Clashed Out

I’m real done with Clash Royale.

My trajectory was set for a while now. I have been playing near-daily for over four years now, after all. While there have been a lot of new cards developed in that time, systemic issues made them functionally useless – when you are playing in the top leagues, you need max-level cards to succeed, and all new cards start at level 1. Still, Supercell managed to make a few intelligent changes along the way that kept things moving. For example, nowadays new cards are “boosted” to your King Level for a month, meaning I can actually use them straight away.

The problem is that Supercell hyped up the “Clan Wars 2” changes that were aimed at breathing new life into the clan part of clashing. And the delivery wasn’t just flat, it actively destroyed what existed and replaced it with some real shit.

Odds are none of you play Clash Royale or particularly care either way, but hang with me a second.

The old system had a two-day cadence. On Day 1, your clan had a rotating set of three “collection” battles. For the most part, these battles were way different from normal battles: you had options like Draft (build a deck), Classic Deck (get a random pre-built deck), Sudden Death, and so on. The important bit is that these game modes are quite fun AND don’t require max-level cards. Win or lose, your clan gets X amount of random cards that they will later use for the actual clan battle. On Day 2, your clan all has to use the same cards that were collected to build the best deck they can, and fight other people under similar limitations (but different cards). Your card levels matter here, and sometimes the card selection forced you into a deck archetype you aren’t comfortable with.

The new system? You need to build four decks using your own cards, and none of the cards can overlap. Then you participate in a “River Race” in which you… use those four decks playing 1v1 battles. Just like you were playing ladder, aside from being stuck with sub-par decks due to the no-overlap limitation. Each deck has a 12-24 hour cooldown. There is technically a wrinkle insofar as you can instead attack enemy ships directly, which results in a weird PvE-ish situation, and can cause said enemy clan to be forced to repair their ship instead of doing attacks and acquiring more Fame (which determines how fast your boat goes).

My clan completed the race within 2-3 days and netted 1st place. There doesn’t appear to be any particular reason to keep playing the River Race after that. Maybe you can still get some gold or something?

Regardless, this update took the one interesting part of the game – the unique game modes – and jettisoned them away. There still is a rotating game mode that can be fun, but it only changes a few times a week and there are some stinkers in the rotation. Everything else is basically just 1v1 ladder. Well, it’s ladder for the first game, and then you are stuck with whatever shit decks you can throw together with your remaining cards as you face three Hog Cycle decks in a row. I’m better off than most insofar as I have mostly max-level cards… but I hate ladder. It’s the same shit meta month after month, and all I’m doing is just grinding gold to upgrade cards I don’t actually use.


The funny thing is… some people will say this is a success. After all, I have given Supercell $100 or so and I have gotten untold hours of entertainment over four years. From a mobile game! And yet I could not possibly be more burned out, worn down, disgusted. Well, I could, and have been, with other games like MMOs. But I haven’t played MMOs in a while precisely because of this level of burnout, and I don’t like experiencing it from a mobile game too.

That’s my own damn fault, of course. I could have been wasting (more of) my time on Reddit or whatever instead of still playing a game I was growing to dislike on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I suppose that is the price we pay for seeking games to worm into our daily routines: they leave holes when you eventually root them out.

Posted on September 10, 2020, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Sometimes knowing when to let go is the real lesson :-) I’ve never played Clash Royale (or even heard of it), but I did spend a couple of years and hundreds of dollars on Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. It was really hard to just stop playing after I’d sunk so much into it, but the 2-3 hours daily I was spending on it weren’t translating to 2-3 hours of fun. Like your new cards, FFBE units start at level 1 and at a low star rating, and it is real work to get them to be usable. I hated getting new units but needed them for the more difficult raids.

    I’m happy to be off that treadmill.


    • Ugh, I actually tried Brave Exvius for a few months last year. I never ended up writing about it, but it seemed like such a mess. When your Gem Store has like three different tabs’ worth of timed (and default) nonsense, you have to start asking the hard questions.

      Nevertheless, I did “play” for a few weeks before finally just letting things go. The problem with these games is always coming in “late” and being flooded with the equivalent of legendary units and basically trivializing the early game. Then, after a few weeks, you find the endgame websites and ranking lists and realize that you did everything wrong (read: inefficiently) and none of the good things are actually good. Reminded me of Puzzle & Dragons, and I ended up uninstalling.

      Also? WTF was with the 300+ MB updates every week? I might have let everything else slide, but the updates always seemed to happen when I was on cellular data.


  2. I’m still on the fence about the new Clan Wars. I like that you have a reason to max out more cards now than just one ladder deck, but on the other hand it makes it that much harder for our lower guys when they join a Plat-level clan.

    I like the boat attack mode as getting all three towers seems difficult, but I do wonder how long that will last until its ‘solved’.

    Overall I think the biggest issue is clan members can’t opt in or out, so everyone is in, but not everyone can do the 4 battles per day, which hurts the clan.


    • Yep, it’s essentially the death of small clans. No one is going to want to be in one, and anyone that actually liked doing Clan Wars will have to transfer to another clan to have a chance of accomplishing anything.


  3. I still play it daily and I couldn’t be more happy about the change. I absolutely HATED the old clan wars special battles. The only one I liked was the sudden death one. Unfortunately, clan wars are more or less required to earn some gold which meant 3 games I hated every 2 days.

    At the moment I made 4 decks, 2 ladder decks I use to try to win the 1v1 battles for advancement and two tower destroy decks I use to attack the boats. It’s not to difficult two build these 4 decks as 1v1 and attacking towers requires different deck types.


    • I could see this being an improvement if you hated Draft/Classic battles and prefer just doing 1v1s all the time. And that’s a decent point about having two ladder decks and two boat decks. I personally put Zap and Mini PEKKA in every 1v1 deck I create, so I had some issues coming up with ladder decks.

      That said, CW2 is the death of small clans regardless. I was a part of clan that was like #10 in the UK or whatever, but we only have ~22 active members (all who routinely hit 5500+ trophies). That was good enough to routinely get #1 each Clan War, but we will be smoked by any clan that has 45+ mouth-breathers who AFK through every river battle, as losses still earn Fame.

      Oh well.


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