Campaign: The new Smaug

smaug thumbnailLast week we received news the New Smaug was introduced. It was highly anticipated, and  a lot of players took to the forum to explain Kabam how NOT to ruin the experience in the process of upgrading the dragon. Unfortunately, the new Smaug was highly disappointing and was met with a lot of negative feedback.

But in a surprise move, Kabam decided to listen to the critiques within a week and upgraded Smaug again. Read on to see what has changed form the old familiar lizard and a possible way to fix him once and for all…

1. The Old Smaug

tokenBack in the day, Smaug was the place to be. With the introduction of Hero Equipment, the then best sets (Pilfered and Prisoners) could be farmed from him, as well as the elusive Erebor treasure chests. These chests could contain RoF and RoI, HBC’s but also 16x Galadriel tokens. Non paying players farmed Smaug to get in the action of premiums, and times were good.

But with the months passing by, the loot from Smaug became obsolete pretty quickly, especially the gear and Hero Renown 215. Tokens were still in high demand, but for some (business) reason, the drop rates were also nerfed tremendously, resulting in farming Smaug becoming tedious, boring and even frustrating.

2. The New New Smaug

But as stated in the introduction, Kabam revamped Smaug, and then revamped him again after much negative feedback. All good and well, but what is the dragon currently hiding in its vaults? Lets first look at fighting him.

2.1 Smaug stats

The old Smaug sported 720k might, on par with Moria Azog, and a prime target for GK tournaments. The new Smaug has increased in size considerably to 4.8 M might. Instead of 3000 of each Tier 3 troop, he now has 66,666 or 66,667 of them! For a total of 200k Tier 3 Goblins.

The increase in might means it is almost insane to fight him without a RoF burning or without your highest Hero with his/her best gear. Without a RoI, one attack will take out between 1000-2000 Stone Giants (!), and many more troops if you use support.

2.2 New drops

Smaug has his rewards seen upgraded. There are now four possible drops, and a drop is guaranteed (no more wasted attacks, sort of). The drops and what they (chests) can contain are: (drop rates are estimates)

  • Erebor Vault Chest (~25%)
    • 1x Galadriel Token (guaranteed) PLUS one of:
    • Battle Cry
    • Shield Wall
    • RoF
    • RoI
    • 4x / 19x Galadriel Tokens
    • HBC
    • HRC
    • Hero Renown 245
    • Various Hourglasses

Please note that the drops within this chest do not all have equal chances. Expect to see a lot of hourglasses, and more RoF/RoI than BC/SW.

  • Smaug’s Legendary Loot (~20%)
    • Smaug’s Scorched Gear

The Smaug Scorched gear replaces the Pilfered and Prisoner gear from both the Loot and Plunder chests. It is a purple gear set with 4 random attributes. Not too awesome…

  • Smaug’s Legendary Plunder (~20%)
    • Ancient Drills
    • Pickaxes
    • Orc Ears
    • Legendary Pages
  • Erebor Coin (~35%)
    • Can be traded in Sage Tower for one of the three chests above (random) at 10:1 exchange rate.

3. My thoughts

So the new Smaug is much tougher and has better drops, but is it really worth the might? One of the New new features is the 100% drop rate, but this basically translates from 9 empty drops and 1 chest in the old situation, to 10 Coins in the new, which is 1 chest again. It may be psychologically more rewarding to never have a ‘no-drop’ anymore, but the final result is still basically the same amount of chests.

The added possibility of BC and SW I guess should be seen as a big improvement, but as can be expected, they drop very rarely. Like in the old situation, you will most likely gain a lot of hourglasses.

Now although the new gear is definitely better than Pilfered and Prisoner’s, it is still not top notch. Most players wouldn’t expect a set that would beat Replenish or Necro, but something along the level of Void would have been nicer. 4 Random attributes simply means you are gonna need a lot of tries before finding a piece which has great attributes. At the current cost of might per attack, that is simply impossible for most players, especially non paying ones.

So in the end, we have a Smaug which is definitely stronger, and which definitely has better drops than before, but I do not get the feeling this is going to be rewarding for players to farm. My main problem with it is the fact that it has been moved out of reach of ordinary players.

Spenders and long time players will have an opportunity to farm some nice stuff and maybe get some perms and tokens, but the rest of the drops are mostly useless to them. On the other hand, small to medium sized players will not be able to cough up the might to farm Smaug for any extended period of time due to the enormous might costs.

So, how could Kabam cater to all types and sizes of players? Very simple actually. Here’s what they could do:

  1. Lower the might for Smaug, but higher than the previous Smaug (~1.5 M?)
  2. Lower the drop rates of the very rare and wanted items accordingly (BC/SW)
  3. Keep guaranteeing a drop on every hit
  4. Lose the Erebor Coin drop, it’s not necessary
  5. Add in (many) more possible drop items, and make drop rate reflect item quality
    1. e.g. renown 230 common, 240 rare, 245/249 very rare
    2. Bit similar to all the possible drops from extraordinary Caverns

And voila, a Smaug that is enjoyable for every type and level of player. Why? Simple.

