King gone AWOL

  • Hi. I need some clarity on what will happen under the new union rules for kings.


    The situation is that shortly after our kingdom union our extremely active king suddenly went absent and all attempts to contact him through his other Travian server account and through Facebook have failed over the course of several weeks now. Leaving aside the worrying high probability that this implies something very significantly bad has happened to either him or someone very close to him it does give us some questions in the game.


    Previously if this had happened with a bit of jiggery pokery you could end up with a senior Duke taking up the mantle but I understand that in order to enforce commitment from kings and 'vice-kings' this is now impossible, why this should be necessary when it hasn't been previously is something of a mystery to me and it does seem a little unfair to be honest, after all the punishment for that failure in commitment falls not on the guilty party* but on those left behind, but it is what it is.
    (*and in this case we are as close to 100% certain as we can be that the "guilty party" is far from guilty but has in fact suffered some terrible misfortune).


    We can limp along in some fashion for the time being however at some point we understand that his sitter will be prevented from logging in on his account due to him not keeping his account active himself (when will this be?). Further once the sitter has not been able to log in for 7 days we're going to have a grey king and some time after that (how long in this circumstance?) our king will be automatically deleted from the server.


    At any point is there any action that we can take to mitigate the negative effects that this train of events will bring to us?


    The server is in it's 58th day and our kingdom is in the top 10 by victory points and fairly well placed territoriality for Wonder release.


    Thanks.

  • My thoughts are to soldier on and stall either for admin intervention/advice or in the event that he returns. If he was committed initially, there is a respectable probability that he will return once he has finished dealing with his strife. You have ample time to garner attention from the mods, like @Georgi , to figure out what references you can use to make Gant charts or a decision tree timeline, and a plan of attack for each of your possibilities.

  • Hey Tom,


    best wishes that your king is well and nothing terrible actually happened. =O


    That said, of course a unity is a commitment to play together for the rest of the round. And a commitment means that if a player quits - for whatever reason - everyone who commited on playing together will face the consequences (It's not really a 'punishment'). It's basically like a player dropping out of any multiplayer match with set teams - yep, that screws everyone else.


    You're basically just experiencing the one major drawback of a union. Yes, you get additional dukes, and it comes at a much higher dependency on the king(s). There's no free lunch here.


    Joining any king no matter if united or not is a risk, because if that king declares war on a larger kingdom, it's also your villages getting cata'd for his decisions. The whole group facing consequences for bad actions of their leader is what submitting to a king's rule entails. But you also share the good parts of it - if it works out. When playing on a team, you're commited to share consequences, for the better or worse. Thinking that this isn't fair, that the team should only share the good parts and when something goes awry there's suddenly only a single player 'guilty' and the others are 'victims' isn't really my idea of teamplay.


    So while I hope that the thing happening to you isn't a frequent event, it is an intended consequence.
    As for preparation, it's of course ideal if a group's leadership consists at least partly of real-world friends so that one can check up if another has gone missing.
    It's also ideal if the king has a dual (not just a sitter) so that the dual can resign in the name of the king and the vice-king can take over quickly.


    However, now that things have gone bad for you, the decision your kingdom now has to take is whether to soldier through it until your king's account is deleted for inactivity - then the vice will take over (we may change that in the future so that inactivity alone triggers an automatic switch, not just deletion, but as of now deletion is the criterion).


    The difficulties you are facing are also intended - great gaming entails overcoming difficult challenges, and surviving a very difficult situation such as the one you're facing and soldiering through it may not just make for an epic experience, but can also strengthen you as a team, because if you can survive this without your king, you're truly a team that doesn't unravel at any single point of failure, and doesn't consider itself as 'victims' of events or as 'punished', but as a team that can overcome any challenge.


    Consider it a new and unique challenge the game throws at you and either decide to take up on it... or restart the game. That's all the advice I can give.

  • @Wizzball,


    "It's basically like a player dropping out of any multiplayer match with set teams - yep, that screws everyone else."
    ... this is a very simplistic way of framing it. What I think people have problems with here is that:
    1. A game of Travian Kingdoms is 6 months.. not 30 minutes. To see taxes not be collected and the kings troops stand idle for months is something that destroys the loyalty to the Kingdom (and the loyalty towards the Vice-King indirectly).
    2. When this happens it forces the member's of the kingdoms to choose to screw over the Vice-king. Because when you will be one Active treasury village down for the reminder of the server, then your kingdom have a disadvantage for the reminder of the server which is irreversible.. independently how well you play.
    3. The main King can basically CHOOSE to go inactive, knowing that he have trapped the Vice king to do all the labour (or the other way around). Even worse, one king can actively plan to trap another king in a UNION.. the Vice-King cannot leave so the King can basically start to purposely sabotage things, knowing that the Vice-King is trapped.


