Hi again, Travians!
At this point the first live server without alliances is not too far away anymore. However, we as the design team are fully aware that this rework of the overall diplomatic structure is merely the groundwork for future gameplay improvements. With this post I'd like to share one idea we're currently working on with you. It's still in very early and rough stages, but we'd love to gather some of your thoughts as early as possible.
One aspect of the game we really want to focus on in the future is team play. Focusing on kingdoms and thus smaller groups of players was a start. Adding social features such as an account-based friend list to the lobby will be another step. But we also want to make some changes to the gameplay itself to incentivize close cooperation and allow for interesting possibilities even during rather peaceful times.
With this goal in mind, a direction we could take is allowing for player specialization. Not just regarding the decision "defensive vs. offensive", but also in terms of resource production, troop training, research and expansion potential etc.
Therefore we would first have to redesign the research system. Research should be done account-wide and not be reset for every new village anymore. Instead you would progress through two separate tech trees, one for military and one for resource production and buildings. By spending research points you collect over time, you can unlock new units, buildings and also specialize further in certain areas (e.g. raise the maximum level of buildings or resource fields).
Now this is where the multiplayer aspect comes into play. You would not have enough research points to ever be great at everything yourself. Therefore it becomes very benefitial to cooperate with others, not only by trading resources, but also by sharing expertise. With more population, you will gather expert workers that you can freely distribute between your villages. However they all have the same specializations (those you unlocked in your research). So sooner or later you'll want to send some of your experts to other players and receive some of theirs in return to boost your efficiency.
Here are some cornerstones of how it could work (please note that those just serve to make it easier to imagine and are not the final rules
- An expert worker can boost one building type per village
- The effectiveness of expert workers is determined by the player's research progress and can be improved by spending research points
- Example positions for expert workers are: miner (higher iron production), storeman (more storage capacity), horse breeder (faster cavalry training) etc.
- Every 100 population, you can use one additional expert
- Experts can be exchanged between players, however that will enforce a "shared vision" for both players (i.e. players can see what's going on in foreign villages where they have experts stationed)
And a more concrete example:
- Let's say you focused your research on iron production, then you will use your first expert as a miner in your own village
- Once you reach 200 population you will get another expert that you could put into your secondary research focus, e.g. wood production
- However, it would be even more efficient to send your second expert to another player who could use him as an iron miner himself
- In exchange, you could receive a higher level expert lumberjack yourself (and share vision with your cooperation partner)
So those are all pretty early thoughts on the topic. On the plus side though, that means your feedback can have a really big impact. So, feel free to share your general feelings, ideas and any other thoughts that came to your mind while reading this post.