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Thread: The Case Against Leveling Heroes

  1. #1
    Super Member Hannibal's Avatar
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    The Case Against Leveling Heroes

    Just noticing the recent threads about DE farming, I thought I’d present a contrarian point of view.

    What people often talk about is the balance between increased hero strength and the increased rest time*. This obviously increases until it caps at three hours downtime with level thirty. This can be partially offset by trying to use the heroes in such a way as to avoid damage. But to some extent this is also self-defeating. For example, a tank hero which cannot be used as a tank loses value.

    Unquestionably it’s easier to use the AQ in such a way as to take less damage, but as single target defenses proliferate at high town hall levels such as the three X-bows and inferno towers, this also becomes difficult. Because single target defenses become stronger at high town hall levels, heroes perversely lose value as town hall levels increase.

    While most people are aware of the downtime issue, they tend not to consider the opportunity costs of leveling heroes. The opportunity costs have no compensatory “balance” such as the increased strength being balanced by the increased downtime. There are several flavors of opportunity cost:

    1. While heroes are leveled, they are not available for use. Taking a hero from level one to level forty takes something over eight months. That’s eight months during which heroes are unavailable for use which will not be recouped. Ask yourself how certain you are you’ll even be playing CoC eight months from now. Now ask yourself if there’s a chance SC will add additional hero levels, such that maximum hero levels cannot realistically be reached without gemming.
    2. While heroes are leveled, workers are unavailable to level defenses. Defensive progression is slower in bases which level heroes.
    3. When DE is used to level heroes, it is unavailable to produce DE troops. The latest DE troops in particular (golem and witch) are extremely strong. Given the spiraling costs of high level heroes, it doesn’t take long before every available unit of DE is consumed in hero development.
    4. Maximal DE farming is suboptimal for gold and DE farming. This includes trophy ranges, bases, and army loadout. Maximizing one’s DE farm by definition reduces accrual of other resources.


    Finally consider that heroes are most valuable for trophy play in which maximum damage must be done to a base, as opposed to farming which by definition is content with attacking storages and collectors. But as the game currently stands trophy play is for gemmers only. I often hear folks talk about how they'll farm until their base finishes and then switch to trophy play. As the game currently stands, this will never happen. Content is added as quickly as it is consumed. Farmers never segue to trophy play without gemming or setting fairly modest sights in terms of trophy ranges.

    All things considered I think there's an extremely strong case to be made for not leveling heroes. Having said that, personally I am leveling mine. Why? Perversity mostly, in combination with a suspicion that hero rest time will be reduced again to make them more useful to farmers. I’ve historically suggested a “balanced” approach to gold and DE farming, and I continue to lean that way hoping for hero buffs.

    Please discuss! Not too heatedly!

    * See this post for an excellent discussion of the regeneration issue, making the case that on the basis of damage done per survival time, that upgrading is always beneficial. The problem with this argument is that it assumes 100% uptime, which for the BK in particular is probably a really bad assumption. Analysis like this probably makes more sense for the AQ. It's probably also debatable if incoming damage should be modeled as a steady, low rate of incoming damage, or the kind of burst which occurs more commonly in game when multiple defenses (ie: inferno tower) latch onto the hero at once. Looking strictly at health regeneration, heroes worsen from level 1-11. They then start to improve, but they don't recoup level 1 regeneration rates until they hit level 26.
    Last edited by Hannibal; August 15th, 2013 at 02:28 PM.
    With apologies, I don't give out my Gamecenter ID or respond to PM solicitations to do base design critiques.

  2. #2
    Super Member mxa's Avatar
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    But when there's nothing left to upgrade, you'd be spending multiple months going for DE, with 3 free builders and constantly full storages. Better sooner than later IMHO
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  3. #3
    Super Member Ilman1234's Avatar
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    Well said. In the end, we'll eventually spend more time upgrading the heroes, waiting for the heroes to recover fully than on the battlefield.

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    Senior Member Vilehelm's Avatar
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    Is there a sweet spot? Where the cost of lost availability isn't too painful?

    I feel around lvl 10 for both might be my own personal stopping point since decent DE alternatives like The Witch have come along.

