Love the snow, the lights, the heroes and the event in general. I like the daily deals and the ascension materials. So there’s a lot to like! AND…
I absolutely hate the shielded gems. There’s very little strategy to any of it, there’s almost no combos possible and otherwise it’s just mindlessly sending random gems downrange and making sure your guys don’t die. I’ve been largely running as much as possible on auto because it’s exactly the same as me doing it manually. Generally I would never do this on any levels that matter, but it seriously doesn’t make a difference if I match the gems or the computer does it, the result is the same.
The bombs from the other events: fun and meaningful how I match the gems. I can strategize which matches to make to get rid of the most bombs and send the most gems downrange with each move. With the shield gems there’s so many that it’s impossible to make any strategic moves to force big combos or build up bigger gems, and even if you do it doesn’t make a big combo since the shielded gems don’t make matches.
Please don’t use the shielded gems again, it’s not fun at all. 0\10 And I still have 7 excruciating levels on advanced that I’m not looking forward to.
edit: Finished Advanced. I feel like I succeeded in spite of being handicapped and I’m guessing a lot of people give up out of frustration, especially on the last 2 levels. My strategy was to keep the proteus buff up 100% of the time. Don’t have proteus? Good luck! I had to retry the level 3 times. The first time I used Hansel, but I couldn’t keep the buff activated long enough because I had so much trouble sending enough gems at the target (shields are dumb!). Second time proteus got one shot. 500 damage x 2 from auto attacks. Third time I switched to using my 3\70 Vivica for the defense boost and got better gems. I ended up using Vivica, Guardian Falcon, Boldtusk, Proteus and Isarnia. The idea is to stack the defense debuffs + attack buff, keep proteus up 100% and send as many red gems as possible. For items I used Medium and large mana flask, time stops (didn’t use) and dragon banners (used one I think, but really I could have just used mana pots instead).