NINJA TOWER: Musings from a Veteran Player

Hey Guys, Today I’d like to talk a little about what seems to be the most recent source of polemics in this game, the Ninja Tower.

I decided to only talk about the tower once the event was done, that way I’d be able to make an objective evaluation considering the mechanics, effort required, time and item investment and rewards.

Before I actually start talking about the event, I wanna throw this out there, I LOVED THE NINJA TOWER.

I’m not talking about summons, quality of the heroes, chances on the portal, availability of coins of said heroes, I’m talking about the actual event, about the 50 levels that have to be played. They require attention to a certain degree, dedication to a certain degree and the rewards for those were, I.M.H.O. on point.

I Know some people are gonna read up to this point and start flaming, I have no doubts about it and I know there’s nothing I can do.

Now I wanna talk a little about the mechanics themselves, my experience and the rewards.

The Ninja Tower brings a new board mechanic called Oni Curse, which makes some of your heroes unavailable for the following levels and this, by itself, brings a whole new dynamic to the event and to players inventory, as you advance you’ll need to adapt according to which heroes you have available but, above all, this mechanic and the risks involved in it changes completely the way we play the game. We can’t simply go on making matches and enormous combos without giving it thought, the tower requires attention, requires we play differently, requires us to prioritize diamonds and dragons but don’t just go ahead and pop them, we have to save them for emergencies.

Calculating moves ends up being much more important than item usage (I see a lot of people complaining about having to use a lot of items and it not being worth it), I used very few, Axe attacks to reduce boss’ damage, the occasional health of mana pot to avoid troubles (brought medium health and small mana). I took tornadoes as an insurance policy on every level in case there were some Oni tile I couldn’t normally reach. I used a total of 11 Tornadoes the entire Tower.

The “time demand” was also well distributed, people had the option to flask and power through, but we could just pace it out and play 10 levels a day. What I did was that I divided those 10 levels, played like 2-3 in a row and came back later for more. Since the levels required concentration I thought if I tried to play all 10 in a row, it might be tiresome, I intend to try that next time and see how it goes.

The biggest source of complaint I am seeing is about the rewards. Playing all 50 stages rewarded us a high number of emblems, around 40 for each class. If you think about it, when we are offered emblems at the shop (what isn’t always) they are sold 10 for 175 gems, which means that just by completing the tower you receive a total of emblems that is worth around 3500 gems. This rewards is vastly superior to any other event completion in game (not even taking into account rewards for the points at the end of the event).

If there was a quest stage tat rewarded 175 gems everyone would race to complete it, it could cost 50 world energies and be hard to appoint of requiring items to complete, everyone would still rush to complete it. A lot of stages in the tower gave me 10 emblems (Besides coins, bombs, tornadoes, time stops, etc), which equates to 175 gems, and they don’t even require world energy, they have their own.

Another common complaint was that “The tower is for veterans only, it’ll make beginners loose interest in the game.” I think it’s exactly the opposite. If every content was way too easy for even beginners to just auto play it (I know there is people who just want to auto play everything and simply get the rewards), everything will be excessively easy, there is no challenge, things get uninteresting. I recall when Grimforest was first released, I played and replayed the last level so many times and I simply didn’t manage to beat it, I killed Rumple, got to half of Boss Wolf’s health and Hood would heal him back up to full, used a lot of items, potions etc… I didn’t manage to do it simple because, at that point, that content was above my grade (either due to inventory or to player skill limits), Ok , I just kept on playing and evolving and next time Grimforest came around I completed it without troubles.

The sense of progression comes directly from that, someone who played the tower to a certain level and was unable to advance will have another shot in two months to try and progress a little bit more, eventually this same person will have gotten strong enough to complete the tower, he/she will have progressed.

Being 100% honest, for me the Ninja Tower is the best event SG ever released in this game, Once again I’m talking about the event (not about portals, summons, etc) the playability, it’s mechanics which are far superior to “replay and replay looking for higher scores” like we have on challenge events or to the “special tiles” we have for season events.

People might also say * “it’s about your inventory, you have a lot of heroes, you can have 30+ cursed and still play.”*

I Had ZERO cursed heroes… When I completed the tower I had 6 heroes at 1/2 , but none ever got cursed twice, I didn’t begin with my weaker heroes nor anything (Tarlak played all 50 levels).

