CoC: Supreme Cream! vs Spergs of War

May 9, 2015

(Writeup and stats by Delpez)

Supreme Cream! Vs Spergs of War

That was close (and fun!) – with about an hour left on the clock we were still trailing by six stars, and with eight minutes left we were four stars behind! However Lui, Justin and Syn pulled it through for a one star victory, but there were good clutch attacks by a number of people. First let’s have a look at the relative clan strengths.

Nr. of TH’s

SC! Enemy
Nr of TH10 3 1
Nr of TH9 11 12
Nr of TH8 24 25
Nr of TH6&7 2 2
Ave TH level 8.38 8.28

Average experience per TH

SC! Enemy
TH9&10 98.2 101.0
TH8 79.3 79.2
TH6&7 62.5 49.5
Overall 84.5 84.5

The matchmaker seems to be doing a decent job these days– this is probably as close as you’re going to get. We had one more top level base, but they had an extra base at TH8. Their TH9&10 and TH8 bases were slightly more advanced than ours, but we had three TH10’s compared to one. War stats are shown next:

Attack stats

SC! Enemy
Score 100 99
Total Attacks Used 73 75
Total 3 Star Attacks 24 22
Total 3 Star % 32.9 29.3
3 Stars Against Same Level 17 16
3 Star % Against Same Level 27.0 28.1
3 Stars Against Lower Level 7 5
3 Star % Against Lower Level 70.0 50.0
TH8 3 Stars 12 17
TH8 3 Star % 27.9 34.7
TH8 3 Stars (same level) 12 14
TH8 3 Star % (same level) 27.9 33.3
TH8 Ave Stars / Attack (same level) 1.9 2.1
TH9&10 3 Stars 8 5
TH9&10 3 Star % 30.8 22.7
TH9&10 3 Stars (same level) 4 2
TH9&10 3 Star % (same level) 21.1 14.3
TH9&10 Ave Stars / Attack (same level) 1.58 2.00

As you would expect, things were extremely close. We scored the same number of new 3-stars (22-22). The record says we scored 24 3-stars, but two of those were repeat attacks by TH7’s, probably because they believed that they had no chance against the remaining TH8 bases. Just a comment on that: if you have level 2 dragons you can always try and get a 3-star from a TH8 base, no matter how advanced it is. Your chance of success might be low, but what’s the worst that can happen? You’re almost guaranteed a star and much better war loot.

Our participation was ok, but not great; missing seven attack in a close 40-man war can be game-breaking. Otherwise we were beaten at TH8; our opponents scored more 3-stars at a higher percentage. To compensate we outperformed them when looking at 3-stars numbers at the top. This is shown in the number of stars left behind by TH level:

Stars left

SC! Enemy
TH10 6 1
TH9 8 10
TH8 7 9

At TH10 we established a big advantage, which could be expected since they only had one TH10 against three. Dotcalm and Sicarius made this advantage count, each scoring a 2-star and a 3-star. This is a huge return at the very top, and the reason we won. Both at TH9 and TH8 we left two stars more behind than our opponents, but the TH10 advantage was just enough to secure the win.

At TH9 we are definitely getting better, which is a big reason for our recent win record (11/12). As our TH9’s progress further we should start beating the other team at this level. TH8 performance is probably due to the fact that most of our advanced TH8’s have made the jump to TH9, which means that we’ve lost a number of GoWiPe and Hog attacks at TH8. For the remaining players getting access to those attacks will make a big difference to our performance at TH8.

Finally, there had been some discussion in chat regarding our attack strategy. Currently we use the first attack against our direct opposite number, and the second to clean up. Our opponents in this war hit two down with their first attacks, and we played a clan once that hit ten down. I believe two factors are critical for any attack strategy. Firstly a unique base for every player to attack, meaning that a specific base is mine to attack, and mine only. This allows for detailed planning of an attack – nothing worse than cooking up a Hog attack against a specific base and someone else jumping the queue! Secondly, the strategy should allow for redundancy, especially against TH9&10 bases. Executing attacks against tough bases are hard, and fails often happen. Real life also intervenes and people sometimes miss wars. This means that you should have back-up attacks – to clean up all the zero- and 1-stars. That’s why I believe our current strategy is successful; every player targets a unique base for his first attack, and can clean up with the second.

The lower down you hit with the first attack the less redundancy you have against top bases. For instance, the clan who attacked ten bases down scored fantastically well during the first round of attacks, but they still had zero stars against our top ten bases. Because their top bases hit so far down, they only had ten (fifteen max) effective attacks against our top ten and left way too many stars behind. To give another example, in the current war we scored four 0-stars and five 1-stars against their TH9&10 bases. If we didn’t have redundancy those attacks would have been final, and we would have been crushed at TH9&10.

