[discussion] 15cropper – your feedback is needed

  • 15-cropper-discussion-forum.jpg


    Dear Players,


    there have been quite some discussions about the run for the map tiles with 15 crop fields, the 15 cropper (15c). With the new Menhir feature, it’s possible to reach a 15c even faster than before. Also, players who are not playing the complete game round are blocking those fields by making them their capital village.


    We want to make it more challenging for players to get those 15c. To achieve this goal, we thought about a solution and want to present it to you. Please, read the concept, ask questions and give us constructive feedback on it.


    The basic idea is that all 15 Cropper are NPC cities and half of the 9 Cropper are NPC villages. Like the Natarian villages that already exist on the map, but different.



    What would that mean for you exactly?


    The early run to 15c will be no more.


    Basically, you’ll need to first defeat the NPCs to get hold of those tiles and can’t just settle on it. The intention is to make it more competitive for players to get these tiles.


    There are 2 options: Either conquer the villages or destroy them completely and make room for a settlement.


    Both options require longer building times of either training a chieftain or building siege engines like catapults and rams.


    There is more:


    Some players requested more attacks, for example by the Natars. These new NPC cities and villages will be populated with feisty and vengeful inhabitants. There are 3 main cases of their “attacking strategy”:


    Case 1: Actively attack neighbors

    • The NPC tribe isn’t waiting for you to attack them. After some weeks, they will search for their targets and start raiding them.
    • They won’t concentrate their attack on only one player but will reach out to players that are nearby (radius of 5 tiles). So that you are not spammed all the time by attacks, they only attack once per day. The time of the attack however differs from time to time. With this, you should consider if you want to settle next to the NPCs 😉
    • If you are defending yourself very well against those attacks we will grant you a little reward, such as a resource chest.
    • Of course, defending against those NPCs also reduces their troop power, so we will have a stopper for them. As soon as they are only around 75% of troops remaining, the NPC will stop with attacking the players until players attack them (see the next case).

    Case 2: Fighting back

    • When you start attacking the NPCs, they won’t stay put and only defend themselves. They will remember who attacked them and attack those players back. They will attack all players that picked up a fight with them at some point. That means, different players will get targeted.
    • Players with more troop power will get targeted more often and with more troops than players with less troop power.
    • Nonetheless, also players with a smaller force level will get a chance to win deff points and small rewards
    • Same as in the first phase, when only 60% of troops are remaining, the NPCs will stop attacking the players.

    Case 3: Revenge attacks

    • This case will arise after you conquered/destroyed a NPC village/city
    • The NPCs are now out for their revenge and will attack the lost village/city in 5 waves. That means: prepare for defense.
    • As a defense tactic, you could choose to dodge the attacks by sending your troops away, or you accept the battle, and if you defended your village well, each wave will give you and your supporters each a special item.


    Specific Questions:

    • What kind of little rewards or special items would you think would be fair for successfully defending against these NPC troops? We are thinking about resource chest. Would you prefer resource piles? Or something else?
    • Should this new NPC tribe have siege engines and therefore the power to destroy player buildings and/or even whole villages? Or would that be OP in your eyes? If so, which kind of restrictions would even it out or would you prefer to just cut out this option for good?
    • Is there anything else you would want to change? What is your general opinion of this concept? What do you think, will be other benefits of this new feature?


    We are looking forward to your feedback,


    Kind regards,


    Your Travian Kingdoms Team

  • - If people will get their croppers later than now, it will probably make WW hammers smaller as crazy players would need to start building them a bit later and some people might complain that there will be too much deff in WWs compared to strength of WW hammers.

    - If these NPC village attacks aren't too powerfull then I believe no reward for succesful deff is needed as kingdom should work together to protect their villages and the village itself will be a reward later.

    - Siege weapons should be included if it will slower the travel time of attack and so will give the kingdom more time to call for deff.

    - The last benefit after quick brainstorming I can see is that it might prevent some players from isolating themselves on the edge of the map and might force them to stay closer to their team and might get them involved into teamplay more.

  • I like the concept ! Fighting for vital objectives is certainly something we could use more of, even if its against NPCs.


    But yeah... you need to make restrictions on NPCs using siege when attacking. Perhaps siege should only be used for retaliating against attacks that contained siege. That way you'd avoid situations where complete newbies get their buildings destroyed.


    Would love to see these features on TEST as soon as possible !

