Prefacing this post: I take the long-game approach to Empires and Puzzles (over 3 years now), and have probably researched more than the average on the differences between various heroes and pull rates (fully admitting some have done much more research than me). I respect the efforts of SG devs, given the drive they’re under to develop new content while also trying to squeak Quality of Life issues in where they can.
The common joke between most players is “pulling yet another Dawa,” making light of a common issue: the sheer abundance of redundant Season 1 heroes in other summons portals (seasonal, challenge, etc.). While I agree, 3-star heroes can be a pain and are often used as feeders, I’d like to focus this particular discussion on an aspect that was raised by @KiraSG last May:
Again, I want to stay positive in this, with the long-term in mind where I can, having posted at the time my thoughts. Since then, I’ve been able to retrain a few 5-star to better alternatives, and increased my troops nicely. But here, I want to point to the second part of Kira’s post: “we would like to, at some point down the line find a better way…,” showing that the SG crew knows that QoL needs to be addressed.
I try to keep my suggestions as easy as possible, as far as programming is concerned. The less work that it causes, then perhaps the easier it is to integrate into the existing structure vs having to completely rewrite (which is why I understand the current costume decision).
To this, I add a simple request: remove Season 1 heroes from non-Season 1 summons sources. This can be done via a boolean field in the database, linked to the Families table (similar to how I run Jeeves), or a new field in each hero’s record that flags it as available for “filler pulls” of certain summons. As a result, the appearance rate of the 3-4 star heroes of the given challenge and/or seasonal event can be raised to something that is more appreciated by the player base. In return, the pull ability could be lowered from 10 at a time to say 5. And note, I’m not mentioning a guaranteed 5 star pull here.
Instead, I go back to Kira’s words: the SG staff acknowledging that there is a built-in dam in the flow of the game that not even the Hero Academy fully alleviates. Most importantly, the prevelance of Season 1 4-star dead ends. I did a little experiment over the last 7+ months, saving all 4 stars pulled through seasonal/challenge summons, as can be seen below. Green is S1, blue seasonal, and red S2. This includes almost a year of not pulling from my TC20, also below (second one was just started).
I’m not a big spender on this game, but the issue is immediately apparent, and acknowledged by SG last year: higher-end heroes that (1) have more than likely been paid for but (2) cannot be converted into anything useful for moderate or experienced players, leading to (3) resentment from “empty” and wasted pulls.
While a remedy for the issue could occur as I mentioned above, I highly suggest another option: address the specific issue of not being able to convert 4-star Season 1 heroes into other, more useful, characters. Instead of seeing them only as food, see them as ingredients towards a chance 5 star hero:
- Tweak Level 10 of the Hero Academy such that it requires either 1 Legendary hero, or 10 Epic heroes.
- Or, to also appeal to players that don’t have HA available, offer the ability to trade in 10 Epic heroes for 1 guaranteed Legendary pull from the Tavern.
- Similarly, offer the ability to trade in 5 Epic Heroes for 1 guaranteed non-Season 1 4-5 star pull during seasonal/challenge events.
The result would be a transparent and open path for all players, f2p or spenders, to be given the chance (not the guarantee) to fully utilize their entire roster if they end up with duplicates that are otherwise dead-ends to the game.
Yes, I’m kinda calling out SG on something they said they’d take care of last spring. But I get it. Jeeves stalled for me as other priorities came up out of the blue. I’m sure the same thing happened with SG staff as Zynga and others desired input and results. But, my team of players are good to remind me that I help their QoL by getting back to that promise to make things better. SG’s team is also their dedicated players… here’s to hoping they do the same thing.
(Commentary on roster/TCs: I did say I play the long-game. Any clearing of TCs would only result in more useless 4 star heroes, while I still have heroes ready to level/ascend. So they sit, for now. Different strokes for different folks, y’all. ).
[i]Edit: moved to Ideas & Feature Requests to fit better