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.