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Clash Royale - The Current State of Clan Wars II and the Game (v.5)
Clan Wars II Was A Disappointment.The release of Clan Wars II was confusing. It's flawed. It's weird. And it was disappointing. I would like to criticize (as an engaged Beta Player) about my thoughts regarding this update, and how we progress in the game.
TL;DR - The Update in a Nutshell
- This update will definitely not keep players engaged for a few more years.
- Gameplay wasn't changed in CW2. This update is a confusing swap-up of daily tasks. Minimal content in terms of gameplay
- Fame is unbalanced, limited selection of game modes, the "unique 32 card decks" restricts your deck-making freedom, wait times gives you a reason to NOT play. Update is flawed.
- Indirect instructions or tips on how CW2 works
- We shouldn't be pushed/forced to play CW2 for the sake of more rewards. We need a new incentive instead of working for "increased rewards"
- Removal of quests and level-dependent modes nailed the final coffin for the free-to-play.
- The game should provide you a wide variety of things to do. There needs to be a new incentive, not just streams of rewards.
- The level-dependent system for CW2 didn't help users build and master different decks. Basically, user with the higher level wins. The Dev team lied. Adding level-caps can fix this problem.
- Improve progression, it shouldn't take you months/years to max out a single deck. In CW2, we need to max out 4? Now that's ridiculous.
- Clan Wars II (At First Glance)
- Feedback on Clan Wars II
- How We can fix Clan Wars II
- A Player's Progression
- A Different Incentive?
1. Clan Wars II - At First GlanceImagine you were extremely hyped for a massive update with high expectations. You download the client update on the App/Google-Play Store, and open the game. You play for a few hours, and eventually find out that hardly anything changed. What a bummer.
This huge update wasn't too bad, but shouldn't be something to be proud about either. I've seen lots of toxicity posts on Reddit about CWII, and I want to point out that we shouldn't judge CW II from what we see now, there's more to come!
Just saying that our first hands-on experience with CW II wasn't as good as we expected. We definitely started on the wrong foot. Something feels wrong with CW II and it's not delivering the best player experience that the Clash Royale Team hoped for.
Let's have a refresher on what we received during Clan Wars 2:
- A River Race with 5 clans / Clan Boat
- New Game Modes: Boat Battles, Duels
- Rewards, including Weekly Reward Chests after each race and gold
- Fame - Helps you move faster up the river
- Boat Repair after "Boat Battles" - Prevents you from going up the river
- Trader - Limited Offers
- Colosseum - Top Clans Battle each other (more info later)
- Some QOL changes and new UI
- Lots of Supercell Dev artwork (a ton!)
- Quests Removed
- There should be more, check https://clashroyale.com/blog/release-notes/clan-wars-2-is-here.html for more info
- Boat Battles (new PvE mode!), which is something new (CWII)
- Duels (Best of 3) - Traditional 1v1 + Ladder Levels + Battling the same player 2-3 times (CWII)
- Getting more rewards in Clan Wars II
- New Clan Chat UI
- Loading screen
Conclusion: For a one-year update, an update that has been planned, polished and finalized, I cannot tell you how disappointed I am since Clan Wars II doesn't really change how we play. Probably one of the least-favourable updates we ever received when it comes to actual game changes.____________________________________
However, I'm quite impressed on the background art. It's really eye-catching and deserves some type of recognition. Shoutout to the CR Artists!
2. Feedback on Clan Wars IIPersonally, I think Clan Wars II was hardly any different to Clan Wars I, perhaps a downgrade to what we used to have.
It doesn't really change how we play Clash Royale, just a switch-up of what the player's daily tasks are, and a 1v1 laddetraditional battle experience almost every single day.
There are several flaws I would like to point out for this update:
- Player Confusion: Most things in the CW2 update was confusing for players. This includes the UI and the functionalities of CW2. This includes fame.
