As a smartphone user, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing apps to install on your device. With an app available for pretty much anything these days, it can be hard to know which to download, especially if your device is limited on space. We’ve put together a list of apps that are useful, and if used to their full capabilities can make your life easier.
Availability: iOS & Android
Cost: Free (Paid options available for additional features)
This communication app is great for business teams to message each other, share documents and cut down on email. Slack can also integrate with a range of other apps including Google Drive, Dropbox, Twitter and more, and the app will sync content between your devices, allowing you to seamlessly go from the office to being on the move.
Availability: iOS & Android
Cost: Free (Subscription models available for additional features)
Loved by those who use it, Evernote has been building its reputation over the last few years as the ultimate note-taking and organisation app. With the added convenience of being on your smartphone, jot down notes when you’re on the go, share ideas and use your phone to scan documents. With Evernote’s syncing capabilities, your documents will be shared across your computer, tablet and smartphone.
Find my iPhone
Most iPhone users are probably aware that this app exists, but if you haven’t already got this app on your phone, install it now. If your device is lost or stolen, this app can help you locate your device on a map, remotely lock it with a password, and if necessary remotely erase all of the contents and settings on your device.
Android Device Manager
Similar to the Find my iPhone app for iOS devices, the Android Device Manager is a Google app for Android, which allows you to remotely track and secure your device if it is ever lost or stolen. It’s a great app to have in case of emergencies and could save you a lot of stress if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use it.
Availability: iOS & Android
Price: Free (Subscription is an additional cost)
Spotify has long been one of the favourites for streaming music on your smartphone. Whilst a free (ad-supported) version exists, a monthly subscription ($9.99 for personal or $14.99 for a family of up to 6) will allow you to listen to music on demand. You can also download playlists whilst connected to Wifi, which you can then listen to when you’re offline – a useful option if you’re going on a long flight or want to keep data usage to a minimum.
Availability: iOS & Android
If you’re in a new city or are even just looking to try somewhere different in your local area, Yelp is a great app to find businesses and restaurants around you. With key information like opening hours and addresses, as well as reviews from other users, you’ll be sure to find something that suits you.
Availability: iOS & Android
Price: Free (Requires additional desktop software)
Ever lost or deleted data from your device, and wished you could get it back? If you have, then Restore is just the kind of app you’re looking for. Designed to work with desktop data recovery software, simply connect your phone to your Mac or PC, recover your data and restore it back to the app on your Android or iOS smartphone.
Availability: iOS & Android
This app is great for keeping track of your personal finances on the go. Link your accounts in one place, track your spending and set goals to help you save up for your new car, trip or mortgage. Security is tight on the app too, as Mint only request read only access to your accounts, and can be deleted remotely if your phone is ever lost or stolen.
Navigation & Travel
Availability: iOS & Android
Waze has sat at or near the top of the list of recommended navigation apps for a while – and with good reason. This app boasts a range of impressive features, including voice guided navigation, and is driven by its innovative approach of bringing drivers together to report on real time traffic conditions. Find out about accidents, road closures and even whether there are police ahead in real-time; as conditions change on your route, the app can automatically reroute to help you reach your destination more quickly.
Availability: iOS & Android
With Duolingo you can learn how to speak, listen and write in a range of different languages. The app offers lessons for users of different native languages, and is great for picking up key phrases if you’re going on a trip to a country where you don’t know the language.
Are there any other apps you can’t live without? Let us know below.
Recently, a Dota 2 professional player made it to the list of TIME Magazine’s 30 Most Influential teenagers. That’s right, a teenager playing Dota 2 made it alongside Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, political activist Malala Yousafzai, and US presidential daughters Sasha and Malia Obama as 2016’s most influential teens.
Syed Sumail Hassan, who goes by the nickname SumaiL, is a professional Dota 2 player of the Team Evil Geniuses. At the age of 17, this teenager broke into the professional scene, made a mark to thousands, if not millions, of fans as Dota 2’s boy wonder, and now received an acclamation from TIME Magazine. He is the only Electronic Sports (eSports) player to make it to the list, and he stands side-by-side young actors, singers, entrepreneurs, activists and celebrities.
Dota 2 is a game by Valve Corporation, and has grown by millions in terms of player audience. Most especially, it is the largest eSport by far. Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients 2) is a 2011 revival of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) of its first iteration taken from the Warcraft 3 franchise.
