AA: How successful has the launch been?

September 19, 2014

I’m not quite at 180 with ArcheAge, but I’m close. It’s growing on me, rapidly, and I’m still just trying to plow through the early questing. I’ll post more once I get a little more time with it and really dig into some of the better features.

What I’m wondering today however is just how successful has this launch been overall, in terms of people trying the game and liking it. Clearly the launch hasn’t been great from a queues and server stability perspective, but again, is it possible that AA really has far exceeded expectations? I mean, when was the last time an MMO launch with a good level of hype, and actually lived up to that hype? 2004 WoW? Maybe FFXIV?

Trion isn’t new to the MMO genre, and out of all the studios out, they also aren’t the worst. They may have borked Rift with update 1.2, but Rift was still solid, and from reading others they did the F2P downgrade well for that title. Maybe they are actually being honest now when they say the player counts for AA are unexpectedly high? Maybe, like me, lots of other people are pleasantly surprised and enjoying what AA is? Again, an MMO coming out that has actually surprised people in a positive way has become a very rare thing, while the demand for a good MMO (I believe) has remained high.

Maybe AA is the next big thing? If FFXIV can hit and retain 2m+ subs just by doing themepark ‘right’, is it really that hard to imagine an MMO doing virtual world ‘right’ not snowballing into a massive success?

 


CoC: More war stats than you thought possible, and didn’t know you needed until now!

September 18, 2014

Editor note: The following was put together by fellow CoC member Delpez. Excellent work all around, useful for our clan members, but I think also interesting for non-CoC players in terms of showing the depth of the game and the amount of thinking/strategy that comes with it. The data is from our last war, that we narrowly lost. Enjoy and thanks again to Delpez!

Supreme Cream! War 1 Stats

General War Stats

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Nr of TH10 3 2
Nr of TH9 3 1
Nr of TH8 9 15
Nr of TH7 15 15
Nr of TH6 9 6
Nr of TH5 1 1
Average TH Level 7.33 7.38
Sum of TH Levels 293 295
Inactive Players 3 1

 

It’s usually difficult for TH6 and lower to 3-star (smash!) same level TH’s. These low TH bases will usually not contribute much towards 3 stars in a war. Obviously there are some exceptions, such as a max TH6 against a newly promoted TH6. In any case, the table shows that we had ten low level TH’s against seven. To balance this we had more high TH bases, but it still means we had three less TH’s that could be expected to smash opponents. The average TH level and sum of TH levels also show that they were slightly stronger (based on TH level only).

 

Next is the number of stars left behind by TH level:

Stars not conquered

Supreme Cream! Enemy
TH10 3 5
TH9 1 3
TH8 5 10
TH7 3 2
TH6 2 1
TH5 0 0
Sum 14 21

 

We probably couldn’t do much about TH10 and 9, but we left ten TH8 stars on the table. They also won the battle for the high levels (TH9 and 10); from what I could see their high levels were more advanced than ours, but coupled with the fact that we also had more low level guys this made for a difficult war. Regardless, this shows that we might have been better served by focusing high level attacks on TH8’s (20/20 hindsight)

Overall attack stats

Combined Attacks

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 70 71
3 Star Attacks 25 27
Total 3 Star % 35.7 38.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.76 1.75
1st Attack Attacks Used 37 39
3 Star Attacks 10 15
Total 3 Star % 27.0 38.5
Average Stars / Attack 1.73 1.64
2nd Attack Attacks Used 33 32
3 Star Attacks 13 14
Total 3 Star % 39.4 43.8
Average Stars / Attack 1.79 1.88

 

We actually had (slightly) more stars per attack, but they scored more 3-stars. This shows how important 3-stars are. The average stars count all attacks, so if we scoured five 3-stars against a player it will count all five attacks for the average, even if we only scored 2 stars in the war from that player. I split it into 1st and 2nd attacks, since first attacks should be for maximum stars, while the second attack is usually affected by what’s still left to hit. We did quite poorly in 3-stars during the first attack (27%), but our average stars per attack is still high – meaning lots of 2-stars. We improved a lot for the second attack but so did they; this is a function of better information and high levels cleaning up lower TH bases.

