CoC: MMA Clash pre-war statistics and analysis

January 22, 2015

(Stats and writeup by Delpez)

I’ve been working on a model to determine the likely number of stars one can achieve with dragon attacks, based on the defensive strength of the war base. More data is required, but in its current form the model can estimate the minimum number of stars we should achieve against each base. I’ve also color coded (note: colors don’t show up so went with the first letter of each color where applicable) the TH7&8’s based on air defense strength. A more detailed explanation will follow after the table:

Read the rest of this entry »


CoC: State of the Cream update

January 14, 2015

Outside of the war updates from Delpez, I want to write a bit about CoC in general, the clan specifically, and related items, so here goes.

As for CoC itself, I’m still very actively playing the game, and believe it’s easily not just the very best mobile game out by a mile, but one of the best games out period across all of gaming. From its learning/progression curve (quick and simple start, long to ‘max out’ and master) its pro-social design (no weak links, helping others helps you), the ‘F2P done right’ business model (Pay-2-Skip rather than Pay-4-Power, while at the same time being the most successful mobile game year after year), and the solid and active support the game receives (no ‘time to give us more money’ cash grab updates, no massive shifts in power, no horribly imbalanced changes, new stuff like units or buildings/traps that expand the game rather than shift it, appropriate and not obnoxious holiday stuff), it’s just an all-around amazing product well worth anyone’s times.

My clan, “Supreme Cream!”, is also doing extremely well. We are constantly floating between a full 50 man roster and 45+ members (so feel free to apply and we will get you in, either right away or when a spot opens up), we generally do well in wars, and the social aspect of chat and people helping out is very solid.

I’m at a bit of an impasse however with what I want to do with the clan, as it relates to clan wars. For a while now our trend has been that we win most of our wars, but when we run up against a solid, no-derps clan, we generally lose, and I don’t like losing.

This reminds me of early WoW raiding. Our guild started off as a more casual guild, but as we got more and more into raiding, we had to decide if we were fine with not really progressing, or if we were going to make the changes to allow us to keep moving forward. I feel like that’s where the CoC clan is at right now; do I make changes to get us into shape to compete with everyone, or do I keep it very casual and accept defeat from top-shelf clans?

As Delpez tracks war activity, the first change I made is that members must perform 8 attacks in 5 wars, basically allowing someone to miss one and still count as active. The side-note to that is anyone who lets us know they will not be around for RL reasons won’t have that war count against them.

The tricky thing with managing this clan is that everyone in it is a blog reader or friend of a reader, so I feel bad booting people because they are ‘my people’ in a way. On the other hand, like with any game, for any number of reasons people do move on, and they don’t necessarily leave a guild when they do, so the occasional roster ‘clean up’ is needed.

I believe this is important however as winning or progressing is important to keep active members happy. To go back to WoW, if our guild hadn’t made the needed changes to keep progressing, our more motivated members would have left and found another guild, and to be honest I’d rather keep someone like that happy at the expense of a semi-inactive or unmotivated person than vice versa. But as always identifying where that fine line between ‘active’ guild/clan management and being too hardcore lies is tricky, and a big mistake in one direction or another can ruin a good thing.

 

 


CoC: War stats vs GoHAM Gaming 1/12/2015

January 14, 2015

(Stats and writeup by Delpez)

Supreme Cream! vs. Goham Gaming

 

Supreme Cream Enemy
Average TH Level 7.84 8.08
Average Player Level 70.50 80.16
Score 107 134
Total Attacks Used 81 93
Total 3 Star Attacks 18 35
Total 3 Star % 22.22 37.6
3 Stars Against Same Level 15 23
3 Star % Against Same Level 27.3 32.9
3 Stars Against Lower Level 3 12
3 Star % Against Lower Level 27.3 80.0
TH4,5&6 3 Stars 0 0
TH4,5&6 3 Star % 0.0 #DIV/0!
TH7 3 Stars 3 6
TH7 3 Stars % 18.8 60.0
TH7 3 Stars (same level) 3 4
TH7 3 Stars % (same level) 60.0 100.0
TH8 3 Stars 11 26
TH8 3 Star % 23.4 36.1
TH8 3 Stars (same level) 9 18
TH8 3 Star % (same level) 20.9 30.0
TH8 Ave Stars / Attack (same level) 1.7 1.9
TH9&10 3 Stars 4 3
TH9&10 3 Star % 28.6 27.3
TH9&10 3 Stars (same level) 3 1
TH9&10 3 Star % (same level) 42.9 16.7
TH9&10 Ave Stars / Attack (same level) 1.86 2.00

