A Year Later - 2021 New Year's Sneak Peek from time perspective

Since 2021 is almost over, it’s a good time to go back in time to when the Sneak Peek for this year was published - what was new? How did it go? Have hopes and fears came to existence?

For reference:

So going through the Sneak Peek stuff top to bottom:

Friendly Matches

Nice addition, although I think not as big as making the attacker’s teams visible few months later (which wasn’t in the SP directly). While I don’t use it all that often, it turns out amazing when you want to test something - some game mechanics, new synergies, without wasting your cups and flags in real raiding.

Challenge Event: “League of Villains”

My reaction back then says it all:

All my fears came true this year. While replacing the old events with new ones undoubtly refreshed the game, the pace at which it was done was way too fast to enjoy the experience. The power creep with new heroes, balance changes focused mostly on making them yet stronger and inability to catch up without spending a fortune each and every month, only to later find out your ‘new’ hero already feel ‘old’ before you even managed to max it, took out a lot of joy from the game. My alliance alone lost over a dozen of long term players just because of that. Good idea, terrible planning and execution, leaving many people breathless.

Season IV - “Explorers of the Abyss”

It’s hard to imagine that a year ago we didn’t even have idea what the next season is going to be about. It brought a nice and balanced selection of heroes, multiple new skill mechanics, significant (but not excessive) changes to meta and… that’s about it. Sadly, gameplay wise, although the potential was there, S4 stages do not offer anything new and for me personally playing them is a chore every time they open. Storyline, compared to solid S2 and amazing S3, is very bad. And that terrible idea to not extend the pool of rare and epic heroes, making it limited and mostly useless. Overall, I won’t miss it. Don’t like it, don’t feel attached to the characters, don’t see any common theme there. Turned out just to be an excuse to add more legendary heroes to chase.

New Costumes for Event Heroes

Wow that was some outrage back then. I still see it as one of the worst steps taken in the evolution of the game. While implementation was delayed and when they came back, they felt more balanced, it still feels like a cheap way to explore the wallets after success of S1 costumes, rather than looking to enrich the game. And it’s not the premium costumes that I was against - it’s adding them for the strongest heroes only and expecting players to pull them at the same odds as new heroes what’s most enraging. There were ways to make it player friendly while still profitable, many players had offered suggestions how to do it. But in 2021, SG didn’t present any will to listen. For now, I just sit and observe how this develops. Very bitter to see new costumes every time they enter beta and live game.

New Event: “Starfall Circus”

Well at first when reading the Sneak Peak I thought it was something separate, but it just turned out to be yet another monthly event. I liked the gameplay twist on circus, but else - same concerns as those described on villains above. And that unholy buff for Zuri and Feline… yikes.

All-New Hero Upgrades: Grow your Heroes in power & level them up beyond the current max!

I was careful with too much optimism back when it was announced then very mad when we learnt the details. After few months, while Aethers didn’t change the game all that much, it’s still too early to assess it well. There are many flaws in implementation that limit the amount of heroes this can be applied on - even if you are paying for aethers. That makes LBing heroes very much tied to the Omega quests and these only allowed for 7 legendary ascensions so far. On my end, other than destroying the short time fun I had with raiding using rainbow teams, I don’t feel much impact yet. But as time goes by, we’ll experience the regret of misplaced aethers that can not be reset, facing fully aethered defenses with non-aethered offenses etc so the worst about aethers is still to come in my opinion. Thought at least, on a positive side, being able to use aethers to significantly power up 3s and 4s was a nice change. I could have stopped chasing red healer as limit broken costumed Boldtusk is practically a legendary hero.

All-New War Feature! More information coming up later this year!

And look, something that was in the Sneak Peek but didn’t make it. Was that the War of 3 Kingdoms that we saw in beta in its early version? Or was that the elemental war rule that [apparently] got scrapped? We won’t know probably! Either way, it didn’t happen this year. But we got Magic Tower & tower event rework; we got Alliance Quest. While they have their own flaws, it’s not like you could complain about lack of contents.

More Quality of Life changes to make playing even more enjoyable

While people keep crying for QoL and complaining about SG not focusing on it, I think this year was pretty good when it comes to these changes. Won’t repeat what @Ruskin505 already did in this post but it’s a good lecture before you start complaining about not getting anything on that front from SG.

My personal favs is adding chance for Costumes in Hero Academy (got me C Leonidas!), seeing attackers team on raids (though could be extended to tournaments and wars as well) and reworking the portals to replace S1 heroes with trainers or remove S1 heroes completely (Black Friday was the best portal in the game thus far).


Overall, this was some insane year and not really in a positive way I think. While a lot of nice things happened for which you’d have to be grateful, many of them got lost among the overwhelming marathon of constant new heroes, new costumes, new portals and new offers lurking for your money only to leave you disappointed in most cases. While I am still here, this year I had many crisises where I was this very close to leaving this game, leaving beta or at least stop caring. Trying to find proper mentality for the year to come; hoping that someone at SG will step on a brake and things will slow down; the Soul Exchange may be the gamechanger as well. Season 5 is still exciting unknown. We’ll see. But I am more concerned and less optimistic than a year ago for sure.

Thanks for reading!

41 Likes

I agree with the whole post, but this is EXACTLY how I feel. I said before, I’ll say again: I’ll be more inclined to spend if I get more quality over being flooded with heroes/events

7 Likes

Isn’t the “all new war feature” the new war modes which were added (minions etc.)? Did I just lose track of time?

These were already added in October 2020!

There was 1 new rule that was tested in beta late 2020 (forgot the name but it was something like Boosted Element, where all heroes of selected element had significant boost to stats); but it never came back to beta since. Caused mixed opinions there so my guess is it was scrapped but could be just delayed or anything. There was similar story with formations that made a great comeback long months after being seen last time in beta.

But the way it was worded in SP2021 suggested something bigger than just a war rule, and I think this War of 3 Kingdoms concept is what this was meant to be; it just got delayed because of all the works on new events :roll_eyes:

1 Like

Very nice write-up.

One thing I think ended up buried in the plethora of content is the family bonus for hotms. These are accessible for free for those who already own the heroes and in some cases are very significant buff.

While there have been some questionable decisions on SG’s side from my point of view (I agree with your post so much about being bitter every time a new batch of costumes are unveiled), I think SG didn’t get enough credit for those family bonus.

4 Likes

Definitely concerned going in to 2022, much more than i was excited for 2021.

I wish SG would do something about recruiting, making players searchable w/ certain criteria, that flag themselves as looking for new alliance, can be invited to join the alliance, or something.

I am def concerned about the continued overboard hero releases, and the power creep.

I also like the black friday release of trainer troops, hopefully those will be coming to the game in 2022

2 Likes

Thanks. So indeed I lost track of time…

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