- Lack of Variety: The only three introduced modes are Boat Battles, Repair and Duels, which they all function as normal battles. The only difference with Boat Battles is the x3 Machine guns as defenses and PvE dropping troops.
- Too Many Restrictions: Duels and the "deck building feature" restricts the number of cards you can use. In addition, you are forced to use your ladder levels, which can be frustrating during matchmaking. This somehow feels like Rush War's path into a restricted game.
- Matchmaking is Terrible: Currently in a terrible state since everyone is encouraged to use their own levels.
- Too Many Rewards in CWII: Clan Wars II is the best place to get rewards, but what if you're a casual player? This change will be devastating to casual clans/players.
- Confusing UI: There has been a ton of new QOL changes, and some removed as well. The UI should be both easy to use, and convenient for the player. As observed, most of the UI caused major confusion to the playerbase since many things have been moved around.
- Implemented Wait Times: Adding wait times gives a player a reason to not play the game, which is terrible for revenue/sales and player traffic. In this case, you need to wait 15h after playing your two battles.
- Gets Boring Quickly: It'll get boring real quickly since the daily tasks for Clan Wars 2 are repetitive. It won't keep players engaged.
- Quests Removed and Added into Clan Wars II: Quests are a major contribution to a FTP. Now it feels like we are being "pushed" to play CW II for the sake of having more rewards.
3. Possible Solutions To Fix Clan Wars IIFixing Clan Wars II at its current state:
- Balance Fame: Fame is just unequally distributed amongst the limited selections in CWII. Why play Boat Battles where we can just gamble with Duels and get more fame? Fame is unbalanced.
- Add Level Caps: Implement them into each clan league so battles can rely on skill, not level. Adding Level Caps can fix a common frustration in this update.
- More Tasks: From what we're seeing, we will probably going to be playing the same 2-3 modes for the entirety of Clan Wars II. Whether it's Best-of-3, Traditional, Final Battles at the Colosseum, or Boat Battles, we'll be doing the same thing every day for a few more years. Personally, I would like to see an additional River Task slot or two that houses a rotation of game modes for casual playing and additional fame.
- Increased Flexibility with Decks: How can we create unique & successful decks if a certain deck is incomplete or has the wrong cards? This goes for spells especially, since they're mandatory for deck success.
- Less Restrictions with War Decks: War Decks clearly reduces a player's freedom. Accompanied by ladder restrictions, wait times, and the flawed matchmaking, it makes the player experience horrendous.
- More Things to Do: We need more things to do in Clash Royale to keep the game running and players engaged. We shouldn't be pushed, leveraged, or forced to play something for the sake of increased rewards. We shouldn't be restricted with wait times, or reasons to not play Clash Royale.
4. A Player's Progression
It will take years to max out a single deck, and it appears that Clan Wars II encourages 4 maxed leveled decks?What's the real reason you're collecting all those rewards from challenges? Why do you open chests? To upgrade your card levels for ladder or level-dependent game modes. Ladder is getting stale and boring as time progresses; but if you're not a ladder player and you're past King Level 9 AND you don't play level-dependent modes, then these "rewards" Clan Wars II offers aren't as important to you than you think.
This is a major topic that I want to cover since this is a very important factor in Clash Royale.
How We Progress in the GameHere's a general summary of some ways we can get resources (chests, gold, etc):
- Playing Challenges and Global Tournaments (earning gold and chests)
- LaddeTrophy Road (small stream of rewards & chests)
- Pass Royale Tiers / Crown Chest
- Playing Clan Wars (CWII today)
- Shop offers
- Getting gold from donating/collecting 500 gold from purchased pass
- Classic/Grand challenges
Clan Wars II and the Level Dependent SystemMost King 13 players will have at least 1 maxed out deck, the rest of the 3 would probably be underleveled in Clan Wars II. Each card required to max out from 12 > 13 is 100,000 gold (150,000 gold if 11 > 13), per card! I'm not sure how much gold Clan Wars II offers, but if this level-dependent system remains In-Game, it'll cost approximately 700,000 - 800,000 gold per deck, and I'm talking about if you have all the cards you need to upgrade, which'll probably not be the case.
