🏧 Is it Investing or

So are you really “investing” into the game if you don’t have ZNGA stocks in your portfolio?

What form of currency are you using to calculate your returns on your “investment” (ROIs)?
Happiness? E&P Player Ranking? E&P Alliance Ranking? Raid W-L ratio? Digital sponsorships & revenue as a 1337 Empires & Puzzles player?

Many players support the game financially (via micro-transactions & in-game purchases) as it is a form of entertainment to kill time, socialize with online alliance friends, unwind from the rigors of day to day.

But the sheer amount of people (in the thread that shall not be named) who appear to be “investing” in this game via in-game purchases and feeling entitled to a return on their investment had me wondering what’s the satisfactory payout for their investment? How long must said payout persist to have satisfied the criteria for your investment?

Edit 1 (prior to any responses):
Additional thoughts - If you are considering this an investment, where does the well-being of the game fall into your calculations for your investments? Is individual payout greater than communal payout? How do you quantify what is good for the greater good without the bias of your personal investment (if you can)?

Edit 2: Linking to post by @IvyTheTerrible that I feel gels with the general vibe of this thread as it addresses gratitude which can be considered an appreciation of your ROI.

Edit 3: Because ultimately it’s true @Rigs


Hmm, I recall responding to a similar topic to that, around a year ago. No clue where that can be though.

If you could sell your account legally after making it all shiny, it could be called investing. That is, if there were people willing to buy more than you spend to get the heroes and mats. Otherwise, it would be more damage control than investing. Like buying a new car that loses 20% of its value after a first year. All you get is 1 year of bragging rights for 20% of its value.

There’s no way you are getting any money out of the game if you spend money on it. Thus investing is pretty bad term. When you spend money on liquor or fancy dinner that’s not investing. That’s an entertainment money spending. And that is what this game gives. A bit of entertainment. The better/more unique heroes you have that no others have, the more entertained you may feel. Same as those people who buy fancy home decoration even though you could decorate your home Ikea style for fraction of that money.


Fair question. Unless they go against the TOS and sell their account, there is no tangible investment. They “invest” time, but there is no true monetary value in that. They invest emotion. So I ask, If I have one of my hands full of time and the other heaping with emotion, what can I get for it?

There’s really no investment, just the feeling of foolishness for spending your time and money for a game you no longer enjoy. The game is worth it to me and the changes coming soon will not dimishment my enjoyment in E & P. But I understand breaking points, many will reach theirs…I hope it’s not a mass exodus.


I searched but you know with silly people like me posting arbitrary titles like Waves = Mental health discussion, it may have been challenging to find.

I believe we’re on the same page based on what you’ve defined. If money poured into this game provides me with the entertainment I want/need when I need it I feel like that’s my payout.

But then how long must something keep you entertained per your spending? If I spend a dollar in game, is E&P required to provide me 1 hour of entertainment?

Using your alcohol or fancy dinner analogy, they serve their purpose until the bottle is empty or I leave the restaurant, so is there a comparable mandatory minimum limit on how long E&P must keep you entertained?


I think this is an interesting topic and I’ll be interested to see what others have to say.

For myself, ‘investment’ isn’t really part of the equation. Like @Suicide_Bunny, I’d frame my answer more around the word entertainment. I knew the odds on summons and whatnot when I put money in, so nothing more is required imo. Using @voidstrike’s restaurant analogy, I ordered gems and those gems have been received. I have dispensed them in the way that seemed the most likely to net me the heroes I was interested in. Done. I mean, it’d be cool if the game didn’t end tomorrow, but assuming a reasonable lifespan…everything between SGG and me is square.

There are two main reasons I feel this way.

  1. I have spent an amount of money on this game that is completely trivial to me. I’m not bragging, I’m saying that’s intentional and how I approached spending. What I’ve doled out affects the rest of my life 0%. I actually have no idea how much I’ve spent. I don’t think it’s a lot, but I designed it so I didn’t need to care about the actual amount.

  2. My relationship with SGG is strictly transactional. I occasionally give them money, they provide a known service. Neither of us has obligations beyond that. I wish that weren’t the case and I think a different model of provider to player interaction would be more fulfilling for all parties (as well as extending the life of the game and ultimately making it more profitable, but I could be wrong about that). I have written about this in the past. It is my opinion that SGG, by their behavior and (lack of) communication has repeatedly AND EMPHATICALLY declined to adopt a healthier gaming model, one that would more fully embrace the mutual goals of the company and the player base in a collaborative fashion.

I don’t want that to come off as overly harsh. Per @JonahTheBard’s Audiences With, if Petri really did come to visit I would make him dinner and attempt to get to know him as an individual. If the SGG staff were more prominent and available on the forums, participated in discussions with players, communicated about what is going on and - more critically - why, I would partake. And it is very likely my stance would soften. But SGG would need to take a step in that direction. Their lack of any sort of public relations expert is a huge flaw.

