Problems with vacation mode

  • Hello everyone,

    I have seen several threads on this topic, and i have decided to make my own.

    Since vacation mode has been introduced, i have seen a very few legitimate use cases for it. On the contrary i have soon a lot of ways, that misuse feature intended to protect player in case he is absent for a substantial amount of time, without a sitter. I will list some of these misuses, that i have encountered during my time playing, and then my suggestions for preventing them.

    • Player enters vacation after he got raided.

      • This is in my opinion one of my biggest issues with the current system. Currently, player can enter vacation mode (with 48h delay) even while being raided, he can then use NPC traded crop to build up infrastructure (walls, granaries, queue traps, troops etc.),. Also, he can just start 14 day vacation and stop playing, or even delete his account. This way, attacker has no way of getting resources spent on training troops back.
      • My proposed solution would be to disallow players to enter vacation mode, if there was a recent attack on their village. They would not be able to enter vacation mode, if they were attacked in last (for example) 24 hours. Also, forbid construction of buildings during vacation (why is this even allowed? Isn´t the purpose of vacation mode to help players that for some reason are not able to login to their account??).
    • King/Duke enters vacation while having treasury active.

      • This is also a very important issue. Kings or dukes should not be allowed to enter vacation mode, while they have treasury active. First and simple reason, as an opposing player, you should always be able to attack and destroy enemy´s treasuries. I have also noticed some dirty plays. As a king, you can let your governor build WW. 10 days before reaching lvl 100 on the WW, both kings and dukes can enter vacation mode, and all the defense can be transferred to WW, since there is no risk in loosing treasures.
      • The solution is pretty easy, when you are playing as a king or duke you are committing to playing actively, and you should not have an option to enter vacation mode.
    • Player developing second village (MC15) on vacation mode.

      • As a player, i rush MC15 as a second village, and focus on building croplands with the help of NPC trader, without the risk of being attacked by another player. After 14 days, you have a nicely build capital village with lvl 12-13 croplands (if you are skilled) without any risk of getting attacked in the process.
      • Solution is pretty easy, just don´t allow construction (or even crop production) in vacation mode.
    • Player being able to start account deletion on vacation mode.

      • As a player, i got all my defenses destroyed and i am getting raided constantly. I start a vacation mode, and then delete my account. As a consequence, the raider only gets to farm me 2 days instead of 3.
      • Again, pretty easy solution, do not allow players to delete their account, while they are in vacation mode.

    In my opinion, real time multiplayer games and vacation modes don´t go together. Imagine you are playing FPS shooter, and you run out of ammo, you cannot just hit pause, and wait for your opponent to get tired of waiting. This also applies to travian. For years, whenever player was not able for some reason to play for a couple of days, he would just get a sitter, and in the most cases, it worked fine. Even now, with the vacation mode, everyone would rather get a sitter, then to start vacation mode. Most of the vacation mode usage is being used for some of the "tricks" above.

    Please, share your experiences with misusing vacation mode, to show game designers, that this is no way to go.

    Regards Turbo.

  • I regret that I only have 1 like to give to this post, I couldn't agree more with what you have posted.

    In particular I think the following needs to be done urgently if vacation mode is still to be allowed as an option

    1. Any attacks that are incoming before vacation mode commences should land and be counted as normal. It's up the the player going on vacation to leave enough defence for the attacks they can already see are inbound before going on vacation. Players should continue to be able to launch attacks during the countdown period also.

    2. Players should not be allowed to log into their account during vacation mode. If a player logs in during vacation mode then the vacation should be cancelled and the countdown start again.

    3. Kings and dukes shouldn't be allowed to enter vacation mode. If they want to they can abdicate and shut down their treasuries

    4. Everything should be frozen during vacation mode (and imho for 12-24 hours after returning). Your account should be in the exact position it was in when entering vacation mode (except for the passage of time) and when leaving vacation mode.

    5. I also think that once a Kingdom has either started building a WW, or the WW has reached a certain level vacation mode should be disabled completely.

