ios, clash of clans, and icloud

I have an Ipod 4g running ios 6.1.6.
I have decided to get the new ipod running Ios 8. I was going to restore a backup onto my new device, but my problem is my clash of clans account. My icloud says its backing up something in Clash, but what is it backing up? Also, i have heard that transferring an account from ios to a higher ios is not possible unless using IExplore. But, what if I just used my game center and signed in on my new device? Will it still sync even though the ios firmware is completely different? If it doesnt, Would I have to use IExplore regardless? I dont want to lose my progress, or play on my old device forever, so feel free to suggest!!