Player Specialization

  • 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.

  • Well i think i might like some of your ideas


    first of all the account based friendlist is a great idea


    i am not sure that i like the account-wide research of the aca & smithy bonusses, i agree it is a struggle to upgrade every troop to lvl 20 in every important village but i think you shouldnt make TK to "easy" :)
    and if you put the troopbonusses in the same researchsystem as the experts you will need then already 6K pop to create decent hammers (2K pop for 1 lvl 20 infanterytype, 2K pop for 1 lvl 20 cavtype & 2K pop for 1 lvl 20 siegetype) or will that also be tradeble with other players (or will there be 1 tech to boost infantery, 1 to boost cav & 1 to boost siegeunits)? (that is counting only the lvl 20 units, not the actual research of the units)


    regarding the experts:
    will they replace the current heroattributes and -items? or will they be an extra bonus?
    will they be killable? (and if they are killable will they be retrainable? or will you need to get another 100 pop to train a new one?)
    will the reinforced player be able to refuse an expert? so that they cant see your troops?
    will the experts be stackable? for example what happens when 2 different players send the same type of expert to the same village
    if these experts are NOT in the same researchsystem as the aca/smithy i think you should make them more scarce (perhaps link them to the CPslots?)


    like i said earlier i think some of these ideas are pretty great BUT there is 1 huge downside, it will boost the multiaccounting because it is easier to work with yourself then with others :)

  • What goal should the teamplay have? Having account-wide research points sounds like a good idea in general but not for teamwork. I dont know how sharing experts / simming together is really teamwork. Teamwork isn't really necessary for individual account simming in peacetime, it's required for warfare of which there is so little in the game. Yet you're focussing on more things to do "during peacetime". Any such thing should be an incentive to prepare for warfare, surely..?


    EDIT: Good point about the multiaccounting. This will get abused hopelessly.


    EDIT2: I don't think I like combining the vision system with putting experts into places. Aren't these two things entirely separate gameplay features?

  • well if these expertbonusses replaces the heroequipment (i am atm looking especially at the herohelmets) you would be able to get that bonus through teamwork instead of having luck on an adventure (or throwing alot of silver&gold at it :) )
    and if they make the experts killable and scarce taking out some enemy experts could become a reason to attack someone.


    EDIT2: I don't think I like combining the vision system with putting experts into places. Aren't these two things entirely separate gameplay features?

    well that just adds alot of dept to the experts, they can be used to spy on you! if these experts dont give vision on your troopnumbers and stuff like that you basically can accept every expert that they send to you.
    now you need to be carefull with who to trust



    what i also wanted to say in my first post but forgot to mention: dont make this game to complicated otherwise it could be to hard to learn for new players

  • i agree it is a struggle to upgrade every troop to lvl 20 in every important village but i think you shouldnt make TK to "easy"

    Well, I'd say in this case we're not really making it "easier", but simply more convenient. You'll still have to make tough decisions about what and when to research, maybe even more so than before. At the same time I think a global tech tree is more straight forward generally.



    and if you put the troopbonusses in the same researchsystem as the experts

    Only in that your experts would be specialized according to the research you've done. There would still be research points which are produced over time, separate from the experts which are tied to your population.



    or will that also be tradeble with other players

    Yes, experts would also be usable to boost those buildings.



    will they replace the current heroattributes and -items? or will they be an extra bonus?

    Currently experts are planned in addition to that. We might rebalance the efficiency of building levels accordingly though, since you'd also have to do research to raise your maximum level for each building type.



    will they be killable?

    That might be a bit too harsh. It might be interesting to have them be "injured" so that they cannot work for some time, though.



    will the reinforced player be able to refuse an expert? so that they cant see your troops?

    You should be able to send an expert back to the original owner anytime.


    will the experts be stackable?

    Currently the idea is to keep it relatively simple and only allow one expert per building type in each village. So having two high-level mining experts in the same village won't be all that efficient, which is what makes cooperation such a valuable option.


    if these experts are NOT in the same researchsystem as the aca/smithy i think you should make them more scarce

    As mentioned, we're thinking of tying them to the population. Of course whether it'll be 100, 200, 300 population or something else per expert is still up for discussion and testing. They will still be relatively scarce though, considering that you could use an expert for almost every building type in every village.



