A few things to know about the game before you decide if/when/how much to spend

As the title indicates, these are some things I’ve learned in the 2 1/2 years I’ve been playing. Understanding them before you spend your hard earned money may help save you a lot of frustration. I’m not saying don’t spend, but understand what you’re doing.

TL:DR If you choose to spend, you are buying entertainment. Not gems, not heroes, not anything tangible. Is spending going to increase your enjoyment or your frustration?

Here we go:

  1. This game is designed to convince you to spend money. That’s how the developers get paid. There’s a whole field of marketing focused on the psychology of spending. Even if you’re dedicated F2P, the bells and whistles, the ads, the special deals are all designed to persuade you to change your mind.
  2. The odds of pulling any specific hero are really small. The odds of pulling a given rarity are posted in each portal, by hitting the ? on the portal. Those percentages are divided among all heroes of that rarity. There is NO GUARANTEE that you’ll pull a specific hero in 10, 30, 100, 1000 or more pulls. You might get them on the first pull. You might pull 1000+ times and not get that one elusive hero. That doesn’t mean summons are rigged. It means you gambled and lost.
  3. The odds in the loot box deals in the shop are even worse. When it says “get at least 2 of…” you are going to get farmable items almost all the time. The only sure purchases from the shop are the ones that say “get all of the following” For example, Ascension Pack is a “get at least 2 of…” type deal. You’re going to get a whole lot more tall boots and scabbards than you are compasses and gloves. Might of Fire is a “get all” deal. You will get 4 EHT, 3 specific 3* heroes, specific troops, etc.
  4. RNG. This game lives and dies by it. Summons are random. Training camp output (which hero) is random. Loot rolls are random. Boards (both starting and tile fills) are random. RNG is, by its very nature, streaky and frustrating. You might go six months without a 5* from TC20, then pull 3 in a row. You might get 8 blue titans in a row. My alliance just did that this month. It may feel like RNG hates you sometimes, but it is part of the game.
  5. Confirmation bias is real. It’s human nature to remember things that are outside the typical pattern much more that we remember things that fit the pattern. It is also human nature to remember things that bother us more than we remember things that please us. That’s an old survival instinct coming out. If it hurts, we remember not to do it again. The blue titan streak I mentioned above is a perfect example. Without checking any records, most players could not tell you the last 8 color titans they faced. I know I couldn’t. But I remember the streak of 8 blues in a row, precisely because it was unusual. Same with boards. We don’t remember the boards where the tile distribution was in typical ranges. They don’t stick out. We remember the boards where every move caused massive cascades, or the ones that had a disproportionate number of tiles in one color, precisely because they were unusual. With the streaky nature of RNG, that means what we tend to notice are the streaks of really bad luck, and to a lesser degree, really good luck. We don’t tend to notice the periods of average luck in between the streaks.
  6. RNG, for all the frustrations it causes, is the one thing that keeps this game from becoming exclusively Pay to Win. You can pay to speed up progress by buying energy refills, food/iron refills, building upgrades, and ascension item deals. You can pay for extra summons to increase your likelihood of landing more powerful heroes or troops. But due to RNG, you can also land limited edition heroes (HotM, Atlantis, Valhalla, and Event heroes) from lucky pulls with gems or tokens earned through gameplay. You have the exact same odds of landing a particular hero on a single pull whether that pull comes from gems you bought or a token you earned through gameplay.
  7. I think this is the most important point to know before you decide to spend. This game is a marathon, not a sprint. You can buy tons of summons and have a 5* rainbow team at level 1 if you have an unlimited budget. However, you still need to grind to level those heroes up, and that takes time. There is no way to get around the grind. If you do get that 5* rainbow at low levels, it’s going to take you forever to level them up enough to be useful. They’re going to eat every bit of your resources, which will slow leveling up your base. You’ll hit the mat wall at 2/60, and they probably won’t be strong enough to complete the quests to get the ascension materials to get past that wall, and you won’t be able to stack colors because all your resources went into those 5 heroes. In addition, you won’t have developed any skill for hero selection, because you won’t have any other heroes to choose from, because all your resources went into leveling the first 5.
    That’s when the frustration will set in. You’ll feel like the game is rigged, or conspiring against you, when in reality, it’s just a question of how it’s designed.
    If you track ascension item drops compared with hero progression, this game is designed so that ascension materials keep up with hero acquisition rates for a Free to Play or Very Cheap to Play account. You work on 3* heroes first, since you can sometimes get them from the free daily summons. They’re strong enough to complete the quests that will get you compasses, gloves, etc. While doing that, you build your base and level up your TC to produce 4* heroes. Then you work on those 4* heroes. By the time you have gotten them, either from your TC or token pulls, you will likely have the ascension materials to max them. Then repeat the process for TC20 and 5* heroes. By the time your 5* heroes are ready for last ascension, you should have the materials to ascend them, and the playing experience to use them effectively.
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Very good summary of the RNG in E&P.

