First, let me say I love E&P. The missions, the quests, the challenge events, the alliances, titans, etc. provide players plenty of different things to do. However, ever since I started playing I felt the Raid system was completely broken. In the beginning, it was just something I could do to get extra food or metal to level up heroes or build the next building. I didn’t care about competing for the most trophies as I knew my heroes weren’t strong enough. It didn’t really matter to me so I could largely ignore the obvious flaws. Then in the infinite wisdom of SG, they made raids a central part of POV. Now suddenly winning raids wasn’t just a way to gamble on getting new resources. I had to win in order to get rare ascension items offered in few other places without spending piles of cash. This new importance of raids means those flaws are now glaring issues.
Every issue I will mention here I sent directly SG Support, back in the good old days when you could actually contact their support. The only response I ever received said simply “Please post this in our forums so our fanboys will blindly defend us so we don’t have to do anything.” That may not be a direct quote but close enough to the intention of what they said. On a side note, imagine any other company used this tactic for customer service…you go to McDonalds and your burger is burned solid hockey puck. You take it up to the counter to exchange for something edible and they respond, “I’m sorry but you must first post on our forums. If enough customers agree the burger is burned bad enough we will look into exchanging it for your. Good luck.” You buy a new TV and it doesn’t work. You contact their customer support and they respond with “Please post your issues on our forums, if you are lucky some random person can answer your question. If not, maybe our dev team will see your post and answer. Good luck.” You want to return something to Walmart, nope can’t do it. First you have to post on their forums and get enough people to agree that their is an issue with what you bought. No one would tolerate this behavior. Yet ,Small Giant treats its paying customers this way and many accept it. Sad. Anyone who pays for literally anything deserves better.
Now back to the broken raid system. It is broken from beginning to end, and every aspect of it.
A. What is suppose to happen. According to Small Giant, players are matched by trophy count, power is not considered at all. Let's start there. How stupid is that? It literally rewards those who do not play raids. If you do not play raids but build a 4000 power team, you will be matched against low power players guaranteeing victory. What kind of system rewards inactivity? A broken one.
In addition, it is easy to manipulate. If someone is like me doesn’t care for raids outside of POV, you can simply win your POV raids and swap out to 1-star or max trainers until the next POV, consistently losing your trophies to again be matched against easier opponents. What kind of system would allow such loopholes? You guessed it. A broken one.
I would recommend simply averaging the power of the last 3 offense winning teams. If you have to win the match-up it is difficult to manipulate. Using the average power of the last 3 teams will also account for different teams that may be used to beat specific heroes or color-stacked teams.
B. What really happens. Of course, that is only what is supposed to happen according to the devs but it is not what happens. I tracked 300 raid matches. For each match-up, I add the number of trophies I could win to the the number I could lose. A perfectly matched team, according to what they say, would come up as 0 (if I could win 30 trophies or lose 30 trophies to an opponent, take 30 + (-30) = 0). If you think of a bell curve 0 would be the exact middle and should be the most frequently seen number in match-ups based on trophy count.
Now, obviously, finding an exact match who is offline might be difficult. But you would expect if matchups are made by trophy count, that you would be matched with those close to your trophy count most frequently. It didn’t happen. Over 300 raids, my breakdown was:
+/-0-10 trophies = 18.6% of the time
+/-11- 20 trophies = 24.9% of the time
+/-21 - 30 trophies = 26.3% of the time
+/-31 - 40 trophies = 26.8% of the time
+/- 41+ trophies - 3.4% of the time
I was actually matched with teams 31 to 40 trophy differential most frequently. The most extreme trophy differential I faced was where I could win 55 trophies and lose 3 trophies (52 trophy differential). How is that possible if you are matching teams based on trophy count? The short answer is it can’t and they don’t. At best, match-making is completely random and at worst, slanted to extremes. Either way the matchmaking does not work as the devs claim.
I should mention I started the experiment at 2000 trophies, throughout I dropped down as low as 1900 and made it as high as 2300 before being knocked back down. The majority of the time, I was between 2000 and 2100 trophies. I would estimate the majority of players fall in the platinum and gold arenas depending on how long they have played. I mention this because being at an extreme end of trophies as either a new player or a dominant player could influence your match -making prospects but I should not of been impacted this way.
