More thoughts on VP mechanics

  • I know the VP situation is problematic right now, and would like to share my suggestions.

    • Working Well:

      One aspect of VP production that is working well is the way that VP are generated gradually over time by Treasures that are sitting in an active treasury controlled by the team.

    • Broken:

      VP Bonuses for stealing treasures from other alliances which leads to complicated webs of intrigue where people win by deception rather than through actual battles.

    Solution: For starters, remove what is broken. Make VP completely non-transferable once earned.

    I think if you do this single fix, it will help the gameplay mechanics significantly. It will still favor metas, but it won't favor friendly treasure sharing between alliances.

    On another note, I have a few ideas that I would like to toss out there for consideration. I haven't seen these ideas thrown out anywhere else, so I apologize if I missed something and these ideas have already been discussed to death.

    1. Victory Points are earned permanently and are non-transferable. However, the rate of VP production should depend on the level of the active treasury in which they are being stored. So a level 20 treasury produces more VP per treasure per day than a level 1 treasury. Knocking out a single high level treasury imposes more significant disruption to VP than knocking several smaller treasuries. I suggest that some kind of mechanic is used so that the smaller the population of a kingdom, the greater the efficiency in VP production from Treasures. So, metas have more treasures, but smaller alliances generate VP more efficiently from their smaller stash of treasures, narrowing the gap slightly.

    2. Get rid of the damn robbers. Make treasures to be something that the governors have to spend resources to build in their own treasury (or maybe a special building only governors can build just for building treasures). Make treasure production something similar to troop training such that the higher the level of the production building, the faster the treasures are created. From there, allow the governors to sell their treasures to the king, duke, or robber baron as usual and receive a nifty return on their investment for making treasures. The governor's treasure production building should be targetable by catapults so that the game has a strategic alternative for knocking out the enemy's treasure production capabilities.

    The importance of putting treasure production in the hands of the governors is that it opens of the strategic option of cutting off (or crimping) the supply of treasures to the enemy by targeting the high-level treasuries of their governors.

    3. Option to Sacrifice Treasures for Kingdom Boosts. This idea is really just for fun, and to try to introduce some team-based rewards into the system. I think it would be cool if the king could choose to spend treasures in exchange for some kind of permanent kingdom-wide boost, similar to the effects of the artifacts in Travian Legends. If the king decided to spend the treasures on the kingdom-wide boost, those treasures would be gone forever. It should be costly enough so that the decision is not made lightly.

    It could be any range of cool boosts:
    * attack bonus when attacking an enemy on whom the kingdom has declared war
    * merchant speed boost
    * crop production boost
    * movement between alliance members boost
    * everyone in the kingdom gets trade routes boost

    Lots of room for creativity. The point is, the king has to make a decision between getting a sweet boost, or putting those treasures into earning victory points.

  • In closed beta and couple servers on the open beta VP used to be non-transferrable. It worked, but devs decided to add VP stealing to make the game more interesting. The second they proposed this new feature we already knew what was coming. Exploits, VP-trading, VP-farming, and we did mention about it even before the feature was added to the live game.

    Treasurys also used to be able to hold 10k treasures active instead of 4k. That was another very bad change to the game, nowadays you need to protect like 20 treasurys (10 is much easier) and it is impossible to do without some small tricks. Why is catapulting your own treasury better way than defending? It makes absolutely no sense. If we could hold more treasures like we used to, we would be actually able to atleast try to defend all of them. Everytime i have been a king i've been overflowing like 30k (up to 70k) treasures for no reason. Overflowing is actually worse than not owning the treasures since there is the risk of enemies stealing all of them for VP.

    VP-system is broken, and probably also will be for awhile, i like your 3rd proposition though.

  • I don't think it was just to make the game more interesting but also to make it possible to win against a meta. After all, if VP production is the only factor (and isn't being corrected for as paulc proposes here), metas are best at it - more people = more production and that's all there is to it. They changed it so that it was possible to steal VP from higher ranked alliances, but the system wasn't deeply thought through so as you'd expect, it's broken.

    All your suggestions would only improve the situation...But we've been spamming the forums about this kind of stuff forever and it has always been completely ignored. I don't know what the devs want at this point. They're not interested in making the game more competitive, so adjusting for kingdom size is probably not something they want to do, but I doubt they want a broken system either. Idk. Game's just a mess, has been since the start.

  • Yup, that's been suggested before too. Doesn't seem like the devs want that either. It wouldn't be enough of a change to the VP system or to the meta situation on its own - you can still friendly-share treasures and it won't stop alliances from working together - but it would be a start.

  • Unfortunately I rather suspect that you are right. I'm hoping that by constantly hammering the message it might eventually penetrate!