After a number of easy victories, we got beaten comprehensively in this war. Not only were our enemies stronger in terms of TH level, their average player level was also a lot higher (70.5 vs. 80.2). In other words, it was always going to be tough. We certainly did not do ourselves any favours by a lower activity level (81 attacks vs. 93). The next two tables show the number of players per TH level, and the average player level at each TH:

Players per TH

Supreme Cream! Enemy
Nr of TH10 3 2
Nr of TH9 4 5
Nr of TH8 29 38
Nr of TH7 11 5
Nr of TH6 2 0
Nr of TH5 1 0

Average player level per TH

Supreme Cream! Enemy
TH10 103.0 119.5
TH9 79.5 101.2
TH8 73.5 77.7
TH7 59.3 61.8

We had equal numbers of high level bases, but theirs were much further advanced (as shown by the average player level for TH9&10 bases). Considering this, our top level bases did very well in terms of 3-star numbers.

Our opponents only had a few TH7 bases, but they outperformed our TH7’s by a large margin. Our TH7’s could only manage 60% against same level bases, which is a very low percentage considering all our players have access to dragons. A well executed dragon attack should 3-star a TH7 base almost 100% of the time.

None of those statistics meant much in this war, just because of the sheer number of TH8 bases. Not only did they outnumber us at TH8, but their average player level was also higher. The player level reflects the fact that we have a number of new TH8’s who haven’t maxed their air defences or dragons yet, while most of their TH8’s were quite advanced. However, some errors were made during our dragon attacks; I’m not measuring error by the number of stars here – a bad attack at TH7 can still net 3-stars, while a good attack at TH8 can fail. But there are incorrect ways to execute a dragon attack that significantly reduce the chance for success. I’ve listed those errors, as well as some points for discussion. Note that attack execution is not mentioned, just the general attack strategy.

Typical mistakes with dragon attacks:

By far the most common mistakes are to dump all the dragons in one spot, or failing to create a funnel for the dragons to core into the base. The biggest risk during a dragon attack is that they’ll skirt around the base, hence the funnel. To create a funnel first take out the edges of the side you want to attack, before spreading the rest of the dragons between those two points. This forces the dragons into the base. Spreading them out also minimizes damage from AOE clan troops such as wizards, who can do some serious harm to dragons if they’re all bunched up.

I won’t say it’s impossible to 3-star an advanced TH8 base with level 2 dragons, but it happens very, very rarely. Advanced bases are typically where the combined level of the air defences are over 15. A while ago I kept record of such attacks, and the success rate was exactly 0%! I know in the latest war there were very few weak bases to attack, but if you have level 2 dragons, please make sure all weaker bases have been 3-starred before taking on a strong TH8 base.

Splitting up the dragons to attack more than one side of the base is usually a mistake. It might be tempting to attack air defences on opposite sides, but unless the base is flawed and the AD right on the perimeter, such an attack will fail. Dragons work best in mass; splitting them will only weaken the overall attack.

Some players attack the side of the base with the fewest air defences. With three AD’s you usually have two on one side of the town hall and one on the other. Attacking the side with one AD might be tempting to minimize damage while coring into the base, but the dragons will take a LOT more damage from the remaining AD’s while clearing the town hall. Remember, your objective is to kill as many AD’s as soon as possible, so you need to attack the side with the most powerful air defences.