  • Now i have to ask.....does this only apply to 15c's?? or will 9c's be included too? If so....than i am opposed to the idea of having all these very important croppers occupied at the very beginning of the server. With that said I whole heartedly believe that the current amount of Natars that start the server should be much more active! Those Natars should raid/attack, and grow also, though i think siege engines would be overkill.....unless used in revenge attacks only! These active Natars would create a more active and unified Kingdom, though smaller Kingdoms and newer players may suffer.


    My hope is that this thought could be applied to Robber Camps too.....since they already launch attacks after a certain amount of time.....it would be cool to see them have the ability to take over an inactive King/Kingdom.....OR just pop up randomly around the map as independent Kingdoms.....and grow slowly until neutralized. These ideas would keep more players in the game active and involved.

  • Now i have to ask.....does this only apply to 15c's?? or will 9c's be included too? If so....than i am opposed to the idea of having all these very important croppers occupied at the very beginning of the server. With that said I whole heartedly believe that the current amount of Natars that start the server should be much more active! Those Natars should raid/attack, and grow also, though i think siege engines would be overkill.....unless used in revenge attacks only! These active Natars would create a more active and unified Kingdom, though smaller Kingdoms and newer players may suffer.


    My hope is that this thought could be applied to Robber Camps too.....since they already launch attacks after a certain amount of time.....it would be cool to see them have the ability to take over an inactive King/Kingdom.....OR just pop up randomly around the map as independent Kingdoms.....and grow slowly until neutralized. These ideas would keep more players in the game active and involved.

    The basic idea is that all 15 Cropper are NPC cities and half of the 9 Cropper are NPC villages. Like the Natarian villages that already exist on the map, but different.



    Idea sounds exciting but:


    Phase 1 sounds like it will destroy the newbies that just randomly spawned or cluelessly settled close to one, even more so with siege included


    How does the 60% on phase 2 actually work? If (what should be intended) the player clears the village in one swoop, will this phase be sort of skipped? Will they fight back if one sends a single unit attack baiting the attack to farm some easy xp+rewards?


    Whats phase 3 unit count supposed to be based on?


    Is it intended to weaken off overall. Is it intended to not weaken teuton off as much as the other tribes?

    Is it intended to make it near impossible for non-extremist veteran players to get croppers?

    Wouldnt want sieges in phase 1 as is now for the beginners sake. Dont think rewards are needed. The Kingdom gets some XP and the defender likely gets a new, nice village. Tho if its throwing back off players to much giving out rewards might create an incentive to take them as cap/making them hammer villages over simply going starter hammer now i guess.

  • Personally I do not care so much for NPC interactions, but removing the "short" race to 15 croppers is something I really like! :thumbsup:


    The only problem I see would potentially be the drama which could occur among players who both are setting up support villages around an Natar/NPC 15C with the hopes of chiefing it. More players will "prepare" for the 15Cs (over an extended time) than will in the end become an owner of one. Loosing the race just a few hours short to your competitor after preparing for several days can have a raging effect on many players.


    @Sheila Was the idea that was up on the forum a while back about letting players themselves "upgrade/modify" their capital to more crop fields and less resource fields up for discussion at any point among the dev team?

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

  • This is just a suggestion right or is this a feature that will come with maybe minor tweaks?

    Regarding the proposals I need to think about them more carefully but here are some initial thoughts on each part semi separately.


    >15cs behind NPC cities


    I do think 15c's are something that needs looking at and at least I personally hate the 24h settle strategies even though I do use them. The main problem is that it separates the "good" players who use these strategies from the "bad" players who don't or perhaps don't know about them because they are new to the game which creates a big power gap between these two groups. I think the problems have been getting worse too considering 3 rounds ago it was a curiosity and on the latest rounds whole teams are doing it. I have not played on the Menhir worlds which should solve at least part of the issues as the newer players can be invited into the kingdom with them if the core decides to abandon their spawn area in search of croppers.