 

The next three tables show our attacks against higher, lower and same level bases:

Attacks against same level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 44 33
3 Star Attacks 12 12
Total 3 Star % 27.3 36.4
Average Stars / Attack 1.73 1.73
1st Attack Attacks Used 23 20
3 Star Attacks 3 8
Total 3 Star % 13.0 40.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.65 1.90
2nd Attack Attacks Used 21 13
3 Star Attacks 9 4
Total 3 Star % 42.9 30.8
Average Stars / Attack 1.81 1.46

 

Firstly, we made a lot more attacks against same level bases (TH7 vs. TH7 for example), but were not very successful; 3-star only 27.3% of the time. Once again the high average seems to show that we had lots of 2-stars. We were really awful in our first attacks but improved a lot for the second attack.

Attacks against lower level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 17 32
3 Star Attacks 11 13
Total 3 Star % 64.7 40.6
Average Stars / Attack 2.24 1.78
1st Attack Attacks Used 8 15
3 Star Attacks 5 3
Total 3 Star % 62.5 20.0
Average Stars / Attack 2.25 1.33
2nd Attack Attacks Used 9 17
3 Star Attacks 6 10
Total 3 Star % 66.7 58.8
Average Stars / Attack 2.22 2.18

 

These are the most likely 3-star attacks, and we made half as many as our opponents. Our success rate was much higher, but they still ended up with two more 3-stars. They were very bad at this for the first attack, considering that the attacks were against lower bases. From the raw data it seems as if their “bad” (newly promoted) TH7 and TH8 players attacked down, while the “good” players used their first attack against same TH opponents and their second against lower TH’s.

Attacks against higher level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 9 6
3 Star Attacks 2 2
Total 3 Star % 22.2 33.3
Average Stars / Attack 1.00 1.67
1st Attack Attacks Used 6 4
3 Star Attacks 2 2
Total 3 Star % 33.3 50.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.33 1.50
2nd Attack Attacks Used 3 2
3 Star Attacks 0 0
Total 3 Star % 0.0 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 0.33 2.00

 

These attacks were not very common or very successful, but we made more than our opponents. Sometimes these are fights against opponents who rushed and are vulnerable (some of our guys definitely falls in that bracket), and some guys may be going after loot. Also, second attacks can also be a desperate attempt by a lower level base to get stars.

These figures show a general reluctance amongst our clan to attack lower level bases. You sometimes see it in chat where people justify themselves or make excuses after smashing a low level base (“that was overkill, but…” being quite commonJ).

Attacks were also broken down by TH level:

TH5 and TH6 attack stats (lumped together as one bracket for this)

All attacks

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 16 11
3 Star Attacks 3 0
Total 3 Star % 18.8 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.19 0.45
1st Attack Attacks Used 9 7
3 Star Attacks 1 0
Total 3 Star % 11.1 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.11 0.43
2nd Attack Attacks Used 7 4
3 Star Attacks 2 0
Total 3 Star % 28.6 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.29 0.50

 

We did much better than them, but at this TH level it only nets three 3-stars.

Attacks against same level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 11 10
3 Star Attacks 3 0
Total 3 Star % 27.3 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.73 0.50
1st Attack Attacks Used 6 6
3 Star Attacks 1 0
Total 3 Star % 16.7 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.67 0.50
2nd Attack Attacks Used 5 4
3 Star Attacks 2 0
Total 3 Star % 40.0 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.80 0.50

 

This shows how difficult it is for TH5 and 6 players to get 3 stars (once again – we did much better than them). Smashing these bases is the TH7 player’s job!