    No, it's certainly not enough on its own, but what it does is (assuming a maximum size of 60, say, on current Com servers):

    1. Stop Metas. You can't be a Meta with 60 players.
    2. Prevent the extremes of VP abuse for pretty much the same reasons as above.
    3. Create more opportunities for conflict - and real diplomacy! If you can't merely all join up together, then you can't just sim to the win.

    Yes, there's more to do, but limiting Kingdom size is the best single thing that can be done to ensure better play and a fairer result. You still need to severely tweak the whole VP mechanism, but this is an easy, and to my mind obvious, first step.

  • It's why I suggested a size limit on Kingdoms. Then you can't just be better by being bigger.

    I think the idea of a size limit is also a good idea. I would propose maybe 5 to 8 governors per duke, which puts an end-game meta in the neighborhood of 40 players.

    In the two servers that I have played, all of the end-game metas were roughly in the neighborhood of 40 to 60 players anyway.

    So if you consider this to be a critical change, then my revised recommendations would be:

    1). Non-transferrable VP, combined with more efficient VP generation for smaller-than-average alliances. For Treasure VP generation, choose one of the options:
    1.a) Treasures generate VP in active treasuries. The higher the treasury level, the more efficient the VP generation.
    1.b) Treasures must be spent to buy VP which is permanently attached to that kingdom. (this one I didn't suggest earlier, but it could be a viable approach)

    2). Limit Kingdom Size to force proliferation of smaller kingdoms. I think we all agree this is important. I would love to see a kingdom limited to 20 or 30 players.

    3). Make treasures to be something governors can build in a treasury. The higher the treasury, the faster the treasures are generated.

    4) Option for kings to decide between spending treasures on VP or on purchasing kingdom-wide boosts for their team.

    Number 1 and 2 are the must-haves; number 3 would I think open a greater variety of strategies for competition between alliances. Number 4 would just create a system for rewarding teamwork within the alliance.

  • For this game to have some balance and attract more players:

    1. Limit capacity of kingdom members
    2. Remove 6 wonders and only 1 remains (center 0/0)
    3. Make Center map ( 0/0 ) the natar area (similar to RoA)
    4. Add artifacts
    5. Give free gold to everyone 50-100 per week (to attract players)

    Agree or not, gold whales are 1 reason why the game is declining. Sure tk earn with them but the number of players are getting lower and lower. Beginners lose motivation specially those who can't gold much which in return resulting to incompetence due to big difference between a golder and non-golder. There is huge difference of a golder and a skilled non-golder. No matter how good you are in the game and how active you are. The player who golds a lot still has all the advantage.

    "You can do a hundreds of good deeds but everyone will remember the 1 mistake you will do."

  • 2. Everyone fighting over one WW. I fear the game would only end when sufficient people had given up in disgust to allow the remaining strong players to form a meta. Besides you can still get a lot of fun with a WW even if you know you're not going to win. Not convinced by this unless you can expand on the suggestion.

    3 & 4. This is going back to TL. Can't see it happening as if you want those things you play TL.

    5. You may be right about Gold Whales. It's certain that although these guys contribute most of the money to the game, if the game is not attractive to free and 'gold minnow' players then they will leave and the whales will have no-one to beat. Seen it happen before. Whether free gold is the answer I don't know, but I agree Travian have to do something, because you're right, despite what has been written in these pages before, gold makes a big difference and it's gotten bigger, e.g. thanks to the card game.

  • These are interesting ideas, but don't really relate to the topic of how to fix the broken VP system.

  • It was a good team, in that it played as a team. Normally at best only half play, more likely a third.

    But in any case the solution is easy - reduce the amount of resource needed to match the maximum size of the Kingdom.

  • to be able to compete with ww building you need to have 70 - 110 ppl.

    That may be true in most cases but we played a server with 34 members and we were the 1st to build out to level 100 and won the server too.
    We had no pacts with anyone else on the server and we supplied all the resources ourselves. In the closing days we did have some outside players send defense to our WW but that was it.
    One other thing I am proud about that server. We lost no troops in our WW to starvation. The team was epic and all played on till we took home the win.

    I think the main thing is to have active members on your team and also be ready to fight at all times. Strategy still plays a part in the end of a server as sometimes you have to plan and launch hammers on almost a daily basis towards the last days. If you are a small team (50 or less) then you have to build your accounts and armies for quality and use them smartly.

  • 1. Make only treasures and not VP stealable.
    2. Allow players to make "pre-made kingdoms" and spawn in together... that way you don't have to meta everyone around you to be with your friends.
    3. Make VP generation have higher "corruption" that makes the larger pop kingdoms take a linear penalty to VP generation.
    4. Don't take away hideouts... They are great for hero xp. Instead make them non aggressive so you don't have to kill them if you don't want to.
    5. Make the card game only allow gold purchases once a week... for balance.

