Angry Birds Epic [1] – Completed?

Over the past several weeks, I haven’t played a thing, except for an occasional fight in Angry Birds Epic. I haven’t been especially busy, albeit far busier than usual, but I did have other interests at the front and center, such as reading through A Clash of Kings. That being said, I managed to play through the main story of Angry Birds Epic and I think I can consider the game completed now, though I’m not really 100% sure.

How big is Angry Birds Epic?

I have no idea. What I do know is that it’s big and it didn’t necessarily have to be as big as it is.

Being a F2P game, a significant part of it is simply padding. In my previous analysis, I described the game as not too bad as far as F2P games go. I still hold the same opinion, but it has shifted for the worse ever so slightly.

Angry Birds Epic - Endgame Nest

Pictured: The nest when the game is won. The numbers count statistics such as unlocked class upgrades, day stamps, etc.

Crafting items gets just a bit on the frustrating side. Getting through fights is just ever so slightly too slow. The game is just about difficult enough to force you into grinding a little bit, or tempt you to buy your way through it. It’s a F2P game balanced around convincing the player to pay up, there’s no doubt about it in my head.

It’s just that it isn’t as bad as most F2P games, and some of it’s bits and bytes can be refreshingly and surprisingly interesting or fun.

So let me try and figure out how big it is.

Characters

There are five different birds in total, each with five different hats, or classes, to use a more descriptive term. That’s a total of 25 characters to unlock.

Each class can be upgraded three times. Each upgrade gives 20% extra attack and defense. That’s a total of 75 significant upgrades to collect.

Angry Birds Epic - Mighty Eagle's Dojo

Pictured: This is where you buy class upgrades. I have yet to see one appear that I already bought, so the timer doesn’t matter too much.

Levels

There are 173 levels in total, according to my count. A few are optional and a few unlock after the main story is completed. Seven of these are actually dungeons, each available one day of the week.

Once the main game is done, you unlock a cave beneath the central mountain, where a bunch of extra levels await to be conquered. These are long (several waves each) and difficult and are really meant as just something to do to keep grinding and hopefully paying. Each holds a special crafting recipe you can get if you’re lucky enough. I haven’t gotten past the first section there, but from what I read online, there’s 50 of these.

Angry Birds Epic - Chronicle Cave

Pictured: The Chronicle Cave is what you unlock when the final boss is defeated. I count 5 rooms like the one in the picture.

Other stuff you get to find

Other than the characters and the levels, you also get to craft potions and equipment and for that, you need to find or buy recipes.

You find some equipment recipes, but buy most of them in shops scattered across the map. As for the potion recipes, you unlock the ability to buy them as you level up and they’re available at Professor Pig’s Lab.

With crafting come crafting stations. With the basic anvil, for instance, with each crafting, you roll a dice which can land on 0, 1, 2 or 3 stars. The maximum amount of stars means you create an item with a maximum amount of stats. Upgrading the anvil increases the minimum amount of stars you are able to get by 1, so it can be important. However, I never bought a single crafting station upgrade in the entire game, and I was fine.

How big is the FP2 in Angry Birds Epic?

I guess this is the flip-side of the coin. It’s pretty big.

Characters

Past the initial one or two classes, you have to pay to unlock additional ones. I must admit, I haven’t been taking notes here, but my conservative estimate is that you need a bit over 3000 snoutlings and around 500 lucky coins to unlock all the classes, and you probably wont buy the final few until after you beat the game. You definitely won’t buy the final two classes before that happens, because it’s impossible.

You, of course, also have to pay for upgrades. The first upgrade level for each class costs 500 snoutlings, the second 2000 and the third costs 300 lucky coins. Since there are 25 classes in total, that means it would take 62500 snoutlings and 7500 lucky coins to upgrade them all.

Other costs

There are several other things you get to pay for.

The first are crafting recipes.

These are on the cheap side and you’ll probably get by with about 500 snoutlings in total. I have yet to get to the final few crafting stores, but I don’t see them getting much more expensive. Keep in mind, I’m talking about equipment crafting recipes. Potion/food recipe purchases unlock as you level up and they cost way, way more. That being said, by the time I got to the end of the main map, I don’t think I’ve spent more than 2000 snoutlings on new crafting recipes. I just didn’t need them.