Having said that, I also believe that we shouldn’t be shy to hit down with our second attacks. A tough TH9 base with 1-star and an average TH8 base with 2-stars against it represents about the same likely return – one star. However, it might be a lot easier to get the star from the TH8 base. This becomes more and more important as time is running out. With ten hours to go you don’t want to take attacks away from our TH8’s, but with an hour left I think you should go for the easy star every time.


HS: Now not even a footnote, and the clock has officially started for the FFXIV takeover of WoW

May 6, 2015

Bla bla bla WoW is dying, will soon be overtaken by FFXIV for most subs, SynCaine right again, etc etc etc.

Honestly if any of this is still surprising to you, that’s on you. Pay attention and join the cool kids table already.

What is mildly surprising is that Blizzard’s footnote title, Hearthstone, isn’t even a footnote now. How can you do an article about digital sales growth and not even mention HS? What, just because the title can’t crack the top 10 grossing chart on the iPhone, and plays “wheres Waldo” on the iPad chart, you can’t even mention it? You have to lump it into ‘accounts created’ Turbine territory with Destiny?

At least give me a cute tweet or two? Just something like “oh hey remember that art we reused from that game we are slowing killing due to laziness? Um we are still doing that, care to roll some dice with us? Or at least ‘+likeHeart’ our Twitch channel? Anyone? Hello… hello?”


Mobile games the HC community is involved in, and why you should be as well

May 5, 2015

One of the major aspects we originally loved about MMOs is that they got updated, which was somewhat unique to the genre. In 2015 that is no longer the case, with just about every genre having at least a few examples of games with regular support. This means if you played a game at launch, coming back to it later might result in a much different experience, one that is hopefully much improved.

This is certainly the case with Clash of Clans (CoC) and Boom Beach (BB), and something that I hope happens regularly with DomiNations (DN?).

The biggest and IMO most important addition to CoC have been clan wars, as they provide a solid ‘end-game’ activity that is available shortly after you start playing, but that lasts and evolves in complexity, right up to maxing everything out and executing top-level TH10 attacks. With the end-game established and sustainable, updates can focus on tweaks or expanding options, such as new troops or defenses. IMO CoC is in a great spot right now, and doesn’t feature any major design flaws or glaring problems that SuperCell needs to address. I think it’s easily the best mobile game out, and if you haven’t given it a real shot, you are missing out big time.

BB is similar to CoC in the basic concept (build base, attack other bases with troops, upgrade stuff), but has a lot of design tweaks that, beyond the surface, really don’t give it that “CoC-clone” feel. I think BB is far less a clone of CoC than, say, LotRO is of WoW. One of the major differences is that BB has more of a PvE focus compared to the mostly PvP-focus of CoC. You can still attack and be attacked by other players, but the ‘end-game’ is working as a group on very tough PvE bases, and hitting random PvE bases is a constant, more consistent focus.

The big flaw BB had was that being too active resulted in your medal count going up, which exposed you to higher-level players who could attack you for easy loot. This made upgrading very difficult, since you in turn had a tough time hitting players with far more advanced bases. This flaw still somewhat exists, but has been reduced greatly in a number of ways.

First, hitting just the PvE bases that spawn don’t increase your medal count greatly, as usually you only get one medal for a win, and you lose a medal when a new enemy base spawns. 10% (I believe) of the time you will get a second medal, so slowly you will go up, but this is balanced out by the fact that every time you are attacked, you lose a medal.

Second, and more importantly, the latest update will add more PvE events, including one that attacks your base and how well you defend determines your reward. BB is surprisingly fun as a PvE game, especially the group-based stuff, so more focus on this is great. If you tried BB but got frustrated by the “don’t play to do well” aspect, give it another go once this next update is live.

Finally, DN is the newest game I’ve tried of this type, and I like a lot of its basics. It’s more similar to CoC than BB in that it’s pretty heavy on the PvP focus (hitting other players for loot), but differs from CoC in that it allows a good bit of specialization and different game systems. Right at the start you have to pick one of four wonders, each with a different bonus. A bit later, you then pick a nation (Japan, China, France, etc), which gives you access to a unique unit and architecture style. Still further you pick more wonders, and I’m sure more stuff later on (I’m only at the 4th (Classical) age right now). Once a choice is made, it appears to be permanent, which is both perhaps frustrating in that “I picked the ‘wrong’ one”, but I also like because it means you customize your base/army to feature certain strengths/benefits, something that doesn’t exist in either CoC or BB.

DN also has a lot of either new systems (buildings that spawn defending troops in waves) or tweaks to something similar that CoC does (hunting animals around your base is like resource gathering, but is more on-demand and frequent, with various builder requirements), and so far I like the changes and think they provide a lot of depth and interesting decisions to make. It does feel more like a CoC-clone than BB, but I think it’s different enough that playing both doesn’t feel like doing the same thing with a different set of graphics.

