Troops -> influence

  • I found this thread back that I made on the closed beta forums! :) There's plenty of problems with it and one or two things are obsolete, but I still think this should be discussed once more, to deal with the "simming + free resource" strategy that is bad for the game but employed by everybody right now, since it's the best thing to do if you want to win no matter what.


    Right now everything depends on simming. Start big, sim bigger, attack NPC oases (or any other oases really), gain other simming people, gain VP and tributes faster than anybody else, win game. It's obvious where the focus of the game lies. The bigger kings (that happened to have a good start or organised in a way that let's them have a better start) have so many more free resources because of the tributes that they're put further ahead into the top lists than they should be.


    So let's change that simming and NPC-fighting focus into a focus on war, so Travian turns into the wargame that it's really supposed to be:


    - Make influence (and perhaps VP) dependant not just on simming, but also on correct troop usage.
    - So, make it dynamic so that it grows and shrinks with troop counts, battles between kingdoms, not just on taking oases(oases should not be the focus of this game at all)
    - This means it's harder for kings to get as many tributes as they can right now, since they can't grow their area as fast anymore just by taking oases. Which also means less tributes -> less resources.
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    Currently, this game is mostly a simming game. There's hardly an incentive to attack anybody except for influence and tributes that give vague abstract victory points that people will often not care about on actual real life servers, just like most people don't currently care much about the endgame of T3/T4 servers. There's certainly no incentive to focus on building rams, catapults or chiefs. There's only incentives for simming, raiding and attacking oases. In a wargame, that's bad.


    The kingdom system is potentially nice but without battles, it and the game will not be interesting. Make kingdoms worth fighting for, make fighting worth it. Reward active, consistently good play in all aspects of the game. Then you'll see the teamwork, communication and organisation that we used to see in T3 and before. After all, it's warfare that requires teamwork: Simming one can do by himself.


    One way of doing that is to change the way influence is calculated. Currently, influence is mostly a population + raid fest. Since influence is a big deciding factor in as well as a measure of how well an alliance is doing, it's what should change depending on how well the alliance is playing.


    Change the way influence per kingdom is calculated to something like this:
    [INDENT]:- 30% of kingdom influence is made by population the way it is now.
    - 30% of kingdom inluence is made by the amount of troops in the kingdom.
    - 30% of kingdom influence is made by the amount of attack points + defense points you have.
    - 10% of kingdom influence is made by capturing oasis', hero level, amount of villages in the kingdom...other stuff?


    [/INDENT]
    Note how I say "kingdom influence" here. Everybody in the kingdom should be able to dynamically contribute this way, not just the king. The governors are also producing influence. There should probably be some kind of "over time" bonus for kings to having influence over specific governors, to keep you from constantly losing and gaining the tributes of the same governors.


    This would mean that:


    - Simming is still a big, important factor. You don't HAVE to fight, necessarily. You can choose to sim it out if you make the right decisions.


    - Building troops is actively encouraged for everybody in the kingdom since having more troops = having more influence.


    - Fighting is as well. You can temporarily lose influence for losing troops, but you have also gained a (smaller) amount of influence for killing off enemy troops (gaining defense/offense points). As soon as you've rebuilt the troops you had, your influence will actually have increased.


    - If you make only a small amount of tributes takeable by raid and everything takeable by using catapults to destroy treasuries, there's also an incentive to use catapults. And by extension, to build rams, chiefs and what have you.


    I believe these changes would make the kingdoms more dynamic and more open to strategies (the current optimal strategy is: Sim quickly, put your king villages near as many governors as possible, befriend them and sim some more, repeat ad infinitum/ad nauseam). It would make communication, organisation, teamwork and intelligent usage of tactics/strategies and troops in general necessary in stead of optional.

  • I'll copy/paste my message here since you've created a different thread :).



  • This way nothing would be set in stone. An alliance with few VPs could still make a comeback later on if it manages to regains several locations, since the VP gain would be much higher end-game than mid-game.
    Only problem I see with that is that I'm afraid there's not enough incentive for players to take control of the locations early on, since it wouldn't grant much VP.
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    If the VP are a percentage though, that is exponential growth.


    I think if you could figure out some formula giving victory points for battles. Defending your governors, and attacking other kings or WWs

  • Defending governors is ok but attacking other kings wouldn't make so much sense. Everyone would simply go farm the low ranked kings.

  • Unless there is a limit on the number of governors a kingdom may have, a better ratio of governors to kings at spawning (enforced by the system), something like a kingdom village built and maintained by the entire kingdom and giving VP bonuses or some kingdom goal - in line with what others are suggesting - then I foresee runaway kingdoms and alliances made up of them. We can see that happening already.

  • Defending governors is ok but attacking other kings wouldn't make so much sense. Everyone would simply go farm the low ranked kings.



    I guess I meant only if there was troops involved. You kill 1k troops, you don't get much. You kill 10k, you get a little bit more. Probably have to tie it to the server troop count or something. They already do something to alleviate pop differences, they could incorporate that as well.