    Locking all 15c's and 9c's behind NPC's i'm not 100% sure off though. I can see that it could help in some regard but hurt in others. For a thought experiment let's pretend they would just be current natars in every way. In this scenario me as experienced player would start from a level playing field with the new player in getting a 15c cap but it would give me clear advantage in actually acquiring one. In fact an experienced player could probably chief several of them before the average player is ready to take the first one (assuming no team play shenanigans I don't even want to think about quit yet). So I'm on the fence about what the result would be from that direction. ´


    Some things I'm not on the fence about is that it would clearly be a nerf to offense (namely the WW offense) unless the NPC's were trivial and came with like lvl 12 fields. For comparison in my latest game I had my fields at lvl 13 in my normally settled cap when the decent players started getting their natarian villages together and that's when natars cost only 1 culture slot. If the NPC's were trivial then I guess the situation would be relatively the same since you could compensate on the late start with the greats you might be able to more easily afford in a wholly or almost wholly prebuilt city. Systems tuning would also be considered carefully. Tune it more towards the average player and the experts chief all of them before you get to sneeze. Tune it for the expert as more challenging natar essentially and you nerf the offense greatly and potentially make it impossible task entirely for the small players. Another thing is that while it does nerf offense more than defense it also means defense players can't actually get a 15c at all without the help of their team which is something worth considering as well, if you don't have a premade that trusts your abilities how are you supposed to convince them to give you a 15c?


    It would also shift balance naturally to favor more Teutons (though this is imo a good thing they are bit on the weaker side as it is)

    Depending on the tuning it might force people to build non capital hammers lot more than they do now which i'm on the fence with. It leads to more target rich environment but is that good either? And I bet most people would choose to bypass the risk anyways just by waiting with their main offense stack until they get one of the NPC cities so just leading to smaller WW hammers.


    Lastly while new players might get the shaft on the current rush for 15c's 12h after start they still have a chance to either get one later when map expands or take one of the less desirable 9c's for instance. And even a relatively inexperienced player could follow a basic guide and get a good 15c if they get bit lucky and are willing to be active for the first day. The new system raises this bar from "follow these steps we post to everyone" to "stay good and on top of the game for at least 2 weeks" which could lead to no croppers for anyone but the best.


    Personally I think there could be other options that could be explored to limit the 15c rush (like say some ideas from earlier threads like cultivating/terraforming your own fields or capital auto turning into the type you want or something). One thing I do like about this suggestion is that it keeps the current importance of the map layout which is nice.




    Best case scenario seems to me seems to to be

    - Bit more active starting phase with NPC capture instead of the starting sim

    - More fair towards new players at least on day 1

    - Less speed settling


    Worst case scenario

    - Active players with duals and what not take ALL the croppers instead of just some

    - Wrong tuning turns the game into a cropper fiesta or starvation hellscape

    - Defense players get no croppers and playing good defense without premade is impossible


    Questions:

    What tribe would the NPCs be? New one or like a mix of the existing 3

    Do they build units or start with a bunch of them or mix of both?

    How strong would the city be in terms of unit count? (stronger than natars? weaker? about the same?)



    >More active NPCs (the second part of the post)


    I do think this is a pvp game and the core of the game should always be in that. That being said little pve doesn't hurt so long as it's implemented well.

    Now this particular suggestion I'm not at all convinced this change would be a good one in relation to the 15c -> NPC city change, not at least until some more details are open like NPC powers and detailed behavior and so on. That being said I think this sort of system would be perfect for the Natars that already exist in the game (mini grey zone anyone?) and Natars could be bit more active on the round using this system. I would be totally for implementing this for the Natars at least if not the NPC cities as well.


    I don't actually have a strong opinion yet as I fail to understand some key elements of the proposal so here are some questions and worries instead.


    Worries:

    - The reward system seems like it could be exploited by pinging the NPC''s with 1 unit attacks to trigger retaliations and farm the rewards

    - Balance has to be set right for the attacks

    - The NPC attacks have to be well communicated to players


    Questions:

    - Are the rules on city per city basis or do they apply to all of the NPCs. What I mean by this is that does the 75% and 60% breakpoints count for that one NPC or for the entire game world as a whole? The third bit seems to imply the NPCs retaliate as a group but does that apply to stages 1 and 2 too or just for the 3rd?

    - Since the break points seem to be quite close to each other that would imply the NPCs has lot of units and attacks with small portions of it's army each time instead of it's entire force?

    - Is the intended gameplay to first chip down the NPC units on the defense, then goad them to attack more (killing more of their units in their small attacks) and then finish them off in one chunk? Or are the NPCs structured more like a robber camp that you can't finish off with one siege?

    - Do they build units (I know same question as above but relevant still) or perhaps get reinforcements from other NPCs




    Answers to the specific questions:

    1) Resource piles are probably better option since chests are limited to one per day, unless the chest is a different kind or like a diamond tier or something like that.

