Tobold's Blog
Saturday, March 12, 2016
 
Clash Royale sucks

Unlike many other people on the internet, the fact that game companies want my money doesn't make me angry. I know there are a lot of Free2Play games out there which I can play reasonably well either for free, or for a limited amount of money which roughly corresponds to what I would have bought the game for. I know other games require tons of money, and unless I want to experiment with that concept, I just stay away from them. But what still makes me angry is when these games have bad game design. Thus I'm writing about Clash Royale, the latest SuperCell game with a huge advertising budget.

First things first: Battles in Clash Royale are fun. It's PvP without the toxicity, that is chat only has predefined phrases and emoticons. Basically Clash Royale is a 2-player version of DOTA / MOBA games, with two lanes. Every player slowly accumulates elixir, and can spend that elixir to play cards with units, which then automatically trundle down those lanes and attack the enemy and his towers. The player who destroys more towers during the 3-minute battles wins. There are enough different units with enough different properties so that choosing which unit to play when and where really makes a difference. And then the design breaks down between games.

Many people hate the typical energy system of a Free2Play game with a passion: You know, the system where after playing several games you need to either wait for hours for your energy to recover, or to pay to play on. Clash Royale manages to make that system worse: Every win gains you a chest, and chests take at least 3 hours to open, better chests even 8 or 24 hours. And you can only have 4 chests in your inventory. So while you *can* play on after 4 wins, you can't get any chest rewards for winning any more. You still can win and earn trophies. And if you do that, the full horror of bad game design becomes apparent: Clash Royale punishes you mightily for winning games!

Every win earns you trophies. I don't know how the system works at higher levels, but at the start a win gives you like 30 trophies, while a loss only costs you 10, so you don't need to be winning very often to accumulate trophies. And for about every 400 trophies you earn, you get "promoted" to the next higher arena. Each higher arena adds 6 news cards to the card pool. Chests from higher level arenas contain more cards, but most of all a wider variety of cards. The problem is that you can only take 8 cards into battle. And cards level up by accumulation: If you found one knight card he is level 1, find another and he becomes level 2, find 4 more and he becomes level 3, find 10 more and he becomes level 4, etc. So getting more different cards means you will have lots of low level troops. A wider card pool is not an advantage, but rather an obstacle to leveling your troops up.

I just started a battle in Clash Royale, but I'm not even watching the screen, I'm writing this paragraph instead. My goal is to lose trophies repeatedly and get back to arena 1. Then when I have space for more chests I can a) easily win because the other players in arena 1 have lower level troops than I have, and b) get chests with a random selection from a smaller pool of cards, thus more likely to improve my troops. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out that throwing games like this is an optimal strategy for Clash Royale. Arena 1 is easier to win and gives better rewards than higher arenas. I've already met other high level players in arena 1 not playing a single troop, and I guess that will become more and more common. Why go for trophies, if the game punishes you for having them? Now that is bad game design!

If that doesn't convince you yet that Clash Royale sucks, I might mention that of course you can open chests for money, and you can even buy chests for money without having to win games. $15 gets you a "Super Magical Chest" with 180 cards, of which 6 are guaranteed to be epic, and 36 guaranteed to be rare. That's a lot compared to the typical silver chest you win in a battle, which takes 3 hours to open and just has 3 cards with no guaranteed rarity. Buy a "Mountain of Gems" for $99.99 (and no, I didn't), and you'll get 1,500 cards, so you'll easily smash those free players who would need 1,500 hours to get that many cards and then still end up with less good ones. And there is a "TV Royale" showing the matches of the top ranked players already showing them playing with level 12 cards, which cumulatively required over 8,000 cards to level up. They must already have spent thousands of dollars to get there. Purest Pay2Win! I am sure that this is another game that will earn SuperCell millions.

Comments:
What's even funnier about it is that it's so bleeding obvious that dropping trophies is the best way to level up your cards by keeping the pool small that the game goes so far as to put in its "helpful tips" at the top of the screen that "dropping trophies is not a good thing becuz it makes you get worse chests with fewer cards."

But if you're in a clan you can get 10 cards *that you pick* every 8 hours, plus the chests still give plenty of cards out, so..... yeah.
 
It's nice to offer in-depth "analysis" of a game that you played for what... 30 minutes? I must admit that my first impression was similar to yours. However, if you play more, you will see that some of the things you wrote about simply aren't true. For example, staying low on trophies is not a good idea, because higher level chests also give you cards from lower arenas, and they give you *more* cards. So you progress faster if you have higher rating. I would encourage you to give the game another go, and see how it works out when you get more into it. It's not hard, the game is very addictive.
 
Yes I know that they give more cards, e.g. arena 2 gives 4 cards instead of 3 in a silver chest. But A) the additional 6 cards that arena 2 has still ends you up with less cards of the same type (especially for the rares and epics), and B) the people playing in arena 2 are harder to beat than those playing in arena 1.

P.S. I must be the world's best player, because according to you I only played 30 minutes, and I already reached level 6.
 