    "You're basically just experiencing the one major drawback of a union. Yes, you get additional dukes, and it comes at a much higher dependency on the king(s). There's no free lunch here."
    ... the problem here is not that it makes the game harder. The problem is that Travian Kingdoms is a competitive game where everything about your kingdom is relative to other Kingdoms. It is the relative disadvantage your kingdom is facing to other kingdoms that is the problem. Not the challenge.


    "Joining any king no matter if united or not is a risk, because if that king declares war on a larger kingdom, it's also your villages getting cata'd for his decisions. The whole group facing consequences for bad actions of their leader is what submitting to a king's rule entails. "
    ... Again, I think what people have the largest problem with here is that the Vice-king is locked with the Kingdom, which forces the members to screw over the Vice-King as they leave their kingdom for another kingdom which have 2 active kings.


    "As for preparation, it's of course ideal if a group's leadership consists at least partly of real-world friends so that one can check up if another has gone missing."
    .. Yes, also the old system with only one King required you to be very careful in the selection of the king. However, the problem here is that now the correct way to play Travian Kingdoms under these rules is to from server start have a group of IRL friends create 2 kingdoms with the propose of making UNION between then after a while. Otherwise you cannot ensure that one of the kings goes inactive. So the task now for a IRL friends group is to select 2 trustworthy kings rather than 1 as it was in the old system.


    "The difficulties you are facing are also intended - great gaming entails overcoming difficult challenges, and surviving a very difficult situation"
    ... The objective of Travian Kingdoms is not to survive, it's a game of winning and dominance. Hence, the solution for the members are very simple .. ABANDON the kingdom and join a kingdom which do not have one less active treasury, and where taxes are being collected... and in the process screw over the Vice-King whom did nothing wrong.

    "Consider it a new and unique challenge the game throws at you and either decide to take up on it... or restart the game. That's all the advice I can give."
    ... Again, it's not a challenge... it is a irreversible disadvantage for for reminder of the server relative to other kingdoms. No matter how you tackle the challenging.. your kingdom will always be one active treasury down and taxes will not be collected. The dominant strategy for the members is to change kingdom and to leave the Vice-king in the cold.

    "Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all." ― Alexander the Great

  • I was undecided on this at the start of the thread, but the argument of Wizzball, as I think is shown by Scorox, is weak. It's not only that the second King is stuck with a lame duck, many of the governors will be severely hampered too and they probably had no say in the matter. That's just bad game design - punished for a decision that you didn't make. What this is really saying is that you can't just join a server and play (instead you need pre-arranged teams), because you could be screwed over and there's nothing you can do about it. Is this really a message you want to be sending players new to the game? The answer is obvious, if you want to actually persuade new players to stay...

  • Hi Wizzball


    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply.


    To summarize your response if I may, you contend that it is a deliberate part of the game design that an event external to the game that affects one person can provide negative consequences (not punishment) for maybe 60 people who have already committed at least 30 days (probably much longer) that will significantly disadvantage that group for the remainder of the game round perhaps months in time terms and that it was a conscious and deliberate design decision to ensure that there is no mechanism within the game by which that group can restore parity at any point during that time.


    You suggest that when this possibility was considered by the design team it was decided that this would enhance gameplay by providing a further challenge to those people.


    You contend that when players consider whether to enter into a union this possibility should be part of the consideration process because you honestly believe that under the new duke and vice king arrangements its a viable decision to NOT enter into a union.


    I too hope that this scenario doesn't repeat itself often before the design team recognize the errors in your thinking and change it.


    That notwithstanding could you let me know at what point the treasuries in the king's village will cease to be active? Is it when the king goes grey or do they remain active right up until the point of auto-deletion and further is the timing of that auto-deletion something that we can predict?


    Additional question:
    If we have reinforcements defending the king's treasury village at the point at which he is auto-deleted, do they simply get sent home or are they lost when it's removed from the map?

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Tom#EN(102): Additional question ().

  • I think that in order to discuss the problem of this system one must first realize two things.
    1. In any given server of Travian Kingdoms the objective is to win.
    2. In order to win players will have to make strategically sound decisions.


    Now, with that out of the way we can start to discuss the problems of the Union system.


