I have taken up Clicker Heroes. It seems that every so often one of my friends will blog about a new idle game they are playing (Cookie Clicker was my last) and now I am addicted again. Clicker Heroes is a lot better than Cookie Clicker though because it actually has a lot of options in terms of how you play the game. At the outset it is a simple 'buy stuff that gets you more stuff' setup but eventually you get to the point where you have to allocate resources to various Ancients that are extremely different from one another.
Both Sthenno and Ziggyny have been writing about crunching numbers on some of the Ancients but the best simple guide that I have found is this, which ranks them all from best to worst and gets it pretty well right I think. The thing that has me interested is how there are a few different things you can do in the game and your choice of styles really changes your Ancient selection.
In the early going there is a big incentive to use the 'idle' strategy where you do short runs where you don't click at all and refuse to use skills. The Ancients that boost that strategy (Libertas, Siyalatas) are cheap and you can get to a point where you do 30 minute runs for ~12 Souls pretty quickly. You can simply stay on this path and keep on farming forever doing short runs that cover more and more ground as you improve your buffs but that isn't the only option.
There are good reasons to do a long run too. To make it remotely efficient you need to cap out Vaagur and reduce your cooldowns by 75%. This lets you increase your overall damage by 10% every 30 mins multiplicatively and that will overcome any obstacle given some time. In this strategy you play a single run that lasts days or weeks and push really high levels to gather gilds and achievements. The thing is that a long run like this is much worse for Soul farming than short runs and the achievements and gilds only come once for a given level so covering the same ground multiple times is terrible.
The optimal strategy I think is to alternate long and short runs. Do short runs for a while to rack up a bunch of Souls, buy long term investments like Solomon and Atman with those Souls, then do a huge long run. I went to 140 with my first run, then 199, then 300. After a day of piling on short runs I set myself up for a long run that will probably ten days or so and I plan on going for level 800. I figure 65 levels a day ought to be reasonable though I can push it higher if I am at my computer every 15 minutes throughout the day!
Thing is, there are a ton of Ancients with all kinds of abilities. Want gold? Get Mammon. Want gold but are willing to invest in to two Ancients? Screw Mammon, get Dora and Mimzee. Using an autoclicker to generate enormous numbers of clicks? Fragsworth and Bhaal are nuts. The fact that your Ancient build is hugely dependent on your playstyle and the time you can put in is great. Also there is some luck involved in which Ancients you roll - you can mitigate that by pouring in resources but that does have a cost you might not want to pay.
I also really like that as you play the game the gilds you get are random so people actually will end up with different numbers from one another. You can eventually fix that by pouring in resources but the optimal solution for one person is not going to work for everyone and that makes it more interesting to me. There is a good reason to figure out your own best strategy and you can't just use whatever the internet says - not exactly, anyway.
Clicker Heroes gets my stamp of approval.