Lastly, I do often use game timers (e.g., raid flags full, titan spawns, etc.) as stopping points for my Pomodoro sets. It’s a nice stopping points and creates a finite and pre-decided break. Parkinson’s Law is always a problem, and creating artificial deadlines is usually how I combat that. My stopping time can be arbitrary, so the Mystic Vision cooldown is as good a device as any.


Well I guess that’s highly subjective and beyond measures. One buys a Netflix subscription to watch a single show one episode per week, the other spends every hour of their free time watching half of the entire library. Both pay the same fee, but are entertained differently. I guess SG doesn’t owe us entertainment. They provide service, we may or may not pay for it whatever amount we wish really. The more we pay the more premium and ‘rewarding’ it is, but how much fun we get out of it is our business, not theirs.

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I love this game. But spending is never an investment, and any attempt to pretend thus is just delusional. Perhaps chide yourself for accepting the T&Cs without reading them.

These days I spend less because I ask myself “should I buy this offer or should I buy my kids a toy and myself a beer?”. It’s important to remember this is a game of pixels, not thrones. The Great Burf Debate, for example, it really really does not matter.


It’s kinda funny, actually… A lot of the fun I get from spending on this game is gradually building up a massive treasure hoard, which I save for monthly heroes not even announced in beta yet. I just sit cackling in the corner waiting for my moment. The one who introduced me to this game just looks at me weird and goes about her day.


I hear that Kadaxia, the Nov 2021 hotm, will be the strongest orange tank in the game, and deal 600% counterattack damage against 6* pink heroes, so hang in there…


Holy geebus you just opened up Pandora’s Box for me here…been trying to hold back most of my opinions on the matter because usually

  • I post my opinion
  • lots of people get really mad at me
  • I go into hiding

But here goes.

Where do I begin.

Investment? LOL okay. If you mean, “I’m buying heroes to make me better in the game so that I can have more fun playing the game”… assuming you have enough additional income after paying for necessary expenditures and whatnot to be able to afford that investment? Go on with your bad self. :+1:

But ToS clearly states

Regardless of any other statement in these Terms, the Community Rules, or any Feature Terms that apply to features you may choose to use, you do not own any Account that you create on our Services, including in our games, and your Account is not your property. Likewise, you do not own any Virtual Items that you obtained through our Services, regardless of whether you “earned” those Virtual Items or “purchased” them. Your Account and any related Virtual Items are owned by Zynga. Zynga gives you a limited license and right to use your Account and the related Virtual Items while we offer the Services.

Really doesn’t get any clearer than that, honestly.

And yeah, I know, nobody reads all that crap anyway, they just check the box, then later complain that they’re gonna call their lawyer.

Well lemme save you some legal fees upfront by telling you


Very very sorry. It’s not that I don’t sympathize, but… seriously dude… might want to read the fine print before making thousands of dollars in purchases.


Sorry for the silly pics. I’m trying to post my opinions along with some harsh truths in a manner that might also make a few people chuckle. Perhaps at themselves for spending more than they should have. Or at others who spent more than they should have. Or just in general. Because… seriously. People need to stop taking this game so seriously. I know I’ve said it like a million times already, but for some reason it still doesn’t sink in… probably because most people never actually read my freaking posts (and I can’t really blame them, they’re mostly quite long and boring)… but SERIOUSLY people, IT’S A FREAKING GAME.

It’s not a stock portfolio. It’s not a higher education degree. It’s not even a certificate that makes you qualified to dip the potatoes into the deep fryer at your local McDonald’s restaurant. It’s… a… GAME.

Game could go away at any time. Summons could give you 1000 3* heroes in a row. Or it could give you 1000 5* heroes in a row, then nerf them all the next day.

caveat emptor

Seriously, when I “whined” about my bad pulls, nobody felt sorry for me. And they shouldn’t have. They told me, “sorry dude, that’s just the way it is.” And they were right. That’s just the way it is. I decided that I didn’t like “the way it is,” so I stopped spending my money. A game is not a financial investment that one should expect to get a financial return on. It’s an investment of time, and sometimes money, the only return one should expect is fun.

Once I realized that I could have the same amount of fun playing the game at $0 a month as I could spending say $25 a month? I decided to keep the $25. If SG wants my $25 bad enough? They can go ahead and change stuffs around so that I actually feel like I’m getting $25 worth, instead of the typical “10 Dawas” crap that they usually give me. 10 Dawas isn’t worth $25 to me. And apparently my measly $25 isn’t worth it to them to rearrange their entire business model just to suit me.


Thus. New deal. I give SG $0. I get no new fancy heroes (or very very low chances of them, anyway). Shake hands, call it a day.

Meanwhile… someone else is raging because they spent a bunch of money and now they feel like they didn’t get a good ROI (Return On Investment)? Join the club, buddy.

LOL apparently it’s longer than a couple of years. Because every single time I even suggest putting old (and I mean old) heroes into TC20? The ones who bought and paid for them raise hell, as if I had just suggested taking food from their children’s mouths to feed the poor starving sewer rats. :roll_eyes:

random side rant below, ignore

I’m really trying to have sympathy for my fellow players here, even those who can afford to spend a lot more than I can… I feel their pain, I get it, you absolutely should be rewarded for spending tons of money… but damn. Why is it that whenever I’m down on my luck, people tell me “them’s the ropes”… suddenly the situation is reversed and “this is bullcrap, I deserve better treatment than this!”