    2) Yes they should have siege. Otherwise what threat do they pose? Random raids would only realistically hurt the weaker players and better players can either dodge actively or continuously send away units and rely on chickens for night dodge. They could use a mix of raids, attacks with rams and attacks with catapults though (such as only raiding with normal units in phase 1)

    3) I can see some good ideas here but I'm honestly pretty confused what is the design goal here?

    The active NPC part I can understand, goal is to have more things to do and more filler on the round and more things for defense players to do stress free but the 15c change doesn't seem to really match what I think the goal of the change is. I guess the goal is to remove the 12h settle race (a good goal imo) but I'm not convinced this is the way to go about that.


    I'm not going to lay down judgement on the ideas tho just yet, need clarification on certain points, more numbers and and explanations on the mechanics and more time for me to think about it. Interested to see what others want to say as well!

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

  • Curtain wrote:

    Personally I think there could be other options that could be explored to limit the 15c rush (like say some ideas from earlier threads like cultivating/terraforming your own fields or capital auto turning into the type you want or something).

    Ye this was the one I meant too. This would be great. No more rushing and internal drama over 15C's ... and anyone who invest the necessary time and effort can build a 9C, 12C or 15C.

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

  • Thanks for the feedback that already came up and I’m anticipating the further opinions that are going to come over the course of the discussion. Here already some small answers:


    Quote

    Phase 1 sounds like it will destroy the newbies that just randomly spawned or cluelessly settled close to one, even more so with siege included

    Marko_COM & Marshmallowman  
    Concerning the NPC attacks: They aren’t attacking players that are in beginner protection.

    Furthermore, the number of troops that are attacking is quite small. That means that they will not crash all the troops you’ve built up at the beginning.

    What do you think of the idea that the sieges would only be part in case 2 and 3?


    Quote

    “Whats phase 3 unit count supposed to be based on?”

    This units count is based on the units that have originally belonged to the NPC settlement.




    I’ll go over the unanswered points and especially the long feedback of Curtain during the day tomorrow.
    Wish you all a nice evening.

  • On the specific questions:

    Rewards - I too agree that resource piles are the way to go; xp scrolls for consecutive successful defenses from the same player maybe? most def players have trouble leveling their hero if the kingdom is not actively engaged in wars in the beginning and even then it's hit and miss for them

    Siege units - yes they should, maybe lock it to only trigger on Case 2 and 3, let the rest be raids


    As a fairly low gold user I like this idea. The best builds will focus on getting chief and 2 culture slots fast which will take a lot more than the current 12-24h fast settle build that everyone is doing myself included. This will create a chief meta with the premade teams however, considering the 15c will be a city so 2 culture slots needed, which in itself is not bad for pvp but the newer or let's say less dedicated players will be forever locked out of 15c, as Curtain mentioned the big players will swoop every 15c near them. As most kingdoms are somewhere between a meritocracy and a monarchy I don't see most big/king/duke/ww hammer players sacrificing time and armies to clear even 9c natars for the small def player instead of just getting another one for himself.


    I would like to see some mechanic for the def players to be able to take one of those without them needing to clear it. Letting them somehow clear the 60% remaining army by triggering the natars to siege his capital with half the army. If defeated the natar surrenders to the player and gives them clear passage to chief by not defending with their remaining 30% when they attack and not needing to destroy the residence. Something like that would let def players be def instead of branching into offense or require sacrifices from their off friends while still keeping the 15/9c somehow secured from enemy opportunists which brings to the next point.


    Denying the chief will become more common. Teams of players will actively scout the map now for all natars around their enemies. If the 15c is a city so it requires 200 loyalty to take it means the chiefing time will be quite long thus being easily targeted by enemy catas cause they saw somebody brought down residence with the population dropped. 15 players each targeting the fields can ruin your chief attempt. This will not be a problem for the experienced players as they will find ways to minimize the losses by adapting with their teams but the small players that maybe just want to take a 9c and invested so much in the beginning to get a chief ready they will be set back by quite a lot if somebody just zeroes the natar before him chiefing with no real counter. We do this now and will probably do more of it with this change.


    I agree with the others that this is a nerf to off. I also see it as a slight nerf to def as they won't be able to just take a 15c/9c somewhere without help or friends and if they do have a plan to chief one it will take a while till they get it and start their anvil there. This is of course countered by the fact that you can do def in every village so in the end def can have the same mass production as before but the off players will probably start their ww hammers late now.