There are two ways to use balloons: drop them behind the dragon wave, or use them to take out an AD close to the perimeter. The second method only works if the AD is very close to the edge – targeting an AD behind more than one other defensive structure is usually a mistake, as it takes too long for the balloons to get to it.

Level 4 balloons are just not good enough, level 5 balloons are ok and level 6 balloons are great. Using level 4 balloons, whether it’s in the clan castle or as regular troops, only dilutes the overall power of the attack.

Dragon attack discussion points:

Something I almost put under mistakes is attacking the corner of a base (as opposed to a side). However, I’ve seen numerous corner attacks that yield 3-stars, so it’s obviously a valid strategy. Just realize that it’s more difficult to create a funnel if you attack a corner, since by definition the base flares out from the corner. Also, you have a smaller area to deploy your dragons in, which increases the risk against AOE clan troops or the dragons going the wrong way. None of these factors are deal breakers, but they should be taken into account when planning a corner attack.

The Rage/Heal spell combination is more powerful, but zapping an AD with Lightning spells is more consistent. There is really no reason to use Rage spells at TH7, you don’t need the additional power and the odds of failure with Lightning spells are small (as long as you manage to drop the Lightnings dead centre on the AD). Lightning spells can also be used against many low to mid TH8 bases, but against the higher TH8’s you might need to extra power of the Rage/Heal combination.

When to deploy the King is obviously dependant on the base and the level of the King. A lot of people use him at the start to create a funnel for the dragons – while this is not wrong, you’re giving up a lot of utility and damage by dropping him early. Towards the end of an attack the King can deal a ton of damage and help clear the base – especially against anti-dragon bases where he does not have to go through walls. He can also play tank and soak damage from towers and teslas while your dragons do their thing. Finally, he can be used to force wayward dragons into the base by taking out some strategic perimeter structures. I suspect that the higher the level of the King, the more sense it makes to drop him later.


Looking back at 2014, looking forward into 2015

December 15, 2014

Time to review 2014 and make some 2015 predictions (I don’t get as fancy as some people and do two posts!)

Here are the 2014 predictions:

EQNL will have everyone loving it the first month of release. Shortly after just about everyone will be asking “now what?” and drift away.

Anyone want to comment this isn’t 100% accurate, other than the whole “release but its beta” scam?

EQN will continue to attempt to copy/paste from my design docs, and will continue to SOE them into failure.

Nope, but only because literally NOTHING happened with EQN, because SOE, so 50/50?

ESO will have a big launch, followed by a quick death (F2P). I’d like to pretend that THIS massive themepark failure will teach the industry to stop, but if SW:TOR didn’t, nothing will.

Big launch; check. Quick death; nope. Game isn’t F2P (yet?), and I wouldn’t be totally surprised to hear it has more subs than we expect (not a ‘huge success’ amount, but not skeleton-crew numbers).

WildStar won’t suck. Just throwing a dart here, as WildStar doesn’t interest me personally, but what little I know about the dev team, I like. If they stick to their ideas/goals post-release, I can see WildStar being a solid ‘niche’ MMO. We might even be calling it “themepark done right”.

Mostly wrong here, other than I think WildStar clearly is a niche MMO, although I don’t think the plan was for it to be SO niche.

The GW2 train will continue to roll, although with less steam and more heavy-handedness towards the cash shop. Such is F2P life.

I guess? So little gets posted about GW2 its really hard to follow, but I’m assuming Anet is doing something with the game?

LotRO will continue to provide us with amusing stories, perhaps selling you a character 3/4th of the way into the game, or something equally dumb. 50/50 on being able to play Sauron. 75% chance you will be able to buy the One Ring in the shop.

Guess 3/4th of the way into the game was giving Turbine too much credit. My mistake.

CCP will go bankru… haha just kidding. Best MMO out will continue to play chess while the genre learns checkers. 450k subs in 2014. Edit: Since we are at 500K already and this isn’t WoW, raising this to 600k.

