6-Week Game Worlds - New special type of Worlds

  • Hi there,

    these are the ideas that can be found in the same entry in the Spanish-speaking part of the forum :

    • @LuxusDarkangel really likes the idea. The first few weeks of constant war and tension for getting territory and establishing yourself are the most fun. Afterwards, once Kingdoms are established and it’s only about the preparation for WWs he just can’t wait for the round to end. This part of “boring” midgame is what should be shortened, in his opinion. On the other hand he also sees the problem that it might be difficult to get this game world working at 1x speed and only for 6 weeks without any drastic changes to the end-phase. The whole WW + victory points often make the game worse, rather than better, so this is a perfect chance to try a different and more dynamic ending.
    • @Zhairellius#ES thinks it’s rather impossible to get an army big enough to defeat the natars and then build up a WW in just 6 weeks. He’d rather have a 12 week game world. He’d still give 6 week game worlds a try though, although he thinks shorter rounds are probably terrible for new players. The beginning of the game is good as it is, but it could be maybe sped up. For ideas for the ending, he suggests that once a WW is conquered, all others could be deactivated and all kingdoms have to fight for the only remaining WW.
    • @Origen thinks shorter is the way to go, since all other games nowadays take that route and it could mean getting a lot of new players onboard. At the moment, he refuses to play in non-speed rounds, since they take too long. Having a normal speed game world but even shorter than a speed one is an awesome idea in his opinion and every decision and every lost troop would matter again. He’s ready to sign up already :D
    • @Teljildad (who's already commenting here, ¡hola! :D ) is quite unsure, since the teutons would have an unfair advantage due to their shorter troop training time. In his opinion, a WW is not really feasible in such a short time and thinks a lot of rebalancing would be needed. Currently, he dislikes the long beginner protection at the beginning (and early game in general, since as a Teuton you basically have 2-3 weeks of boredom) and the pre-WW time, since it takes forever, there’s nothing to do (no artifacts), no one attacks anyone and it seems overall very lacking. He states in his post that for short rounds, WWs are not an option.

    Thanks for all the feedback!

  • Hello people,
    Here is a snap of Arabian Community thoughts:

    • They love the idea cos it will increase the combat possibility.
    • WWs spawn in week 3 with less Natars troops than usual.
    • Winner decided by VPs only suggestion as said before in this thread, no WWs only VP.

    that is all for now will update this comment if something comes up!

    Red John
    Customer Service Representative & Community Manager
    Travian Kingdoms AE

  • When can we expect 6 weeks game worlds to start ? And will they be speeds too ?

    As we have yet to finalize the concept and there are a few other big features in the pipeline already, this will probably take a few more months.

    Thanks for all the feedback so far, and keep it coming! :)

    One thing we are currently considering is the fact that we want these short worlds to be an option for all players, including beginners (potentially it should even be the standard option for your first ever game world in the future). A boosted start (fully developed village etc.) would be a strong push into a more hardcore-oriented direction though.

    However, we obviously do need some form of boost to speed up progress that doesn't feel like you're playing a speed server. So instead we're thinking of boosting progress via quests. We could hand out quest rewards in the form of building levels as we already do in a few rare cases. Essentially a revamped quest system could replace the boosted start or a generally faster resource production, and still lead to much faster progress overall.

    On top of that, we'd like to decrease troop training times and costs over time, to make it possible to reach significant amounts of troops in the late-game even on these short servers. On top of that this would make it much easier to catch up later in the game and also to rebuild after losing a lot of troops, making it less devestating to take on a few more risky battles than usual.

    What do you think?

  • So what you plan on doing so far is:

    1. Make playing this server an option for beginners
    2. Make the game faster by adding resources in the form of quests
    3. Decrease troop training and costs over time
    4. Make the servers shorter than before

    This is exactly what you have been doing with kingdoms. Is it working? And isn't this server supposed to be both special and different from a normal x3 speedserver? I don't see anything new or different from your general Kingdoms plan here.

  • I dunno. Don't you feel a bit let down when the quests largely run out? Maybe extending those isn't such a bad idea - gives you something specific to aim for.