2. Hero Cards are Fake
A. The game suggests you review hero cards prior to raiding. The problem, the hero cards are completely inaccurate. In a raid, your opponent receives a significant buff on attack, defense, health, and their special power. This may be well known to long time players but I saw no mention of it any where. Below are some pictures snapped before the raid began and then snapped during the raid. Every stat improved magically. 1) Why the buff? 2) Why isn’t the buffed stats shown in the cards? Clearly, the hero cards do not reflect real stats and are therefor broken.
B. Hero card stats are not reflected in battle. I have now benched Sophia and stripped her of her emblems. Her card makes her one of the best 4-star snipers with 345% special attack. However, the damage dealt in a raid never reflected this. In fact the damage from weaker hitters (card showing 205%) was frequently stronger. Now I didn’t know at the time my opponents were secretly buffed so maybe the above buffs are the reason for this. The hero cards are completely worthless if they don’t show what is really going to happen in a battle…or in other words they are broken.
We haven’t even started the battles yet.
3. The Starting Boards Aren’t Fair
Yes, I know there is a thread dedicated to this. Yes, I know the devs claim they are not biased against color stacking. And yes, I have evidence from my experiment showing otherwise. I tracked 150 raids using 2 blue heroes and no yellow heroes and then tracked 150 raids with 2 green heroes and no yellow heroes. You would expect 20% of each color to be the primary color on the starting board, regardless of the team make-up.
In 150 raids with 2 blue heroes:
of times blue was the primary color = 18 (12% of the time)
of times yellow was the primary color = 54 (36% of the time)
In 150 raids with 2 green heroes:
of times green was the primary color = 28 (19.6% of the time)
of times yellow was the primary color = 38 (25.3% or the time)
In 300 raids without a yellow hero, starting boards contained more yellow shields than any other color 92 times or over 50% increase of what you would expect! Clearly this is not consistent with the idea boards are not manipulated against stacking colors.
Before someone says “Why do starting boards matter?”, it matters because it impacts the amount of mana generated which impacts wins. On average, my opponents generated 1.71 special skills to every 1 I generated. On starting boards where yellow was the primary color, my opponents generated 2.2 special skills to my every 1 and conversely, when the starting boards primary color was the color of the multiple heroes I was running, my opponents only generated 1.3 maxed mana for every 1 I generated. That impacts wins and puts me at a disadvantage by increasing the mana of opponents while doing little. Again, the raid system is broken.
4. Mana Generation Yes, mana generation in raids is also broken.
Opponents generate mana 2 ways, every time they are hit by a shield and when ever they want.
First, why do they generate mana when they are hit? It makes no sense. It places an increased emphasis on bad starting boards. It also skews hero cards where average or slow mana generators are now gaining mana faster than your fast heroes if hit with a cascade. It is actually one of the aspects that makes a heroes seem over-powered because despite being average in mana generation, they act like very fast.
Secondly, what is with the magic mana your opponents generate? It causes raids to feel predetermined when suddenly a hero attacks multiple times to max their mana or several heroes pretend their was an invisible cascade to hit your wing hero with a bunch of attacks as soon as you max your mana. I have played these types of games before but never has an opponents attacks been “magical” or their specials maxed by secret, pretend attacks. Some games had both sides use the same board (my preference because it adds an element of strategy to the game) and some have a separate board that is visible so the attacks are transparent. Hiding them makes it feel like devs have a plan rather than a fair and balanced system.
5. Traits I hesitate to put this here because I don’t have the numbers to prove my point. I started to track them but with everything I was tracking it got confusing so I stopped counting how many times heroes revived, got special defense, or sprung a snake minion. My observation is that the traits happen probably close to their stated odds (20-30% of the time). However, when they activate once, it seems they fire multiple times 75% of the time. The number of times heroes revived 2-5 times in a row to max their special and fire it or for a healer to max a save them or heroes lined with 3 minion snakes is far more than should be seen by the odds.
I was going to go back a track this next but the reality is I shouldn’t have had to track any of this. The devs could easily pull-up the numbers on the backend that took me way too long to track but they chose not to and have avoided doing anything to fix the game. They are counting on players with a massive number of trophies wanting to protect the treasure trove or people’s natural instinct to defend what they like to cause enough confusion and divisiveness that they can continue not to do anything as they slowly take away even the basics such as the ability to report issues directly to someone. Read some of the threads from the beta testers about how they are treated and how little they are respected by SG. Take a real look at real problems and demand better.