You forget the better crown chests and better free chests when you're higher rating. Also, the fact that opponents are easier to beat doesn't mean much - you only need to get one win every few hours... Anyways, sorry for coming hard on you, but it did seem like you didn't play the game much (e.g. "I don't know how the system works at higher levels"). I'm personally lvl 5, with 1300-1400 rating, and I've only played it for a couple of days, but my opinion about the game changed a lot during those days.
 
@Tobold

I'm having trouble determining if your use of P2W is being applied as a negative when talking about certain F2P titles, or as a negative as it pertains to the ability of being able to actually pay to win? If Clash Royale is actually "free to play", how can it be P2W when the matchmaking pits you against someone in the same trophy range?
 
I don't believe your trophies are in any way an indicator of your strength. At best it is a lagging indicator, so "paying to win" allows you to win a higher percentage of games and advance further. The only limit to that is eventually getting paired against people with equally sized wallets, which is pretty much inherent in all Pay2Win schemes.
 
It's genius! With so many players throwing games, the noobs will think they're strategic super wizards and confidently pay to open chests just so they can stomp those horrible players!
 
Well, at least you won't experience any horrible toxicity from entitled opponents who expect their opponents to actually play.

 
Bro, I understand you hate this game and so do I.But your argument for the poor game design "stay in low arena to level up cards better" is totally invalid and not true. Think again man.
 
Bro, I understand you hate this game and so do I.But your argument for the poor game design "stay in low arena to level up cards better" is totally invalid and not true. Think again man.
 
FYI: Cloned within a week - A Venturebeat article has "This was inevitable, but the speed at which it happened is surprising. A Chinese company has already come up with a clone of Supercell’s No. 1-ranked mobile game, Clash Royale, according to a Chinese web site."


 
For me the "farming lower arenas" strategy was obvious the second I hit arena 2, and I immediately went back to 1. Maybe the strategy is debatable, but all I am saying is that it is rather obvious. I now searched Google, and the internet is full of advice of doing exactly that. Maybe it is all bad advice, but a lot of people seem to believe in that.

Even in the absence of that strategy Clash Royale still sucks because of the 3+ hour chests and the Pay2Win model.
 
" the system where after playing several games you need to either wait for hours for your energy to recover, or to pay to play on."

This reminds me of one of the original WoW developers talking about the game in Beta. Apparently, the original XP system was that after playing too much in a day, you only got 50% XP. This, of course, drew tons of outrage and hatred from players.

Their solution was the system you see now: Rest Time. Using exactly the same numbers, they just called the reduced XP "normal" and the "Rest Time" XP as a bonus. Nothing actually changed, but now everyone loved it.
 
What is the goal you are attempting to accomplish by dumping trophies exactly? Genuinely curious.

Higher level troops faster? True, but only from the select pool available at arena 1. And if you dont want to win/get trophies, then why does your cardlevel matter at all?

Is the idea to faster get to a point where your cards are high enough level that you THEN want to grind trophies? This could make sense i guess, but your potential builds will be very few, with only arena 1 cards available. Im sure there is a good build possible with those only, but is that want you want to do? Level an arena 1 deck to high level and then start grinding trophies to reach the top?

Will you even have the gold? You have fewer cards to donate to your guild for gold, and your chests contain vastly less gold (and fewer cards) than they would have. This means your level likely goes up slower as well (less gold = less upgrades), leaving you to maybe have a disadvantage there even when your cards are higher level.

You will definately have to play fewer real matches for your chests if you are at arena 1 and can win when you please, but none of those will be truly challenging, and thus less fun. And by your own statement the games themselves are actually fun, so why would you want to play 4 games and win them all easily for your chests, and then play X afk games and lose those to drop the trophies, rather than just play at the appropriate arenalevel, and have 8-ish fun matches.

You get more cards (admittedly less selective), more gold, more fun, and even get to spend more time with the game before the "pay wall" (chests full) sets in... Apart from the size of the cardpool, this seems like pure upside. Unless you really don't want to play the games in the first place, in which case... Well the game probably wasnt going to win you over anyways.

You also deprive yourself of the "learning"/experience you would gain from playing against/with more diverse decks. Which in all likelyhood means you will have a harder time when trying to reach the top later....again if that is even your goal

Tldr: what goal do you want to accomplish by dropping trophies?
 
none of those will be truly challenging, and thus less fun

How is fighting in a higher arena fun if your opponent bought himself tons of cards and your vast selection of low-level troops can't possibly beat him? How can you even *talk* of challenge in such a blatant Pay2Win game? There is an old saying about internet business models, that if you aren't paying, you are the content. Free players in Clash Royale that don't deliberately lower their trophies are the content to be slaughtered by the wallet warriors.
 
@Tobold

I decided to give CR a try using the PC app Bluestacks. I must say that the chest timers are a deliberate attempt to part a gamer with the contents of his/her wallet. Supercell openly states that the chest timers are there to keep the game manageable for a "majority" of its players. However, even if someone has an abundance of time and is able to log in multiple times per day, they are still presented with a pay wall in order to be able to progress. So what ends up happening is that players with an abundance of time -and- money progress even faster, lending the truly free players to be nothing more than fodder.

