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 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
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 you start to look 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.
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!
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