Merging Alliances and Kingdoms?

  • Hello community,


    in the design team of Travian: Kingdoms, we are currently running a little thought experiment and would like to collect your input regarding the matter as well.


    What if we merged alliances and kingdoms so that there was only one diplomatic entity in the game, while giving the duke role more power and its own tributes?


    Personally, I think the combination of kingdoms, alliances and treaties all on top of each other creates quite a lot of complexity, that can be really hard to understand and follow, especially for new players and governors in general, but doesn't really do all that much for the game in the end. Alliances are more or less just there to make a sum of treasures generate victory points. Maybe this "intermediate step" is not really necessary though. A clean and easy to understand basic structure would allow for a clear focus of future gameplay improvements.


    In the same process, I can imagine that we could strengthen the cooperative, right now kingdom-specific, features in the game. For example by making dukes more important and differ more from governors by allowing them to collect their own tributes. They would then give a share to the king who would only collect from his dukes (making the tribute collection a lot less stressful). Basically we could position dukes closer to the king's role, so that they could even replace an abdicating king without too much trouble. I think that this change could make the player teams during a round much more stable, and thereby improve the team feeling and make more players feel (more) involved in what's happening in the game in general.


    Another aspect that could benefit from this change is diplomacy itself. For example, given a clear diplomatic structure within the kingdom, we could easily add more meaning and mechanical depth to wars and pacts without running into trouble when it comes to displaying all the information in a clear way. If there is just one group each player belongs to, the strategic map could be way more accessible and hold more immediately useful information to begin with.


    Those are just a few of my initial ideas to get the discussion started. What are your thoughts and feelings regarding this possibility?

  • The post is intriguing but if you could give us a bit more information if possible as it is hard to give a thought with what you have given us.


    - Will this mean alliances will be set more like in Legends where there is just one border and not for each king?
    - If a king leaves an alliance will he still take his governors and his own borders till they find another alliance?
    - Will the way you invite players into an alliance or kingdom change from what it is now?
    - If dukes get ability to collect tributes then what will the governors get? (Put too much glory into kings and dukes then no one will want to be a governor)
    - In regards to treaties..Not sure I get this as once you are in an alliance you observe the treaties made and could not have your own.


    One of the things that makes Kingdom's unique is that kings can leave an alliance at any time and take with them a % of the alliance plus vps that will have a dramatic affect on an outcome of a server. So how would this merging affect all of that?



    I know it may be hard to gives us all these answers since as you say it is still in the thought process but any info would be great to help you with some feedback. Right now there just is not much to give a good think about it.

  • I would want like a little more information, but the idea of doing away with alliances in their current form has been knocking around in my head since the beginning, when we had 7 kings in an alliance. The game is, after all, kingdoms, not alliances.


    However, some changes would be needed in the requirements for promoting dukes, in relocating a V1 so that a player is less restricted as to when and where he/she can relocate, and in the way the map concentrates players in small areas (putting kingdoms jammed in side by side with no free space between) so that there is room for players to expand their accounts without stepping over borders, and in the restriction of a duke to one active treasury. I am most likely missing a few things which would need changes, but I believe those are the main ones.


    Dukes could function as kings currently do, and the king would be the entity which holds the kingdom together. In other words, the kingdom leader, replacing old Trav style alliance leader. As to tributes, the dukes could indeed collect just as kings do now and kings could collect a percentage of what the Dukes collect.


    All in all, I like the general idea and would like to read more about it - but it would need to be developed and tested (maybe on a closed server with 500 or so players?) before we could really see how it would play out.

  • Thanks for posting, guys. Much appreciated! :)
    I'll try to answer as best I can. As I wrote before, this is pretty much in the initial idea stage right now.


    - Will this mean alliances will be set more like in Legends where there is just one border and not for each king?

    Yes, there would be one mutual border for all players of a group. Dukes would probably have to get a tribute collection radius.


    Quote

    - If a king leaves an alliance will he still take his governors and his own borders till they find another alliance?

