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[Effort] Clan Wars II: A Full Review

To begin let me introduce myself. I am a level 12 player with a maxed deck and a player best of 6471. I downloaded Clash Royale 3 and a half years ago, and have been playing on an off since then. A year ago, I picked up CR again and brought my deck from level 10 cards to level 13 cards. Every Season since then I have bought Pass Royale, and I sometimes buy gems for the upper tier of Global Tournament Rewards. (However, I am not spending money on CR for No Pass September.) I will divide my review into 5 sections to cover the many facets of the update, and give each aspect of the Update a rating out of 10.

Contents:

  1. Rewards
  2. F2P Friendliness
  3. Content
  4. QOL Changes
  5. Development Time
  6. Overall Rating

Rewards (5/10)

While rewards increased slightly for the majority of the player base according to u/Supercell_Drew in his post outlining the math of the new update rewards, the CR development team failed to address the slow progression experienced by most players. Additionally, players in small clans are receiving decreased rewards because they cannot finish the river race. The rewards boot for those who don't finish the river race does not make up for the removal of quests and the slight increase in gold from clan war battles. As a member of a larger more competitive clan, this rewards rework actually benefits me. However, I ask why the development team had to remove quests, rather than keeping them to make everyone happy with their rewards. While the increase in gold rewards is very beneficial, if you can never win a clan duel or 1v1 battle because you are a level 9 or 10, this system will lead to less rewards. Additionally, the lower level your cards are, the less fame rewards you earn to help your clan. Thus, Supercell is rewarding maxed players for beating low leveled players handsomely, while barely rewarding low leveled players who beat maxed players. Therefore, I rate Clan Wars II rewards a 5/10 because rewards increase slightly for most players, while dramatically decreasing for some.

Lower leveled decks earn your clan less fame.

Free to Play Friendliness (1/10)

Clan Wars 2 is not free to play friendly at all. With no level capping system, a maxed leveled player has a clear advantage over everyone else. Those who do not have four maxed decks are forced to play with level 11 and 12 cards against fully maxed opponents. On my level 9 mini account in the lowest clan league, I fought tons of level 12s and had no chance of winning against their maxed cards. For anyone below level 11 or 12, Clan Wars II it nearly impossible to win. Drew's response to this is that as clans find their league, lower level clans will separate from higher level clans. However, with the current system, you can progress a maximum of 180 clan trophies per every 5 weeks, meaning a Gold league clan will take 9-10 months to reach Legendary League if they win every war. Thus, it will take years for most clans to find their correct league placement. Even when clans do find their correct league placement, many mid tier clans have a large diversity of players generally ranging from level 9 to level 13. Thus if you are a level 9-10 player in Silver or Gold League, there is still a large chance you will face a maxed opponent. Since it is nearly impossible for a level 9 or 10 to compete in Clan Wars II, and Clan Wars II is a major step down from the level capped Clan Wars I system, I give it a 1/10 in free to play friendliness.

Facing a level 12 on my Bronze league level 9.

Content (3/10)

Clan Wars 2 introduced a bunch of new content including a best of 3 game mode, a player vs. environment game mode, and uh... nothing else. For an update that takes more than a year to develop, changing the format of clan wars to a river race, while adding a few different game modes is not a sufficient amount of new content. While Boat Battles are technically "a new way to play the game," playing one boat battle a day against the same AI, doesn't seem like new fresh content. Although the concept of a river race is much better than the concepts of collection and war day, Supercell implemented a much more boring system of river tasks, only including normal 1v1 battles. No interesting game modes are even available to those who like them. If Supercell added many different challenges or game modes to Clan Wars II, players could pick and choose their favorites, rather than having to play 1v1 battles against over-leveled opponents every time. Last big update, Trophy Road introduced a whole new way to play ladder, tons of progression rewards, a new league, new gamemodes, new star levels, exclusive emotes and a new events tab. Knowing this update took less than a year to develop, Clan Wars II had barely any content in comparison. Since the content in this Clan Wars II update pales in comparison to the content in the last major update, Trophy Road, I will give the content of the Update a 3/10.

Quality of Life Changes (3/10)

Clan Wars II introduced a few "Quality of Life" changes including a new clan chat, new markers for online clan members, trophies for clan members update in real time, new free shop offers, a new friends list location, and finally a new location for the queue chest button so players gem chests by muscle memory. Many of these changes turned out for the worse. I see players complaining about the new clan chat and inaccessible friends list requiring more taps to get to than before. While it is nice to know who is online and have clan trophies update in real time, Supercell also removed clan league icons, which allowed us to quickly see a player's league. All in all some of the changes are good while others were not. However, Supercell's decision to switch the location of the queue and gem chest buttons is infuriating, especially because I have lost about 50 gems from gemming chests. Whether this is a scummy move to make extra money from players who buy gems, or just a mistake, Supercell screwed up bad here. Finally, I have heard from clan leaders that leadership tools are sub-par. You can no longer nudge people to go into battle. (For clans without a separate messaging platform like Discord, this is a big deal.) Also donations do not display in the clan member screen, making clan management much more difficult. For a game as popular as Clash Royale, UI changes and QOL changes shouldn't backfire and harm the player base. Therefore, I will give the quality of life changes in Clan Wars II a 3/10.

The highly controversial queue/gem chest button changes.

Development Time (2/10)

According to Drew the last update was in November 2019, which changed tie rules. However, there hasn't been a major update since trophy road in April 2019. Clan Wars II seems to have taken nearly a year and a half to develop. However, the features of the update don't look like they are well thought out or took much time to develop. For example, top clans finish the river race within a day or two while bottom clans don't even finish. With a year and a half of development time the CR development team should have a solution for this. Should it really take over a year to simply implement a river race, a PVE mode, and a Bo3 mods? One possible theory is that the development team was busy adding bots to low ladder, but bots were discovered about a year ago, so they still would have had a year to develop Clan Wars II. Regardless of whether the development team is just incompetent, or whether they had other work, Clan Wars II shouldn't have taken so long to develop. Therefore, I will give Clan Wars II a 2/10 in development time.

Overall Score: 2.8/10

The community has the right to be angry about the release of Clan Wars II. It was too little for an update that took nearly a year and a half to develop. Despite offering some increased rewards, it proved to be unsuitable for F2P players, while offering little content or QOL changes.

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