Attacks against higher level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 5 0
3 Star Attacks 0 0
Total 3 Star % 0.0 n/a
Average Stars / Attack 0.00 0.00
1st Attack Attacks Used 3 0
3 Star Attacks 0 0
Total 3 Star % 0.0 n/a
Average Stars / Attack 0.00 n/a
2nd Attack Attacks Used 2 0
3 Star Attacks 0 0
Total 3 Star % 0.0 n/a
Average Stars / Attack 0.00 n/a

 

TH6’s will never 3-star a well designed TH7 base (or even get a star it seems!). Most of these attacks were desperate attempts to get stars later in the war, so no harm was done.

TH7 attack stats

All attacks

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 28 29
3 Star Attacks 13 14
Total 3 Star % 46.4 48.3
Average Stars / Attack 2.00 1.93
1st Attack Attacks Used 14 15
3 Star Attacks 6 6
Total 3 Star % 42.9 40.0
Average Stars / Attack 2.07 1.87
2nd Attack Attacks Used 14 14
3 Star Attacks 7 8
Total 3 Star % 50.0 57.1
Average Stars / Attack 1.93 2.00

 

Quite close here

Attacks against same level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 19 14
3 Star Attacks 8 7
Total 3 Star % 42.1 50.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.95 1.93
1st Attack Attacks Used 10 7
3 Star Attacks 3 4
Total 3 Star % 30.0 57.1
Average Stars / Attack 1.80 2.29
2nd Attack Attacks Used 9 7
3 Star Attacks 5 3
Total 3 Star % 55.6 42.9
Average Stars / Attack 2.11 1.57

 

These guys were less likely to attack other TH7 bases, but when they did they were a bit more successful at smashing them.

Attacks against lower level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 5 14
3 Star Attacks 3 7
Total 3 Star % 60.0 50.0
Average Stars / Attack 2.00 1.93
1st Attack Attacks Used 1 8
3 Star Attacks 1 2
Total 3 Star % 100.0 25.0
Average Stars / Attack 3.00 1.50
2nd Attack Attacks Used 4 6
3 Star Attacks 2 5
Total 3 Star % 50.0 83.3
Average Stars / Attack 1.75 2.50

 

They were much more likely to attack down. Keep in mind that they may have been forced into this because we had lots of low level bases, and their TH6’s did not make any headway against us (0 3-stars)

Attacks against higher level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 4 1
3 Star Attacks 2 0
Total 3 Star % 50.0 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 2.25 2.00
1st Attack Attacks Used 3 0
3 Star Attacks 2 0
Total 3 Star % 66.7
Average Stars / Attack 2.67
2nd Attack Attacks Used 1 1
3 Star Attacks 0 0
Total 3 Star % 0.0 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.00 2.0

 

Our TH7’s did ok, smashing a couple of TH8’s.

All in all the TH7 fight was quite close, although they got mot of their stars attacking down, while we got some stars attacking up.
TH8 attack stats

All attacks

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 15 25
3 Star Attacks 5 12
Total 3 Star % 33.3 48.0
Average Stars / Attack 2.07 2.08
1st Attack Attacks Used 8 14
3 Star Attacks 1 6
Total 3 Star % 12.5 42.9
Average Stars / Attack 1.88 1.93
2nd Attack Attacks Used 7 11
3 Star Attacks 4 6
Total 3 Star % 57.1 54.5
Average Stars / Attack 2.29 2.27

 

This is where they smashed us hard. Not only did they have more TH8’s, they also had a higher percentage 3 stars. Once again our average stars per attack were not bad compared to theirs, indicating lots of 2 stars

 

Attacks against same level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 12 9
3 Star Attacks 2 4
Total 3 Star % 16.7 44.4
Average Stars / Attack 1.83 2.11
1st Attack Attacks Used 7 7
3 Star Attacks 0 3
Total 3 Star % 0.0 42.9
Average Stars / Attack 1.71 2.00
2nd Attack Attacks Used 5 2
3 Star Attacks 2 1
Total 3 Star % 40.0 50.0
Average Stars / Attack 2.00 2.50

 