I would really like for you to revisit your position on F2P games based on this game. I've seen reports that the development costs for a game such as CR is -very- low when compared to other games. Yet these games make tons of money because of obvious psychological tactics. How can this be good for the gaming industry? After playing this game for just a couple of hours I am really saddened to know that gamers are so utterly blind and stupid to play/support such a game/business model.
 
I would really like for you to revisit your position on F2P games based on this game.

I would really like for you to revisit your position on F2P games based on the excellent Gems of War. But the simple fact is that F2P is morally completely neutral, and then there are good games with fair payment models and evil games with exploitative payment models. The intelligent thing is to find out which is which, instead of claiming that they are all the same.
 
@tobold:

"How is fighting in a higher arena fun if your opponent bought himself tons of cards and your vast selection of low-level troops can't possibly beat him?"

That rarely happens; basing your argument upon this rare case is fallacious.


"How can you even *talk* of challenge in such a blatant Pay2Win game?"

Very easily. Pay2Win is such a vague concept at this point that sentences which include it aren't very useful as questions, but only as insults.


"There is an old saying about internet business models, that if you aren't paying, you are the content. Free players in Clash Royale that don't deliberately lower their trophies are the content to be slaughtered by the wallet warriors"

That isn't an old saying about internet business models, that's a saying about a certain subset of internet games. Since clash royale uses some kind of Elo system to insulate the higher levels from the lower levels, that saying isn't very applicable to clash royale. The so-called strategy of intentionally dropping your Elo by losing games does let you farm some games at low levels, but it then requires you to intentionally lose just as many games, if not more. Which leaves us where we began, the question which you not so deftly evaded: what is the point; what goal do you want to accomplish by dropping trophies?
 
Pay2Win is such a vague concept at this point

There is absolutely nothing "vague" about Clash Royale enabling you to pay money to get tons of cards, including guaranteed epics. I detailed the math in the post above. A hundred bucks buys you an amount of cards that a free player needs months to achieve (and the hard launch of the game was only half a month ago). You can see top ranked players with level 12 troops (highest possible level), but they couldn't possibly have gotten there by playing. You directly buy power in Clash Royale, there is no vagueness about that concept whatsoever.

Elo system

An ELO system is based on the skills of players playing with the same pieces in the game. That can hardly be compared with a system where a paying player going for the same cards as a free player ends up having higher level pieces in the game. Oh, look, all my units are 4 levels higher than yours, and thus 40% stronger. Oh, I win, I must be a brilliantly skilled player!
 
"You directly buy power in Clash Royale, there is no vagueness about that concept whatsoever."

Yes, however my statement was not "pay4power, in Clash Royale, is vague." If it had been, your response would make sense.

"An ELO system is based on the skills of players playing with the same pieces in the game."

This is simply not true. ELO is used to analyze and compare in all kinds of competitive games. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system It was originally conceived for chess, but is now used very commonly.



 
Something I just noticed, from the wikipedia article on Elo rating, mentioned above:

"Rating floors in the USA work by guaranteeing that a player will never drop below a certain limit. This also combats deflation, but the chairman of the USCF Ratings Committee has been critical of this method because it does not feed the extra points to the improving players. A possible motive for these rating floors is to combat sandbagging, i.e. deliberate lowering of ratings to be eligible for lower rating class sections and prizes"

Apparently Tobold's strategy is considered an exploit of the Elo system in chess in the USA, and combatted by rating floors, quite interesting.
 
Another interesting point about Elo ratings and CR: Deflation in Elo ratings in chess is caused by the fact that younger players enter into the system with a low rating, and retire when they older with generally higher ratings. In a strictly point-equal transactional Elo system, this causes slow ratings deflation over time.

In the Clash Royale implementation, the same danger is present, not from retirement when older, but from players quitting the game with higher ratings when they grow tired of it. Supercell has implemented a points injection scheme to combat this, for games at lower rating, you gain more "trophies" for a win than you lose for a loss. If new players started out with 1000 trophies, then a huge percentage of players would end up stuck below 1000 trophies for quite a long time, due to ratings deflation, so Supercell clearly thought out their Elo-like system fairly thoroughly, avoiding this morale-lowering results.
 
So you write 4 comments about ELO systems and look it up on Wikipedia and *still* don't notice that the ELO system is a zero sum system while the Clash Royale system is a positive sum system? These systems aren't even remotely comparable and serve very different purposes. The Clash Royale system is positive sum to create the illusion that everyone is a winner, so as to make them continue playing.
 
I wrote 4 comments partly so you would understand that ELO, as it is actually used in practice, in the realm of chess that was all you thought ELO was used for, isn't currently used in its original zero-sum form, because that would result in ratings deflation. But it wasn't enough. Will 5 be?
 
