One of the most popular articles on this site is the Best Sets article, describing which sets of gear are most useful for attacking, defending, and for campaign/CHS. At the moment, this article is still very useful, but pretty soon, it will be completely rendered useless. Why? The new Gems. In this article I will explain why this is the case and how gear will be chosen in the near future…and why this makes me think the new Gems stink….
- The new way of selecting gear
- Why will gear selection change? The old situation
- The new situation: The new Gems
- The new “best” gear
- An example with Replenish and Void gear
- Does diminishing returns not factor in at all anymore??
- What did I leave out
So up until now, choosing gear was quite a difficult task, because the highest buffs didn’t necessarily mean the best combo. Due to diminishing returns, full Replenish fared worse than mixing in some Void on defense for example, even though Replenish at face value has better defensive stats. This made choosing gear somewhat counter-intuitive, but also challenging, and each new gear piece released needed to be evaluated to see whether it could perform better than the last “best set”. No more.
1. The new way of selecting gear
So what will gear be selected on in the (near) future? Simply for highest stats. Replenish has higher stats compared to Void? Great, that means you will equip ALL Replenish, and don’t worry about diminishing returns. So why?
2. Why will gear selection change? The old situation.
Well, first let’s consider the 3 types of buffs we now consider for selecting gear, taking into account diminishing returns, and how we can select for them:
- Standard buffs: Perm buffs, guardian, runes, research, Hero lvl
- Gem buffs
- Gear buffs
The first category, standard buffs I called it, is pretty fixed. It changes of course as you acquire more perm buffs and level up the Guardian, but you do not choose the levels in this regard. You play with what you have basically. So no changes here.
The second category is also pretty fixed in the current situation. And with current situation I mean the predominant use of Artamir Gems, and the relative scarcity and uselessness of the new Gems until we reach higher levels. Now, the Artamir gems are great because for each gear type, they buff a fixed attribute. So even with all the Gems in the world, there is little to pick and choose. For offense you gem the Weapon and Amulet (first), for defense the Ring and Shield, and for CHS you gem all but the Cloak.
The third category, in the old situation, is the most important one. Gear. Here is where you can pick and choose and experiment with different amounts of buffs. Here we run into diminishing returns due to the first two categories, and we have to match our gear to that (hence the Replenish+Void mix).
Mind you, you are constrained somewhat in that not every combination of buffs and debuffs is available in gear. So given the fixed amount of buff from standard buffs and gems, there will be pretty definite “best sets” to equip for the various situations.
3. The new situation: The new Gems
So the above situation is going to change, and it is because of the new Gems. What is happening with the Ruby, Citrine, Emerald and Sapphire gems, that the constraints on the buffs from Gems that we had with only Artamir disappears completely! And this means that with both Gear and Gems, we can now select the amounts of buff versus debuff we want on our Hero. In essence, we can battle diminshing returns with both Gear and Gems, where previously we just had gear.
Now between Gems and Gear, it is obvious Gear is the much more constrained of the two. For each of the 20 slots (as the cloak comes into play now as well) we can pick what buff or debuff from Gems we want now. And in the process of getting the best set-up, you (should) work your way up from most constraint category to least constraint. Until gear comes out with all possible combinations of buffs/debuffs, and it won’t, we will now have our standard buffs, select the best gear, and THEN deal with diminishing returns with the new Gems.
4. The new “best” gear
First a small side note on what will become the new best gear. Like I said this will be the highest buff gear. Does it matter if a gear buffs or debuffs? No! Simply add up all the relevant buffs a gear piece has (buff AND debuff) and compared it to other gear based on that number. Void has 36.8% defense buff (debuff), while Replenish has 54.8% defensive buffs, making it the better choice. Let’s use an example to show you why exactly mathematically.
5. An example with Replenish and Void
To illustrate the situation, let’s go with an example: The Void+Replenish mix. Three Replenish, two Void, gemmed for pure defense, in the old situation. That means we have 4 lvl 7 Artamir gems (yes I know we have higher levels) in both the Shield and Ring. Also, for convenience, let’s assume that level 7 Gems of any type buff 30%. Also for the gear:
- 1 Piece of Replenish has ~55% life buff (165% for 3 pieces)
- 1 Piece of Void has ~35% attack debuff (70% for 2 pieces)
- We take 400% for standard buffs (reasonable I think)
- Shield Art. gems add 4×30% = 120% life buff
- Ring Art. gems add 4×30% = 120% attack debuff
- Assume Replenish and Void are the best defensive gear items in game
So in total we have 165+400+120=685% life buff and 70+120=190% attack debuff for this set-up. We know the life buff suffers from a high diminishing returns effect, such that equipping extra Replenish is worse, while at the same time, equipping another Void piece is also less effective. So basically, in our situation, we are now stuck at our best solution. We cant change gear for better results, and we cant swap around Gems.
Enter the new Gems. And we will just follow my earlier advise and select gear on highest buffs. That means our Void pieces go out the door and we equip full Replenish. Without Gems, we now have 400+(5×55)=675% Life buff. BUT, we still need to apply Gems. And because the new Gems have the same effect anywhere, we have all gear piece Gem slots at our disposal, so 20 Gem slots in theory. But lets constrain ourselves and ONLY gem the Shield and Ring, as we could have also gemmed our Amulet, Weapon and Cloak in the old set-up as well. So 8 Gem slots to improve. We have Emerald Gems for Life buff and Sapphire Gems for Attack debuff, all at level 7 again of course (~30%).
So first, we try to get the same Life buff and work from there. With one Emerald Gem, we are at 705% life buff, already higher than the old situation. And we have 7 Gem slots left, giving us potentially 210% Attack debuff if we fill it with Sapphire Gems. We can also swap one Sapphire for a Emerald and end up with 735% life buff and 180% attack debuff. Whatever the case, the new gems increase our defensive buffs with 40%!
6. Does Diminishing Returns not factor in at all anymore??
Yes! Yes it does, but is easier to deal with now. Before, we had our Artamir gems and Buffs, and figured out which gear was best considering diminishing returns (DR). But gear is fixed, varying in base stats and bonus attributes, so we couldn’t swap around freely with all our gear. At least not as freely as with the new Gems.
But DR still applies. In fact, for every fixed amount of buffs/debuffs, there will be an optimal amount buff versus amount of debuff. The only way to know for sure what works best is to test this in-game by applying both buff and debuff and testing, for example against Goblins or other players. But while we tested gear previously, that will turn into testing Gems in the future. And Gems are SO much easier to swap around…..
7. What did I leave out?
So this was a basic description of what is going to happen, and some things had to be left out to keep it somewhat short. For completeness sake however, I will mention them here:
- Most importantly, I did not discuss the opponent’s buffs. We know pretty much for sure that both attack and life buffs and debuffs all factor into one equation for battles. Attack and life debuff for attacker, life and attack debuff for defender. In battling diminishing returns, there could very well be a difference between for example attacking a player with really high life buffs, versus a player with really high attack debuffs. Why didn’t I discuss this? (1) I’m not sure IF this is the case and how large the effect is, and (2) this is also the case now without high level new gems, and does not impact the main point of this article.
- I also did not factor in gear with specific bonuses to certain troops. This can mess things up a bit, and will I think be the only really challenging thing left for selecting gear. A good Void ring could be better than Replenish even in the new situation, but only in specific cases, requiring you to perhaps switch around Gems when attacking or defending against different types/tiers of armies
- The main point in this article of course applies best from the moment we have more new Gems at our disposal, so level 6 and higher. But I don’t think that will take too long….
So that’s it for now. Do you agree with the main point? And what do you think of the new gems, are they a good addition or not? Let me know!