Clash Royale Creators Sell For Big Hay Pay Day

SuperCell Bought By Chinese Holding Company

I read up on this little buy yesterday. Chinese holding company Tencent is going to buy SuperCell — creators of Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Hay Day, and Boom beach — for $8.6 Billion now with the ultimate price tag on SuperCell being around $10B.

I’ve read some kerfuffle over the buy and people being scared that it means big changes are going to come and the game is going to be ruined, etc. I don’t know about that. This is the same company that purchased Riot Games (creators of League of Legends) back in December of last year. Tencent hasn’t touched them since. They seem to be in the business of buying companies that run themselves well and then sitting back to make money. Smart choice if you’re buying companies like SuperCell and Riot Games.

Clash Royale is still going very strong. I still play daily and I’m up to 1900 trophies now. I feel fairly confident in my play style. I think my card levels are holding me back, along with having no legendaries and going against some people with 2-3 of them. I haven’t spent a dime though, so I haven’t contributed at all to SuperCell’s cash reserves. They’ve done a great job of making Clash Royale good enough to keep playing as a freebie.

The value of a company with 4 games that are truly quite simple is astounding. It speaks to the market of handheld/mobile gaming, value of F2P done well, and simply making great games.

Supercell Says Emotes Are Here To Stay

Supercell Won't Remove Emote Spam

I play Clash Royale every single day. When I’m away from home, it’s my game of choice. In fact, some days when I have huge downtime or I’m traveling, I could spend a couple of hours playing. While I’m not very good (I constantly float between 1300 and 1900 trophies), I still love to play the game. What I hate though are the emote spammers.

I’ll be playing a game and lose by one single goblin spear. That’s a fraction of a second loss. I’ll emote the “Good game well played” and my opponent will spam me with tears and laughs and rage faces and more tears. WTF? Another game will go by and I’ll be obliterated—crushed, destroyed, no chance of victory—and I’ll say nothing or GG the opponent and they’ll once again spam me with emotes.

Players like me feel this is disruptive to a friendly and competitive environment, but Supercell says the emote spam is here to stay.

The same principle – evoking strong emotions – is at the heart of why we’re not planning to implement a mute option. Emotes are loved by some and hated by others – even within the Clash Royale team! We believe these strong emotions are integral to the core of the game.

Hey, I get it. Clash Royale makes me rage, shout for joy, etc. The game elicits emotions and they’ve done a FANTASTIC job. But being able to mute those emotes won’t stop those emotions. If they’re worried it would make the spammer’s experience less enjoyable then they wouldn’t have to let that person know I’ve muted them. What it probably boils down to is a realization their most of their players are emote spammers, and making a move against he majority isn’t in their best interest.

For now, I’ll just have to suck it up and deal with the spam.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X Continues to Consume Us!

I’m still having a blast in Kingdom Hearts Unchained X. In fact, my wife is too. She picked up the game almost 2 weeks after me, and is now so far past me that I’m not sure I can ever catch up. She says it’s a mixture of the Disney and the gameplay where it’s simple to understand but more strategic at times. Knowing when to use special abilities, swipe, tap, and how to build a good Keyblade are all interesting to her — me too!

I’m around level 120, and she’s pushing 170. We both have spent a great deal of time trying to maximize what we can get for free by making sure to play each day. Every day has new quests and events to do. For example, Tuesday is red (power) exp and evolve medals. Wednesday is Blue, and Thursday is green. Friday you get the evolve medals needed to go from 1-5 stars (Chesire Cat, Merlin, and Fairy Godmother). Saturday and Sunday are the more powerful evolve medals (Yensid and Sorcerer Mickey). Each day there are also events to get munny, improve your various Keyblades, earn gems, or get special rewards. Suffice it to say, there’s always plenty to do. In fact, I regularly feel overwhelmed.

KHUX Synthesis ChartThere’s a lot of meta game surrounding the accrual, leveling, and slotting of medals. Leveling medals is pretty straight forward. You put Huey, Dewey, and Louie medals into them to get them basic experience. You can also fuse like medals together (for example putting a 3* Mickey into a 3* Mickey) to synthesize that medal to increase its multiplier. Human nature of course leads us to try and find the most efficient way of leveling and synthesizing medals. The chart to the right shows the most efficient way to get to a fully synthesized medal.

Fully synthesized medals lead to a mechanic called Guilt. (Still with me?) Guilt is a trait found on 6* fully synthesized medals that acts like a second multiplier, and comes in multiple tiers based on the rarity of the medal. Rarity is probably the simplest mechanic: Some medals are common (Goofy) and some medals are rare (Mushu). Rare medals will have ridiculous Guilt multipliers, but are so rare that you’re likely to never fully synthesize a 6*. Common medals may not have as good of a Guilt multiplier, but some Guilt is better than no chance of ever having Guilt — that’s how my wife and I look at it.