  5. #5
    Super Member Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mxa View Post
    But when there's nothing left to upgrade, you'd be spending multiple months going for DE, with 3 free builders and constantly full storages. Better sooner than later IMHO
    Hasn't happened for me yet. I finished TH9 right about the time TH10 launched, and I'll confess that I gemmed time on a few occasions over the months. (In hindsight, I regret that.) I doubt it would be possible to maximize a base faster than SC produces the content without gemming.

    But certainly, if you have free builders and DE to spare, there are no opportunity costs!
    With apologies, I don't give out my Gamecenter ID or respond to PM solicitations to do base design critiques.

  6. #6
    Super Member LordExcel's Avatar
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    Welll..... No one has a lvl40 king without gemming.
    like SC intended it.
    A troll? Like the one that lives under a bridge?

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  7. #7
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    Just want to highlight that the HP regenerated per minute sleeping of the heroes actually increases as you level your heroes.

    Have u taken that into consideration?

  8. #8
    Super Member mxa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djemerson13 View Post
    I might be hallucinating here, but didnt someone make a graph of this and find hp regenerated per minute decreases after level 16?
    From the wiki:


    • Each successive upgrade of the Barbarian King (up to level 30) adds approximately 4% health and damage, but also adds a constant four minutes to the total regeneration time. As a consequence, the Barbarian King's regeneration rate changes as it levels up. Initially the Barbarian King's regeneration rate slows down each level, going from 1,500 hit points per hour at level 1 to 1,332 per hour at level 11. Beyond level 11 the rate begins to climb again, eventually reaching 1,500 hit points per hour again at level 26, and 1,595 at level 30.
      • Beyond level 30, the Barbarian King gains additional health and damage at each level (approximately 2% of each), but his total regeneration time stays constant at 3 hours. This significantly increases the Barbarian King's regeneration rate at levels beyond 30, ultimately reaching 1,900 per hour at level 40.
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    Nice post, and in my experience a balanced approach works very well... putting your hero on constant upgrade is too extreme (like farming forever to produce a base that no-one will ever bother attacking), but not levelling them at all is, I think, also a poor strategy that will leave you missing some good fun...

    Why hunt for DE, just to throw it away on troops? If you are going to go DE hunting, it should be invested in upgrading your troops... You don't go farming for gold, just to throw it all away on spells...

    Personally, I farmed for DE at times when I was working on pieces of my TH7 base that allowed me to... from memory, I'd already maxed most of my walls, and had most if not all of my elixer projects done, but I had some of those expensive and yet long-running gold project to finish... so I alternated between saving enough gold to get the next upgrade, and hunting DE to put into by King.

    By the time I was TH8, the DE was just flowing in naturally, at a rate where dumping it into my King was the only way to actually use it up, so I got him to level 9... by that stage, I had Dark Barracks 4, so now I'm producing Golems and upgrading minions, so my king isn't going to get to level 10 in any great hurry... That said, I'll be TH8 for some time yet, so one day I'll be saving DE again and balancing between upgrading minions, golems, and the king...

    Lastly, hunting for DE can be extremely fun raiding, especially when you are TH7 and can grab a lot from weak TH9 and TH10 setups....

  10. #10
    Forum Superstar Djemerson13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mxa View Post
    From the wiki:


    • Each successive upgrade of the Barbarian King (up to level 30) adds approximately 4% health and damage, but also adds a constant four minutes to the total regeneration time. As a consequence, the Barbarian King's regeneration rate changes as it levels up. Initially the Barbarian King's regeneration rate slows down each level, going from 1,500 hit points per hour at level 1 to 1,332 per hour at level 11. Beyond level 11 the rate begins to climb again, eventually reaching 1,500 hit points per hour again at level 26, and 1,595 at level 30.
      • Beyond level 30, the Barbarian King gains additional health and damage at each level (approximately 2% of each), but his total regeneration time stays constant at 3 hours. This significantly increases the Barbarian King's regeneration rate at levels beyond 30, ultimately reaching 1,900 per hour at level 40.
    So if someone is going for efficiency they are better off staying at level 1? Assuming they use there heroes in a way that puts them in danger of getting damaged



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