Investment Window

It’s been a few months since I stopped playing WoW, but the entire time I was I was psychoanalyzing the merits of purchasing the crafted gear to boost my characters further. That dilemma reminds me of a similar problem I have with many F2P games, or any game selling convenience items. Specifically: when, if ever, do you invest more money into the game?

I have mentioned it several times, but I am currently “playing” Clash of Clans. “Playing” gets the scare quotes because the actual amount of time I spend interacting with the UI versus waiting for bars to fill up has steadily decreased for months now. Indeed, I am solidly in the design trap that is Town Hall level 8, wherein you are losing more resources to raids than you could ever hope to replace with either raids of your own or passive resource gains. Being in a raiding clan might offset it some, but realistically, some actual cash exchanging hands will be necessary to progress further.

Of course, having played the game for so long, I have zero desire to do so.

All of us have been there before: you finally get annoyed or bored enough to throw money at a problem, only to stop playing the game entirely a few days later. Even if spending that money did improve your play experience, it was too late to make much of an accumulated impact. Had you dropped cash at the very beginning though? Then you could have gotten months of utility out of that purchase, and otherwise generating a return on fun.

The problem I have though, is actually timing the investment window correctly. In the case of CoC, no time actually felt “correct” because it was just a game I was playing as a diversion; I had no idea that I would still be playing it months later. In fact, that’s most games. Reminds me of those RPGs with the “+5% XP” talents you can select early on. While a dubious investment in the long-term (the talent is useless at max level), you can recognize that if you were going to take such a talent, you need to take it sooner rather than later.

While my dithering ends up resulting in more money in my pocket, it also in some cases results in a diminished experience. For example, not outfitting my alts with the crafted weapons in WoW. Did I save gold by not crafting them? Sure. I also lost gold by not crafting and selling them. I suppose having 8+ months of WoW Tokens makes this a bit moot in a practical sense, but old AH habits die hard.

So how about yourselves? How do you choose a time to make an optional purpose?

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Posted on July 27, 2015, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. “Indeed, I am solidly in the design trap that is Town Hall level 8, wherein you are losing more resources to raids than you could ever hope to replace with either raids of your own or passive resource gains.”

    You’re doing something wrong. Either you don’t play enough to at least collect and attack once during shields, don’t have your TH outside, or have a really poorly designed base that is attractive to hit even for limited gain.

    Once all of the above is in place, and you are still struggling to make any progress, start balancing between gold/elixir/DE dumping; so dump gold into walls as you save up elixir, then do elixir-expensive raids as you save up gold or DE. Once the king is at lvl 10, you can start dumping DE into research.

    Finally if you move up in trophies high enough, the TH snipe rate goes way up, making it much easier to hold loot.

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    • I’m technically doing better these days than when I first wrote the post (it’s been sitting in drafts for a while), but any endeavor absolutely requires the blind luck of someone farming trophies instead of the 250,000+ resources (of gold or elixir) I have on hand at any given time. Sometimes they’ll manage to snag that amount of resources without even giving me a shield timer. For example, I just had someone attack and gain 91k out of 220k gold… and I was attacked by someone else 20 minutes later (luckily they were only after trophies).

      I get the mechanics and the “strategy” of farming bases. I just don’t like it, or at least like it less than I did in earlier TH levels when less of a percentage of your hoard was available. Turning the game on and seeing a “11h 49m” shield timer is not fun. Knowing I have to run 4-5 attacks a day just to get ahead is not fun. Skipping a day and then finding two full clears of my base (or 4+ partials) is not fun. “Dumping” resources to “protect” them is not fun.

      I dunno. Perhaps I’ve reached the natural end of my attention span when it comes to lategame CoC strategy. It’s certainly lasted a lot longer than any other app I’ve played, so I’ll give it that. But I’m finding the whole thing… anti-climatic.

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      • The only way you can lose 91k out of 220k is if a large chunk of that 220k is in collectors, not storage. Storage only gives up 10% or so of your loot, collectors give up 50%, which is why I suggested you attack and collect, plus put your TH outside. People will see a base with fairly low loot (no loot in collectors, since you just emptied them) and an exposed TH, and more often than not someone will just snipe the TH.

        Also it almost never happens that someone will hit you for loot without giving a shield that way, since either they will send a few troops for the TH, or hit the 50% threshold. If someone can collect a lot of loot and not hit 50%, time for a redesign.

        BTW, my alt acct is at TH8 (maxed), and I attack maybe once per day, while sitting on full storage of elixir (6m) and DE (80k). I get hit for loot maybe once per week, and of those hits, only 30% or so are successful (TH9s that aren’t farming with barch). That account is almost done with walls, and generally fills most of our CCs during our twice-weekly clan wars, plus a lot of donations during the wars, so just collecting your loot and having a decent farming base goes a LONG way, without actually farming.

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  2. To me the answer was finding a warclan. I VERY rarely raid now, except when i happen to log on with less than an hour of shield. It means i sometimes have to throw away some barbs and archers (my raiding force) but the loss of elix from that is neglible.

    I have been in no hurry with the game, but have comfortably been able to max th8 and upgraded to th9 a few months ago. I have never spent a single dime on the game. Some of the base building/ how to stockpile ressources tricks syncaine mentions I’m using as well, but mostly i just war.

    2 attacks at SOME point every other day is a lot less stressful for me than having to time when my shield is down, even though the attacks themself require a lot more focus/planning. This mostly just means there’s actually some strategy to the attacks :-)

    The economy of getting your loot in huge chunks is also really good anti-raiding. (Winning a war and having won two fights during it is something like 600-850k gold and elix, and because it comes at once when war is over, raids happening on you during the war dont get to loot from this pool.

    But this was what worked for me, doesn’t mean its the answer for everyone :-)

    Shandren out

    PS: Having TH outside (and undefended) is a huuuuge bonus. The amount of people who doesnt at least take it and give you shield is very small. If they’re raiding you for loot anyways they might as well sparea few troops to take th…

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