Since I’m one of the people who tend to come around the forums and write long posts, it’s only fitting that I should write one when going away.
Funnily enough, I quit the game one week before the Season 2 hit beta, but my reasons are such, that it doesn’t change a thing
First of all, I want to give a shoutout to my alliance - King of the North - as without these guys, I’d be gone about 6-8 months ago. If they ever have another opening and look for a new soul, I cannot recommend them enough!
But, in the end, even the coolest “guild”, cannot keep me playing a game that’s lost all of its charm to me and doesn’t offer me a sense of accomplishment/progression/whatever. The simply put: fun.
I’ve played E&P for pretty much exactly one year. There were times I liked it more, there were times I liked it less, but in the end, the bad won and I’ve decided to quit. Hence this post and my parting feedback/rant. I wish the game wasn’t like that and that I’d actually feel like staying, but honestly? Even the news of season 2 don’t make me want to boot it anymore. Not even the beta to check things out.
So, if you don’t care about another rant post, you can stop reading here. As from now on, it’s probably going to be just that. If you thrive on rants and complaints (perhaps hoping that they can, eventually, lead to changes in games) then go right ahead.
For all of you who continue on playing, but have similar beefs with the game, I hope it gets better for your sake.
1. Competitive Aspects of E&P
I am a competitive player by nature. I don’t usually enjoy a casual play just to click things and watch things happen - not in games that involve rankings and multiplayer. If I want to play a game to do that, I pick one where there is no competitive element and it’s all based on in-game mechanics and pre-set challenges.
E&P is a game that involves competitive aspects - raids ladder being one that’s basically irrelevant (too fleeting), and challenge events being one that could be something to look forward for a player like myself.
But here’s the problem - if you don’t pay in this game, you cannot, and will not, be able to compete on the highest level. There are heroes you need to do that in the later 2 levels, and there are energy refills in Beginner. Since the boards are so luck based (and the person who won Beginner before said they did score so high on the last level due to an amazing board), it requires a lot of retrying, which costs energy. When I pushed for top 10 in intermediate, I was basically opening a level and if in 3 moves it didn’t turn right I quit it and replayed. That severely limits item usage, but to what end?
With 36 flasks accumulated over 3 months I was able to reach #8. If I got knocked out of top 10 that time I’d probably feed Elkanen to Leonidas for ultimate saltiness (it was before Leo’s buff).
But I know that without refills, Falcon, Jackal, I could never compete for #1. I’d need more luck and more skill than anyone with the right composition. And that’s not a fair competition, simply put. Not to mention, without refills, my luck-factor is severely gimped and I do not think my skill is superior to the top players. Could I reach their level? Maybe. I will never find out. Because even if I did, I’d never climb to their level to know, as my hero stable is subpar, and my compositions are limited.
And that kills all the joy from competing for me. So with little to no novelty in the game (most days are just farming on autoplay mindlessly and hitting the titan), the only remaining thing was the social factor and getting better as an alliance. Before I left, we reached top 10, visited top 5 on several occassions.
But though I could pretty much keep up with my alliance mates on titans and AW, let’s be honest - with my heroes and limited items all I could do was try not to weigh them down and place in top 15 as often as possible, not actually compete anywhere for anything.
Raids-wise, I’ve written a whole big chunk of a post in the suggestions category. No need to add much there.
This, the non-existent competitive integrity due to monetary factors, is one of the main reasons why the game lost its appeal to me.
Was I a dummy expecting anything else? Maybe. But I thought that patience and SH20 will eventually open the door that’s locked behind the pay wall. It took some time to see just how much wider the gap between the HotM/event heroes and regular heroes grew. And it keeps on growing.
Then again, running two SH20s over 5 months (and 1 SH20 for 1 at first ) yielded me two 5* heroes. Coins, gems, and occasional purchases in the first half of the year I’ve played, gave me 2 others. By the time I had SH20 up, I had all the 4* heroes (aside of Caed) already owned. So yeah.
2. The perceived greed of the devs
Look, I get it. It’s a business. The devs need to make money. But it feels to me as though nothing else matters anymore in E&P. And that’s where the problem begins. In my eyes. You don’t have to agree, duh.
From what I’m hearing, E&P is a popular game, and when I hear about the amounts of money people spend on it (and consider that a huge chunk of players spends 5$ every here or there too). That means that perhaps they do not need to milk the cow till the udders are sore.
But they do.
% Avatar shop & seasonal calendars
I said it in some other post. This should’ve been around a long time and when it finally hit I thought - hey, maybe this is the way for the devs to move a little towards equalizing P2W and F2P models in the game? I mean, way bigger games than E&P with way bigger and more demanding servers live entirely off cosmetics.
“Oh, sweet summer child”, I said to myself when soon after that we got another seasonal calendar where the free days didn’t even contain a single gold token.
Speaking of seasonal calendars. Those things are yet another sign of the game pretty much sprinting in the direction of becoming P2W. Ascension items used to be the one thing that halted the widening of these gaps, and while I think they should’ve been more common, now they’re only more common to the paying customers. Once every 3 months you can fork out a nice bit of cash to get every ascension item reliably. On top of that, of course, there are multiple special offers that seem to increase in frequency.
While Elemental Chests, available to F2P players, were nerfed. Hard. I know devs said they weren’t many times, but seriously? First half the year, each chest contained three gold tokens/troop tokens. The second half, seeing 1 was a treat. Not to mention low ratio of 4* items and prevalence of farmable garbage in ascension item slots.
