Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Clash Royale is a Time Vampire

I kept playing Clash Royale, even though I saw the exact moment I was going to get sick of it.

Artificial Scarcity
I try to never get involved in games with a collectible aspect. It never ends well.

For the record, I've been sucked into  collectible time-sucks from which I've had trouble leaving 4 times.

1) Magic: The Gathering

2) Games Workshop (Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, Blood Bowl, Necromunda--but NEVER Gorkamorka, thank God)

3) Magic: The Gathering AGAIN

4) A small online card game system called Urban Rivals (thanks, Greg!)

For anyone interested in Clash Royale (and it's a very fun game, don't get me wrong), here is how it eventually plays out.

There's only 48 cards.

Access to cards needs to be unlocked before you can randomly get them in packs. And access is unlocked by progressing up the arena ladder. You can spend $1,000 on this game, but your packs are all going to open the same 13 cards until you start beating online opponents and moving up to the next arena.

I've reached Area 5 (out of 7) and that's about as good as its going to get. Other people are better at this than me, and are willing to spend more time on it.

Even if I went insane tomorrow, robbed a bank, took the money and bought Google gift cards, than uploaded all that credit directly into Clash Royale, I could open as many packs as I wanted and I would still have access to 28 cards.

What are you supposed to do with only 28 cards?

Level them up.


You see, you need to open multiple copies of the same card. Because Clash Royale lets you mush multiple copies together to make higher level versions of the same card.

My Minions are level 8 Minions. How many copies of the common Minions do you need to turn a Level 7 Minions into a Level 8 Minions? 200 copies. Which is easy when you're opening pack after pack with the same 28 cards. But you also have to pay gold. Which is earned in the packs too, but at a much slower rate.

Eventually you are engaging in an activity I like to call "grinding in place". There's no more prizes you really want to open. But you're going after these chests that incrementally move your cards power up just a little bit every once in a very great while.

I don't have time for that.

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