SOS! (Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3): What's Wrong with Empires & Puzzles; Solutions to Save the Playerbase; Changes are Coming, Are they Listening?

Over the last couple of months, Empires & Puzzles has been losing a lot of players. So, what’s the problem? In this video (Part1), I explore five reasons I think this is happening. In my next video (Part2), I’ll provide solutions that I think will solve these problems.


Part 2


Part 3

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Hi @NittanyLionRoar, great video, certainly food for thought.

Do you mean as a proportion of the total player base, or particularly high level players you know?

If it’s the former, how have you extrapolated this?

As a long term forum nerd, I’ve been reading that the game is haemorrhaging players and going to imminently implode for a couple of years. I’m curious whether anyone has actual data in relation to that?

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Creo que deberia ajustar mejor los premios en los cofres , tener más observaciones en los jugadores que de algun manera u otra hacen una inversión en el juego (considerarlos aunque sea con un legendario) manipular menos los tableros en guerras y en asaltos!, sancionar o suspender por 1 semana a los jugadores que abandonan las alianzas en plena guerra !! , evaluar bien el heroe antes de soltarlo y no nerfear tanto los heroes! … esa es mi humilde opinión sobre ajustes del juego

Mod edit via Google Translate… please note that English is the official language of the forum :slightly_smiling_face:

I think I should better adjust the prizes in the chests, have more observations on the players who in some way or another make an investment in the game (consider them even with a legendary) manipulate the boards less in wars and in assaults!, ​​Sanction or suspend for 1 week the players who leave the alliances in the middle of the war !! , evaluate the hero well before releasing him and not nerf the heroes so much! … That’s my humble opinion on game settings

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For me the damage is done ! I spend to much time and money and SGG just took it away. I play less and less every day.
I don’t think that will change. Even if they will make Tell and Vela back in theyr original form and nerf Ursena. Finley and Killhare. It was just to much and slowely i will find something else to play.

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@JonahTheBard since we aren’t provided official numbers, I have to extrapolate through other sources of information and data.

The main thing I’ve noticed is the trouble that the top 100 alliances are having keeping their rosters full. Waitlist sizes are a good indicator. There are about 5 top alliances that continue to have healthy waitlists but the rest of the top 100, which also used to have waitlists, are struggling to keep their alliances full. Yes, it’s still possible as people move up into open top 100 spots, but it takes full-time recruiting. This is not a statement about the process of recruiting and filling an alliance, it’s just to mention the trend over time. There was a time not too long ago you just had to post your alliance ad as a top 100 alliance and you’d get your immediate pick of like 5-10+ players who were interested. Now, leaders are definitely stressing about their players dropping out and trying to fill the open spots. That’s a significant change from the past.

The second thing is something I mention in the video…the overwhelming amount of ads that are in your face. I usually see companies do that as an immediate reaction to losing money.

Third, since I’ve been running my YouTube channel for a while now, I’ve gotten really used to the trends–like how many views can be expected for certain categories of videos (summons, war, advice, etc) in a certain amount of time. I have really good, specific data about my own videos provided by YouTube, but I have also subscribed to the other big E&P YouTubers and have watched how their views for the same categories are trending. I would say that viewership increased every month since I started until about three months ago when it started to decline and then really sharply about two months ago. That’s indicative to me that people are leaving the game. Of course, I’m cautious that it could be attributed to my own content, but I don’t think so when I see the other YouTubers drawing similar numbers. For example, a summons video used to draw 10,000-12,000 views in the first day. Now, it draws about 3,000. War used to draw 8,000-10,000 in the first day, now it draws about 1,000-2,000.

And lastly, it’s the general discontent. There is a lot of negativity in game chat, from many who are watching videos and commenting, and through text apps like Discord and Line–whether it be another bad summons, or can’t get a good board, etc. I’ve talked a lot about not complaining as it spreads to the other alliance players, but it’s kind of a tsunami of complaining in the world of E&P right now.

But I think I have some solutions, so I am excited to share those.

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And this is a lot of the problem. Everyone wants to nerf/buff and SSG can’t get it right upon release. Even with plenty of beta testers doing their work for free.

