App Store reviews getting worse


#1

This is a very fun match-3, by far the most fun I’ve played, but there are a few problems that are consistently complained about both here and in the iOS app store.

Even though the fun factor is extremely high and E&P is potentially worth 5 stars, I gave it 2 stars in the App Store because of the issues below and the developers’ apparent lack of caring.

SG, please start listening to the players… they are paying your salaries. I, for one, have dumped several hundred dollars into this game, the ONLY game I’ve ever spent money on, but I’m getting fed up with the easily corrected issues and am on the verge of bailing to another company’s game.

Forgive my screaming, but I truly want you to understand this point:
IF YOU LOSE YOUR PLAYERS/CUSTOMERS, YOU LOSE YOUR INCOME AND REPUTATION!

The major issues most complained about are:
Ranking
Random summons
No hero targeting
Time to accomplish upgrades

  1. Ranking (Raids/PVP and quests)
    You have made those functions extremely frustrating. The core of those elements is the ranking system: it is completely whack. Just how does a team with 3000 power get utterly demolished by a team with 2500 power? Even considering what characters are strong against others, having a well balanced team, and playing intelligently guarantees nothing but frustration.
    Fix this, it seems to be the single biggest issue people are complaining about and according to the reviews is driving away your paying customers.

  2. Random nature of obtaining high level heroes and ascension materials.
    Gems are slow to build up and are costly to buy. Clearly people are enjoying the game, and to reward their time, efforts, and hard-earned cash they should be able to work their way to high level heroes or ascension materials. Unfortunately that’s not possible even though it could easily be coded. For instance, someone spends weeks or months building up 300 gems to do an epic or elemental summon, only to get a measly 3* hero that they already have several of from the free daily summon. That is instant irritation and frustration, and leaves us with a feeling of betrayal. It’s worse when we spend real money on the gems. Far, far worse than that is when you spend the money to get enough gems for a 10x summon and get all 3* heroes. That’s almost criminal.

  3. Inability to target specific heroes / getting repeat heroes
    Your paying customers want a way of targeting a specific character… give it to us. There are many ways to do that, you just need to care about your customers enough to pick one. If there’s something specific about a certain hero that someone likes and wants on their team, why should they be at the mercy of 100% randomness? Under that method, a person could end up never getting the hero they want, and only get heroes they specifically don’t want. Just as bad is to get the same one you already have (true that you can use the repeats to level up others, but it is heartbreaking to spend weeks building gems or spend real money to buy gems only to get what you don’t need). That’s plainly ridiculous and disrespectful to your customers. You can still have a level of randomness, but allow us to stack the odds in favor of what we want - WITHOUT making it utterly impossible or difficult to the extreme.

  4. Exponential growth of time to accomplish builds
    Come on, really? The time it takes to upgrade a building’s level is on an exponential scale? So the initial build takes 5 seconds, but the time increases exponentially for every successive level up. That means it will turn into something that simply isn’t worthwhile. Map it out and consider how your customers will feel when upgrading a building or researching an item so you can craft it takes a week. Exponential increase is just wrong. Flip it over to make it a logarithmic multiplicative factor increase. The time to upgrade will still increase with each one, especially if you set it to never reach the near flatline that logs do, but won’t become so dauntingly and unrealistically long, and won’t make players decide it’s not worth it.
    This isn’t the real world, it’s a game, a fantasy. It still needs real world elements though, and needs to not reach a point where it feels unattainable.

I get it, I really do: there is a very real need for players to take a while to reach the top, and for things to be sufficiently drawn out to make the game relevant for the long term. However, things are whack in these areas. You’ve gone wrong and need to fix it.

Please read the reviews here and the complaints in the iOS App Store / Google Play, and take what’s being said to heart. I lay steep odds that you will retain more players and also gain more if you stop trying to create new things and instead put forth the effort to fix the problems most complained about. Set your pride on the shelf and LISTEN to your customers!

You’re losing us, you really are.


#2

There are a lot of emotion flooding around. We will see what the future will bring and hopefully it’s a bright one.


#3

@onelife, I don’t want to start a war of words, and I mean no disrespect to you, but if all you got out of my topic was emotion then I don’t think you understood the points I made.

Also, humans are creatures of emotion. To ignore them or the powerful message they carry is to miss out on what makes us human. We need to control ourselves in the face of emotions, not pretend they don’t exist.

There are no insults or accusations, no foul words, no disparaging comments in what I wrote. There are exactly 2 exclamation points in that long post; just 2.

Additionally I compliment SG on a very good game. I don’t just complain, I suggest in a general sense ways to fix each issue.

Please don’t just see words of emotion and retreat. Instead, give your honest opinion on the points made, add to the topic, help it come to life.

