Ruskin's Journal

Hey folks,

I’m going to try something different in 2023. I’m creating a thread for random thoughts I have. Sometimes I have a tangential thought on a thread, but don’t want to detract from the discussion. There’s also a list of topics that don’t have a great place to go. I intend this to be a journal of my thoughts as I play.

Today I’ll just start with a bit about me.

I started playing in February 2019. I got the ads as I played other games, and the playable ad (which I think is just 1-1-5) was fun, so I decided to download the game and give it a try.
I am a no money spent player (F2P) and that certainly influences how I play the game and what I say on this forum.
I’m currently a member of Crew-Jesters and enjoy chaining 14 star titans.


January 1

Today’s topic: DMs with foes

I play another match 3 game (name unimportant) and the game is designed so when you create an account you are put in a server with ~1000 other people and new people are never added. Obviously over time, the number of active players drops.

I’m generally ranked 5th in cups (which give daily rewards based on standings). The top 4 all have stronger teams so I generally top out at 5. Due to raid matchmaking, the top 4 attack me often. I’ve always questioned why they attack me and not each other as they’re in competition with each other for the top 4 spots (each with increasing rewards). To me, I would think they would want to attack each other to guarantee they get say third instead of second by dropping the cups of another player.

This game has an in game private message feature. So I messaged one of the guys who used to be in my alliance to ask him why he’s attacking me when I would think he’d want to bump down the others. It’s totally okay that he attacks me. I probably have an easier defense. But I asked why not bump the others down.

He responded and said they kinda have a pact not to attack each other. So the top four players who aren’t in the same alliance have decided to pounce on any person who threatens them. This could be an MBA case study example of explicit collusion in a fractured industry with a few big players.

I was pleasently surprised how civil the discussion it is between one player who beats down upon another player.

DMs in E&P
This has been a topic that has come up several times. Some worry about bullying (yes I’ve recieve hostile DMs after attacking certain players). It could certainly help communication. Since it produces a notification in game, it can often be the best way to communicate with players in your alliance when you need them to do something.

I’d support the idea, but we’ve gone this far, I doubt we’ll get it any time soon. We see complaints of bullying in general chat that I imagine having DMs would exacerbate that problem.


What is DM? A freshie to ask for 20 characters.

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A direct message aka a private message.

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It’s like an oligopoly. Band together to keep others out.

If it’s the same game that I think you are referring to, you can report these 4 players.

If you are tired of being in a “dead” server, you can try applying to jump to a more active server.

Dev should be merging servers to rejuvenate “dead” servers often enough.


Let’s chat raid and server design.

In E&P every single player can effectively challenge every other player for #1 in trophies (roster/skill obviously are exceptions). There are no explicit rewards for the raid leaderboards. It’s personal pride and alliance strength which is also pride.

In this other game, servers are limited and rewards are given daily. Daily rewards are nice. I put a lot more effort into raids in this other game because the incentives are there.

By having so few active players on a server, it means each place I get has incrementally better rewards and with fewer players, it’s easier to get to number 1. Unlike RT which base rankings on percent, challenge events have a hard number. When top players (say JekylandHyde) stop playing, it effectively makes it easier for all other players to rank high. In a way I root for attrition of other players. I want to be number 1.

But it certainly is much more boring. I fight the same few people every day. They often have similar defenses. So the variety is not there.

Some players have suggested more “tiers” for events. Does the ability to compete for a number one ranking improve engagement? I would think yes. It certainly can also create a more frustrating enviroment. In E&P I have no hopes of being number one. I don’t consider it. But I stress in this other game because it’s so achievable.

Pick your poison. Each has their advantages. I do wish rankings were better incentivized (even a few gems would be a step in the right direction but probably considered a slap in the face).


:joy::rofl: hope you get to be Number 1 soon. And then gang up with the other top 3 to sit on the new No 5 :joy::rofl:


January 3: Wisdom of the Crowd

Many of us come to the forum and ask for advice. I have given advice and I’ve asked. But should we actually listen to random folks? How do we know the person giving advice is giving good advice?

A year ago I asked for green ascension advice. 79% of folks told me to ascend Bertilla. My bias going in was to ascend a dup C.Yunan. Well a year later and I’ve barely used Bertilla, even in rush war. She’d have more value for rush war than what I have used her for.
I find myself using C.Yunan much more either for mana in towers or for cleanse.
It doesn’t help that Lianna got an effective buff with superior talents and C.Yunan got a sand damage buff.
Maybe I’m judging previous decisions by standards that didn’t exist at the time.

