[Personal Notes] Breaking Down Item Bundles ( Difficulty rating- Stronghold 20 )
Difficulty rating/ Game experience: Stronghold level 20 ( Author highly recommends a Stronghold level 20 for the minimum game experience when deciphering this post )
Buying Item Bundles like the $20 USD for 2300 gems, 1 Epic Token, 1 Epic Troop token, 1 Compass, 1 Cape, 1 Trap tool, 2 Meteor fragments, 2 Dragon Attack, 10 Arrow attack, 1 Titan flask tempt players because they let you skip finding, and crafting, these items in the game.
When deciding to purchase an Item Bundles it helps to know what is your buying, a Content Decoy, a Content Choke point, or a Paywall.
No way to bypass in game. You cannot use 2k recruit to directly purchase 4* Wu Kong. A player can go years without 4* Wu Kong or 5* Joon ( see Notes )
48 hour+ RNG locked heroes ( legendary training 5*/ 4* )
IAP+ RNG locked heroes ( Challenge event, calendar event, HotM )
RNG locked ascension items ( 4*/ 3* )
==Content Choke points==
Because 1* to 5* heroes start at 1.1 not max tier, max level, the following content are just stretching out the programmed content.
Stronghold 11 before RT11 extra low cost training ( 2 recruits per 1*/ 2* hero )
Recruit farming best in 3 WE areas ( s1-8-7, s1-7-7, etc. )
Lose 100% ascension items ( paywall ) and 90% XP ( another choke point ) when leveling another hero using a 1* to 5* 1.2+ hero
Skill roll when leveling a hero ( especially when using Trainer heroes and 3* heroes to level another hero ).
Users only have limited real world time and limited game energy per day ( see Links ), the following content are to distract from the Paywalls and the Content Choke points. This content is often heavily influenced by RNG and targeted at users who have used IAP or grinding to pass the above paywalls and choke points. Contrast Decoy content with user base generated content ( see Thoughts ).
Battle items for titans since titans appear frequently but most give only two ascension rolls and rare titans never guarantee a 3*/ 4* ascension item.
Using a titan flask to defeat a titan the alliance cannot normally defeat.
Battle items for challenge events ( this includes completion rewards unless the tier can be completed without battle items )
Any training except RT04 low cost, RT11 extra low cost, RT 13 elite and RT20 legendary ( I skipped RT01 and RT02 since I didn’t understand how training camps worked but RT04/ RT11 can be used to store recruits making them very important ).
==4* Ascension item==
As bonus okay, never as a selling point. 5* Heroes are the most profitable for the company, so expect many new 5* Heroes to appear in the game since it is F2P. Just like soda drinks at a restaurant you don’t need every new 5* hero, the fixed costs in Dev time are much higher than users understand, the temp costs in customer service are higher than users understand, the server costs are not insignificant, but they still earn the highest return on those non-avoidable costs.
Would probably make an exception for Darts if I get Joon or Delilah ( Joon is insane, I like Delilah’s 33% immediate heal plus minions for all ), Tabards if I get Obakan ( I like Obakan, deal with it ), Tonics if I get Alberich ( only way to revive a defense hero in the game, the heal over time and mana over time helps both revive heroes and 100% health heroes ).
==3* Ascension item==
Personal guideline: If my inventory of the offered 3* item is less than 50% of my median 3* items, I will consider it. Example: If I have 10 Hidden blades, 5 Orbs, 10 Shields, 20 Trap Tools and 10 Capes, I will consider a 3* Orb in a bundle.
Would probably make an exception for Jackal/ Falcon ( elemental defense debuff is insane ), Merlin ( best of the special skill controls ), Hansel ( fast mana special skill control/ protection ), Gretel ( Merlin is weak versus Purple Titan/ Bosses, Gretel is strong and has splash damage but only average mana speed unlike Merlin and Hansel. If Hansel with yellow, Gretel would only be cool because I like splash damage ). I have Peters at 4* 3.60 but Hansel is also green, higher attack stat, better special skill control and bonus protection from special skill. If Hansel and Peters were both yellow, Hansel would be the winner hands down.
A bonus, never a selling point. Gems cannot actually be used to bypass a paywall since trade between players and direct purchase of heroes/ troops for gems are not allowed.
==Epic Tokens/ Epic Troop tokens==
A bonus, never a selling point. Tokens cannot actually be used to bypass a paywall since trade between players and direct purchase of heroes/ troops for multiple Epic token/ Epic Troop tokens are not allowed.
==Battle Items/ Ingredients==
If I am low an a particular Battle item needed to complete a rare quest, unlock a map level so I can use loot tickets from my VIP Pass, complete a calendar event to get a 3*/ 4* ascension item, etc.
Titan flask is a bonus, never a selling point.
Gryphonkit, my wife, likes using Titan flasks. Sometimes I will let her use my flasks just because it brings her joy. This is similar to buying lottery tickets and dreaming about the winnings. If she is not having fun, why play Empires? See Content Decoy above.
Might also buy if several heavy hitters are on a hiatus for a few weeks. But usually just better to wait for them to return since there is no way to by a single titan energy.