600k didn’t happen, so nope. On the other hand so far CCP is showing what they can do with quicker releases, which is basically more than anyone else, and I think they are in a good spot going forward to once again return to growth after a stagnant 2014.

WoW will bounce back with the next expansion and have a strong 2014. Now that the interns are back to being interns, and the real devs are back from failing to make anything with Titan, WoW will prosper. It will also help that 2014 won’t offer it much real competition (Unless WildStar draws away a significant portion of the raiding crowd, which is a possibility). WoW will end with more subs in 2014.

Other than the WildStar bit, rather accurate.

2015 predictions:

DF:UW will shut down. The population is at an all-time low, AV is completely lost with the title, and Forumfall continues to stick daggers into the one game even trying to give that crowd something to do. I don’t see how the game survives 2015 short of a miracle turnaround or wipe/DF3 plan.

WoW will lose subs. Yea, going for easy points here. I think the WoD bounce will fade, and I’m not sure New Blizzard is capable of really fixing the game to return it to growth.

FFXIV will gain subs. More easy points. With an expansion coming, a solid foundation, and a studio not called SOE or Trion supporting it, I think 2015 will be an even better year than 2014 was for this gem.

EVE will gain subs. Again more ‘in the right direction’ thinking here, although less confident in this predication than I am in FFXIV, especially if Star Citizen launches (it won’t) and isn’t completely horrible.

LoL will continue to sit atop the gaming world. I don’t see Riot slipping in 2015, I don’t see any game challenging its popularity, and the MOBA genre has a long-established history of longevity. The eSport side of the game will also continue to grow and dominate that segment.

CoC isn’t budging either. Similar story to LoL; solid developer, solid foundation, no serious challengers, CoC will finish 2015 as the top mobile game, just like it finished 2014.

Hearthstone will continue as Blizzard’s least-successful title. A weak foundation, core design flaws, and a complete lack of long-term hook will continue to see the title float between unknown mobile titles on the revenue list, while occasionally getting a jump when new cards are released and the whale famewhores dive in, only to drop back down shortly after. Won’t be much of a factor in the 2015 eSports scene either.

ArcheAge will continue to be comically mismanaged by Trion, giving us as least half a dozen “Trion being Trion” moments in 2015.

EQN won’t release. Nor will Landmark move out from under it’s ‘beta’ tag.

The rest of the ‘that’s still online huh’ F2P junk titles like LotRO, SW:TOR, EQ2, etc will float on in who-cares-land. None will be put out of their misery, but none will move up either.

I think game funding via Kickstarter will see an uptick as more Kickstarter-funded games launch and are well received. Pillars of Eternity is the one that has my eye (and money), and the continued positive development of MMOs like Camelot Unchained will show people that the platform, when used correctly, does work.

I honestly don’t see any MMO in 2015 shocking us and restoring faith in the genre. It will be more of the same, with some good (FFXIV), some bad (pick a F2P MMO), and most being meh.


CoC: Things you learn from a tie

December 8, 2014

If you have been keeping up with our clan war update posts, (and who wouldn’t be following the statistical breakdown for a game they may not be playing or a clan they aren’t in!), you noticed that our last war resulted in a tie, a first for our clan. The tie highlights a few pretty critical design highlights about the game, and also serves as amazing motivation for everyone to progress and also improve.

I think the most important design highlight is that unlike many team-based games, in CoC success isn’t based on the weakness of our lowest player, but instead on the cumulative strength of our whole clan.

A weak player in CoC might not earn a single star, and give up 3 on the first attack against their base. That’s not good, but it doesn’t “wipe the raid” to compare things to another popular team-based activity. In the war we tied, all based outside the top 15 were 3-starred, so one weak player isn’t a huge issue. Now, they do matter, because a tougher base might have required more than one attack, which in turn means fewer attempts at other bases. Just like had they scored a solid attack, it would have freed up someone else to hit a different base. But the important thing is that at the end of the war, you can’t look at any one weaker player and really say “we lost because of person X”, like you can should someone wander into the whelp pit or fail to run away from the raid while being the bomb.