KHUX Mickey Synthesis

For having spent nothing on the game, we’ve both put in a ton of time and never feel like we can’t play despite there being restrictions on how many missions you can run back to back (action points deplete). The last event was for Zootopia and had lots of neat unlocks to earn, and every night from 7-9pm there was a raid boss event for two hours where we could kill raid bosses together non-stop. That was lots of fun, and we got lots of neat little Zooptopia cosmetic items. The “end game” is the Coliseum, which I’ll talk about once I catch up to my wife who is already conquering it without me.

6 Star Mushu

KHUx has a lot more importance to the story than I initially realized. If you’re a Kingdom Hearts fan, you really don’t have a choice on whether or not to play KHUx — you sorta need to play. There will be references to this stuff in KH3. It’s free, and fun, and definitely worth playing.

FFXI on iOS from Nexon

Lots of images — well, lots of the same image — are coming out of the Nexon developers conference showing the upcoming FFXI “reboot” for iOS.

FFXI for iOS

The idea of FFXI on mobile devices intrigues me for a few reasons.

MMORPGs on Mobile Devices

I’m growing quite fond of my iPhone gaming. I play Clash Royale, Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, Yokai Watch Wibble Wobble, and plenty more mobile games daily. I have lots of time to play in short bursts of 3 minutes here and 10 minutes there. That’s why mobile gaming is so convenient for me. Mobile games are becoming more like games and less like gambling by offering whole gaming experiences. MMORPGs on mobile devices would definitely take things up a notch for me.

I think the first question I have to ask myself is whether or not I want to even play a MMORPG on a phone. I think my answer is yes, though when given the choice I’ll take PC over phone. But when I’m not at my PC, is FFXI a game I’d boot up? I think so. I recently returned to FFXI on Nasomi, and I enjoy the experience enough. Having that, or even better a rebooted version of that, experience on mobile could be great.

The very thought of FFXI on a mobile device at first sounds horrible, but then I think about the menu system already being more intuitive for clicking. Then there’s the idea of a “reboot” where this could be a much simplified version. Maybe 5 abilities usable at a time? Refined menu system? After that, the only barrier becomes proper chat support and I think they have something.

FFXI Reboot

Will Nexon Ruin FFXI?

The business model will make it or break it for me. Nexon doesn’t have a great reputation for handling business models well. The currencies listed at the top of that first screenshot worry me. I’m not interested in a game where I pay to win or can’t do half the stuff F2P whales can do. I’d rather pay $10 and have the whole experience. Realistically my chances of that are nil. Will they have built in play-time limitations? Pay to win shops?

Lots of potential. FFXI is hopefully only the beginning of bigger things to come for mobile games. Never thought I would ever say that.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X released in North America this past week for iOS and Android. Unchained X reveals the origins of Kingdom Hearts, taking place before any of the other games in the series. Unchained X’s story will connect to the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III game.

You are a Keyblade wielder — one of many — on a quest to rid the world of Darkness and fight with your Union over control of the remaining light.When you start the game you get to choose a Union. This Union is your faction of Keyblade wielders and each week your points are tallied to see which Union wins. There’s a neat multiplayer element to KH Unchained X where you get to fight raid bosses with members of your union, though it’s not truly playing with others in real time.

The presentation is in the form of a fairy tale. In the very beginning (while the game is downloading a good amount) you are presented a fairy tell in popup book format. Kairi’s Grandmother is telling her a favorite story from the past (the story you’re going to be playing) about how the whole thing got started.

KH Uchained X is free to play. The cash shop doesn’t appear to be too invasive. I’m not super far into the game by any means, but from what I can see it all appears to be cosmetic/”I want to be in the top 100 players” kind of stuff. It  doesn’t appear necessary for the story gameplay at all. Medals can be purchased with in-game currency in a form of random packs, and I feel like the game gives you plenty of in-game currency to avoid needing to spend money.

Gameplay happens in “quests” or missions. So far they seem pretty quick, taking no more than a couple of minutes to complete. These missions involve a main objective like killing a particular encounter. Combat is handled well. Tap the screen to attack, swipe to area attack, and drag medals off of your Keyblade to use abilities. Combat in general is somewhat turn-based. Each action you take rotates the medals in your Keyblade. When the enemy’s action comes around, they take a move. So you’re trying to utilize your actions knowing that the enemy’s action is likely to come around soon.

Customization is pretty good too. You’ll get to slot the medals you want, customize our character’s looks/outfit, and level things up with a bit of choice as to what you combine. Overall, a decent system. It’s like a mix of Days and CoM.

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X comes across very well on mobile devices. The story telling methods they use work for both mobile and the KH narrative. There are plenty of familiar faces, lots of Disney which is great, and the feeling of Kingdom Hearts is all there. The price is right, and KHUx is one of the most ‘complete’ feeling mobile games I’ve played.