Held in Key Arena Seattle, its recent premier tournament, The International 2016, has just hosted a collective prize pool of more than USD 20,000,000. For 2016, the Chinese team Wings Gaming has won the tournament and took home USD 9,139,002.
Hassan’s team Evil Geniuses, who reigned in The International 2015 (taking home USD 6,634,661), has finished this year’s as second runner-up (taking home USD 2,180,898).
Dota 2 is the biggest eSports event by far, but the whole of eSports itself is growing in terms of popularity. For example, Dota 2’s biggest competitor, League of Legends, has recently held its World Championship in Madison Square Garden, New York – a venue that can house about 18,200 viewers. Another Valve eSports game, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, which was also held in New York, is also an extremely famous event in terms of viewership and prize pool.
As eSports events start to increase commercial opportunities in New York, California and throughout the World, its huge audience made someone like Sumail Hassan as a truly influential personality.
SumaiL broke into the scene from being a “pub-star” in public matches to making it to the leaderboards of the best player with the highest win rate in the most highly-skilled match-ups. He then became inducted in the Evil Geniuses training program, and eventually became that 15-year old official mid-laner for EG. SumaiL was subbed in the official roster when Evil Geniuses’ former frontliner Artour Babaev left the team. Consequently, Hassan is the main man of Evil Geniuses as the team looked to participate in the Dota Asia Cup (DAC) 2015.
Aside from numerous successful tournament finishes, Hassan is a known personality for the Dota 2 scene by being one of the top streamers with the most viewership.
“Hassan has become the youngest person ever to earn $1 million playing competitive video games, making him a phenomenon in the rapidly growing world of “e-sports.”,” Sean Gregory from TIME wrote. “Hassan’s game of choice is Dota 2, in which experts say he’s a Michael Jordan-like figure in terms of skill. But despite his rising profile, he still puts family first: Hassan recently used some of his prize money—now at $2.3 million and counting—to buy a house for his parents and five siblings, with whom he moved to the U.S. in 2014.”
DAC of February 2015 was his first LAN tournament – he was only promoted to the official EG lineup in January 2015, and he already gained international acclamation because of his signature-style hyper-aggressive Storm Spirit plays. Four day before his 16th birthday, he was already a champion mid-laner for that USD 1.2 Million prized event.
SumaiL continued to be successful with Evil Geniuses, winning LAN tournaments such as Dota Pit Season 3. Later on, he won The International 2015 at the age of 16.
Now, he is still part of the lineup of Evil Geniuses, who recently finished as 3rd placers of The International 2016 and champions of MarsTV Dota League Season 2. His approximate total (and individual) earnings reach about USD 2,310,582.
As a gamer, you have always wanted to bring out the warrior, the battler and the strategist in you. You craved for that gut-wrenching excitement when you beat an opponent flawlessly. If you are the full-blooded gamer you say you are, you have definitely played Tekken at some point in your gaming life.
Tekken has taken the game industry by storm during its initial release in 1994. With the rapid technological advancement of the 21st century, this institutionalized game has made history in the video game industry as the first fighting game that used 3D Digital animation.
The creative developers of Namco are the gaming geniuses behind one of the greatest and most successful fighting games in history. Their success even resulted to three animated films and one live action adaptation.
For gaming fanatics – Tekken’s evolution since its historical release 22 years ago is worth studying.
The Birth of Tekken: December 09, 1994
In this year, your favorite fighting game made its debut as an arcade game. The creative geniuses behind Tekken started with the idea of creating 3D character models. Later on, they integrated texture mapping, bringing in more life to the already action-packed game.
A few months after the release of Tekken, Namco announced that they wanted to keep the momentum of the success of the game. As such, in March of 1995, they released Tekken to PlayStation. This is exactly when Tekken’s remarkable innovations began.
Tekken 2: August 3, 1995
Namco released Tekken 2 on August 3, 1995, and the fighting game sequel had sold for more than three million copies around the globe. Despite an initial release in the previous year, Tekken 2 still supremely reigned in the gaming industry.
During its time, Tekken 2 was considered as one of the best fighting games in terms of game play, game modes, graphics and overall player experience. As such, Namco raised its battle plan to the next level by enhancing the then intuitive and interactive character control system. The franchise made a good impact on the gaming community since Tekken 2 did not try to be just another Street Fighter rip-off. Graphics-wise, though, the game was already ahead of its time. The animation still had a long way to go as it still appeared to be too blocky and needed more fluidity in the character’s movements.