The addition of Clan Wars II almost made it mandatory to upgrade your cards to "at least" King Tower level, which is by far the worst toll in the Free-to-Play playerbase experience.
Clash Royale should offer enjoyment with wide variety of things to do. The game should be fun to play. Brawl Stars is a perfect example. The game should not restrict you, nor force you to play certain modes or events for the sake of additional rewards.
Chests and ProgressionChests provide a random set of cards and gold, and there are 99 cards in the game as of September 1st, 2020. It functions as a gacha/RNG and relies on a player's luck. Let's talk about the most valuable and rarest chests in the game, the Mega Lightning Chest and Legendary King's Chest.
Let's assume your cards are Level 9, and in order to max them out, you need 8800 commons, 2400 rares, 370 epics, and 35 Legendary, per card. Let's assume you'd rely on the two rarest chests for upgrades in Legendary Arena:
- A Mega Lightning Chest (ML) gives 846 cards, with 1L, 28E, 169R, and 648C per chest. This chest offers the most cards in a single chest, and allows you to strike up to 8 times. Let's assume you get the same cards per chest. You'll need to open the ML Chest minimum 13 times to max one Common, Rare and Epic, assuming you get the cards you want!
- A Legendary Kings Chest (LK) gives 360 cards, with 1L, 24E, 72R, and 263C per chest. This chest allows you to choose between two random sets of cards. Let's assume you get the same cards per chest. You'll need to open the LK Chest up to 33 times to max one Common, Rare and Epic, assuming you get the cards you want!
- The Mega Lightning Chest offers the most cards in a single chest in the game. You need to open this chest 13 times to max one single common card, one rare and one epic (Legendaries exception). In the game, there are 20C, 17R, and 17E. Let's assume you will be maxing 17 commons, rares and epics using the ML chest. To max these cards, you'll need to open a whopping 221 Mega Lightning Chests to max out 17 commons, rares and epics, assuming you get the cards you want!
Trades can help too! Assume you have 10 Common, Rare and Epic Tokens. They are capable of giving you 2500 Common Cards, 500 Rares, 100 Epics, and 10 Legendaries, assuming your clannmates are willing to take your trades. And this only counts for 1 card!
TL;DR: No matter what chest you get, even opening the rarest chests in Clash Royale won't give you an adequate number of cards to get close to upgrading, especially from Lvl 11- 13. I'm just talking about cards and the chest RNG, not the gold costs or trade tokens.
Although there's a ton of math involved, you should understand how long it takes to progress in the game. It takes months or years to max out a single deck just by playing everyday.
How To Improve ProgressionThere are many ways to effectively improve progression:
- Increasing the number of cards by 50-100% in every single chest will significantly make progression easier, while most likely not causing an inflation. This'll reduce the time spend upgrading by 25-50%, maybe cut a few months of reward collection.
- Decreasing the gold cost to upgrade a single card by 25-50%, or reducing the card number requirement.
- The Dev Team chose to implement more rewards, majority of them into Clan Wars II. While these rewards are fun to earn, they can also severely decrease the value of each chest, including the more valuable ones such as the Magical or Giant chest.
- Have an offer in the shop that grants a large sum of cards (enough to upgrade), with the cost of a large sum of gold.
- Improving the trophy road somehow?
5. A Different Incentive?Upgrading cards, earning trophies, and collecting a stream of rewards shouldn't be the only incentive to play Clash Royale. Emotes and new Tower Skins have potential, but aren't even proper incentives since they are purely cosmetic and requires Pass Royale too.
What Clash Royale needs is a new game mechanic, something that changes how we play Clash Royale. Let's take Brawl Stars for example; the introduction of Gadgets and Star Powers have been amazing additions into the game since they alter a brawler's core mechanic and changes the entire function of the game. These type of content feel new and changes how we play.
