The Balance Update and Aether Reset Tokens (June 23)

Image of Empires and Puzzles heroes with word, News

Empires and Puzzles’ Big Balance Update is now live, and we’re all trying to figure out what it means for us and the game. In this post, I’ll share the News, refer you to the source, and share my personal opinion.

We all play this game at different levels, but I can only speak from my own point of view.

That’s why I invite you to share your own perspective in the comments below.

This post may contain speculation, personal opinion, and adult comedy. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.

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The Big Balance Update – Empires and Puzzles June 2023

The Empires and Puzzles Balance Update is complete, and over 200 Heroes were affected.

To see the full list of changes, check out this post on the official forum.

The main difference I can see (from the original Balancing Proposal) is that individual Heroes were not targeted for nerfs:

(No Heroes are being nerfed in this update. Epic and Rare Heroes are not receiving any individual adjustments.)

E&P Staff – The Big Balance Update – Details & Release Notes

Instead, the developers stuck with the plan to buff entire Families, and on the whole, newer Heroes received Power Stat buffs while older Heroes received little or no buff at all.

FamilyStat Buff (OldCynic.com)
Super Elemental+60
Plains, Jungle,
Abyss
+50
Bard, Mighty Pets+40
Musketeer, Masked God+35
Journey+30
Styx, Springvale (Heroes released in 2023), Sun, Moon, Ninja (Heroes released in 2023)+25
Avalon (Heroes released in 2023), Cupid, Lunar Year+20
Underwild (Heroes released in and after December 2022), Mystery, Gargoyle, Winter (Heroes released in and after 2022),
Morlovia (Heroes released in and after 2022)
+15
Kingdom, Kalevala, Legends 2023,
Atlantis (Heroes released in and after 2022)
+10
Legends 2022+5
OldCynic.com – The Big Balance Update
(Empires and Puzzles) Family Stat Buffs

Aether Reset Token (Empires and Puzzles)

Today, I received my three Aether Reset Tokens, which can be used to reset a Limit Broken Hero, including the Talent Grid.

Big Balance Update June - Free Aether Reset Tokens

It returns all of the consumed items and 50% of the estimated Food and Iron, up to a maximum of 100M.

However, sacrificed Heroes used to level up a Hero are not returned. Instead, you will receive Trainer Heroes.

Aether Reset Tokens can only be used on Limit Broken Legendary Heroes.

There’s no doubt that these are fantastic items to own, and for somebody like myself, they’ll likely last for a good while because it’s quite rare for me to commit to a Hero before I’ve met the parents.

Let’s move on to my opinion on the Big Balance Update now that it’s finally here…

Empires and Puzzles Big Balance Update (Opinion)

I suspect your roster and level of play will impact your comfort level with this update.

But let’s step back and look at it from an average player’s point of view:

You have a bunch of elite Heroes who were already hard to beat (Stats and Special Skills).

Now, their elite Families are even stronger, providing yet more options for synergy.

Meanwhile, your older Heroes have received little or no buff at all.

Simply put, it will be harder for the average player to compete against the strongest teams.

Of course, this assumes that the ‘average player’ is either, Free to Play or Cheap to Play.

Overall, the gap in Stats, which we already see, will further reduce the Skill/Planning/Strategizing element of the game.

Empires and Puzzles is a random match-3 tile game at its core, but the ability to build teams has always been a welcomed challenge.

And War will be where it’s felt most. When you, with your budgeted bunch of try-hards, are pitted against some shining, brand-new team of raging Monsters (for 6 hits).

But this is all through my personal lens.

You might see things differently.

Also, if you don’t really care about PvP in Empires and Puzzles, then all of this might seem pretty redundant.

Let me know where you stand in the comments below!

What You Should Do | Big Balance Update

I normally don’t give advice. Instead, I try to share the facts and my own opinion so you can come to your own conclusions.

However, on this occasion, I can tell you what I’ve done:

  • Identify the Heroes on the roster that received a significant Stats buff.

~Some top Heroes just became completely outrageous. Whereas most of my old Heroes are duds.

Still, Kai, the recently obtained Plains Hunter, went from

  • Atk: 840 to 889
  • Def: 782 to 832
  • Hlt: 1429 to 1569

My tip is to review your roster for Heroes who got touched to see if you can use them more.

It’s also noticeable that old utility Heroes, like my good friend Malosi, were left out in the cold. -And on that note, my first Hero review and long-standing Raid Hero, Devana, was also too old for the buff.

I imagine this will allow space to create new Heroes in their stead.

Empires and Puzzles | Individual Exceptions

If you’re new to E&P and wondering who the current strongest Heroes are, just check out E&P’s own “Individual Exceptions” list.

This is a grouping of Heroes sooo powerful that they wanted to nerf them, didn’t, but then refused to buff them in line with their family mates…


The following Heroes are extremely powerful, and our testing tools show that they will remain very competitive in the post-balance update environment even as they are now. As such, they will not be receiving a stats boost:

E&P Staff – The Big Balance Update – Details & Release Notes

(Can I get hold of those “Testing Tools”, please? Coz it would really help 😁)

Anyway, here are the Heroes. The Untouchables. The Illuminati. The Dons, if you will.

