Why do I Still Play Clash of Clans?

It’s been a little over 5 years since I downloaded this game. I want to stop playing, but I just can’t. 

Well, I can…but I won’t.

How it all Began

My younger brother introduced the game to me during the summer of ’13. He had been raving about it for so long that I finally decided to give it a try. For some reason, I still listened to his recommendations even after he had tricked me into playing chatroulette.

The premise of the game seemed simple enough:

  1. Collect resources so you can build stuff that make you more powerful
  2. Attack people who are weaker than you and take their stuff
  3. Build more stuff to make you even more powerful
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 (and now you are singing Brian McKnight songs. You’re welcome)

I was instantly hooked!

Even though I was too scared to actually attack anyone in my first few days of gameplay, I was very regimented in the way I managed my builders. For those who don’t know, you are limited in the number of things you can build/upgrade by the number of these guys that are living in your base:

Photo Credit: Imgur

There are so many memories of setting an alarm in the middle of the night just to give a builder his orders. This method effectively kept my builders as close to 100% utilization as possible. 

Little did I know that this small village would quickly consume many of my waking hours.

The Honeymoon Phase

You know when you get a game and everything is so fresh and new that you just can’t put it down? Well, this phase lasted a very very VERY long time. I was infatuated with this game for probably close to a year.

My brother invited me to join his friends in their clan. It was a small group (no more than 15) of kids that he knew from college. They had all picked up the game around the same time. This was the perfect environment to learn and grow with other newbies!

We would ask each other for tips, share info on the latest strategies and everyone took the game pretty seriously. Before long, we were a decent group of clashers.

Side bar: I just searched for the group and saw they are down to 7 people. None of them are active. RIP.

After a few months, things started to change.

The Maturation of Yoshyaes

I noticed after a while that I was doing more talking and attacking than anyone else in the group.

There were spells of time where I was the only person online. This created very difficult situations where I couldn’t receive support troops from my clan members. Of course this made me want to yell things like “HEY, WHERE IS EVERYONE? DO YOU GUYS HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN PLAY THIS GAME?!”

Photo Credit: Amino apps

Thankfully, I didn’t do that.

Instead, I decided to branch off and start my own clan.

My brother and his friends all had their youth ahead of them. They wouldn’t miss having the old guy hang around their clan chat, persistently asking for more dragons. I’m pretty sure they were out being social and enjoying the world.

Luckily, I had done enough promoting of the game to my own friends that there were about ten or so folks ready to join the new squad. 

The clan was comprised of everyone from college buddies to cousins to in-laws to my then-girlfriend to siblings of friends. Everybody!

It was awesome for a while. We had a solid run of 4-5 months.

Then people started losing interest :[

It was getting more and more difficult to have the numbers we needed to be competitive in clan wars. I saw several inactive towns in our group. A couple people had officially retired from the game. It was time for another change.

One of the other guys in the clan had been trying to convince me to leave the clan that I had built from the ground up. We went back and forth for weeks before he finally convinced me that it was the right decision. It was time to say good bye to my people…

Photo Credit: Tenor
Taking Things up a Notch

Let me tell you about how hardcore this new clan was!

For one, these guys were very serious about troop donations. If someone asked for a max level golem you damn well better donate a max level golem! The number of times I saw someone called out for donating the wrong troops is probably on par with the number of times I’ve watched Remember the Titans.

Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen Remember the Titans, you can leave. Right now.

They also carefully planned out the war strategy and stuck to it. Each member knew exactly who to attack several hours before the clan wars started. We would also share strategies on how best to 3-star a base when people needed help.

This new level of intensity forced me to step my game up. I liked it. I found myself more engaged with the game than ever before. 

My youtube search history was mostly Clash of Clans related. I was collecting resources at my base 6-7 times per day. 

If you can believe it, I had even started a second town to essentially start the game over again. This time around, I had the advantage of knowing exactly what not to do in the early days of my base.

It was nice to not have the pressure of leading a bunch of people into battle. I imagine this is how most generals felt after a long war.

I had found my place and all was right in the world.

Things Started Changing

It was bound to happen eventually. In order to stay relevant in an app store that contains hundreds of thousands of titles, the Supercell developers began introducing some pretty big changes:

  • New heroes (essentially larger versions of the regular clan troops)
  • Dark barracks giving way to new troops
  • New attack buildings to protect your loot

It all happened so fast! One minute, I was a few weeks away from maxing out my base; the next minute, I had months of work ahead of me. Without sounding too dramatic, I was starting back from square 1. 

Ok, maybe square 3 or 4, but you know what I mean.

The higher level you reach, the longer it takes to upgrade things. Going from a level 2 to a level 3 cannon might take 20 minutes. The jump from 11 to 12  could take 14 days!

Yes, you read that correctly. 14 days of real-time waiting, tying up a builder and leaving a section of your town unprotected.

Of course there was an option to buy ‘gems’ to instantly complete the builds. (Un)fortunately, I am one of those people who prides themselves on never spending any money on these free-to-play games. I would sit patiently for those two weeks to pass and then assign my builder to another structure.

The issue is, if you don’t gem your base you end up with a lot of down time where you can’t really do anything in the game. Sure, you can attack other bases and collect resources from your mines. However, if you don’t have an available builder, then the gold and elixir ends up getting stolen anyways.

There were a few ways around this. You could have the app open all day during your waking hours, then leave your townhall unguarded to obtain an overnight shield. Some players opted for more creative solutions that involved tablet-touching contraptions. 

Either way, it was becoming more difficult to stay as committed to the game as when the upgrades came early and often.

I think this is where the game started losing me.

The Tail End of my Career

Clash is now something that I check three times a day: once when I wake up, one time at lunch and usually one more time before I go to sleep.

I collect my resources, donate a few troops and complete a couple weekly challenges.

In a lot of ways, the game has become much easier than it was in the good ol’ days (I’m sure World of Warcraft players can sympathize with me here).

Walls can be upgraded with elixir. Clan games pour resources out for finishing very small tasks. Clan troops got a huge boost. There are items you can use to instantly complete an upgrade without using gems. 

It’s just a very different game.

Over the last two years, I’ve probably said “I need to stop playing this game” at least 50 times. Every time I say that to myself, I think about the hundreds of hours that I’ve put into this game. I’m reminded of the ghost towns that I used to take advantage of. I just really don’t want my village to end up like that!

Phot Credit: Reddit
What Happens Next

I have one small ask for Supercell. All I want is for some active player to take over both of my accounts…without having to hand over access to my google accounts. 

Can you please make this happen? Can you please let me pass my legacy on knowing it will be taken care of by a responsible human? That’s all I ask.

I imagine there are other players in the same boat — checking the app out of habit but wishing for the days when it no longer takes up space on their phone. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun game for those who like resource management and tower defense. They even spun off a successful standalone app that focuses more on real-time strategy.

But I need to let this game go. Please help me do this. Sincerely, a tired 5-year Clasher.

What games are you still playing but looking forward to ending the run? Leave a comment below!

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5 years ago

Thanks for the wonderful article

Two Average Gamers
Reply to  Shay
5 years ago

Thanks, we appreciate the support! Happy gaming :]

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