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Have you all been well? A belated happy 2023 to you all!
It's hard to believe it, but Empires & Puzzles will enter its 7th year soon — may it be our luckiest one yet. Whether you’ve been here from the beginning or hopped on along the way, thank you for staying on for the ride and making this special community what it is today.
As is tradition, we’re here to first take a look back at how the game evolved over the past twelve months, then share what the near future has in store. We hope you’ll be as excited as we are for what’s coming next!
In 2022, the game saw the following additions:
War of the Three Kingdoms
QoL update: Soul Exchange
Loot update: Tomes & Trainer Troops added as rewards
Dynasty of Dunes
Sanctuary of Gargoyles
Legends of Kalevala
Community event: Nuts for Nature
Loot update: Mystic Vision cooldown reduced in half
Challenge Festival II
Tower of Styx
Covenant of Champions
QoL update: "Max 10" selection cap when training Heroes removed
Contest of Elements
QoL update: Classic Family Bonus & Superior Talents
QoL update: Fated Summon
QoL update: Hero Roster view UI update
Loot update: Free weekly gifts from the Empires & Puzzles Store
...and now, some of what's coming up in the first half of 2023:
The Museum Opens
To celebrate the game's 6th anniversary, we're adding a new "building" to Empires & Puzzles... within the Stronghold! What might be inside that towering castle we call home had remained a mystery for many years; it's been a long wait, but we're finally about to find out.
Our current plan is to unveil this new building to our players on March 2nd, the game's birthday. Inside, you'll be happily surprised with not only two big quality-of-life features that have been requested by many players, but also a huge bunch of presents for you to unwrap — with room for many more to come as you continue your Empires & Puzzles adventure!
Season of Love
Seasonal Events have always been appreciated by the community for how they can be cleared at relative leisure for decent loot, and for how they give players better chances of obtaining something shiny with their hard-earned Epic Hero Tokens. We were pleasantly surprised with the warm reception Legends of Kalevala got last year (despite "Kalevala" not really being a time-of-the-year kind of season), so this year, we're looking to add some more.
Soon after the ongoing Lunar New Year Seasonal Event — which we hope you've been enjoying — winds down, a charming flock of cupids will fly your way to herald the Season of Love. These Rare, Epic, and Legendary Heroes will arrive on Valentine's Day and fill the air with love for an entire month; get ready to fire some Love Arrows alongside the new cherubs!
Gods of Masquerade (working title)
It would be amiss for a new year to not bring a new Challenge Event to Empires & Puzzles! Our 11th Challenge Event, featuring the Gods of Masquerade, will be coming to your Stronghold in a few months. They carry quite a bit of gravitas thematically, and should neatly balance out the cuteness overload unleashed in our last Challenge Event (Mighty Pets).
You should already be acquainted with some of the upcoming cast, as Jove and Fortuna did make an early appearance in the 2022 Black Friday Summon. Those two thespians may become even more fearsome once they're reunited with the rest of their company — buckle up for some real drama!
...and other things on the horizon:
The following features are yet to be fully fleshed out, but if all goes well on our end, you'll be able to see them in the second half of the year — or even quite a bit sooner than that, if things go really well!
Some seasoned players may be wondering right about now: Hey, wait, where's Season VI?
Great question! This year, instead of shooting off our Heroes into yet another new world, we plan to focus more on revisiting and further exploring the places we've already been to but perhaps left too soon. As you see, we've always had a handful of fun ideas for past seasons and events that ultimately didn't make it into the game for one reason or another, and those ideas just kept piling up. We felt that now would be a better time than ever for Empires & Puzzles to return to some of the worlds we left behind... and start telling those Untold Tales.
Untold Tales entries will essentially work like mini-seasons; they'll come with many (if not most) of the things you'd expect from a regular season, like new stages and properties and Heroes and difficulty levels and whatnot. We don't want to spoil too much at the moment, but our first Untold Tale will take us all the way back to Atlantis. We hope you're as excited as we are to revisit those sunny shores and lush lagoons!
New PvP mode & New Aethers
Our aforementioned focus — revisiting and extending the cool things that Empires & Puzzles already has — isn't limited to the narrative side of the game; we're aiming to push forward the boundaries of PvP competition and Hero training within the year, too.
While the exact details for those features are still being worked on, we're sure they'll add further layers of depth to the game and give players even more room to flaunt their skill and strengthen their roster. We expect the new Aethers to be beta tested quite a bit earlier than the new PvP mode, as the latter involves a lot more moving parts, but we'll keep you posted on new developments in any case. Make sure to keep an eye on the forums!
Other ongoing construction sites
In no particular order: Monster Island is still being actively worked on — we're committed to making some more improvements to the event before we remove the Global Beta tags for good and declare it officially released. We're also working on smaller-sized refresher updates for some of our older events, including (but not limited to) Tower of Magic. Getting the new Season IV Costumes ready is another thing we've been working on!
As for "Dominion of Dragons" (yes, that's still the working title), we're sorry to share that we're still a bit away from getting it all nice and ready for player testing. Please rest assured, though, that it'll be worth the wait — it's just that we don't want to unveil any details regarding this feature until we bring it to a certain state of development. We'll make sure to let you know when that day nears!
...and that's a wrap, folks!
This concludes our Sneak Peek for 2023. As always, please feel free to share your first thoughts on these previews at our Community Forum — we may not have the bandwidth to respond individually to everything, but we’re always reading and listening to all of your feedback.
Thank you as much as ever for your continued interest and support!
Small Giant Games staff