We, players of E&P, are accustomed to spending our resources for almost zero chance of reward. Following this tradition I write my own version of “hoping for change” rant.
almost zero chance reward being in this case, that the mighty SGG staff on their thrones becomes aware of this post and something will change.)
The most important – maybe the only important – question is: What is E&P? If the sole purpose of SGG has been to create a money making machine, which exploits people with various addictions (most importantly gambling problems, but also obsessive collectors, etc.) then they must be congratulated. Job well done! Utilizing all casino tricks E&P promises stars from the sky, and frustrates (“frustration” is a very important word in the context of E&P) players to either donating unhealthy amounts of money to SGG, quitting, or not caring. Some are lucky and happy, and keep the foolish hope alive for others.
If there is – or should be, could be – higher ambitions, like making a good, enjoyable, and morally sound game, then read on.
There is (still…) promise for E&P. It could have become a good game. It could still slowly steer in that direction. Maybe remain even mostly a money making (gambling) machine, but not with such greedy and stingy stubbornness as demonstrated lately.
In the recent developer AMA developers referred to “long term plan” which they insist on following despite for all feedback they get. I am worried that this means just perfecting the frustration machine, and not bringing E&P back to it’s potential. Hopefully I am wrong.
Change would require a couple of things from SGG. Firstly, skill and quality control. Secondly, appreciating the player base. Thirdly, and most importantly, some moderation for income expectations. Sadly the third part might be where hopes fail… but let us continue with the expectation that miracles are possible. (I am not a game economics specialist, but I still also suspect that having a wider and happier player population, which does not hate everything developers do, might also have positive economical sides. And let us not forget that E&P has been incredibly profitable game. Some moderation would not change that.)
Firstly, there are multitude of “free” enhancements, which would require “only” work. In the above referred AMA developers confessed focusing on things where money is. But that cannot continue forever. There must be some continuous quality of life improvements. There are some things that I personally consider important below. NOTE: These are just some examples. No reader should focus on this stupid list. These might not even by my own top list, just examples.
- Ability to choose vanilla or costumed version of the heroes separately for each team. (E.g., stop messing up my war defense when I play class quests. Utter and unnecessary manual labor for players. Teams should be complete presets for use.)
- Enhanced hero roster with better sort options. For example: Sort by vanilla hero class (i.e., which emblems are used to emblem the hero). Sort and ignore teams. Etc.
- Official calendar for the following month. It does not need to contain all (random) things, but there is no harm in announcing the events etc. beforehand. Recent “let’s change everything and not tell anyone” things are just not respectful for the player base.
- Etc, etc, etc…
Then there is the most important category of changes. These are mostly about being less greedy, less stingy, causing less frustration. Making the game a better GAME. I trust that there is also long term financial promise in such moves.
- SLOW DOWN! In the AMA session I already mentioned the developers said that there must be some power creep, but that it should be minimal. Listen to your own words! Last year has been nonsensical. Players should be able to have at least some trust in their investments retaining their value. That trust is lost. Also, having dozens of new heroes is not manageable even for skilled players: Learning heroes and their combinations deeply is the art of E&P, and this flood destroys that. Family bonus system deteriorates when certain quests (and their summons) are pushed back indefinitely. Etc.
- There should be some value for real world money in the game. And I am (mostly) not speaking about “how much an ascension mat should be worth”. The real question is: Are summon oriented in app purchases most often just pure donations to SGG, or does the paying player always get something in return? Countless players are all the time doing ten-pulls or 30-pulls with no keepers, no use for the heroes, except as training feeders. No value. No sense? I understand that rare heroes should remain rare. But there are ways to steer away from pure gambling. For example, (maybe multiple) 3* and 4* heroes could be transferred for ascension mats of the same rarity. Or something. Feeder heroes must not cost 1.5€ each. (The ascension mats conversion would also solve other problems, e.g., not so good 5* heroes waiting at 3-70, forever.)
- Even with slower power creep, older heroes get outdated. Or at least old. And there are nonsensical number of new heroes available. There should be continuing, and increasing possibility to get those older heroes also. For family bonuses, or just for new players to get something actually usable. Who has stated that the actual non-zero-percent sources for 5* heroes (TC20, HA10) must remain (mostly) limited for Season 1 heroes? Would it hurt that bad to add S2 heroes to TC20, and increase HA10 chances for “other heroes” a lot? Everything else goes forward, why must TC20 remain as it always was?
- This would also eventually give help and hope for players, who are – regardless of time and money spent – seemingly doomed to eternal mediocrity due to bad luck. How nice is it that it is totally possible to spend two years and a thousand euros and still not have a single really good A+ hero?
- There should be (small and slow, but still real) change to the direction where rewards are more based on effort, and less on pure luck. For example: Completing story seasons are one time events for the players, requiring a huge amount of playing and effort. Giving “Dawa tokens” as reward is not encouraging. Giving a single Dawa token for a new player finally being able to beat S1 is purely insulting. It would not break the bank to, e.g., give a guaranteed a new (non-duplicate) five star hero from the related season, would it? There are countless other examples, where loot should be more guaranteed. Maybe even selectable. The main point: Accomplishments should never be rewarded with insults. (If changes like this would be made, then of course the total amount of rewarding should increase. Just guaranteeing current average loot would be exactly that, insulting.)
- More respect for the player base instead of arrogance. For example: Respect beta players and their feedback. Communicate much more with everyone. Deliver on your promises: Make roster space cheaper, solve the duplicate problem, etc. (About the duplicate problem: It is not all that tricky thing to solve, IF one accepts solutions where players actually get something valuable without having to pay multiple times for it.)
I could maybe live with everything just not getting worse and worse all the time. I still hope for the trend to not just stop, but actually change for the positive.
If nothing changes (for the good) then it is just time to cry for the insane amount of time and money spent on this wasted opportunity of a game, destroyed by it’s parents.
P.S. I also wrote a longish reply below (“When I think about why I am so uncontent with the game…”) which extends the analysis of this opening post.