Ultimately, we need something more encouraging to work on.
We. Need. More Ways. To Play. Clash Royale.
Conclusion - Final WordsI'm a former active player of Clash Royale, Beta player, owned a successful clan for 2 years, joined a Nova Esports Clan; nowadays, I'm occasionally hopping on and off to play a few challenges.
Clan Wars II was a good addition into Clash Royale, but sparked a lot of outrage and disappointment during since the update drop. This is mainly because of the major flaws the update brought, we should know what that is. This isn't something the team will be proud about, not right now.
Will You Play Clan Wars II Everyday for Years to Come? Personally, I'd definitely play the update for the first week/month to try out the different player experience. However, I highly doubt CWII will keep the playerbase engaged everyday for years because it simply gets boring too quickly due to the limited/repetitive tasks.
What's the Future of Clash Royale Like? There will always be CR players playing the game. However, we should expect a significant decline in daily Clash Royale players for the next coming years, especially the veteran playerbase.
Is Clash Royale Dead? People are always stating that "the game is dead" all over the media. This is in-fact not true since there will always be active players around, making this statement is highly opinion-based. The game is probably dead, to you, since you personally lost the last of the Magic of Royale.
It was an awesome journey with Clash Royale. It shaped a part of my life and introduced me to the world of Supercell and it's wonderful community, and I found lots of friends along the way. Now, I'm an active content creator for Brawl Stars.Big thanks to u/Supercell-Seth and u/Supercell_Drew for creating such an amazing game that has been adored by players for years.
Former Chewy CEO tries to push GameStop to become the Amazon of the video-game industry
Even this former Goldman Sachs PM thinks GME can be supercharged
TDLR: Ryan Cohen thinks the Gamestop Management are dumb idiots but believes that GME 🚀🚀🚀💸💸💸. He believes the company can be the ultimate destination for gamers, starting with a strong e-commerce platform that provides competitive pricing, broad gaming selection, fast shipping and a high touch experience that excites and delights customers, including content and community. It needs to become the Amazon of gaming, with the added expertise and specialized customer service as a key differentiator.
To do this, Cohen urges the company to cut excessive real estate costs, streamline or sell non-core operations in Europe and Australia and hire the right talent.
Ryan Cohen, the former CEO of Chewy, thinks the maligned video-fame retailer can turn itself around by shifting its focus away from physical stores in favor of a building robust e-commerce platform. Cohen thinks GameStop can use its brand and large customer base to make that transition. He has taken a large stake in the company to try and push it in that direction. He alludes to the fact that one board seat would not be acceptable to him as he wants the company to actually focus on a shift in mindset.
Cohen seems like the type of shareholder who will take it the distance if necessary. In that case, he would have two potential headwinds.
First, the company recently added four new directors through settlements and nominations by shareholders. That could be enough to placate certain institutional shareholders and ISS if they do not see as dire of a situation as Cohen does in this ultra-fast-moving industry.
Second, a large part of the shareholder base is comprised of index funds such as BlackRock (12.12%), Vanguard (8.12%) and State Street (4.0%), who are reluctant to back an activist without the cover of an ISS or Glass Lewis recommendation. However, what is interesting here is there is an unusually high short interest, with approximately 90% of the shares in lending programs, so we don’t really know who has loaned their shares, who can vote them and who can recall them before the meeting. 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀 🌈💸POSITIONS: JAN 25C, 30C AND SHARES💸🌈🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀
Stock Market Value: $828 million ($12.71 per share)
Activist: Ryan CohenPercentage Ownership: 9.98%
Average Cost: $5.98
Activist Commentary: Cohen is not an activist but an extremely successful entrepreneur. Cohen is the co-founder and former CEO of e-commerce company Chewy, which he built up and sold to PetSmart in 2017 for $3.35 billion. Cohen remained CEO following the acquisition until March 2018, and in June 2019, Chewy went public at a valuation of $8.7 billion. This is Cohen’s first 13D filing, but what he lacks in activist experience he makes up for in strategic and operational qualifications in building and running a company in the digital era, giving him a ton of credibility here, even more so than the average activist with respect to certain areas.