For the Chronicle Cave, though, it seems like I definitely will need potions on a regular basis, so buying stronger recipes now makes sense.

Just to illustrate recipe costs, this is what’s available at Professor Pig’s Lab at this time, after I’ve beaten the game and I’m at rank 16:

  • Fruit Cake Rank 1, costs 1250 snoutlings, heals all birds for 200.
  • Ultra Hot Veggie Cake, costs 1000 snoutlings, fills the rage bar by 50%
  • Snow Apple Juice Rank 2, costs 400 snoutlings and heals for 240.

My usual party of birds, the Paladin, the Tricksters and the Druid have, in order, 979, 558 and 511 health, meaning I’m way behind on the recipes already, so I’m probably lagging behind by several thousand snoutlings.

Economic conclusion

So what are we looking at?

Let’s make a table:

Category Snoutlings Lucky coins
Characters 3000 500
Classes 62500 7500
Equipment 500 0
Potions 5000 ?
Total 71000+ 8000+

 

These are very conservative estimates. I wouldn’t at all be surprised at all if the real numbers are closer to 100.000 snoutlings and over 10.000 lucky coins. I’m not even counting crafting station upgrades, which are 125 lucky coins each for the first level alone.

Playing casually by, for instance, going through a dungeon a day and maybe 2 or 3 extra battles with that dungeon, you’ll end up earning about 300 snoutlings, maybe 400 per day. You also get to fight the golden pig, which nets you 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 coins each consecutive day, resetting after the seventh day. That’s 28 coins, or 35 if you link your game to Facebook and get an extra coin a day, in a week. Let’s say you level up once a week, getting one more coin. That’s, at best, 38 lucky coins per week.

Angry Birds Epic - Gambling

Pictured: The progress I made towards a guaranteed special item over the course of the game. I’ve used free gambling opportunities and a couple of paid ones (with free lucky coins).

That would mean you’d have to keep playing for 177 day straight to get the snoutlings you need (at a very generous estimate of costs and earning rate), or 1473 days to get the lucky coins you need.

Doing the math kind of made me want to stop playing the game immediately, but I think I’ll at least push to the last key to unlock the final few levels on the overworld map.

UPDATE

Just for the heck of it, I did the math on the actual costs, should a player decide to go with the paying route.

Again, we need 71000 snoutlings and 8000 coins at the very least.

Going with the best deals available, it would cost $179,92 to buy 6000 lucky coins, or $269,97 to buy 9000.

Snoutlings cant be bought for real money directly. Instead, you have to buy lucky coins first and trade them in for snoutlings, with the best ratio being 17,5 to 1. With that ratio, for 71.000 snoutlings, you’d need another 3000 lucky coins on top of the 1000 leftover from the previous calculation.

That means another $89.99, bringing the grand total to $359,96.

Again, I’m seriously underestimating the true amount here. The real number is very likely above $500. Just let that sink in for a moment – a FREE to play game would cost the player a minimum of $360 to access all of the content.

Final conclusion

Angry Birds Epic is a F2P game throughout and accessing all the content without paying is simply unrealistic.

That being said, the part that you do get to access is fun, interesting and at times engagingly challenging, so I’m not regretting the time investment that beating the game’s main story was and I might even keep playing it, at least for a little while.

That to being said, I wish there was a game like this that isn’t balanced around F2P, because the core concept itself was very fun and interesting. F2P didn’t make the game better. As usual, it made it worse.

In short, thanks to the F2P mechanics, you can get through about 80% of the main story with minimal grinding and a moderate amount of fun. Past that, you will grind for a bit, but it will feel more like the fun kind of RPG maintenance than actual tedium. Once you get to the final boss, it will probably have gotten to the point of being annoying and past that, if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up just playing for a while for the sake of at least getting all the core stuff (such as classes).

Unless there’s something seriously wrong with you, you probably wont get to see the entire game without paying up. I hope none of my readers are mad enough to play the game for 5 years in order to grind enough currency.

Added bonus

I will be adding some tips in a guide of sorts. Angry Birds Epic is relatively easy to figure out, but considering some of the important stuff you can do is limited in one way or another, doing it right for the first time is a big deal. Because of that, I’ll be listing optimal party compositions in general and on each of the more difficult levels.

I’ll also be listing optimal grinding strategies that I’ve stumbled onto, both for coins and crafting ingredients.