  • I guess I meant only if there was troops involved. You kill 1k troops, you don't get much. You kill 10k, you get a little bit more. Probably have to tie it to the server troop count or something. They already do something to alleviate pop differences, they could incorporate that as well.


    That would reduce the game to who can kill the most troops. As I have said many times, killing troops should not be an objective on offense (but it certainly is when you are defending against a hammer). A proper offensive op should be aimed at convincing the defenders to defend in one place while you are attacking in another - the more damage you can do with the fewest troops lost, the better you have done with planning and execution. I realize that many who played only T4 are not accustomed to working closely with a team - but with teamwork a village can be totally destroyed in a matter of seconds. 5 players, each sending 4 waves with adequate clear and siege and timed to land as close to the same second as is possible can zero a village in one attack. If they have adequately faked a number of equally valuable target villages and those fakes appear as real as the attack on the real target, the defenders must rely on blind luck to choose which to defend. Conquering a village using teamwork works best when done using the same principles.



    I can't see any realistic way to award VP based on successful fighting. But the what I consider successful attacking and what you do may be two entirely different things.


    A VP bonus based on overall alliance troop ratio is the only reasonable way I can see to give a VP bonus for troops.

  • I don't see how T4 have ended this kind of teamwork.
    At least on french servers, it's still pretty common, among experienced alliances, to see this kind of thing. Either destroying or cropdeath, there's no real point if you don't do it one go. There's no cropdeath if you do it over 2 days ...


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    something like a kingdom village built and maintained by the entire kingdom and giving VP bonuses or some kingdom goal


    I agree. Well, it's more or less the same as a WW in previous version but we won't have to wait for late game to start it.
    And that's really what's missing from TK at the moment in my opinion, there's really not much to do beside simming in the early/mid game. End goal are simply way too distant. I know you've said plenty of times that ppl should think about VP right from the start Daniel, but the way things are introduced, it's simply way too far in the future for players to think about that at this stage of the game.


    A kingdom village, a "location" (as I called it) or whatever. This version needs more early/mid goals.



  • Good points. I still stand by the defending your governors part.


    Maybe make stealing treasures more profitable than just hoarding and defending your own?

  • I don't see how T4 have ended this kind of teamwork.
    At least on french servers, it's still pretty common, among experienced alliances, to see this kind of thing. Either destroying or cropdeath, there's no real point if you don't do it one go. There's no cropdeath if you do it over 2 days ...


    I agree. Well, it's more or less the same as a WW in previous version but we won't have to wait for late game to start it.
    And that's really what's missing from TK at the moment in my opinion, there's really not much to do beside simming in the early/mid game. End goal are simply way too distant. I know you've said plenty of times that ppl should think about VP right from the start Daniel, but the way things are introduced, it's simply way too far in the future for players to think about that at this stage of the game.


    A kingdom village, a "location" (as I called it) or whatever. This version needs more early/mid goals.


    That kind of teamwork has become very rare, Wynd. You are right that there are still a few real teams stubbornly holding on to old values, but the majority might as well be playing solo for their own stats and glory.


    Working with 4 others on a UK server just recently, we have used a tactic we call a chief train. We fake a number of villages while chiefing one or two, then quickly destroy the village(s) we conquered, retrain the lost chief(s), and repeat. The people we are working with have all played closely together in the past, know we can trust and depend on each other, and are what I consider a team - but we are a very small team, and our brand of teamwork has become very rare. However, that is the kind of teamwork we need to bring into TK, only with larger teams and larger ops.


    In the t4.4 server I mentioned, we are not planning a WW so we can just have fun taking out as many enemy players as we can manage. I was talked into taking over an account there some time back, after having declared I would not play 4.4, and I did so because of the people, not the game. Anyway, team spirit has all but disappeared in T4. We need to bring it back for TK. Hence, my suggestions for kingdom goals and my repeated advice to consider VP closely right from the early stages.

  • I think teamplay is missing (and yet I'm sure there are some group of players on this server playing with the same level of teamwork as you described) because it's still in beta.
    I'm pretty sure, once this version will go live, this kind of team will be much more numerous on TK.
    We must not forget that there are only a small fraction of the Travian player-base on this server. And we're coming from all around the world. Some players may have come here alone because their teammates prefer playing on T4.4 for now, waiting for TK to get better/unbugged, etc.


    Lack of teamplay for now doesn't necessarily mean that it will still be the case later on when this version hits live.
    That being said, I still agree with what you said about the kingdom's village (or whatever name).


    About considering VP closely right from the early stages:
    I do agree that at the moment, given how VP works, it is of the utmost importance that people should pay attention to that.
    However, that's especially what bothers me with the VP mechanism. As I said in my previous post, little is said when you begin TK about VP and the importance of teaming-up together as soon as possible. And unfortunately there is very little come-back mechanism at the moment. As you said in another thread, chances are one of rank 1 or 2 alliance will win because the gap between them and the rest is already so big, there's little to do to decrease it (there's still things that can be done, but not that much).
    A sever being decided by its first weeks isn't really fun. That's why I'm talking about come-back mechanism.


  • Is simming that important though? From my personal experience here on TK, simming sucks compared to a raider start, as long as you're experienced.