The following Heroes have also proven to be quite powerful, but not as much as the ones in the list above. As such, they are receiving only a partial stats boost of +20 Hero Power:

E&P Staff – The Big Balance Update – Details & Release Notes

The upside of No Nerfs is that Ludwig has been left alone. And he has the power and Skill to help level the playing field.

I won’t mention the other proposed nerfs, -after all, not right to offer up someone else’s Heroes for the chopper while trying to defend your own. 😁

Oh, one final note here:

Before, they were talking about nerfing and capping the percentages for hits. For example, Khufu was supposed to be nerfed down to 415% to all.

As a result of today’s decision, and as things stand, Khufu will hit all for 450% with his new Atk Stat of 819 (from 795).

Hitters are gonna get crazy.

Anne… G.C. Panther… etc.

My Conclusion: Empires and Puzzles Big Balance Update

It strikes me that the Big Balance Update is actually about the developers’ significant change in strategy, -at least from what it was before.

And it feels like the word “balance” has a different meaning to it here, or there is something that I just don’t understand.

That said, I don’t expect the changes they’ve implemented today to alter my gameplay immediately. -New strong Heroes were already doing that.

This simply speeds it up.

I’ve learned from Beta that powerful Heroes can make the game feel a little too easy. It’s not fun winning without a struggle. The achievement is lost.

By the same token, not having a chance to win can feel terribly frustrating, too.

Many of us live in the End-Game E&P, having beaten many of the game’s central challenges.

-We play for fun, competing in Events, Tournaments, Raids, and Wars, and occasionally when the mood takes, we Slap the Titan a little.

Ultimately, it’s not my job to keep the game balanced; that’s for the owners. My job is to keep me entertained.

So, as always, I will test out this new Meta and hope that they never push the balance too far.

I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

[Please always check in-game Hero Cards to confirm details and never chase Heroes]



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20 Comments

  1. Seems that they have released so many heroes so quickly, that some of those fairly new heroes already were outdated, and needed buffs vs other new heroes.
    There are heroes that have not been released yet after being in beta first time 8 months ago. Early Super elementals have had “outdated stats” vs the newest heavy hitters. No wonder they want to buff them.

    Some good and some bad overall, but I do understand where they are coming from. I think it might be a mistake not combining the stat boost with a limitation on the %atk that was planned. That just increased the boost, which is not necessarily optimal.

    Very happy for finally getting a buff on old costumes though. My C Ariel is happy (even if newer costumes got an even heavier buff, which is probably because the stats on C2 S1 heroes have been “too high”).

  2. I’m still unsure of what “balance” means in the update name so I won’t make any guesses.
    This update only affects me marginally – I won’t say I’m completely unaffected since I do have a number of recent(-ish) HotMs (Bertila, Isis, Tahir, Celidana, R&N and Suzuna) as well as Krampus with his costume and M&M – but with the newest heroes being pushed higher than slightly older heroes (and way more than the oldest heroes in the game), this will make revolving between Platinum and Diamond Leagues (let alone staying in Diamond League with a good defence team alone) that much harder to maintain unless the RNG favors me when I summon something from a premium portal.
    I think SG is trying to increase the “longevity” of the game by stretching the power creep out a little so that there is more incentive towards getting new, premium heroes over old ones or even HotMs. Older heroes and HotMs can still serve as a foundation for any player’s roster (as they do for me; for one, I vehemently disagree with the forum community’s poll assessment of Celidana as she has single-handedly carried some of my fiercest battles with her reverse nuke of a heal, even at 3-70), but the pushing power is now directed towards the new heroes. This may prevent the kind of “stagnation” that Telluria brought to the table before her nerf, where IIRC she remained as one of the best Nature tanks for a really long time, even after the addition of several new heroes.
    The player base might not ask for buffs or nerfs to specific heroes, or even the addition of paid features (hi Essentials Delivery), but SG most likely sees more than just a flatlining revenue stream to justify their actions. They may be a business, but they also see things that we as players don’t. This goes doubly so for their parent company, Zynga, who pioneered a whale-centric VIP support system to introduce the idea of casino high-rollers into mobile gaming. Ultimately, these are companies developing games as a business, not doing business as a game.

  3. It’s more of a ‘buffdate’, and does make a mockery the ‘balance’ they were initially leading us to. As I wrote on he forum at the time – the concept is right – but the execution is wrong.

    They’ve very much hit on a strategy to appeal to the top top spenders to keep spending. I do think they’re missing a trick with the swing-spenders – who will likely feel shunned, rather than encouraged by this.

    If there was a sense of remaining competitive as a result of the ‘balance’ people might be more inclined to spend to address the gap. As it is, the gap is increased and I think we’ll see more and more players head slowly towards the retirement door.

