Everyone Knew This Topic Was Coming, So I Might As Well Get It Started.
For those who aren’t familiar, “Trophy Stripping” is the act of manipulating one’s position on the leaderboard to attack and receive - or “strip” - a large amount of trophies from a higher-ranked player.
Stripping can take several forms:
- Gold stripping: when a player attacks a base they are fairly (or more than fairly) matched against from a very low level in order to loot gold. The player attacked cannot retaliate to recover some portion of its gold because the loot algorithm offers the much higher-ranked attacking player no gold. Players at the same level as the gold stripper may seen lots of gold, but any attempts to attack are suicidal because the stripper’s defense is befits a rank hundreds (or thousands) of trophies higher.
2) Trophy Stripping with Gems: when a player attacks a base they are less-than-fairly matched against from a lower level in order to loot trophies, using at multiple scrolls during the raid. I have attached an example of this, in which my base was stripped of -43 trophies, but received +18 gems. These raids result in attacking player stripping many trophies, but not without forfeiting many gems to the much stronger defense.
3) Trophy Stripping without Gems: when a player attacks a base they are fairly matched against from a much lower level in order to loot trophies, using 1 or no scrolls during the raid.
Stripping Is a Pattern of Behavior. Being looted once for lots of gold or trophies, or many times for very small amounts of gold or trophies can be annoying; but this is a basic mechanic of the game. Sometimes our base is the bug (splat); and sometimes it is the windshield.
- Stripping is a repetitive behavior, in which the stripper attacks the same base multiple times
- Strippers accumulate trophies, but routinely “dump” them elsewhere - often on to a second (or third) base or an ally’s base - to maintain the lower rank that allows them to strip effectively.
- Strippers attack multiple players, harvesting trophies from each (especially now with the 3 attack/hour limitation).
- Strippers often “dump” their trophies on specific accounts to elevate their rank or support them if they’re being attacked.
Stripping Is Unfair and an Exploit. As a player, Royal Revolt 2’s matchmaking engine presents you with random opponents within a band around your trophy level. Not always, but in most cases these players have bases of comparable difficulty to your own. Their trophy, gold and medal awards are not always attractive, but they are usually consistent. The Favorites list does what the matchmaking engine doesn’t - it let’s you track and curate the bases that offer you the best loot for your effort.
Stripping contradicts all this. It goes outside the bounds of the matchmaking engine when the Stripper intentionally loses to other players to shed hundreds of trophies. Because Royal Revolt 2’s trophy algorithm mostly or entirely ignores Hero level and items, a very strong Hero can loot far more trophies by reducing their leaderboard rank - something the trophy algorithm weights highly.
Consider this example:
A level 85 hero X is ranked #60 on the leaderboard with 3890 trophies. X has 10k leadership, 12k health, and 1150 damage. A level 90 hero Y is ranked #34 with 4100 trophies. on the leaderboard. Y has 13k leadership, 14.5k health and 1350 damage. When Y attacks X, a 100% victory yields 5 trophies. Y then dumps 700 trophies in 10 different raids against several low level players in his tournament, losing -70 each time and thereby reducing his trophies to 3400, ranking #195. Player Y now attacks X and receives 34 trophies for a full victory, using no scrolls. After hit the 3 attack/1 hour limit - receiving 34, 30, and 28 trophies, or fewer and fewer as his rank increases by accumulating them - Player Y then dumps the 92 trophies earned in the manner described above, and is then free to strip trophies from a Player Z of his choosing, or wait until the full hour has elapsed to attack Player X again.
Stripping Is a Major Problem: Especially At the Top of the Leaderboard. Stripping isn’t just about top players - it can be done at any level - but it affects them most severely. A player ranked #5 on the global leaderboard has a very narrow range of players who they can attack for more than 2 trophies, earning up to 7-8 trophies maximum on the hardest bases in the game… The risk of failing in these bases is immense.
All of this is perfectly appropriate for this elite level of play. However, the trophy stripper who takes 40-60 trophies is effectively taking the equivalent of 5-12 flawless raids from this top player in a single raid (for which a 100% victory - or even bringing down the castle gate is not necessary). To regain their position, the targeted player now has to spend thousands of food and many raids just to compensate for the stripper’s raid before they can think about advancing.
- Stripping demoralizes players.
- Stripping is an exploit that provides players with the ability to harass other players.
- Stripping is worst against those players for whom the things stripped - trophies - are most valued and the primary or sole objective they have for playing the game, at all.
- Stripping rewards those who play dishonorably or with the intent of harassing others. Left unchecked, these players feel free to continue this behavior and may feel Flaregames tacitly endorses it.
Stripping a huge concern for high level players. Nearly everyone in the Top 10 currently and many other have commented on frustration over it and that it is objectively unfair. It does not impact lower level players, and rarely mid-level players and so it is not a broad problem. But as more players level, upgrade their base the number over 3500 and even 4000 trophies continues to climb. As a result, trophy stripping will become a more widely encompassing problem.
Whatever the complexities of fixing it, trophy stripping is a major issue that needs to be discussed openly with the short-term goal of limiting or eliminating it in mind.
If you made it down here: thanks for reading this book (and if you skipped all the way down here - still, thanks for reading).
Looking forward to hearing from each of you on your perspectives regarding this…