I’ve been playing Clash Royale for a couple of years now, and each December brings a large update. Last year, it was the addition of a new arena along with new chest options (with the big Clan War update happening a couple of months later). This year, we have a few new features that change up the game pretty significantly. Supercell put together a couple of videos that break things down, and since the update is now live, I’ll provide some of my own feedback afterwards. Check out the videos:
I’ve checked out the new features, and can confirm that having been King level 13 for a while now, I did end up with quite a few star points with which I can upgrade max level cards. At this juncture, I only have a max level Balloon and Zap, and the points I had accrued I used for leveling up my Balloon twice. Zap will have to wait a bit.
Currently, if you upgrade a card one star level you get a gold border around it, but I leveled my Balloon twice so I’m not sure what the difference is between 1 and 2 star levels. In-game the star level 2 Balloon appears with gold colored patches and gold lettering. I have seen what I assume to be star level 1 cards, they have a different colored level marker above units’ heads; red as opposed to blue for my level 2 Balloon. These are simply cosmetic differences and nothing amazing.
The other major feature released with this update are “Global Tournaments.” These seem to be a tournament that you don’t have to organize (unlike the tournament system that existed prior, where you would have to sign people up to have it go off). On the main screen, the bar is listed near the middle and you can play at will. You’ll earn medals for wins, so crowns don’t really matter. You have 4 losses, and can compete until you hit that amount, but earn prizes based on the amount of wins you accrue. What’s a little strange though, is that you earn “free” rewards for hitting particular milestones on your way up the leaderboard, but then there are “bonus” rewards that you must pay 500 gems to unlock. Current pricing on that many gems is $5, so it’s not a huge investment to get some extra rewards but it’s probably not worth the money unless you are placing high enough on the leaderboard. To boot, there are “exclusive rewards” for those who place high, but that probably won’t be you or I.
There have also been some tweaks made to the trade token system, and this is one part of the update that I’m unhappy with. Prior to this update you were able to trade with clan members as long as the person offering the trade had a trade token. Trade tokens were introduced a while back, and come in common, rare, epic and legendary flavors. You can trade 250 commons, 50 rares, 10 epics or 1 legendary per token. Anyone who had the cards requested was able to trade with you. Now, they are requiring each party to have a trade token, so if you want rare cards, you have to wait for someone to earn a rare trade token and be willing to trade the particular card you want for whatever it is they want. Before you could basically blindly trade with people who wanted cards you cared nothing about, and only really pay attention to the trades you wanted to make. This benefited me in maxing out my Balloon and Zap, while getting rid of cards that didn’t matter as much. The trade off was supposed to be that you’ll earn more trade tokens since the update, but in a couple of days I haven’t noticed a difference. We’ve been earning the majority of our trade tokens via Clan Wars, and the only other way I’ve had them was by buying bundles that come with them, so I don’t see where we’re really getting an increase, unless you’re counting the “bonus” rewards that I have to pay gems for. I assume we’ll probably see further tweaks to this system after community feedback, because trades should be happening more often than they do, particularly when you’re requiring a token from each party to do so.
Some other minor features include Emotes being on sale for Gems, meaning those of you who have the patience to save up can grab some emotes if you haven’t already dumped some cash on them in the special offer bundles. Emotes are kind of a dumb idea, but I still use them nonetheless. You can also speed up some features for gems, like card requests and quest reset timers. This is nothing new to the mobile genre, but still a nice bonus if you have some banked gems and can’t stand a particular quest or want to speed up your card progression.
Overall I’m happy with the direction the game has taken. I may spend some time with other mobile games, but Clash Royale has definitely held my attention for the longest period of time. I’m also looking forward to Supercell’s newest game Brawl Stars, and will report on that once it’s released. I’m pre-registered, so I should be among the first to know when that happens.