Thanks @onelife, and happy monster battling


#4

ElevenArcher you’re right. I should have been more specific. So forgive me when I’m not doing it. I’m so lazy these days this was all I could contribute.
Cause every argument you made is true …nothing to add.


#5

Your complaints have all been extensively discussed in the forum previously. One shouldn’t expect you as a (presumably) new arrival to dredge through everything that has been posted here, but most of this stuff has been addressed so many times that I can only assume you haven’t bothered reading the forum at all.

Addressing your issues in turn.

  1. Ranking

Trophies are a self-correcting Elo-type system unconstrained by team power, which is a terrible proxy for actual strength anyway. Yes, weak teams can beat strong teams with good strategy, tactics, and luck. This is an excellent thing, not at all to be complained about.

Here’s a raids thread for you to read. There are literally dozens.

  1. Random nature of obtaining high level heroes and ascension materials

This is absolutely a feature, not a bug, and is one of the things that I personally love most about the game. It’s what keeps F2P competitive, means that some small spenders can beat the big ones, and keeps some big spenders spending even more. But you’re not alone in disliking this - many, many people agree with you, and it is something that - again - has been discussed literally dozens of times, perhaps even hundreds.

Here’s a randomly selected thread to read.

  1. Inability to target specific heroes, getting repeat heroes

This is really just a variation of complaint 2, that summons are random. If you want to see it chewed over in the forum pick one of the dozens of threads in which a player complains that they bought 9,000 summons and failed to get the HOTM that they were after.

Here’s one. There are many more.

  1. Exponential growth time to accomplish builds

Really, you’re in a rush? This is the least commonly discussed of your complaints, though of course it has still been done to death. Again, it’s a feature, not a bug, that rewards long-term commitment and grinding. Some people agree with your position, but in this particular instance I think you might be in a minority.

Here’s a thread. There are others.

SG staff regularly frequent the forum and they are aware of all the complaints you have expressed. Here’s another catch-all thread of grumbling, if you want to broaden your horizon of fault-finding.

Here’s a summary of an AMA in which SG staff answer questions from the forum and address some of the issues you re-raised.

And here is where you ought really to have started. It’s a summary of frequent requests and their status. You might see some you recognise.

To summarise:

  • You are not alone in being bothered by the things that bother you. Many players agree with you.

  • Your concerns are not universally shared. I disagree with almost all of your points, as will some others.

  • SG is already well aware of all these complaints.

  • Although it would be unreasonable to expect you to read through the entire forum history before posting your thoughts, perhaps we could expect just a little reading, for background? This might have let you know that these issues are all old hat, and familiarised you with the arguments on both sides.

  • Regardless of all the above, good on you for posting a coherent explanation of your thoughts. I hope you hang around and continue to contribute to the forum.


#6

I think I might actually be in love with this reply. Best one I’ve read on this forum.


#7

LOL @onelife, I feel ya!

Cheers!


#8

@rook @Coppersky

Can you consider please making a sticky called ‘common complaints’ using what @Brobb posted? We’ve been getting blasted by the same (generally valid) frustrations/complaints on the forum and its clogging it up. @brobb has done a real nice job capturing where people can go to vent and here (generally) intelligent responses.

While I am here, one thing. On raids and the power difference. I am looking at 2 cards in my deck right now. Lenoidas at 2/60 with 586 power. His stats are (left to right) 512/503/856. And then Kiril at 3/60. 559 power and 545/559/859. So with 27 less power he’s +33/+56/+3. That’s a noticeable difference.

When possibly extrapolated by 5 heroes and someone setting up a team that is either configured to take down the other team when attacking or just a beast to defend against I can see a 2500 team beating a 3000 team, especially when you consider that the attack team is dependent on boards to win. I lost to a team that had 800 less power once - was arrogant with my tiles, got a bad board, and before I knew it I was in a hole too large to get out of because my healer got taken out. It shouldn’t happen regularly, though, if you are being strategic with your attacks.


#9

@Brobb, well done on your reply, and one I can totally respect whether I agree with your points or not. I’ll take the leap and say you’re exactly the kind of person we want in forums. Decent and thoughtful replies make for lively discussions. Plus quoting other, relevant articles is great. Seriously, I’m happy to discuss issues anytime.

I’m actually pretty well read in this forum and there’s only one you quoted that I haven’t seen (guess what page I’m turning next?)

One point you make a few times is worthy of debate: the points I bring up are indeed already hashed many times over. That’s exactly what I wanted to bring up in my topic because in spite of the tremendous number of complaints, SG hasn’t seen fit to make adjustments. The recent change to matchmaking, for instance, only narrowed the range of opponents, it did nothing to address the massive imbalance between attacker and defender.

The overriding issue is what are quite commonly seen as issues, things that are driving people away, are not being addressed by SG. No one can make a perfect game on the first iteration. It takes listening to the users when there’s a large number saying the same thing.