    The other thing is I don't find troop training a big issue as it can be boosted by various means - I think a bigger issue is the time taken to move troops around. That attacks take so long is probably a bar to beginners - you need a dual or good sitter on a different time zone to defend against attacks that arrive at 4am your time (if you're a normal person that is). I know that this can also be boosted, but only after the first 20 squares, except for defence with hero. Anything with cats take an age to move those 20 squares - want to encourage more battles then make a way to speed that up.

    I'm not sure that reducing server time does much mind you - what is needed is something interesting to do in each phase. At the moment you have the following phases I suggest:

    1. Initial Development - very interesting as you look to get a fast start without leaving yourself vulnerable
    2. Early Game - pretty interesting as you try to work out who to ally with (and not)
    3. Middle Game - too long and too boring, while you wait for the WWs to spawn
    4. End Game - can be interesting if enough players are left and there is a genuine fight

    If you accept this synopsis then it's clear that the game needs two thing:
    A. A much shorter middle game
    B. Some mechanic which makes sure that there is a end game fight, not one enormous meta simming to the win

    Some effort has been made on B, whether it will be successful is not yet clear to me. Nothing has been done on A, in fact things seem worse than they were.

  • I see the quests as something that helps the beginner get to some kind of guaranteed half-decent start. Making the game a glorified to-do list is just...boring and wrong.

    The rest of the game should take over after the quests run out and be interesting in it's own right. But because of metas and other problems which cause players not to fight, the game becomes very boring indeed. You could make midgame shorter, cause the suffering to end sooner...but then you have no gameplay left. You begin, boom you have WWs, boom it ends.

    The middle game should be much longer, but even more importantly, something should actually happen between players in that timeframe. The original T versions got it right, there was plenty of time for a natural flow of wars with winners and losers, meaningful decisions and mistakes. TK? Not so much.

    Anyway, what could be interesting is to have the server setup as follows:

    1. Everyone starts out with 8 fully developed villages, with CP for 4 more. You can choose, at the start, how many troops you want to have and of which types, including chiefs, cats and rams. There's a crop cap, of say 40k. This skips early and part of midgame entirely.
    2. You get VP for destroying population. So grabbing a village of 500 pop -> 500 vp. Catting a building of 20-pop: you get 20vp. You can't lose VP. You're limited by how much you can destroy.
    3.the winner is whoever has the most VP after 6 weeks. There are no wonders or anything else, no time for it. We skip the entire endgame.
    4. You cant get vp by destroying players in your own alliance. This counters metas.

  • hello,

    can we first play one normal round before we change so much and look how it runs?

    I could imagine that this game mode could be realy funny to play.

    With the current game mecanics.

    Speedserver and normal server would be cool.


  • • Do you like the idea of 6 week game worlds? Do you want to play?

    The idea seems interesting, especially to fill the dead periods between the end of a server and the start of another, maybe you could leave them behind one another without stopping.

    • How do you imagine the gaming experience? Which parts do you think could be cut? Which one should best stay in touch (eg early game, wonders)?
    • Do you want the world to end as soon as all the Wonders of the World are Conquered? Or do you prefer a different finish for these shifts?

    - I would last the server for exactly 6 weeks
    - I would completely remove the wonders and natar villages
    - modify the quest with goals that can be reached in 6 weeks
    - Treasury reduction to unlock new cdt
    - without fusion of two kingdoms, there is a king and two dukes, and so it ends
    - player limit for realm
    - every active treasure produces 5pv daily (so to increase the difference in treasures and push to war)

    With regard to the game mode, the goal to win is to have the greatest number of victory points as it expires, in this way it will be a constant war against others and against time to be first in the end.

    I would also enter a countdown for the last week that marks the end time : D

    - Sorry my english is google translator -

  • Do you like the idea of 6-week game worlds? Would you play such a world?

    How do you imagine the game-play experience? Which parts do you think could be cut short? Which should better stay untouched (e.g. early-game, Wonders of the World)?

    Would you want the world to end as soon as all Wonders of the World are conquered? Or would you prefer a different ending for these short rounds?

    Yes, idea is good. sure I'll try it.

    increased building effects, e.g. barracks at level 20 goes to 4-5% instead of 14% (13.5?).
    manufacture buildings (sawmill...) gives more bonus 10% per level maybe.
    more natar conquerable village in game (like the croppers) but in other types (6444).
    costs be untouched.
    ending on the exact time. who has more vp and highest ww is winner.

