Foreword: I hope you’ll take the time to read this. I think it’s some of my finer work. I appreciate your feedback and consideration. Thank you. -Duaneski.
We have been here for years. Fighting the same titans, with much the same heroes. Log in. Hit. Log off. Repeat. Wait. Log in. Hit. Log off.
This cycle is by nature repetitive. That can be okay. But it’s time for a refresh. Titans helped make E&P what it is today, but that doesn’t mean that E&P doesn’t deserve a chance to move on. Behind the scenes SG can work on a refresh and update to titans, so when they return they’re bigger and badder than ever. (Here’s some inspiration! When a Titan Attacks )
Now look - for some this might seem like a non starter. And I get it. I loved titans. Really loved them. But I’m over them and I bet a lot of you either are, or are and haven’t realized it yet. (Going through the motions.)
SG can do better.
With this as preamble I present a new collaborative challenge for alliances:
The Endless Horde
“Sir… Our deacon awoke in a terrible fever… cursing to the skies he ran to court and declared a storm
Approaches… as rain drops fall from the sky, so shall the numbers of our enemy be never ending… As he spoke, the distant sounds of rain filled our ears. This omen seemed worrisome, sire… but the distant pit pat of rain moved closer… and soon the thunderous echo of a tireless march fell upon us. Our scouts can not count the enemy. Their numbers know no limits. We have called upon our allies to fight by our sides… but can we hold the enemy off? Can we save our kingdom? The deacon wept in our courts sire… we need you to lead us, now…”
The endless horde is a 11 tile wide board, players can bring up to 7 heroes for a battle.
After being used in a battle against the horde, heroes must rest for 71 hours.
Players can fight the horde for ten minutes per day, six days per week. On mondays, the horde retreats… players have a chance to collect the spoils of war and to rest… then on Tuesday, the horde returns…
Players may provide heroes to be used by the alliance. So for instance, I could say my Bane 3* is available for anyone in the alliance to use. A newer player then could take Bane and use him. Heroes used by another alliance member must rest for 142 hours before attacking the horde again.
Specialized horde defense buildings can be activated during the battle against the horde. (Various affects, can be upgraded and different paths chosen for what the defense buildings will do… from a freezing spell , to an arrow barrage, to a haste buff or healing thing.). These buildings have a real time cooldown. So moving the board and activating building effects in the right order in sync with hero abilities and/or activating the best ability versus current horde composition provides a nice way to build in some feeling of “mastery” to fighting the horde.
The horde is comprised of:
- skeleminions (HP between 200-500). They take up half of a space of a hero (so two stand in a single column)
- captains (on par with a 3-4* hero. 800-1000 HP. Attack based abilities)
- warlocks (on par with 4* heroes. 999 HP. Casts healing spells to the horde. Casts healing debuffs to enemy)
- beasts (various. Mini titans. 3-5 columns wide. Can have weak spots. HP can be from 3,000 up to a few million)
- other stuff that is thought up siege weapons maybe
Hordes are overseen by Witches. Witches don’t appear on the battlefield but they do respond to player team abilities that are activated in semi-random ways. For instance if the witches see a lot of “attack all” abilities and buildings being used, they may put up a shield on the horde that soaks the first 200 damage from an attack. (Lasting X minutes.). A witch may see a lot of healing going on and cast a spell that says your healing is reduced by 60%. The algorithm for the witch holds a random factor, so every few turns there’s a chance the witch will proc, and when she does it’s based upon the most recent 5-10 abilities used, but ultimately pulls from the entire pool of possible witch spells. (She might do something random and unrelated. Which would generally be good of course )
The way it works is, as you’re battling the horde, when you clear a column a new enemy fills in the now empty column. When an enemy dies, a counter ticks up by 1. When you’re done with your attack, the total number of enemy units killed, as well as a breakdown by enemy unit type, is pushed over to the alliance totals.
Totals are tracked by member for the alliance, as well as total time spent attacking the horde.
As an alliance first starts taking on the horde, they see mostly skeleminions. After a few hundred are killed, then captains appear. After a few thousand, the alliance starts seeing warlocks and so on. As kills go up, the enemy gets stronger. (Still even at the highest difficulty there should be a lot of minions. Wiping out minions should be very satisfying.) at a certain threshold the Witch goes from “rarely ever does anything” to “always has at least one effect active” to “sometimes has 3-4 effects active at once”
The witch is key to keeping the player from ever getting comfortable, or to stacking simple buffs and healing to just mindlessly smash the horde for ten minutes.
Rewards will no longer be daily. They’ll come weekly instead, each player getting their rewards on their rest day. Players will get a horde score, comparable to how Titan scores work. Where first the alliances ability against the horde is looked at, and THEN the players contributions.
Each Endless Horde ends at 3 months. A few days rest then another horde approaches.
Alliances will be judged on their progress by their percentile rank compared to other alliances. This will make the arms race very real, and make sure that the horde is never made more challenging or turned into a bigger number for the sake of anything except keeping the fight engaging and fun. The alliances aren’t competing against the horde, per se. they’re competing against each other. Just indirectly
So your alliance falls into a percentile category, same as raid tourneys work. It moves within there real time. The battle with the horde goes on for 3 months. Players hit 6 days a week, and get rewards on the 7th.
An alliance and individual leaderboard give both a place to compete and brag.
Rewards are generally similar to Titan loot… but players can specify what type of loot they ideally prefer and instruct their heroes to search specifically for that when collecting loot. (Slight increase to % chance of getting preferred items… can be emblems, summon tokens, Atlantis / s3 coins, AM, costume keys.).
Alliances have the chance of receiving a special reward from the horde. The game will look at an alliance using the same metrics used for war matchmaking (top 30 hero power) and identify an expected percentile rank for that alliance. If the alliance overachieves for a period of time (a week perhaps) then they receive a reward; it could be an EHT, or summon coins, or something else. The alliance can choose. This should be presented to the alliance as a gift from the realm of the living in honor of their dedication. Alliances in the top 1% should receive this honor at least once per quarter.
At the end of the first set, a reward should go out to every alliance. A baseline should be set, and used as a reference point for the next 3 month horde.
If the alliances are above the baseline, killing more of the horde than expected, then the people win and a reward goes out. Celebration in the empire.
If the alliances are below the baseline, then a smaller reward is sent and the players experience total darkness in their realms for some time.
As the final week of a 3 month set begins, a ticker with “number of horde to defeat” should appear to show the players where they are progress wise.
… I feel like I could keep writing on this a while. But it’s getting late and I think the general idea is well enough fleshed out. I’m sorry it’s just a wall of text hah. Hopefully ya cats read it and enjoy it.