Hi all. Long time no blog! This time, we are going to be talking about the summon rates in Brave Frontier and how there are quite a lot of misunderstandings with it. I've seen this around Discord servers, Reddit, and the Wiki, but people are complaining about how summon rates for Brave Frontier are way too low.
- Minor clean up
- Added new sections "But Fate/Grand Order and Fire Emblem Heroes aren't the same game as Brave Frontier!" and "This isn't F2P by any means. 26 summons is still a lot."
- Revised "Your math is wrong. Clearly 15% is higher than 5%!"
- Edited "But Fate/Grand Order and Fire Emblem Heroes aren't the same game as Brave Frontier!"
Why did gumi start revealing summon rates?
Recently, Apple made changes to their Terms of Service which stated that games that sell lootboxes must reveal rates for gacha gates. In which case, these "lootboxes" are the bundles that appear in the game's Shop feature. As such, every announcement starting from the summon gate featuring the return of Rahotep and Neferet onward lists the summon rates of getting a certain kind of unit.
Is gumi nerfing summon rates by any means?
No. Just because Zegstia and Wintia had a 15% chance of obtaining a featured unit while Yan & Yuan had a 5% chance of summoning, this does not mean that their rates were nerfed by any means. Understandably, Blaze had a 4% rate of summoning, so I can definitely see the argument there; though, this starting rate was there to begin with considering it was a Resummon Gate that did not include any additional rate-up for every summon you did.
Your math is wrong. Clearly 15% is higher than 5%!
Yes and no. Upon the release of Zegstia and Wintia, Ordine was also in the featured units pool (for some odd reason that I can't even explain), making the pool three units total. You had a 15% chance of obtaining a Featured Unit, which also meant you obtained a random unit within the Featured Units pool. Even with a 15% chance of obtaining a featured unit, you are still at the mercy of RNG in terms of getting a unit you wanted, just like any other unit that is in the summon gate. We don't know the individual rates for Zegstia, Wintia, and Ordine, and it could very well be that the rates were favored towards Ordine. While there is no evidence that individual rates are different in a featured units pool or individual rates being equal to each other, the odds of obtaining the unit you want (could be Wintia or Zegstia) are still bounded by RNG. The odds of summoning Wintia could very well be lower than summoning Yan & Yuan or vice-versa.
Let's also not forget other factors that may come in, such as "What if I don't want Ordine?" and "What if I'm only going for Wintia?" You could summon knowing that there's a 15% chance of obtaining one of Zegstia, Wintia, or Ordine, but still be handed out Ordines and maybe one Wintia in your 40 summons. Even knowing this, there is no way there is a 15% chance of obtaining Wintia, because there are other units within her pool that you may summon within that 15% chance of summoning a featured unit.
5% rate still sucks! It needs to be higher!
I'm going to be the guy who plays Devil's Advocate and say not really. 5% chance is still a very generous rate. Let's take Yan & Yuan's summon rates as a demonstration. Factoring an average 2.5% rate from the first seven summons and the 5% rate that is consistent for the 8th summon onward, the average amount of summons it takes to summon Yan & Yuan is roughly 26 summons. Buying the 2nd and 3rd bundles in their batch, which is normally 8 and 18 Summon Tickets respectively (more if it's during a special event), that brings roughly an average cost of $51.98 USD without tax. While you are not guaranteed the unit you're going for, 26 summons is more reasonable compared to the 50+ summons that we've been seeing in the past (Yes, I'm looking at you Chloe and Natsu). Of course, an F2P or a slight P2P player might not buy every bundle there is, but 5% is still higher than a great chunk of gacha games out there.
I'm still not convinced. 5% rate is still too low!
This goes on to another segment where I compare summon rates in Brave Frontier to other mobile games.
First up is Fire Emblem Heroes, the game that won the People's Choice award for 2017's Mobile Game of the Year. Newly released units would be featured in a new banner that have a 3% chance of summoning a 5★ Focus unit. The neat thing about the gacha rates in this game is that the 5★ Focus and 5★ pools both increase by 0.25% for every 5 summons you do. Pretty generous, right? Let's do some math here.
You are given five summoning circles which each have a random color (red, blue, green, and colorless). Let's say New Year Azura is the featured unit you want out of that banner, which includes her, New Year Takumi (Colorless), and New Year Camilla (Red). She is a green unit, so we'll focus on summoning only green summoning circles. With five circles that become completely randomized and using binomial cumulative density, we have at least a 76.27% chance of at least one green summon circle appearing out of the five summoning circles we can summon from. Upon summoning a green circle, we have a 3% chance of obtaining Azura. Combining the probabilities together, that's a 2.289% chance of obtaining Azura within the first five summons. Rates do increase for every five summons you perform, but to be fair, if we are looking to compare to Brave Frontier's 5% rate of obtaining a specific featured unit, you would have to reach a 4% rate of obtaining a 5★ Focus hero, which is a total of 20 summons that you're spending to reach there, and that would indeed suck if you manage to reach that rate. It's also not to mention that the 5★ Focus rate resets back to 3% if you summon a 5★ hero within the banner, which doesn't help our case in trying to obtain New Year Azura in an easier fashion.