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I’ll quote myself - I hope I don’t go blind.

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Makes me feel like the whole post should be read while listening to Before He Cheats. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Excellent post @NPNKY! This forum saved me from just giving up and quitting in my early days. I’ll always appreciate that.

When I 1st began playing my very 1st summons was Musashi…thought I had struck gold!! I spent 3 months, maybe a bit more, leveling him to 3/70 to the detriment of every other hero I had.
I quickly found out that one partially leveled 5* is of no use in AW, Challenge Events, Raids, pretty much anywhere.
It was at this time that I decided to join this particular forum and started reading EVERYTHING. I learned a lot from @Olmor, @Garanwyn, @Rigs, @IvyTheTerrible, @FraVit93, @zephyr1, @DaveCozy…this list could go on for pages.

Bottom line is I learned to use what I had and stop wishing I had what everyone else had. I quickly turned around a sad looking roster and began being able to finish challenge events/Quests and gain the AM’s I needed to continue leveling my 3/4*. I realized that I could either take on a 2nd job to fund my race…to where? I realized I didn’t know. So now I play for fun, I spend when I can and use what I have. I have a great alliance behind me and have made some great friends. Above all I didn’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy this game.

P.S I finally finished Musashi somewhere around the 8 month mark just because I felt I owed it to him.

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I think this is the single most meaningful post I’ve read in a long time. Might not be as relevant for seasoned players as we’ve already learned our lesson (the hard way in most cases) and have for the most part, made peace with these facts… But these are still facts that every new’sh player needs to be made aware of and understand in full.

The sooner they understand these points the sooner they’ll start to enjoy the game at a deeper level as well as become smart spenders. You have to learn when and how to spend to get the most value for your $$$.

I would also add that, they need to understand that at the end of the day it’s all just one big popularity contest for many players and the worst thing you can do is try to keep up with the big spenders. In most cases, big spending is simply not sustainable long term. New heroes and features will continue to be released making it “impossible” to be done at any point in time.

I have never told any player to spend in order gain an edge as well as I’ve never told anyone NOT to spend. I think it’s a personal choice, but the difference is spending with illusions of grandeur followed by regret is not nearly as fun as controlled spending with realistic expectations. If you want to spend, go ahead, but learn to do it right, have and stick to a budget for summons, buy only gem deals, spend on guaranteed deals with 4* mats vs those dreaded chance chests. Don’t buy resources (ham/iron) just to speed up maxing and embleming a hero faster than others (popularity contest remember?). We already spend a ton of time playing and socializing in this game, why not be really good at it. There’s literally mountains of free info out there to help you be efficient with your time and money.

Lastly (for now), ask yourself these questions before spending:

  • What can I do in RL with this money ?
  • What SHOULD I be doing in RL with this money ?

The good news is that, there IS a way to have fun and play competitively (for those who are interested in that) with little or next to no spending at all.

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@npnky

3p81og

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Another great thread that we can link when players start venting!

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This should be pinned, because it is so well-written.

And any time someone calls someone a liar about RNG, or says the boards aren’t random, or SG lies/cheats, etc etc… just link this post.

It’s hard when people don’t accept facts, which (unlike opinions) remain true even without someone believing them.

I think the single-most frustrating thing about this game is the abysmal odds on summoning. It may actually make me quit the game. Yet, it is not SG’s fault, especially 2.5 years in myself. The odds have always been horrid, but I choose to play them every time I buy deals and draw.

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Nice, highly recommended.

It’s simply P2HF instead of P2W.

Pay to have fun, since there’s nothing to win here. You just spend your spare time by tapping. You either enjoy it or you get slapped. If you also enjoy to get slapped it’s the one for you, else visit a casino.

The community around this game and in most of the alliances is awesome. Fun and camaraderie are the only rewards, no matter if and how much you’re going to pay.

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Vroom, vroom!

This is a complete sentence.

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Great advise very well written.

But I have to disagree just here!

This never happened to my alliance. The only way colors repeat is when they “match” the rare titan color which means 3 in a row is the max.
I belive if that happened there was some escaped titan between titans at least from my experience. (the last 337 titans the max we had was 2 titan of the same color in a row one of them rare) but having 5 out of 10 of the same color happened few times just not in a row.

Nope. We had 8 blues in a row, including1 rare. 2 of those escaped. Then we had a green, a purple, 2 red, and now another green.
That’s the longest streak I can remember since I started playing.

Thanks for the very detailed information:)

This sums it up right here, said pointedly. We all need a reminder every so often what exactly this is (and new players need the reality check). Thanks @NPNKY

And this… because this game (this category of games, really) has no end, it’s not like Mario or Final Fantasy or something where there is an end goal that you can race towards and achieve (“win”) , it just keeps going and they keep adding.

Great post, good replies.

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