It’s been a year since we were teased with what’s coming into E&P in 2020. I feel like there will be some summary & look ahead topics coming up soon to talk about all the changes that happened in the game and am looking forward to them. But let’s start with the analysis of the Sneak Peek content itself, how it played out and was there anything that was teased but ended up not implemented?
While the Season 3 is still ongoing and we haven’t reached the end, I think we can evaluate it for the part that was published in 2020.
New heroes with new powers - that indeed was introduced, and brought plenty of the new mechanics. Some of them proved strong (Frigg, Heimdall), some wicked and satisfying (Lady Loki, Alfrike) and some unique but too niche to be useful (Baldur, Norns). I find none of these heroes stupidly OP and uncounterable, but it’s saddening that the weaker ones didn’t really get much attention to fix them or find them a place in the game where they could shine. But really can’t complain about the creativity in design of those. Not to mention beside the Super Stars we also got a lot of epic and rare heroes which at decent appearence rate brought a lot to many rosters (Almur, Gullinbursti, Mist or Nordri to name a few).
New story - well, I enjoy the narratives although with a lot of leniency. The way the story is delivered in E&P in general is silly. This one in its silliness is at least engaging. It’s fun that some older heroes are involved in new ways, like Hel or the classic elven duo.
New gameplay - well, uhm, if the rune stones are considered new gameplay then it didn’t quite work out. With or without them, the gameplay looks almost exactly the same as any other monster battles in this game. I was really hopeful that some new board challenges could be introduced but nothing like that. We got some in Seasonal Summer event, some in Ninja tower, but in S3… it was really nothing noticeable.
Path of Valor has proven to be quite enjoyable addition to the game in my opinion. With the pass cost of 10 USD it brought the most cost effective offer to the game, provided that you can finish it or at least get to the epic ascension mat tier. Even if you can’t afford it, the free tier rewards are still worth the grind considered that the challenges are mostly just usual gameplay. While for me these are way too easy and I wouldn’t mind some more variety of challenges, in general this is a nice feature to have to keep engaged in the game.
Perhaps most controversial addition this year - for many marking the worst update ever (v.30), some seeing benefit of it whatever the costs involved might be. I personally don;t mind it, even enjoy few levels of it quite a bit as a feeder production for both heroes and troops (as expensive and time consuming as they are, they still hasten the feeding process). The level 10 retraining turned out to be a long grind with diminishing hope of getting the hero you are after. While it is understandable SG wants premium heroes hidden behind a paywall and low odds, it is disappointing - especially for players who keep getting the same premium heroes while lacking others (something which HA was supposed to address but haven’t in the end). After a quarter of building up for it and another quarter of retrainings, I barely got only 1 non-classic hero which ironically enough was just a dupe of one I already had. Plenty of Horghalls though.
Well, the Seasonal events brought new legendary heroes to spend for even if you had full rosters. A few were strong and wanted (Killhare, Vanda… Krampus?), few meh (Rostley, Roc). Few decent rares and epics (Chick, Lady Wool, Frosty). The rewards rework was barely noticeable (emblems are always good but so few of them even on the hardest levels), the new tier only added more autoplay levels for little more reward, though I can appreciate that it might be significant for newer players. I liked the gameplay change that summer event brought, sadly it was really the only change of this nature till date. Didn’t like some of the offers around seasons being reworked, although perhaps I should because it made me save some money. Overall, I think beside few new heroes being added, these changes were neglible.
Mhmm, perhaps the biggest disappointment. While we did have Mythic Titans and Friendly Battles tested in beta, and the first ones supposedly in live game now (with unknown launch date), it is pretty safe to say that even if we got these changes they are not really “exciting ways to play with the alliance members”. I really expected more here. Even if we consider new war rules as an addition here it is still not even close to what I expected from this announcement.
…and we did get some more. Tavern, Ninja Tower, Alchemy Lab changes or emblem system rework to name few from the top of my head… but there were some dark times like the Telly + Vela situation. Since these weren’t directly mentioned in the Sneak Peek, I think discussing them doesn’t belong in this topic. Wouldn’t mind if someone prepared something like Unofficial 2019 Player Satisfaction Survey to have chance evaluate all of them and see how community felt about each.