The thing about mobile PVP strategy games is that they are all pretty much free to play. Of course, that just means you can spend money elsewhere as the developers need to eat. Usually this comes in the form of buying time, i.e. speeding things up. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an article about NOT paying for anything. It is about the consequences of speeding things up too much.
The basic idea behind these base building pvp games is to keep advancing through different tiers, get new buildings and units, rinse and repeat. The big cost in time is usually comes when upgrading your main building. That would be the Town Hall in Clash of Clans, or the Town Center in DomiNations. While everything you have been taught about games tells you to get to the last tier as quickly as possible, this will hurt you in the long run.
As you advance, you will face tougher opponents. If your base is not fully upgraded, you will find yourself in a spot where you are having a tough time competing for resources, which ends up making progress pretty tough. Many players will quit, or turn to their wallet. Some games will even start reducing the loot you receive against lower tier bases, so cherry picking them won’t help.
I almost made this mistake in Clash of Clans, but thankfully my clan mates were there to give some advice. I’m glad they did. I though I was ready to go to the next tier, but really had so much things left to upgrade. My enjoyment of the game would have suffered if I jumped up. In DomiNations, I am currently in this mode too.
My advice to you, upgrade everything until you cannot, then move to the next tier. You’ll be better prepared, plus it gives a nice feeling of completion. I will give one caveat, walls. These take so long to upgrade, that if you are getting bored don’t wait on them. Just make sure they are at least decent.
Of course, if you just want to pay to speed things up, by all means go for it. You help support the game that way. The plethora of mobile pvp strategy games makes the waiting less painful. There is always another game to play while you wait.