    Teamwork isn't really necessary for individual account simming in peacetime

    It's not necessary yet, because there aren't enough mechanisms incentivizing it.


    I don't think I like combining the vision system with putting experts into places. Aren't these two things entirely separate gameplay features?

    The idea is that you should care about with whom you cooperate that closely, and not accept every possible trade "just for the numbers".



    Good point about the multiaccounting.

    Any element of team play is potentially also one a multiaccounter could abuse. However, it'd be quite the hassle in this case, and similarly to resource trading, we can put some pushing limitations in place here.

  • save us great multihunter from this heresy...Is not it obvious that it will strengthen cheating with multiple account?
    honest players will reinforce each other, cheater himself + more enhanced by the surrounding players.
    And the meaning of fair play - lost

    • You so focused at kingdom game mode, but players still no have way to registering by team at start (or I missed rly working way?).
    • Totally agree with the previous message. Players have many claims to MH and cheaters.
  • better do quests, and random events in the villages and on the map.
    Whatever players does not take an active part in wars or politics could do something and do not lose interest in 1-2 months because they were just bored
    All servers in the end looks like old members+multi+large field of grey viliges. Need fresh blood in community. The game needs some interactivity aimed at beginners and inactive players.
    This ideas great but for better world in real life you just get stronger cheaters and more gray viliges at map


  • It's not necessary yet, because there aren't enough mechanisms incentivizing it.


    LOL ok, touché. But I think you're missing the point. The "teamwork" you're talking about seems to work as follows:


    Player 1, in general chat: "Anybody got any wood cutter experts?"
    Player 2: "Sure!" *sends expert*
    Player 1: "Thanks bruh"
    Player 2: "You not worried about me spying on you?"
    Player 1: "Nah bruv I don't build troops there"


    Neither player ever contacts the other again and the expert keeps working his ass off in the village. The end. This is teamwork?


    Maybe I'm not seeing the full picture? What you propose seems to add another random layer of actually not very interesting gameplay. I understand that you want to give things to do during peacetime but it would be better to incentivize something that ties in neatly with the existing gameplay and encourages actual teamwork later on.

  • Hello,


    In my point of view, those experts are good, really.
    And also, making researches account-wide is great.
    But you could go further, and prepare the arrival of "kingdom wide" experts.


    To make it short :
    - impose a duration in expert reinforcement,
    - create the possibility to unlock specific huge bonuses which would be only attainable if you specialize 100% in a single domain.
    - create the possibility to gather experts in a single "Library" (Model : Alexandria), which would make it possible to research kingdom-level specific bonuses.


    Regards,


    Knud

    Alpha : Knud, in "M&Ms" - Closed Beta : Knud, in "xTools" - Fast Iteration Server : Knud, in "TOP" - COM2 (Open Beta) : Knud, in "xTools" *
    FR5 : Ragnar, in "CMDB" *

  • Making researches account-wide is a great idea! I was looking for it. But won't it make the game so easier to upgrade soldiers?


    Also, I hope we won't be always chasing those "research points". I mean Travian should not turn into a simple multiplayer game where you chase gems etc.


    And the last point, I think you should make new items. And you should make changes in governors to make them more online, more into game. Because in my server they are all ghosts.

  • Hi,


    This point of view is nice and I liked the idea. Here's an idea I can share;...


    In Travian generally, if a player tries to focus on anything except military; then he/she has not much chance to survive too long. This can change.


    A player may chose to improve his/her game on producing and focusing on resources rather than military progressions. Now, the king can have the ability to protect the player in terms of military. The producing player must pay taxes to the king in return. This is an example. No one can be the best at everything but everyone can mutually share the improved skill.
    Thanks and regards,
    T.M.

  • I think this is pushing travian too far. I like TK as it currently is, and if it changes too much i'll just go back to travian legends/t4/whatever it is named nowadays. Why can't you just focus on fixing your bugs (which there is still tons) instead of trying to make up new gameplay every other week? Some balancing changes are good here and there, but i think other than that the game is good right now. We want this game out of beta already and play some finals at this gamemode!


