Quick update on Clash of Clans, which I’m still really enjoying.
Clan Wars were recently added, and so far they have been great. They take the core gameplay of attacking another player’s village with your troops, and add more weight to the result by tying it into a clan war score. This makes every attack feel more important, and really makes you think about not just how to get the most resources, but how you can hopefully level the entire village in the time limit of the attack.
You also only get two attacks per war, so again this really makes you stop and consider your attack, and if you fail or don’t score as highly as you expected, it kinda stings. Especially because everyone in the clan can see how each attack went, and even view a replay of each battle. In top-ranked clans I’m sure this is used as a way to remove poorly performing members, and honestly it’s a pretty fair approach.
What still surprises me about the game is how little it pushes you to spend money. No ‘sale’ spam. No in-game pop-ups. You do see the gem (paid currency) cost to speed everything up, but since you get a decent amount of gems just from playing, even that is IMO more a convenience in terms of the UI than the usual F2P in-your-face taunting. And perhaps most importantly, speeding stuff up isn’t that important or truly beneficial in the long run, so again you really don’t feel force.
And yet the game is making a ton of money, which honestly I’m happy about. The more F2P titles that succeed using this model (like LoL), and the more titles that fail using the normal, obnoxious F2P model (most MMOs), the better.