Having a "rating floor" is not the same as giving the winner three times as many points as the loser loses. Even in the modified ELO system a player who isn't learning anything new any more will keep the same ELO rating, with minor fluctuations around the true value. The fundamental principle of ANY ELO system is that the winner wins exactly as many points as the loser loses. In a system which gives more points to the winner, a person who is playing a lot of evenly matched games will constantly get a higher score. At a 3:1 point ratio he only stabilizes his score when he is losing 3 games out of 4, which is not what I would call "evenly matched".

An ELO system is designed to reflect a player's skill. In Clash Royale already skill plays a much lesser role, because two equally skilled players with the same troops will still differ in the level of their troops, which is largely dependent on how much money they spent. But even if they had the same level of troops, if one of the two absolutely equal players then plays more games, he will have a higher score. The Clash Royale trophies are not measuring anything at all, certainly not skill, and not even power.
 
"Having a "rating floor" is not the same as giving the winner three times as many points as the loser loses. "

That's right, rating floors at the highest ranks are a permanent state of affairs that causes long term ELO inflation at the higher ranks, while giving newbies bonus ELO points mainly affects the lower, less important ranks and is not permanent for any given player. Ratings floor are a much more important deviation from the pure ELO system.

"The fundamental principle of ANY ELO system is that the winner wins exactly as many points as the loser loses"

yes, and a rating floor breaks this and causes long term inflation. here's a quote from http://www.glicko.net/ratings/cl-article.pdf, an interview with one of the world's leading experts on chess ratings.

" From about the mid 1990s to 2001, the average rating for the 35- to 45-year-olds dropped between
20 to 25 points per year. Since 2001, the average ratings have been increasing 10
to 15 points per year"

He goes on to describe the multiple deviations from the pure ELO system which cause these sustained ratings deflations and inflations, ratings floors being one of the most important. FIDE has seen a similar issue, the past 20 years have seen top 20 level play go from 2600+ to 2800+, due to ratings inflation caused by ratings floors.

"But even if they had the same level of troops, if one of the two absolutely equal players then plays more games, he will have a higher score. "

This is incorrect, as the bonus trophies are only at a a very low level.
 
missing datum: the quote is describing the US chess ranking system specifically, although as I noted FIDE has experienced generally similar issues.

example for clarity: I have 2350 chess rating. You are at your floor of 2200. We play. As expected, I win. I'm supposed to go up 5 points or something, and you go down 5 points. Because you are at your rating floor, I go up 5 points and you stay at 2200. Therefore, 5 points have been created, at a very high rank (which is a much worse problem than giving out bonus points at a low rank, which is generally a positive thing in that new players are usually improving quickly anyway, and then don't stay new for long). This is clearly not the original, zero-sum, ELO.

Here another quote from the glicko interview: "Because so many people were on their rating floor, the EB at that time[1995] agreed to create a 200-point floor. "

Just to illustrate that these ratings floors have a unexpectedly large impact, as eventually more and more people become stuck on one after a temporary run of luck.
 
And what does any of that have to do with Clash Royale? Long arguments that the ELO system in chess isn't perfect doesn't make the rating and matchmaking system in Clash Royale any better. To summarize:

1) Clash Royale does not pair you against an opponent of equal power
2) You can buy pure power for cash in Clash Royale
3) The rewards for winning in Clash Royale come in chests that take hours to open

Thus my conclusion that Clash Royale sucks. Maybe tournament chess sucks too, but that really is none of my concern.
 
So is the argument really "I shouldn't have to play these guys - so I'm playing without trying to play at all"?

I'd get if you just stopped playing. But losing play deliberately, repeatedly in pursuit of some sort of 'balanced' play or something?

That's not gaming, that's just trying to shape your experience - in an utterly pointless way, since the game is about winning and you gave up on that! No, giving up on winning then deciding to win when you want to still comes to giving up on winning.

If the game is a bad drug, just stop using the drug rather than trying to recook it.
 
"And what does any of that have to do with Clash Royale? Long arguments that the ELO system in chess isn't perfect doesn't make the rating and matchmaking system in Clash Royale any better. "

Dunno, you brought up chess.

"1) Clash Royale does not pair you against an opponent of equal power"
A. It pairs you against someone of equal strength, where strength is defined by (card power * player skill), measured by an Elo system.
B. It does this unless your opponent tanked their rating intentionally. I.e., insofar as you believe unequal matches are a problem, your strategy exacerbates the problem.


"2) You can buy pure power for cash in Clash Royale"

True, but all this does is skip you ahead to a higher level of competition. It's like paying to skip ahead to the end of a movie. There's no point, from my perspective--and if there is from someone else's perspective, then good for them, pay away.


"3) The rewards for winning in Clash Royale come in chests that take hours to open"

Clash royale is based on Clash of Clans, which I also play. It takes hours to train attacks in CoC, and over a week to upgrade any structure. Clash of Clans was a huge dominating market force. Why is anyone surprised that Supercell based the timers for CRoyale to roughly equal out to what existed in CoC???? At least in CR you have the option to play what are basically practice matches, which still even affect your Elo. It's fine for you to personally dislike the system, but you can't argue with the market results.
 
