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So in https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/ls1jwa/comment/gooq5ge, Drew announced we'll not get early update info anymore, because of "the negative reception of cw2 teasers and videos".

Before I start, let's make it clearer what it is about. Many people jumped and said "hey are you blaming the community response for a bad update ?", but as u/Mew_Pur_Pur pointed out in https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/ls1jwa/comment/goqh8vj?context=1000, this is besides his point. He is here speaking about the complaints before cw2 release about having to wait a long time after the teasers without any update. So let's look closer to :

What were these complaints back then ?

Digging a bit I found a post from Drew precisely addressing these complaints back then : https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/gsz90t/official_what_weve_been_up_to_29th_may_2020/

So there were several complaints, some I agree with and some I disagree with : (Note that I wasn't on this sub back in May, but I'm still trying to take the point of view of the people in the situation of back then based on the posts from back then I'm reading.)

"We want more information on the update !" This one I agree with. Here is a very relevant reply thread about this : https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/gsz90t/comment/fsfrzq2?context=1000. So to quote Drew : "Fans and players of games will always want to know what is coming next immediately (which is awesome - I love this passion and I'm the same) but they should also know that it isn't a realistic possibility." And then he tries to explain why. So he admitted they delayed the info release to avoid "more frustration after the update being pushed back" and "ruining a surprise". As u/Fishbrain77 who replied below, I think these are terrible arguments. If you say when you release the info the update won't come before several months, there would maybe be a bit of frustration from the delay, but it would be there anyway with just the teasers (unless you consider the update is better than what the teasers show). But by trying to make the update a "surprise" you're taking the risk of implementing an update that no one wants in-game. (Guess what happened.)

"Can we have a release date for the update ?" This one I disagree with. I think the devs should not try to give a release date they may not reach, but I'm maybe the unpopular opinion on this one. A relevant reply thread about this is https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/gsz90t/comment/fs8k0lu?context=1000. Developing takes time and it's hard to estimate how long it takes. So I think it's better for the devs to not give a release date (or a very rough estimation) so that they release the update when it's ready. But maybe the majority of the community would have prefered a release date.

"We haven't had any update since you're working on this !" I'm neutral on this one. I can understand both people wanting small updates to keep the game fresh before the big update and those wanting to halt other updates to get the big update sooner (see point below). Back then, we had an intermediate with regular balance changes, new arenas and new cards but nothing more.

"Focus only on the update and not on balance changes !" This is the opposite complaint of the one above, so I won't repeat what I already said above. However, I'd note that the other side seemed to be predominant, judging by the comments from back then I read or posts like https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/huiul1/lack_of_quality_updates_go_brrrrrrrr_repost/ that has been #9 most upvoted post of the past year.

What is the situation now ?

So in December they announced the first update of 2021 would be a big progression overhaul (https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/kqp3uf/sharing_cos_this_sub_needs_to_see_it_and_stop/). They also announced they would then stop monthly balance changes and make them only with bigger quarterly updates. So let's see how have evolved the complaints listed above :

"We want more information on the update !" This one is still there and the cw2 fail made it even worse. Without any information on this update we don't know if it won't be as terrible as cw2. In a discussion about cw2 flaws (https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/kdgnxq/comment/gg172l9) Drew admitted "reverting the old clan wars is not really an option" because they already committed so much development time to cw2 (and maybe they even destroyed the cw1 code, although this hasn't been confirmed). Had they released information on the update earlier, maybe the community would have answered by early negative feedback on the update content and the dev team would have decided not to release this flawed cw2. Instead we've been stuck with this for 6+ months because of a silly attempt to make this update a "surprise". And they dare taking the risk to make the same mistake again for the big update of 2021 ??? Why not give information on the update and let the community discuss what's good and what's bad, to have a community insight on what they're releasing ? u/Supercell_Drew, I'm really hoping for a reply on why such a decision.

A release date for the update. So by saying quarterly updates in 2021 and the first one being a big progression overhaul, they gave expectations from this update in Q1 2021, or before March 31st. Many people (including myself) actually thought the update would be released before March 1st, because it was coming with balance changes and balance changes never come mid-season (except emergency fixes). Instead, in Feb 24 we learned the update won't come before April, after three small updates/emergency fixes and one card balanced. In other words, they did the exact same thing they said they didn't want to do (and rightfully so) nine months ago in https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/gsz90t/comment/fs8hbzx?context=1000.

Small updates before the big update : So after the controversial reactions on making balance changes but no update while developing the cw2 update, they first decided to come with the extreme of nothing before the big update (it would be "the first update of 2021" and balance change would be released with these quarterly updates), while the community nine months ago was saying there were already not enough updating to keep th game fresh then. This of course led to posts such as https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/kp2i27/nothing_new_in_season_19_same_old_challenges_no/ and comments of mine about how bad would be a trophy deflation that lasts for 3+ seasons (https://www.reddit.com/r/ClashRoyale/comments/kqwrm3/comment/gi6aizt). Fortunately, they decided to revert this "nothing before March" decision by announcing trophy deflation revert at 4000+. Since then we got kind of the opposite intermediate with a few small updates/emergency fixes (Jan 7 : trophy deflation revert, Feb 11 : bugfixes and EQ rework, Feb 25 : matchmaking change) but lower effort on new seasons (over 3 seasons, one new arena designed (Season 20) and one card balanced unless we get another balance change mid-Season 21). And with this intermediate choice we get some complaints about stale meta, but nothing will make everyone happy and personally I'm fine with this intermediate (although I'd prefer knowing when next balance changes are coming and ideally what cards SC is planning to balance next even without precise numbers (this would actually let a bit more time between the moment you learned your deck will be nerfed and the time it is so you can start working on levelling other cards). And before you tell me "we know balance changes are coming quarterly" I'd want to show this is simply untrue, they unexpectedly balance one card mid-Season 20 and then 5 days (!!!) before the beginning of the last season of Q1 2021 (where balance changes were expected) the announced there won't be balance changes).


So now Drew tells us we won't have update information anymore. For the next update this means nothing changes, we got the teaser without update info and we may revive the cw2 disaster. For following updates, sure we won't complain pre-update but instead we may have complaints rise even more when there is no update for a long time because we'd be clueless about whether some big update is to be coming soon. Additionally, on updates such as cw2 without the teasers we'd have complaints post-update such as "why did you destroy clan wars without early notice" "I leveled all my cards to cw1 level cap and now I'm *** because I don't have 4 maxed decks" (we got this one anyway because they never said levels would be even more important than in ladder because they both make winning easier and worth more fame.)

From releasing a bad surprise you potentially lose many spenders that wouldn't have quit had you discussed the update with the community early and ultimately decided not to release it. (Unless you're trying to soft-kill the game by implementing what the community doesn't want, then it makes sense to wait as long as possible before announcing the game-killer update) From a good surprise, what do you get ? Spending players still spending, that would have kept spending anyway had you not made the update a surprise ? F2p players so happy about the update that they start spending money, but they would maybe have started spending earlier had they known about the update earlier ? So in all cases making the update a surprise doesn't bring positives. Should I conclude the next update will be about soft-killing CR because they're now developing other games ? (I don't think so, this question is to conclude my point) u/Supercell_Drew, what's your answer to this ?

TL;DR the dev team should release info on updates (and ideally balance changes too) earlier so that the community can discuss and give feedback on these updates before they are released.

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