Hello Chiefs!

A major focus area in the coming update affects how people play Clash of Clans every single day: shields. Improving the shield system is a complex and delicate job, so coming update includes a broad package of changes designed to make village defense fairer, play sessions more flexible, and attacking more encouraged.

A Revamped and Improved Shield System

Over several posts, we will go over all of the fine details about how shields, attacking and defending will be changing, and how the changes will affect different kinds of players. However, there are two headline items that all players need to be aware of, first and foremost:

  • Town Hall destruction no longer grants a shield - bring your Town Halls inside!
  • Attacking while shielded no longer breaks the entire shield, but instead costs a bit of shield time

Under this new system, it will be entirely possible to get attacked, get a shield, and then attack two or even three times without forfeiting all of your shield. At the same time, we're changing how shields are acquired:

  • A 12-hour shield is granted at 30% destruction
  • A 14-hour shield is granted at 60% destruction
  • A 16-hour shield is granted at 90% destruction
  • However, NO SHIELD is granted if the attacker does not deploy at least 1/3rd of a full army

Regarding attacking while shielded:

  • Being shielded no longer prevents entering multiplayer matchmaking, browsing targets, or attempting revenge
  • Executing a multiplayer or revenge attack while shielded will deduct 3 hours from the remaining shield time
  • Additional attacks while shielded will deduct increasing amounts of shield (4 hours, 5 hours, etc...)

There are plenty more changes coming to support these, including the new Village Guard and rebalanced loot and Trophy offers, but this is already more than enough for one post! Curious about the reasons and details behind these changes? Interested in how this might affect your daily attacking/defending routine? Read on! We'll discuss the interplay of attacking and defending in Clash of Clans, and how these changes will breathe new life into both for every single Clasher.

The Simple Shield That Started It All

The shield system in Clash of Clans has remained largely untouched since the game was brand new. Its original intentions were simple: after a player gets attacked, they should get a chance to recover safely before being put back out into the fray.

Clash is about both attacking and defending, and defending can sometimes be nasty. Your buildings crumble and your resources and Trophies can be stolen. However, half of the excitement and fun of Clash comes from building villages and watching them battle. There are few things as sweet as watching your carefully planned defense crush an attacker! A balanced shield system is crucial to enjoying this back-and-forth between attack and defense. It should make sure players don't get hit too hard, too often, but keeps them "in the fight."

Our initial shield system couldn't possibly have hoped to anticipate the intense gameplay strategies that would evolve in Clash, from hardcore farming to competitive trophy pushing. Players have made the Clash of Clans shield system their own, and shown us creative ways of playing that we never could have imagined. Now, over 3 years later, the Clash of Clans Team understands much better the complex ways players use shields. We've learned how it supports different gameplay strategies, player goals and, most importantly, we've learned how our shield system does and does not meet the needs of our players.

Town Hall outside: A sure sign players need a better shield system

It is true. The "free shields" that come from leaving the Town hall outside are going away, and we realize this is a core part of many gameplay strategies. However, this change is part of a much bigger package that supports existing gameplay strategies in new ways - ways that are fairer, better balanced, more flexible, more fun, and more about what makes Clash the game it is: battle.

It all starts with one of the longest-standing questions in Clash:

How Do We Make a Better Shield System?

Let's consider the flaws in the current system:

  • Getting a shield is unreliable - others might not attack for a long time, and you might not get a shield when they do
  • A good defense can force you to defend again - low destruction means no shield and multiple defenses in a row
  • Shield timing is inflexible - the shield you get is often too long or too short for what you need to fit your daily schedule
  • Forgetting a shield can leave you stuck in a new one - starting Clash 5 minutes too late can mean a new 12 hour wait
  • Shields overly discourage attacking - breaking a large shield is often a poor tactic, even if you would want to attack
  • Shields are given to players who don't actually defend - this hurts matchmaking, hurts resource and Trophy flow, and makes attacking boring and unrewarding

Darn it, shield, you had one job!

Clearly there is a lot to improve! Clever Chiefs out there will also realize that many of these issues are related. Unreliable shields can lead to multiple defenses. Inflexible shield timing can lead to forgotten shields. Forgotten shields can lead to being stuck in shields constantly and discouraged from attacking.

There is no simple, small tweak we can do to straighten this entanglement of issues, and that is why the upcoming update contains so many changes all at once. To improve one area, we need to improve them all, and making a better shield system has everything to do with how Clashers attack as well as defend.

Attacking Through Shield: Anytime Is a Good Time to Clash

When we want to Clash, we want to attack. Clashers spend time and resources training troops, brewing spells and getting Clan Castle reinforcements. Then, when it's all ready, it's time to go! Or... wait, is it?

If you have a shield, often times the answer is “No," even if everything is ready. Someone had to attack you to grant that shield and, if you break it, someone will be attacking you again very soon. Many times, the optimal choice has been to wait until a shield will naturally expire, then try to be ready to attack once it does.

Attacking costs some shield, but look all you want

The new shield system changes all that. Players can attack whenever they want while shielded at the cost of 3 hours shield time (though this cost increases with multiple attacks). Not only will this make it a viable choice to attack any time troops are ready, but smart trimming of shields can help them better fit your daily schedule!

Players can enter multiplayer matchmaking and browse targets (or surf the clouds) while under shield at any time. However, an “Attack cost” will be shown that indicates how much shield will be reduced if an attack is performed. “Nexting” does not cost any shield, but once an attack is started that amount of shield time will be deducted.

Revenge without broken shields? Angry Neesons everywhere rejoice!

Revenge also works in the same way. Pressing the "Revenge" button will not be prevented while shielded, but once the attack is performed, shield time will be deducted. If you press revenge and decide not to attack, you will not lose shield.

Clash is all about the thrill of battle, so allowing players to attack at any time, even if they are shielded, is a key feature of the new shield system. Not only does it empower players to Clash when they want to Clash, but it will also help players recover better from their losses on defense via the extra income from the extra attacks.

Fairer Defenses - Better Raids - More Clash

The Clash of Clans Team wants to uphold our original intention of helping players recover safely and productively from their defense losses. Along with the Village Guard concept, explained in the next post, changes to shield acquisition should help ensure that no player has to defend without a fair opportunity to recover.

New 14-hour shield at 60% destruction

The limit for acquiring a 12-hour shield has been lowered from 40% to 30% destruction on defense. Additionally, there is a new 14-hour shield that is acquired from 60% destruction, regardless of Town Hall destruction. Victory and defeat conditions for battles remain unchanged, but players will, on average, be getting more shield than they used to, more reliably.

Conversely, players who try to work around the shield system will get no shield at all. Attacks of less than a 1/3rd maximum army capacity (based on the Army Camp, Spells and Hero capacity of the defender's Town Hall level) will not grant any shield, regardless of the destruction done. Leaving the Town Hall outside to get "sniped" will become an incredibly poor idea.

Fairer defending means better loot!

There is a huge upside to making sure all players defend fairly: more and better targets in matchmaking. With the upcoming shield, loot and Trophy changes, Clashers will be defending more, offering more to attackers, but also attacking more and fighting for more from every attack. Clash is healthiest and the most exciting when all players are active and engaged in the back-and-forth between attack and defense, so we feel strongly that this is the right direction for the future of Clash.

However, we're not done! To help make our revamped shield system even better and address even more of its current flaws, we will be introducing the new Village Guard and changes to the Personal Break system in the next post. Stay tuned!

The Clash of Clans Dev Team