Analysis of Power Creep of Hero Stats - Long Read Warning

For awhile now I’ve been tracking the stats of all the heroes, partly for some side projects I’ve been working on that may be useful later on for people, partly so I could work out which of my heroes benefit most from stat boosts from Class Emblems and partly as I wanted to track the power creep in hero stats. As I think the analysis may interest the community at large I thought I’d post them here along with a couple questions I’d been pondering both over the long term and on recent beta developments.

Firstly this analysis slightly modifies the CP formula that @Garanwyn reverse calculated here: CP Calculation . As we’re just interested in the hero stats the analysis uses this comparative metric:

Stats Power = ((Attack * 0.35) + (Defence * 0.28) + (Health * 0.14))

It ignores the Base CP for Stars and Special Level from the CP formula as not relevant here and doesn’t round as the fractional increases between heroes helps track power creep more accurately.
Furthermore the analysis will focus on 5* heroes as whilst there has been some slight power creep between Season 1 4*, event 4* and Season 2 4* heroes the creep is less significant – a product of fewer 4* being added to the game.

Season One 5 Star Hero Stats Power

The Average Stats Power for Season 1 5* heroes is: 630.80. This value will be used later to compare the percentage improvement of event, season 2 and HOTM heroes vs the Average Season 1 5* hero.

Stats Power Table for all Season 1 5* Heroes
Hero Collection Stats Power
Elkanen Season 1 633.01
Thorne Season 1 632.80
Quintus Season 1 632.73
Azlar Season 1 632.59
Kadilen Season 1 632.52
Sartana Season 1 632.38
Khagan Season 1 632.38
Domitia Season 1 632.17
Obakan Season 1 631.26
Lianna Season 1 630.91
Richard Season 1 630.56
Isarnia Season 1 630.35
Vivica Season 1 630.14
Marjana Season 1 630.07
Justice Season 1 629.93
Magni Season 1 629.79
Elena Season 1 628.67
Horghall Season 1 628.25
Leonidas Season 1 627.83
Joon Season 1 627.69

HOTM Stats Power

With one new hero being added each month it gives us a better idea of how stat creep has been going steadily over the long term. If we separate the HOTM into groups of five by chronological order (so each group contains the set of 1 colour each/keeps each Elemental Link group together) we can see a steady increase in the average Stats Power for each group.

N.B. Heroes from HOTM 6 collection are still in Beta so are subject to further stats changes, their power is based on currently published figures.

Average Stats Power of each group of HOTMs

HOTM Group Heroes in Group Stats Power Compared to Season 1 Average
HOTM 1 Hel, Athena, Ares, Musashi, Alberich 640.19 +1.49%
HOTM 2 Thoth-Amun, Perseus, Natalya, Zeline, Delilah 641.58 +1.71%
HOTM 3 Aeron, Alasie, Gravemaker, Gregorion, Drake Fong 643.37 +1.99%
HOTM 4 Khiona, Aegir, Zimkitha, Evelyn, Onatel 644.07 +2.10%
HOTM 5 Kunchen, Frida, Anzogh, Margaret, Ranvir 645.37 +2.31%
HOTM 6 Seshat, Miki, Nadnog, Kingston, ??? 645.42 +2.32%
Stats Power Table for individual HOTM
Hero Group Stats Power Compared to Season 1 Average
Kunchen HOTM 5 645.68 +2.359%
Onatel HOTM 4 645.68 +2.359%
Miki HOTM 6 645.54 +2.336%
Seshat HOTM 6 645.54 +2.336%
Nandog HOTM 6 645.40 +2.314%
Anzogh HOTM 5 645.40 +2.314%
Ranvir HOTM 5 645.40 +2.314%
Kingston HOTM 6 645.19 +2.281%
Frida HOTM 5 645.19 +2.281%
Margaret HOTM 5 645.19 +2.281%
Zimkitha HOTM 4 644.14 +2.115%
Khiona HOTM 4 643.93 +2.081%
Aeron HOTM 3 643.65 +2.037%
Evelyn HOTM 4 643.51 +2.015%
Gravemaker HOTM 3 643.51 +2.015%
Alasie HOTM 3 643.37 +1.992%
Delilah HOTM 2 643.37 +1.992%
Drake Fong HOTM 3 643.23 +1.970%
Zeline HOTM 2 643.16 +1.959%
Aegir HOTM 4 643.09 +1.948%
Gregorion HOTM 3 643.09 +1.948%
Thoth-Amun HOTM 2 640.71 +1.571%
Perseus HOTM 2 640.57 +1.549%
Athena HOTM 1 640.57 +1.549%
Hel HOTM 1 640.43 +1.526%
Natalya HOTM 2 640.08 +1.471%
Alberich HOTM 1 640.01 +1.460%
Ares HOTM 1 640.01 +1.460%
Musashi HOTM 1 639.94 +1.449%

