Loved VVV's comment too, other than the com5 part. I don't get how you could say that you've been "advocating for reducing the meta influence" when you're supporting the meta concept. A good team can win a server without going down the meta path. We've all seen it or read about it. We need more leaders and teams with courage and skill to show that it can be done again and again. Until then your actions show that you believe metas are the only way to win.
KUU the current mechanics makes it really hard for a team to win it on their own, if the enemies decide to group all together against one alliance, it doesn't matter how good you are and how good is your team if they have 4/5 WWs it's almost impossible to win against that.
I'm not supporting the meta concept. I'm saying that the way the game is designed, metas have a massive advantage. I don't really know how various people define metas, and I don't particularly care. I personally wouldn't consider Titans on com5 a meta myself, but I'm aware that a lot of people would. We have about a tenth of the server's population in our alliance. We have about 20% more players than the nearest alliances (most of the top ten range between high 70s to high 80s, we have a bit more than 100 - it would have been less of a difference, but our main opposition in EMC suffered a little setback over the last couple of days).
We don't have wings. We're not going to get other alliances to build WW for us that change tags last minute. Does that make us a meta? Honestly, I don't care. From my point of view, we started with a core of about 50 players, we've grown to double that size by absorbing anyone half decent in our vicinity. We've got a few NAPs in place. It's close enough to meet most people's definition.
Look, when I talk of metas, I talk of very large alliances that absorb everyone they can. Whether it's one alliance, or multiple wings, doesn't matter. And no, I haven't seen a small pre-formed team, that stayed on their own, win a server. Outside of small regional servers, where the supposed small team was the same sort of size proportionally anyway. And nearly every case I've seen where people claim not to have meta'd, it's because they didn't do it officially, they wound up doing back door deals and having undisclosed client alliances.
I don't care how good your team is, if you turn up on a server with a meta that has any sort of experience in their leadership, you're not going to win.
I can understand VVV's points here. Currently, it is very difficult to play through end game without becoming involved in some sort of hug-fest with others. The game mechanics make it hard for a small team to compete, especially when the majority of its members are inexperienced in what we used to consider the basics - and it is not possible to avoid having the inexperienced players on your team altogether. Advocating some way to restrict or limit metas is not the same as refusing to participate in them when they become the only feasible way to survive and prosper in the game. That only underscores the need to somehow make life more difficult for metas and more rewarding for small teams.
The issues discussed in this thread are among those in the game which now make playing as a meta so appealing to so many. Perhaps the one king deal will alleviate some of that, but only time will tell. Hug-fests will still be possible, and obviously those who have come to rely on them will continue to try them - but it will be less likely that they will be able to hug their way to a server win. Other steps need to be taken, such as limiting the VP bonus in some way (The highest level WW? Maximum of 100%? One WW per kingdom?) to make end game more competitive. Making smaller teams by making it more difficult to enlist half (or more) of the server, should also promote competition at every stage of a server. We may actually see fighting return as the main attraction. Time will tell.
I also think that changes need to be made to make meta playing less attractive. I agree of course that being in a meta is the easiest way to win a server as the game mechanics are currently, but I wasn't talking about the easiest way. I was talking about playing in a way that honors the principles you espouse. To me it's also about whether winning or sticking to your principles is more important. Walking the walk, not just talking the talk. No offense intended VVV, as I agree with almost everything you write, but when you play as a king in a meta, then you are supporting meta playing.
let's look at the tools of war.....
During that server and in every server these tools should be used when they can to help you achieve victory. These same tools are used in the real world military's and have achieved success and failure thru out time.
The debate still goes on here how those tools should be removed from a WAR GAME. Big question for me is why?
I would say because in the 'real world' time continues, you don't win the World in the real world. Essentially alliances are made in the real world and the World keeps turning. We are talking about a game where we want new players to keep coming back. If they'd seen the end of the last server I played in then they'd see their efforts were pointless, ergo why play again in the future?
vvv: Just saw your reply VVV, mmh you always have the choice IMO, there is always an easy road and an hard one, obviously right now the hard one is really freakin hard.. I mean you can come with a preformed team in a server but what's the point of winning at any cost if along the way you don't enjoy at 100% the time you spend in the game you play during your free time? Having a premade team should be a great basis to avoid metaing and try your hardest to win on your own.
Yes, you always have a choice. My personal choice would be to play as governor on a smaller team in competition with metas. However, when you play as king, you are making a choice for all those governors who follow you. Would it be fair to them, if the majority were playing to win the server, for a king to make a choice which virtually ensures they will have little to no chance to achieve that goal? Winning a server is the goal of most who play through a server - they play to win (sometimes by any available means, as we have seen, which brings us back to the subject of this thread). The game needs to be changed in such a way that only by playing, as we used to do, can a server be won.