  • Everyone wants to be able to attack Smaug for loot (appropriate for their level)
  • Also, everyone hates having a ‘no drop’
  • Loot level should reflect the amount of effort/might put into the farming

Going form the old Smaug (low effort/crap rewards), there were two ways to accomplish this for Kabam. One is to increase all loot levels and effort needed (the current situation), and the other is described above.

Now with  my solution, low level players can attack Smaug as they used to, with medium amount of might lost, and get some nice rewards that they need. And I would like to suggest a lot of possible drops like with extraordinary Caverns, which sometimes drop over 10 items. Also case in point, that psychological factor. Even though I do not need half of the items dropped by caverns, I love to see those reports with a list full of rewards.

For the higher level players, Smaug can pay off just the same way as he does now, but instead of wasting a lot of might in a few tries, you lose a lot of might in, well, more tries. It will cost you Stamina, but in the end, the smaller drop chances of very rare items will pay out. Watch it Kabam, business tip: added revenue from Stamina Refills bought *wink* *wink*. They will also get a lot of junk items they do not need, but who cares, if they can walk away with a BC or SW in the end (again the same as is now).

Now these concepts aren’t new to gaming, and farming/grinding is necessary in a lot of games. The key is finding the right balance between effort and time needed versus the rewards given. Right now, Kabam chose to go for a very high effort model, which does not suit all players. Im sitting on 2B might and even I am not looking forward to farm Smaug at the moment. The downside of my suggestion is that if you make the drop rates and Smaug might too low, people will need to attack TOO MANY times for good drops to appear. Then it becomes boring again. But somewhere in between no might/no drops, and high might/high drops, is the perfect combination every player is looking for.

And one last piece of advice: Smaug farming has become synonymous with Tokens. That is practically the only reason people still farmed Smaug, and given the current drops, it will still be. So make sure that whatever the solution becomes, reward players with Tokens, especially since the newer chests do not drop tokens like they used to.

Thats it for now, I hope I can persuade someone at Kabam to change Smaug again, but chances are probably slim. Let me know what you think of my suggestion, or let me know your own if you have a great idea! A poll about Smaug can be found in my blog post on him.

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32 thoughts on “Campaign: The new Smaug

  1. I usually just use SG’s as they are abundant in premium and porters accumulate too slowly for my taste> Besides, premiums are frequent enough that I kill 300 giants a hit and 600k+ in between premiums and still end up gaining over 250k more than what I lost during the premium. Also, giants are now useless for tking so they have to be destroyed somehow 😉

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  2. I agree with your suggestions especially one with Dropping the ECoins if I read it right as 30k troop loss for 10coins and for one chest not worth the might or troop loss lake town smaug is at 14m far too high it puts most players off I seat on 1.1b might and not really a tk player more of a might builder Lol Kabam don’t care bout the non paying players as in my server Tinol31 the top Allie spend loads and they get everyhing they want winning the tauriels grand prize dozen times in a row etc smaug on discover section needs to be lowered to at least 2m might as 4.8its too high considering the crap legendary loot given picks etc better prizes need to be introduced or more players will walk away including my self… As getting disillusioned with Kabam and it’s rubbish…

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  3. I also found that Ranged troops work best – by far – but could this be dependent on what gear you have and what troop types get the bonus? I havent tried Supply though. So for me, least might lost is SG/MR, then T1 Ranged/MR, T3 Ranged/MR (then T2, T4, T5). I usually mix in some T1 and T3, just enough that my MRs will be safe. I would lose less might using SGs but they are harder to come by. I tend to save them for Laketown Smaug and use T1/T3 for the normal Smaug. Now that the Laketown Smaug is so much more might for GK Tourneys, i wish they would squeeze a few tokens in there as well…

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  4. Hi, please add to:

    1. Erebor Vault Chest
    + Epic valto runes

    2. Smaug’s Legendary Loot
    + Only Smaug’s Scorched Ring, Amulet & Cloak
    + Smaug’s Tooth
    + Smaug’s Scale

    3. Smaug’s Legendary Plunder
    + Smaug’s Scorched Weapon
    + Smaug’s Scorched Shield

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  5. as long as i have some, i use only porters. rest filled up with MR.
    with a 250 hero, gear mixed repl./void, roi and rof, i loose 33k porters per hit.
    out of porters i use mounted T1, loose 18k per hit.

    if i add SG to the porters i decrease the loss.
    so 1SG means 30 porters.

    i know there are hundred ways to hit the lizzard, but porters are my favorite!