Current Event 5 Star Hero Stats Power

Similarly the Average Stats Power for each group of the Challenge Event heroes follows the general trend of getting better the later the event was first introduced. Interestingly though it isn’t until Grimforest and Wonderland that the difference becomes more pronounced. In the stats table for heroes individually the heroes from the first three Challenge Events are more interchangeable.

I’ll include all the Seasonal Heroes as a group at the bottom of the event table for reference (even though they seem to have been treated differently by SG -likely due to lower pulling chances – as Wonderland heroes that came later had lower stats than some Seasonal Heroes included earlier) as well but should be noted Master Lepus’s Stat Power is much lower than the rest in his group, refer to full individual table for more.

Current Event 5 Star Hero Stats Power

Similarly the Average Stats Power for each group of the Challenge Event heroes follows the general trend of getting better the later the event was first introduced. Interestingly though it isn’t until Grimforest and Wonderland that the difference becomes more pronounced. In the stats table for heroes individually the heroes from the first three Challenge Events are more interchangeable.

I’ll include all the Seasonal Heroes as a group at the bottom of the event table for reference (even though they seem to have been treated differently by SG -likely due to lower pulling chances – as Wonderland heroes that came later had lower stats than some Seasonal Heroes included earlier) as well but should be noted Master Lepus’s Stat Power is much lower than the rest in his group, refer to full individual table for more.

Average Stats Power of each group of Event Heroes

Event Heroes Stats Power Compared to Season 1 Average
Seasonals Mother North, Santa, Rana, Yunan, Victor, Lepus 646.02 +2.412%
Pirates Lady Locke, Captain Sargasso, Captain Kestral 640.29 +1.504%
Teltoc Guardian Panther, Guardian Kong, Guardian Owl 640.34 +1.512%
Avalon Guinevere, King Arthur, Morgan Le Fey 640.38 +1.519%
Grimforest Red Hood, Boss Wolf, Rumplestiltskin 642.60 +1.870%
Wonderland Alice, The Hatter, Queen of Hearts 644.14 +2.115%
Stats Power Table for Current Event Heroes
Hero Event Stats Power Compared to Season 1 Average
Santa Claus Christmas 649.88 +3.024%
Victor Halloween 648.76 +2.847%
Rana Summer 647.43 +2.636%
Mother North Christmas 645.75 +2.370%
Yunan Summer 645.68 +2.359%
Alice Wonderland 644.91 +2.237%
Mad Hatter Wonderland 643.79 +2.059%
Queen of Hearts Wonderland 643.72 +2.048%
Red Hood Grimforest 642.81 +1.904%
Boss Wolf Grimforest 642.74 +1.893%
Rumplestiltskin Grimforest 642.25 +1.815%
Guinevere Avalon 640.57 +1.549%
Guardian Owl Teltoc 640.57 +1.549%
Morgan Le Fey Avalon 640.50 +1.537%
Captain Kestrel Pirates 640.43 +1.526%
Guardian Panther Teltoc 640.36 +1.515%
Lady Locke Pirates 640.29 +1.504%
Captain Sargasso Pirates 640.15 +1.482%
Guardian Kong Teltoc 640.08 +1.471%
King Arthur Avalon 640.08 +1.471%
Master Lepus Easter 638.61 +1.238%

Season Two 5 Star Hero Stats Power

In terms of stats Season 2 heroes are CURRENTLY the most powerful 5* in the game with the best Stats Power scores in the game. The Average Stats Power for Season 2 5* heroes is: 648.75 representing a +2.845% improvement in stats over the Average Stats Power for Season One 5* heroes. Whilst the heroes were released incrementally there exists artwork released before Season 2 was first released in which obscured versions of many cards can be seen (if not fully read at the time) indicating they were likely originally all devised around the same time with just beta tweaks months before they would be drip fed into the game so a comparison by family wouldn’t reveal anything but here is the table for individual heroes.