    §1. First of, the union system FORCES you to union with another kingdom as King. It is not something you can choose. If you don't you cannot win as King.
    §2. Should one of the kings go inactive or in another way sabotage the Kingdoms progress the Governors dominant strategy is to leave the kingdom for another kingdom. This was the case before when you had only one king, but now the 2nd king will be left with a Kingdom with no members and will most likely need to delete from this server.
    §3. Before the Union update the most damage a spy could have in your Kingdom was to leak information to his friends in the enemy kingdom. Now however the best way you may use a spy is to have him as a King and simply let him start sabotage or go inactive once the union is performed. Basically the optimal strategy here is to ask a friend that do not really intend to play the server to start a kingdom and have him merge with a neighbouring enemy, and then go inactive.
    §4. Should one of the Kings be banned or deleted for cheating, then this will force the other king to quit the server as well (for the reason in §2).


    To summarize, the union update forces each king to make a gamble after 30 days. You have to make the union to be able to win.. but the outcome from this union is not up you or your members effort. The other king may be purposely offer or accept the union to sabotage, he may seek to free ride all the way to the end of the server, he may get banned for cheating, or he may simply loose interest in playing. In either of these cases the other king is forces to quit playing the server ... all because an unfavourable outcome in a gamble that he was forced to enter.


    EDIT: I expect the term "sabotage" kingdom will come up as a common term soon due to the weaknesses of the system. basically meaning: A kingdom one of your friends create to sabotage for a neighbouring enemy kingdom.

    "Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all." ― Alexander the Great

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Scorox ().

  • Tom,


    - your king will become inactive (grey) after 7 days of inactivity
    - his treasuries won't be deactivated(!)
    - he will then be deleted precisely 21 days after going inactive (7 days on x3 speedservers)
    - upon deletion, all foreign troops at your king's village will be sent back to their origins
    - upon deletion, everything your king owns just vanishes. That includes all treasures in his villages(!)


    - while the king is gone, your vice-king can collect most of the tributes.
    - for villages where this doesn't work, you can organize friendly raids (your teammate empties his resource store and sends his troops nearby, and another member raids the village, to empty the tribute & treasure store).
    - similarly, you should work to get enough treasure capacity in your kingdom's other villages and then friendly-raid the treasures from the king's treasuries so that all the treasures remain in the kingdom.


    - upon deletion, your vice-king will become king (This is something we should probably change to the point where the king becomes inactive in the future...).
    - For the rest of the round, you lack one treasury slot compared to the other kingdoms (the free one for the king) - your newly coronated king can then redistribute the other 'earned' treasury slots.


    It'd basically be like a miniature 30-day-civil-war caused by the departure of one of your king. Yes, it does set your team back, but so would any war caused by another player. The one missing treasury slot for the remainder of the game should be negligible considering you can build many treasuries in one village and when you're top ten, you should have a lot of additional slots earned.


    That said, I never said anywhere that I'd "honestly believe that under the new duke and vice king arrangements its a viable decision to NOT enter into a union.". (Please quote where I did). None of my comments hint at that, and of course they won't make sense if you read that into it. Also, what you considers viable or not depends on your goals on a world.


    I understand that you're frustrated, but the rules as they are do have a sense, and they're pretty standard for competitive games, no matter the length. All I can tell you is that your situation is unfortunate, but there's no error in the rules.


    In our table tennis team, the captain was absent once and his replacement didn't know how to properly fill out the game report form due to lack of instructions. Having entered the players in a slightly wrong order, the whole competition including all matches - which we had won - counted for the opponent as if we had not scored any single point, as per the league's rules. And this is enforced even if the other team doesn't even complain.
    And of course that will screw up our team's chances to win the league before the season ends - which is a year long, as in most sports.


    Noone likes when that happens, but the rules still exist for good reasons. :P

  • I think that in order to discuss the problem of this system one must first realize two things.
    1. In any given server of Travian Kingdoms the objective is to win.
    2. In order to win players will have to make strategically sound decisions.

    1. Disagreed or 'depends': A newbie in a game gets vastly different objectives than a veteran. You need to fulfill a lot of prerequisite objectives before you can tackle the main objective. Each one provides a challenge and thereby risk to fail.
    You may have to play multiple servers to build up resources (friends) to be able to overcome all objectives and win on a given server. So for the first few worlds any player is playing, it is unrealistic to expect to win right away - they must play to achieve sub-objectives first.
    Think of Kingdoms as a roguelike - the objective is more like getting a little further each time you try and be stronger on the next server, rather than winning.
    1.b) One of these sub-objectives is to 'find and join a reliable team'. You factually can't win the game without joining a kingdom, so 'join a kingdom' is a hard prerequisite to winning the game. A team is something you can take with you to the next server and thereby start stronger with more resources to overcome challenges.


