I would be a little embarrassed to see just how many hours I’ve poured into Supercell games, Clash of Clans and Clash Royale especially. Of course, no game is successful without a few key ingredients such as fun, challenge, and a little dopamine rush from emerging victorious, three components Supercell has mastered. Even then, that alone does not provide the pride, joy, and the occasional (or in my case, frequent) frustration trophies can supply. I have never cared so much about something that holds such little bearing on my life, yet it’s what makes these games special.
Despite being similarly implemented in Brawl Stars, trophies hardly feel the same time around. Matter of fact, they don’t feel like much of anything.
The Irrelevancy of Trophies
Contrary to previous obsessiveness, I can count the amount of times I’ve checked my total trophies on my fingers. When I win five matches of whatever game mode in a row, I’m more concerned with inching my way towards leveling up my account or my brawler than boasting to my friends about my success. That would fine if those accomplishments provided anything more than a pittance of coins, but they don’t. Aside from the small boost towards another brawl box, leveling up is meaningless.
That’s it. That’s the extent of the importance of trophies. I could complain all day, but I’m assuming suggestions are more appreciated.
The main path to Making Trophies Matter Again™ lies in giving leveling up your brawler more weight. Granted, the game is still in soft launch and leveling up works in a way that could easily be expanded upon, but there’s a way I believe it should be done.
How Can They Fix It?
On the Brawlers tab within the app, a small badge sits next to each unlocked brawler. This badge is either bronze, silver, gold, or purple depending on that brawler’s level. I propose that these are used as leagues of sorts, with each one providing better prizes for each level up. For example, leveling up a bronze brawler provides ten coins, leveling up a silver one grants the player ten coins and a duplicate chip, a gold level up gifts ten coins and one elixir, and leveling up a purple brawler grants ten coins and three elixir. Obviously, the rewards can be tinkered to meet the developers’ vision, but system of leagues itself is my main proposition.
These leagues can also be used to make matchmaking more competitive, restricting brawlers to playing others within their league. This would create a bragging rights factor similar to the one already existent in Clash Royale thanks to arenas. It was revealed in a recent Reddit AMA, which we recapped here, that matchmaking is already based on trophy count. That is a positive step, but why keep it a secret up until this point? Trophy count should be a point of emphasis, not an afterthought. Leagues would also provide a basis for competitive play in the Brawl Stars community, something I hope to see emerging in the coming months. From this point, leagues could have seasons similar to what already exists in Clash Royale, encouraging players to push trophies to earn more rewards. A competitive community opens up a plethora of development opportunities, none of which can arise with the trophy system in its current state.
The Missing Piece
Brawl Stars is oozing potential, filling the gap in the mobile market between hardcore MMOs and fluffy, shallow PvP games. Like a good album, it represents a significant change of direction for Supercell while maintaining and showing off what they do best. A series of improvements upon the trophy system could catapult this game into a mobile god tier, one already occupied by two of their previous games.
What are your thoughts on making gaining trophies more worthwhile? Feel free to comment below and I would be glad to discuss!
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