We spend most of our TH8 attacks against their TH8 bases, without much joy. In fact, we did seven first attacks without a single 3 star and ended up with only 17% of our attacks getting 3 stars against their TH8’s. They did fewer attacks with more success (44% 3 stars) against our TH8’s

Attacks against lower level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 3 13
3 Star Attacks 3 6
Total 3 Star % 100.0 46.2
Average Stars / Attack 3.00 2.08
1st Attack Attacks Used 1 4
3 Star Attacks 1 1
Total 3 Star % 100.0 25.0
Average Stars / Attack 3.00 1.75
2nd Attack Attacks Used 2 9
3 Star Attacks 2 5
Total 3 Star % 100.0 55.6
Average Stars / Attack 3.00 2.22

 

We were very successful when attacking down, but only did 3 such attacks at TH8. Most of their TH8 attacks were against lower bases, and although I would have expected a higher 3-star percentage, they still managed to 3-star almost half their attacks.

 

Attacks against higher level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 0 3
3 Star Attacks 0 2
Total 3 Star % #DIV/0! 66.7
Average Stars / Attack #DIV/0! 2.00
1st Attack Attacks Used 0 3
3 Star Attacks 0 2
Total 3 Star % #DIV/0! 66.7
Average Stars / Attack #DIV/0! 2.0
2nd Attack Attacks Used 0 0
3 Star Attacks 0 0
Total 3 Star % #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Average Stars / Attack #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

 

We didn’t try any attacks up, but their attacks were surprisingly successful. Maybe against a rushed TH9 or 10?

TH9&10 attack stats (lumped into one category)

All attacks

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 11 6
3 Star Attacks 4 1
Total 3 Star % 36.4 16.7
Average Stars / Attack 1.55 1.83
1st Attack Attacks Used 6 3
3 Star Attacks 2 1
Total 3 Star % 33.3 33.3
Average Stars / Attack 1.67 2.00
2nd Attack Attacks Used 5 3
3 Star Attacks 2 0
Total 3 Star % 40.0 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 1.40 1.67

 

We had more players in this bracket and our attacks were also more successful

Attacks against same level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 4 5
3 Star Attacks 0 1
Total 3 Star % 0.0 20.0
Average Stars / Attack 0.25 1.80
1st Attack Attacks Used 2 3
3 Star Attacks 0 1
Total 3 Star % 0.0 33.3
Average Stars / Attack 0.50 2.00
2nd Attack Attacks Used 2 2
3 Star Attacks 0 0
Total 3 Star % 0.0 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 0.00 1.50

 

However, we didn’t make any headway against their high level bases – one star in 4 attacks! They managed one 3-star and some lower star attacks. Again shows that although we had more high TH bases, theirs were probably more powerful.

Attacks against lower level bases

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Combined Attacks Used 7 1
3 Star Attacks 4 0
Total 3 Star % 57.1 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 2.29 2.00
1st Attack Attacks Used 4 0
3 Star Attacks 2 0
Total 3 Star % 50.0 #DIV/0!
Average Stars / Attack 2.25 #DIV/0!
2nd Attack Attacks Used 3 1
3 Star Attacks 2 0
Total 3 Star % 66.7 0.0
Average Stars / Attack 2.33 2.00

 

We did much better attacking down. Just keep in mind that two of our 3-stars were against TH7 bases. At this level they didn’t bother much with attacking down.

 

In summary we faced a slightly stronger clan – we had more low level bases and their high level bases (although fewer than ours) were more powerful.

 

Our TH5&6 did much better than theirs

TH7 were pretty equal. They got more stars attacking down and we made up some stars attacking up

We got smashed pretty hard at TH8, whether we attacked up, down or same level. If this trend persists we might need to give more help from above in wars?