Another simple comparison is Fate/Grand Order. The chance of obtaining a 5★ servant is 1%. That's atrocious. That's a fifth of the chances that you'd summon Yan & Yuan. If we're using our average 26 summons it'd take to summon one Yan & Yuan, multiply that number by 5 and you get 130 summons. One 10x summon costs 30 Quartz, so in total, we're spending 390 Quartz to summon just one 5★ hero on average. Assuming you want the most amount of quartz for your buck, so you would have to buy three 140 Quartz packs which cost $239.97 USD total without tax. Comparing that to a game like Brave Frontier, that's pretty disgusting.
But Fate/Grand Order and Fire Emblem Heroes aren't the same game as Brave Frontier!
Of course not. The gameplay is not the same and you don't use Brave Bursts on your Nino or Lucina. However, the one thing that these games have in common is gacha. As long as there is gacha, there will always be RNG that either gets in the way or works in your favor. The idea is still relatively the same regardless of which gacha game you are playing.
Though, there are prices that come into play. Buying Gems in Brave Frontier is more expensive than buying Summon Tickets because there are more uses for Gems than there are for Summon Tickets. There are two methods of summoning and that's by using either Gems or Summon Tickets to summon. There are other factors to consider, such as Orbs in Fire Emblem Heroes where you're mostly likely to use Orbs to summon rather than using them for refilling stamina or arena swords. Currency comes at a variety of prices, but the general idea of gacha still remains the same.
But Brave Frontier Japan has Confirmed Summon, so why don't I just get whatever I want for just 30 Gems?
There are a lot of wrong things in that statement that just does not apply to the Global version whatsoever. It's safe to say that the Global version will not be getting Confirmed Summon. Ever. Is it awesome to only spend $34.99 USD or ¥3000 for 50 Gems to use for summoning a 7★ unit of your choice? It sure as hell is. Do units like Blaze, Dranoel, Yan & Yuan, Kawab, Rahotep, and all of those recent Global Exclusive units appear in the Japan version? No. You likely will not ever see them in the Japan version due to a stop to their content, and the fact that Confirmed Summon will never come to Global already makes this argument useless.
This point isn't meant to depict server elitism in any fashion. Both servers have their differences, but complaining and bragging about versions having advantages over others simply gets us nowhere.
This isn't F2P by any means. 26 summons is still a lot.
It's not meant to be F2P. F2P players still have to strategize what to do with their resources and what limits hinder them. You don't have to summon for every single Limited Edition unit in Brave Frontier and you most certainly do not need overpowered units such as Limited Edition units to clear content like Karna Masta or participate in Guild Raid. F2P players still have to go through the same process of summoning as a P2P of whale would: RNG.
As an F2P player in Fire Emblem Heroes and King's Raid, I can definitely say that the resources those games give you are manageable, and I have yet to spend a single dime on both games. You play with the limits that are binding you and you play with what you've got. An F2P player isn't expected to be high in the rankings unless they work towards it. If you want to pay money to speed things up, by all means, you are more than welcome to do so out of your own obligation. You shouldn't be judged for the amount of money spent on a game, as the only thing you're benefiting from that is yourself, depending on how you interpret it. Of course, a word of advice would be gauging how much you spend and to know your limits so you don't cross the line to the point it backfires.
This blog post isn't meant to convince players to go summon for Yan & Yuan nor is it meant to advertise Yan & Yuan's summon gate at all. The main premise is that 5% is very high for a gacha game such as Brave Frontier and that players should not only appreciate that units are being summoned at that rate, but also appreciate gumi for actually revealing the summon rates that players have been asking for so long. In the past, we've seen 10x rates on units, but we never got to know what number is being multiplied by that 10x. I understand people had misunderstandings of these summon rates, and considering there are people who have spent tons on this game and still being overwhelmed by a 5% rate, it's not as low as it may seem.
At the end of the day, RNGesus is still the ultimate obstacle we still have to pray to in order for players to get what they want. You could have gotten Yan & Yuan on the first summon or be that guy in a Pokémon battle missing 70% accurate Focus Blasts and Thunders every single turn until your Pokémon faints.
If you stuck until the end, thank you! This was quite a fun post to write up and I hope this convinces people enough that 5% isn't as low of a rate as it may seem and no matter what the rates are for any gacha banner in any gacha game, you are still at the mercy of RNG. I wish you luck in what you summon in Brave Frontier, in what OHKO moves you land in Pokémon games, in what dice you roll in your spare time, or maybe that lottery you're gambling over at your local 7 Eleven. If you have any thoughts, I definitely would love to read them in the comment section.