On the topic of "pay to win"
CoinMaster is not a cheap project.
I don't talk about the exact costs, but it's probably more than you'd guess. It's more than I can afford without adding premium items to CoinMaster. Ads wouldn't pay for it.
When I started planning premium stuff for CoinMaster, I wanted purely cosmetic things (like the color of the band on the sides of embeds), or things that many people could benefit from (like the creation of guilds). The problem, though, is that there are very few things like this that you could add to a purely text-based clicker game that doesn't want to become too overly-complicated. If I could earn 100% of my money off cosmetics, I would- the problem, though, is that as a developer of a free-to-play game, you earn 100% of your money off a tiny fraction of your users. Probably 95% of my players will never spend a penny on CoinMaster. That's fine, of course, but the other 5% of players are now running the entire thing. If you want to survive, you need to earn enough money from these users; you can't sell a 50-cent item to 100 people and expect to be able to run multiple servers for a year.
Because of that, I'm stuck. Either let CoinMaster die from not being able to pay for it, or let my image die from letting it become "pay-to-win". I'm trying hard not to let it get to that point; I don't plan on adding a direct "$5 to double your coins per second" or anything like that by any means, but smaller boosts elsewhere that a determined, non-paying player could still surpass, and ways to earn those boosts for free otherwise. Voter crates exist, and I do plan on adding new ways to earn blue coins for free in the future.
I feel that a lot of the community won't care- some players just want to increase a number and have some fun, and that's great. I'm happy that I can provide that and I'm happy they can get that for free. Some players, though, I can feel are gonna get upset about this: the competitive ones who don't want people spending money to win. And honestly, I feel bad about it- but there's not really much I can do. The only real way I could pay for it all without premium items is to use the time that I use for CoinMaster somewhere else. It's not really winning.
So that's that. I plan on being more transparent in the future, and staying updated with my community at least somewhat. From now on, I'm gonna do my best to be upfront about everything.
Thanks for reading.