Overall our high level bases did ok, although we made no headway whatsoever against their high bases

 

A possible strategy would be something like this:

 

TH5 & 6:                     Smash real noob bases, otherwise do the best you can

TH7 w/o dragons        Smash TH6 bases

TH7 with dragons       Smash low to mid TH7 bases

TH8 (low level)           Smash high TH7 bases

TH8 (high level)          Smash low TH8 bases

TH9 & 10                    Smash high TH8 bases, get some stars against top bases

 

By the way, all this assumes a TH8 base is a real TH8 base. Players who rush hurt us twice – firstly we get into a more difficult war because of the higher TH average, and secondly they have to fight way down to score 3-stars. I guess we’re a casual clan (hardcore casual even?) so players can rush if they like, but they should just be aware that it hurts us in wars.


Can we close the book on ‘accessibility’ now?

September 18, 2014

File this as example 164,239 of “difficulty is good for everyone, faceroll is bad”: EVE Burner missions killing people make them enjoyable. This is pretty good timing too, given that Blizzard just confirmed example 164,238 (WotLK, the ‘accessible’ age, was when WoW started declining), and Tobold is here to provide example 164,240, where he had to stop face-rolling in Destiny (a ‘casual AAA game’ everyone) due to running into something with a challenge, and actually had to think up a way to get around it. Oh the horror.

Not that this is news to most. The most popular game out overall is based on scaling PvP difficulty (LoL), the most popular and profitable mobile game is based on scaling PvP difficulty (CoC), and the most popular gaming franchise (CoD) is based primarily around PvP of scaling difficulty (server selection). It’s almost like people are trying to tell devs something, and they are saying it with what counts (money rather than words).


AA: Updated 30 min snap judgement

September 16, 2014

Sitting in a queue for at least 30min.

Although the total was only 860, with an initial estimate of under an hour, which is not bad at all for the first day of F2P. That said it might be worth subbing just to avoid the unwashed masses login queue. Assuming, of course, I stay with it for longer than 30min.


Dear KTR, unblock me

September 16, 2014

I miss leaving extremely witty one-liners, get me out of your spam bin.


CoC: Bitterly entertaining defeat

September 15, 2014

I’m the type of person who, once I get into something, I devour it. That’s kinda where the title of this blog comes from, because even as I casually (by my standards) play MMOs, I still do so with a ‘hardcore’ edge. I’ve never been into things for the participation trophy, and likely never will.

So because the MMO genre continues to be utterly uninteresting, my attention has focused more and more towards Clash of Clans. In some ways it brings me back to the ‘good old days’ of leading my EVE Corp, of WoW raid, of realm warfare in DAoC, or of guild activities in UO; working with and leading people together against others and succeeding. The major difference is that in CoC, this can done without the massive time commitment leading a guild usually requires. It’s still more than the average, but at least it’s not full-time-job levels.

The other major motivator for me right now is the depth of CoC. You can play it casually and derp around, but the more serious you get about it, the more the game rewards you for that. And because ultimately it’s a PvP game, you won’t hit a mastery level where things become trivial; the better you get, the better you will compete with others at that level. This goes for individual play as well as for the overall average of a clan.

I state all of this because my clan, “Supreme Cream!”, has lost our last two clan wars by razor-thin margins, and that just doesn’t sit well with me. Now let me be very clear, the wars were very entertaining, and ultimately that’s why I play games, but I don’t like losing. Especially when room for improvement exists, starting on my end and going down. Which brings me to the new tab on this blog. It should help us improve, and seeing improvement is a large portion of the fun I have as a leader.


AA: Housing rage will be just delighful

September 11, 2014

I’m very 50/50 on ArcheAge right now. Obviously my 30 minute review of it wasn’t glowing, but at the same time I’ve had multiple people tell me that once I get through the leveling garbage, the game is exactly what I would want in an MMO. That’s at least a little tempting. Plus it’s ‘free’ (post for another day) and other than playing FFXIV as a duo, I’m not exactly brimming with MMO options these days.

Easy prediction time though; the head start + housing situation is going to cause a lot of rage, as the prime spots will be picked up long before the first freeloader even gets a chance to create a character. I’m actually dying for this to happen, because there are few things funnier than hearing someone who hasn’t dropped a dime complaining about a service others pay for. The rage tears will be delicious.


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