    2. "Depends". You'll have to get through a lot of dice rolls and retrys to have a realistic shot to win the game. For example, at the start of any server, you're positioned at a random point on the map. You can be placed next to a premade meta which just farms you immediately, you can be placed amid a lot of inactives producing no resources,, or next to a bunch of nice veterans who wanna team up with you and a lot of simmers producing a ton of resources and who don't mind getting farmed by you. The player in the first situation will be way more challenged than the latter (and there may even be no strategy whatsoever to get out of it), and that due to a random dice throw. Right at the start of the game - and this doesn't exactly get better later.
    This is due to the game being multiplayer - the other players aren't agents within our software, we can't control them. so the more a game relies on human actors - and Kingdoms has almost exclusively human actors - a single player is depending on the behavior and strategy of others, and his own strategies and behavior may or may not influence that.
    2.b) Strategically sound decisiontaking doesn't imply or equal perfectly informed decisiontaking. Deliberate imperfect information mechanics are a core part of strategy games (fog of war, etc. No plan survives contact with the enemy - because what the enemy will actually do is rarely known), but that you can find strategies to mitigate the risks. For example, people can improve their chances of a successful start on a server by coordinating with friends and joining the same quadrant. The decision to join up with friends as premade team is a strategy that greatly increases their chances of being in a good spot when the map is revealed and they make contact with the enemy. Asking a friend who doesn't play the world or who plays and has already joined where other powerful premades are to avoid choosing that quadrant to avoid having a strong early game competitor right next to you is is even more sound decisiontaking, as it also increases your changes. (You basically scout the map and remove the fog of war before you take your decision where to spawn - sounds smart.)
    2.c) Strategically sound decisiontaking as described above requires resources. Choice is a luxury you must be able to afford. Without resources, you don't have options to choose from. To influence the first dice roll of the game already requires having friends. That means when you're first joining the game and have no friends in the game, you must roll the dice and, if you survive, make it your first objective to get friends, to be able to start the next server with a full friendslist and to influence the first diceroll to be able to keep up with all the other premades doing the same. Since friends are the only thing you can take with you between worlds, and all the hardest challenges the game throws at you require you having built up the vital resource 'friends', building up this resource is the most important thing you need to get to the main objective of winning. People who've built up more friends than you can start any server with a huge advantage over you.



    §1. First of, the union system FORCES you to union with another kingdom as King. It is not something you can choose. If you don't you cannot win as King.

    So does the kingdoms system. You can't even get victory points without joining a kingdom, so the kingdoms system FORCES you to join a kingdom as player. Capitalizing and writing it bold doesn't make it a problem.
    As I said, it's a challenge the game throws at you, not an option. You need to overcome challenges to win. That's gaming?
    The union system is a second stage of the kingdoms system, an additional tier of the absolutely non-optional "you must team up to win" challenge, but for the kings, because the king role is meant for veteran players who get another tier of the same challenge thrown at them, with higher stakes.


    As explained above, once you recognize the roguelike elements and that there is a resource you can take with you between servers (friends) which makes subsequent plays massively easier, it may not always be the strategically sound decision to play every single server to win, but rather build your friends-resource to start the next server more powerful. But unions may even help with that.


    §2. Should one of the kings go inactive or in another way sabotage the Kingdoms progress the Governors dominant strategy is to leave the kingdom for another kingdom. This was the case before when you had only one king, but now the 2nd king will be left with a Kingdom with no members and will most likely need to delete from this server.

    Would you form a kingdom next server with a team which leaves the kingdom at the first diffculty? I won't make players dukes of which I think they may betray the kingdom at the first offer of a kingdom that may have a better shot at winning instead of fighting harder - I'd make them my farms next server. All these players will not get a list of reliable friends out of the action to start the next server way more powerful, which means their development in the game as whole will stagnate compared to those who try to use the challenge to weed out who are loyal to the team and who not, and make friends with the reliable people. That's not what I'd call a dominant strategy. :P
    The vice-king has failed his additional challenge of teaming up with a reliable partner, but gained a lot of vital information which may help him next round. He also still has the option of gathering resouces for next round - writing other kings who are left alone and asking whether to team up next game, and such. Gathering possibly more reliable friends.


    §3. Before the Union update the most damage a spy could have in your Kingdom was to leak information to his friends in the enemy kingdom. Now however the best way you may use a spy is to have him as a King and simply let him start sabotage or go inactive once the union is performed. Basically the optimal
    strategy here is to ask a friend that do not really intend to play the server to start a kingdom and have him merge with a neighbouring enemy, and then go inactive.

