I doesn't quite feel correct to write another one of those melodramatic "I'm done" posts everyone never likes to read, but I suppose after several months playing SV with you all as a community, I do have one or two last comments to make here. Sorry, then; I understand if you're not overly interested.
Oddly, I don't feel negative towards Cygames. I know we like to complain about gacha, boxes, or alt art ... but I still have yet to meet another company in the mobile/software scene that has yet to treat customers with the same level of decency and respect that Cy has, say what you will. I never felt locked out of more than cosmetics to play - SV has never been pay-to-win like so many other apps - and have to nod toward the amount of free material that means you could practically - not just technically - play totally free, customer support and - well, this forum - as well as tolerance/inclusion for a non-domestic audience that's rarely matched by other JP products. @Mouse, I know that because of your official position you probably can't respond to this post ... but thank you anyway, for keeping the forum a relatively pleasant space to speak on.
The core of SV hasn't degraded in my eyes. It's still that masterwork of brilliant art, mechanics and lore that I praised so much in my introduction here. I used to flip through the Collection once in a while, because some of the animated cards were so well drawn. I don't believe the quality of those aspects in SV have slipped at all since I first joined, which is impressive in itself.
For that reason alone, I tolerated the past several months since Tempest, even beyond the balance mistakes or the fact that the gameplay itself was increasingly monotonous, stale, and restrictive. The proximal cause of why I'm done is obviously the usual reasons - the absurd proliferation of empowered Dimension Shifts, the unchecked creep of Aggro decks with no counterbalance decks, the power of cheap Storm/Burn with no real answer. I also know this is temporary, which is why the root cause of why I'm done is a complete loss of faith in the balance team.
To be clear, I don't believe they've made mistakes. I think someone sadly decided on a direction for them that was short-sighted for SV, or rather prioritized different aims to what the playerbase expects. I'm sure it makes sense in commercials terms to expand SV, create continual new content to drive this, and build up a revenue flow that should fund the war chest for the next project Cy wants to start ... it makes sense. But that also means that a lot of hard decisions were made - to buff Shift and make sure it acts as an increasingly low turn cap for control decks, to embark on a policy of forcing finishers onto matches past Turn 8, to power-creep cards rather than design new ones to sell packs, to start this cycle of archetype buff-nerf that may shift the meta - burns vials, sells packs - but artificially destroys any chance of stable development. I can accept Bahamut or Lightning Blast, as counters ... but it seems Cy draws no line between what improves game health, and what "forces" a match or meta to end.
Rotations were announced; I thought it was premature because we've already had plenty of analysis as to why the card pool is insufficient now. I know they may be helpful for SV in the long term, but that's a may that is predicated on the design team having long-term aspirations for a stable CCG ... which I don't believe in anymore. It's not so much the nerf cycles, or the broken metas, or the mistakes ... as the sheer frustration and disappointment at the knowledge that none of this will probably change, because of real-world circumstances beyond anyone's control. I've seen enough mobile games to know where this ends, and for a few months I privately hoped that SV could escape that path. It's a short cycle of several years, where a product matures, starts to create revenue, is milked for profit, and then shut down for the next one. MtG is a one in a million product.
I know most of this is under contention in the community. Please, if you don't agree just move on. I'm out anyway; you can debate this in another thread. This is just here because I wanted to state my part before I left. The other reason I wrote was because I do want to thank all the strangers passing by who usually left insightful, patient, entertaining comments on this forum, which made my months of SV quite fun. I don't want to tag everyone here since it seems absurd, but Othello, Morri, Alexx, Kyubey, Tai, AAA, mid, Dergonu, etc. ... you know who you are, probably from the amount of likes I've fed you.
I'll look over the new expansion when it drops, and probably play a match or two ... once a week. Probably will check over the forums once in a while. But as a Masters who has technically 'conquered' the meta of SV, it's sort of sad that I don't want to play because I feel that the choices I make come little and less into game increasingly. I have work to take care of, and I want to play KanColle, Granblue Fantasy, Hearts of Iron, JRPGs like Persona V or the new Blue Reflection on the PS4. The bonus for those is that the very premise of the game is that choices don't matter, so I don't care either way. SV has always been my only decision-based skill game, outside of my onetrick Lux AP mid glass cannon in League.
If anyone wants to talk or play games outside of SV with me anyway, you can message me here and we can probably find each other on Steam ... I lane with @Weizi nowadays, for example. Reminds me that we should work out how to play Leona-Lux bot with the new Runes, which are rather awesome ... Ultimate Hat + Transcendence on Lux is broken OP.
Anyway, enough negativity. I do actually hope that the SV team fixes their flaws and comes back. Perhaps I will then too. I also didn't write all this to spite Cy or point out my opinion of their decisions ... notice that the top half is mostly gratitude, because I got to play this wonderful game with plenty of responsive player support, mostly for free. So it's not bye, probably, it's still thanks.