  • It's not because you have a premade group that you will become a meta, it's a decision the players take, no one is forcing them to do so lol. If you need to be friend with everyone around you it means you're not good enough in the first place, so instead of making a feature where every premade spawns together you relocate either by doing the fast settle in 24 hours or by relocating after a week in a new area all together and the problem is solved. Every meta that has been created on TK was meant to be created to win more easily.
    Your point 5. is cute, it's more likely that we'll see some changes on how VP works rather than seeing them limit their money income.

    The point 4. has a solution, the hideout won't attack if he attacks once and get rekt, you can keep your hideouts forever without having them attacking.

    1 and 3 has been more or less said 100 times here and there on the forum and are valid points.

  • Mayo, I think you misunderstand my point about the meta problem.

    Typically groups of pre-agreed to teams are competent players who want to play together in order to increase their chance to win.

    When they spawn into the world, often times if they don't all spawn at the same time, they will be quite spread out from one another, especially if it's one of the first days of a server. They could all move to the same area, but usually what happens is the kings/dukes want tribute, so they sign any one up that is in their area. Now there is a meta... metas usually have a few strong players running things and a bunch of simmers providing tribute. It's a broken system, I know because I'm in Tonka on com5.
    Kingdoms could resist accepting as many members as possible, but they would fall behind other less picky kingdoms in tributes, etc.

    I believe that if players could spawn in with their selected team, there would be more independent kingdoms, more fighting, and less metas till maybe the end game. Kings would not have to accept everyone into their kingdom in order to keep up with the Kardashian, they would instead have their "team" already spawned in next to them.

  • Metas are created because people want to win easy. Tonka having 10 wings doesn't mean that the main kingdom will get more tributes or anything, it means less enemies, it means less competition and it means less fun but it means winning a server !

    Every top kingdom has the opportunity to make a meta, what makes the difference is whether you accept or not. Whether people fight or meta is up to your team not to the game, the game is what it is right now, and it's evolving, you can try to make the best out of it or the worst, ultimately it's up to you, not to the game.
    If people could spawn as they wanted it would be unfair for new players, and they wouldn't have any chance to survive. The kingdom system promotes a large variety of gameplay both for teams and for newbies//random players. A new player can get in a team if he's active/eager to learn/you say it. A team can evolve with new additions that might be new travian players or veterans. The game allows you also if you want to become what Tonka has done, which is what many other kingdoms have done before, it's nothing new, not the size of it, not how broken it is. If you guys aren't happy about it then part ways and fight. In the first TK server when WW spawned there was one meta and no one else on the server. A really controversial server where we end up splitting and fight because we realized it was boring to play like that and it had no merit at all. You can hide behind your excuses on how the game pushes you to do that, but you can be the change you want, if you dare to.

    And btw, if you base your experience on Tonka you might want to have a bit more experience on the matter.

  • nothingburger

    Metas are sometimes created because some players want the easiest route to winning. It would be reductionism to say that is the only reason metas are formed. I believe most groups of players who pre-determine to join a server and play together, would rather play for the competition, the struggle, the battles, the team spirit... not just to win. If winning was everything, then some meta players would not delete their accounts when their server turns into sim city. An empty win is not satisfying.

    The reason some metas have so many wings is because the pre made team is usually spread out, and it pays to be the king. The various meta wings grow and eventually coalesce into a single kingdom. Their is safety in numbers, and when your friends are spread out, you can't rely on them as easily, so it makes mores sense to take the easy route and bring your neighbors into your kingdom... instead of fighting all of them.

    Players want fun more than an easy win.

    You say that if players could spawn in together, noobs or random players would not stand a chance... If you and 10 buddies spawned in together in the same kingdom area, odds are there would not be many noobs or random players spawning in that spot. Yes, a team can absorb noobs and random players into their kingdom if they see fit... but if the random spawn system was designed to prevent noobs and random players from getting beat up, then why do noobs and random players still get beat up on the current system?

    You yourself say it is boring to sim your way to a victory in a single meta... I thought the only thing that matters is winning? (sarcasm). Com5 still has some strong kingdoms... been waiting for them to form their own meta, because as you said, its boring to have no serious competition.

    In many ways, the kingdom system does force many players to join a meta out of fear, especially newer players or loners... who don't have a group of friends to rise up and fight along side. This in turn expands it and increases the fear factor.

    And btw, if you think that metas are this new invention of players playing TK, then you might want to play TL, or some other similar games in order to have a bit more experience on the matter.