    No, the most damage a spy could do in your kingdom would be to actually become the king when the prior king wants to stop playing, or worse: become the king's dual and then kick everyone and dissolve the kingdom.


    Okay, let's analyze your optimal strategy:
    - Prerequisite is to find a friend who really doesn't want to be playing to groom up a kingdom and handle members and survive and accumulate enough power to be an attractive union partner for 30 days. That sounds like a lot of playing and effort to throw away for someone who doesn't really want to play a server! (the 30-day-rule exists for this exact reason...)


    Okay, but let's assume you have a friend who is for some reason volunteering to build up a kingdom for 30 days and then throw it away:
    So, after 30 days, you have three active kingdoms: Your kingdom, your enemy's kingdom, and your friend's kingdom. You 'control' 2 out of these kingdoms. What could you do?


    1. You could friendly-treasure transfer the treasures of your friends kingdom to yours, and then take over him and his his members into your kingdom, while allowing you to farm his villages because he's going inactive. You've suddenly become twice as powerful and can take the enemy kingdom by war..
    2. If you don't want your friend's members, you could attack your enemy together with your friend's kingdom - telling his members that the attack will be coordinated, but you orchestrate it so that they just weaken your enemy's defenses and take all the losses. Then your friend kicks all his members and dissolves the kingdom, and then your kingdom swoop up both your friend's and the enemy kingdom in their weakened state and have a lot of farms and treasures, but less members and more foes than with option 1.
    3. Or you could have your friend unite with your enemy and then go inactive. Your enemy will get 2 extra dukes, 2 extra treasury slots (instead of 3, due to your friend's inactivity), the treasures of your friends' kingdom and all the members and their armies, without suffering any damage. So, your enemy now being twice as powerful, can overrun you with all his new non-spy members and make you his farm.


    Why on earth is 3 the optimal strategy? I wouldn't call that sabotage... i'd call that suicidally feeding your enemies. And 1 and 2 are done by metas already all the time, independent of unions that's why they're so powerful. :P




    Yes, lesson is: Don't team up with cheaters, or people who can't behave, or freeriders, and don't make people who can't commit to play a round the team captains. There are many tales how kingdoms were screwed by leaders who gone inactive without telling anyone, or kings who betrayed their kingdom, waay before the unions feature, and unions at least give governors a signal that these two players intend to commit to and stick with with the kingdom, back each other up and play to win, and suffer consequences if they don't, which is much more security than we had before.


    And if you have friends who create kingdoms on the same server as you, then playing as a meta and ganing up against your enemies is way more powerful than having your freinds work to shove more members towards your enemies somehow (example above), and meta-ing was powerful before unions as well, because having more friends that start the server with you is the dominant strategy in this game and a prerequisite for winning, and was so before unions. :P

  • You don't have to play to win the server, but if you are trying to win the server - in a competitive enough environment, which TK really isn't, but let's pretend it is - your decisions better be sound. It's always possible, and happens quite often in fact, that you accidentally or randomly win the server even though you made less sound decisions than your opponents, but your chances in the above environment will usually increase if they are. There's a reason the alliances I've helped lead, and alliances that make decisions like my alliance does, either win servers or are good contenders. Simply put, the effectiveness of your decisions increases if your decisions are sound. This holds both for individual players as well as teams. Saying that isn't the case is madness and demonstrably false (even a paradox, since it would be sound to make unsound decisions??).


    With that out of the way, I think Thorsson has the right of it. The most important part of the current discussion isn't about having other goals than winning the server, starting conditions, expecting to win immediately as a new player, being able to influence each person's strategies on the server, etc. Those things are mostly irrelevant because they are already implied. You have an alliance consisting of a kingdom that went through a union. Let's assume they want to win or at least get close to winning the server. Let's assume their starting conditions no longer matter that much because they've passed the start and are still playing. Let's assume they're not new players and would like to keep building their alliance if possible. Let's assume this alliance and other alliance has more-or-less equal influence on any other kingdom's condition for now (although I really don't see how this is relevant here).


    The king, say a previously trusted, high quality player, of the unified kingdom is gone. He doesn't come back. What can/will/should the governors there do in that situation, given the fact that they in principle want to win and assuming an actually competitive game? In the old versions you would just create a new alliance with different leadership. Here, you have basically have three options:


    1. Join an alliance that you probably have no shared history with. Not likely to be geographically wise at this stage of the game. Probably not fun. You might 'win', I guess, if you feel that counts.
    2. Stay in the current, broken kingdom and likely lose, like Scorox states.
    3. Create a new kingdom with new kings . You'll be vastly behind.


