I apologize for focusing on the money aspect. I understand now that you were talking about a more broader subject. And yes. I agree. “Average” players need love too. That includes us “below average” players.
@HappyHippo ~~ Thank you for a well written, courteous response that actually provides a solution to at least one of my points of contention! I truly am grateful to you for suggesting that I apply to become a Beta tester. I didn’t realize that opportunity existed!
Can you please explain the timeframe, and the process, for applying to become a Beta tester? I would like to apply; I’m sure it’s fascinating!
@HappyHippo, I am likely Below Average compared to many players! I will say that I do my best, and that I enjoy the game well enough to spend money on it regularly. Empires and Puzzles has been a happy place for me, and therapeutic in many ways. That’s my reason for posting my viewpoint. I don’t want to become resentful and quit.
@TGW ~~ No apology needed whatsoever! I believe I didn’t clarify what I intended to communicate—not well, at any rate.
I’m very grateful for your reply and I appreciate your taking time to write it.
I considered myself an average player, spending between $25 - $50nz a month. This got me what I thought a reasonable roster, mostly all vanilla with a few HotM (loved my Alasie and Kunchen!) thrown in. I have since fully deleted the game, courtesy of the devs actioning my request.
As stated above by others, average is very subjective and open to interpretation. I think it’s purely a matter of what you expect from the game vs what you are actually achieving that sets the bar for you’re perspective of “average”.
@TGW ~~ Let’s have a Below-Average & Abnormal Club together lol! I’m in!
You’re right about folks spending a lot of money on this game. I spend on it, regularly, but not exorbitant amounts, else I’d be living in a cardboard box somewhere!
I think you should apply to become a Beta tester, and hopefully we will both be accepted and can commiserate and become friends here!
I’m grateful for your feedback!
Some call me Maurice, because I speak of the pompitous of love
Full disclosure. I’ve been playing for just over 2 years. Spent about $140 total. So less than $10 a month.
My best team is about 4200 TP. Spent a little bit of time in diamond tier but usually get knocked back down to upper platinum after logging off.
My overall bench is not great, but it was good enough to complete ToL, for the second time of attempting all 10 stages… completing every stage on the first try.
I know that’s not much for a higher level player who has 100 5* heroes. But it was a huge accomplishment for me.
My “rewards” for finishing? Two season one 3* heroes.
Whole lot of effort for such little reward.
This is the kind of stuff I come here to vent about. And I catch a whole bunch of hate for posting my honest opinions. When I say something like “I think 1.5% odds for a 5* hero is way too low” or “I don’t think it should cost $100+ for a decent chance to summon a 5* hero…”
I get accused of being a whiny crybaby who wants everything easy and for free.
I’ve worked hard to obtain and level up the heroes I have. There are many rosters like them, but this one is mine. My vanilla roster is my best friend. It is my E&P life. I must master it as I must master my life.
Naturally I take it as an insult when someone insults my roster and accuses me of not putting enough effort into it. It’s not my fault that I couldn’t afford to spend $10,000 to summon Telluria and Vela and Gravemaker and Delilah etc.
Apologies to @Suzanne0905 for wandering slightly off topic…
This disparity in spending has always been a sticky topic. Yes, money is relative to the person in question, but it does (always did?) shine a light on whether E&P was truly a P2W exercise.
Edit: Before anyone points out there is no “winning” as such…yes there is. Events/wars/maintaining elite alliance status. All require substantial monetary input, in my opinion.
There absolutely is “winning”.
When everyone who raids me has heroes I don’t have.
When everyone I war against has heroes I don’t have.
When (and I don’t even bother with these anymore, but still worth mentioning) everyone in event challenges and raid tournaments have heroes I don’t have.
When alliance recruitment ads all say “must have XY&Z heroes and 4500+ TP and over 2500 cups, fighting 14* titans, must score 250k+ on each titan”
Of course, no, I don’t need all the best heroes to take down a medium titan or to stay at medium trophy levels or to get moderate level scores in events and such. But if I have any interest in ever trying to chase those top prizes?
That’s not to say that F2Pers never get there. There are several very dedicated F2Pers who somehow manage to overcome the odds (mostly through excessive amounts of diligence, a thousand kudos to them for that)… but yes, reality is that anyone with enough money can buy themselves a strong roster and breeze their way to the top.
And many of them would argue “that’s the way it should be anyway, I am supporting this game after all”.
