The lights are on
In Infinity Blade II, Chair Entertainment brought new online ClashMobs into the mobile sword-combat game. These tasked all players with joining together to fight a super-powerful boss with a massive health pool. You'd get a small window to fight it, and if you and everyone else succeeded then rewards went to all. There were many variations on the theme, but you get the idea.
The ClashMob system wasn't ready until months after the game was out, and it remained in beta for a long time. It was the first time Chair had tried anything like this and it took some time to work out the kinks.
For Infinity Blade III, "ClashMob 2.0" was in the in-game text at launch and the online manual. It promised more advanced ClashMobs, new single-player trials, and tournaments in which players would compete against each other for high scores.
None of this was ready to go on launch day outside of maybe one trial (read the review). I've checked in on Infinity Blade III throughout the first month and the online features are getting better, but they still have a ways to go.
Trials have been the most reliable rollout so far. New orange markers will show up on the in-game map alongside the standard campaign missions. You'll have to do a certain number of parries, dodges, blocks, etc. to earn either gold or battle chips. These provide a fun, quick challenge and the opportunity to get some bonuses. Since they only track you, and not an entire mob of people together, they work relatively reliably.
The few ClashMobs that have appeared so far have had plenty of problems. First off, I haven't been able to get into a single one. Every time I get a message to "Check back later." A pass through the Infinity Blade forums shows I'm not alone, and even players able to make it through the first of a multi-part goal can't get the second one to work. Even worse, some players are completing sections successfully and then aren't getting credit for winning.
To my knowledge there has yet to be an Aegis Tournament. It's probably smart to hold off on the competitive online element until things are working better, but it's still disappointing.
Chair has spent much of the first wave of updates simply getting the core game to work better. That's understandable and probably the most important item to work on. It just seems like all of the dev's experience on ClashMobs last time would make this launch a lot smoother than it has been. As it is, Chair should slap the beta tag back on it.
Email the author Bryan Vore, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.