It's been a long wait, but the Builder Base update is finally here! Creating this new world has been an epic journey for the Clash of Clans team, and we want to share it with all Clashers.
In this Dev’s Desk post, we’ll lay out the thinking and design behind our most ambitious release to date. As always, the team is eager to hear your feedback!
Ever since the release of Clan Wars, the team has wondered, "What will the next big thing be for Clash of Clans?" Finding the right idea takes time, and the details only take shape after relentless refining and iteration.
In this case, inspiration struck in the months following the Town Hall 11 update. That update introduced some of the game's most challenging gameplay, and brought about some reflection on our Design Values. Most notably, it made us think about Simplicity - being easy to understand, pick up and play, even while being challenging to master.
In Clash of Clans, the early game best represents this spirit of Simplicity. There is a certain simple charm to the early Clash experience that we felt players can start to miss in the bigger, slower and tougher later game. How could we recapture this excitement and charm? A new village seemed like a promising idea.
Many of the other details, like the night-time theme, the Versus Battle mode, and the Master Builder, would come later. A new village gave us a rare opportunity to take a fresh look at Clash of Clans, and try out a whole bunch of new ideas that we couldn’t in the main game
Above all, we had one goal: recreate that early Clash thrill in a new way that everyone could enjoy.
The new village posed a challenge: how do we craft a meaningful new experience for Clashers while retaining that simple Clash charm? That's what our value of Meaningful Progression is all about - constantly producing unique gameplay and new challenges. New troops, new defenses and even a new Hero would only be the start of innovating the Clash of Clans formula.
Fortunately, we've had nearly 5 years of feedback from Clash of Clans players over every aspect of the game imaginable. There are a lot of learnings to look back on, and we’ll highlight some of the most influential here.
The team has to sincerely thank all Clashers for being such a dedicated and passionate community over the years. Without you, we couldn’t have made the Builder Base what it is!
Clashers love to battle. Players have always cheered reductions in training times and costs, because it gets them back into the fight faster. So, in the Builder Base, we tried something new: automatic training, extremely low training times and no training or attacking costs.
By removing as many barriers to attacking as possible, we wanted to make it as easy and fast as we could to get players into their next battle.
We also took a hard look at the balance of time and effort needed to make meaningful progress. Players have often struggled to stockpile resources or felt stuck losing all their gains, unless they commit to heavy play sessions every day.
We decided to take a new approach with the Builder Base. Like in Clan Wars, players would instead compete for rewards by attacking one another, and resources would never be stolen. In addition, we balanced and capped the rewards at 3 wins per day to help pace content without demanding heavy play sessions.
The team strongly felt Builder Base progression shouldn't eat up all the time from your main village or Clan Wars - sticking to our design value of Playstyle Diversity. At the same time, we left the option open to continue fighting for trophies, and more trophies would mean higher loot on the next 3 wins!
The new mode was a great opportunity to boldly remix battle gameplay. We designed for Simplicity while retaining Depth of combat (another design value), which we've learned is dearly important to Clashers.
We started by streamlining the army structure and putting much more focus on individual troops. Instead of separate Spells, we gave troops upgradable special abilities. Instead of managing housing space, we trained troops in groups and gave troops upgradable group sizes.
All units were balanced to hit harder and die faster. This reduced army size and defense complexity while making battles faster and more intense. At the same time, a “Versus” format placed greater focus on defending well, helping skilled base-builders really shine.
The end result of all of this? A distinctly tighter, cleaner, easier to play battle experience with all the Depth and strategy Clashers have come to expect.
Versus Battle mode was designed not just as a cool new twist on attacking, but with past player feedback in mind. Specifically, we wanted to avoid difficulty finding valuable targets to attack, or even finding any opponents at all and being "stuck in the clouds."
First, we made loot based on Trophy count. This put the main focus on victory, not continuous "nexting." Paired with no-cost attacking, we felt this system would encourage players to always give it their all, and push their trophies to reap the highest rewards.
Second, we strongly wanted to avoid adding an extra set of shields to manage. By making Versus Battles match players together in real time, there should always be a match when you want it, and without the worry of being attacked when you stop playing.
What does the future hold for Clash of Clans now that we've launched this major expansion? The team has a few things in mind.
Of course, we are immensely eager to hear feedback from all Clashers on the Builder Base, and to continue developing and improving it over time. We have several new Builder Hall levels slated for release, so there is much more to come for this new mode.
The team is also keen to get back to a more rapid release cycle. Like with Clan Wars, this ambitious project required a lot of time, focus and a big push to put live. Now, it's time to get back to regular development of all aspects of the game, from the home village to Clan Wars.
Lastly, we feel there is still much more we can to do add stronger Social Play to the Builder Base, and strengthen its ties throughout the game. A new world means lots more opportunities, and Gear Up is only the start!
We hope you've enjoyed learning a bit more about the thinking that went on behind the Builder Base. The team hopes that all Clashers will come to enjoy the mode as much as we have. Until next time, we'll see you in Versus Battle!
The Clash of Clans Team