  • Any news on the project?

    Thanks for asking, @Mizrach. Indeed we've continued to work on the design of the "Short Worlds" as we're now calling them. Instead of relying on the idea of re-using the normal balancing and introducing new building boost items, we're currently going in the direction of properly re-balancing the game to be shorter overall (fewer building levels, less "filler", faster progress). As this affects many areas in the game (buildings, troops, research, quests etc.) it will take a while, but it's still on our roadmap as a new game mode for next year. :)

    in my opinion, those type of game worlds should give less prestige points than normal speed game worlds to be fair about players' prestige level

    Just as speed servers, those servers will award less bonus prestige at the end, simply due to them being shorter. The prestige bonuses at the end of a round are based on the amount of total weekly prestige you collected. So fewer weeks naturally result in less prestige.

  • I am an older player that used to play Legends over a decade ago that recently returned to Travian. I work full-time and a half, travel for work, and have other responsibilities, so I never was able to finish a whole server before becoming wrapped up in life. I really love the idea of a 6-week server because it's one that fits the game a bit nicer, I feel. I have started on over a dozen kingdoms servers and last a different amount of weeks each time and I would love a short server because it a) Reduces the "game time" that I spend being behind everyone else, and b) Reduces the interval between "fresh" servers so that there's a relevant option to start a new village on without being behind.

    However, shortening the server comes with a couple downsides, most notable how risky (and punishing) it can be for newer players. I really love Travian and want to see it grow, and for that we really need environments that are noob-friendly while also having enough of a "competitive edge" to reward players who really enjoy those large opportunities for outplaying opponents. I'm going to go quite at length with the extended metaphor here, but it was the first thought that came to my head when I read "short 1x Travian server".

    I work in six sigma management, and a couple of the most common questions I get asked by employers are:

    • "How do I know who I should promote?"
    • "How do I find out who I should fire?"
    • "How do I locate the employees who distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd through effort alone?"

    Each of these can be rewritten as "Do the tasks my employees perform provide enough opportunities for driven individuals to shine and enough difficulty to weed out dedicated employees?"

    One of the largest difficulties in designing a naturally competitive environment, be it a video game or an analyst team, is providing enough incentive to keep your dedicated employees performing and enough pressure to identify those who contribute "less effort." This is usually done through clear reward and punishment systems. In the workforce, it may include awards or raises or promotions for good work, while the "underperformers" receive warnings, write-ups, and termination. At the same time, that environment needs to have a sincerely comfortable "middle-ground" between those two groups to maintain a healthy work environment for the majority of your workers.

    The difference between the work force and travian is that in the work force you (typically) only have so much you can do to "outshine" your co-workers to ensure that you receive that award. The awards are realistically worthwhile and extremely rewarding to account for that, but it is often intentional so that good employees don't burn themselves out and so that they continually perform for longer periods and provide more value to a company. On the contrary, that raise or award might not go to that employee for one or two years of excellent behavior, or it might go to someone else entirely, meaning "all that hard work was for nothing". In Travian, however, you are (mostly) in control of your own promotions and raises (mostly) by the decisions you make. E.g., how soon you settle your second village, getting a good cropper, developing good relationships with those around you, raiding optimally (if at all), etc., all contribute to your performance in the game. On the other end of the scale, you can be punished for your behaviors. You can sit on a full warehouse for hours on end, you can never raid a single target, settle your villages days or weeks after you've had CP for them, etc. There are concrete examples of areas where you can either perform, or fail. This is measured mostly in what scheduling algorithms call utilization, the amount of uptime (active time) with respect to total runtime (duration that's being measured). To think about it in terms of Travian, an account's online time (uptime) with respect to server duration (runtime) that has a utilization of 1 is always online.