Cheers dude(tte). Looking forward to any reply you have


#10

I have considered making some kind of Common Complaints thread, however I personally don’t think it will redirect any complaints, or reduce complaining clutter around the Forum.

I’m game to try, if @Brobb doesn’t mind me copy/pasting. :wink:


#11

Everyone in my alliance is losing interest…nothing changes, everything takes way too long, you have to spend money to get new heroes (and you end up getting the same ones u already have) because it would take a year just to get 300 jems…its just really boring now and hopeless I think our whole team is feeling this way I used 2 love this game but now it’s just monotonous and boring. If you guys don’t make some changes soon your game is going 2 be a flop.


#12

I’m a fellow player here, just a volunteer.

Erm…I make 300 gems+ every month (without spending). What are you doing ingame that it takes “a year”?

inquisitive look :slight_smile:


#13

Copy/paste as you see fit, dear @Rook.


#14

I don’t think it’s correct to say that SG hasn’t made adjustments. The game seems constantly to be adjusted. Off the top of my head, and ignoring regular adjustments to heroes and raid mechanics (we’ll get to that):

  • Introduction of Heroes of the Month

  • Introduction of troops

  • Introduction of special events

  • Introduction of elemental chests

  • Introduction of rare quests

  • Introduction of trophy win/loss for raids

  • Redesign of team power measure

  • Redesign of player profile view

  • (Pending) introduction of alliance wars

That’s just what I remember - I’m sure to have missed things. It’s pretty impressive development pace within one year (can you imagine all the coding required?!) and most, if not all of those innovations have come as a direct response to player requests and complaints. So I don’t think it’s fair to suggest SG is not responding to player feedback. Perhaps your issues are not at the top of their list of priorities; perhaps you would have different issues to post about if they had not made the changes that they have.

The developers can’t please everyone. A good example is raid mechanics (I told you we’d get to them). You refer to “the massive imbalance between attacker and defender” - it is surely to SG’s credit that I’m not sure whether you think that imbalance favours attacker or defender.

When I first started playing, the attacker advantage was huge and players were complaining on the forum. SG responded by boosting defenders, so players took to the forum to complain that defenders had too much of an advantage. SG boosted attackers, and players complained that attackers had too much of an advantage. Can you guess what happened next? And what kept happening?

Right now, I think that attackers have a strong advantage, but I’m not certain that’s what you feel. Forum complaints just now seem to be evenly split between ‘I can’t win an attack’ and ‘I can’t win a defence’, so perhaps that is a sign that the game has got it about right. (I wouldn’t mind a little bit more of a boost to defenders, myself, but that might just be a matter of taste. IMHO if you can’t win raid attacks, you’re doing something wrong.)

So please don’t forget: you’re never speaking for a unified body of opinion. I pointed you to some of the forum threads where your complaints have previously been aired not just for the joy of reading someone who feels the same way to do, but also so you could read the opinions of many players who take to the forum to disagree with those positions. If your recommendations were to be taken up by SG it would make some players happy and other players sad. :sob:

I don’t want to seem to be shutting down conversation: I come to the forum because I like to read what other people think and offer my own thoughts. But if you’re just repeating complaints that have been argued to death for months, and are still open to be discussed in existing threads, then perhaps those threads are the place to express your thoughts?

This suggestion comes from one who likes this place, but who finds it a bit cluttered by multiple posts daily along the lines of ‘raid attacks/defences/ranks are unfair’, ‘I can’t find the midnight roots/tall boots/5* hero I want’ and ‘I just summoned total trash’. Unless you have a really cool new idea to post (some of those do come along, if you look carefully), maybe you don’t need to start another thread saying the same stuff as all the existing threads.


#15

Common complaints thread won’t do anything. People who write complaints on the forums are generally two types:

  1. Frustrated and venting out, usually small angry posts - they will not care about your help topics.

  2. Dudes like this one, who are baffled about why the common complaints aren’t addressed and wanting to bring them to attention again - adding a post to a sea of posts in some other thread will likely not do it for them either. It’s a safe assumption that old threads (even lively) aren’t read or noticed by most forum users, much less the devs.

Additionally, I’m pretty sure flooding the forum with complaints makes them more visible than stashed away in one topic, so it will just not change.

And hence
Brobb, nice on you to link all this stuff, but it’s a Herculean task, I believe. You are content with how the game is, you always say it and that’s great for you! But there will always be many people around here who couldn’t disagree more, so I’d keep those links at hand if you want to keep fighting your battle :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not content with many things personally, but I’m pretty much done writing futile suggestion posts, so at least that’s one complainer out though :roll_eyes:

But we are a hydra. I may have fallen and mostly left the forums, but there will be others. You can’t stop us with sticky posts :ghost: :scream_cat:


#16

You might be right about this stuff. On the subject of old, live threads we disagree - I think that they are the focus of forum attention, or would be if new threads about old subjects didn’t regularly pop up to create clutter.