    I imagine that the king(dom) would be the highest instance. So alliances between kingdoms would just be treaties, either as loose as we have them now or potentially a little more involved gameplay-wise. But "leaving an alliance" would not really be a thing anymore. So the scenario you're describing couldn't happen any longer. Basically the kingdom would me more or less stable. Even if a king left, stopped playing or whatever, this should not lead to the whole team breaking down. This would in turn probably require a reduction on the maximum number of treasuries a king can have (and an increase of duke treasuries).


    Quote

    - Will the way you invite players into an alliance or kingdom change from what it is now?

    I think we can keep the kingdom invitations mostly as they are.


    Quote

    - If dukes get ability to collect tributes then what will the governors get? (Put too much glory into kings and dukes then no one will want to be a governor)

    Ideally they would get more protection. That's what the idea of having a king was about in the first place. So with dukes being "small kings", smaller groups of governors would each get their own responsible protector. Some players will still want to play a governor because it's generally a smaller time commitment and less stressful. And if they get really into the game and do well, then they will probably get the chance to become a duke anyway sooner or later.


    Quote

    - In regards to treaties..Not sure I get this as once you are in an alliance you observe the treaties made and could not have your own.

    Not sure what you mean, but maybe my above answers clarified a few things about the structure?


    Quote

    One of the things that makes Kingdom's unique is that kings can leave an alliance at any time and take with them a % of the alliance plus vps that will have a dramatic affect on an outcome of a server. So how would this merging affect all of that?

    I personally don't really like this mechanism. While it can be interesting to plan out an "act of treason" using this rule, it can also render large portions of playing time irrelevant for many players. So ideally I would like to fix this in the process. And as I indicated above, maybe there simply wouldn't be "alliance hopping" at all.



    However, some changes would be needed in the requirements for promoting dukes, in relocating a V1 so that a player is less restricted as to when and where he/she can relocate, and in the way the map concentrates players in small areas (putting kingdoms jammed in side by side with no free space between) so that there is room for players to expand their accounts without stepping over borders, and in the restriction of a duke to one active treasury.

    That's true in both cases. Actually we talked a bit about the possibility of having a more free-form (although highly limited) manual village relocation in the game. And as said above, I think dukes would need at least one additional treasury, and maybe there could also be more dukes per kingdom than there are now.

  • Fabian,


    This one is an interesting one. I guess having the two layers of alliance & kingdom does seem redundant. But I have some additional questions and comments (now there's a surprise...)


    Influence: will the king still project influence? If so, do governors in their influence have tributes collected by king, or by dukes? Will the radius of influence stay as is, or will it be expanded? I've found that the radius for 1000 over 500 pop to make the 1K pop a lot of effort (or sacrificing growth by going cities) for very little reward - an additional 12 squares, at around 25% extra area, for 100% more pop?


    I'd strongly recommend running with your suggestion that dukes have more than one treasury - whether the right number is 2, or 3, or whatever is a good question... I guess that's one of the ones that will have to be tinkered with in Test.


    My big call would be do away with the diplomacy options. NAPs, Confeds etc... Just get rid of them. Something has to be done to stop the meta rubbish. Furthermore, make it that you cannot rein people outside your kingdom, nor can you send one sided trades.


    And lastly, while not directly related to this particular topic, I'll bring up my usual comment about the battle mechanics - I'd like to see a much stiffer bonus/penalty for morale based on either pop or village count. Make it so small accounts/kingdoms can actually mix it with the big boys. Stop encouraging the major hug fests that pretty much every server descends into.


    And change the VP calculations too. I'd argue for 50 VP per treasure taken from the #1 alliance, 25 for an alliance above you, and 10 VP for an alliance in the top ten, regardless of your current position, whichever is greater, so that there is always an incentive to steal treasures. Then, to really mix things up, give the king an option when WW are released - they can choose not to go for a wonder, which then prevents their entire kingdom from sending any attacks at a wonder, but they get a multiplier bonus from that point on for any treasure steals - something like double or triple normal points. This is a decision that would have to be binding.

