There’s an ember and shard shortage affecting everyone, but low-level players (45-100 or so) more acutely. Here are the issues:
Divine dragons (i.e. the only ones most people at low levels fly) are designed with elemental towers in mind, hence elemental towers are usually necessary to take them down. I can’t remember the last time I was shot down by something that wasn’t an ice, flame, flak, or lightning (still relevant, at my level).
The quantity of embers flowing into the game economy seems to be lower than what it was in the past. I only know what I can dig up via Google, but it looks like people who’ve been playing for longer are glutted with embers, hence them complaining that they drop during too many events, hence the embers in gold chest drop availability being eventually adjusted downward, to the current state, when they only drop during fortification and feeding.
Scrolls and legends also speak of times when there were such things as Elemental Ember Weekends, and times when fire and ice shards rates were too high. Apparently they also were part of point achievements during events, at one point? I’m not clear on the history here; perhaps someone can provide greater detail.
(somewhat addressable) Very few low-level players keep up with the changing contents of chests during events, hence they may not have figured out that the only way to get embers outside of seasonal rewards now is gold chests during fort.
The end result is that for the most part, almost everyone down here can hit almost everyone else, because divines bulldoze everything and very few people have towers high enough to stop equivalently-leveled players who fly semi-competently, even with optimized bases and defenders.
I’m sympathetic to high leveled players not wanting to get unnecessary embers (or shards), particularly as random drops, but the availability varying over time seems to mean that if you started after a certain point (summer 2017?), you will have a much harder time getting a defensible base.
Recommended fix: Reintroduce elemental ember weekends during fort events, or some “ember” (/shard) chests that people can buy for rubies.
Side note: Pearls also don’t exist. This is somewhat less of a problem because at our level, perches are not very valuable, but trying to level up a perch with those fancy legendary 225 pearl payouts is hilariously futile. My perch level is currently 4 tiers behind my breeding level, and I glare at the screen whenever the gold chest gods decide to leave some pearls of wisdom in my drops.