The fact that I have a big Inventory allowed me to change my teams according to the bosses so I didn’t have high difficulty but no, it wasn’t like I’d get a lot of heroes cursed and plowed through by replacing them.

I didn’t race it, I didn’t spend a lot of items, I simply played mindfully, had fun and managed to complete it in the Top1000

I’m really satisfied with the Ninja Tower, I had a .ot of fun and I’m eagerly awaiting to be able to replay it two months from now.

Best Regards

Jairo Aragão (Trovão)

Jabarj from Oceano Pacífico

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Fully agree, thx for your post

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I enjoyed the gameplay of the Ninja Tower, but I found the reward structure, which was based solely on your rank, a bit off-putting.

I think everyone, from beginners to experienced players, would enjoy the climb more if there were guaranteed rewards for reaching particular floors. That is, reach level 10 and you get A, B, and C; reach 20, you get X, Y, and Z, etc. Then you can also have rewards based on rank, but it won’t be as disheartening for those who miss out or for beginning players with no hope of competing at all.

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The gameplay wasn’t an issue to me. The time involved in playing the tower was. I would not have an issue if it was the only thing to do in the game at that time but it never is. So I needed to prioritize what I did and the tower lost out.

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Great post. I agree mostly wtih this, it was the most challenging event ever with a lot of skill needed to progress. I didn’t use any items that would help me with the curse bombs, so I saw over 15 of my heores be completely lost due to the curse. I have a strong batch of heroes, but was only able to complete level 40…again due to the refusal to use time boms, tornadoes and high priced items.

It needs a little tweaking to remove the frustrating parts of it. But for the most part however, it is VERY worth it for the generous amounts of emblems given. For those who wouldn’t even try based on the reviews, they earned the zero emblems by taking the words of the grumpy masses over a little effort.

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As a player of three years I also mainly agree with the OP. Took a bit much time but apart from that it was great…
And it’s not that I did super great…only top 50k…but you had to think a bit differently. That’s what I enjoyed most

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I agree that this event was really fun due to the challenge and skill used.
But I am very disappointed in the reward for completing it all. In my case I’m a F2P who has been around for a year. I have three fully leveled 5 stars and after that it’s a bunch of four stars and 3-60 five stars. I was able to complete the tower which I felt was a great accomplishment. My final rank was 29k. So I ended up with the same loot I would have had if I finished only through floor 43. For as difficult as that event was there should have been some basic loot package for event completion besides the three rebel emblems and a tornado I receive upon finish floor 40.

With my ragtag bunch each level took way longer than with your team I’m sure. Which means lots more chances to get curses. It makes is immensely more challenging.

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Well said. For me it was more fun actually playing the game than I have had in a long time. I would also say that the blessings added to this. I picked mana generation whenever I could and it changed the style of play as you gained floors. Just as the number of items you could bring went down, the fire rate on specials went up. I did try to play through the levels rapidly and having all those specials going off was a kick. I got through 50 levels, was in the 10-25K rank, but definitely could improve my strategy next time and look forward to trying.

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Yep. I ended up choosing the mana boosting blessings which was key to my strategy. My healers are my strengths as far as where I targeted my emblems so having them all firing pretty quick helped me beat it despite having a broad range of five stars.

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i agree with almost everything you said except, you got 400 emblems from just playing the levels?
that’s an average of 8 per level. I only got 170. So if you got 400 there is a major problem with the RNG

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Good post indeed.

I was on about the same wavelength during the first 35ish floors of the tower - it does indeed provide a challenge and makes you think outside the box when matching.

Last 10 floors is where I lost my groove. I consistently got into situations where focusing on matching away the curses meant I wasn’t doing damage, while it was enough for two ninjas to coordinate their specials to kill one of my heroes.

I had to power through the final stages using the exact same strategy - survive until the boss wave, fire all specials, use two tornadoes and hope to god I do enough damage to finish it from there.

Still, I appreciate the level of difficulty being non-trivial.