  • Influence: will the king still project influence? If so, do governors in their influence have tributes collected by king, or by dukes? Will the radius of influence stay as is, or will it be expanded? I've found that the radius for 1000 over 500 pop to make the 1K pop a lot of effort (or sacrificing growth by going cities) for very little reward - an additional 12 squares, at around 25% extra area, for 100% more pop?


    That's a good question. Actually we have not made decisions about many details yet as it's more of an exploration, if such a change could be worth it. But I can give you my thoughts anyways. So, yes the king would still project influence. We could make it so that the king has a few "direct" governors who pay tributes directly to him, and that he collects indirect tributes from all over the kingdom through his dukes. This could actually make for a hierarchy that feels more kingdom-like, and also reduce the hassle of having to collect every single individual tribute while giving dukes the "joy" (and responsibility) of having their own tax income. I can imagine that we could increase the influence radius a bit to accomodate the changes. Either way, a kingdom will probably have the potential to be bigger than it is now (with multiple treasuries for dukes and/or more dukes), but it won't (and I think probably shouldn't) be as big as a whole alliance currently is.


    Quote

    My big call would be do away with the diplomacy options. NAPs, Confeds etc... Just get rid of them. Something has to be done to stop the meta rubbish. Furthermore, make it that you cannot rein people outside your kingdom, nor can you send one sided trades.


    If we keep these options then they would not have gameplay implications. Basically you would win with your kingdom only. But you are right that one might as well do away with them completely. We also had a few ideas about introducing more meaningful diplomacy options, like maybe "declaring a war" actually means something and results in a specific competitive challenge for the next couple days or so.


    I noted down your other suggestions and they seem reasonable. Potentially the simplification resulting from this change could open up a lot more design space. After all it's always easier to build on and tweak a cleaner design. Also I think basically everyone agrees that there's not enough going on way too often and those "hug fests" are not interesting. So I'd love to be able to tackle those issues as well in the process.


    Thank you so much for taking the time to think about this!

  • @ FabianF:


    I like your thinking so far. As I said before, we would need to play it out on a closed test server - but with experienced players only at first, similar to the FIS, where everyone expected changes at any moment. You'll be tinkering with the game mechanics, and a great many of the players who have come on board after the closed servers have not been receptive to tinkering.


    You folks talk about these things, and have come up with some great ideas - this is one of the best I have heard so far. However, some of your notions simply don't hold water when put into practice in the game. The idea that a king's first priority is to protect the kingdom's governors, for example, just hasn't played out. The first priority of all in the kingdom should be to protect the treasures - and this means the governors have to protect the kings and dukes, in practice. I am not complaining, but am suggesting that you look again with eyes of a player at this and other concepts. Realistically, there should be a number of governors and dukes who play defensively for the purpose of supporting offensive governors, dukes and kings (active treasuries). Kings can play offense, defense or split their forces, just as any other. I think too many new players start the game expecting to be protected by their king, only to find that the king is so involved with protecting the treasures, expanding the kingdom, etc that he/she has nothing to protect them with. A kingdom with 25 or more governors, all expecting defense from their king would be a nightmare for everyone.


    If you proceed with this plan - a good one, in my opinion - please change your thinking to include the notion that the first priority of everyone in the kingdom is to protect the treasures. Let players know that as governor, they are free to play whichever style fits them - but that kings and dukes are leaders who must guide and protect the kingdom, while holding the treasures which give the kingdom VP.


    I have also noticed that most players now do not want to send their troops out any real distance. Jamming kingdoms so closely together has encouraged this thinking, as it is no real trouble to find targets within 2 or 3 hours. I would like to see buffer zones (as I have mentioned before) between kingdoms. This would allow for expansion without crossing another's border, would include more options for a kingdom as to oases and croppers, and encourage longer range troop movements.


    I will also suggest again that the server speed be set at 2x for a normal server and 5x for a speed server, with the same server lengths now in place (111 days to WW for 2x and 60 days for 5x). This would satisfy a lot of players, including myself. Having played the first TEST server after it was switched to 5x, I can tell you that it would be a lot more likely to keep players interested, and that for a standard server, 2x speed would do the same. As to length, while I can see real team building take place in 60 days on a speed server, 44 days is too short a time to build real team spirit if you expect it to last.