    3 might be your best bet, but it's hugely disadvantageous to a group of people that couldn't have made a better choice regarding their king with the information they had. Wouldn't it be much better for their gameplay, and therefore for player retention, to have e.g. a voting mechanism at least in the case that their kings go inactive?

  • Are the developers trying to put off new players? Seems a strange strategy for any games developers- they ought to be encouraging newer players into the game. It is a lottery where you originally settle and who is king around you. I have played through a round where the king went inactive and it is not good but at least eventually the first duke became king but we were really struggling for weeks- if there had been no prospect of a new king being appointed eventually then most of the kingdom would have given up especially since the rule of 50 meant that most players would be stuck kingdomless.


    Reading through all the above it seems to me that the developers have just simply made a mistake- obviously if a king becomes inactive then the vice king should become king and able to appoint a co-king or at least another duke to make up for the loss - nobody knows when they play a game where they will be situated and so they get the kings available around them- also to assume you can only merge in union with people who you know are not cheaters/misbehavers/inactives or real people in real life who have emergencies that do not allow them to continue playing is not a realistic possibility. I find it diffciult to believe that any games designer would say that yet the previous reply did just that.


    The team/kingdom should not be permanently disadvantaged/penalised for the rest of the round because one player who happens to be king goes missing for whatever reason. The team is disadvantaged enough by the lack of an active king for 21 days anyway but for the rest of the round- NOT SENSIBLE OR FAIR.


    To suggest as a strategy that all the other dukes should leave and let the vice king be the only one left in a kingdom so has to give up the game is also ridiculous and grossly unfair. A game should have difficulties that need to be overcome but the loss of one of the key players especially when treasuries now require 10k treasures so the loss of one slot permanently plus also any normal growth slots is too large a disadvantage for any kingdom. I suggest that there is an immediate rethink on this misguided and totally unfair rule.

  • 1. Disagreed or 'depends': A newbie in a game gets vastly different objectives than a veteran. You need to fulfill a lot of prerequisite objectives before you can tackle the main objective. Each one provides a challenge and thereby risk to fail. You may have to play multiple servers to build up resources (friends) to be able to overcome all objectives and win on a given server. So for the first few worlds any player is playing, it is unrealistic to expect to win right away - they must play to achieve sub-objectives first.Think of Kingdoms as a roguelike - the objective is more like getting a little further each time you try and be stronger on the next server, rather than winning.

    I think you misunderstood me here. I did not mean that every player who jumps into a server realistically expect to win, but his dream, wishes and hopes are to be part of the winning team of the server. This wish to win and not to be defeated is the motivation for hours and gold spent.



    1.b) One of these sub-objectives is to 'find and join a reliable team'. You factually can't win the game without joining a kingdom, so 'join a kingdom' is a hard prerequisite to winning the game. A team is something you can take with you to the next server and thereby start stronger with more resources to overcome challenges.

    I agree that trying to find a team to join for future servers is a good side objective, but only for some people. Not everyone are able to join in at the next server which the team of this kingdom plans to join. I'm running a premade team and we organize our selves in Discord, and trust me.. it is not that easy to find players that are willing to join this group... even if we totally dominated our last server. And I can imagine it will even be harder for teams that got crushed by us... I mean, who would like to follow them again? And not only that.. pre-made teams are also picky. They usually only invite the skilled part of the players of the previous server, leaving the new and unskilled players to start without a pre-made team.




    2. "Depends". You'll have to get through a lot of dice rolls and retrys to have a realistic shot to win the game. For example, at the start of any server, you're positioned at a random point on the map. You can be placed next to a premade meta which just farms you immediately, you can be placed amid a lot of inactives producing no resources,, or next to a bunch of nice veterans who wanna team up with you and a lot of simmers producing a ton of resources and who don't mind getting farmed by you. The player in the first situation will be way more challenged than the latter (and there may even be no strategy whatsoever to get out of it), and that due to a random dice throw. Right at the start of the game - and this doesn't exactly get better later.
    This is due to the game being multiplayer - the other players aren't agents within our software, we can't control them. so the more a game relies on human actors - and Kingdoms has almost exclusively human actors - a single player is depending on the behavior and strategy of others, and his own strategies and behavior may or may not influence that.

    I did not mean to say that sound decision making can mitigate all the randomness. But it cannot be disputed that sound decision making is a practice you must follow to maximize your chances to win.