Tekken 3: March 20, 1997
Namco continued rampaging the gaming world through the release of the third installment of the Tekken series. Senior gamers first experienced Tekken 3 during its release as an arcade game in the year 1997. The year after, Tekken-fanatics enjoyed the game in PlayStation. As such, the video game now holds the record as the first game under Namco that used Namco System 12 hardware.
You may be a fan of Jin Kazama, Ling Xiaoyu, Julia Chang, and Hwoarang. If so, you would find it interesting to know that they debuted in the world of the Iron Fist in Tekken 3.
With the 3rd version, you can now trace how their combos fair and have improved through the years! The animation also became smoother in this version, and it also paved more ways on how players can manipulate their favorite avatar..
Tekken 4: September 23, 2002
Some say that third time’s a charm, and the fourth is a big leap of faith. This is what Namco hoped for as they released Tekken 4. Just like you can compare each version of Tekken to the next, you can do a good wordpress hosting comparison with different hosts.
In this version, players can now move around the arena and can even use the “parts” of the playing field..
In line with the game’s 6th anniversary, Namco allowed the players to customize their own fighter in order for them to have a more personal connection with the characters. You can already change the accessories, clothing, and other character elements that can make your character appear the way you wanted him or her to be.
At this stage, it’s impossible that you have not met Asuka Kazama, Feng Wei, Jack-5, Raven, Roger Jr., Devil Jin and Jinpachi Mishima as this installment served as their game debut.
Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection: November 15, 2004
Tekken 5 received a boost in its gameplay as it marked the first decade of Tekken series in the gaming industry. Tekken 5 was considered special to the extent that Namco created a Tekken 5.1 – Tekken: Dark Resurrection. It was available to play in more modern game consoles like PlayStation 3 and PSP, and the version guaranteed crisp graphics and character response were really good!
Tekken also introduced three new fighters in Dark Resurrection: Armor King II, Emilie de Rochefort or popularly known as Lili, and Sergei Dragunov. The gameplay of this version brought you chills down your spine with its additional twelve more rankings in the Arcade Battle. Overall, the 5th version was more challenging as compared to the previous installments.
Tekken 6: November 26, 2007
In this version, Namco initially decided to limit their gaming audience, making it exclusively for PlayStation 3. Then again, due to insistent public demand, the Xbox 360 port was released the same year that Tekken 6 entered the market.
This version stood atop higher grounds than its predecessor installments, especially with its multi-platform feature. This feature can be accessed through the multi-tiered stages and bound system. You could also connect to the internet, and if you were using an Xbox 360, you could fight with another person who was using a PlayStation 3, giving a more dynamic connection between players in any part of the world.
Your favorite characters Zafina, Leo Kliesen, Miguel Caballero Rojo, Robert “Bob” Richards, and Jack-6 were introduced in this version.
Tekken 7: February 18, 2015
With even better graphics and gameplay, Tekken has reached its 7th release courtesy of the rapidly expanding and well-established Namco. Throughout the years, the developers have been making their mark in the gaming community.
And they strengthened that mark with another groundbreaking expansion.
The updates in the Tekken 7 focus on the 1-on-1 battles, and more interactive improvements in arcade battles.In-game features have been added to increase the level of gameplay and add a more worthwhile gaming experience.
In this version, you can try Rage Art, battle move that allows you to execute more power combos that your opponent cannot block.
Also, you can continue attacking your opponent even though he or she is punching your character, through Power Crush. This game feature simply allows you to put in damage to your opponent while being under attack yourself.
Another feature added in the latest version of Tekken is the Screw Attack. This feature allows you to make sideway moves and attack even if your opponent is still in the air. However, it does not allow you to execute any combo attacks.
Namco is still on its warpath in delivering the best fighting game in the market. True enough, they are set to bring the next Iron Fist Champion with the release of Tekken 7.1, or more aptly named Tekken 7: Fated Retribution. The game is expected to be released in Japan this July 2016.
3 Careers For Gaming Enthusiasts
The world of video games has become a brand new professional landscape since it started as a simple R and R activity. In fact, it’s on a roll, and seemingly on a relentless rampage towards reinventing itself even more. The main reason lies on how video games offer a sense of worth to the person playing them, as well as how they bring out a competitive fire that only gamers can truly comprehend.