On the other hand, there were a lot of opportunities for hero plays. As the war was winding down, each attack was a nail-bitter in terms of the attacker being able to pull things off. A lot of times its someone hitting a really tough base, so failing is the expected result, and success is an awesome surprise. The same applies to base design; not giving up three stars against an attack that perhaps should 3-star you is an awesome feeling, while failing to do so might inspire some base design tweaks or a total overhaul.

The tie also highlights the depth of the game. In a blowout war (our current for example, where we knew we were going to win after the first dozen or so attacks), if you fail to 3-star someone you should, or your base isn’t as great as it could be, you might not notice because we won anyway. There isn’t that pressure, that motivation to improve. The same applies in a blowout loss; bases being crushed by overwhelming force isn’t teaching you much, nor is throwing troops into a meatgrinder of a base.

A close war shows that depth, and CoC has depth in spades. I think just from this war we had a lot of people notice the little details of really pulling off a great dragon attack vs just a decent one, or the difference between using three lighting vs heal/rage depending on the base layout. Our top-end guys saw the importance of securing down at least two stars, and how critical that might be. On the lower end I hope people were motivated to progress to at least these levels, where the game really opens up (though I would argue a TH6 attacking a good TH6 base is very interesting in terms of tactics and strategy).

What I’m most excited about is when our clan overall ‘grows up’ and wars focus more on TH9+ bases, as things then switch from trying to 3-star bases to pulling off 2-star attacks, and tactics expand from “probably dragons” to include golems, pekkas, hogs, loons, witches, etc, and army composition starts to really matter vs “all dragons, go!” Just watching some war review videos from clans made up mostly of TH9 and TH10 bases has me very excited for our future.

 


CoC: Supreme Cream! vs Sixlines 12/5/2014

December 7, 2014

(Writeup and stats by Delpez)

Supreme Cream! vs Sixlines

Supreme Cream

Enemy

Average TH Level

7.78

7.84

Score

124

124

Total Attacks Used

80

83

Total 3 Star Attacks

37

34

Total 3 Star %

46.25

41.0

3 Stars Against Same Level

32

27

3 Star % Against Same Level

50.8

39.7

3 Stars Against Lower Level

4

5

3 Star % Against Lower Level

44.4

45.5

TH4,5&6 3 Stars

TH4,5&6 3 Star %

TH7 3 Stars

16

17

TH7 3 Stars %

57.1

54.8

TH7 3 Stars (same level)

15

14

TH7 3 Stars % (same level)

71.4

53.8

TH8 3 Stars

17

14

TH8 3 Star %

42.5

36.8

TH8 3 Stars (same level)

16

12

TH8 3 Star % (same level)

44.4

35.3

TH8 Ave Stars / Attack (same level)

2.1

2.1

TH9&10 3 Stars

4

3

TH9&10 2 Star %

33.3

21.4

TH9&10 3 Stars (same level)

1

1

TH9&10 3 Star % (same level)

16.7

12.5

TH9&10 Ave Stars / Attack (same level)

1.67

1.50

I suppose it had to happen – fight in enough close wars and eventually you’ll run into a draw. Nobody really likes it, but in this case it was a slightly better result for us than for our opponents. They outnumbered and outpowered us where it mattered – at the top. Both their #1 and #2 players were higher levels than Sic and Dot, while their #3 was about the same. I’m referring to regular levels here, which is an indication of how advance the base is (not TH levels). Looking at the numbers, it seems as if we should’ve won. We scored more 3-stars at a higher percentage; overall and against same level bases. Our TH7’s beat theirs comfortably, our TH8’s were better by a smaller margin and even at the top our numbers look better. However, at TH10 they did manage three 2-stars against our three 1-stars. I can’t comment on tactics, but it did appear as though they had more advanced bases. These numbers are reflected in the stars left behind by TH level:

Supreme Cream!

