The Empires & Puzzles Power Creep
This isn’t news to many of you, but it’s still worth pointing out because it might not be immediately clear to everybody. What am I talking about? The Empires and Puzzles Power Creep.
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Caveat: This post contains gameplay speculation and personal opinion. It may also contain adult comedy and sarcasm. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.
What is a Power Creep? (Empires and Puzzles)
A Power Creep is a wonderfully perfect piece of logic.
Simply put, when a new hero is released, they are, by design, more powerful than the heroes they supersede.
In Empires & Puzzles, we see that in a couple of ways:
- Heroes are created with a greater numerological value (hero build), and/or
- Heroes are granted superior skillsets
Pitting Proteus (a Season 2, 4-Star hero) against Ahhotep (a Season 5, 4-Star hero), really helps to illustrate the numerological leap.
Proteus has a starting Hero Power value of 316, whereas Ahhotep has a starting Hero Power value of 332.
And some of that extra Power equates to an extra:
- +30 in Defense
- +72 in HP
- (-7 Attack)
In favour of the newer hero, Ahhotep.
Power Creep in Legendary Heroes
You’ll find even more of a gap when looking at levelled Legendary heroes.
For example, Elena, the Poster Girl for Empires and Puzzles, holds a value of:
POWER: 753 ATT: 809 DEF: 578 HP: 1312
Contrast that with the Season 5 hero, El Naddaha:
POWER: 826 ATT: 821 DEF: 764 HP: 1431
Over the course of the 5 Seasons we’ve seen, there’s been a 70 or so increase in Hero Power.
But none of this is a massive problem. In fact, it’s the backbone that keeps the game fresh and alive.
The key is in ensuring the Creep remains a Creep. Because rushing too far ahead could unbalance the game.
[Sidenote: What is Hero Power? A few relevant posts from the E&P forum which help to explain it – 1. Hero Power Calculation 2. Adjust Hero Power Calculation 3. Analysis of Power Creep of Hero Stats]
Power Creep in Special Skills (Empires and Puzzles)
Next, we have the Power Creep in Special Skills. -And this is something I’m particularly interested in.
Not because I want to denigrate the developers but because I want to take advantage of any OP skills I get my hands on!
Take Azmia, for example—the now infamous 4-Star monster.
Many of us remember pushing poor old Boril out onto the battlefield, where he would stubbornly head to the front of the line, plant his massive shield into the dirt, and ready his giant hammer.
What did Boril actually do?
** The Caster and Nearby enjoy counterattack to the value of 125% for 5 turns **
More recently, Ferant has been dispatched to the front, where he has completely bamboozled the opposition.
And now we have Azmia arriving for duty, and she’s flexing all kinds of skills:
** Counterattack, but now up to 150%, plus she recovers 20% health for all allies, plus her Passives which fire off 60% of the time (feels more) heals/over-heals for another 10%, plus she Cleanses everybody **
That’s a Defensive and Offensive powerhouse, right there.
Boril must be in tears.
A simpler example of this ‘Special Skills Creep’, can be found in the sorry tale of Quintus.
He’s a Season 1
Hero… chap, who dealt 270% damage to all enemies on a SLOW charge.
…On a Slow.
This guy takes foreevvveer to do anything. I asked him for a coffee last Tuesday -not seen him since.
Don’t know where he goes or what he does with his time; I just leave him be. Thank the Lord I don’t have to work with him.
Anyway, normal Penolite doles out 245% damage to all on an Average charge… and if she’s p*ssed, that goes up to 490%!
And, Costumed Blue Bunny will slap the hell outta everybody for 280% damage on a Fast!
But again, all of this is fine, as long as it’s done at a steady pace and your name isn’t Quintus.
Old Heroes who Stand the Test of Time
I’ve jabbered on a bit here, but I want to highlight where I think most players can gain from all this activity:
By identifying heroes more likely to stand the test of time.
All of this Power Creeping can leave you feeling like all the heroes from back in the day are worthless now.
But that’s not the case.
Look at Season 1’s Kiril.
This guy was released at the same time as Boril, but he has a set of skills which are always going to be fashionable.
So, even when a new Monster turns up, who inflicts -44% Defense on all enemies, you can still reverse that and more, with good ol’ Kiril.
And, when your roster grows, he’ll be great on the bench, running out for the odd cameo, every now and then.