Stats Power Table for Season Two 5 Star Heroes
Hero Family Stats Power Compared to Season 1 Average
Poseidon Atlantis 650.65 +3.147%
Ursena Atlantis 650.30 +3.091%
Mitsuko Sakura 650.16 +3.069%
Misandra Lagoon 649.53 +2.969%
Tarlak Lagoon 648.76 +2.847%
Inari Sakura 647.99 +2.725%
Mok-Arr Lagoon 647.99 +2.725%
Kageburado Sakura 647.64 +2.669%
Ariel Atlantis 647.29 +2.614%
Atomos Atlantis 647.15 +2.592%

Beta - Challenge Event 5 Star Hero Stats Power

As always the stats on anything currently in Beta can change so this part of the analysis could likely be made irrelevant in a short space of time but based on the numbers here across the group of heroes as a whole represents a conscious decision by SG to increase stats this much rather than creating an accidental OP hero or two for beta tweaking.

The average Stats Power of the 10 Challenge Events heroes being tested in Beta is 655.52 representing a +3.918% increase on the Season One 5* average.

Stats Power Table for First Beta Release of New Challenge Event Heroes
Hero Event Stats Power Compared to Season 1 Average
Finlay Pirates 656.11 +4.012%
Puss in Boots Grimforest 656.04 +4.001%
Lady of Lake Avalon 655.76 +3.957%
Guardian Chameleon Teltoc 655.76 +3.957%
Guardian Gazelle Teltoc 655.69 +3.946%
Snow White Grimforest 655.62 +3.934%
Marguerite Pirates 655.48 +3.912%
Jabberwock Wonderland 655.13 +3.857%
White Rabbit Wonderland 654.99 +3.835%
Black Knight Avalon 654.57 +3.768%

Discussion

Long ramble from me on significance of it all that those who’ve followed it may or may not be interested in, otherwise people can draw their own conclusions

Given the way the damage formula works in Empires and Puzzles (Linky linky: Damage Calculation) in which:

Even a small increase in the total stats of a hero can have significant effects on the amount of damage they deal and the amount of damage they take when hit.

However Power Creep is inevitable in pretty much all games especially when you have regular additions such as HOTM that developers would naturally want to make more attractive in comparison to what came before. All players may find this power creep worth remembering whenever they are reading the forum and getting wrapped up in the hype of a hero they missed out on. Considering the much lower chance of pulling a past-HOTM from Atlantis and that many of the more widely used HOTM often start seeing more direct counters appear before they have their debut in the Atlantis portal (eg. Before Gravemaker appeared in Atlantis portal for first time fast cleanser Zimkitha and Ariel had been introduced to the game and there is a good chance Nadnog with status immunity will be in game before Gravemaker makes second appearance) that it is often much better off to forget about what you couldn’t get first time round (especially HOTM where the drop rate is best when they first appear) than get too hung up on trying to get it at a later date. Hero Academy may become the more logical method to try get those past HOTM after some time and instead focus gems on going for one of their counters when they come up.

Up through to the end of Atlantis the inevitable power creep has been kept relatively under control with just a +3% rise in Hero Stats between the Season 1 Hero Averages and Season 2 Hero Averages. It is important that the power creep does not become too dramatic for all players. Making the Season 1 heroes many F2P and C2P players rely on is not advisable as these players I would imagine form the bulk of the player base and alienating them would see many alliances losing long term contributors. From the perspective of P2W and heavy spenders a large power creep is also problematic considering the average cost of getting heroes. When the average cost for a hero is roughly the cost of a holiday abroad in a trip you will likely remember for most of your life you don’t want the heroes you just got for an equivalent cost to be made obsolete within a couple months of power creep, it also hastens the lifespan of the game with paying players finding the game too expensive to keep up and F2P and C2P feeling priced out and in the event a game goes under you lose all the heroes you paid for.

With all this in mind those of you who’ve already spotted the issue are likely alarmed at the rate of the power creep in stats for the new Challenge Event heroes that have just hit Beta. The current Number 1 in terms of Stats Power is Poseidon but the weakest in terms of Stat Power of the new heroes in Beta is +3.92 over Poseidon. To put this increase in perspective it is worth considering:

  1. It wasn’t until the release of Onatel 19 months later that there was a HOTM that was +3.92 or more Stats Power greater than the first HOTM Hel. This is compared to the jump from Poseidon that was released earlier this year.