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One thing I disagree with the OP is that in some cases you can’t have any influences on curse because tiles distribution was such that you simply can’t avoid curse, no matter how mindfully you played.

In some cases I’ve had oni stone of particular color and no other tiles of that color on whole board, so I could reshuffled board over and over again but nothing could be changed.

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I think in that part he was talking about the 40 per class “for completion”. Of course, for some it was 15 per class. He also overvalues emblems by a factor of three; the in game offers are different now.

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My favourite post in a long time.

I loved the NT event because it made you think. Because it made you stress and worry (I got stuck at level 34 with a few losses and thought that would be the end of the road for me, but luckily pulled through). It made you focus. It made you regret. These are not feelings you normally associate with PVE content in this game, which I find grindy/dull/monotonous/unappealing to the extreme. I put off doing hard mode of S3 as much as I can because it is just so boring - you have to be present to direct the specials, but it is completely mind numbing.

I am even now thinking about how to fine tune my strategies, blessing selection and heroes for the next time around to do better.

I liked the rewards personally, around 350 emblems in total (165ish for the levels, 200 for my completion tier). Emblems for me are worth more than 4* at the moment (thanks in part to my awful summoning luck of late). Next time I hope to do better, and hopefully SG will finetune the reward system too.

I think it is OK to have an event that not everyone will complete, and yes it is something that should make you push yourself to do better next time, not to give up. If you find it a time sink or boring that is another matter, and then the only thing that will motivate you to do this over any other PVE will be the effort/reward and then you have to prioritise what is important to you.

I don’t get people who say they didn’t like the fact that you had to worry about the oni stones and moving to save curses would mean you couldn’t make an ideal move for the level. The oni curses are another layer of strategy and the decision making between oni curses positioning, mob/boss positioning, or something that achieves both, opening up more permutations and options for getting an overall optimum move or series of moves in any given situation. Trying to balance setting up your right color tiles whilst not dislodging the tiles needed for removing the curse on the third count whilst hopefully setting up diamonds and bombs for future curses… theres a certain art to that!

I personally would even like the tower tweaked to include some additional challenges.

Thank you for the post!

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The event itself was very interesting and i loved the gameplay. You had to think twice, before you did a move. This was very challenging.

But i got really bored at Lvl. 30. Yeah, i had enough heroes left, to do more progress, my best heroes was almost untouched the whole thing, but at the end for myself, it was not worth the time effort, that was needed. Like @Chadmo i only used just some arrows, smaller mana potions and healing flasks, because i have lots of them. I have no problem, to use that.

I will see, if i going to play the next one and when i going to change my tacticts on the tower a lil bit. The tower itself, need some reworks from the Devs. Like said, guaranteed reward for finishing some stages and a lil bit more coins, for the ppl, that can‘t manage to finish, but would to do one pull in minimum.

Maybe they can calculate your available hero rooster into the tower and of that fact, you get more or less Oni curses. ? But i think, that‘s too much programming for just an event.

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So NT will return in ??DEC but what about the christmas special? in either case it time to look at you inventory of toys. would using the same attacks work for monthly three level challenges so I dont’ get just a participation and completetion loot?

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I’m ok with that game mechanic, but the problem is that event is seems designed for advance or even expert players, who has top tier skill and many maxed and emblemed heroes. For most of the regular players they only get mediocre or even poor rewards no matter played hard, or burn out many battle items.

As some players suggested, player can gets rewards when reached to specifly floors is a good idea, or even separate to 2 difficutlies so everyone can enjoy the event, no matter they are novice, advance or expert.

Many players complans about very limited tokens, I know SG need to get profit and there is no free lunch but that setting is really too harsh… May be player can gets enough token for hero summoning say 2 to 3 times when completed the task, but able to increase the ratio by spending gems ?

And about the theme… Ninja is fine, the tower is fine, character design is fine (although styling is a bit different…) but oni curse seems not related to ninja IMHO. Shuriken or other usual ninja weapson may more match to ninja theme.

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One has nothing to do with the other. If they overlap, ninja tower cost you nothing to play. Christmas every will cost world energy like most other quests, events or map stages.

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I quit at 25. Not because I couldn’t complete it, just blah to me.

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true but will the schedule interfere?

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