Also, look at Season 2’s Proteus, who stops the enemy from collecting mana for 3 turns, or Bryhild, who does a whole heap on a Fast charge. Both are great old heroes.
A great skill set is a great skill set. And that’s more valuable (in many cases), than the stats of the hero they’re assigned to.
In my view, even as the game progresses and new super-heroes arrive, we shouldn’t ignore the value to be found in the old lot.
ʕ•́ᴥ•̀ʔっUnrelated Ad: If you wanna see how I took two 4-Star heroes to #1 in the world, read this.
Empires and Puzzles Power Creep
The Power Creep also explains why I’m generally positive about new heroes…
We’re supposed to be.
The developers designed it to be that way:
…we aim to have very controlled power creep, which means that new heroes have to be desirable and thus, on average, somewhat more powerful than older heroes. BUT, and this is a big one, we want as wide and varied a pool of older heroes as possible to be viable for as long as possible.Tim, Head of Game Design (Empires and Puzzles) – Link to
So, while it’s true that I’m wondering how they can be used, and how they can be beaten, on the whole, I’m also expecting them to be stronger than their predecessors.
In fact, I believe the developers are trying to maximise hero strength without undermining the rest of the roster. And the only place we don’t see this aggressive forward motion is with the Hero of the Month.
And in all honesty, they’re often the hardest to evaluate, because they’re designed to be just so useful, -not the Ludwigs of the ecosystem.
Old Cynic talking Power Creep (Empires & Puzzles)
The Power Creep is an interesting and controversial topic, but without it the game could become stagnant.
Of course, there’s a ‘business side’ to the equation which I’ve hinted at, but in truth, what I really care about is being able to win.
Can I, with a very C2P roster, defend Cups and win Raids? Even against the best heroes in the game, who I routinely review here?
I won’t mind the Gosecks of the world, so long as my reasonably well-seasoned roster stands a good chance of beating him.
What are your thoughts on the Power Creep? How would you keep the game balanced?
Buff Season 1 & 2 heroes? Share your views in the comments below!
[Please always check in-game Hero Cards to confirm details and never chase Heroes]
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Synergy is much more important than power in a team. I have a mono green team of Elkanen, Frigg, Mother North-C, Evelyn and Kadilen. That’s 2 season 1 heroes with no costumes, 1 season 3 hero, 1 old Hero of the Month and 1 Christmas Challenge hero with costume, most are emblemed to 20 but none are limit broken. Troops are all mana and are at level 23 & 11 and power id 4578. I win 95% of the time because of the way they compliment each other to make the team stronger no matter how powerful the opponent is. My max cups was 2806 (which I don’t really care about, just filling hero chests and finishing PoV levels). I have acquired, maxed and emblemed Phileas Fogg, Cristobal and Kingston and have rotated them into the appropriate slot but my win % goes down as they don’t mesh as well and I always go back to this alignment. I am getting close to this “ideal” on my purple, yellow and blue teams but my red team is stalled without a 5 star healer since Boldtusk is my only option and he just doesn’t cut it against the powerhouses out there. Super powerful heroes for us C2P players are only as good as A. being able to actually pull one, B. having mats to max if you happen to get lucky and C. having enough emblems and meat after maxing. Besides, putting together a team that can win despite all the supercharged whale teams being out there is part of the fun for me. My 2 cents.
Thanks for that Dave, I agree, especially the part about trying to beat the best! And Wars -I love Wars.
Good read as always. I’ve been stalking your page everyday for new content. lol
Agreed on everything. its not all about the team power, its about the skills, Kiril and Rigard are still in my roster doing their bits from time to time. A member of my alliance always got 6/6 in war against our opponents powerhouse of 5,000 Teampower and above and he did those mainly using S1 5 stars and some event 4 stars. He’s also a very C2P player. Its about the synergy of the heroes, the player’s abilities and strategies to play the board the right way to get the best probabilities / chance to win and luck. Power creep yes, sometimes anoyying, but its not the end of the world.
I consider myself at the lower end of P2P (paying, but not that much, tight budget. lol). I got some good op heroes, high team power attacking team for wars, high team power of defenses. But you know what, I never beat that friend of mine in term of war scores, tourney and even specific element of titan.
