So Supercell came out with a Builder Base 2.0 blog post. There’s some good points about the article but I don’t know if they’re able to address the real problems with that side of the game. I have a few ideas based on my experience running 8 accounts where I play throughout the season and then abruptly stop once I hit the max season rewards and keep my accounts inert until Clan Games. I would like to offer some points here that look into the blog post as well as how I would fix that part of the game (besides the proverbial “just delete it!” criticism).
First, I want to talk about the three points that the writer describes as the “positives” of the Builder Base game play.
- Focused, Tactical Fun – They mention here that it’s new players’ favorite part of the game once they unlock it. I think when you start out, it’s okay because it’s quick battles. And as long as you realize that you should just put certain parts of the initial base in the corners of the map, you’ll win against n00b players. But they do mention that once you start expanding the base it gets less fun. But we’ll talk about that part later. As far as tactical fun, it’s not really tactical. It’s more just drop your shit and hope that the AI doesn’t royally fuck up because the AI sucks balls here.
- Adapt and Improvise – This is absolute horseshit. The only thing you use are dedicated troops because you can’t earn enough Builder Base Elixir to train up enough troops to make an attack worth swapping troops. In fact, once you unlock Cannon Carts and the Battle Machine, there aren’t any reasons to use anything else up until you max them out along with Boxer Giants. If you use under leveled troops, you will certainly lose. Also, most people just play this side of the game to unlock the 6th Builder so the motive of most players will be to rush bases, making tactical improvisations a pipe dream in Supercell’s minds.
- Defense Matters – Yes, this is true. So what Supercell did was made the defense aspects of the game play here way too strong. Defense is overbalanced and until you max out all your troops and Battle Machine, you’re just going to have a frustrating time.
Now, let’s get into the current criticisms that Supercell has underscored in parallel to their perceived positives:
- Gets less fun as it gets bigger – This occurs because point #3 from above conflicts with how weak your troops are. The number of defenses vs the amount of troops you receive is nonsensical, especially when you consider how slow your troops are, how bad the AI is and the fact that defenses will always out range your troops.
- Not rewarding to play well – This part is spot on. I’ve gotten 100% or near that amount and basically feel like I wasted my time because I missed 1 second. So I basically only am motivated to play this part of the game to do my daily Versus battle for the season or when I’m trying to get through Clan Game challenges. Otherwise, I have zero desire to play and would prefer to gain passive income to level up my Builder Base.
- Not convenient to play – Basically, you’re waiting around for your opponent to finish an attack. If you or your opponent put buildings in the corner to extend the time of a battle, you’re going to be waiting for a while. There’s nothing you can do to simply surrender when you know you’ve lost or when you just want to try another opponent. And matchmaking makes things even worse because you will consistently be placed against overpowered foes.
So here’s my evaluation of how to fix the Builder Base given these problems and my exposure to being subjected to this infuriating mess of a game that now seems to have spilled over to the Clan Capital aspect of this game in terms of the actual battles.
- Defense range needs a massive nerf and/or damage nerf. More than anything, this is what probably can be fixed immediately. Things like the Double Cannon and Cannon in particular have a ridiculous range for what they’re supposed to be. It’s completely unfair to see your Cannon Carts, which presumably have a similar capability as a regular Cannon, just get their asses kicked because they can’t even hit a Cannon while getting picked off. A Cannon Cart’s so-called special ability makes zero difference because once they trigger that mode, they still can’t hit a damn thing to make a difference.
- The AI for troops need a big time upgrade. How many times have you seen on reddit a video posted of how stupid the Battle Machine AI is? People justify this terrible programming based on AI targeting priority but I think it’s just awful programming on the developers’ part. It’s embarrassingly bad watching your troops, especially the Battle Machine doing the Curly Shuffle as defenses just pick it off. My suggestion here is that there should be a rule where the AI targeting of an attacking AI should switch based on what has shot them first. We don’t get flares in this game so there’s no way to re-prioritize our troops. The only cooldown ability we get is a shitty, long heal/offense for our Battle Machine. So once we place that sucker down, we just hope and pray. So to make things more sensible, allowing this switch would make the AI a hell of a lot less frustrating.
In addition, they need to stop having troops obviously move against their mortal enemies. Like the Battle Machine seeking out Crushers while Cannon Carts target non-defensive units just so your Battle Machine gets smashed. Or have Cannon Carts take a lava bath by enthusiastically entering a molten lake even if you’ve ensured that you’ve positioned your Cannon Carts far enough from where the Lava Launcher has planted the first shot.
- The Multi Mortar needs a far larger blind spot. Considering how much damage this thing does and its range, there’s no reason to allow such a small blind spot.
- Wall HP nerf. On my main account, I use a combination of Bombers, Boxer Giants and Cannon Carts. Right now, all I’m encountering are bases with near maxed out Walls. By the time my stupid Bombers can penetrate the outer Walls, half my troops are decimated. I’ve tried different things where I place my troops down at different intervals, different positions, spam drops, etc. The end effect is always the same: half my troops are decimated because Walls are ridiculous. And my Boxer Giants’ first punch does absolutely nothing against Walls.
- Give Boxer Giants an upgrade of hit points. These guys barely can do anything without getting instagibbed. So until I move my lower level Builder Bases higher, I feel no reason to use them while I pursue my 6th Builder.
- More troops! Not more variety but more per Army Camp. The defense-to-troop ratio is terrible. Maybe it’ll encourage people like me to try more strategic combinations since I can barely fit enough troops as is. Or allow us better mix-n-match strategies in the same manner as the normal base. For instance, I don’t want a dedicated camp of Bombers because it feels like a waste.
- Allow for us to skip bases or surrender instantly. I don’t mind dropping trophies. I do mind wasting time waiting around to be defeated. If you prematurely end the fight and your opponent is winning, you should automatically drop out rather than being forced to wait around. I get that Supercell probably doesn’t want people to try and game matchmaking but that wouldn’t be a problem if the matchmaking system didn’t suck in the first place! So either fix matchmaking or just let people game dropping trophies.
Of all these principals, I feel the last one would be the easiest thing to fix. That and/or a massive defense nerf would fix the majority of the issues with the Builder Base. I personally don’t mind waiting around if the experience of having my troops getting picked off by overwhelming defenses as a result of a faulty matchmaking system didn’t exist. So in that sense I would prefer a massive defense nerf where range would get cut by 2-3 squares per long range defense as well as increasing the blind spots for stuff like the Multi Mortar. Otherwise, you’d have to increase the base damage of the troops by 1.5x and their attack rate to close the gap (just check out a Cannon Cart in Last Stand vs a regular or Double Cannon to see how fucked up that is).