    You're mistaking strategy for individual account buildup with endgame team strategy. Right now there is nothing the no 1 alliance needs to do except sit back and sim with their resource advantage. That is the best thing to do as long as you also keep increasing your area so your resource advantage grows. The only reason the no 1 would go to war is if somebody goes to war against them/if their area increase is being stopped with troops. While that doesn't happen, the best thing they can do is just increase their advantage and put off the time they'll have to fight. Also, who would go to war with them? Surely nobody except those that are near enough in resources that they're able to actually wage war. That rules out 99% of the server. If the no 1 reaches any part of the 99% it has no choice but to join the no 1, or die very quickly and painfully. It would be so much more fun if 50% of the server had a shot of doing something meaningful, and everybody had to fight everybody to get something done/have a chance at winning the game instead.


    I do agree that victory conditions are based on pretty stupid thing atm. Or at least, not very dynamic as you put it.
    To win, you must have the most VP. To gain VP, you must conquer the most oasis (which is pretty stupid imo, since oasis positionning is kinda random) so you can gain the most active people


    Or, in theory, steal all the treasures. Which is impossible, for the above reasons.



    However oases aren't really attractive as a war subject. In the early stage of the game, it's kinda hard to think "I'll war for this oasis and waste all my troops on it against this other king so I can keep expanding my kingdom". For god sake, it's just an oasis. Or maybe that's our past as players of older version that makes us think that way. Maybe for newer players it would seems very natural and early, interesting, conflicts will arise from that, making the game dynamic. I do not think so however, simply because attacking & defending oasis isn't really obvious nor easy to do. At best, oases should be the center of small skirmishes, not anything more than that.


    It's scary how close you are to putting my exact thoughts out there. I'm currently in a battle to keep the oases of our kingdom in shape. It's the most annoying, boring thing ever, especially because there's no tabs to cycle through the most current battle reports, scoutings, oases, etc. Villages should be fought about, not oases.



    So if we remove oases as the easy way to gain tributes and thus winning, we need to find something else that'd fill this role.
    This thing should be an early to mid game goal, since we already have WW for the late game (even though I don't really like WW mechanism on TK). Thus, it should be something close from every king. There's no point in traveling 48h to gain more victory point when you're at the stage where you have 2 or 3 villages, 1-2K troops.


    My idea would make for a good midgame goal (increasing influence through making correct strategic and tactical decisions and using teamplay, since you can't win wars by yourself). It would obviously also serve as an incentive to fight and it would stop kings from growing overly big unless they're absolutely outplaying everybody. It would also be equal and fair to everybody who started at the same time.


    Keen said something about not wanting to make influence more complex. I think that's a bogus argument: If the players can see their influence area shrink and grow depending on what they do, the'll learn it eventually. If they want to learn straight away they can read the wiki.



    I think that your idea is basically the current endgame idea but just more WW type villages. That's still static as hell, fighting over specific single villages isn't dynamic and is also not that interesting/fun to play around with I think: It would amount to who can defend their locations best. Maybe it would work though. And honestly anything is better than fighting over god**** oases ;D

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    My idea would make for a good midgame goal (increasing influence through making correct strategic and tactical decisions and using teamplay, since you can't win wars by yourself). It would obviously also serve as an incentive to fight and it would stop kings from growing overly big unless they're absolutely outplaying everybody. It would also be equal and fair to everybody who started at the same time.


    Keen said something about not wanting to make influence more complex. I think that's a bogus argument: If the players can see their influence area shrink and grow depending on what they do, the'll learn it eventually. If they want to learn straight away they can read the wiki.


    About what Keen said, I do understand his point of view in a certain way. Even if the visual consequence of influence is the kingdom's size, having multiple ways to modify influence may lead to confusion/clarity loss. Playing with too many parameters may lead to a huge mess in the end.
    However, we (you & me) both stated that oases as a way to expand a kingdom wasn't that great. So if this mechanic was removed to the profit of another, there's no clarity loss since it would be the same amount of parameters.


    I do agree with you with the midgame goal, how it needs to be something that would incentivized wars. Well I guess we were both agreeing on that right from the start.
    My question however is: do you have anything specific in mind that could illustrate that?


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    I think that your idea is basically the current endgame idea but just more WW type villages. That's still static as hell, fighting over specific single villages isn't dynamic and is also not that interesting/fun to play around with I think: It would amount to who can defend their locations best. Maybe it would work though. And honestly anything is better than fighting over god**** oases ;D


    Not really, in a sense the "locations" I was talking about is much more closer to arties in T4.4. Only difference is it's not as snowbally as it was previously: you don't gain an OP bonus, but only an added VP generation. Which is far different from reduced crop consumption, great warehouse etc.
    It may be too static though. If you think that arties on T4.4 didn't make the game any less static in the mid game then this "location" idea will definitely feel the same.


    Original idea from the game devs was pretty good when we think about it. Midgame should be animated with conflicts between neighbors kingdoms so one king could steal another's treasures. But where did that fail? How come there isn't so much little wars/skirmishes illustrating that?