Great story MIB, -it’s not all about OP heroes. This game does a lot very well, that’s why we all play it, and having the ability to beat super-teams with decent synergy injects so much fun.
And thanks for the support! I’m always thinking of ways to grow the blog and writing more posts like this appeals to me.
There’s a lot of S1/S2 still seeing playtime, Kirillx2 (one in costume) boril with LB and costume. 6 x Rigards seeing tons of action(cleanse/2nd healer in arrow barrage for example) 3x Proteus, 2x Gretel 2x Boldtusk and weirdly enough typing this I must say there are more 4* heroes in use on a normal rotation then many of the early 5* heroes, mainly use the “cleanse/dispell” heroes and let the more recent damage dealers do damage/tanking.
But as previous posters started above, synergy and it’s pretty funny seeing my defence team close to 5200 getting taken down by someone with a mix of 4*/5* mono teams built with pretty average heroes but “the right” ones.
Next to that one you see three failed attacks by someone struggling with limit broken S4/S5 heroes but pretty bad synergy.
Wouldn’t mind seeing S1/2 very slow/slow heroes getting bumped up to average speed at least to offset some of their drawbacks to make them more useful.
‘Wouldn’t mind seeing S1/2 very slow/slow heroes getting bumped up to average speed’
Funny, they could probably do that and it not mess with the game too much. Elena would be a monster at Average!
How about a new ascension mat that can only be used on S1/S2 heroes? ” Grizzled vet ” badge or some such nonsense. This would allow old characters to learn a new ( or adjusted) special skill.
That’s a great idea, even if it’s added as a Passive with a percentage chance like S5, or if it was something which wasn’t overkill. Sounds great.
I think that adding passives to season one and two Heroes would be a great move.
I think they should stop adding costumes to so many Heroes. I wish they would have kept them with season 1 and 2 only.
I love a good costume, as long as they do something. It’s hard going seeing the same skill, just stronger. Like a ‘Skin’ in a another game… But yes, I thought they were about boosting the old lot.
I have played about 90% of my endgame in monoteams, and when you have this much experience with banging out tile damage you get a bit of fingertip touch on how much tiles are needed to kill every specific hero.
This is where i feel the creep you mention or if a hero is fundamentally well balanced or not.
There have been a few heroes who have cheated ahead on the progression, ie scaled away faster than the rest of the game.
This seems to balance out over time ut its pretty gnrly to be trying to fastplay the daily raids when the flavour of the month hero shows up in the doorways 90% of the fights.
Two heroes where the scaling was bothersome was gravemaker and kunchen… dear lord it was the worst of times to try to tile them to death, and their skills was really painful when they landed..
But otoh there was heroes that scaled past the benchmark without being bothersome aswell.. and the best example there is Onatel.. but since her skillset was so PVE oriented it never had any impact on the game.
Simply put: Once in a while they release heroes that has a little bit to good basic stats to be balanced against their special skill and the progression of the game.. and atm Hulda is the prime example of that.
You cannot on your best day tile Hulda to death using purple tiles and i actually tiled both Ludwig and Agrafena into oblivion using purple mono so it should be doable (tile Krampus to death with blue, tiled BK into pieces with red.. the list goes on).
And granted Huldas minions inherit her imbalanced stats its a downward spiral from there. (compare this to for example Noor.
Hey Cougar, you’re absolutely right (I remember GM and Kunchen in their heydays). There’s always a couple/few leading the pack and Hulda is there now. But, she must be rare enough, coz ‘they’ know how powerful she is, too. Thanks for the input!
Pardon the tardy comment but an alliance member only recently recommended your blog to me to improve my strategy skills. So I am playing catching up. Alternating between mono and 3/2 teams, my recent experience tells me the developers could do a lot to keep the Season 1 heroes competitive by boosting the class bonus. Back when I didn’t know any better, I ascended and limit broke 38 Classic heroes (several duplicates) which means now I take advantage of 7% attack, defense and healing bonus, even with mono teams and 3/2 teams where they can only be used once (wars, quests). Pretty effective even now (especially with Raid Revenge) but they could still benefit from a buff.
Welcome Raquel, thank you for visiting! Thank goodness for the little buff S1 got. I much prefer 3/2 for the tiles I get, but I am experimenting with 4/1 coz things are getting crazy out there!
Thanks again, Raquel.
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