Having been gone for a year now, I wondered what happened to clash. Clash of Clans has been a big thing in my life for the prior 5-6 years and one does not just forget about it just like that. I’ve managed to not check anything about clash for almost the entirety of 2021 with my busy work life, and I didn’t feel like I missed anything at all. Then suddenly, someone pinged me from the CoC subreddit, while the rushing sentiment remained largely the same, much more people are aware of how powerful rushing is now. Then this week, I have been bestowed with extra days off and was wondering whether I should return to Clash. I had 7 days straight and thought that if I played efficiently, I could probably reach TH6-7 and coast from there.
The decision didn’t come easy. If I wanted to replay Clash I was looking at 2-3 years of playing it just to be maxed again, especially if I made daily blog posts again. If I restarted and quit halfway through the journey, I would’ve let down my fans. I probably would’ve quit Clash 2-3 years earlier than I did if I didn’t start TinySin and write daily blogs. Before I created TinySin, I was thinking whether to quit at that point, but the early game was fun and I was sucked into playing for another 18 months. I honestly thank my fans who love each and every daily blog I post. Even though I reluctantly started and hated the game by the end, I still think you guys are awesome to follow a nobody like me.
I restarted the game by creating a new account and splurged around $16 to get all my builders up and going. I was raiding again, it felt liberating. Despite not playing for more than a year, I still had good game knowledge and knew where to find loot. At TH2-4, I was capping my storages in mere minutes, then waiting hours for an upgrade. Despite taking hours, the upgrades felt good and strong. I felt the difference between lvl1 and lvl2 barbs instantly, with its 8 -> 11 (37.5%) dps increase, I was easily wrecking bases that were giving me trouble previously. Besides upgrading barbs, TH3 also unlocked the Clan Castle and I wanted strong troops to maul newbies like I did in the past, so I keyed in my old SuperCell ID and logged into my main account.
My main account, SinOfDusk, remained preserved just as I remembered it. The flourish with the villager being glad to see you again was a nice touch. To keep me playing, my barracks were boosted and they gave me a few free upgrades including 3 hero upgrades while I was away, which I thought was nice as well. I looked through my upgrades, they gave TH13 many more things to play with than when I left. I saw a new spell, a new elixir troop and a new DE troop that I have never played with before. I saw many more Super troops than when I left. I wondered whether I should use some reliable super Barb/Gob for farming, or something else. I settled with Super Goblins. And then I remembered why I logged into this account, I donated some balloons to my new account and pleasantly saw that they have implemented something I have suggested for a long time, donation limitations. I was only able to give lvl4 loons or lvl1 baby drags to my new account, another positive change.
Being a rusher I am, I used one of my spare hammers to upgrade to TH14, fairly confident that I was able to farm. However, I was slightly concerned that TH14 only had a pet thingy, some traps and a stronger giga inferno. I brushed that aside and upgraded. I was greeted with a new TH screen which showed that my heroes, troops and resources have all been boosted, another great change that I suggested years ago that Darian brushed me aside for. I built the pet house, dropped all the traps and new walls and started grinding again. I was using a casual bowler yeti army which easily cut through bases in the 3200 range, I was smashing bases as if I have never quit the game. Loot was decent and coupled with the barracks boost, I easily farmed enough loot to start some upgrades. I upgraded one of my barracks, not sure what to expect from the new troop and started looking at defensive upgrades.
Looking through the possible upgrades broke my heart and reminded me of why I quit to begin with. An inferno tower will take 2.5 weeks to complete but only increase its strength from 93 -> 105 (12%), or maybe I can upgrade my scattershots instead? Oh wait, it was nerfed in the past (probably because it was too strong against TH12*) and I will only get 12% increase in strength. Unfortunately, looking through all the other towers I could upgrade, none were as good as the two above. Upgrade times and cost have only increased since I left and yet the improvements were still tiny. There wasn’t much to look forward to at the TH13/14 landscape, I could spend 6-8 months upgrading everything to max again, yet probably only be about 15% stronger than what I was right now.
*sidenote: if scattershots were too strong against TH13 troops, the proper way to rebalance is to buff TH13 troops, not nerf scattershots.
I swapped back to my new account, now just reaching TH4. I looked at my upgrades, everything was in the range of 20-50% improvement per upgrade. I could visually feel each improvement as I made them, more barbs, stronger barbs, stronger archers. I was upgrading my storages so that I could go to TH5 immediately, where I unlock my 3rd army camp to further increase my power by another 50%. The rush of excitement, of progress still remained, however the endgame did not entice me at all. What’s the point of spending months just to be barely 10% stronger?