    Please continue to develop this new idea. I, for one, would like to give it a trial run.

  • What would the actual gameplay differences be? I'm not reading a whole lot of changes. I'm all for merging kingdoms and alliances but I'm not seeing the changes described so far as actually impacting the core of the game that much. We get some more dukes, that's it?


    Doing away with the NAP/s and allies will on it's own change nothing for the meta situation. Alliances/kingdoms will still want sim peacefully in metas until a change is made that encourages competetive play in smaller alliances/kingdoms. Making even more protective gestures towards governors is the opposite of that and the wrong way to go - they're already hidden from view and practically excluded from core gameplay features :)


    I'll repeat that what this game needs is a focus on midgame objective (= destroying your opponents) along with a way for everybody to contribute to it by fighting succesfully. The morale bonus VVV is talking about would help greatly but is on it's own not enough to do that. A way of getting/losing VP by battles would be the perfect incentive for more competitive play

  • Yes, there would be one mutual border for all players of a group. Dukes would probably have to get a tribute collection radius.



    Then that is what you all wanted from the start. :)


    1 king creating a kingdom/alliance then taking neighboring territory thru war or diplomacy. Then of course the king selects his dukes who will also be able to spread influence


    You just have to limit an alliance to 1 king.





    I imagine that the king(dom) would be the highest instance. So alliances between kingdoms would just be treaties, either as loose as we have them now or potentially a little more involved gameplay-wise. But "leaving an alliance" would not really be a thing anymore. So the scenario you're describing couldn't happen any longer. Basically the kingdom would me more or less stable. Even if a king left, stopped playing or whatever, this should not lead to the whole team breaking down. This would in turn probably require a reduction on the maximum number of treasuries a king can have (and an increase of duke treasuries).


    I have described a couple scenarios on how the treaties could be used to be part of the VPS process in the feedback thread but here is part of it........


    http://forum.kingdoms.travian.…wthread.php?t=2208&page=9


    For the other treaties (confed & nap) maybe code it in so alliances gain vps when they work together by hitting an enemy target at near same times or helping to defend one another.
    VPS could be taken when alliances break the letter of the treaty (like when you click on a target on the map and you get the warning about attacking allies but attack anyway)




    I think we can keep the kingdom invitations mostly as they are.


    I think that has turned out okay. makes the start a bit more hectic as you look for or land in a good area or alliance




    Ideally they would get more protection. That's what the idea of having a king was about in the first place. So with dukes being "small kings", smaller groups of governors would each get their own responsible protector. Some players will still want to play a governor because it's generally a smaller time commitment and less stressful. And if they get really into the game and do well, then they will probably get the chance to become a duke anyway sooner or later.



    Many players are wanting to be king only because they are receiving tributes from governors for free. I have had a couple tell me that they even deserve the tributes more then the governors and that's why some even charge a high tax. As more and more find this easy money then they will use the back of their governors instead of actually farming or attacking for themselves. So maybe give the governors something that no one else gets like maybe a 1-3% more resource production or adventures spawn quicker. They will need something to keep up with the lure of free resources.




    I personally don't really like this mechanism. While it can be interesting to plan out an "act of treason" using this rule, it can also render large portions of playing time irrelevant for many players. So ideally I would like to fix this in the process. And as I indicated above, maybe there simply wouldn't be "alliance hopping" at all.


    I and many others will be in agreement here. Like i said it is unique but not a favorable action.

  • What would the actual gameplay differences be? I'm not reading a whole lot of changes. I'm all for merging kingdoms and alliances but I'm not seeing the changes described so far as actually impacting the core of the game that much. We get some more dukes, that's it?


    I think the increased stability of kingdoms could dramatically change the way the game plays out already. And the improved overall clarity of the game's structure would enable a relatively smooth introduction of a lot of improvements and new features.


    Concerning your wish for a midgame objective: We are on it. And involving as many players as possible is one of the main goals for this feature. Of course the details depend somewhat on whether we go with the alliance/kingdom merge or not, but we will probably introduce something either way.