    For this next point, let us assume that no gold is bought, used, or spent by any player. In a normal 1x game of Travian, the time between actions ("Downtime") is far greater than the downtime on a 3x server. Meaning that if I wanted to go to sleep, I can queue up three levels of my main building or my residence and queue up units and upgrades. That's only possibly (on a solo account) because of that extensive, 10 hour-long downtime. On a 3x server, that 10 hours becomes 3 or 4 hours, meaning that I have to "play" the game more. Or in other words, increase my "Uptime". If I have a dual, or even decent sitters, I can still get by with sleeping on a 3x server as long as I can trust those people and that they have different absolute sleep schedules than me. However, new players (we assume) won't have sitters for a while and possibly never even a dual. That means that a new player's account will almost be guaranteed to have less uptime than an experienced player.

    But that's what we want, right? We want that competitive edge where an experienced player can be rewarded for all the time invested already in knowing build orders, building relationships, setting up farm lists, trade routes, etc. Think of a standard, six month 1x game. At two weeks in, how far part are you, population or troop-wise (whichever's easier for you) from the top players? How about at 4 weeks? Two months? Four months? How far apart are you, population-wise, from the top ranked players at the end of those 6 months? In my best games, at the very end, I am over 200 ranks down the list from #1 but I am absolutely annihilated by the numbers of the top 10 in any category. That's due to that initial difference in utilization compounding continuously and snowballing a victory through the end of the game.

    On the flipside, the inherent nature of the game is extremely intimidating for newer players and quite punishing when a first-time duke gets mowed down by a hammer because he went to sleep before asking his sitter to cover. That flipside is what we have to be careful of and try to avoid with this new server if we want to grow the community. If the choice is to lengthen construction times but reduce the number of levels, that protects new players but benefits gold (if allowed) users. If the goal is to artificially quicken/shorten construction times, that opens up windows that can increase uptime when capitalized upon by a new player. The amount of utilization opportunity for a good player must be paramount in designing this new game mode.

    I have a few suggestions for how the developers can help mitigate this. (I mean, I wouldn't spend hours to write all of this prose just to criticize things that the developers are already aware of, right? I'm an engineer, not a writer.)

    The first suggestion is to impose stricter limits/bounds on the static production/generation/uptime of each player while still having a realistic, achievable upper bound. This is a more effective method of normalization and progress acceleration than the aforementioned "make the time to reach upper bound faster by reducing max levels/upgrade duration/starting in a maxed out village". For example, if a village has every building and resource field maxed out, it has reached its Static Upper limit. It cannot be improved anymore than it already is without directly interfacing with (dynamic action) the village. A village that has nothing but lvl 1 fields and a Main Building is the effective lower bound. Can't get much lower than that. A few ways to implement this are:

    • Reduce the total number of upgradable buildings. e.g., start with a maxed out MB, Residence, and possibly discover a fully upgraded Town Hall, Marketplace, and Great Barracks/Stable as you progress. Maybe maxing out certain buildings unlocks a "clear rubble to discover the GB" quest.
    • Increase starting baseline production and decrease maximum production. E.g., start with lvl 3 resource fields, lvl 5 wh and lvl 5 granary instead of one lvl 1 field and nothing else. Decrease the maximum production by capping all resource tiles to 10 in the capital, and only a max of lvl 5 in other villages. This allows for beginners to know what to work towards without feeling like they have nothing while allowing for optimized build orders for efficient results for experienced players without creating as large of a snowball effect. This strategy is largely effective due to being easier to design, balance, and implement since the bounds can be statically defined and the time between limits can be fine-tuned easier than with other methods.

    My second suggestion is aimed towards making the game more approachable for new players. For a 60 day server to attract new players, core elements of 1x Travian's game play need to be revamped so that the game becomes not only more entertaining for the new (and old) user, but also provides the new (and average) user with more options to improve the understanding behind their decision-making and overall play style choices. Here are a couple:

    • Increase the reward for high-risk aggression and speed the recovery of costly losses. The main problem with current server designs are that the end-game is a waiting game until the big hammers swing once and the game's over. This lull in action will push away newer players and is the military-building equivalent of the "simming" snowball effect discussed earlier. By increasing the reward on attacks without reducing the penalty of failure, newer players can be active offensively and increase the overall action of the game, creating a more lively environment. Additionally, in the event that big clashes result in heavy casualties on both sides, (for example) a dynamic increase in % of losses being recovered over a day or two (almost 5% of total game duration) as the game progresses (e.g., starts at 5% of units recovered after combat, ends at 50%) means that more and larger armies are clashing over the whole game and ensures that the end-game isn't just a one-pump deal. This allows for bandages to still be relevant early-game, but there is a late-game alternative with the same impact.
    • Incentivize hitting players other than dukes and kings. Whether it's percentage-based (Attacking player steals % of treasures of the duke/king that owns the territory) or static rewards (quests), there needs to be more reason to hit governors. Dukes and kings are designed to lead and protect their governors anyways, so this would increase the interaction within a kingdom. Also, it would make being a part of a smaller kingdom more rewarding than being in a Meta-blob since you can defend against multiple attacks more effectively. It would also potentially punish defenseless hammers that are building up an infinitely scaling army in a corner without any repercussions.
    • Reduce the complexity of dynamic production interactions. Whether it is in the form of educational tools (forum posts, wiki) that explain some cost-benefit analysis of decision-making in Travian or in reducing the simplicity of the game play by reducing Travian down to its core elements of war and economy. It might mean taking out blacksmith and Academy and instead unlocking units and upgrades as you upgrade the Rax and the Stable and the workshop. It might mean that you need to have a certain level MB or Residence to produce certain units. Maybe EC/H/TK needs non-conventional conditions met before being unlocked. Having the dynamic interactions in Travian allows for us experienced players to optimize our choices and feel confident that it was the right decision. Since this is a core part of the "intrapersonal game play" in Travian, it need not be completely overhauled to have an effect. This may be one of the most effective strategy as it not only decreases the learning curve of the game, but it makes the consequences behind each choice clearer while retaining the importance of the decision itself.

    I know I was on the soap box for quite some time, so I'm going to take this chance to say thank you to the good admins and mods that keep making this game better and better, as well as all of the great members of the community. I'm grateful that we are able to provide our input on the game because at the end of the day, we're all Travian.

    Edited once, last by Kitty_COM: Added another suggestion (hitting governors) ().

  • A more up-to-date documentation of the game would already go a long way for many parts in making a game more accessible (at least when I judge from myself). In its current state, the first place to look for information, is the wiki - and that's heavily outdated with many information lacking, and other information being plainly wrong as outdated by months or years (e.g. alliances, number of dukes etc).

    I disagree that there needs to be more incentive in order to hit non-treasury players. There's ample enough reason - and if it's only to grab their ress and put it them to "better" use.

    As to "Increase the reward for high-risk aggression and speed the recovery of costly losses": that's a difficult one to tackle. Yet the fundamental issue here is: the game scales linearly in almost anything:
    * have twice the ress, and you can support and build twice the troups at ~twice the speed
    * the same goes with villages
    * the same goes with time invested
    * it is also true for kingdoms as a whole: twice the governours, twice the treasures, and you grow twice as fast

    Thus the game basically makes it easy for those who have an early lead to keep it, if they keep and improve it, keeping the small ones small. Making the game more for accessible, you'll have to break this linear scalingng you find basically everywhere: make things more than linearliy expensive the more you have. Make building troups more expensive, the more you have (or maybe make them take longer to train, reasoning that it takes longer to find more people to recruit), make building in subsequent villages more expensive (more corruption in large accounts), make subsequent treasuries require more treasures than previous ones - so that the imbalance between small and big kingdoms doesn't grow that quickly and even establish by these means an effective upper bound which may be even lower than todays effective limit.

    An idea for giving incentive to more fighting: maybe give morale boosts to troops who survived a battle which wears off after ~3x travel time, and make that proportional to the ratio of enemy units to your units in the previous combat.

  • Critics
    The general idea of having short term servers with lots of action while demanding low dedication sounds great, but is pretty much impossible to achieve. Whenever you cut troop building- or traveltimes it demands more time online to stay safe or to stay on top if you want to win. With all kind of speical servers arising, night truce, dry servers etc etc they seem like attempts to get more players by making the game more casual(easier to manage). Making the game casual is causing the servers to be filled with massive number of players abandoning the server. People abandon the server in various reasons:

    1) joined to try a new strategy, didnt work out - quit
    2) Got rekt by other players and couldnt rebuild to match his expectations.
    3) ended up in very weak kingdom which had no influence in end game fights so the player had no motivation to keep on playing
    4) off player losing his massive hammer knowing he couldnt rebuild nearly as big and lost interest.
    5) etc etc etc

