BB: Some solid advice

May 13, 2015

Text below is a copy/paste job from this Reddit thread. Credit to Manburpigg and cjlacz.

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Never attack player bases until you need them. Save them all for an important upgrade day.

Always clear NPC bases every chance you get.

Whenever you can re roll a player base that has low resources, do it and save the ones that have decent loot.

Don’t keep upgrading stuff just for the sake of upgrading stuff. Defenses are pretty useless until late game so don’t dump extra resources into them just because your builder is idle. (Edit: I’d invest in defense once you unlock the Hammerman attacking your base event, though you could also ignore that event and your defenses.)

Offense offense offense, always keep offenses going. The better you can attack the players around your VP level, the easier gathering loot will be.

Focus on one attacking strategy and always upgrade stuff in the armory that caters to that strategy. For me, it was tanks and medics and I leveled shock, flare and smoke just to help out because I use them from with TMed. Also, of course, barrage and artillery, those are an absolute must and should be maxed whenever possible.

Make sure your vault is maxed. That protects the maximum number of resources meaning you start off your raiding day better. It protects more resources above that allowing you even a stronger base. It also means you lose less when you are defeated allowing you to lose VP but keep quite a few resources above your limit.

Occasionally I’ll get so much extra resources from a combination of lack of getting attacked and lots of NPC base respawns I’ll do a cheap upgrade if my builder is idle, but you should always end up with your resources well above your vaults limit even after you start it.

One more point, make sure your storage buildings are well above what you need to upgrade if possible. You are always likely to end up with extra wood, sometimes stone and especially gold later in the game. If you don’t have head room in your storage you lose out on a lot of these resources as you attack to fill up on iron/stone. Having the extra left over serves two purposes: to provide loot to get people to attack you to lower your VP and two, to provide a strong base for your next upgrade push.

Sometimes you need to push back your upgrade for a day or two just because reward boats or the sub don’t cooperate with you. Upgrading something cheaper is always an option, but do storage, residences, production or anything non-defense related before defenses.


BB: New event fills in some gameplay gaps

May 12, 2015

I was able to experience one of the new events in Boom Beach recently, and I must say it really is a game-changer for me. Some background first.

Prior to this update, upgrading defensive buildings, especially over offensive options, wasn’t a great move. The general strategy for the game was to let your map build up by not doing much of anything, and then on the two days of the week that Dr. Terror landed, boost your reward statue(s), clear as much of your map as needed, start a big expensive upgrade, and wait for the cycle to repeat. If you get attacked by other players you aren’t holding a lot of resources so it doesn’t matter, which meant your defensive levels didn’t matter.

The above is no longer the case, for two reasons.

The first and major is that now each day brings a different event, and each event isn’t worth as much as the old Dr. Terror, countering the ‘let stuff build up’ inactivity phase and then resource rush. This means that it is much harder to horde a huge amount of resources, and also that your defenses are more important to deter other players since you will be building them up and leaving yourself open to attack.

The other factor is that one of the new events is an NPC attack on your base, which is really, really fun. You are attacked by a large swarm of enemies, far larger than what a player could bring, but the NPC force doesn’t have a gunboat or use energy, which is a large change compared to defending against another player. Designing a base to counter this NPC attack is a lot like playing tower defense, which I’m a huge fan of in general.

Watching and countering this attack really lets you see the value in upgrading defenses, including mines, and so serves as great motivation to do so. Defenses such as flame throwers, which against most players aren’t very helpful, suddenly become critical, which is nice from a “make everything useful” standpoint. Also being defeated by this NPC attack also pushes you towards defensive upgrades and building a better base, which again fills in a previous gap in the BB gameplay formula.

This has however exposed one big flaw with Boom Beach; you currently can’t go into a base edit mode like you can in CoC, and you also can’t save multiple layouts and switch between them easily. This needs to be added shortly, as right now redesigning your entire base in BB is rather frustrating.


FFXIV: Might need to move up that “bigger than WoW now” timetable

May 11, 2015

FFXIV isn’t out in South Korea? That was news to me, and has a huge impact on when FFXIV will eventually overtake WoW as the biggest real MMO out. Serious one-two punch coming up, with the expansion and now hitting a major market like South Korea. Suggesting that FFXIV will be bigger than WoW by 2016 is actually looking really conservative now, damn.

Also you gotta love Square keeping the sub model even in F2P mega-land huh? Not only do they not have to waste effort on the usual F2P garbage like flooding the shop with the One Ring and coming up with new and creative ways to spam you about it, but unlike somebody (WoW) every account globally for FFXIV will be a real account, not 5m people dying in some internet cafe and paying two cents an hour to do so.


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.


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