Thus, it has become an important aspect not only for leisure but as an actual professional career for a good number of people across the globe.
Even in the advent of the internet, people have seen how video gaming has transcended to be one of the most influential industries in recent years. With the boom of online games like League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients 2, the world of computer gaming has been reshaped to its most competitive phase to date.
So how has it become a viable career for many people around the world? What can a person really get from being a gaming enthusiast?
Here are some of the things a gaming enthusiast can do with his or her heightened appreciation of the game.
Most gamers are computer enthusiasts. This is a fact, considering the amount of information they need to truly give themselves the edge in the competitive arena that is online gaming. They are so fond of it that they dig deepest in the web to excavate the acumen of great gamers.
Like any greatest opportunists, many people in the gaming community find it a favorable circumstance to pass on their knowledge and earn money at the same time.
Truly, game blogging has become one of the more popular trends in the interactive digital network. Game bloggers write reviews, bugs, cheats and the likes for the benefit of their fellow gamers. But why do such a thing?
It simply is because of the fact that each gamer wants to gain an insight whether the game reviewed fits their liking. By viewing other gamers’ “expert” opinion regarding these games, they gain a wider perspective, creating a benchmark as to decide whether to avail it or not.
Speaking of opinion, these game bloggers are well respected in their expertise in genres of games they write about. Some of these bloggers are so respected that a single bad review about a game can cost millions of dollars for the makers of the game. How’s that for influence?
With the exceedingly high number of games come into the scene year after year, gamer blogs have had a similarly great number of views in their own websites. This entails heavy web traffic, making the site a prime spot for ads and other cash-worthy content. It is the perfect way to get extra funds from being passionate in a craft.
Just imagine an upsurge of viewers once a highly anticipated game comes in. WP Hosting Hub and any other hosting services would definitely be on the lookout for huge clienteles like gamer blogs in this digital business arena.
In that same light, game bloggers are also inclined of utilizing other types of media to reinforce their write ups. Some of them use video blogs, which is an actual video of the blogger playing the game, while others make use of screenshots of the important parts of the games.
All in all, game blogging is a great career if a person has the good writing skills and better gaming experience. It’s a demanding job to be in but a fun way to share one’s gaming experience.
New Celebrities are Game Casters
With the flourishing of the online gaming industry, organizer and sponsors alike are now on the rise in creating major events to set up the arena for professional gaming. One of the ways they market these games is by having experienced gamers casted in television to share their thoughts about a player, a team, or the entirety of the game.
In other major sports like basketball and football, one can see the importance of a caster or a commentator in the hyping up of the game. Who would watch a game in television without these casters’ exciting voices that pump up the energy?
Similarly, professional online gaming takes this role seriously. Since video games once thrived only in children’s computers, it has now become what is called “E-Sports.” A great deal of sponsors and game makers realize how important it is to have casters.
For instance, in a major event of DoTA2 like The International, many of the world’s leading ‘experts’ in the game gather to have themselves casted in television to provide analysis of the games and the players. These casters are often seen in television, presenting a game in their tuxedos and sharing their inputs with regard to how a team played.
It’s an exciting career to be in, not to mention the fame one can get from playing a major part in the production of the television casting. Levelling up the enthusiasm and being able to be valued by one’s analysis is something that is equally exciting for game enthusiasts.
Be the Best: Go Pro
If all of these things don’t sound as exciting, then going pro is the best way to go. Being a professional gamer is one of the trending careers in the world right now.
And that comes with good reason.
With the birth of E-Sports, more and more people are getting competitive in their respective games, especially considering the viable opportunity to go play professionally for teams. In fact, online games are now employing match-making rankings which assess one’s skills in the games. This ranking allows professional teams to gauge and determine who is the best in a specific region, and more widely, in the world.
However, the question still remains. What does going pro get you?
Aside from having to play with the best of the best in the world, a professional gamer also earns respect from the gaming community, and of course, the cash prize that comes along with winning every competition.
Taking a look at the earnings of a professional online players. Peter Dager, a professional gamer of DoTA2 earned a total of over than 2 million dollars in his career. That’s a staggering amount of money considering that he is also enjoying his passion in playing the game.