It pairs you against someone of equal strength, where strength is defined by (card power * player skill), measured by an Elo system.

No, it doesn't. I now tried higher arenas, and the matchmaking doesn't get any better. The best "balance" I could achieve was having a score when one out of three games was balanced, one was auto-win, one was auto-loss. I don't know what you're being paid to spout that marketing hype, but the matchmaking system just isn't working.

At least in CR you have the option to play what are basically practice matches, which still even affect your Elo.

Another euphemism. Clash Royale is giving you *locked* treasure chests, which you can open for real money, unless you want to wait many hours. They don't do that "so that you can practice". They do that so that people get impatient and pull out their wallet. What do you think the reaction would be if Blizzard introduced "practice raids" with no loot in World of Warcraft? With the option to go on a real raid if you paid up?

True, but all this does is skip you ahead to a higher level of competition.

Wrong, it doesn't "skip you ahead". *Eventually* you'll get to that higher level of competition, but they made sure you do get that "I paid money and now I'm invincible" feeling for quite some time. Unless you play practice games for no reward.
 
repating prior question: what is the goal you seek to achieve by dropping trophies? I don't see it being the rational move for any of the possible goals i can think of.

Secondly... Are we playing the same game? (Hyperbole i know, but it feels like it isn't the case). I couldn't care less how my opponent reached the trophies he has. If he has higher level troops than me, it feels a bit better if i win, If he has lower level troops than me it feels a bit worse if i lose. I dont know how he got his troops, nor really do i care at all. I play my games to win, and to see if I can reach higher trophies. Tbh it seems to me that people paying cash for cardlevels might actually heighten my enjoyment. They will on average be worse players compared to their trooplevels (based solely on lack of experience, not saying payers are worse players), leading to more games where i win over someone with better cards than me :-)
After they changed it so starting a match doesn't cost any gold, I honestly dont understand why I should ever wish to pay for the game. Maybe to buy gold so i could have all my troops levelled to max at all times, that would give me more flexibility in changing decs for sure. But that is the opposite reason as you mention. Paying to open chests would just mean getting even more cards, thus requiring even more gold to level them up...so nopes, I dont get the rationalle (the urge though, that i get... It just doesnt seem smart)

I guess i just don't get it

 
also regarding your last answer:

"How is fighting in a higher arena fun if your opponent bought himself tons of cards and your vast selection of low-level troops can't possibly beat him?"

Why am I fighting this guy if I can't possibly beat him. Shouldn't he have more trophies than me now. Or are you talking specifically about encountering wallet warriors during their "rise to the top", where their deck is vastly better than their trophies?. If this is your problem, then i guess it doesnt bother me much. He will win the match against me, and move on. Then I wont see him again. I can handle losing one match once in a while :-)

"How can you even *talk* of challenge in such a blatant Pay2Win game?"

Sure the "meta-game" (or "game" if you prefer) is blatantly pay2win as in paying = higher trophies. But in my little pocket of the world (1600-2000), why should I care. I am not competing against Mr. McWallet other than the odd bypasser. The matches themselves surely aren't pay2win.
 
"No, it doesn't. I now tried higher arenas, and the matchmaking doesn't get any better. The best "balance" I could achieve was having a score when one out of three games was balanced, one was auto-win, one was auto-loss. I don't know what you're being paid to spout that marketing hype, but the matchmaking system just isn't working."

If I assume that you are correct in that 1/3 of your matches are auto-wins, and 1/3 auto-losses (with the alternate explanation being that you are not realizing what strategic mistakes you or your opponent are making), then the best explanation of the "failure" of the matchmaking system is that people are altering their Elo ratings by tanking matches. Since you are one of the loudest voices arguing for this strategy, I can't bring myself to feel sympathy for your problems in this regard.



"Another euphemism. Clash Royale is giving you *locked* treasure chests, which you can open for real money, unless you want to wait many hours. They don't do that "so that you can practice". They do that so that people get impatient and pull out their wallet."

It's not a euphemism. CoC has the same payment incentive, as increased training speed in CoC is the same thing as opening chests in CR, except in CR you can practice without paying real money. Like I said before, there are no surprises in CR, it works just like CoC, except somehow it's been phrased in such a way as to seem different and worse to people who don't see the underlying identity of structure. Since everything works basically the same as their already extant massively successful game, there's no need for euphemisms, it's all well known mechanics.

"What do you think the reaction would be if Blizzard introduced "practice raids" with no loot in World of Warcraft? With the option to go on a real raid if you paid up?"

There's no need to hypothesize here: Blizzard already enabled practice raids with no loot--if you've already killed a boss in most of the raid modes, you can do it again but get no loot. That was introduced in MoP I believe--or perhaps towards the end of Cata? Now, the option to pay real money to enable another loot in a raidlock...as far as I know that's not coming for another year or so. :) On the other hand, plenty of Wow-clones have exactly that feature, it's a standard feature of the F2P model you're so in favor of.