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        • have tested it right now.
          first hit: 40K elven militia, rest MR. lost 18367
          second hit: 40k elven archers, rest MR, lost 18508
          third hit: 40k mounted elves, rest MR, lost 18419
          fourth hit: 10k each mixed T1, rest MR, lost 24267 (nearly same amount of all)
          fifth hit: 15k each ME and EA, rest MR, lost 8032 ME, 13445 EA, in all lost 21477
          sixth hit: 15k each ME and EM, rest MR, lost 13475 ME,
          8096 EM, in all lost 21571
          seventh hit: 15k each EM and EA, rest MR, lost 13423 EM, 8216 EA, in all lost 21639

          so best for me: hit only with one type of T1 🙂

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          • I couldnt agree more. I already did a post in which I explained why it is better to attack with one type, because only one enemy troop will have the strong against bonus. With 2 or even 1 enemy type this becomes even more obvious.

            Now onto the numbers, focusing on your first pure T1 hits, it is clear there is no advantage for mounted troops or whatever to me. T1 losses can vary quite a bit and unless the numbers are repeatable over large numbers of tests, I dont see reason here to suspect any bonus for certain troops…thanks for the numbers

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  6. Recently a player commented that attacking smaug with bilbo heroe increases the quality and prices rate. Does anyone have experienced on that?

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  7. I think the first few days of the New Smaug were different than is is now — the New, New Smaug? The coins were not there initially and the chests yielded more goodies…

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  8. One idea is to bring back the old Smaug and add another page with new Smaug. Players can decide which one they prefer.

    I use T4 + MR with ROI + 20% runes and lost 230k might per attack (3.2k of T4). It is not the best though. My logic is that Stone G, T1, Transportation units are great in TK ratio. I preserve those to spend in TK tourney. T4 is trainable and I normally do not spend them in TK. Therefore, I spend them with Smaug.

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      • what are the troop #s you send? im doing 85kmr, 500sg, and about 38k t5. im trying to figure out the most efficient way to hit him. if anyone can has a better way please tell.

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        • I dont understand why people find it so hard to figure out what to send at Smaug. Your army consists of a meat shield and killing troops.

          The meat shield is usually Stone Giants or Supply troops, but can also be T1. Simply send a little more of these units than Smaug can kill in an attack, and fill the rest up your best killer troops. Again, usually these are Master Rangers, but they can be T5/4 or whatever you have in store.

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          • Using MR + transportation is by the far best combo as your might loss is zero, but you will need a lot of porters or carts if you are planning on doing 1000+ hits. Stoners seem to be the next best option.

            I use a mix to make my stoners go further:

            I send 350 stoners, 250 t5 Ranged (Galahdrim Archers or Dwarf equivalent) and 122,890 MR. Using a gear mix of Rep Shield, Ring and cloak, void sword and amulet. I lose 350 stoners and 200 T5 i.e. (35k + 36k). Mostly lvl 5 gems on all, a couple of lvl4. Also 169/163 for Attack/Life buff after perma, 20% buff and rof/roi.

            In my last 2000 hits my total token return has been 52%…i.e. 1040 tokens. I really do not understand what people are complaining about, the drop is awesome.

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  9. Hi. I basically share your opinion on Smaug but I’m surprise that you do not mention that we can gain pickaxes and ancient drills on the Smaug’s Legendary Plunder. Besides the coins that fall 40% less than on the previous Smaug the unique reason to farm Smaug. According to my initial stats you have 30% chance to get pickaxes (10%) or ancient drills (20%) in the Plunder which is pretty descent. I see an advantage to colelct Artamis gems as much as possible in order to improve the defensive hero and to lose less troops. Just to make Smaug more sustainable on a long term. I also like the addition of BC and SW although the chance is very low. Adding the highest gems to the right equipment decrease the lost significantly. By the way what is the current combination that you use for fighting the new new Smauggy ? 🙂

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      • Here are my preliminary results based on 675 attacks on Smaug. I’m loosing 11m/100 attacks. There are 23% chance to get an Erebor, 28% Plunder, 17% Loot and 32% Coins. Out of the Erebor chests, I got 201 coins (about 30% while it was around 35% with the old Smaug), very few invul (less than 2%), about 68% different hourglasses but not BC/SW. From the Plunder chest, 12% pickaxes (23×5=115), 24% Ancient Drills (45) and about 60% ears/pages. From the Loot, about 100% of Smaug Equipments. One last remark, I personnally like the Smaug’s Scorched Amulet as it gives random speed bonus on all troops. I use them on my heroes on v2/v3/v4 to speed up the time of the marches when mining. It does not cost anything, just unhancing and not upgrading unless you have many Valto runs.

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