@theaustrianguy I already read your post two days ago (and also the new one yesterday) but I wanted to make my own post https://steemit.com/steemmonsters/@hhh-fan/steemmonsters-how-i-reached-over-1000-points-with-only-level-1-cards first which did cost me lots of RC, lots more than expected (like 3-4 comments worth or something) :D and steemd showed me I have enough for 1 comment yesterday but somehow it still weren't enough RCs so I can only answer today.
First of all, glad to see that there is such a discussion on discord and thus I am not alone with these thoughts about paytowin :D!
steemmonsters currently is a) paytoplay (starterpack, account + RCs) and b) at the moment paytowin
Essential to me for why it is p2w is only this small sentence though:
"By buying cards you also can level those up way faster than by collecting experience via fighting (not yet possible)."
No XP gaining/level up makes it paytowin.
Actually I think it was a really bad idea by the team to not roll out or make clear how the XP earning will work, because very likely it will anger either the guys who already bought and combined their cards or the guys who heard about XP and the new guys who'll see that the game is largely p2w. (At the moment it is fully p2w, rather bad to attract players outside steemit imo.) But maybe they'll manage that to the players content!
And of course if you know you can level your cards you'll rather keep more left for leveling than combine them ;-).
Why is it essential to me?
It is the basis for decision.
When I know I can only get XP by combining cards (thus is kinda a formality) then I know I have the clear decision:
a) either invest and buy the 500 packs for 1000 bucks and play competitively with the other p2ws or b) don't invest any further and don't play.
Also it is basis how one would market to the outside world.
Either you can say, it is p2w but in that realm of course is still competitive or you can say it is p2p but with a very little amount possible (like 10-110bucks) and with the investment of time and strategy over time it is also playtowin instead of paytowin (but of course you can choose the shortcut with the investment of money still).
Comparison to Hearthstone:
Freetoplay and freetowin, especially via arena (though this with a rather huge amount of time investment necessary that can better be earned in currency like € in the outside world to buy cards ).
That makes steemmonsters really look bad in attractivity to outside gamers.
Similar to you in your new post I would also like to address some possibilities to further alleviate this issue of XP earning and p2w.
You could make smaller tournaments and suchlike for only level 1 cards - two variants: only people with only level 1 cards or for everyone (including the 'pros') but everyone can only play level 1.
Of course this would limit the fun because you can only play with the abilities of level 1. For the pros it might be another small challenge though.
Some kind of arena mode where you can use cards you don't have.
Or tournaments where you can use cards you don't have.
Important is: You either have to have the possibility to gain XP over time with playing or a way to get packs over time (and not too slow and also dependent on the quality of your play of course).
Like 1 pack/month. That would be way too ridiculously slow.
But like 1/day when you play actively. Looks okay. Still slow but okay.
Oh, bytheway I wouldn't make the definition of the urbandictionary and think investtoplay and everything that's just semantics ;-).
Urbandictionary describes basically premium accounts which have an over-advantage. It would be possible to win without premium in f2p premium games (without the over-advantage) and it is not necessary to be premium to win.
As it is here now, it is definitely necessary to have max level cards to win. Thus paytowin.
Semantics don't change the facts.
And fact is: If you want to win, you have to pay the 1000 (or maybe 600 is enough but that wouldn't make much sense) because that is the only way to get to all cards level max (enough capital to have nearly all of them and then sell and trade to get the rest).
Unless something like: gaming for different levels like in the holger80 statistics (max, 75-100%, ..., min level 1) everyday - makes it possible for the pros to compete in all of them and thus possibly to earn more but also possible for new ones and people who invested not so much to earn in one (only one - the lowest) regularly to finally level up and play the next higher level (which has higher rewards, or simply do it so long that you can play in both when all have the same rewards).
That's similar to the idea above of course.