The major flaw for DN right now is the lack of end-game. It’s basically pre-Clan Wars CoC; you upgrade your base to better attack/defend, and you attack to get more resources for upgrades, but other than maxing everything out, there is no greater ‘point’. The game already has alliances (clans), so I hope alliance wars are added in a future update soon. The game itself is fairly new, and CoC went over a year without Clan Wars, but still, this or something else is greatly needed.

This blog community has groups in all three games. For CoC you need to be a non-rushed TH7 to join, and we only have two spots open right now. No requirements to join in BB or DN, both with plenty of room. CoC group is “Surpreme Cream!”, BB and DN we are “Hardcore Casual”. Disable the language filter in DN to find us.


GTA: Real GTA

May 4, 2015

Guessing you have seen this already as its being linked all over the place, but just in case, this video of GTA using real people and a drone as the camera is A+ work.


Crowfall: The words on paper still sound good

May 1, 2015

Latest updated here, talking about the Eternal (personal) kingdom. I like everything presented, although I think the real make or break aspect of this is going to be how beneficial it is to join someones EK vs just building up your own. If its easy to build your own, or not really beneficial to join someone who is further along or has put more time/effort into it, I don’t think a lot of the social and ‘live together’ goals are going to really work, which then undermines the taxation and all of that.

The big missing piece of info for me with Crowfall is the PvE. I think even in a heavily PvP-focused MMO, PvE is very important, and not just what monsters you can kill, but how loot works, how difficulty works, all of that. Hopefully that update is coming soon.


FFXIV: Should I be worried about the expansion?

April 29, 2015

Quick concern here; currently I’m lvl 35 in FFXIV, and odds aren’t great that I’ll have time to hit 50 and do most of the end-game stuff in the game before the expansion hits. From those who are 50 and have been following the expansion news, is this something to worry about?

My main concern is that once the expansion hits, finding groups for the older content will become impossible or require super-long queues, and that any progress or systems at the current level cap will become obsolete due to the level increase (basically what happens in most other themeparks when they soft reset via cap increase). Again, based on current info available, is this going to be the case or does SquareEnix have something in place to not repeat this common mistake of the themepark model?


More Steam mod talk, including Gabe comments

April 27, 2015

And the “Steam selling mods” debate rages on. Good times, around what is honestly a great topic and, IMO, a major shift in gaming overall. And just to be very clear, I am 100% for this shift, as I think it will greatly improve gaming once some of the kinks are worked out, and I trust Valve that they will work them out.

This video is a nice quick update, including forum statements made by Gabe from Valve. Also more statements here on a Reddit AMA, including that the 75% cut from mods on Skyrim was set by Bethesda, not Valve, and that other devs can set the pay rate differently.

Already the process has changed that you can ‘sell’ a mod for zero, and then have a donation option where someone can select what they want to pay. Also from the video you will note that the most popular Skyrim mod, SkyUI, is getting an update thanks 100% because of this change, which is proof that this is already working in terms of getting more of the stuff we want and giving mod makers the motivation to keep going or return.

The other side of this is all of the freeloaders bitching and being children in comments sections because they can no longer get everything they want for free. Honestly these people are the absolute worst, and are a major reason why I overall despise F2P; the paywall with something not being free helps keep them out, and I’m glad for that if nothing else.

Ultimately I think we will see more examples like the SkyUI team coming back; we are going to have modders be motivated to keep going, and I think we will also see the natural growth of mod teams around successful ideas. For instance, I think the greatest mod I’ve ever played is Prophecy of Pendor for Mount and Blade. It is, quite literally, a better game with better systems than 95% of all professional games IMO (and is the game I’ve spent more time with than any other game, period), and it always drove me nuts that all of that work was given away for free, and that support/work on the mod would come and go. If PoP was on Steam for a price of $10 or so, I think not only would the mod still be supported today, it would likely have a much bigger team and be a much better mod than it is today. For $10, that is such a crazy bargain, and one that wasn’t possible prior to Valve making this change.

I also think this will be a major change in gaming much like Kickstarter has already shifted gaming, giving us gems like Pillars, Divinity, and plenty of other games that would have never happened without it. Again lets take Mount and Blade, a game with awesome mod support. Imagine if selling mods had been around when the game was released. How much money would the original developers have made off mod sales vs what little they still make off the sale of the original game for $5-10? How much better would Mount and Blade be with that increased support? How much better would the modding tools be? Would we already have the next game, Bannerlord, finished and delivered with a larger budget than what it has now?

This change would also lead to more products like Mount and Blade; where the original game is good, but the true value in the software is the mod tools it provides. Now that top-shelf mods can be sold on a solid platform like Steam, its reasonable to assume we will see more stuff like this, and again, basically everyone benefits. More games, more creativity, more flexibility, and lower reliance on a major publisher and the need for VC money. Sure, we aren’t going to see anything on the scale of a GTA V, but not everything needs to be that, and as good as that game is in large part thanks to its mega budget, I’ll still ultimately have far more hours played on M&B PoP than I will in GTA V, so what really is more ‘valuable’ to me? Or to you?


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