I wish there were a better way to evaluate the advice giver. I can at least give more weight to folks I know on the forum.

I started to pick up on patterns in the votes of new heroes. Some folks just seemed to have a “wrong” opinion fairly often. I still go back to Fenrir: ~20% of people thought he was OP at release.

I first got this concern years ago when looking at reddit threads. There was always someone who would recommend Azlar. “If he goes off, you win”. I’m glad I don’t have to read that anymore.


Is this the reason SG launched Khufu by telling all what’s winnings by one goes off?


A better example of “just play the game however you yourself think best” would be hard to find.

I get that the scarcity of AMs and “fear” of using them on the “wrong” hero is a real thing in Empires, but, as you discovered, and now eloquently said, other people don’t always give good advice.

They’re not deliberately trying to sabotage another player (hopefully), but they don’t know your play style, what features in-game you enjoy best, etc.

Players should just do whatever they want. If nothing else, they won’t be upset at others for advice given.


No entiendo mucho este juego pero me encanta




Via Google Translate:

“I don’t really understand this game but I love it”

Welcome to the forum @NathanSpain, but please post in English. There is a foreign language section if you prefer not to. :slightly_smiling_face:

Edit: Apologies @Ruskin505, I’m not hijacking your thread!


Ok…sorry !!!
I say that I love the game but I don’t understand it very much there are options to obtain free objects and gifts but I don’t know where to get them can I also send materials or ammunition to other users and have them send me???

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I have slight regrets, but I don’t think anyone is truly to blame. WIthout Soul Exchange, I wouldn’t think twice about this decision as I’d have excessive mats to use on every other hero mentioned. Soul Exchange changes everything. Leveling heroes for depth is no longer a good idea for me.

I watched Men in Black every day for a month as a kid years ago. This is a great quote. It reflects my struggle with many political issues.

Need to know the advice giver’s game background. Unless advice giver attaches game CV with advice, it’s hard to evaluate “quality of advice”. Even if you attach your Green roster and details on your game play style.

An attached video showing (maxed, emblemmed at least) hero in action may help you to make a better decision.

When I try to answer a “what do you think of hero” PM, I share my thoughts plus a short video on hero in action.

My suggestion is to read all advice, with reference to your roster and game play style. Then decide.

For example: I have been asked to incorporate 4* into my war attack teams frequently in the past but I didn’t follow that advice. That was before aethers were introduced. Lacking taunt & dodge heroes, and troops not yet at 30/29/29, in a 3/2 team mix, using an “underpowered” 4* in a “not up to date” attack team to face current up to date defences didn’t sound rational to me.

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It’s a great topic actually. You can superficially ‘grade’ the guy by clicking on one’s name. There, if I see a guy who has 13,5k likes I may think that he knows the stuff.

The badges next to the name also tells you, that the guy is active and likes the game. If so, his opinion will be at least honest.

But that’s the issue in real life as well. You need to know folks for a while to assess who’s trustworthy.


I think that when there is a poll, people vote.
I generally try to refrain from voting unless it is pretty clear cut. (ie, should I ascend Ruby or Azlar)
But I have had to stop myself.
Polls make it easy to chime in on things that you really know very little about.
I know very little about your roster, and perusing pictures of it for 60 seconds, is not enough time to leap to the “correct” decision. (You are right, time does change opinions. I don’t know what the consensus on Grimble was upon release, but I am sure it has gone up, then down, then back up, making it clear the the point in time matters more than it should)


agree, and many people also don’t bother to provide context for their poll votes either…


I use my previous interactions with folks to weight their opinions. I’d give you two more weight than some random poster because we’ve had previous positive interactions. I’m not 100% sure either of you are game experts, but I know you’re helpful contributors to the forum so I’m halo effecting both of you.

This is a tricky one. If there is a poll and I have an opinion I’ll weigh in. I don’t feel as confident weighing in nowadays as much as I used to for one reason or another. But polls do allow anyone to vote and you don’t necessarily know where those votes are coming from.
I used to write long posts when folks asked for help, but almost never did I get any follow up (either response or questions) that it didn’t feel rewarding anymore (and felt repetitive). I don’t necessarily write long form posts of advice anymore, but I’m happy for those that do it!

I recommend this terms of service for asking for advice.

The more a player provides in their ask, the better response others can give. Unfortunately, those who give the least are probably correlated with those who are less skilled or know less about the game. Maybe that’s a bad assumption, but if you can’t provide valuable context, you’re probably missing other aspects.