    With these experts it would be up to RNG if you could even succeed at the game, what if you spawn with bunch of noobs who don't want to give you any experts? I guess i could spawn with a preformed team, but most of the players do not have this chance, and i don't think this game should encourage people to do so. Just please, don't make this game too confusing.


    I believe as of now TK doesn't even have any cheat-detection in place. None of the cheaters/multiloggers i know have been banned without us reporting them. This should be dealt with before you even consider any gameplay changes that might encourage multilogging.

  • Hi. Short summary from Ru players.


    1) They are really concerned about multiaccounts, especially if the player who shares workers with you will be able to see your village. So, this will make separation even wider - no one will share workers with anyone you don't know. So, there will be a group of experienced players who know each other or a group of multiaccounts.


    2) Specialization will make life harder for new players. Let's say he chose one branch of the tree - for example, war. But in the end it turns out he doesn't want to do that, but he already invested quite a lot into it and is tied with that role more or less.


    3) Players don't want some limitations and would like to have options to switch their specialization anytime. Plus they don't want to be too dependant from the others. What if the player (let's say it's real player, not a multiaccount) decided to quit? This will negatively affect your own gameplay.


    4) The general mood about this feature on ru is from neutral to negative due to the reasons mentioned above.


    Cheers, Ameno

  • I must say i completly agree with Russians and don't like the idea as it's presented here. There're problems with multiaccounts even now, than there'll be even more problems.


    No one will cooperate better than during wartime ! If you want to improve teamplay there needs to be more wars, more battles etc., than people start cooperating, as was mentioned above new players will have no clue what to do with this workers, they won't get any, because no one will know them etc, however if you make it military wise, people will instruct new players how to make army etc (because that's something they can have benefit from later too), will help them to deffend, and what's better to make friends than help someone in troubles and be helped when you're in trouble ?


    Travian was always WAR game, so let's try keep it this way, not turn it even more into simcity state, raither force people to fight.

  • I don't see these suggestions working out as intended, the reasoning for which is two fold: the changes clash with Travian Kingdoms identity and what makes it great and it gives unfair advantage to multiaccounters and in lesser extend premade teams.


    TK identity:
    For me the single biggest thing that makes TK better than older Travian games is the fact that from the start there is a group I can feel I am part of. New players spawn in governors and already have natural allies in their kingdom to make friends with and bit later they are also included automatically to the larger alliances which allows easy access to alliance features (large battles, alliance wars etc.) and end game content trough the WW race. Even the newest players should find themselves in a situation where they can easily contribute. You have team and goals to work towards, yet you are free to go about it in pretty much any way you like, that is the essence of TK.


    In the proposed system I fear that it restricts this too much, it demotes players to "support" roles just because they aren't as active or weren't part of the same premade team. If before a newbie joined the game, no matter how little he did contribute he was still a positive factor in the alliance. In the new system these lesser players are either supports or they are effectively hurting their kingdom compared to other kingdoms where their players do succumb to the pressure and play those roles. Game is about war and if any changes turn away from that focus and make it so new players can't contribute or are discouraged from building more troops I feel that is the wrong direction to the game.


    Premades/multiaccounting:
    This is another thing that I don't like. The new system clearly favors these sorts of groups over the randomly compiled ones more than the current system. In the new system you could probably find few players willing to act out those boring but all so necessary support roles to gain the biggest hammers and the biggest anvils possible. Meanwhile you realistically can't expect the same from the random teams which will make the servers more boring as the stronger teams stomp out the weaker ones faster and more efficiently. I mean the strength difference obviously exists currently and there is nothing you can do to eliminate it completely but that's not really the point. In the current system even a lone player who wants to build defense will always be useful but in the new system that player might need to build warehouses or iron mines or what ever to be useful and there is less chance that he will enjoy that. Most people probably enjoy building big armies and having them clash against the enemies forces. Game shouldn't go from everyone contributes towards everyone contributes so few players can have fun.