  • Perhaps the “quality” (%) of the cropper should determine the quantity of the natar troops there and how well developed the village/city is. This would make it more of a tiered system which would in turn attract the respective tiers of players.

  • I would like to see some mechanic for the def players to be able to take one of those without them needing to clear it. Letting them somehow clear the 60% remaining army by triggering the natars to siege his capital with half the army. If defeated the natar surrenders to the player and gives them clear passage to chief by not defending with their remaining 30% when they attack and not needing to destroy the residence. Something like that would let def players be def instead of branching into offense or require sacrifices from their off friends while still keeping the 15/9c somehow secured from enemy opportunists which brings to the next point.


    I'd love for something like this too, tho I fear that defending this with multiple helpers trivialises the power of these natar/NPC cities troops, maybe even making this the 'meta' way to clear them.


    Sheila can you already tell what kinds of buildings the city has and how much pop we are looking at?

  • Making condition to settle c15 from 3 settlers to 9 and 6 settlers for C9 and there you have it.

    What with us active players? Im gona be under constant attack due to my big army cause i Play and I dont Sleep. OK? Not fair, first.

    Natar c15 can be conquered in 10 days or less. So what is the point of taking other c15 other then natars who already has bult fields lvl10 which for you need like 1000 gold and a LOT of ress to build yourself from 30 pop villa.

    And as Duke, I will have to defend semi active and non active players even more like it aint enough I see "grey fields of joy" over my governor village.

    You even gave defense bonus to oases! How is that possible.
    Just change the game into SImVille, PopVille and invite girls from beauty school to play 'ere.

    BIG NO FROM ME and i will cry when this starts. Like for real, I will cry because of sadness.


    Other then that, keep the good work!

  • Personally I find it very interesting.

    But I would go to the end because leaving half of the grain available is as if you do not change anything.

    As a result, having a cereal at the beginning of the game will not allow those who spend HUGE gold to have a titanic production from the beginning.

    In addition it will make the gameplay king more aggressive, with the need to have a cereal, because the tribute does not bring.

    (If the king plays defensive, he will have to show cohesion with his kingdom to kill the natars)


    But the fact of adding more NPCs that waste time and resources, I do not really like the "return attacks".

    robbers take up a lot of playing time, and someone who is not very present will still have NPC attacks to deal with.


    I think we just have to make croper accessible when people will be able to take it, it avoids the rush, it allows everyone to manage a 15c without too much NPC merchant. Conversely if you add attacks, you force the player to stop on the pve, while at the base it is a pvp game. So I do not really understand the approach to boost the gameplay "solo pve" even if it is true that the natars have always been quiet enough.




    I imagined some things but we will still take myself for a madman:

    Let's imagine delete/replace croppers, but instead there are villages that have the effect of citadel/region on travian legends.

    For example introduce a mechanical: if a room is activated on these famous villages(cant be a capital, if 0 population effect desapears), the zone of influence gives a bonus to the entire area. (kingdom border, or only village border)

    For example I take a village natars, I activate a room above:

    "Fertile Valley Natars" increases grain production by xx% (or decreases consumption) in the area of influence


    Finally we can imagine any good bonus pile or already existing, which will be played in a group rather than alone.


    In any case it's nice to see some changes in croppers, so strong since Travian 3.6.




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  • I'd love for something like this too, tho I fear that defending this with multiple helpers trivialises the power of these natar/NPC cities troops, maybe even making this the 'meta' way to clear them.

    "This player has engaged in a duel with the natars and such cannot be reinforced for the next xx hours, please respect honor of combat" :P

  • There are a couple things I can see it affecting.


    1) Amount of overall troops will be reduced
    - delays development of 15c caps
    - lot of troops will be needed to fight / defend NPCs rather than used in kingdom wars

    2) Kills the 15c for defenders
    - a defender can no longer get a 15c without relying on offensive kingdom members help
    - defenders have enough issues as it is trying to kill hideouts, let alone adding more NPCs to attack

    A different solution could be to not allow Menhir function within a certain distance of a cropper.

  • tbh, I realy dont like it
    its too complicated and new player will leave the game for this
    also there are too much bad effects
    for me the problem is, that not realy active players can get a cropper and active players would use them better for the kingdom
    so I would prefer a solution, that only realy active players are able to get a cropper
    the "terra-forming" or something like this could be a good solution, so the position of the menhirs isnt longer important