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Clash of Clans


EricBall

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My son managed to convince mom to install CoC on his iPhone. After watching a little bit, I put it on my HTC. It's pretty cool, although I wonder how Supercell is making any money given lack of IAP pressure and the TV advertising.

 

IAP - in app purchases, or the way "free-to-play" games make money. In the case of CoC, $$ buys you gems which can be used to:

  1. Instantly complete anything which would otherwise take time to complete. (More time requires more gems.) But if you're willing to wait then there's no requirement to spend $$.
  2. Buy gold or elixir which can then be spent to build & upgrade stuff. But again, if you're willing to wait then your gold mines & elixir collectors can give you the same.
  3. Certain cosmetic items.
  4. Builder huts, which impacts the number of things you can build or upgrade simultaneously. Again, this is primarily a time saver as after the tutorial you have two.

So unlike a lot of other FTP games, it is feasible to play CoC without spending any real $$. (Although #2 might be more useful as other players can steal your resources.)

 

The basic gameplay is you collect gold and elixir to build up your defenses & your attacking army. You then use that army to attempt to raid other player's villages and steal their resources - unless their defenses defeat your army. Other players try to do the same to you. Successful raids & defenses give you trophies; unsuccessful raids & defense lose trophies. However, an unsuccessful defense also gives you a shield which prevents other players from attacking you for a period of time, unless you attack, which can then be used to replenish resources you lost.

 

This brings up the one problem with CoC (IMHO). Who you get to attack (and who attacks you) is based on the number of trophies each player has. So a common strategy for high level players is to purposely lose raids to reduce the number of trophies they have, then to smash some poor low level player with the full power of their army to steal resources. The game does try to limit this by restricting the percentage of resources the higher level player can steal, but . . .

 

One of the challenges is defense design. You have limited resources (weapons & walls) and layout challenges (as each building takes up space, but weapons have finite range and there are insufficient walls to surround all available buildings). Then there are various attacking tactics.

 

 

 

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I found a few articles about CoC on Gamasutra. Apparently (at least in Jan 2013) Supercell was making $1M per DAY from it's (at that time) two tiles (CoC and Hay Day, to which they've now added Boom Beach). So I guess I don't need to worry about not spending money myself as apparently there are enough impatient people in the world.

 

And I can see the point. Yesterday I upgraded my Town Hall from level 3 to level 4 (which took a day to complete) which means I can add more stuff to my village and upgrade the stuff I already have, which all requires time (both to do the actual builds & upgrades and to collect the gold & elixir to pay for it). (And it gets worse the higher the level. Upgrading from Town Hall level 9 to 10 requires two _weeks_ to complete.)

 

And yet, if you have the patience, I don't see why you can't play CoC indefinitely without spending real money.

 

And apparently the whole trophy matching idea was a change from when the game was first released. So maybe the alternatives are worse in some way. I've just resigned myself to cheering when my village successfully defends itself and enjoying the benefits of the shield time when it gets smashed by a higher level player.

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So my wife, son & I have been playing CoC for the past 2 months. We have our own clan so we can send each other units. Our actual playtime per day has come down because of how long things take, but we're still having fun (although we've had to change how we define fun somewhat).

 

I'm now up to Townhall level 6 and I'm slowly upgrading everything. While I'm under a shield (because someone attacked me successfully) I accumulate resources to upgrade. Ideally I spend the resources just before the shield expires (if I have enough resources & a spare builder & only one defense upgrading at a time). Once the shield expires, I raid then rebuild my army and raid again. Depending upon what units I build determines whether it takes minutes or hours to rebuild. I also have to balance spending elixir on building units (which I might recover via raiding) versus accumulating it towards an upgrade.

 

Eventually I will have upgraded everything to TH6 level, then I upgrade to TH7 and continue the slog.

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I'm at Townhall level 7 and I've hit an interesting wall - my resource production can't keep up with how much can be raided from my resource storage. Here's how it works:

 

I have 6 level 11 gold mines which product 3000 gold per hour. So that's 18K gold per hour, or 216K gold in 12 hours or 288K gold in 16 hours. An attacker can raid 20% of my gold storage, so if they flatten my village and I get a 16 hour shield that means I will only be able to recover up to a maximum of 1.44M gold. (And that's assuming my defenses don't stop them after they've taken all my gold but before they destroy over 90% of my village and that I collect from my gold mines just before the shield runs out.)

 

This makes it difficult to accumulate the 2M gold needed to build Hidden Teslas. And it gets worse at higher levels as you don't get another gold mine or exlir pump until TH10 and production only increases 16.67% at TH8.

 

I could buy (with the free gems I have accumulated) a longer shield, but that's only a temporary solution. Raiding other players for gold can sometimes be fruitful, but it takes time. I have dropped down to a lower trophy level, which has helped, but I'm still flattened on almost a daily basis.

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