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.
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?
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.