    I think the game could survive without vacation mode, but can also see the advantage of having it for a game that can last 6 months plus. I certainly found it useful in the older versions of Travian when games could last for ages and ages.

    I also think that as a matter of some urgency Multihunter should start auditing any and every account that goes into vacation mode and completely banning any player found to be abusing the current system.

  • The point about not being able to login and do things is a big one.

    Hang on, I thought you were on vacation?? Why are you rebuilding all your walls that were destroyed 48 hours ago and preparing defense??

    Big tick for dukes/kings being disallowed this feature. It is a commitment to hold a treasury and is a key part of the game so should never be invulnerable (this goes for "banning" too).

  • I'm about to go on holiday to the North Devon coast, a bit of beach cricket with my son, a bit of body surfing with my daughter that kind of thing. I have no interest in taking a mobile device down to the beach and I will likely be there for hours on end. In addition, when I'm not on the beach, those of you who understand the infrastructure on the peripheries of the UK will appreciate that there is no certainty other than that on occasion I will be unable to connect to the world outside the coastal village I shall be staying in.
    The server I am currently playing is not particularly engaging having been dominated throughout by two kingdoms that are on friendly terms with each other and who between them now have the 6 leading wonders the highest of which is in the mid eighties.
    I am a small king of one of the smaller kingdoms but I'm a top 10 defender on the server despite being in the 180's for population and wish to try to finish as high as I can on that rating so am not ready to quit.
    However my sitter has really had enough of what has been a pretty dull experience for her (for which I bear some responsibility as her king but I don't think there was much I could do in the grand scheme of things) she will likely have quit by the time I get back from Devon.
    I will be using the vacation function it's by far the best option for me in my circumstance.
    I would like to be able to continue rebuilding my walls and treasuries while I'm away if I am able to get the occasional successful log in in the evenings.
    I would not like to be open to attack during the 12-16 hour days out and about that I will have during the vacation, my kingdom has recently been pestered regularly by treasure hunting attacks launched by players from one of the leading kingdoms who are 8 hours away. We killed one of them yesterday but two others are still active.
    If I start the vacation countdown now and one of those attacks is launched in 42 hours time I would like it to be prevented. However if one is launched tomorrow I'd like to be free to deploy my troops to defend either myself or my Dukes before I go.
    The vacation function works exactly the way I need it to (although I'd rather the timer was 24 not 48 hours if I had the choice) and I consider it perfectly reasonable and fair for me to use it the way I intend to.

  • Nice, you totally ruined your kingdom. Will you even have a player left on your return? How many gold users will be dissatisfied with players doing what you are doing?

    Kings need to be available and that is something you should have taken into consideration when joining a server. Have any idea how poor this is for your team?

    To enter any sort of vacation mode you should abdicate first and allow someone active to take the reins.

    Pandering to players like spinix is why we are in this mess in the first place.

  • I dunno, at least I have seen more legit uses of vacation mode than clear abuse tho there have been some border line cases. I don't think the feature is bad but the rules could use some tuning. I kinda like the suggestion of disabling delete while on vacation to ensure that if you bust up a player there is always that 3 day period when you can reap the rewards.
    I think the only player who shouldn't have access to vacation mode is the wonder holder.

  • Thank you for expressing you view.

    You will note that under the rule changes that came in with kingdom unions kings have no option to abdicate although I'm sure you will appreciate that I see no obligation to do so in my circumstance.