    On the plus side – it does mean that it’s easier to find what does have meaning for you in the game – what you enjoy, and allows you to go back to playing, rather than competiting. Especially important as the PoG makes it even more like a second job.

  4. Long time stalker first time poster. Thank you so much for running this deepdive blog. Your advice and perspective is always well thought out and an appreciated balanced voice that has helped me a lot.
    Thank you.

  5. The only thing I noticed on my roster is my main team grew like 200 points of power, mainly thanks to Doxan.

    I still have a question. Is Telluria back at their old glory or not yet?

    1. No, I don’t believe it’s back to before the May 2020 nerf. But I’ll happily stand corrected.

      -34% Man, 18% Min, 411 HP… But I didn’t have Telluria back in the day. -That’s from a quick check.

      1. Thanks mate.
        I wanted to belive (I obtained them on the fated summon). But I guess they will return them their former power… with a costume.

        On a different topic, with this Path of Giants thing and all the options to purchase in the screen; Don’t you feel you are playing a shopping game?

  6. Thanks again! Any news on the overheal vs. max health reduction change? There seems do be as many different opinions as there are players on how the modified version of this change works.

  7. Hey, this is gonna be quite the moodkiller, sorry for that.
    Best thing about the update are the reset tokens. And even then they don’t return the full amount of resources which I find simply disgusting. Just refund 100% of the food, whats the f* problem with that?
    The balance changes are ridiculous, but I didn’t expect sensible adjustments to begin with.
    I don’t know how long I will still play this game, I enjoyed the most of my time in the last 3 years, but when I’m done studying and have more time to play “real” games I doubt I’ll stick around and watch this game go to ruins.

  8. I’ve read your posts frequently but not posted before. Thanks for the great content & insights. For a ‘mid-level’ player like me I think the change will lead me to spend less … before now I’d spend occasionally because I felt there was a chance I could compete with the big boys. This is the only game I’d ever spent $$ on, but i enjoyed the strategy of assembling a great team that could, potentially, take out much stronger teams with the right strategy, resources & some luck. Now I feel the game is shifting so you can only be ‘competitive’ by spending enough money to create the most powerful team possible. Those powerful teams will always be at the top. So, for me it’s back to just playing challenges for fun here & there I think. Will be interesting to see how it all falls out, but so far the game feels a bit less fun.

  9. I’m relatively new to the game and F2P so this barely impacts me since I only have a single 5* hero. That said, this is like Anakin bringing “balance” in the Star Wars prequels by genociding the rest of the jedi. Makes no sense to buff newer heroes who already have great stats

  10. I just want to be able to reset the 4* i mistakenly choose to lb2 awhile back. Emblem tokens work on all heroes so I just assumed we could reset what we want.

  11. Those obsolete heroes buff like minions’ health go up from 5% to 6% (ie Zulag) is just too much. They’re going to make them too powerful so suddenly everyone will be using them. Savage!!

  12. Always a fan of your work OC. Just pulled Furdinand in the last Pets event so more than thrilled the neutering was cancelled.

    My legit only thought about the power creep: I’d love for a full review by their developers of the mechanisms within the game and maybe notice where they can offer more for the player. Like 25 emblems per “Trials” is now very weak. Release heroes like Alberich who are 6yrs old in Soul Exch without costume: again….weak. Having Liz as one of your fav heroes for a year but then basically need to re-pull for her costume in a Season you’ve completed and can’t really earn coins anymore: weak. TC20 only dishing out S1 5*s: we…ll, you get the point. Start giving out more rewards through out the game to create more usability through out a roster and I’d guarantee you’d see more players sticking with the game, being happier, and playing (and ultimate paying) more.

  13. I love seeing Khufu on the other team. I just take my 2LB Azmia along and watch Khufu commit suicide on her counter-attack. The stat increase will just kill him a little more violently.

  14. I think it’s a bad news for the f2p and c2p. It only shows that they are only interested by the p2w. Tose who already plays only with new heros.

    For me, I’m happy that I got Archie, but alone he won’t help me to compete with some of the monsters…
    The arriavals of alpha aethers already made it difficult to stay motivated… after 3 years playing, I start to think more often that I could quit the game soon…
    As you said, for me, the fun was to try to understand all the mechanics of my heroes to find synergy and plan my team… hoping to get 20 5* to trade again a shiny monster once a year…
    But now it seems that the game is going so fast, that it doesn’t make any sense to make plan 6 month in advance… So what’s the point.
    Where is the synergy when just one hit can end the raid?

  15. I love the game as much as before. I am neither a whale nor f2p – guess I’m somewhere in the middle with my heroes. The heroes I use most frequently are: Bastet, Hulda, Ludwig, Charron, Ogima and Nemesis, Lord Loki and Milena, Green Knight and El Naddaha, Khufu, Lewena and Roughian. I feel I need a couple of the newer and more powerful heroes, but I always spend the same amount of money and can’t afford to spend more. So for me it’s all about picking the right portals.

    I would also like to add that my husband and I love your reviews and share your view 99% of the time hence no comments from me. Thanks for all your hard work for this great game.

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