Earlier this week, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery introduced a new challenge called Dueling Club. The event, which lasts just a few days, pits players up against opponents in duels. Winning duels will count towards a progress meter, allowing players to unlock rewards. But while players were initially excited when the event was announced, the actual implementation has caused controversy among the community.
The concern surrounding the latest Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery event centers on the fact that Dueling Club uses tickets. Players get three tickets for the event, wagering one ticket every time they enter into a duel. If they win the duel, they will get to keep their ticket and if they lose the battle then they will lose it. Those who have played Hearthstone’s Tavern Brawl mode will recognize the format.
The problem, say players, is that the game only gives them three tickets for free. Unlocking additional tickets costs 120 Gems (Gems are the premium currency in the game) and the FAQ for the event confirms that tickets will not regenerate during the duration of the event.
While many are outraged about the lack of ticket regeneration, many have also criticized the timing of the event. While Gems can be earned through normal play of the game, free Gems are only offered in a slow drip. With the game recently having introduced unlockable pets, which themselves require Gems to purchase, even those who had sizeable hauls of Gems collected for free will have emptied out their coffers already. It means that in order to get some longevity out of the Duel Challenge mode, players will have to spend money for Gems before spending them on tickets.
This issue is particularly sensitive as this isn’t the first time that Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery has been accused of trying to “wring” money out of fans with microtransactions before. When the game first launched, it was criticized heavily for the way that it appeared to lock content behind a paywall. In one (now infamous) scene from the game’s story, players are forced to wait several hours or cough up Gems in order to save a child from being strangled.
Seemingly in response to this backlash, developer Jam City made recent changes in order to make the game a little more lenient. For example, players are now able to earn free energy by watching ads (as opposed to waiting or unlocking them with Gems) and the game regularly offers discounts on resource bundles (including Gems, energy and so on). But the implementation of Dueling Club is being seen as a massive step back in that regard and many fans are hoping that Jam City will take steps to avoid this sort of thing in future.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is available on Android and iOS devices.