Setting non-farmable items as 4* and 5* and leaving boots/tomes/chainmails as 3* would make it much more fair.
But by now, I doubt fair is the name of the game here.
% Loot tickets & Fast Lane packs
Honestly? The most disgusting idea for me here.
For a long time players were complaining about having to mindlessly grind the early levels. Rinse and repeat, click “replay”, wait 2 minutes, click “replay”. RI-VE-TING gameplay if I’ve ever seen one. It’s fine for a short while, but after months of doing that it becomes an absolute pest of a mechanic.
So players wanted a way to skip levels that their team can comfortably deal with and just get the rewards if they have nothing better to do with their energy.
What did devs do?
They implemented it. And then made it cost money. And then stuffed it into “special offer” pack, too.
I… no. Just no. It’s just lame in my eyes. Very, very lame. Farming mindlessly is a bad mechanic. They have a fix, a nice, nifty fix that could make the game as a whole more enjoyable, less tiresome, and more dynamic for long-time players who are sick of this part of it. But see, they didn’t want to improve the game. Let it advance, become better, give players a choice in how they want to play it.
They decided to just make money instead.
% Forum Moderation
I’ve noted it in another topic, and I know Rook doesn’t agree, but I still think that using players to moderate the forums with no pay is scummy at this point. I rarely ever see a developer answering player questions on the forums. It’s always Rook. She does a wonderful job, but this should, yep, be an actual job for a paid employee. Like most bigger companies have. A player shouldn’t be tasked with translating posts and responding to technical issues, pasting directions, etc. Kudos to Rook for wanting to do it, but I don’t think it’s right.
A player-mod on a forum of a game that rakes in serious cash should run around merging topics, solving silly dramas, fixing pictures in posts and whatever else is fun, light and not demanding a lot of time.
3. The burnout
Many games are repetitive. Many games are grindy. There are games that are based on grinding endlessly (Diablo), there are games based on idling (Idle Miner, Cookie Clicker). E&P has pleasant graphics, pleasant mechanics, the whole leveling-of-heroes system is all fine and dandy, it makes for an overall nice experience, which is why the game is popular, and why I played it in the first place. And why I’m a little sad about the other things.
But burnout becomes a real thing, when big events are turned to hassle with little to no reward. Grind must be rewarding. And going out of one’s way to do something better, should definitely feel like a victory.
The biggest culprits here are the non-progression of the raiding system (again - talked about it in the Suggestion topic) and Alliance Wars.
AW is just too frequent for what it is. If an alliance wants to win a war, they likely have to strategize, coordinate, all that. And that’s great. I like that.
When it happens twice a week and victory rewards are what they are, it becomes an underwhelming commonplace that’s hardly worth the hassle.
First wars were fun. New ideas, new tactics. On top of that I had folks in my alliance that were into it and made the whole shebang an interesting affair (cheers, Yo Momma ). And so first victories were also nice.
But then? Then it became “oh another war”, “okay we won”, “ok new small pack of items I will never notice I got”.
For goodness’ sake. What I’d like?
- make the war an actual EVENT. Maximum once a week. Maybe once every two weeks. Let it last 3 days in the 2nd case even, why not.
- make the win rewards something special - a nice LARGE influx of battle items/crafting items, make it VISIBLE and SHINY. Add a guaranteed troop token (gods know you need a bajillion of those to get anywhere anyway but at least they look good), 5 dragon bones, 1 of each 4* battle items, just SOMETHING that’s eye-catching and makes you go “hey, JUICY, let’s do our best to win the next one!”
- and, last but not least, do not introduce a PvP-bound system when you don’t have a ladder in place or some scoring system…
4. Player suggestions
Do you know that topic that comes back around these parts every now and then?
It’s called “Proposal - New Building: Alchemy Lab”
That topic has 155 player votes. It was posted in the June of 2017. It’s THE single, most requested feature around, liked by more players than we normally see on these forums.
And yet. No alchemy lab. Is it coming with Season 2 patch? I don’t know, I haven’t checked. But I don’t believe it would take such immense resources that devs couldn’t make it happen in a year.
I mean, what is the suggestions forum even for? So that people can rant their hearts out and not write SG e-mails with their suggestions? Cause apparently not for suggestions that can make it into the game if they are well-thought out and liked by the fellow players.
Yet again - lame. What can I say.
Maybe that’s all, maybe not. I may or may not edit this post to add stuff, may or may not comment under it.
But I want to finish on a brighter note. So, once more, I want to thank my alliance mates for making this game so much better.
Special shoutouts to @Julia, our fearless leader who brought our alliance to its current glory and always looked out for everyone’s happiness, @Epigenetic, our event-refiner and overall one of the most pleasant fellows around, @Resol who never failed to produce some life in chats in game and LINE (I still don’t think Alberich should be buffed ), Tombomb, who was one of the first people in the game I chatted with (about trains), @Eddard, without whom we wouldn’t be exposed to such exquisite SFW nudes, @Otto0000 Luran (Censure, is that your forum account?), who never failed to throw a nice word my way and always made us (as an alliance) feel appreciated, Himoro, who was always eager to help the alliance prosper, Lucy, who left the alliance a while ago to chill out elsewhere, but before that spread her energy and optimism all around, Ornery, who’s sense of humor is just on my wavelengths, and Elianoor, my mom who got me into this game in the first place and with whom we played together
I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone. It’s a long post, so forgive me if I have! Much love to all of you.
I also want to thank @Rook for making the stay on the forums pleasant. Been a pleasure interacting with you.