Back to original topic…

Ah never mind. I’ve rambled on enough already.

Basically… “investing”? LOL. This is E&P, not E-Trade. Your “investments” here amount to less than the sum of diddly and squat. Consider every dollar that you spent on this game (and any other game for that matter), money spent and gone. The ROI that you’re looking for is entertainment value.


Think I’ve said more than enough.

Yo… production guy… that means cut the mic.

Cut the mic. /End thread. Finito.

dammit… yes, roll the ending… YES that one… good lord. As soon as I get enough money to replace you, I swear I



Oop–He said it
(10 char)


So, here’s a funny thing. I play another mobile game, and in it, there were packs to buy that would be $100. A month or two later, it drops to $25. Another few more months, $6, and then another few months, it comes free if you grind a special event and get the appropriate reward. I don’t know if those who shelled out $100 to get a 4 month head start worried about the fact that it was now available for free, but that’s how that company played it. You want something new and shiny? Be prepared to pay a lot to be the first owner. If you don’t want to pay? You’ll have to wait 3-5 months and be prepared to grind.


We humans get attached to the silliest things sometimes. :slight_smile:

I spend a little money on this game each month. I justify it because I play the game a lot, and I think of it like going to a movie or that sort of thing.

The next time I go to a movie theater with my friends, I’m going to see if I can convince them as I’m buying my ticket that I’m making an investment. Think that’ll fly?

EDIT: I’ll take the comparison further! There have been times that I’ve gone to a movie expecting one thing, because I did my research: I watched the trailers, talked to some friends, and we decided we were interested. After seeing the movie, maybe we were disappointed because it wasn’t all that we expected it to be. Then, get this, a few months later when they released it on DVD, they released a Director’s Cut! They changed it after I saw it! I should’ve demanded my money back. Shucks.

Good gaming!


AHHH! Fizban is here!

Sorry, don’t mind me, just got excited is all… Such adventures


You are investing in your personal enjoyment, which, in some schools of thought, is not much of an investment as compared to other more noble endeavours…

Not that I am the authority on noble endeavours, otherwise why would I be playing this game?!


I certainly would never use the term ‘investing’ to account for my spend. It is entertainment, pure and simple. What tangibles do we get from going to the movies, for instance?
I am a small to moderate spender on this account and have a totally f2p alt. My comparison is buying a cup of coffee! If I buy something greater than the cost of a decent coffee one day I try very hard not to spend for a while. It is discretionary spending.

Yes, I would have liked to have had 1000s of gems to chase and get the one-who-must-not-be- named but it is a game! And for the amount I spend I get sufficient entertainment. Invest? No.


Well…we solved this matter in the game…it’s clearly not an investment.

…which then continues to irk me so much more when people start to present their arguments with “I spent this much on this hero…”

Where do y’all stand on that matter? I may have missed some highly intelligent posts (lol…no really, maybe they had something valid after these intros) because I tuned them out when they began their statement with “I spent this much on this hero…”



What are we investing? There are many directions we could take this and we can end up in different places. So let’s have a go! :laughing:

Suppose an actual financial investor. It’ll be some form of currency in stocks in the parent company, and hoping to make more money than the initial outlay. Somewhat obvious, also boring.

Suppose a player-customer who spends money on ingame offers. Money and time are certainly spent, or invested in this sense. What is the return of investment? Looking around the forum would suggest different things to different people. Again somewhat obvious.

There are those who approach this as “I spent… so I should get… in return.” I suspect many of those are out of frustration, though there are some I believe who don’t really comprehend how the purchase mechanics in games are designed.

Smartly, and perhaps deviously, game designers (not just SGG) implement it such that customers are not paying for a character directly (unless it’s one of the shop offers which include certain characters). But for character rolls it’s protected from that particular line of complaint because customers bought gems, and gems are then chosen to be spent on character rolls. So the customer gets exactly what they purchased: gems.

There are those who approach it as just entertainment. Rigs, elsewhere, lays it out quite nicely and likened it to spending money on going to see a movie. So the time and money investment is returned as enjoyment. Those who are F2P I suspect fall into this category despite not spending money on the game.

There are those who spend money on the game as a way to support the developers because of the enjoyment they gain from it.

I am an irregular C2P customer. I can’t remember the last time I spent gems on pulls as I rely heavily on gaining coins to spend on those pulls during Atlantis/Valhalla/Challenge events. The only times I really do spend money is when they have those gem offers where alliance members get 30 gems each.

I think I had a point… somewhere…


I think you were agreeing with us that ultimately an ROI on the this game can’t be quantified other than what one would measure any other entertainment expense’s ROI for a certain individual (how you value renting a movie, fine dining experience, ratchet dining experience, new tech, etc.)


It’s entertainment. No investment.

That is all.


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