The Clash Royale team just announced a small round of balance changes for next week. As the game’s balance has already significantly improved over the past weeks, there are no significant changes to offset the current balance in the game, perhaps with the exception of one change….
Zap: Now stuns target for 1 second, damage reduced by 6%
SC: Zap has lacked a purpose of its own that differentiated it from Arrows or the other damage spells. Giving it a brief stun effect should make it quite an interesting choice!
MoEsport: Hmm, doesn’t this sound familiar? Now where do you think Supercell got the idea to make Zap into a mini 1-second freeze?? Regular readers here may have previously read my post on the previous round of balance changes earlier this month, as well as my article on How to Improve On The 5 Least Popular Clash Royale Cards. To recap, this is what I wrote:
The Problem: Supercell tried to encourage players to use Zap more by giving it a 7% damage increase, but the little damage it deals just isn’t effective enough for it to be played in place of other spells like Arrows and Fireball.
Recommendation: As suggested in my commentary on the latest round of balance changes, the game can make Zap into a mini-freeze by making all damaged troops and towers unable to move for 1 second (the “shock”). One second is not a lot, but can potentially be a game changer and something that will make the card worth playing. In fact, such a change would be so effective that I would suggest for the card’s damage to be lowered!
BOOM! Imagine my reaction when I first read that my wild suggestion to change a card will actually be implemented in the game! Now Supercell has neither acknowledged or denied that they took this idea from me, and perhaps it was just one single designer who read my post and took credit for this idea… but regardless, it’s good to know that they’re reading, and they’re open for suggestions.
As for my thoughts on what the change will do to the game? Well call me bullish on my own design, but I think almost every top player will start playing Zap after the balance change. Zap still only costs 2 elixir, and a 1 second freeze can easier turn the tide for/against incoming swarms, or allow Hog Rider to deliver that extra hit to finish a game. It’s damage has been decreased and now it can’t take out weaker Minions, but they and everything else the Zap hits is also stunned for one second longer for your troops or towers to get in that extra hit. It will give me great satisfaction to add this to my deck come next week!
Giant Skeleton: Hitpoints increased by 11%, bomb timer increased to 3 seconds (from 1 second)
SC: Giant Skeleton can be the ultimate nullifier, as he’s primarily used on defense to halt a push in its tracks. Adding a couple of seconds to his death bomb’s fuse will make positioning your defending troops to escape the blast radius a possibility now.
MoEsport: Ouch for Giant Skeleton fans. Giant Skeleton was already a total liability on offense as anyone with a few spear goblins can divert it to the middle of the Arena and let the towers take it out. It’s saving grace was its ability on defense: play it in front of a swarm of attacking troops, and it’ll draw them in like a magnet and blow them all to smithereens. With a 3 second delay on the explosion, fast troops and troops in position to flee towards the enemy tower will be able to escape the radius of the large blast. Giant Skeleton was already not a popular card to begin with, and with this change I’d expect no top player to be using it anytime in the near future.
Tesla: Hitpoints decreased by 5%
SC: A small hitpoint reduction will bring the Tesla more in line with our overall “offense over defense” philosophy. It currently offers a bit too much defensive value for 4 Elixir.
MoEsport: Everyone and their relatives have been playing Tesla since the nerf to Tombstone and Inferno Tower. The fact that players still need to have towers for protection will not change, and this 5% HP decrease will probably not sway too many players from adopting another tower in place of Tesla.
Rage: Effect falls off quicker when troops leave the Rage area
SC: Rage will last for 2 seconds on a troop after it leaves Rage’s area of effect. Previously Rage ‘stuck’ to troops until the area of effect was gone, which we felt was a bit weird.
MoEsport: Another unpopular Epic getting nerfed! I thought Supercell was trying to encourage people to use more cards! The change is not very significant and it makes sense, but really don’t understand why there’s a need to implement such a change to a rarely used card now.
Combat Mechanics: Troops will be harder to distract
SC: – Troops won’t be pulled from their lane as easily by buildings; buildings will need to be positioned a bit closer.
– Troops won’t target and move towards units that attack them from far away.
MoEsport. Now this vaguely explained footnote can actually have a huge impact on the game. So how much closer will buildings need to be positioned to distract troops? Will a building placed in the middle still be able to draw Hog Rider over, or perhaps they will not attack building that are played behind them? Also, how far is “far away” in regards the the second point on troops targeting? If Clash Royale is ever going to be taken seriously as an eSport, the game team will need to learn to communicate these changes better, instead of just rolling them out and letting players learn about them the hard way.
Thoughts on the changes? Excited about the new Zap? Leave comments below!