And on the first day, Supercell repaired the boat. The broken boat has been sitting at the edge of the Clash of Clans village for a little while now, sparking wild speculation in the community about just what would happen when players got their hands on the thing. And with this most recent update, we found out. It”s an entirely new base: a fresh start across the sea on a nighttime map where the rules are strikingly different from the world we left behind. It”s a neat trick: Supercell clearly knows better than to try to start from scratch with its user base by releasing something like Clash of Clans 2 when everyone is so deeply invested in Clash of Clans.

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This update, however, is as close as were going to get to a numbered sequel.

The Builder Base, as it”s called, looks more or less like Clash of Clans at night, at least on the surface under the hood is a different story. Units now have special abilities that they deploy at the beginning of combat: Barbarians get a “rage” boost, Archers are cloaked for a few seconds, etc. You also have fewer of them, and you train them in groups rather than one at a time. The changes to how combat itself operates are even bigger, though. Attack and Defense are still asymmetric, but you now fight opponents in head to head battles, attacking your opponents base while they attack yours and competing for more destruction. Whoever does better gets a sizeable victory bonus and the trophies from the fight, placing a much higher emphasis on actually winning and less of an emphasis on collecting resources through raids. Nobody gets the bonus in the event of a draw, even if both snagged 100%. Without paying, you can collect the bonus three times a day, though a few gems will handily reset that timer. After those three victories, you”re done with loot for the day.

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There are also new buildings and traps on offer, all seeming to push the player to a slightly more tailored, strategic approach to defense. All in all, the Builder Base represents a significant refinement of the formula Supercell has been tinkering with for years now, keeping the spirit intact but changing the executing in important ways. The influence of the developer”sClash Royale is hard to miss, in head-to-head battles as well as daily timers, bonuses, and a slightly more nuanced bag of tricks from which to draw a strategy. It”s not hard to imagine that this could have, in a different context, been released as asequel, and I”m sure the question was asked at Supercellheadquarters. I like the way that it broadens the game without leaving it.

It”s a relief for me. My Clash of Clans base became a burden a long time ago, operating more like an every growing checklist more than anything else. Combat had become stale: I mostly just went after easy raids on elixir collectors and gold mines on the outskirts of lapsed players” towns. I hardly play these days, but I”m finding this Builder Base more than enough reason to go back. The new mode does feel more aggressively monetized than the base game, but it feels less onerous because the base game is still there, across the water. It”s an interesting move from a now well-established game, and I”m interested to see how well it holds my attention. I find my finger wandering back towards my main base, as well, which may have been the point all along…

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I”ve been writing about video games professionally for 12 years, and I”ve been at samseinfo.com for 9. I”m here for review and commentary on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo

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I”ve been writing about video games professionally for 12 years, and I”ve been at samseinfo.com for 9. I”m here for review and commentary on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch games, and I”m a bit obsessed with Pokemon GO and Destiny 2. In my spare time I do consulting, and I”ve been getting worse at the banjo for easily 8 years now.

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