"Wrong, it doesn't "skip you ahead". *Eventually* you'll get to that higher level of competition, but they made sure you do get that "I paid money and now I'm invincible" feeling for quite some time. Unless you play practice games for no reward."

Yes, but since you can beat up noobs by tanking your rating anyway, as you were so eager to point out, there's no need to pay money for that experience; so what's the big deal?
 
Since you are one of the loudest voices arguing for this strategy,

If you can't beat them, join them! Just search Google or Youtube for Clash Royale strategy, and you will find lots and lots of videos and articles telling you that dropping trophies is the "right" way to play.

what is the goal you seek to achieve by dropping trophies?

I believe that the system is badly made in that you are earning trophies too quickly, just for showing up. As a result people "overshoot" the goal and end up in a bracket where they can't win any more. So instead of trying to maximize trophies and then getting frustrated because I only get paired against people who spent more money than me and lose, the strategy is to get the losing out of the way early and win when you need the chests and crowns for the crown chest. The *overall* win:loss ratio remains exactly the same, I just take control of the bracket in which I want to fight in and the rewards I want to get instead of letting a badly designed matchmaking system decide that for me.
 
So you actively seek out opponents weaker than you to get a better win percentage in the games where you dont lose on purpose? I assume that could be a rationale that would make sense. Maximising your winpercentage (discounting games you dont lose deliberately).

I presume you have more 3-X, or 2-X victories then. That would make you have to win fewer matches to get crownchests every day. But this just means that you faster hit the "paywall" where there is no reward left to get that day (or untill you can hold more chests) faster, which would make the wall seem more annoying i would imagine.

I usually require something like 12-16 matches to get 10 crowns... Spread over a day thats not too far from how much i want to play.

I would imagine your system would be good if you want to minimize your playtime/day while still getting all the chests (aka maximizing profit/time spent), but doesn't the point of playing the game go away if you dont get to play any challenging matches? And isnt it counterproductive to minimize time spent per day playing a game that is supposedly fun? (You can still play more of cause but then you hit the problem of not getting any rewards)

Also... Why do you suppose the opponents you fight at higher brackets have payed more, rather than just played longer? At level six i presume you arent all the way at the top bracket even when you try?

Lastly...isnt the extra trophies from wins only in the early arenas... I seem to be losing as many (if not more tbh) trophies per loss as i get from winning. And i have definately stayed in the same general area for a while now. With a winpercentage that is not below 50%. That doesn't really mesh with a system where i get more trophies for winning that i lose by losing.

My advice would be to think about what you actually want from the game. And then whether your plan actually accomplishes THAT goal, and not some other goal that you do not really want. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get easy wins/crowns, and it is certainly the fastest way to get done for the day, The smaller cardpool also has some merits (and some issues!). But is your plan really helping you achieve your goal? Or is it just making you even more annoyed at the chest-limit?
 
Why do you suppose the opponents you fight at higher brackets have payed more, rather than just played longer?

The game only hard-launched two weeks ago. I know it takes over 8,500 cards to level a common from level 1 to 12. There is no way you can get that many cards by playing, as the chest system limits your rewards even if you would play a lot of games. But I see lots of people with level 12 cards in the "TV Royale" section where the matches of the top players are displayed.

Note that to get 8,500 copies of *one* card from a random pool, you need to get tens of thousands of cards, up to a hundred thousand (depending on the size of the card pool, which depends on the arena you are playing in). At a hundred bucks for 1,500 - 2,500 cards (again depending on arena), some people must have already spent thousands of dollars on Clash Royale to get to those level 12 units I see on "TV Royale".
 
The game has been out for a lot longer than 2 weeks (ive been playing, might have been a beta, but it didnt say so anywhere and no wipes either). Maybe its localization? I'm in Europe.

I am sure that the TV royale people are all wallet warriors, but they are also in The top bracket. Neither you nor I am ( i presume)

There are some ways to filter what cards you get to what levels as well. Donations from guilds and the goldshop cards as well. Not saying you will get level 12 units in 2 weeks (or anywhere close). But I have several lvl 8 units at present, and could have had lvl 9s if i had focused on just one deck. And I have never payed a dime for the game.

Will you fight at the top bracket 2 weeks after starting without spending (probably a lot) of money... Hell no

Can you fight people a couple of arenas up and have fun and fair matches while progressing and getting better at the game... Without having to worry about whether your opponent got their by paying or playing... I really don't see why not.

Unless you for some reason cant stand the idea that you are playing someone who is at 2k trophies cause they payed money, rather than someone who are at 2k trophies cause they played for a while (or are good enough to get there fast, i guess), I still fail to see how the people buying stuff hurts you.

And about the f2pers being "content"....why should that i get to be content for others bother me?... They are content for me as well... This is not open-pvp, or anything like it. I dont get smashed regularily by people who pay to beat me, i get matched against other people who are also at around my trophy count... Aka people I have a roughly equal chance of winning or losing against.


