Observations on how the game has changed in the last two years (FTP perspective)

Hi forum friends

I used to be a regular on these boards two to three years ago, ranting about all things FTP.

I left the game thinking I’d be gone forever: one key catalyst was because I got really annoyed by the Telluria nerf – the one time I ACTUALLY pulled a good hero as an FTP, everyone got outraged and she got massacred! I really don’t understand how that was fair but that is a story for another day. I was also just disillusioned and annoyed in general by the lack of options for FTPs to get new 5* heroes, and wanted to spend my time on other pursuits.

Recently some familiar forum faces tagged me on my forum cake day and that piqued my interest in the game.

To my own surprise, I found myself playing again.

As a way for me to rationalise and reflect on my decision to venture into this addictive game again, I thought it would be appropriate to summarise the following fundamental changes I have noticed to the game (from my perspective and as an FTP) since I left two or so years ago:

  1. Mystic vision is a lucrative source of gems and items, and can be activated more frequently than previously was the case. This seems to me to be the best place to get gems and emblems. The odds seemto have improved markedly as well, as I have been consistently receiving 3-5 gems and on one occasion obtained an epic hero token. (I suppose this was a calculated decision on the part of SG, to offset the power creep somewhat, noted below at point #4)

  2. Soul Exchange! My goodness, if I had known this had been implemented earlier this year I would probably have ventured back into the game EARLIER. This is precisely what I, as an FTP with heaps of 5* dupes, had been waiting for: a way to trade your dupe 5* for a new 5* hero. I can’t wait to do this frankly in November (does anyone know the precise date btw?)

  3. Lots of events and seasons now. This was already the case but it’s really ramped up now. This makes the game a bit overwhelming but it is a double edged sword. On balance it’s probably a good thing overall as it adds variety to the game, if you’ve played it for long enough.

  4. Power creep is ridiculous and worse than before. The magic heroes are crazy and the Season 4 and 5 heroes are also insane. This makes the Telluria nerf even more of a joke frankly. Raids are significantly harder, almost impossible to win (in the absence of a significantly above average board) and are more luck based now (requires FTPs like me to use high risk high reward mono or 4-1/ 3-2 stacks to have a chance of winning against the latest heroes in top teams. In one sense, that is fair as those who pay will naturally have better teams - but it could prove discouraging. I remain hopeful of snagging a good 5* healer at the next soul exchange)

Things that haven’t changed:

  1. This game is still a grind that requires lots of time and energy. The amount of food and resources required for limit breaking - just to use one example - is pretty crazy

  2. Hotms still seem a bit weaker than event heroes. This seems to be by design, to ensure players spend at events. To date, I have never pulled a 5* event hero…

  3. The people on this forum are as helpful as ever

Thanks for bringing me back from the dead @Sarah2 @Ian487 @Shohoku79 @arrow_slinger @PlayForFun @Noble_Weasel @sleepyhead @JGE @Gwniver !!


Welcome back oh Fearless F2P Rebellion leader.

One other change of note: there are now Challenge Festival events that combine the older Challenge Event heroes into one summon portal – and NO S1 HEROES! For F2P players this is a definite plus.


These two I absolutely agree with. They’re a f2p’s best weapon.


Hi, Frenzied Eye-

I am a newer player, always purely FTP from the beginning. This forum has been an essential source of information.

You probably know already, but I will mention it because it took me a while to find out about it:
Starting in Fall of 2021, I believe, shortly before I started playing, a Black Friday Summons was added, purely for gems, no coins or tokens as far as I know, I believe 300 gems per pull, maybe it’s 350. Anyway, you can find the exact details by searching. But the important thing, again, is NO season one heroes at all are in the summons.

Then this year a similar summons was added at the Summer Solstice.

This seems a much better situation that what I saw described for available summons portals in previous years.


Welcome back @FrenziedEye
It’s good to hear you are playing again and nice to see you in the forum
My advice …. Be 100% F2P
You take care :beers:



Challenge Festival One
Summer Solstice

I was able to get some good 4 star heroes like Merlin, Hansel, Guardian Jackal, and Guardian Falcon as an FTP before I even started getting 4 star and 5 star vanillas from TC20.