    If anything, the main goal should be to reduce the number of players giving up on servers as currently we have ~6k players creating accounts and 600-1k actually play it till end. Across all posts there have been some really good ideas, but instead of implementing them on another attempt on speical servers they should be reworked to improve the original Kingdoms game which is 1x 5,5 months. I would've quit long ago if i hadn't the community (meta) around me. I actually find it a great example how Jagex made a massive mistake by taking away PK'ing. People didnt leave because of not being able to PK, (which was possible, only differently) but because of Jagex taking away the reason which kept clans (metas) together. My point is, that whenever i sign in i want to have something to do. If it is taken away (lost army, lost village, fell behind due to lack of time) i will lose interest and that will most likely be the case with many players. Every player wants to feel impactful at every state of the server no matter if they are Kings, Dukes or Govs.

    To counter the negative effects i described above i'd like to state the general goal of my suggestions - being able to catch up at any point of the game. What i have in mind is that if i join the server at 4th month in current servers i would be useless governor to pretty much any kingdom. Being able to support ww with few k crop/troops is pretty much irrelevant to the outcome. I wouldnt be able to effectively attack or defend anyone, not even nearly being able to defend myself if i end up far from excisting kingdoms. It is obvious that it shouldnt be possible to reach top players after starting 4 months later, but it should be possible to reach a point where you could actually have some impact on the game. My initial thoughts would be to tie the available cp amount to server average. So when i start playing on 4th month i would already have CP slots available which boosts my developement decently. In addition, it sounds extreme, but whenever you fall below average population on the server you would be able to build 3x faster to gain up. In terms of balance it obviously needs some serious math behind it, but i hope you get the idea. Same idea could possibly be applied to troop numbers after reworking the troop management which is my next suggestion.

    As mentioned above, losing big hammer is one of the key factors which turn people inactive or to just play less actively maybe only producing def troops, but not participating in social or teamwork aspects of the game. To make rebuilding possible i suggest to add a new building. Lets call it "hospital" for now. It would allow players to revive/heal ~75% of army over some time, for example 4x faster than building troops with separate que + reduced cost. In that way people who have put in huge effort to build an army wont have to lose it entirely and then rebuild for a month or more before they can consider being useful. that would keep average army size bigger than in current servers. That would lead us to my next thought where people with smaller army than average would be able to build troops 3x faster to gain up on average. That effect would be separate from reviving so the effects don't overlap. Average army sizes would become bigger, but the resource system, mainly the lack of crop would keep the army sizes reasonable. It would allow superactive players to build several hammers if they want or people playing less casual can just build army in one village and still use it in mid game. I find it rather dull that some people spend 5,5 months just to play idle and build up a 250k WW hammer. Having more people with the issue of feeding hammers more often would lead to way more active attacking, as the consiquences wouldn't be too harsh.

    That leads me to my final thought about declaring a winner. In more depth about how VP's are gained. In addition to gaining VP's daily from active treasuries the idea of gaining VP's by destroying and cataing enemy villages would give a nice reason for attacking gov's more often. Same for conquering villages and killing troops. It obviously needs some balancing but the general idea is to give kingdoms various ways to gain VP's not just gathering treasures by building armies for months.

    All in all everything i described would keep the game on 1x speed and for 5,5 months but with way more action and things to do. All the ideas i discussed could work perfectly in 6week rounds too so getting to the main topic -

    6 week servers:
    only thing i would change is that WW's could be built as high as you get, but the game would still end in exactly 6 weeks. So the owner of highes level WW would just gain max bonus. And for the start of the server with 6c fully built CITY with 0 CP's. So there would still be race for the 15c, as you can focus on building troops or gathering res for celebs for fast CP's. Another thing i suggest is that Wall level would start with 0 to make attacking with smaller armies easier in the start.

    All the ideas are not only mine, i did read the previous posts and tried to gather the best + develop them further so i don't take credit for everything!

    I am very eager to keep developing the thoughs so i encourage discussion! Travian dev team is giving us, the players, unique opporitunity to speak out about making the game better for us, don't hesitate to bring in any ideas. Even if your idea seems silly, someone else might come up with something brilliant just because you said something silly.