Going professionally is a hard task for any gamers since online games are getting competitive by the second. It is an ambitious thing to do, but given the chance, the fruits may be very rewarding and overwhelming at the same time.
Video games evolved in a way that no one had predicted. From being a leisure activity to a viable career, video gaming is indeed a continuously advancing field. Currently, gaming enthusiasts can choose a variety of options that fits to their liking. For one, a gamer can be a game blogger where he can write his reviews and insights about a game. Another trending choice is to be part of a production team in being a sportscaster for events. If all else fails, gamers can then become more ambitious and go play professionally.
The world of video games and online gaming is proving to be vast considering its progresses. This is why people have started pooling, giving rise to the new-aged market trend. As this technological industry rises, people witness its evolution. With that, new opportunities for gaming enthusiasts also grow with it.
The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
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Clash Royale launched in the first months of 2016 and yes, as I predicted in my previous post (Deconstructing Supercell’s Next Billion Dollar Game), it took its place at the top of the grossing list and made the rest of us game-makers look like rookies. Clash Royale is in my mind the best mobile game made to date. The game can be simply described as a four minute emotional rollercoaster packed onto your phone. It’s a game that is extremely easy to pick up and also extremely easy to quit.
My first post about Clash Royale concentrated on all the elements that make the game so phenomenal. After four months of very devoted gameplay, I’m burned out by Clash Royale and it seems that so are the people around me. Where it previously felt strategic and fun, it now feels random and frustrating.
This post breaks down five reasons why you are thinking about quitting the game you loved so much just a short while back.
1. You Are Tired of the Grind
When you started playing Clash Royale, the feeling of progress was very tangible. You racked up Trophies first to 400 and then to 800 – graduating from the Goblin Stadium to Bone Pit and then to the Barbarian Bowl Arena. With each new Arena you also unlocked 6 new cards, which you hunted from the gacha based Magic Chests.
After devoting few months of daily battles you’ve realized that the game has gotten extremely competitive and the only way to make real progress is not through optimizing, growing and mastering your deck, but through upgrading your relatively limited existing set of 50 or so cards. In other words, you just need an awful lot of duplicate cards and tens of thousands of Coins to progress. Getting the hundreds of cards is hard enough, and getting the thousands of Coins to upgrade them is even tougher. Unless you’re willing to spend, prepare to play for months without any meaningful progress.
|Doubling upgrade costs gives player stat boosts, which is way less rewarding compared to other
card collecting games, where cards evolve to something new and unique.
Clash Royale is simply an extremely grindy game if you compare the amount of time needed to progress to the limited content of different cards. This is due to two reasons. Firstly, because Arena levels determine the chest rewards, the speed of progress can actually decrease if you get relegated to the lower Arena (by losing trophies). There’s no other game that comes in into mind where this would occur. In all other games players’ ability to accumulate resources increases with time played and this is offset with an increase of in-game prices. For example, in Clash of Clans, I can be raided multiple times a day without a decrease to my ability to generate Elixirs and Gold – whereas in Clash Royale a losing streak can result in a regress to a lower Arena, and a decrease to my Chest rewards.
|Chest rewards are based on the Arena the player earns them on. A losing streak ending in a player regressing back to a lower Arena is thus extremely painful.
Secondly, the progress is halted through insanely high Coin costs. This double progress mechanic is very clever and something Wargaming has perfected in World of Tanks (read: World of Tanks Liberates Players from Mid-Core). First, a player earns enough resources to unlock an ability to progress, after which the player is presented with the extremely high price to actually upgrade. When this happens, players monetize because they feel that they’re halfway there, and can make a clear purchase decision based on how much time they will save by spending.
In Clash Royale, the player opens up the gacha chests for weeks to earn enough of a specific duplicate card. After the player gets all the needed cards, they’re hit with an upgrade cost that takes them easily half as long to accumulate. Due to the fact that the speed of your progress can decrease and because there are two price points for each upgrade, it’s no wonder if you feel like you’re actually not making any progress in Clash Royale. The painfully slow progression is simply due to the very limited content in terms of different cards. As more cards and Arena levels are added, the progress will speed up but given the current speed of content creation, this will take a couple of years.