    2.b) Strategically sound decisiontaking doesn't imply or equal perfectly informed decisiontaking. Deliberate imperfect information mechanics are a core part of strategy games (fog of war, etc. No plan survives contact with the enemy - because what the enemy will actually do is rarely known), but that you can find strategies to mitigate the risks. For example, people can improve their chances of a successful start on a server by coordinating with friends and joining the same quadrant. The decision to join up with friends as premade team is a strategy that greatly increases their chances of being in a good spot when the map is revealed and they make contact with the enemy. Asking a friend who doesn't play the world or who plays and has already joined where other powerful premades are to avoid choosing that quadrant to avoid having a strong early game competitor right next to you is is even more sound decisiontaking, as it also increases your changes. (You basically scout the map and remove the fog of war before you take your decision where to spawn - sounds smart.)

    As I said above I did not mean to say that sound decision making can mitigate all the randomness. I do agree that starting a server with pre-mades can absolutely increase the chances of winning, but as I described above, not everyone can join a premade team and not everyone will be invited to a good premade team. For this reason I find it puzzling that the design of the game somehow would be built around such philosophy. The wast majority of players will start the server without a large enough or experienced enough pre-made team to win.. new players will come, and old ones will leave. Hance, the majority of the players will be left to their own capability of sound decision making as their predominant tool to be on the winning team... either by helping the kingdom they happen to start close to, or to decide it's better to move another kingdom.



    2.c) Strategically sound decisiontaking as described above requires resources. Choice is a luxury you must be able to afford. Without resources, you don't have options to choose from. To influence the first dice roll of the game already requires having friends. That means when you're first joining the game and have no friends in the game, you must roll the dice and, if you survive, make it your first objective to get friends, to be able to start the next server with a full friendslist and to influence the first diceroll to be able to keep up with all the other premades doing the same. Since friends are the only thing you can take with you between worlds, and all the hardest challenges the game throws at you require you having built up the vital resource 'friends', building up this resource is the most important thing you need to get to the main objective of winning. People who've built up more friends than you can start any server with a huge advantage over you.

    I already voiced my criticism against designing a game around this principle. But just to add to my credibility I want to say that I'm part of a pre-made team that have won may servers, plus I have my own premade team in discord consisting of about 30 members. And I still do not agree with your argument because of the reasons I mentioned above.. especially due to that the good pre-made teams do exclude the new and unskilled players. Furthermore I might add that even in the large pre-made team which have won many servers there are frequently problems with Kings and Dukes going inactive. So it does not in anyway ensures against the problem in question.




    So does the kingdoms system. You can't even get victory points without joining a kingdom, so the kingdoms system FORCES you to join a kingdom as player. Capitalizing and writing it bold doesn't make it a problem.As I said, it's a challenge the game throws at you, not an option. You need to overcome challenges to win. That's gaming?
    The union system is a second stage of the kingdoms system, an additional tier of the absolutely non-optional "you must team up to win" challenge, but for the kings, because the king role is meant for veteran players who get another tier of the same challenge thrown at them, with higher stakes. As explained above, once you recognize the roguelike elements and that there is a resource you can take with you between servers (friends) which makes subsequent plays massively easier, it may not always be the strategically sound decision to play every single server to win, but rather build your friends-resource to start the next server more powerful. But unions may even help with that.

    I'm puzzled by your response. What you mean by "So does the kingdoms system"?. The Kingdom system did not even have the union option. What I said was "the union system FORCES you to union with another kingdom as King." ... maybe me using bold had the opposite effect of trying to highlight the importance of my statement. And I did not mean that finding a good kingdom to make a union with was a challenge.. the point being was that the Union System forces to as king to find another Kingdom to make a Union with ... and the problem of this is something I map out later in my post. And again, the pre-made response to the problems of the system I do hold i my opinion as I decried above.




    Would you form a kingdom next server with a team which leaves the kingdom at the first diffculty? I won't make players dukes of which I think they may betray the kingdom at the first offer of a kingdom that may have a better shot at winning instead of fighting harder - I'd make them my farms next server. All these players will not get a list of reliable friends out of the action to start the next server way more powerful, which means their development in the game as whole will stagnate compared to those who try to use the challenge to weed out who are loyal to the team and who not, and make friends with the reliable people. That's not what I'd call a dominant strategy. :P The vice-king has failed his additional challenge of teaming up with a reliable partner, but gained a lot of vital information which may help him next round. He also still has the option of gathering resouces for next round - writing other kings who are left alone and asking whether to team up next game, and such. Gathering possibly more reliable friends.