And the costume chamber gave me some early 4 star S1 heroes with costumes before I got a TC20 also. And more recently Elkanen with both his costumes.

I have yet to pull from a seasonal portal with epic hero tokens, as I have been waiting for Halloween. Soon!

I learned early from this forum to shun the event portals with highest odds of season 1 heroes.


Welcome back!

I counted 12 weeks after last SE on 22 August 2022, and the next SE should fall on Monday, 14 November 2022.


Are you in fact Tyr? :stuck_out_tongue: now I’m imagining you as an angry ripped grandpa with claws

As for your observations , I say spot on - for raids I purposely cup drop because I don’t want to rise up too far and face the monster defenses that require lots of luck to beat!

And yes, Mystic Vision - I once got 30 emblems. For a 30 second ad? Yes please!!!


The Telluria Nerf
It was before my time, but it lives in infamy.

Like something in real life that you’ve heard about in history class and from mentions in the culture. You know it was a seismic shift, but you can never know what it was like to experience in real time.


Welcome back.
I’d like to add in another tool for FTP: Hero Academy levels 5 and 8. Yes they are “retired” heroes, but they add to the available free heroes that you can get. After all, after years of playing, people still lack those elemental def downers.


They recently buffed Vela, collateral damage from the Telluria-gate back up a bit, so there might be hope for Telluria yet.

Imagine when it was first announced/released, people were shocked at the roster, and relieved at the same time that there are no strings attached for the exchange (like involving gems) other than just 10/15/20 heroes. But also pondered how often this would occur, until it was later announced it being quarterly, the first one was end of February/beginning of March, second was end of May/beginning of June, third one came a little faster a week before August ended, so who knows if they are doing this for November or December.

It was the same for me as well, speaker. Until when they totally came clean about what the Soul Exchange would involve, I was still feeding my dupe 5* gathered. Then I actually started spending some gems to expand roster spaces to hold onto the dupes for the Soul Exchange. I managed 15 of them during SE2, and got me Lady of the Lake, and that’s the first event 5* for me. I don’t care how I get them, as long as it doesn’t involve me spending actual money.

Hero Academy levels 5 and 8 got revamped, and classic 5 events 3* (G. Bat, Shrubbear, Vodnik, Bauchan, Pixie) and 4* (Peters, Boomer, Hansel, Gretel, G. Falcon, G. Jackal, Merlin, Sir Lancelot, Captain of Diamonds, Cheshire Cat) can become available there. I actually used that function to complete my collection of these.

Hero Academy 10 list gets updated from time to time, started to incorporate 2nd pulls for chance at the costumes for those that have them, but the odds are still shoddy and still on the same non-queue-able, same crappy odds system within the still 2 simultaneous function only HA.

costumes for some event heroes, seasonal heroes, S2 heroes, S3 heroes, and HoTM, not sure all of them needed it, but hey, they are already pushing out secondary costumes for S1 heroes, only a matter of time until we see more of them. And yes, they are still pay-walling them.

Not sure why, but $GG loves using S1 heroes as fillers in their portals and continue to do so, it’s like they don’t think some S2/S3 3* and 4* are filler material yet. I made an argument that $GG / Zyn$a / Ta$e Two actually hate S1 heroes because of the “No Classic Hero” announcement in certain summoning portals. It’s like they know players don’t like them, they don’t want them, and they are not desirable, yet they can’t find better gacha eggs than these to fill the gacha machine and still need them around and needs to find ways to justify their staying around (see superior talents, classic family bonus, secondary costumes). So Challenge Festival 1 and 2 Portals, Summer Solstice Portal and Black Friday Portal are currently the only portal you won’t have to worry about drawing a Dawa.

Limit breaking heroes… Now yet more sets of materials (Aethers) to look after. Those ominous looking chevrons (like @Noble_Weasel have put it remarkably) are just going to inevitably going to invite further limit breaking down the road.