2. You’re Punished for Using New Cards
Hog Rider, Prince, Balloon, Three Musketeers, Mortar… All these amazing new cards changed your deck when you first got them. But now, when you’re clawing your way up to 3000 Trophies, you simply can’t afford trying new cards. You still probably remember when you thought that copying your clan mate’s deck would help, only to drop 400 Trophies in an awful losing streak.
|Clash Royale has a very solid core loop. Problem is, there are no systems in the game that would encourage a player to play with different cards. In fact, the game punishes the player for trying new cards, as often the player doesn’t have the needed level or mastery to use them in the by default competitive battles.
In Clash Royale new Arenas unlock the possibility to get new cards. But drawing a new card at later stages of the game isn’t really rewarding simply because the player is discouraged to experiment with new cards. The core loop currently supports only upgrading cards and there are no modes or features to push the collection portion – making the game feel stale. Having a winning deck in Royale is quite simply a combination of a rightly balanced set of highly upgraded cards, the muscle memory of how to use them, and an opponent with the right weaknesses in his deck. Because every mode is ranked, there’s no safe environment to learn how to play with the new card decks. Thus, there’s ultimately little motivation to unlock new cards. One can practice new decks in friendly matches with clan mates, but based on my experience, clan mates are usually not available when you want to play.
Clash Royale’s progress mechanic is very straightforward: winning battles rewards a player with Trophies. Players wants Trophies because they allow them to progress to the next Arena. Players want to reach the next Arena because chest rewards scale up as they move up from one Arena to another. Arenas also unlock new and better units, which in theory should give a player more tools to win.
This progress mechanic functions perfectly as long as the player craves for more and more Trophies. The problem is that after a couple of months of gameplay, when a player hits 2000 Trophies and finds him or herself in the second-to-last league tier, the player’s interest for unlocking new cards drops, because a player needs to seriously master their deck and, well, mastery takes time and practice. As each match is ranked, there’s no possibility to train the newly unlocked cards. And, if a player doesn’t want new cards, they don’t care about Trophies and that breaks the progress mechanic. Clash Royale forces you to play with the same 8 cards even though you have 50 different ones to choose from.
3. You Are Stressed Out by the Battles
It feels so amazing to snowball an opponent and get those three Crowns accompanied by some 30 Trophies. But man, how bad does it feel to be on the receiving end of that carnage? Especially when you were trying out some new cards in your deck.
Every battle in Clash Royale has high stakes because it’s ranked, which is something no-other esport game does. For example, in Hearthstone, which Supercell thoughtfully used as a benchmark title, you have two main game modes: Casual and Ranked.
Hearthstone’s Casual matches allow you to experience all the challenges of the game without worrying about losing your hard-won rank. Casual is the perfect place for testing a new deck, or leveling a new class, and is the ideal mode in which to start playing against human opponents, after learning the basics in Practice mode. In many games, the player needs to reach a certain level before they’re even let into the Ranked mode – to protect fun for all players involved.
The Ranked mode in Hearthstone allows a player to earn special ranks to reflect their abilities in battle for the season. Winning and losing matches can increase or decrease a player’s rank, which determines matchmaking as well as grants rewards at the end of the season. Just like in Clash Royale’s Legendary Arena the ranked play in Hearthstone occurs in seasons. At the end of each season, rewards are handed out, and each player’s rank is reset to a far lower number.
Personally I feel that the lack of a casual mode is the biggest flaw in the near-perfect Clash Royale. Without a safe environment to master new tactics, players who try new decks are penalized by awful losing streaks. If players are not allowed to test out new cards against human opponents in a non-penalizing environment, they will not be driven to get new cards and strive to progress to new Arenas.
4. You Lose Half of Your Battles
In one battle, you feel that you finally have an unbeatable deck that will take you to the Legendary Arena in no time. Then, in the next battle you get triple Crowned like a noob. You rage and go to the next battle that you handedly win just to get your ass handed to you in the following match. This emotional roller-coaster was pretty amazing in the beginning but now it feels like you’ve had enough of this abusive relationship.
At this point, it just feels that whether you win or lose has very little to do with player’s skills, especially at higher levels. Instead, winning depends on the type of deck your opponent has in comparison to your deck. For example: I’m dominating and being dominated in turn with my deck that relies on the Royal Giant. If the opponent has a Cannon to draw the Giant’s attention, I’ll likely lose end up losing since playing the Giant costs twice as much elixir as the Cannon. Then again, if the opponent doesn’t have a Cannon, I’ll very likely win. This is just one of numerous examples of cards and counter-cards. What I’m trying to say is that because the deck size is so limited, a player can’t change his strategy during the battle. If someone has a counter against your deck it’s really like playing rock-paper-scissors where you’re the scissors and your opponent is the rock.
