Boiling the frog

Probably many of you have heard of a classic experiment. They say if you throw a live frog into boiling water, the frog will jump out immediately and survive. However, if you put the frog into cold water, and warm it up slowly, the frog will not jump out and gets boiled eventually. I'm not sure if this experiment would work in practice, but it is a classic example to model human behaviour.

Why do I bring this up? Because Wartune is a master of boiling us like a frog. I remember when I started playing Wartune. I was excited that I don't have to spend money, I can get everything, just a bit slower - except for the pretty wings. Then, after some weeks, when I knew I like the game, I made my first recharge to buy a pair of wings. In a game like this, making the customer to do the first recharge is always the most difficult task. It must be always a small sum - 5 USD is just perfect as the weekly tempting recharge bonuses suggest.

After you recharged 5 USD a few times, you will be confident to make a bigger one - 10, 20 or 40 USD, if there are some tempting sales. You spend 10-50 USD monthly, and you still playing. And, after like a half year, you say, gee, I already spent over 100 USD! So making a 100 USD recharge now looks more reasonable. Time passes, and there comes the big mega-ultra recharge promotion, for 500 or 1000 USD, offering treasures beyond your dreams - and you don't even have to spend it, you get this huge bonus pack for recharging! And since you recharged 50-100 USD several times, you say: I will play for a year more, I would recharge this amount eventually anyway. Of course, after you have the balens, they disappear much faster; not like when you have to touch your credit card each time when there is a sale. And, you get boiled, like a frog.

The first year (10 months) when I played Wartune, I spent an average of 70 USD monthly (10-20 only first months, more later). When our server merged in 2013, they put up a recharge bonus of 500 USD. I said it's too much money, so I passed. In the next 7-8 months, I spent that amount, and told myself, it was a mistake not to do the recharge, I lost all the bonuses. So when the next merge came around in 2014, I was ready to be boiled: I made the 500 USD recharge. Saying myself, this will be enough for another half year at least. Of course I was wrong, a gadzillion of big spender events started to follow, and the 50.000 balens disappeared in 2 months, making my monthly spending increase from 70 to 250: so the game became more expensive - due to a „good offer”. What a paradox situation...

My blog is about how to build a strong character using a minimal amount of balens: but this „minimal” is quite relative thing :) As things get cheaper and cheaper, as you got bigger and bigger bonuses and more sales, it is harder and harder to resist. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you could see that I say „don't buy” to 9 sales/promotions out of 10. But sales became so common, there is always one which is just too good to refuse. And then we begin finding excuses: „I can afford it”, „Others spent more”, „I am a god on my server for this price” etc.

When I started playing Wartune, my friend told me: „Wartune is a game where you can spend an unlimited amount of money. But still, whenever you buy balens, always think of the possibility that you can quit tomorrow. Will you regret the total amount you spent?” He played for a year, spent 200 USD, and quit without a second thought. Some months later, he restarted on a new server. He never bought a balen but he still have fun.

This game creates a very strong addiction. And when you have the balen, it is much harder to resist. Btw, the current event („balen lode”) looks interesting. Looks like I spend 5k balens, then I get it back, +2k bound balens. But the trap is here, to use this, you must recharge. And then you have the balens, you spend them much faster... Very smart, I have to admit.

So always keep in mind how much you spent in total, and what is your monthly spending. Is that increasing? If yes, be careful: you are just getting boiled!


  1. When I started playing in December 2012 Wartune was a different game. So was it's appetite for players money. I played for 2 months, learned some game mechanics and saw that free players must spend a lot of time in the game to keep up with those who spend. I started on a newly opened server and decided to spend "smart" - only when i clearly see the benefit of spending. So it was for several months - I was making 1-2 recharges monthly by small sums - 500-1000 balens. That was enough to compete for top 5 players on the server. I was spending mostly on those things you couldnt get for free (well, things that weren't possible to get free at the that moment :) ).
    Then Wartune changed. It started with event chests, where you cannot be sure that you get mount from 1st chest or need to buy 1000. Then introduction of Sylphs - major change to all gameplay. 10-20 dollars per month became nothing - you rarely could get something for that sum. To stay competitive I kept spending for a while, even recharded 100$ once or twice, but after all Wartune appetite exceeded my spending limit and I decided that I won't ever recharge again, except for getting VIP. Of course I broke my own promise few times but finally managed to keep my wallet closed, cause all i got after recharging and spending was not a joy, but disappointment. Even smart spending of 100$ monthly cant help you to get all possible rewards (mounts etc).
    Now I spend 8$ monthly for VIP status and enjoying the game with my friends. I'm happy when I get something valuable from free event chests. It was a game of competition for me, now its not. I enjoy doing some events, others are boring, some I skip at all.
    I knew I would keep spending 10-20$ per month if i could get maximum rewards for that sum and stay competitive. Wartune lured me into spending 100$, which if fact made me stop spending.
    I got boiled but jumped out when it got too hot! :)))