    I appreciate that you're not here so you don't know but to give you further context.....
    I started the server a month after it started with the intention only of looking at the mechanics of the king role. When people joined me, which was only by accident of geography only (I made no recruitment efforts at all), I made this clear and advised that not only was it unrealistic to attempt it when there were already clear contenders with large, strong pre-formed kingdom groups but that I had absolutely no intentions of attempting to be a major power on the server.
    No player that joined the kingdom expressed any desire to alter our stance.
    I negotiated an alliance with another smaller kingdom with a very aggressive attitude to allow those who wished to to join co-ordinated attacks to have a crack since I had no offence capability and no-one else in the kingdom had the activity levels required to act as offence co-ordinator.
    That allied kingdom fell by the wayside to retaliatory attacks and when the Wonders got released I brokered a deal with the king of the leading kingdom to allow any of my players who wished to, to join his kingdom. The numbers at that time were something like 95 in his kingdom and 12 in mine, they had over 8 million vp's, we had 300k or so.
    I have been by some way the most active player in the kingdom and, I think, the only gold buyer (certainly the 2 Dukes I sit for do not use gold and they are among the other higher activity players).
    It cannot be known but I suspect that had I played the server with more ambition then most of the few players I had in the kingdom would have seen a little more action but over a shorter period and would have been destroyed by one of the major powers and would have quit well before now.
    The server is now to all intents and purposes over.
    I'm now going on holiday with my family and my conscience is entirely clear.
    Not activating vacation mode would, in all probability, be more damaging to my kingdom (given that clearly I'm not going to tell my kids to go play on the beach on their own because Daddy's too busy playing a persistent universe online multi-player game and the dozen people he met up with online over the past few months are more important to me than you are).

    What I would say is that if I were the only active leader in a kingdom that was in with a real chance of competing for victory or some other rewarding endgame goal then the decision would not be so easy, however it is highly unlikely that a kingdom without a strong leadership team of at least 4 or 5 players would be in such a position and again I would be comfortable in leaving them to get on with it.. I have twice in only two previous kingdoms servers I have played, had the misfortune of playing under kings that went awol (in the second case completely, never heard of again, within a week of union). The leadership team that I was part of in each case was frustrated with the situation and it certainly held us back but in the first case we won the server despite the king's lack of contribution because of the strength of the team and in the second we managed a creditable performance despite having no king at all for months. The absence of a single member in a game such as this even if the king is not the determining factor for "ruining the kingdom" especially not if it's for a week on the beach.

    The approach you bring to the game is not the same as many, there are plenty with a far more casual attitude then that which you display.
    "Pandering to players like spinix is why we are in this mess in the first place." - really? I think you're overplaying your cards here. It's not a "mess". You are occasionally getting frustrated in having farms closed off from you or targets hiding away before you finish them off, is that really game breaking for you? Annoying yes but seriously hampering your progress in the game? I very much doubt it. And really it's not pandering to enable someone to take a break from a game that takes months to complete when it's necessary.

  • @spinix I was using you more of as an example of a more common issue (even though you have done everything you can to ensure that this doesn't affect others) not everyone is so good with this as you are.
    Kings and Dukes' vanishing acts have a much deeper impact on the overall playerbase, yes including totally casual players. This stuff doesn't impact me at all because I'm with a premade with completely stable leadership. So I'm not just talking about these issues from my own perspective all insulated.

    The problem is that this is hurting more than helping the overall (and significantly diminishing and diluting) playerbase.

    For every player like you giving the heads-up and just having a test run where nobody is being left in the lurch there are dozens more just wasting people's time and money.

    Then there's the side where this is just being abused. Sorry you are getting the ability to protect your troops and also can rebuild and so on? Of course it is going to be used non-stop tactically. Way to many protections in place for it just to be holiday protection. Invulnerable key locations at the end game of a server is ludicrous.

    Yes, I am aware of the limitations of abdication, hence talking about this in the I/W/S forum. There should be more ways to control this (even for more amicable occasions not just for AWOL players).

    Preferably for me, yes this game would be less casual friendly as I would prefer that, but I am reasonable enough to notice that many players are more casual and will take breaks so should have something in place for them - but this system has way too much freedom and benefits for simple holiday protection.

    I have brought up this topic a few times without ever* being personally affected by it, so this is not about me having some issue then whinging here as you suggest. I think this is causing more overall problems for the game then helping and is being abused too much.

    *OK maybe save for the time Accord relocated next to us and immediately went on vacation and delete.