    On a side note I really like the change to go from alliances to kingdoms personally, I wish there was more focus on tuning the game towards that. In an idea world I would like to see at least 7 "powerful" kingdoms in the server each trying to out do the other 6 and build their own wonders. Going from alliances to kingdoms is a step towards that ideal and I like that. Use the development time to work the game towards that ideal. Create incentives for people to stay independent in small groups instead of assimilating to the meta and compete with their local players against the world. Make it so holding wonders with your friends is more rewarding in itself, instead of big alliances hogging all of them because they can. Make the kingdom more smaller and dynamic unit that has power at the local level.


    Maybe this feature fine tuned is a step in the right direction, maybe it's not but do try to avoid the pitfalls of making people play so others can have fun and forcing people to fill unfulfilling "support" roles for the sake of the kingdom.


    Regards: Curtain

  • Maybe instead of coming up with ideas from within since I doubt anyone who is employed and works on this full time actually plays it like the real players do, why not for a focus group of sorts? And you know.. get some ideas from the players who spend countless hours a day playing it?


    Not that you can't get feedback here, but it seems the approach is that ideas are thought up internally when perhaps you should look externally for the ideas in the first place.


    Want to promote team work? Give the team leaders (kings/dukes now) the ability to encourage team work. Say, allow players to contribute to a rewards fund with resources or something like that. Or even contribute hero items or card items that they aren't using or want to donate. Then let the leaders promote team work with contests and other stuff and reward players with resources or these items. THIS would promote a lot more teamwork then the above. It would also give players goals they can try to reach for fun - right now, there's no daily goals or anything to achieve - just keep building, attacking, waiting for the WW to arrive. With some sort of rewards system the leaders could manage, there would be lots of ways for team work and daily goals and rewards and the like.

  • Thanks for all the feedback to everyone!

    Making researches account-wide is a great idea! I was looking for it. But won't it make the game so easier to upgrade soldiers?

    It will certainly require less busywork over the lifetime of a server. We currently don't really see upgrading unit types again and again in each new village as an interesting enough decision.


    Also, I hope we won't be always chasing those "research points". I mean Travian should not turn into a simple multiplayer game where you chase gems etc.

    They would basically be another resource that you produce over time. They shouldn't shift the game into a "simple gem chasing" direction at all. ;)


    They are really concerned about multiaccounts

    With the current idea of the feature it would be a lot of work to exploit it as a multiaccount. You basically have to play multiple full accounts to have multiple high-level experts. And even then it's just a relatively small bonus you'd get per additional account. Of course we'll still have to monitor the game for multiaccount behaviour. But there are things that are more attractive to them than this feature will or would be, I think.


    Players don't want some limitations and would like to have options to switch their specialization anytime.

    "Anytime" might be too much. We do want players to make choices with real consequences. However, I can easily imagine a limited amount of "respec points" per game world.


    For me the single biggest thing that makes TK better than older Travian games is the fact that from the start there is a group I can feel I am part of.

    That's a great way to put it. And we actually want to support this feeling further. We're not demoting player to "support roles" or making them detrimental to the kingdom. We want to give them more opportunities to interact with and support each other, so they can build an even stronger sense of community within their team (i.e. kingdom).


    Make the kingdom more smaller and dynamic unit that has power at the local level.

    That's certainly our intention for future changes.


    Give the team leaders (kings/dukes now) the ability to encourage team work.

    We've indeed discussed quite a few ideas about e.g. having weekly tasks defined by the king or something similar. We've added a lot of regular tasks over the last year though (weekly prestige tasks, achievements, daily quests etc.), so we pushed that idea back a little for now. That doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.

  • Hello all
    here is a summary from the Arabian community: original post


    * this feature may help making the round more live and increasing the cooperation between kingdom members.
    * they are worried about the multi-accounting advantage with the expert and they want a restriction here.
    * great feature and its open a new prospects in the research effectiveness for players.
    * they bring the idea of capturing experts and become yours, e.g:
    village A has a miner expert
    village B attack village A with "Attack" or "siege" and captured the expert
    then village B can use the expert or send it anywhere else to be used


    regards

    Red John
    Customer Service Representative & Community Manager
    Travian Kingdoms AE