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.