Enemy

TH10

3

6

TH9

1

3

TH8

7

2

TH7

0

0

TH6

0

0

TH5 <

0

0

Sum

11

11

We left nine vs. four TH9&10 stars behind, while they failed to get seven TH8 stars against our two, which balanced things out for the draw. Could we have won? Sure, but I guess we could also have lost just as easily. There were a number of extremely close calls going both ways; especially towards the end of the war. Regardless, this was really tense and entertaining, and a good showcase for all that’s good about clan wars.


CoC: Supreme Cream! vs Kaskus Cavalry 11/30/2014

December 2, 2014

(Stats and writeup provided by Delpez)

Supreme Cream! vs Kaskus Cavalry

Supreme Cream Enemy
Average TH Level 7.71 7.78
Score 126 122
Total Attacks Used 82 77
Total 3 Star Attacks 39 37
Total 3 Star % 47.56 48.1
3 Stars Against Same Level 31 20
3 Star % Against Same Level 51.7 39.2
3 Stars Against Lower Level 4 13
3 Star % Against Lower Level 66.7 76.5
TH4,5&6 3 Stars 0 2
TH4,5&6 3 Star % 0.0 66.7
TH7 3 Stars 19 13
TH7 3 Stars % 65.5 61.9
TH7 3 Stars (same level) 13 8
TH7 3 Stars % (same level) 76.5 80.0
TH8 3 Stars 17 15
TH8 3 Star % 41.5 35.7
TH8 3 Stars (same level) 17 9
TH8 3 Star % (same level) 50.0 26.5
TH8 Ave Stars / Attack (same level) 2.3 1.7
TH9&10 3 Stars 3 7
TH9&10 2 Star % 33.3 63.6
TH9&10 3 Stars (same level) 1 1
TH9&10 3 Star % (same level) 16.7 25.0
TH9&10 Ave Stars / Attack (same level) 1.67 1.50

 

Another close war and another close win. In fact, this was the smallest victory margin (4) since I started reporting on the wars. If you analyse this margin, two of the stars came from 3-star attacks, and another two from stars against top level bases.

We have only three TH6 bases left, so their performance doesn’t really influence the wars. However, pulling clan troops is still a problem preventing some low level 3-stars. At TH7 the percentages were similar, but it’s worth noting that half our TH7’s were smashed by higher levels. At TH8 we did well, smashing their TH8’s half the time while they could only manage one in four – our recent focus on defense is still paying dividends. This forced their top bases to attack down – six of our TH8’s were smashed by higher levels. However, this meant less attacks against our TH9&10’s, and we beat them by two crucial stars at the top.

This war shows the inherent redundancy in war attacks. You can be quite inefficient and still get close, because each clan gets 90 attacks but only 45 targets. The war also showed the difference between attacking lower versus same level bases. Many wars can be won with a downward attacking policy, but you are sacrificing stars at the top. In a close war it’s better to have a predominant sideways attacking policy – if your TH7 and TH8’s manage to clear most of the opposing bases, it leaves more same level attacks for top bases. Having said that, it’s usually better for rushed or newly promoted bases to attack down until they acquire the necessary attacking power.

Some observations:

Livercat’s anti-dragon base weathered eight (!) attacks before being smashed. However, these bases can be unlocked, as a TH7 showed against my own anti dragon base. The advantage of these bases is that they really punish careless dragon attacks and forces the opponent to be more precise.

Lightning is still working well for me, even against anti-dragon bases. In fact, the TH7 who smashed my base used triple Lightning. My gut feel is that Rage and/or Heal spells are more powerful against most TH8’s, but Lightning spells are easier to use and more consistent against flawed bases (with an AD close to the edge). Against TH7’s there is no contest – triple Lightning is the best and cheapest.

Rushed TH9 bases with crappy air defenses are surprisingly hard to 3-star. Their #16 looked like a juicy target, yet he defended seven of our dragon attacks with his low level air defenses. The problem is that he had four AD’s, and even at a low level they deal a ton of damage. So even if you deal with two or three AD’s, the fourth usually got the remaining dragons.


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