Okay. Fair point. But if that’s how it’s going to be, let’s not even try to pretend that the game is fair or skill based. My opinion is that the majority of it comes down to luck anyway. How else would I be able to take out a much stronger fully emblemed team, level 30 4* troop team in a revenge raid? Mono team and a bit of board luck can accomplish anything. RNG can oftentimes be the “great equalizer” so to speak.
I’ll get flagged in a minute .
A theoretical question…if there were a spending cap of say $100/month, one that is within more player’s reach than $1000, would it level the playing field? Even allowing for RNGesus at the summon gate, the fact a select few couldn’t do a billion summons would be a great equalizer. Plus, what would you spend your limited funds on? Choose wisely, young Jedi…those gems are tempting, but the seasonal calendar is just around the corner, with all those pesky AMs!
Just a random thought, and no sane company would ever limit their revenue stream, obviously.
I understand your sentiments and started thinking the exact same thing about a year ago.
I’m not going to debate who is “average”, etc however I’d like to discuss more on the, “same people winning events”.
Those players that frequent the Top 20 (normally the Top but for arguments sake have broadened the gap a tad):
Are they in a Top 100 Alliance? No doubt they are due to it being more competitive “up there”.
Do They Spend ALOT of Money? Most probably. However, with planning ahead the majority will start crafting items and potions maybe a week or two before it starts. Also, hoard their WE flask…the odd one may also purchase the packs when they come around.
Obviously not all of these players will do the above however one thing they have ALL done is finding what works for them. Meaning that they’ve worked out a strategy to suit their play style in order to get those cascades, etc.
There are plenty of YouTube videos where they share their strategy on how to get into an event Top 100/10 leaderboard.
With that said, it would be “nice” if SG were able to implement a way, for e.g, where those that made Top100 last event were moved to a top tier pool (or something like that) while the rest of us are in different pools. This way everyone still competes on a more even playing field.
There was more I was going to add but Ive sudeenly got brainfog
LOL that would be interesting to see (obviously would never be implemented, though).
I’d prefer to see them implement a system to where it didn’t cost that much to get heroes in the first place.
Of course then you see the argument, “but then everyone would have all the heroes! Then it would become boring!”
So it’s somehow less boring when those who don’t have all the heroes have to try to take out opponents who do have all the heroes?
Maybe it would actually become less boring because people would have to use actual skill instead of just putting up defense teams that are nearly impossible for the “average” player to kill?
Even if SG were to give me every hero in the game for free tomorrow, it would still take me probably several years to level up and ascend them all (unless I just bought a bunch of trainer heroes and ascension mats every time they became available). I’d still have to utilize strategy in order to determine which heroes to level up first. And while current META would probably dictate “work on GTV first”… I might actually go a different route, simply because METAs change over time, and I know based on my own experience from other games, by the time I get around to finishing my own META team, the META will have switched to something else entirely.
Could list examples of my several failed attempts to chase META in other games… I was always behind the curve. By the time I got the META heroes finished, they had already been nerfed.
20 nerfed heroes…
At risk of going off topic here (oh hell, who cares, I’m already off the reservation)…
I used to play an MMO where you could customize your own heroes.
Well, about every month or so, the playerbase would discover a “trick” where you could customize your heroes to be nearly invincible. It required a significant amount of time in leveling up their skills and equipping them with certain types of armor and such, but once you got all the stuff on the list, you could go in and solo farm a dungeon that was meant for 10 players.
That particular game though, they tracked that stuff, and “rebalanced” heroes every month to “fix” those exploits. So by the time I got my own heroes to the point to try it myself, it was usually one day before the “exploit” had been resolved via “rebalancing”.
Compare that to SG. Where they rebalance heroes a few months after the fact and everyone goes nuts like they just kidnapped their firstborn child.
The “rebalancing”, either via nerf or buff, I never understood. It’s a flat out admission that the hero was flawed prior to release, in my opinion. That they just don’t call it a “Hero XXXX Up” and have done with it…I’d have been more impressed with that level of honesty.
LOL well yes, that was absolutely the case here, but good luck getting SG to admit to that.
The other game I played, they never came straight out and said “oops we @#$%ed up”, more like “ohhh you guys are smart, you found a way to combine X and Y into an invincible hero that we hadn’t considered.” So they kind of did admit in a way that they screwed up, but while also saying it was never meant to work like that.
A few examples from that game:
There was a healer build that was impossible to kill because it would automatically heal itself once it fell below X% of health, and you could combine that with other skills that automatically recharged that ability infinitely so that you would never die.
