The company behind mobile strategy game Clash of Clans has released an update this month that altered multiplayer algorithms and addressed the problem known as "trophy dumping."
According to a forum blog post from Marika of Supercell, the changes were made "to better protect players with low level Town Halls." The company engaged in "some subtle multiplayer matchmaking balancing" in the hopes of achieving that effect.
"As armies and Heroes get stronger and stronger, the threat (and temptation) of crushing weaker players with a decked out Town Hall 9 or 10 army becomes ever more present," Marika wrote. "However, for a player at a low Town Hall level, there are few things more discouraging and frustrating than being completely demolished by a disproportionately powerful attacker who is vastly further in the game."
Marika added that it was the company's goal "to better motivate and incentivize players to attack opponents at their level of skill and progress." The changes came in the form of adjusting multiplayer algorithms.
"League Bonuses and Town Hall loot penalties have helped in this regard, but to improve the situation further still, we've gone straight to the multiplayer matchmaking algorithms," Marika wrote. "Now, matchmaking will pay special attention to the Town Hall level of a player going to attack, and will look for targets that are at a similar Trophy count AS WELL as at a similar Town Hall level."
Marika contended that "little or no change will be apparent" for most players who stay within their appropriate Trophy level as they progress in the game. However, the matchmaking will change for others.
"For players who have dropped to a very low Trophy count, these changes will inhibit (though not completely prevent) matchmaking against significantly weaker targets," Marika wrote. "These players will instead be matched more often to other players at a similar Town Hall level who have also dropped to a very low Trophy count. In the cases where there are very few appropriately-leveled targets available, these players may have to wait longer in matchmaking to find targets."
According to Marika, the changes would mean that "weaker players will be less likely to be matched against disproportionately strong players." However, matchmaking in other parts of the game will remain unaffected.
"For example, a player at Town Hall level 5 in the Silver league will be very likely to find opponents at Town Hall levels 4-6 who are also in the Silver league," Marika wrote. "As a special note, matchmaking in Champion league has been left as-is and will not have any special Town Hall considerations."
Marika contended that the changes would "give newer players a much better multiplayer experience" and "make the game fairer for all."
The update for the Clash of Clans app is considered optional, according to the game's Facebook page.