Happy 3rd Anniversary, Empires and Puzzles.
I have friends who played gotcha / lootbox / card building games before on their phones for years, and just never took interest in playing one myself. Until January 9, 2018 when I downloaded the game on a whim. Not having played any game of this sort means I didn’t know what to expect except the pretty graphics and match 3 mechanism. Back then, there is only Season 1, and only the HoTM available as the 5* (Natalya was the HoTM then).
My thought process was after a few weeks of addicted playing was, when and if I will ever be able to get one of those shiny 5* heroes because I can’t seem to get them out of summoning portals and they just don’t drop on loots (Hey, I didn’t know any better back then). It is upon discovering the forums and learning that there is still hope for a Free to Play player like myself, and that’s Training Camp 20.
For the longest period of time that I remembered, I only had Melendor, Kelile, and Li Xiu as my 4* and these were out of single 300 gem or Elite Hero Token summons. I also didn’t have strong enough troops to help me do enough damage or survive the later Season 1 stages, so there was a lot of back and forth, replay earlier stages, get stronger, and I eventually reached a point in which I couldn’t ascend either of the 3 because I couldn’t get enough ascension materials for any of them and they’d be sitting at 3^60 and get slaughtered by enemy mobs and I’d be failing on Rare Quests because they simply aren’t strong enough. Eventually, through Titan drops, Mystic Vision, and Chests, I finally got enough to fully ascend one of them.
Fondest Memory 1: The day I took Melendor to 4^70. He is still squishy, but my first maxed 4* hero! Huzzah!
Discovering the forum and learning from vets that I should ditch the evenly leveling of the buildings (which was what I did in the past) and focus fire to Training Camp 20. Which I did and started to do late March of that year. Took me until July of the year (because I did not use a VIP Pass, which wasn’t even available yet) to start my first TC20 session.
Fondest Memory 2: First TC20 and out spitting my first 4* Purple (Cyprian) and first 4* Blue (Sonya) to complete my first Rainbow 4*
Fondest Memory 3: TC20 spat out my first 5* (Azlar) and not long after, Isarnia, my favorite hero to this date (the day I pulled her out of TC20 still felt surreal). Because I feel that I’ve actually reached a certain group, and somewhat elite status of players holding 5* heroes on their roster.
Most of the details of my journey are somewhat blogged here:
(Journey for better heroes - A painstakingly long road to TC20 (and beyond) for a F2P)
2 years and change later, Isarnia is still the strongest hero I have on my roster, and as I’ve said before, She is the Queen, everyone else is just extras.
Finally, Fondest Memory 4 has to go out to my Alliance Technicolor Minds. Which I formed prior to my first TC20 production by grabbing some active players out of my first alliance that was about to go belly up. Not knowing if it will ever amount to anything, but we went from barely killing 3* to being able to off some 10* now, not bad for a casual alliance. Our alliance had some ups and downs and most of the group have been intact for a good year to and year and a half (some were even original members who moved with me).
Happy Anniversary again, Empire and Puzzles.