There was a minion master build that could be combined with other abilities to allow it to summon an infinite number of minions (actually caused the game to crash after you summoned over 100 or so).
There was a health stealing build that allowed you to one hit kill everything you touched (literally). That one required you moving quickly though and avoiding ranged attacks.
Picturing the Minion film now…
I did get to test the minion master one before it got nerfed. It was a blast. Not sure if you follow The Walking Dead series? Most people don’t anymore, it’s lost a lot of interest. But imagine having an entire zombie hoard under your control. That’s what it was like. My character just stood there in the back of the battlefield while dozens of zombies killed everything. It was so gloriously beautiful and stupidly easy at the same time.
Howdy! My spend is a little less than yours, but by description I feel like we’re in the same boat. I hear you, and have kind of the same frustration; even more, I feel like you just want to have a reasonable discussion on this topic.
I am so, so sorry that it will take place on the internet.
To be clear, I am unconcerned about most of the issues you cite but I’m not gonna get all 'splainy about it.
This, to my mind, is the core of it right here. It’s been a common problem in game design for decades, if not centuries. Winners get good stuff for winning, which helps them win more. The Snowball Effect, in some design circles. And your assessment is correct, in an infinitely long game the gap between the haves and have-nots will widen infinitely.
What to do?
Some games take the bass-ackwards approach of rewarding poor play. Mario Kart is the classic example, where the further behind you are, the faster your top speed and the better items you get. While it can keep things “competitive” right up to the last second, the outcome is infamously ridiculous: a player who made zero mistakes will often lose at the last second to someone who made many. This is undesirable in this context.
Some things that SGG has already tried (I feel compelled to point these out because it seems obvious to me that, collectively, they are trying):
- An Elo-based ranking system for the Raid ladder, intended to keep players of roughly the same roster and skill capabilities competing against each other.
- Separate scoring categories for different rarities in Raid Tournament and Challenge Events. In theory, the Rare category should be more accessible to “average” or “beginner” players.
- War matchmaking to keep similarly-capable Aliiances fighting against each other. Yes, I’m aware that this is still not great, but the refinement is ongoing, so it’s obvious that SGG would like it to be more fair.
- Titans that adjust to your Alliance’s capability. Yes, the system keeps you right at the edge of your capability, but your kill rate should be north of 50% if your Alliance isn’t doing something pathological.
- Handing out loot by % brackets in Raid Tournaments, instead of a straight leaderboard. The top 1% and 5% are way more achievable than the top 100 or 1000 globally.
- Although it’s not out yet, the Ninja Tower promises to not make infinite retries available. I think this will create just as many complaints as the Challenge Events’ infinite retries, but at least the bizzare lottery in effect will be accessible to everyone, not just those willing to dish out the .
Places where we could improve further (excluding the specifics on the above list):
- Make all event leaderboard rewards hybrid flat/proportional leaderbaords. By this, I mean that the top 1, 10, 100, and 1000 (or some similar grouping) could get fantastic rewards as they do now in Challenge events. However, beyond that, there would also be the top 5%, 10%, etc. each with some chance to roll for that ultra-rare loot, and substantial numbers of extra summon tokens. To sweeten the deal, those tokens earned by this achievement should only reward themed Heroes, even if they are still at the same proportion as the regular summon portal for that event.
- Ditch the infinite retry format on the Challenge Events. I believe SGG might even do this in the wake of Ninja Tower.
- Find more and better ways to segregate top players. Raid Tournaments have been moderately successful in this. I can place well in Rare, and perform poorly in Legendary, and that seems correct to me, given my roster. But Rare covers a lot of territory. Could we do better? Perhaps an event with Class-based exclusions, but that do not give Emblems (to avoid snowballing)? A puzzle-based event, where the board outcome is known, and it’s up to the player to use that board optimally? A veto format, where you choose 6 Heroes on defence, but the attacker gets to choose one to remove? A war scenario where you choose Attackers from the Defender’s roster?
- Expand the middle tier of loot, so that there are more items helpful to beginning and low players that are not at all useful to top players. As it stands, 4* AMs and Emblems are the only loot items that are really relevant to everybody, and they are limited by hideous rarity and very high required numbers respectively. Almost everything else is more than common enough. The narrow middle ground seems to be Titan Parts, and “unfarmable” AMs, which are more difficult to find, but not crazily so. Most top players I’ve heard from don’t care about these things as much, so they don’t try too hard to compete to get them. Expanding the number of items in this category will provide “good” loot that will not attract the biggest whales, allowing “average” players to compete for them.
For your consideration.