I’ll make the guide into a page and add the link here when I have it.

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  • I think this sort of analysis should be mandatory for all free-to-play games – the idea that you need to play the game every day for over four years in order to complete it is just awful.

    • I have to say, had I done the math beforehand, I’m not sure I would’ve been playing it. I had fun, but the sense of fun is diminished when you understand that there’s no way you’ll be able to experience the entire game properly. This gives me an idea, though. I’ll add a paragraph about how much it would actually COST to experience the game by buying currency when i get the chance.

    • Marko Kraljevic

      It’s not one of those games, everything can be achieved – almost as fast as you want it, without making any purchases… Then, you can have fun getting what you want (later). Also, it doesn’t take much thinking – or planning – although it can (again, if you want to). I’ve completed everything, almost everything on three stars… Playing the Arena now & waiting for weekly gold, to get all of the classes (& achievements) & spinning the Advanced Machine, to complete some of the sets… Enjoyed it, immensely. 🙂

  • Mem Memmy

    Just wanted to say this is a nicely thought-out analysis. When I read your first paragraph I laughed at that word, but an analysis it is, and I agree it feels like a must-have. F2P games should be required to have this info on the package, like a nutritional facts label on food.

    I’m just about to complete the final level before the Chronicle Cave and I agree that it’s been a fun little game (perhaps not that little). I’m glad I decided to play and I think it’s a nice change from Rovio, but it’s hard to get past that potential price tag, even though I managed to play through the core stuff for free. I’d almost like to buy something in-game just to support Rovio for its creativity, but I’d much rather have just paid for the game.

    I hope there will come a day when F2P is turned on its head by a wave of game makers brave enough to charge $5-10 for their games, but it’s hard to see that happening.

    Thanks again for the well thought-out review.

    -Mike

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I share those hopes to, but I also think it may actually happen. They keep pushing it to the extreme and stuff like that usually eventually breaks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it also happens with the F2P model. There will always be F2P games, but I don’t think it will always be like it is right now.

  • MrBBi

    I don’t entirely disagree with what’s been said here, but I have to add in that there is absolutely no reason to upgrade half the classes, or even access all of them. I suppose the later levels of chronicle cave could be difficult enough to need advanced classes, but in my experience 90% of the game can be beaten by Samurai/Druid/Tricksters. You may occasionally need to add in the Guardian or Rogues, and the bomb bird can replace the red bird in many situations, but that still leaves you needing to upgrade roughly seven classes, 8 if you insist on having one class per bird (for your friends).

    I understand that some people are completionists, and they may end up having issues with the apparent cost of “completing” this free game, but I haven’t spent a penny on it, and it’s still fairly enjoyable even now, although it’s more of an occasional time waster than anything else. The trick is only upgrading important items and classes.

    Also, who knows what may or may not come out in later updates. Costs may be reduced drastically, giving people a reason to upgrade various base items and (apparently) useless classes.

    • I agree that it was fun while it lasted, but for me, knowing that a big part of the game was not intended to be accessed through regular means takes a lot of the fun away. Still, I played until the last boss of the regular “story”, so it’s way above the average F2P mobile game.

  • Scaithghil O’Fioinn

    The number crunching is very helpful. Much appreciated.

    I do tend to disagree in that I find it one of the better games out there for not requiring in-app purchases to progress. The come-ons are there and they’re transparent, a bit of grinding is the accepted trade-off, but the game has great playability to me regardless. Admittedly, I haven’t finished it yet, but so far…

    Regardless, thanks for the article. If you keep playing around I look forward to any strategies you’re willing to share.

  • Jarvan Paprika

    So I finally beat the last boss and I have to say I am fairly satisfied. Sure, there’s a lot of content I’m never going to obtain and a lot of money to spend if I wanted them but I beat the core game without sending dime. That for me is enough to say that it did a good job being f2p. Though if I do agree with you that f2p made it worse. I’d much rather pay $1 or even $10 for a full game. I think it’s worth it. But $300+ is just insane. Good analysis anyhow that was just my thought

  • Marko Kraljevic

    This game is almost 99% perfect, it’s awesome… Hadn’t paid a dime & played it as much as I wanted to, when I wanted. Still having fun with it, wrapping up the completion – as close to 100% on everything, as it’ll go. =)