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This update has been an interesting one. some additions were great, others were really bad.
I heard that we were going to be getting more criticals for each win. When it comes to incursions or attacking players that seems to be true. When it comes to strongholds however, you get less, much less.
I was fine with the cost going up for criticals each upgrade like it was before. Now the cost is so extreme that i will never get my troops to their next rank. I'm not counting the criticals i have from the boost we got with the update. Those only gave me criticals for things i was now replacing with next tier troops like Merkavas, Force Recon, Guardians. (Not Helpful) Now that i'm stuck against 64s with level 10 troops, i can't even hope to catch up. Our alliance regularly gets attacked and sometimes wiped by only 5-7 attackers because of their level difference.
Rewards for strongholds needs a change. IF YOU ARE GOING TO INCREASE THE DIFFICULTY, YOU NEED TO INCREASE THE REWARDS.
I will agree some of the strongholds were easy. But their rewards were not that great, they matched. The thing that i liked most about the old stronghold rewards was their stability. Win and you get X many each attempt with troop type varying for the stronghold. Upgrade cost was good even at higher levels because they were the last tier. You would go from middle and lower tier upgrades going up 10/20 each time to increases of 40 or so each time.
Now we are expected to have 150 criticals to go up even one level for tier 3 troops (level 2 Force Recon to level 3) in addition to getting less rewards from strongholds. Since strongholds are the only way to reliably get criticals of a unit type we want and their rewards are now less than before; how are we expected to compete against players who had their troops upgraded before the changes? Inconsistent reward totals RUIN the whole purpose of farming them. I would gladly give up the Gold for getting a gold crate on strongholds if they only gave gold crates again.
UNIT PROGRESSION ---
Making it take up to 10x longer to progress at each stage was a really bad call. Now instead of a steady progression with steady effort, we get random progression (often slower) with steady effort ALONG with the goal being placed 4x further away than before. It would have taken me a few weeks to get my last tier troops up a few levels before. Now i have no desire to, the goal is too far and the way to get to the goal is lacking. I'm not spending money to get those criticals.... that's not going to happen. In order to make strongholds a viable alternative to pvp, you will need to, at a minimum, triple their critical payout for all tiers of boxes. getting a minimum or 6 tier 3 troop criticals from strongholds would be better than getting 2 every other run if you are lucky.
TROOP BALANCE ---
Why? Why did you make choppers hit so hard, AND reduce the hp of middle level platforms? Im now seeing level 48s beating 64s with just cobras and reapers. Makes a lot of sense for a tier 1 troop and tier 1 air support to annihilate a maxed out base. Merkavas could use a slight reduction in health. new meta is either all cobras/guardians + reapers or All Merkavas with reapers. Going against maxed out Merkavas with defenses set for maybe level 4/5 merkavas is not possible. Reapers are for some reason immune to flak, fix it.
REDEPLOY TOKENS ---
Since you snuck in the change to cost, i am done with trying to get troops upgraded. 40 was a nice amount considering you jacked up the difficulty and reduced the rewards. At some point today you decided to bring that total up to 296 per redeploy.... Farming is now not possible for people in the 46-54 range. You said you would rebalance the strongholds to make the easy ones harder and the harder ones easier. All i see are strongholds that are harder than before. You have killed my desire to progress, completely.
In regards to Normandy being open season for the 64s, why? Did they complain enough to get you to give them targets that can't often fight back? Putting down a 12 thick wall of fobs only to have 64s walk through it over and over wasting your metal is so disheartening. I'm fine losing to people close to my level. Im not ok knowing that i literally can't progress because max players with maxed troops regularly come to wipe your entire alliance and get you to waste more of your metal resetting the wall. I'd love a good reason why you did this.
criticals: too low to be bothered to farm at higher levels
Strongholds: Increasing the difficulty and reducing the rewards was a really bad move
Unit Progression: takes way too long and the only reliable way to acquire wanted ones has been reduced to almost nothing
Troop balance: you dun goofed
Redeploy tokens: Was at a good exchange rate per play but the cost increase by 7x was a farm killer
There needs to be a zone for people in the 44 - 54 bracket to grow.