Compare this to a deep strategy game, like a MOBA, where item builds are crafted during the game. A player can change the way their champion performs on the fly – it’s about building and counter building based on what your opponent is doing. In other words… strategy.
|There’s no right deck to reach the top. The limited size of the deck and the relatively small amount
of different cards creates a game where players with mediocre skills but high level cards trump over players with better skills but lower-level cards. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what can be called pay-to-win.
The reason why the vast majority of players have a 0.5 winning record is the careful balanced small set of cards and very small deck size of only 8 different cards. You see, there are no useless cards or cards that are simply better than others, like in Hearthstone. Every card has its purpose to either counter another card or hit the opponent’s Towers. Together with a deck of only 8 cards, this balancing practice leads to decks that are unbeatable against certain decks but useless against others. That’s why you constantly win and lose and only card upgrades will truly allow you to progress in the game.
Because Clash Royale has such a limited amount of cards, the majority of players with over 2000 Trophies must have 90% of the cards unlocked. Since almost all players have access to the same cards, also the meta-game is very reactive. What I mean by this is when there’s a tuning update to cards, and certain cards are weakened, everyone updates their decks instantly. Players at the higher Arena levels see most of the decks change as highly preferred cards get weakened resulting in decreased demand for those cards and the cards that were used to counter them.
This instant change of the game’s meta is something that doesn’t happen (to my knowledge) in any other game. For example, when Hearthstone releases a whole new set of dozens new cards, the meta is not changed at that exact moment because only a small portion of players have all the cards. Same thing in MOBAs like League of Legends, where nerfing of a champion tends to have less profound and instant effect on the meta.
5. It’s the Same Everyday
Fire up Clash Royale. Open up a Chest. Gift a few cards to your Guild. Jump into a battle. Get trashed or trash someone. Start unlocking a new chest. Come back in three hours and repeat. Sometimes you get hooked to either digging yourself out of a losing streak or riding a winning streak. That’s about it.
|Hearthstone uses the Daily Quest system that pushes a player out of their comfort zone and rewards them for trying classes they are not playing with.
Apart from regular updates to the meta-game through tuning and adding new cards, Clash Royale is the same steak and eggs every day. In Hearthstone I’m welcomed with daily challenges that push me out of my comfort zone and incentivize me to play with a hero I haven’t played for a while. In Leagues of Legends a new set of champions is unlocked for the player every week, encouraging players to try something new and thus influencing the team structures as several players are picking up the free champions in rotation. Then there are the event dungeons in Puzzle and Dragons that offer daily challenges and unique loot.
|In MOBAs like Vainglory, the weekly hero rotation spices up the game.
Supercell has excelled at creating masterpieces with just a fraction of developers compared to any other game company. But sometimes less is not more. We the players are spoiled with games that feel fresh on a weekly, if not a daily, basis and expect it from all games. Clash Royale would in my mind benefit greatly from more robust and active live operations driven by daily challenges and tournaments. But because that requires content, and content requires developers and artists, we’ll likely be left with the steak and eggs and none of the frills.
Clash Royale Has Kicked Off the New Era of Mobile Games
Is Clash Royale the best game ever released for touchscreen devices? If you ask me, I’ll say it is. It’s a perfect combination of tactical yet accessible game-play, a super solid core loop, amazing user experience, phenomenal user interface, beautiful art, and high performance.
But it’s also a game that wants to be more than what it is. Clash Royale lacks the team-play of MOBAs and the depth of card games. The lack of content makes it extremely grindy and random. The lack of events and daily quests make it feel repetitive and stale. It’s also a skill-based game to a certain extent, after which it becomes pretty much pay-to-win. And it’s as much of an esports game as craps with loaded dices is a skill game.
The utmost best thing about Clash Roayle is that it has reignited the stale mobile gaming market. Sure, we’ll see infinite amount of Roayle clones rolling in this and next year but we’ll also see innovative mobile player-versus-player games that will grow with a support of community and streaming channels. Clash Royale has started a new era on mobile and I’m very excited about it.