainment. I do not know if the International Social Games Association (Google them) who cover this type of middle ground (somewhere between casinos, horse/sports punting online and metal coin in the slot arcade games) are somewhere in the mix here.

Only when the app (as a whole) is capable of returning real world money does it become a "gambling" app and subject to regulatory requirements was their main point. The law in this part of the world (and many others in the Western hemisphere) is skewed in this manner - despite overwhelming opinions and controversy aimed at implying that it is not the case (or that it should not be). Of note is that laws are not even consistent from state to state within some countries and there are sometimes multiple agencies therein - so there's not just simply 200 odd countries on the planet to umbrella here - the number of jurisdictions to consider is significantly higher than 200.

Thinking that through in our case: there may be a good reason why games, like Sniper Fury, have multiple in-game currencies / commodities - you could imply that laundering and conversion of these in-game currencies is at Sniper Fury's core - this perhaps makes the basis for any challenge (to determine if it is indeed "gambling") quite complex to define also. Furthermore, the in-game laundering itself could be argued as being a component of the "entertainment" provision - because we do stuff to make that activity happen. It could also be implied that the perception of value (of items and activities) is deliberately designed to be a moving target and difficult to pin down (enter our Arena weapons performance for example). We could go all day here on the introduction of ambiguity (surely it could be implied that the use of Roman numerals, and the same SM names, same weapon named with slightly different prefixes, etc. all introduce unnecessary points of potential confusion - why anyone would ever want to deliberately introduce inefficiencies like this was beyond me, until I started thinking it through).

The extension, of what the lawyers for the app are arguing, is that "gambling" implies that a "gambler" has the opportunity to lose real world money (unsuccessful wager) and also to gain real world money (successful wager). Again with the straw splitting - but their point is a wholistic one. You could argue that in playing Sniper Fury we neither gain real world money or lose real world money, we simply 'expend' real world money and in doing so we are 'entertained'. Again splitting straws, but, I have never ever been under any impression that I would have the possibility of yielding real world money from Sniper Fury as a whole product. [Edit note: Whether my investments in Sniper Fury are a complete rip-off (and I am left feeling betrayed by the nature and mechanics of the transaction) is another matter all together - perception of value (of the item itself and of the thrill or disappointment of a "chance" based transaction) is highly subjective. End edit].

In my view: This whole space screams of dodgy - but that does not necessarily make it unlawful. I'll explain this a little further and round this post up....

Gameloft T&C's are pretty clear. Our jurisdiction is California, USA (but we all know the game is developed primarily in Romania ). We also know that we don't actually buy anything in Sniper Fury, we only pay for a licence to use the stuff ('virtual items') we think we buy. There is technically no ownership and is clearly states: "Virtual items have no real-world value and cannot be redeemed for actual currency..." . Gameloft can do anything they want with that licence we buy to use the 'virtual items' and revoke that licence at any time.

In my opinion, the manner by which those 'chance' based purchases (of licences to use 'virtual items') in Sniper Fury are sometimes not well defined and are shrouded in mystery is (in and of itself) somewhat dodgy, suspiciously deliberate, unnecessarily annoying, and, seems to be getting worse as the game grows (or perhaps I'm just more sensitive to it now I've been disappointed more times and had time to think it through). Parking simplistic Arena weapon comparison abilities for now (the reason this post got kicked off in the first place - see above in thread), in my opinion, there has been ample time to rectify the Arena gear and weapons visibility (prior to purchase) matter - the Arena sub-product has been around for 23 seasons (counting the beta season). Someone may be chipping away in the background, who knows, but.... It's Gameloft who have to live with the brand erosion and loss of sales and potential loss of paying customers as a result of their own prolonged seemimgly dodgy chance based mysterious purchasing set-ups for Arena 'virtual items'. Companies can only disappoint so many customers before it starts to impact the bottom line - but that's their risk and their business model and their deliberate decisions, etc. So....

Frankly, 'dodgy' and 'annoying' doesn't necessarily always mean 'unlawful'. In my opinion, until there are more legal precedents around the world (and/or laws catch up with app development, micro transactional nested gaming and the international non-country-bordered nature of the internet in general) it's extremely difficult to conclude that what Gameloft are doing inside Sniper Fury is technically "gambling" as the definition currently stands in many jurisdictions. If it's not (technically) "gambling" it can not fairly be deemed to fall under the jurisdiction of gambling laws and/or authorities and therefore (as a whole) - therefore I don't think we can conclude that it is unlawful at this point in time. Of course, if the definition of gambling broadens or is changed in scope (to what it currently is) then maybe it will be 'game on' in this space - but don't hold your breath is my advice.