That being said. most of the time people want heroes they DON’T have buffed. My guess is you don’t have Ursena, Killhare or Finley.

Nice video looking forward to seeing the next one.

Nop. But i have Vela and Telluria tho.
Telluria is still good. But Vela is useless now.

To be on topic here.

Like i said . The damage for me is done i can’t trust SGG and the heroes that they make.
In order to stay or to play at the top you need to spend a lot of time and money. A lot of money.
And with 2 clicks they take all your joy away

Trust is a fair concern. While people were screaming they wanted a refund for the Telly nerf, I was Tellyless after 70 pulls and equally annoyed.

Hey everyone! Here is part 2 of my SOS video video series. If you haven’t seen part 1, make sure to go watch that first. For those who have seen it, here are my ideas to improve the game and preserve or grow the playerbase:

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I rarely watch videos like this but just watched Part 1 and Part 2 of this.

First of all - congrats, a really in depth analysis, balanced solutions proposed and all really well explained.

I’ll list my favorite ideas that you suggested:

  • Mandate different tank color each week - this is genius. Such a simple solution that would do so much for the freshness of the game and so easy to implement, I assume. Please SGG listen to this proposal

  • Reduce number of emblems required to go up a node in 5* - as you said, the jump from 4* to 5* is just insane and not really reasonable. It makes me focus all my emblems on my war D and my teams lose depth because of that.

  • Transmute emblems - not so urgent from my point of view, but would again do a lot for the freshness of the game

  • Add more bling - 100%! I don’t understand how such a P2W game doesn’t have any cosmetics at all associated with it. They could make so much more money on that instead of a goblin balloon. If this helps reduce summoning cost - even better but I would love to see it implemented anyway.

  • Do not require gems to use a building - I don’t even have to explain it, you said it all.

I’ll also highlight one that I didn’t like at the beginning but the way you built it might be interesting

  • Hero Medallions - I am 100% against the idea of chosing your own heroes in this game and think it goes against game freshness and variation. However - having 3 or 4 heroes show up and you pick one of those - that is a good idea. You still get the randomness but feel like you got at least something close to what you wanted.
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Thanks for posting your thoughts. Both commentaries were thought provoking. :slightly_smiling_face:

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20 100% agrees … :+1:

You have certainly put some thought into all this, so well done there. Definitely a good jumping off point for discussion.

The notion of ditching loot tickets is certainly a good one. They always struck me as a very artificial paywall, when we were already throttled on WE. I just can’t envision much downside to that. Ditto all the skinning and cosmetic items ideas. I despise paying for cosmetic upgrades myself, but I’m a rarity; cosmetic customizations are very popular, and there’s very little downside. Certainly, waiting until your country’s pin pops up in the rotation is ridiculous. If people want to give away money for no game advantage whatsoever, by all means.

Many of these ideas will generate significant negative second-order effects, though. The proposed War changes will require radical change to a matchmaking system that SGG insists on thinking about in the most naive way, creating more animosity when the latest fix continues to exhibit exploitable loopholes. Allowing significantly cheaper summons, with better odds, devalues what earlier players paid for their Heroes; like nerfing, this will create a friction point for the big money players with an “investment” mindset. Moving loot around the map will frustrate the data miners; increasing loot without altering what’s available will only trivialize previously hard-to-find items, leading to even more declarations of “boring junk”… but “boring” farming will continue as a method of supplementing food and iron income. And so forth… lots of risk to manage.

One point I find deliciously ironic, and it applies to many games as well as this one: player decisions must be significant (or else, as you say, you may as well just sit at home and roll some dice), but most players largely hate making those same decisions. Consider the Telluria debacle: if there was only one tank in the game, and that was Telly, everyone would immediately react to having their choice taken away by quitting (“Boring game u cannot choose ur heros!”). But because, stats-wise, Telluria was the only tank worth having, those exact same people immediately spent a bajillion dollars to get her, or bemoaned the fact that the game is unplayable without her, effectively enjoying that their decision was made for them.

