Dokkan Battle is the most popular Dragon Ball game of the moment for iOS and Android devices and right now fans are in an open war with Bandai Namco in response to unfair treatment of the Japanese version of the game.
First of all, there are two important things to underline: Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle is a gacha-type game, a popular monetization technique in Japanese games where players can inject real money in an attempt to get the character they want (the system is very similar to loot boxes). Second, there are two versions of Dokkan Battle: the Global version and the Japanese version.
The Japanese version of Dokkan Battle is different from the Global. Although technically the same game, the Japanese version was released first and is several months ahead in content compared to the Global version, which means that the versions are updated separately. This also means that, if there are rewards for some type of error, they are delivered separately.
A frustrating Free-to-Play experience
Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle is classified as a free-to-play game, and although the classification is not exactly wrong, those who do not want to spend real money can have a miserable and frustrating experience. The most valuable currency in Dokkan Battle is the Dragon Stones, which are needed to perform character Summons. A Summon (which equals one character) costs 5 Dragon Stones and a Multi-Summon (which guarantees 10 characters) costs 50 Dragon Stones.
There are story missions to earn Dragon Stones, but once you finish those missions, earning more Dragon Stones gets tricky. The only way to earn more is to wait for new events (which are rare) and log-in bonuses. Usually, during celebrations, players receive 1 Dragon Stone per day if they log in and possibly one or another Dragon Stone for special missions.
So, without spending money, at best, you will receive 2 or 3 Dragon Stones per day, this in special situations. On normal days, you may not even receive a Dragon Stone if you log in. In addition to Dragon Stones being rare, you have no guarantee that you will receive the character you want in the Summons, in fact, the most likely is that you will not receive it at all.
“Those who don’t want to spend real money can have a miserable experience”
In Summons you can receive characters of three rarities: R, SR and SSR. The characters of the last rarity are the best, however, there are SSR characters with little use or that are vastly inferior to other more recent characters. SSR characters are rare and in most Summons you are not guaranteed to receive one.
Combat runs in turns. The most important thing is to create a team with good KI synergy to be able to carry out a super attack each turn.
Therefore, if we combine extremely low probabilities of receiving what you are looking for in the shortage of Dragon Stones, the conditions are met for a terrible experience for those who do not want to buy Dragon Stones. For example, 91 Dragon Stones cost 49.99 euros and it is not enough for two Multi-Summons. For a free-to-play game, Dragon Ball can become a huge expense.
Unequal treatment between the Global version and the Japanese version
However, none of the above is the reason for the current war with Bandai Namco. What is at issue is the different treatment of the versions. A few months ago, players in the Japanese version received a full refund for the Dragon Stones spent on a Summon that had the wrong artwork for a character that could come out. Now, the same thing happened in the Global version, however, the answer was different.
In Japan, due to the popularity of Gacha games, there are laws that regulate the market. In the Global version, as it is available in so many different countries, the same laws are not applicable, which may explain the difference in treatment. Another difference concerns the probabilities of each character in the Summons. In the Japanese version, the probability is indicated, while in the Global version there is no such indication (fans use the DBZ Space website, which indicates the probabilities, but they are not official data)
In the Global version, Bandai Namco acknowledged the error in a notification within the game itself, however, it did not offer any refund to anyone who spent Dragon Stones on the Summons. The error showed the art of a character who was not present in that Summon, so the situation was practically identical to what happened in the Japanese version.
In fact, this is a case of misleading advertising. Although the art shown was not from a popular card, the conditions are similar to the error that occurred in the Japanese version and which resulted in a full refund of the spent Dragon Stones.
Last week Bandai Namco launched new Summons with the new cards of Super Saiyan Rosé and Vegito Blue, reaching the Top Grossing of iOS and Android stores in several countries.
Global version players also make constant references to the 300 Stones that Japanese players received for another error, which showed different probabilities of the same card through the player. As this error only happened in the Japanese version, only those who play this version received the 300 Stones (never before have so many stones been offered).
War is just a symptom of a deeper problem
The discontent of Dokkan Battle players towards the different treatment by the version is a symptom of a deeper problem. Dragon Ball Dokan Battle is not a user friendly game and is designed with an authentic slot machine. New powerful cards are released regularly (a character can have different cards with different levels of power), changing the goal of the game, but it is impossible to keep up with all the news with the Dragon Stones that Bandai Namco offers.
“There are others who are willing to spend small fortunes to get the latest cards”
There are completely free cards, but practically none are as powerful as those that can be obtained from Summons. If we take into account that it currently takes an excellent leader to have a team, and those leaders have extremely low odds in the Summons, we can understand the reason for the discontent. Imagine going for weeks to join Dragon Stones for a Multi-Summon and receive only R and SR rarity cards (which are of little use).
All games of the gacha type are designed based on the same monetization system, comparable to a c****o, but there are some more friendly than others. Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle is one of the worst examples, but fans tolerate it due to the huge name it carries: Dragon Ball is one of the most popular and beloved manga / anime in the world, which means that despite everything, it still has one great appeal to fans. In the Dokkan Battle reddit the topics of disillusioned players are constant, but will this change anything?
Probably not. Thanks to the release of new cards, Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle reached the first place in the Top Grossing table in several countries around the world. Despite some discontented voices, there are others who are willing to spend small fortunes to obtain the most recent cards.