  2. It wasn’t until the release of Wonderland that there was a Challenge Event hero with a Stats Power that exceed +3.92 Stats Power over the Pirate Heroes.

  3. When Tarlak appeared in the first gate of Season 2 as the 5* with the lower Stats Power of the two newly released 5* in the gate his Stats Power was only a +1.33 improvement on the then Stats Power leader Rana.

  4. The Stats Power increase between the average of the Season 2 5* heroes and the new Challenge Event heroes in Beta is even more extreme rising by a whooping +6.77.

Personally if it was up to me when it comes to the revamp of the Challenge Event heroes that (as well as adding some 4* heroes) the stats of the new 5* heroes being introduced be pegged back a bit to the level of the Wonderland heroes (the new heroes already have the advantage of some big specials) and that the other Challenge Event 5* heroes have their stats buffed to the level of the Wonderland heroes also so that there is more parity between the events and their heroes which share the same event rotation.

Given that the stat power creep had been relatively well controlled up to this point I find it alarming the scale of the increase here and hope that I will be able to edit this post later for more reasonable stats less likely to threaten the long term viability of the game. Whilst others may not be so bothered I know I for one would seriously be put off trying for heroes whilst in the knowledge of the accelerated power creep. I am a bit at a loss as to why such a power creep has made it to the testing phase. A charitable view would be they’re making it a better pay off if you get them given that 5 x event 5* heroes in each gate dilutes the odds of getting each of them. A less charitable view would be the hike is coming just before stat increasing skins (likely pay to obtain) for the Season One heroes to make buying them necessary for heroes to remain relevant.

37 Likes

Great work, and excellent analysis! Thank you for doing this.

8 Likes

Very nice analysis. To be honest, as long as we are looking at single digit numbers, I am ok with it (I don’t even have a full team of 5* so it isn’t bias).

I feel there is far more power creep in other games and it is likely the abilities that break things, rather than a bit more damage or survivability. 2-3% seems very modest.

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It’s actually pretty big at the break lines. Only the new tanks are 4 tile kills with emblems for strong mono teams, which moves them from 1 match to 2 matches on average.

5 Likes

Interesting analysis, nice work and thanks for sharing. But I kept wondering if the increase in power from old heroes to the new actually translates to more strength and efficacy? Probably they are since it’s a function of Att, df & HP.

2 Likes

This is pretty great! Thanks for taking the time to put all this together! :+1::+1::+1::+1::+1:

Also deserves a snap in a Z formation!

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Fantastic post. Really well done all around just want to say I appreciate it :+1:

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Wow. In Living Color was a long time ago now…

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I was thinking the exact same thing @Garanwyn

I think we just aged ourselves… :wink:

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I have to date myself. If I date anyone else, my wife gets really upset :grin:

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The emblem stat weightings are almost exactly the same.

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2 snaps and a twist…

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Homie don’t play that!

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Lol. Homie the Clown was the best. We use that line around the office all the time.

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Thank you for this thread and your research. You backed up your argument well, and I find myself agreeing here.

The power creep is real, and it’s getting hard to keep up. I do hope that these stats from beta get toned down.

Also plz, give us some more 4* lol. In my experience very few players here want to spend crazy amounts of money trying for such low odds at new 5* heroes.

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The other thing worth accounting for is the new family bonuses. Because adding big boosts onto the most powerful heroes in the game is likely to be even more unbalancing.

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Yeah, but look at the HOTM as an example. I would rather have Hel and Athena (group 1) than almost any other one on the list (maybe tied with a one or two others). Stats aren’t everything.

3 Likes

Just look at the top 3 from Season 1. Elkanan, Thorne, Quintus. Is there a more denigrated group of heroes in the game than those 3?

Is there a way to factor mana speed into this? That is a major factor these days in the usefulness of a hero.

For instance, Kageburado ranks pretty low among Season 2 heroes but his Very Fast mana I think more than compensates for that. He is a highly coveted hero amongst the players of the game, yet he is ranked (just) below Mok-Arr.

1 Like

Guardian Gazelle is kinda out of control.

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