World energy/ raid energy flasks are pretty useless since you can buy energy from the store. Both shop and flasks refill your entire energy bar, which also sucks.
When I can afford it, this is my favorite purchase. I have limited real world time and limited game energy per day ( see Links ). As a bonus, loot tickets can be used for Trick: saving energy when leveling. This bypasses no paywalls, and no choke points.
==3* Trainer Heroes==
This saves real world time. This bypasses no paywalls, and no choke points.
Hero bundles have a many problems. But theoretically this is one of the few bundle items that bypasses a paywall.
I will be sad if the game ever adds 4*/ 5* Heroes to bundles.
Add rare wars. During a rare war, all defending teams gain an elemental shield. Example: If the rare war is reflect yellow, all Holy heroes on war defense gain reflect yellow ability. Rare wars give a 50% chance of a matching 3* ascension item for the losers and a 75% chance for the winners. Example: reflect yellow would give a 3* orb for all players not in spectator mode with a 50% chance 3* orb for the losers and a 75% chance 3* orb for he winners. With two 30 user alliances, 15 losing users and 21 winning users would gain a 3* Orb.
Rare quest that provides 3* Orb also rewards 4* yellow legendary training hero, on a steady rotation ( Wu Kong, Hu Tao, Li Xiu, Chao, Wu Kong, repeat ). Rare quest that provides 4* Darts also rewards 5* yellow legendary training hero, on a steady rotation ( Joon, Justice, Leonidas, Vivica, Joon, repeat ).
I would prefer a rare titan guaranteed a 3* ascension item then a bonus roll for 4* ascension item.
I might buy mini flasks ( 6 World energy, 1 Raid energy, 1 Titan energy ) if the cost per energy was low enough. In fact my preference would be:
titan energy- shop 1/ shop refill/ mini flask 1/ flask refill,
raid energy- shop 1/ shop refill/ mini flask 1/ flask refill,
world energy- shop 6/ shop refill/ mini flask 6/ medium flask 12/ flask refill
==Epic Token paywall*==
*See post for HotM paywall.
==Content Choke points==
Write an article on Dev content versus User base content. Alliances ( chatting with users versus cut scenes ), Battling other users ( see Empires raiding ), Sharing, and critiquing, battling other users ( posting battle replays to chat ), Analyzing alliance defenses ( mock raids and mock alliance wars - with ability to post replays to chat ), customization cosmetic ( swap hero card art for different art/ seasonal art), customization rewards ( customizing quest/ rewards usually by manually selecting from two, or more offerings), Trade ( swapping unwanted/ unusable surplus item for wanted/ locally scarce item ), Betting ( side bets for raids or wars ), Mods cosmetic ( visible to modder only, visible to advanced users, visible to all users, tradable, sellable, content contests ) Mods maps ( usually a level editor ), etc.
On fast WiFi farm s1-8-7 ten times and compare to real world speed farm s1-7-7, recruit quest, uncommon recruit quest, five loot tickets in s2-6-9 ( basically the delay of the loot roll ).
Personal guideline: If my inventory of the offered 3* item is less than 50% of my median 3* items, I will consider it when evaluating a Bundle. I currently have 14 Hidden blades, 11 Orbs, 12 Shields, 21 Trap Tools and 10 Capes, so it is not worth getting a 3* item in a bundle until I get a must have 4* 4.70 hero ( Peters used to be, Jackal still, Falcon still, Merlin still, Hansel probably, Gretel depends on blue 4* hero from reflect green challenge event ).
I will be sad if the game ever adds 4*/ 5* Heroes to bundles. I will not be sad if the game adds 4*/5* Heroes to bundles AFTER adding a decent trade between players mechanic. So far Pokemon GO is the gold standard for allowing trades between friends. The combination friendship system/ trade system helps to solve, or at least lessens, the following player problems ( translated into Empires terms):
Boredom due to grinding for XP
Boredom due to RNG locked heroes paywall
Boredom due to RNG locked ascension items paywall
Boredom due to Choke points
Boredom due to lack of content
No copies of 3*/ 4* / 5* hero needed to complete a team to defeat a specific Boss
Too many copies of the same 3*/ 4* / 5* hero
8/8 Max tier, Max level 3* / 4* / 5* heroes that are no longer needed
Note: You still need a Stronghold Level 20 to get maximum advantage from the above.
killed the black market for:
5* heroes from challenge event, calendar event
8/8 max tier, max level 3*/ 4*/ 5* heroes
and hurt the black market for:
Account Leveling services
Hero leveling services
helps as well as hurts:
Players with 2- 10 accounts can trade between account is usually offset by IAP and inventory management ( and all the other chores inherent in a MMO ) being multiplied by x2 to x10.
Limited time events ( 2 week events were Daily summons and Epic summons having 80% Holy heroes, Community Days where Daily summons and Epic summons have a 25% chance to summon Bane [ 1 in 8 will have a limited time artwork ], 15% chance to summon Wu Kong and 10% chance to summon Joon, etc. )