More and more, I see a game that seems like a solid self-contained system early on, but didn’t have a comprehansive plan for expansion. The Classes/Emblems are a perfect example. The entire original system was predicated on there being a radical asymmetry between attacking and defending. Attackers had an enormous advantage, and a few things had to be implemented (like the infamous hidden 20%) to even make the system useable. However, as noted, defences are enormously strengthened by Emblems; notice how the three Talents named OP are all defensive ones? It seems obvious that they didn’t really consider how so much defensive boost would alter their core principle. In many respects (Pull rarity, 4* AM rarity, Emblems, Challenge Event scoring, feeder Heroes), it really seems like SGG has painted themselves into a corner, with serious negative consequences no matter how they choose to progress. Honestly, if this game is still around in a big way in a year, it will probably be because they bit the bullet and shed a bunch of their legacy game mechanics… and shed, too, the veteran players that are unwilling to adapt to that radical change.

War attack teams

In my opinion, the major problem is it takes 6x the emblems to emblem a full set of war attack heroes ( 3-12 years ), than a full set of war defense heroes (1-2 years ).

If emblems were as plentiful as 2*, or 3*, ascension items this problem would go away.

According to a very good friend of mine, 6x war attack teams with pierce, withstand, evade, mana shield, delay, can do some serious damage to war defense teams. But who wants to wait 3-12 years to get 30x 5*+20 attack heroes?

attack stat soft cap

But you are not wrong.

5* 4.80 heroes attacking 5*+20 defense do not have pierce, withstand, evade, mana shield, delay at 5/5 they have them at 0/5.

And with zero emblems, things become seriously unbalanced:

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i guess many players that leaves are being outrage of bad pulling…they dont really care about technical data especially noob and mid level players…i just have to agree if SG can lower the price in event,seasonal etc…im hopin in atlantis rise sg will also offer discounted price for summonin as its almost ends…

ME! But I recognize that I’m in a tiny minority there :rofl:

It would have been nice, I think, to be able to put Emblems in the middle of Hero development and 4* AMs at the end, and then Emblems could properly be decreased in rarity to fit into that so important (and in E&P, razor thin) area between “garbage” and “achingly rare”. C’est la vie, tant pis pour nous

Also, I’m thoroughly tickled that someone like you thinks anything I’ve said is worth commenting on. :place_of_worship:

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Interesting idea.

According to people, other games with emblems allow you to add emblems at anytime, not just at maximum special skill, maximum tier and maximum level.

Combine this with Alchemy Labs merciless RNG for emblems, and 4* ascension items, seems to indicate SGG/ Zynga is more interested in protecting micro transactions 4* ascension items than adding fun, and variety, to the game.

Thank you for the compliment.

You have been very actively contributing to the forum - giving and receiving likes - since you joined

(https://forum.smallgiantgames.com/u/lorddust)

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The option to add emblems before finishing ascending and leveling a hero actually could be integrated into the ascension system, wherein the ascension level sets the maximum emblem tier that could be completed before another ascension level is required (ie A1 to +5, A2 to +10, A3 to +15 and A4 to +20).

Using this approach, you could also tier the cost in emblems to the Ascension level of the that emblem tier. So all heroes cost for emblems going to +5 might be 7 emblems, then 15 emblems up to +10, 30 emblems for +15 and and 60 emblems for +20. If there’s an issue with lower * heroes coating the same as higher * heroes, there could possibly be some kind of a multiplier discount for 4* and 3* heroes at each ascension level (ie maybe it’s only 5 emblems for 3* heroes and 6 emblems for 4* heroes at 1st ascension, and that discount increase to 8 emblems at 4th ascension for 4* heroes, and the cost is capped for 3* heroes at the 3rd Ascension level cost for +16 to +20.

There would be a lot of angry players if they let people keep their existing emblem levels or refunded everyone their invested resources back. But, this approach would make creating functional attack teams much more accessible.

Hey everyone! It appears that SG Games has responded pretty quickly to the SOS videos AND your community comments. Now, what do you think about the solutions they’re proposing so far?

Here are my thoughts…

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