Just for the record, though, I wouldn’t say I’m ‘content’ with the way the game is. There are a lot of things I would have SG change about it - make raids tougher on attack, introduce real rewards for trophies, develop more late game challenges, to name a few. But I do try to keep up with the developers’ plans and I understand how much they have in the pipeline. If they produce new content as they plan to (alliance wars!) they will keep me happy. I don’t feel like I need to post my wish list in the forum to keep smiling.

In the meantime, I really don’t want them to ruin the game that I love by making everything freely available. E&P is about grinding over a long time, about having great luck and terrible luck. If that changes, then it wouldn’t be E&P any more. Generally, I think I’m better to post my defence of this essence of play, in the hope that it is protected, than my ambitions for the evolution of the game, in the hope that they get implemented.


#18

The only thing that will reduce clutter is a separate category “Feedback”. Buuuut, the problem is most topics eventually get derailed into complaining ( Godwin’s law ) so the reduction is more like -10% than -100%. In practice, this is just not worth the effort moderating it.

If you want to reduce clutter, the best ( that I have actually seen in use on a public forum ) is one or two curated sections of posts or links.

Example:
A “Beginners” category that contains locked, copies of useful posts for beginners. Since all posts are copies, people can still complain in the original posts but not the curated copies. Since all copies are locked, there are no replies six months later that derail into complaints. Since only moderators or staff can post copies, all posts are on topic. Since all posts are edit locked copies, the original poster cannot vandalize the post at a latter date out of frustration.

But MMOs are always changing and old posts become obsolete, especially when new features are added.

I have always wanted to try a “Hot Links” curated category, with just links to interesting topics or replies. Or maybe a “Link of the Day” curated category. Just some way to boost a topic or reply. By having a separate topic for each link, you could see what is interesting people.

However, I have never moderated a forum that was busy enough to warrant anything but a couple of global sticky posts like “Phones click here or HOT, Bugs, Search & FAQ” or “Known Requests - OFFICIAL RESPONSES (24)” or “Known Requests - RESOLVED (6-2)”.

Forums are just messy things because humans are messy. Forums that are neat, tend to be dead forums.

“Moderators are paid and praise and taxed in grief. The pay is too low and the taxes too high!”- Gryphonknight


#19

Forgive me @Brobb, I meant that adjustments aren’t being made to the topics I listed.

You have a valid point that SG is continuing to make changes to E&P, which is a good thing of course.

The title of my post is that reviews are getting worse, and was intended to be the primary topic. I listed the issues I see most commonly and tried to summarize them.

I have seen good games come and go, and it always seems due to one general cause: a large number of players get annoyed about a common handful of things they consider issues and stop playing. The developers see less income and move on to a new project.

I have never paid for things in games until E&P. Match 3 is fun but monotonous after a while. Pure card-based games involve too little action and too much imagination. Fantasy, elves & dragons, quests, etc. are always eye-catching for me. E&P hits the mark right where it should, and I found myself doing my first in-game purchase ever… then another… and again… and one as a gift for my daughter. She, In turn, gifted me a purchase. We are strongly considering sending a Google Play card to someone in our alliance who cannot make a purchase due to costly university taking priority.

I’m obviously invested in this game. It would be incredibly sad if SG dropped it because interest waned and players left.

While there are those that see little or no error, clearly there are multitudes that are frustrated about a common few things.

I’ve run corporate-class UNIX servers for 21 years and a commonality that leads an app to costly ruin is to ignore problems in favor of adding new content/function. The gaming world is not so different.

I want E&P to stick around a very long time. Whether I will be driven away is a lessor concern than if hundreds or thousands are.

@Ellilea, thanks, you seem to see my point well

@Gryphonknight, you made me think of a possibility that the moderators could help with (if I’m just repeating your message, do forgive!)
Could the moderators, i.e. @Rook and/or @Coppersky set up a thread they alone can modify, and where the developers know to look. The moderators scan through the flood of posts and add or summarize the ones most commonly voiced. Keeping the body of the forum clean would take moving those messages to an archive area which would send an automated response to the poster so they don’t flip out.

This may be more work for the moderators (thank you for your service!) but would be an assurance to the hoards of posters that their complaints are heard.

And again, thanks to all for keeping this topic civil!


#20

Honestly, new sections of the Forum would be the purview of the actual Devs. We will have to see what they think of all this. :wink:


#21

This is completely off the subject, but I want to thank all of you for allowing me to read an actual grown up conversation w/ no insults being thrown around.

It is too bad that all comment sections cannot look like this. It just seems like the world is angry and people immediately go into talking trash instead of being constructive

Thank you