RIP Tales of Link

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RIP Tales of Link

This post is part of the Blaugust Developer Appreciation Week.

Tales of Link, one of my favourite mobile games, was killed this spring (27 March 2018). I started playing just before its first anniversary and stopped a year and a half later. I could’ve played longer, but I felt there wasn’t a point.

When I first saw Tales of Link, the battle mechanism was new to me. Linking symbols wasn’t the new bit, but that you had to try to create a link as long as possible. You could use skills to transforms one symbol to another and if you managed to get nine of the same symbols, a special attack would unlock for the last hero in your link.

Tales of Link had many of the heroes and villains from the ‘Tales of’- franchise. My experience with the franchise was limited to trailers and wishlists. I did, however, buy the collector’s edition of Tales of Xillia 2. It was a fun way to get to know each character through the events and side stories.

The Events

They had several types of events. Some where score based, others just story based with free heroes or weapons to farm.

Free2Play friendly?

I felt that I could do nearly everything without paying a dime. It was hard to get a top score in the score ranking events. But besides that, it was very doable to play without spending real money. The game had enough opportunities to earn/farm gems (the premium currency) for the draws. You usually knew upfront which events were coming and most players saved up enough for the gacha with their favourite heroes.

I got three five star heroes in one pull. Two of them were highly rated.

Getting 5 star heroes wasn’t a problem. Getting the one you wanted or needed for your set up was always a question. But that’s what gachas are about, right? You never know what you’re going to get. I’ve been fortune with a lot of my pulls, but there were times when I only drew 4 star heroes. There was no guarantee of a 5 star hero in the regular gachas. They later added a coupon for a 5 star draw, but only for certain event gachas.

Why I quit

I loved this game. The heroes were nice, the drop rates were okay, the battle system required thinking and strategic planning, but it still wasn’t enough. After doing a few dozen scoring based events I noticed how impossible it felt to get to the top. Those events were the only ones that had items to reduce CC on your heroes. They were vital in other events to tackle the hardest levels. Without them it felt nearly impossible to finish it once, let alone farm it in the limited time I had.

When I realised this, I knew I had to accept that I was never going to get any good at it, or quit. I hated the feeling that I never had enough items for max limit break. I really wanted those 5 star event exclusives. I did want to be in the top 500. So I quit.

When I read that Bandai Namco were pulling the plug I felt incredibly sad, but I understood why the game wasn’t popular with whales. Of course there was a small group of players who spend huge amounts of money on premium currency and my guess is that those are the players who were always at the top. But getting there required more than just the right heroes. You needed time to farm as well. There was no way to speed that up, or auto-farm events. You still had to start the battle and confirm your win.

I still miss playing this game and the cute characters. The art was incredible, as is always the case with any Tales Of game. Have you played Tales of Link? Or do you know a game like Tales of Link? Please let me know in the comments.

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