    Starry, Armorgames S4 US West.

    1. Nice comment, very well said! I respect you for your wisdom, and will to resist spending more. The goal of the game is to have fun, nothing else matters.

  2. I still have most of the balens I got on the December recharge event so I bought into this one but you're right most of the time its a trap, I am just pretty good (after reading this website) at holding on to them.

    1. You did the perfect way then, since now you got a free 15k bound balens!


  3. Before playing Wartune, I've already played other games which required money, but not nearly this much. World of Warcraft costs $15 a month, a little less if you pay for 6 months at a time, but nothing more. Lord of Ultima costs about $10 for the basic ministers, more if you buy items, but I rarely buy them. I also have board games, PC games, Wii, Playstation, and Xbox games which costs an initial $30-$50 to buy the game, but then nothing after that. I've also played a ton of free games as well...

    I started playing Wartune about a year ago, around Feb 2014. I was a free, casual player the first two months. I was amazed and intrigued about how this game is so great at tempting its player to spend... recharge bonus, big spender, one time goodie bags, hot event sales, etc... EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THE GAME LURE PEOPLE TO SPEND! It's integrated into every page, every box, every window... I've never seen any game like this. I was proud that I could resist spending despite all the temptations. I was having fun; the game didn't have ads; I could play from anywhere with just a web browser...

    Then I joined a guild and made friends. I wanted to do my runs with high BR people. They seem to be smarter and know what they're doing. They taught me things about the game. The top BR group in my server invited me in their group. Not surprisingly, they all have VIP, spirit of covenant, buy mounts, etc...

    No one forced me to, but I decided that if I want to play competitively, I need to spend a little money. So I started buying VIP, spirit of covenant, gold maps, crypt keys, gem formula, sylph skills, cloths, wings, a few boxes here and there. I never really spend more than $50-$80 per month. There were a few exceptions: I really wanted hades so I bought more than I should; and getting married when it came out.

    After I came across the $100,000 whale video, I felt like a fool. I had saw the post on your blog before, but it didn't impact me the way it did when I saw the video. As I continue to play the game (and reading your blog) I see that things that used to cost a lot got a lot cheaper, or even free. Now they even give out a ton of bound balens. Things that I used to pay for: mahra, sylph sepul, wings, cloths, some mounts, even sylph skills, resistant crystals, will crystals, all the evolved sylphs, now engagement rings. I feel a little cheated.

    Now I limit myself to only promo recharge of 500 balens and VIP. I don't buy SoC anymore, only power of healing. This wont get me into the top group of the server, but my toon is still good enough for CW finals. In the last few months, I place around 50th-70th.

    1. I see you think the same way as I do. But, don't regret that you bought things which became cheaper later: you could use these things to gain extra advantage. For example, you bought a Hades. I did that too, spent 200 USD on chests, and 200 more to evolve it, so it was very expensive. And now you could get evolved Hades for free, for 900 sepulcrum. Still, I dont regret buying it, because for many months, I could get extra rewards which otherwise I would have missed.

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  5. everything is so true. I also started as a free player, enjoying that game could be played free, just things are slower, then started to pay, then pay more (20-30$ a month), reached idk 140k br at lvl 59, and then got bored. Game had become "do a lot of chores for br increase" instead of "get fun and increase br at same time". Then decided to quit, and that was a truly good decission. I don't regret, it was fun, but without wartune you get more fun from things you do instead.