    So on COM5 where we do have this problem we have had talks with the Vice king if it was ok for all members leave. And it was no drama about it. We cannot win win our King inactive.. and every governor and duke agreed. The Vice king was not in any way angry on us, just super mad at the King that tricked him to make the Union with him and then went inactive. It's not like it is a few members in the kingdom that want to leave, everyone want to... and the only one that will be on anyone's farm list is the King that want inactive. And the reason that everyone agreed on leaving the Kingdom is not because they are afraid of challenges.. it's was because there are 0 probability of winning with an inactive king. And as for the side mission of making pre-made team the situation is that we where already a premade team, and who knows, after joining another kingdom we may even have more friends to join next server. SO yes.. the dominant strategy is to abandon the Vice king and leave.



    To your first point about having your spy becoming King later. This is risky and requires far more work than simply start as king. For this to work the King first of all need to go inactive, and then you need to be the most prominent member of this kingdom to be elected King. If you simply start as King then you just need 30 days of half decent activity to keep your members hopes up. For your analysis.. first of all you don't even need your friend to play for 30 days.. you just need him to start the server and make him your sitter.. and then you control 2 kingdoms. As for your 3 strategies neither of them reflect what I had in mind. This is how you do.


    1. Make a friend start the server as King and make him your sitter.. grow your kingdom as much as you have time with.
    2. Merge with an enemy kingdom with the King your friend started. On your main account you merge with your premades kingdom (the 3rd kingdom).
    3. Get sitter access to the other King in the enemy kingdom if possible.
    4. Use your kingship in the enemy kingdom to send away def as you attack the enemy kingdom so that you can take all their treasuries (or most of them).
    5. Start to kick members in the enemy kingdom for and give stupid reasons to why.. demoralize them.
    6. Go inactive.
    7. Speak to the members of the enemy kingdom using your main kingdom and invite them you yours.. and thus you now control members from 4 kingdoms and the king of the enemy kingdoms will have to delete.



    Yes, lesson is: Don't team up with cheaters, or people who can't behave, or freeriders, and don't make people who can't commit to play a round the team captains. There are many tales how kingdoms were screwed by leaders who gone inactive without telling anyone, or kings who betrayed their kingdom, waay before the unions feature, and unions at least give governors a signal that these two players intend to commit to and stick with with the kingdom, back each other up and play to win, and suffer consequences if they don't, which is much more security than we had before.


    And if you have friends who create kingdoms on the same server as you, then playing as a meta and ganing up against your enemies is way more powerful than having your freinds work to shove more members towards your enemies somehow (example above), and meta-ing was powerful before unions as well, because having more friends that start the server with you is the dominant strategy in this game and a prerequisite for winning, and was so before unions. :P

    First of all, you do not know if the people you team up with are cheaters of if they will commit for a full server surely. Secondly, again the premade argument I do not agree with as I gave reason to above. However you are right about that there have been kings that have screwed their kingdoms before the Union system ... but this is not an argument to why Kings should not be able to be replaced... rather it is an argument for that it should be possible. Actually, as I pointed out, the Union system make such situations even worse ... since in the old system the Governors could just join another kingdom if that happen, but under the Union system they will have to ditch the Vice King when doing so. To stick around when one of the Kings screw the kingdom (like in the strategy I described above) is just crazy. Furthermore, should you against all odds win while having a king that continuously sabotage your progress, then you also give this King the win... and who in their right mind want to do that? No, you leave the Kingdom so that sabotage King do not get a free win.

    "Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all." ― Alexander the Great

  • Quote

    upon deletion, your vice-king will become king (This is something we should probably change to the point where the king becomes inactive in the future...).


    Totally agree! Now it's just too long and the damage is too big. Several very important features are disables for vice-kings which make the inactivity of a union king even more painful:


    Vice kings can't:
    - change internal and external profile page of the kingdom
    - change diplomatics (send NAPs etc)
    - appoint additional treasury slots to others (very very very painful if you can't use additional treasury slots during 28 days minimum)



    The above might be intentional but they're also other "mistakes":
    - Vice King's embassy says "You currently are a governor in X's kingdom."
    - Vice kings can't collect tributes in the app

  • All very valid points, and important points at that which are not even communicated or described *anywhere*. Having the fate of possibly dozens of players unconditionally depend on the woes of one or two players - that's not a good choice, I think.

  • It might actually be interesting to consider having a voting mechanism anyway, at all times, so that governors can vote their kings out - stage a coup/revolution, say - when they feel their kings are in need of decapitation or are otherwise not fit for the job. In non-premade teams this would give kings an incentive to actually care about keeping his governors happy (through morale, not resources) and it gives governors some power over their fates. Maybe the process should take a week normally, and 3 days specifically when a king is inactive. Of course there should be consequences for the kingdom if they decide to go through with the process...