Funny part of this is that I am a huge opponent of f2p in most games (MMOs especially), whereas I understand you to be a proponent mostly... I dont think this is THE shining example of f2p done right. But, for me at least, it is one of the least intrusive monetization schemes i have seen in a f2p game recently... At least so far. I get to play the game as much as i want whenever i want for free. Even CoC gives me more incentive to use gems (workers early on to get ready for clanwars. Boosts of various productions. And especially queen/king being unavailable for war whilst being upgraded).

Shandren out :-)


 
Okay, for example, let's just say the first game you play is somewhat evenly matched, you both are at the same level, similar cards upgrades. Here, skill matters the most. Let's say you win. That happens again in the next match. On the third match, you're crowns have increased, so it now matches you against someone of a higher level and better card upgrades. If you somehow manage to win that match, you are now facing someone much higher then you, much better cards, essentially an auto loss. Even if they are not all that skilled, they outmatch you too greatly for you to really win. You're best bet competitively is to shoot for them not getting a three crown. But if you do this, you are still going to be near the same trophy count that kept you fighting unfair matches that have nothing to do with skill levels. I want to keep fighting people at my level and skill, not just poor players at higher levels who can overpower me with better troops and towers. This is a continuous and annoying cycle. In fact, you are better off letting the unfair match get a three crown in the hopes of dropping enough trophies more quickly and return to the proper crown rating where you get even matches. For a fair match, we need to consider more factors then simply crowns amounts. I'd rather have nearly every match be a good challenge, then to swing back and forth between laughably easy and impossible to win matches, waiting for that one game every now and then that is where it should be.
 
If Ricky's perception of what's happening is correct (I haven't played the game so I don't know) the problem still isn't really PtW - it's scaling. Either the game has too much power differential coming from a relatively small difference in cards, or winning or losing trophies pushes you up or down the ranks too fast. Maybe those could be modified if they are an issue. In fact, maybe they could offer a 'speed of progress' slider, but it would have to be hard to change to avoid abuse. (Hmmm, pay to change?)
 
I think Clash Royale is a good strategy game for players who have experienced the Gameplay of Clash Of Clans.Because the troop use is the key to attack and defend.It's best feature is that you can defend and attack at the same time it's your strategy. So I think it's a pretty good game.
 
ChiefPatYoutube has said he spent $12,000 to get to the top of the leaderboards. If that doesn't scream P2W, I don't know what does.
 
Defs initially agreed with tob, the system is gash with no obvious benefit to playing repeatedly other than 'practice'. Sure I enjoy the game but would relish it more if I could consistently progress within my ability range.
As you improve in skill/experience though the worst factor of the game is getting beaten CONSTANTLY by people of 2-3 higher levels than you as they are lurking in lower arenas.
Basically if you are advocating this strategy of play your not only make it unfair for everyone who doesn't pay to win but also everyone and anyone who decides to play the game full stop! Thus reducing 'casual' gamers and limiting an already, admittedly, pretty shitty mobas community.

For true pvp fun without the gashbag commentators and contentators (yes) try vainglory, 1000000% times better with no pay 2 win elements that still makes its developers millions with totally reasonable 'aesthetics' upgrades.

Start with the content and they will come.

#frustratedasplayingverytacticallybutgettingconstanlymerkedbydickswithrichparents



 
"ChiefPatYoutube has said he spent $12,000 to get to the top of the leaderboards. If that doesn't scream P2W, I don't know what does." Dave Foster, you do know that everyone he plays against has spent that much if not more than that amount? Also he has a F2P account and he's been destroying people that are 2 levels above him.
 
Based on my experience, there are some of simple rule to remember when play this game:
1. Play at arena what they want you to play. With my lv 3 account, practically, I never met equal lv opponents. On one occasion I have matched with lv 7 player. They don't want you to progress so fast, when you don't have money to buy gems.
2. Don't play more than what required to play. When your chest slot is full, or your crown chest is in waiting period, stop playing. If you keep playing, psychologically you are prone to be bullied. The solution is create many account.
3. Don't get angry when matchmaking system cheat on you. Angry cost you money to buy gems. If you don't have money, angry cost you mental health. LOL.

Yes, their matchmaking system is suck on purpose. With millions of US dollar money ready to spent by those suckers on daily basis, so long with fair play matchmaking. Their matchmaking AI is designed based on psychological weakness of those idiot player.

Anyway, those gem player who keeps this game alive for us free player to play. On the other hand, we are, skilled player as we call ourselves, are the reason those gem bought. So, fair matchmaking actually didn't hurt Supersell greediness in my opinion.
Just my opinion. And I'm okay with the developers decision as I don't have any other choices.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M68hOgYkaWs

es, their matchmaking system is suck on purpose. With millions of US dollar money ready to spent by those suckers on daily basis, so long with fair play matchmaking. Their matchmaking AI is designed based on psychological weakness of those idiot player.