Someone asked to join my clan, saying that he was a fan (mad props to you mate). I was surprised, because I created a new clan and someone found out in less than 12 hours of me restarting the game. After a few pleasantries and simple questions, he confirmed what I feared. TH14 is in a bad place, because trying to get 3 stars is very difficult for the average player yet a TH12 or TH13 can easily 2 star a TH14, laughably easy in fact. (I confirmed what he said by watching some youtube videos) Yet when a TH14 wants to smash a TH13, it is not a gimme at all, you have to plan out your attack using a war army with full heroes to even stand a chance.
I was mulling all of this at 11pm with my storage upgrade completing at 2am, should I set my alarm at 2am so that I can start my TH5 upgrade, then I would be a TH5 by 2pm and probably TH6 by the following day. While making these plans, I thought back at my TH14 account, is the juice worth the squeeze? It took me less than a minute to make that decision.
Its sad that this beautiful game is almost unplayable at the endgame. There is minimal avenue for progress and it seems like SC is treating this game similarly to Clash Royale. The main game is the battles, upgrading cards/your base is just a side project. Is it easier if you upgrade? Yes. Is it necessary to upgrade in order to compete? Not necessarily. Looking at the “top” eSports Clash players, I highly doubt they would have the patience to grind the game manually. People who play eSports generally do not have the patience to upgrade their base the slow way. In fact, this is why eSports games generally have no progression at all, you match make and play a game, then reset at the end, eg. CSGO, DotA2, Fortnite.
This begs the question, what is CoC’s target audience? The handful of eSports players are probably the whales, not the majority. I would posit that most players are probably casual and young, which entirely explains the reason of such bad balancing. Most players will not play to reach the endgame, most players would hate being absolutely decimated by a higher level (forgetting that the higher leveled player dedicated time and money), most players would love to have a chance as an underdog to smash a higher level player. The game does not cater to me, someone who plays to see progression, to see improvement and probably someone with a superiority complex.
I’ll leave some constructive feedback at the end, however I doubt SC will take any of these suggestions as I have asked for these since TH11.
- Firstly, all upgrades should be at least a 30% improvement. This is the bare minimum you can feel an upgrade, in fact it should be far more. Imagine rearranging your base constantly as you upgrade defenses, after each air defense upgrade, you shift your base around to protect the stronger air defense because they are so much more powerful. Imagine upgrading your miners or balloons and instantly having the ability to crush a lower leveled player without much difficulty. Otherwise why would the 20% loot penalty exist to begin with?
- Heroes should be a 3-5% improvement per level instead of the current 1%. I quit the game when each hero upgrade took 8 days and only gave a 2% improvement. Right now they take 9-10 days and only a measly 1%.
- Freeze and invisibility spells are far too strong, not for the higher leveled player but for the lower level player looking to hit up. There should be a dynamic balance that lower level spells are far weaker against higher leveled towers. Right now, a TH9 can freeze a TH14 half as long as a full TH14. This should apply towards jump and EQ spells as well. This encourages you to upgrade your spells as well.
- This is going to be a hot take, but you should achieve 70% destruction before getting a single star. This prevents lowbies from just sniping a bunch of peripheral buildings and just destroying a TH using blimps or other strategies. For balancing farming vs other modes, this should probably only apply for Titans and above, and all forms of war.
- Rage spell should be fixed. This would provide an easy way to strengthen higher levels. Your rage spell should be 20% stronger per level and you gain 1 level per TH from TH12 onwards. This would mean with maxed rage spells, your TH14 troops are 44% (1.2*1.2) stronger than TH12 troops. This, along with the 30% improvement per level outlined earlier would provide enough power to shift the strength balance.
I know full well the above is just my wishlist. I’ve been suggesting the exact same thing since the release of TH11 in 2015, what would make SC change now? Maybe I have just grown old and the game is not suited for me anymore. I’ve been playing idle games these days due to my work hours and they have honestly mastered progression to a tee (because that’s all the game does, seeing numbers going up). At least I know full well that I won’t restart the game ever again unless I know the changes above have been made, but even then would I spend 2-3 years of my life now, given my 60-80 hour work weeks, home life, studying and adulting, just to play a game? Probably not.