Oh, well, that idea didn't work. Let's just roll with it...
OK, firstly, I'll hit the positives. I've come back to Travian after about 18 months away, and gave kingdoms a go. I really like the overall concept - I've already found that several of the accounts around me that would normally have been farmed into oblivion have instead been nurtured and given a chance, as they were more value as a contributing member of the kingdom than as a farm. ++ for player retention there.
Secondly, I cannot express how happy I am to see the equation for resource cost to production boost fixed for higher level fields - I hated the fact that in T4 and earlier, high level field cost to build was exponential, but wasn't matched by production increase, whereas now it's a perfect exponential equation. Thank you, thank you, thank you...
Thirdly - thank you for some of the added options on filters and sorting for reports and farm lists, makes the game easier to play.
And as much as the long timers don't like the daily quests, card game etc..., in the new casual gaming market, I don't see you had much choice.
Now, to some things I don't like or would like to see changed:
- You really, really need a decent app. The current app (found on some third market website, but published by TG) is a really good start, but there are still too many functions not present - things like no chat, no rollover functions work on a phone/tablet etc... make it problematic. The mobile site is a dog, I tend to load the full site on my phone, it scales really badly, it's slow and laggy, but still a better option than the app or mobile site in most cases.
- Farm lists as part of plus - while I don't care, I buy stupid amounts of gold, merchant multiple runs and master builder can be unlocked independently. Just get rid of plus and add farm lists as another buy for the whole round - probably 50 or 100 gold.
- F5 as the solution - I realise it's beta, but it gets ridiculous when that's the answer to every problem. Also, the farm list itself never refreshes on clicking send - it's annoying that every option ticked remains ticked after sending, it would be great if sending refreshed the farm list, on the open farm list, all tick boxes cleared.
- Cities are a bit craptastic from what I can see - how's about you add the two extra building slots in all cities, and for villages people can use that card reward there?
- Change the attack mechanics so you do not ever lose troops on an empty village - I think it's the residence that provides defence points - either that or the wall. Change it so both are just a % boost to defence, but 0*x% should be 0. You cannot reward accounts for having no troops. Furthermore, it discourages troop building when you're going to need them when siege starts rolling.
- Robber Hideouts - they scale up ridiculously quickly, where the loss of build time and/or resource in troops killed taking it make them a nuisance rather than useful.
Firstly, I'll state that I tend to buy the top package at least once a month, so I *like* gold. But it does push a little too far towards pay to win, even pay to play. So...
- Insta merchants and insta build should be disabled 24 hours/world speed after any successful attack containing siege for that villa (so merchants going to that villa, and insta build in that villa).
- Hero should regenerate full health on levelling up.
- Artworks should go the way of the dodo.
- I'm sure I'll think of more, I'll come back to this and add when I do.
Metas and attack mechanics.
This is the big one that causes most of the problem. What I suggest is that Alliances be increased in holding to max of 5 kings, but then get rid of NAPs as a diplomacy option, and get rid of Confederacy (if it still exists). Secondly, make it that you can only reinforce villas in your kingdom, and your alliance. No exceptions, not WW, not treasury villas, nothing. Whilst I'll miss enemies reining my village instead of attacking like they did yesterday on US4, that's a price I'll pay.
I was also going to suggest capping number of Dukes and Kingdom members, but I've decided a better way to do this is via altering the attack calculations. I've gone looking through this site, and a few others, to see if I can find a calculation of morale based on size in Kingdoms (as that did exist in T4 and earlier), but I can't find it. I'd suggest comparing the two players in an attack, and finding the smaller of the two, measured in number of villages. This comparison should occur across alliances, if one of the two is not in an alliance, then it's the two kingdoms. I'd suggest all players must be in a kingdom as a default for this to work.
Then if the smaller player is defending, their defence bonus is multiplied by the number of the opponenent's villas (again, alliance level first, if no alliance for either player, then kingdom level) / their number of villas. If the smaller player is attacking, same calculation, but the bonus is halved.
That way, people can meta to their heart's content, but they take an attack and defence penalty that is proportional to how many accounts they are trying to stack on one side. You will need some sort of warning to Kings when sending invites to their kingdom that they will take a penalty when attacking smaller kingdoms.
I think that's probably a start for the moment. I'm aware that the attack mechanics is a little basic, there's a good chance it needs to be a logarithmic scale, but I unexpectedly had sick children home with me the last couple of days so I never really got round to modelling the numbers as thoroughly as I would have liked, and I'm missing too many parts of the equation anyway. If people are that interested in me going full throttle on the modelling, yell at me and I'll think about it.