Anyway, those gem player who keeps this game alive for us free player to play. On the other hand, we are, skilled player as we call ourselves, are the reason those gem bought. So, fair matchmaking actually didn't hurt Supersell greediness in my opinion.
Just my opinion. And I'm okay with the developers decision as I don't have any other choices.
 
My problem with the game and the P2W idea is this: I, as a person not willing to put money into the game (lvl 6 at around 900 trophies) have only gotten 4 epic cards, total. All different units. What I have encountered lately (and what caused me to lose my last 10 games in a row) are people who have obviously taken advantage of the P2W aspect of the game. These people (who are equal level or a level below me and at the same trophy rank) have all had 2 or 3 lvl 2-3 epic cards in their deck. (A level 3 epic card takes 6 epic card of the same unit to level up!) There is no way that 10 people in a row have just randomly gotten enough epic cards to have cards this level, when I have only gotten 4 total opening every chest I can get my hands on for a week and a half. My dilemma is this: is it me, with what I would consider good cards for non-P2W, or the others whom I have fought who is not supposed to be at the lvl 6, 900 trophy range?
 
The question is why do you play the game? If you play to be the best you must be willing to spend the money others with the same approach is spending.

I haven't spent any money and enjoy the game and NO I do not trophy drop. That made me think why do I play and why am I enjoying it?

Here's why I think it works for me.
1. I know there are people that spend more TIME and more MONEY than I and they will have better decks (more cards, higher level, etc.).
2. I enjoy the game - as simple as that
3. I get matched up against people that may have higher level and similar cards that I have... and here's the kicker I get to beat THEM!

If that does not work for you too bad.
 
Actually I'm level 5 and just got a super magical chest (equivalent to about $20) with guaranteed 10 epics and 36 rates! @ arena 3. So my point is that those players probably got a lucky chest or got some regular magic chest with lucky cards. An unllucky person with a credit card might spend a hundred dollars and still not get the card or upgrade they were aiming for, while a f2p player could get lucky and get the draws their deck needs.
 
When I played (and I stopped after 2 days, it was so bad) I saw a big problem with it, as well as Supercell's other games.

I had so few cards I was not having fun.
However, it makes you think that it will be fun with more cards.
It takes a long enough time to get cards (unless you pay) that by the time you have more power in your deck, you're used to it and think "I'll just get better and then it will be more strategic"
However, being "good" only hurts you, as this article said. You have to wait... and wait... (unless you pay)
The people that spend tons of money on the game (such as popular YouTubers) seem to be having much more strategic thought, as they didn't have to wait.
The people who watch these YouTubers think "As long as I'm good at the game, I'll get to their high level" That's just not true.

So eventually, unless you realize it's a bad game, you just keep playing, expecting it to get better. But it never does (unless you pay, and then you just wasted your $$$$)
 
This game is fucking stupid i dont play it anymore
 
I've played it extensively since it started (out of beta) and I dislike and like it.

I like it because I don't spend 5 minutes waiting for a game to start, just to have someone drop an then have to reenter a queue. Or better yet, start a game to have someone go afk then have to wait 15 to 20 minutes to surrender to the other team...sound familiar?

The dropping trophies comment makes some sense...albeit very little in my experience. At lower trophies...I'll call it less than 2,000, you basically have to endure some thrashings from Pay to Play guys who are inherently working up the ladder due to spending money and not for being skilled. Yes, there is occasional joy in defeating one of these as a Free to Play participant, but in general it is irritating (albeit 3 minutes of irritation).

Generally speaking, I've found that it is best to sit at the highest Arena level you can manage stretching at times to get access to more gold (note, after a little bit of time you quickly realize that 'cards' are not the pacing factor in this game...gold is king). Leveling up cards begins to take ridiculous amounts of gold. At first this felt frustrating, but I'm not paying and I no longer deal with the pay to play (or if I do, my cards are significant enough that I can beat them). In general, I lose because I played poorly. I like games where I feel like I effect the outcome.

Most who dislike the game feel they don't effect the outcome (because of pay to play or other limiting factors).

If you don't want to pay and enjoy the game, I suggest you choose a high risk high reward style strategy. Go big or go home. In general at early levels the crown chest has the most value and playing 10 - 20 tight matches to get one crown can take a ton of time. Rather get slaughtered one game and slaughter your opponent the next netting 3 crowns every other match. If you want 10 crowns quickly, this makes a lot more sense (averaging 1.5 per match rather than .5 per match).

The reason these games work is because they can be played on a phone, computer or other device and they generally don't last longer than 4 min. It is like speed chess...where your opponent may have paid to start with two queens ;)

Doesn't mean you can't beat him...but yes, it does make it harder. I learned to recognize when I was going to get throttled, and my goal became securing a crown rather than winning (thus making my 3 minute investment worthwhile).

In general, I don't need chests, cards or other perks to make the game fun. Just playing and trying to out think the opponent is fun. Due to the desire of the game maker to make a buck, the negative aspects of the game exist...I get it, I don't like it, but I've also learned it gets better after those initial arenas because people just settle into their elo (regardless of spend).


 
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