Punchline: Caveat emptor (I do however wish sometimes that there was a little more caveat venditor).

End note: Comical and pun based headings omitted deliberately - although I had to try really hard to not put them in (has some good ones lined up too). I will also continue to use the term "gamble" when posting - in order to highlight, perhaps exaggerate and therefore overemphasise a point (until someone comes up with a really good reason as to why I can't - and even then I might choose to ignore that reason anyway.   ;) ).

Links:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-04/ ... s/11831094

viewtopic.php?f=2031&t=712102&p=4124526#p4124526

(Still looking for the case link - taking a bit longer than I anticipated - once I find it I'll put it here).
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Player name: SnipeyMcSniperFace (was 'Snipe' temporarily in 2021) / DT: a78d2d5b (was a78d2d5) / Version: Android / Server: APA / 1. ​Been playing SF since UPD6 (Aug 2016) & every day since Nov 2016 / 2. I am a Gameloft customer not employee / 3. I find unannounced SF changes annoying / 4. I value privacy so I am not on Facebook / 5. I do not take cosplay selfies dressed in latex as SF characters like Val or Daisy, etc. (no matter how cute it would be!)
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SnipeyMcSniperFace

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Re: Can not see advertised offer in shop

Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:16 pm
SnipeyMcSniperFace wrote:
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For the record...

See attached screen pic. Just saw this in-game advert but there is no offer in the shop when I click on the button in the as (or go looking for it).

I do not already own the gear advertised. I do own "Rib Reclaimer". Hope it's not a one out all out offer. Can someone tell me if you can see this offer in the shop please???

Notes:
Avatar not holding an Arena weapon.
Rib Reclaimer is 3 perm + 3 temp mod slots.
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Again there is an in game advertisement for an Arena gear and weapon combo but I have no way of seeing it in the shop because I already own the weapon. (I do not own the gear). Annoying (again) because I only purchased the weapons originally on a "take one for the team" basis.

See screen pics of:
1. Weapon details screen pic.
2. Advertisement.
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Player name: SnipeyMcSniperFace (was 'Snipe' temporarily in 2021) / DT: a78d2d5b (was a78d2d5) / Version: Android / Server: APA / 1. ​Been playing SF since UPD6 (Aug 2016) & every day since Nov 2016 / 2. I am a Gameloft customer not employee / 3. I find unannounced SF changes annoying / 4. I value privacy so I am not on Facebook / 5. I do not take cosplay selfies dressed in latex as SF characters like Val or Daisy, etc. (no matter how cute it would be!)
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SnipeyMcSniperFace

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Another set of examples for the record.

Again, no explanation here with these, there is ample description of the relevant issues above in this thread.
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Player name: SnipeyMcSniperFace (was 'Snipe' temporarily in 2021) / DT: a78d2d5b (was a78d2d5) / Version: Android / Server: APA / 1. ​Been playing SF since UPD6 (Aug 2016) & every day since Nov 2016 / 2. I am a Gameloft customer not employee / 3. I find unannounced SF changes annoying / 4. I value privacy so I am not on Facebook / 5. I do not take cosplay selfies dressed in latex as SF characters like Val or Daisy, etc. (no matter how cute it would be!)
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SnipeyMcSniperFace

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SnipeyMcSniperFace wrote:
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Another set of examples for the record. 

I thought we might have turned the corner on getting the Roman numerals right (I still have no idea why Roman numerals are used in the advertisements at all - minds greater than my come up with this incontinuity).

Again, I'm not going to explain what's wrong here - there's ample explanation in this thread (above).
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See text quoted above. See screen pics.
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Player name: SnipeyMcSniperFace (was 'Snipe' temporarily in 2021) / DT: a78d2d5b (was a78d2d5) / Version: Android / Server: APA / 1. ​Been playing SF since UPD6 (Aug 2016) & every day since Nov 2016 / 2. I am a Gameloft customer not employee / 3. I find unannounced SF changes annoying / 4. I value privacy so I am not on Facebook / 5. I do not take cosplay selfies dressed in latex as SF characters like Val or Daisy, etc. (no matter how cute it would be!)