There are still more observations and others are covering them. But if you are looking for an immediate impact, Soul Exchange to get a guaranteed exchange (not a chance at or gem involving) for a possible first event 5* or

If you are looking for unique heroes regardless if they are 3* - 5*, the next time a Challenge Festival (either 1 or 2) comes to town, and you are pulling at a portal where no S1 fillers are used. Same with Black Friday Portal, or Summer Solstice Portal.


Thanks for tagging me, @FrenziedEye … it is nice to know you are back. I agree, mystic vision is giving me gems much faster (so I may be doing that 10-pull in one of the CF portals soon).

@nevarmaor , I appreciate you posting links to the master threads for CF1 vs. CF2, so that I can compare. Until recently, I didn’t know there were two different ones, as I took a break for most of the summer. (I had just earned my sea dragon avatar from Atlantis, and felt like I beat the game, lol.)

Limit breaking and troop feeding definitely require a lot of food and resources. However, this game has taught me extreme patience. For example, the yellow aether quest is not until next month at least. And I missed the last two so I am looking forward to that one for sure. Will be looking on October calendars for information on the yellow aether quest.

From one of the CF portals with coins, I got Shrubbear, who helps in 3* raid tournaments (currently is my defensive tank), and rare tier challenge events. So my goal is to read up on CF1 vs. CF2 to figure out where to pull with gems.

Glad we (forum folks) could be helpful. I got that “Back From The Dead” offer as well, when I came back August-ish. Along with all the others, of course.

I noticed that I like the new, shorter Path Of Valor better, in this current POV we are on right now (the first time I have done a full 28 day one since my return). No star requirements on titans and no arena requirements for raids. I actually managed to get to milestone 30 yesterday, and may get one or two additional 1000 point chests.

So those are my observations for now. And the Tower Of Styx isn’t too bad so far.

Anyhow, enjoy your gaming, everyone!


You never know where the next pull is gonna take you. For about three years, my summoning luck was nowhere in sight, but all of a sudden, a little over one year ago, it changed in ways that were far beyond my E&P hopes. Since, single gem pulls and EHT’s brought me heroes I didn’t dare dream about. Unfortunatelly, great as they are, they’re no match for the latest releases. These days, power creep works faster and further than it ever did before.

Welcome back, enjoy!


I managed to land Treevil, who instantly became my one and only LB’ed 3*. He kills in 3* rush, and in AW rush. I put him on my AW rush defense and was attacked 14 times – seven were for 0 points :rofl:


Welcome back, @FrenziedEye :slight_smile:

I´m positive the team over at The FTP Rebellion. Who wants to join? (Part 2) are having a party and are celebrating your return too! :tada:

May you find lots of joy from the game :partying_face: :clinking_glasses: :four_leaf_clover:


Great pull with Treevil, @nevarmaor ! Don’t you love it when you see war attacks hit your defense for 1 or 0 points?

Don’t have Treevil myself, but yep, I would LB him immediately! Makes complete sense.


I’d say good observations, will add a bit more:

Free Limit Break materials from quests and wars - those could make f2p teams semi-competitive, even compared to top notch defences. Breaking essential 4* is btw much more productive than breaking 5*, at least in the beginning.

Path of Valor twice as often - twice as many free gems, rare materials and emblems, even a single 3* aether (the 3* aethers btw are more valuable than the 5* because you never can have too many 3* aethers as a f2p…)

More farming events - season 3 and 4 stages for 3 WE can boost your xp tremendously.

Seasonal events have better rewards - last seasonal events included aethers as additional free reward.

As for HOTMs, there are several ones each year which are more powerful than numerous Seasonal 5*, like for example this month’s Grace and May’s Kara.

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This year has quite good HOTMS (not all of them unfortunately). Iris, Zagrog, Silvaria, Arfanias, Kara, Grace. The coming ones are worse :frowning_face:


Always nice to see strong HOTM pop up. Unfortunately the last one I managed to get was Malicna :face_with_raised_eyebrow: ! Trust RNG to give me a heavily-RNG hero.

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My last HOTM is Klaern… and here even RNG will not make him good…