Marvel Snap's Patch 3.0.1 went live on Tuesday night, bringing with it card nerfs, buffs, changes to the Collection Level Road, and the ability for players to use emojis to react to cards when played.

It also brought with it a firestorm of player outrage.

The reason for this firestorm was the game's first Nexus Event, called "Test Your Might," and featuring a brand new card in Jane Foster, as well as an assortment of card Variants and Avatars.

Here's what was known about the Nexus Event prior to Tuesday: In exchange for in-game Gold or real-world currency, players could "open" during Nexus Events and have a chance of getting any of those various prizes. There were certain items that would be of a higher rarity, and thus less likely to drop in any given "open," but developers assured players that if they opened enough they would get all of the Nexus Event's rewards.

Many players pointed out that this sounded like a loot box but, because there were no details about Nexus Event pricing or the odds of opening the featured cards, nothing substantial could be said about it. That all changed Tuesday night, when the "Test Your Might" Nexus Event dropped and with it came the details about what exactly players could expect from it.

Test Your Wallet

First off, let's establish what this Nexus Event is, and we'll let the game do that in its own words.

The in-game explanation of Nexus Events

It starts off sounding OK: base cards for a new card and an old card and a max of 200 "opens," if you feel like you want to get everything in the Nexus Event. It doesn't sound great but it doesn't sound awful.

Unfortunately, once you keep reading, it gets worse. First is the "1.5%" odds of opening a Super Rare reward, which sounds atomically low considering that the Super Rare rewards are Jane Foster and Destroyer, AKA the main reason this Nexus Event exists. The game tries to allay our fears by assuring us that we're guaranteed one within 50 opens, but that's hardly a reassurance.

Added to this consternation is the section on Rare rewards, which tells us we have a 9.5% chance of getting a Rare in any given open (and are guaranteed at least one within 10 opens). For those of you unwilling to do the math, 1.5% plus 9.5% is 11%. So, what makes up the other 89%? We're so glad we asked that question.

What you can expect to get for your money

The "other" 89% of opens will contain: Credits and Boosters! You know, the things you get for playing the game? Now, it should be pointed out that the amount of Credits and/or Boosters you can get from a Nexus Event are greater than what you'll get by just playing the game. But that's not really what you're trying to spend money on when you buy a Nexus Event, is it?

If you buy into ten Nexus Events, you're unlikely to receive much more than one Avatar and a bunch of Credits and Boosters. That doesn't sound so bad, does it? Not if the Nexus Event is priced reasonably, right? Right? Right?

The Cost of Playing With Nexus Events

Screenshots of the Nexus Event and the in-game Gold shop (Source)

To open one Nexus Event, it costs 180 Gold. If you buy Gold from the Shop, you can get 300 Gold for $4.99, so with that conversion 180 Gold is worth $2.99. If, instead, you buy the biggest deal (8000 Gold for $99.99), 180 Gold is worth $2.25. Either way, you're spending over $2 for a 1.5% chance at a card or a 9.5% chance at a cosmetic, and you're more likely to walk away with some Boosters.

If, instead, you spend the equivalent of $22.50, you are GUARANTEED... one Rare cosmetic. If you buy 50 packs, you'll be spending $112.50 for a GUARANTEE... of either Jane Foster or Destroyer. If you buy into the Nexus Event with the sole purpose of getting the new card, you can spend $112.50 for what is effectively a coin flip. And the odds don't get better if you already have Destroyer, because you would still need to open 100, spending $225 in the process, to guarantee the one new card. Don't believe us? Here's Ben Brode explaining the Nexus guarantee system.

Quote From Ben Brode

Am I reading it right that it could take me 150 pulls to get Jane Foster, if I got Destroyer and his variant at 50 and 100? Or would I be guaranteed to get one of each in the first 100 pulls?

Ben Brode: yes, that is correct

if you already have Destroyer the maximum is 100 pulls (Source)

That's from the official Marvel Snap Discord. To give you some understanding of the player response to the Nexus Events, Ben's reply has 123 downvotes at time of publication, against only one upvote.

Obviously, these are maximum numbers we're dealing with, and in theory (or in practice) a player can get lucky and open the card they want after "only" spending fifty or so dollars. But... isn't the illusion of "getting lucky" the entire reason why so many people say that loot boxes in video games are predatory?

What the Community Says

There has been a hodgepodge of moral outrage against what many players see as a huge misstep for Second Dinner and Marvel Snap. One need only glance through the official Discord or scroll through Reddit to see that players are pissed. Jeff Hoogland made a video that details how expensive Nexus Events make the game, while Zeddy simply made a video explaining why he doesn't want to play Marvel Snap anymore. If you look at Twitch VODs, you can see titles ranging from comparing Snap to Diablo Immoral (Blizzard's notorious predatory cash-grab mobile game that released to a huge uproar against its monetization only a few months ago), to shouting at the devs, to "trying to keep a positive mindset." (Source)

On Twitter, we've even got people using math to show that Nexus Events are even more of a waste of Gold than initially thought: If a player wanted to get Credits, it would be more efficient to buy them directly from the Shop than to spend Gold on the Nexus Event. Since a Nexus attempt has a 44.5% chance to give the player 120 Credits from 180 Gold, it's a better idea to spend 400 Gold on 500 Credits in-game (Source). Of course, Second Dinner has lowered the cap of purchasable credits in the shop, because... well, let's let Ben tell you why.

Quote From Ben Brode

Why lower the cap of purchasable credits? Is this to incentivize getting credits through nexus events? Thanks

Ben Brode: We imagined folks who wanted credits would buy nexus events instead of the credits from the shop. The original increase of purchase limit was just to fix things temporarily until we could launch Nexus events (Source)

112 downvotes. No upvotes.

Our Thoughts on the Matter

It's easy to see that Nexus Events are neither as rewarding as players hoped, nor as enticing as the developers had wished. Anyone who played Hearthstone for its first few years under Ben Brode remembers that the game wasn't very generous beyond Daily Quests and the old "10 Gold for Every 3 Wins" system, but this goes beyond that. There's a difference between "not being generous" and "actively scamming your players," and these Nexus Events feel a lot more like the latter.

The silver lining is that Marvel Snap is still in beta, and Nexus Events will undoubtedly undergo changes as the developers receive player feedback and iterate to find a way to both make money while keeping their playerbase from rioting. They've been constant in their refrain that they monitor player responses and use that feedback to make changes in the game.

Well, Second Dinner, players are talking. It's up to you to listen.

Have your own opinions on the Nexus Event system?  Share your rant thoughts in the comments below!