  • T
    1 king creating a kingdom/alliance then taking neighboring territory thru war or diplomacy. Then of course the king selects his dukes who will also be able to spread influence
    You just have to limit an alliance to 1 king.


    That's a good idea to test it first with the option to keep alliances. If it plays out well, we could later remove alliances, as they are no longer needed when "kingdom" = "alliance".
    The major change would be giving dukes the right to collect tributes in their neighborhood, (kings collect from dukes), letting dukes to build more treasuries and reduce the number of treasuries for kings.

  • Yes i think this change will make huge difference on gameplay too, and i support it, I think it'll make game better, just too bad it comes after messed up building system which i don't like at all, so i won't have chance to test it :(

  • Hi. Players want to know how many active treasuries dukes will be able to construct in this new system. We are running a parallel discussion on Ru forum, so I'll be your "voice from the other world". Ah, and how many dukes will one king possibly have?

  • Hi. Players want to know how many active treasuries dukes will be able to construct in this new system. We are running a parallel discussion on Ru forum, so I'll be your "voice from the other world". Ah, and how many dukes will one king possibly have?


    Hey Ameno, nice to hear you're spreading the word. Concerning your questions, the details would really have to be determined by testing. So far the idea is that dukes might have 2 treasuries and kings maybe 2-3 as well. Depending on how big kingdoms become, we could also slightly increase the number of dukes per king (or maybe increase the influence area that's created per treasury).

  • +
    I really like this idea !
    I'm minerva playing at test server and I am wanting to be a 1 king alliance with an area of 500+ and so this plan of mine is for me to manage my kingdom and alliance more efficiently. As on last round I feel it is really hard to command an alliande with 3 kings and all of their kingdoms 500 areas+ each. With this method it would improve teamwork and make it easier to command an alliance for the king and his officials. Ofcourse this might cause some problems because most of the players will want to be king with this way but for the veterans or experienced ones this is a perfect idea.

    "You can do a hundreds of good deeds but everyone will remember the 1 mistake you will do."

  • Hi FabianF , I'm the kind of player that love so much game changes and improves, i think your idea is really interesting, and I think that you have made a TEST server for this, testing new patches and new idea.
    That's all, at most you can do a TEST 2 with this new features if the most of us will like it :)



    PS:
    In my opinion, thanks to you (Travian Team), this game is returning to be the best game of this gender, this is a new era of game development where continues changing, improving and users feedback is the key for success, guys go ahead, never stops and let's make together this game awesome.

  • I like the idea in general, but I would like to add that it would be a nice idea (IMO) that players can build up their kingdoms before enter the game world, so if you have friends that play the game they can add to your kingdom and start together.

    "Así, la energía que desprenden los buenos luchadores es como el brío de un canto rodado cuando desciende por una pendiente de miles de metros". Sun Tzu, El Arte De La Guerra.


  • Even if a king left, stopped playing or whatever, this should not lead to the whole team breaking down. This would in turn probably require a reduction on the maximum number of treasuries a king can have (and an increase of duke treasuries).


    One problem I see is that most of the governors in a kingdom probably don't want to or don't have time to be king - that's why they chose to be governors! If a king goes inactive, and nobody is in a good position to take their place, their govs may be stranded.


    Giving dukes more treasuries just moves the problem. Players still get screwed if their duke goes inactive. Kingdoms losing influence when players quit the game is really frustrating and demoralizing for the players who are left behind. (This happened to me 3 times on US4... I never had more than 2 villages inside my kingdom's influence where I could sell stolen goods properly... usually only 1, and even that was only because I kept building new villages just for that purpose, as my kings kept abdicating.) I don't see an easy fix for this.

  • I like the idea in general, but I would like to add that it would be a nice idea (IMO) that players can build up their kingdoms before enter the game world, so if you have friends that play the game they can add to your kingdom and start together.


    This is another great idea, this version of the game is based for 80%-90% on the team play, and i find really absurd that there is no ways to play with your premade team.