What’s Happening:On Nov. 16, 2020, Cohen sent a letter to the company’s board, urging them to immediately conduct a strategic review and to provide stockholders with a credible and publicly available roadmap for cost containment, prioritizing profitable retail locations and geographic markets and building the e-commerce ecosystem.
Behind the Scenes:Cohen resorted to this public letter because his private attempts were not productive. GameStop sells video games and consoles and has been bearishly compared to Blockbuster. Cohen does not make that direct analogy, but he certainly paints the picture of a company that is on that same path if it does not change.
Sales have declined from $9.5 billion in fiscal year 2011 (before the last console cycle) to $6.4 billion in fiscal year 2019; EBITDA has dropped from $839 million in 2011 to only $111 million in 2019; net income has fallen from $339 million in 2011 to a loss of $470 million in 2019; and in the two most recent quarters alone, the company lost another $277 million. All of this happened while the size of the global gaming market has grown by more than 2.5x since the last console cycle. Cohen sees a company that is stuck in a brick-and-mortar mentality and is unwilling to embrace the digital mindset necessary to grow with gamers.
However, Cohen also sees a company with valuable assets, including a strong brand and large customer base and a path to success and shareholder value. He believes the company can be the ultimate destination for gamers, but that destination must start with a strong e-commerce platform that provides competitive pricing, broad gaming selection, fast shipping and a truly high touch experience that excites and delights customers, including content and community. It needs to become the Amazon of gaming, with the added expertise and specialized customer service as a key differentiator.
To do this, Cohen urges the company to cut excessive real estate costs, streamline or sell non-core operations in Europe and Australia and hire the right talent. While Cohen does not specifically target CEO George Sherman, he does note that Sherman has substantial experience working for large brick-and-mortar retailers such as Advance Auto Parts, Best Buy and Target and is committed to a twentieth century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales despite the transition to an always-on digital world.
The company is at an inflection point to make this change. Cohen notes that the company will be able to temporarily mask some of its issues with the new console cycle that will appear to validate its adherence to an outdated business model that is overdependent on brick-and-mortar sales. However, it is also this new console cycle and additional sales that can provide the cash flow to finance this strategy change into the future as the global gaming market is expected to reach $174.9 billion this year and $217.9 billion by 2023.
Cohen alludes to the fact that one board seat would not be acceptable to him as he wants the company to actually focus on a shift in mindset. This would require at least two — and probably three or more — new directors to the ten-person board, depending on who is replaced. While it looks like Cohen might have an ally on the board in James Symancyk, the CEO of PetSmart while Cohen was running Chewy, Symancyk also has a brick-and-mortar background and might not see it the same way Cohen does.
If this does end up going to a proxy fight, Cohen seems like the type of shareholder who will take it the distance if necessary. In that case, he would have two potential headwinds. First, the company recently added four new directors through settlements and nominations by shareholders. That could be enough to placate certain institutional shareholders and ISS if they do not see as dire of a situation as Cohen does in this ultra-fast-moving industry. Second, a large part of the shareholder base is comprised of index funds such as BlackRock (12.12%), Vanguard (8.12%) and State Street (4.0%), who are reluctant to back an activist without the cover of an ISS or Glass Lewis recommendation. However, what is interesting here is there is an unusually high short interest, with approximately 90% of the shares in lending programs, so we don’t really know who has loaned their shares, who can vote them and who can recall them before the meeting.
It will be interesting to see if the board will be able to stomach the change necessary to propel GameStop into the 21st century. In the words of former U.S. Army General Eric Shinseki: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”