People play video games for different reasons, but mostly it’s because they want to be entertained. They play video games because they want to have fun. But there were times when playing Clash Royale wasn’t fun for me anymore, especially when I started taking the game a little more seriously than I should have.
Clash Royale is a competitive game that rewards players who do well. If you wanted to have access to all of the cards that the game had to offer, you needed to get to Arena 8 and win chests from that Arena. And to do that, you have to upgrade your cards accordingly. And to do that, you have to earn as many cards and Gold as you can, which meant advancing and staying in the high Arenas. Losses could result in failing to reach the next Arena or worse, dropping to a lower Arena and getting less rewards, so losing in Clash Royale can hurt a lot.
What made losing much more painful than it already is are all these emoticons that players can use during matches. Referred to by the game’s developers and the Clash Royale community as “Emotes”, these emoticons are supposed to add some interaction during matches. But – and this is from personal experience – they’re being used for unsportsmanlike conduct instead.
Currently, there are ten different Emotes that players can use – four animated ones and six words/phrases. The animated emotes are the Two Thumbs Up Emote, the Angry Emote, the Crying Emote, and the Laugh Emote. Of these, three can be used in a mocking or insulting manner. Yes, something as innocent as a laughing or crying emoticon can be insulting when used during certain times, like after the opponent plays a low-level card or botching a move. I once got disconnected during a match due to intermittent internet issues; I was able to get back in the match just before my opponent finished off my towers. He then proceeded to spam the Laughing emote, much to my frustration. The text emotes are better, but can still be used in a negative way. It’s annoying whenever my opponent does a “Wow!” or an “Oops” whenever I make a mistake or after he/she is able to counter my actions.
I’ve already talked about how bad losing matches can be in Clash Royale; adding insulting Emotes to the equation makes for an even worse feeling after a loss. There are those who look at Emotes as a strategic feature that allows players to have a mental advantage over their opponents, similar to how “trash talk” in sports can affect people emotionally and cause them to make mistakes. But not everyone wants to compete at that level. Clash Royale is a competitive game, but some people just want a friendlier kind of competition.
Currently, Clash Royale has a limit to how many times a player can use emotes – I reached the limit once and I have to say, you really have to spam the emotes A LOT of times before you reach this limit. (Side note: Everyone – from the players to the developers – uses the sugarcoaty word Emotes. But the game itself? The app refers to Emotes as Taunts; when you reach the limit, it’ll explicitly tell you that you’ve reached the maximum number of Taunts for the match.)
And the argument that
Emotes Taunts are for strategic purposes doesn’t really hold well. Okay, using Emotes Taunting as a match is underway can give one a strategic advantage, but what advantage does one gain by Taunting after you’ve already won the match? You’re unlikely to get matched up with the same person right after, and even if you do get matched up again it’s unlikely that either player will remember. Taunting after a win is simply mean spirited – there’s no sugarcoating that.
My girlfriend started playing Clash Royale a few weeks ago and
Emote Taunt abuse is also affecting her. She runs into matches with higher levelled players who keep laughing at her lower level cards or players with multiple Legendary cards who are acting arrogantly. Of all the aspects of Clash Royale, it’s the use of Emotes Taunting that really affects her negatively. She’s actually started to fight back, returning the Emote Taunt spam whenever she manages to pull off a win.
This kind of negative experience is what made me stop playing Counter-Strike in network cafes back in the day, and why I never bothered to get into DotA or League of Legends, and it’s a little sad that my girlfriend has to endure something similar when playing Clash Royale. I’ve managed to ignore
Emotes Taunting now that I’m firmly planted in Arena 8, but it still gets to me every now and then. So I’m glad that SuperCell changed their minds about Emotes Taunting and I’m looking forward to that mute function. It spares people like me and my girlfriend from the negative experience that Taunting can bring, while making Emotes still usable for those who don’t mind it.
And yes, all the strikethroughs above are for emphasis. They’re not Emotes, they’re Taunts. And taunting is simply mean-spirited.
What do you think about muting Emotes in Clash Royale? Yay or Nay? Sound off in the comments section below!