'Clash Of Clans': Why The May 2016 Friendly Challenge Update Is One Of The Game's Best Patches

"Clash Of Clans" Miner
(Photo : Supercell/Facebook) "Clash Of Clans'" May 2016 update brought Friendly Challenges to the game, and it's been called one of its best patches. Between new troops and community respect, here's why we love the changes. "Clash Of Clans" is available now on Android and iOS.

"Clash Of Clans'" May 2016 Friendly Challenge update went live earlier this week, and it's getting great reviews. Here are five reasons why the current patch may be one of the game's best in recent memory.

1) New Troops And Spells That Work

Introducing new troops and spells to a beloved game like "Clash Of Clans" must be a massive balancing act for the development team at Supercell. Especially for the game's most hardcore players, every offensive and defensive damage statistic matters. A slight sway in one direction or the other could send the entire update off the rails if something is overpowered or too weak.

That being said, a huge risk was taken to add the Miner, Baby Dragon, Clone and Skeleton spells to the game. After spending ample time with each of the new additions, it appears that pretty much everything acts as it should. Especially a feature like Clone, that could get out of hand very quickly, is optimized fairly in terms of its cost and effectiveness. There's also enough push and pull to maintain status quo in the troop designs too. Miners can't be spawned inside of bases, and Baby Dragons only gain power at a safe distance. New features were implemented, but it was done very smartly.

2) No Serious Nerfs

In a strategic game like "Clash Of Clans" where people become accustomed to certain strategies working in certain ways, unnecessary nerfs are rarely well received. Back in March, the community rallied against a Healer effectiveness decrease designed to curb abuse of the "Queen walk" tactic. The situation wasn't pretty, and Supercell had to make some additional tweaks as a result.

In the May update, there aren't any serious instances where a troop or spell is being stripped of its former power. In fact, the changes are quite the contrary. Existing troops, like the Cannon, Lava Hound, Balloon and Spring Traps, all got higher levels. The Bowler also takes up less space on the grid. These sorts of changes have been requested for a while, so it's nice to see them happen.

3) Features That Improve The Game

In addition to adding new troops, the May 2016 also introduced a few large and small features too. Namely, Friendly Challenges act as a way for clanmates to practice Clan Wars without penalty. On the smaller side, fully-trained troops can be donated from production queues even with a full army. These are positive changes that remove restrictions rather than enforce them.

(Photo : Supercell/Facebook)

In contrast, the early Town Hall 11 update introduced Shield reform, Personal Break Timers and Village Guard to a disastrous effect. Fans were barred from playing the game, and the previous loot collection loop was essentially destroyed. While these revisions were intended to make the experience more welcoming to those that can't constantly play, they ruined the existing strategies of hardcore players. This month's patch has none of that.

4) No Major Launch Issues

Nothing dampens the launch of a new patch quite like a series of crippling issues that emerge mere hours after release. Luckily, with the May update, there were very few roadblocks to going live. Supercell initially struggled with server issues early Tuesday morning, but its coders took their time to prevent something that could have snowballed into a massive problem.

Now, instead of focusing on trying to fix game-breaking bugs, the team has been able to patch in smaller accoutrements that make the experience even more user-friendly. Over the past few hours, changes have been released that make building and matchmaking better. Faith is quickly restored when screws get tightened on something that's already being praised.

5) It Shows That Supercell Listens To Feedback

Supercell is reasonably large for a mobile development team, but, throughout "Clash Of Clans'" development, its community managers have championed a very "direct-to-consumer" approach to communication. They provide prominent YouTube influencers with exclusives and are usually open about the creative process on official channels.

When backlash came in full force after the release of Town Hall 11, things got suspiciously quiet. It seemed like Supercell had abandoned its fans during their time of need. Now that the May update is here, it's been proven that that's not the case. Everything was added in a careful way with the community in mind. Even when concerns initially rose about how Friendly Challenges would impact Clan Wars, a blog post was made available to ensure players that the right changes would be made. A little transparency goes a long way towards engendering goodwill.

"Clash Of Clans'" May update is available now on Android and iOS.

What do you think of the May 2016 update so far? Is it one of the game's best patches? Tell us in the poll and comments section!

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