I am not saying diplomacy has no place in the game, but I am saying it should not - in and of itself - be the deciding factor. Fighting is what should decide the outcome. Team spirit is so nearly gone from the game because of the hug-fests that make fighting rare and undisciplined. Sure, a player in a meta can claim to be part of the winning team, but what does that mean? what did thy do beyond carry a tag and make peace with everyone in sight?
I would by far rather lose a server and have fun doing so than to win a server while sitting back and watching the clock run out at peace with everyone in sight and making defense for a ww.
Alrighty, let's do the full version.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I started playing Travian. By the time I hit my third server, I'd worked out (mostly by trial and error, and by reading everything I could find on the .au forums) some idea of how to play the game successfully, and got into an alliance that was one of the three main players on that server. I had a decent enough account (finished with a 300K EGH with 10K cattas, which was reasonable for my first attempt at a serious EGH), and so got invited into alliance leadership reasonably early on.
And boy, was that an eye opener. I discovered that 90% of the top accounts that I had idolised were questionable in one way or another. The level of scripting by the top raiders was unbelievable. The legendary account for attacks (we're talking serious attacks, chief killing enemy hammers etc...) was sitting an account in the opposing alliance, and would only attack when the dots were green as opposed to blue. The number of smaller players that were done over by the big accounts, within the same alliance - chiefing own alliance artefact villas, kicking and chiefing when it was deemed opportune etc... I could go on for a while.
My attitude towards the game has been the same ever since. In real life, circumstances get messy and complicated, and sometimes, the stakes are too high to do the right thing. This is a game, it's the one place where you can always be honourable, hold to your word, and do the right thing, because at the end of the day - it's just a game. I've always found it interesting to see how many people use the relative anonymity of an online game with no real consequences to indulge the worst of human character, but that's another story for another day.
So... Yeah, you could do a small, pre-formed elite team. Realistically, you're then not playing to win, you're playing for blood. And I do that on some servers. Some servers though, I'm part of a pre-formed team that's come for the win. If you don't meta, you're really committing yourself to the sort of lying, backstabbing, last minute WW switching alliance crap that I find more distasteful than a server long hugfest if you really do want to win. (Personally, I've played too many servers to ever set a goal of winning a server for myself personally, but more on that in a second).
Let's be clear here though - by meta, I mean that you naturally absorb players as fast as your alliance can extend influence. I don't mean that you attempt to confed with every single alliance on the server. Realistically, I think we've had one or two too many NAPs as it is, but I'm not in charge of diplomacy - hell, I was planning com5 to be a quiet round as a deffer, but got asked to be king for this server - so once again, it appears I've had greatness thrust upon me :p. And the vast majority of my team came to com5 to win. Which means that when I accepted to play as king for this server, I also accepted running with the gameplay most likely to win that server. And that means absorbing all the players we can as we expand influence as rapidly as we can.
But we're not indulging in a hug fest, I've had to rebuild more treasuries than any other account on the server.
So does everyone else I personaly hate it when i see big metas early in game ! That means boring siming game ! Everyone starts from same spot, so best and fastest people will get dukes faster, which won't allow you to sim and not steal treasures from others, afterall it's a war game and let it stay this way ! I like the idea of one king and nothing else it'll bring so much more strategy into the game, because now games are boring everyone just makes naps early and they play it out, almost no action, well now you'll be forced to hit people to grab treasures and expand as fast as you can and get as many people as possible in.
Edit: mah forgot to reply with quoute and am too lazy to find the post i was replying to now It was one of Jallus posts
VVV, com.1 was won by a team of under 40 players. Done the hard way with lots of patience, activity, skill and perseverance.
Yeah but the other two front runners had 50/60 players, it's not like they won against 400 other people, but its still a nice accomplishment
If com5 had looked like it was going to be 40-60 player alliances, we would have stuck with that. But it became very obvious very early on that it wasn't going to be a 40-60 player alliance server. And no matter how good your team is, if your opposition has twice the player base, you're toast.
Also, we managed to win COM1 yes, but don't you remember how? It was a boring server. Nothing much happened across the map, at all. And it's not like we played magnificently and were so amazing that we outplayed all the metas - we've played way better this current server than we ever did last server -, we didn't do all that much either, just like the rest. What caused us to win was one absolutely perfect decision at the end, with how to use our endgame hammers at the very last second. The other powers that were, hated us less than they hated eachother. So they didn't send their last hammers our way but at eachother, which we knew and managed to abuse. Still a neat accomplishment, but realistically, we shouldn't have been able to win that server if they had ganged up on us. That's what VVV is talking about. We still started that server with the intention to win of course, but if you look at it rationally, it shouldn't be possible. To me, that's what makes it fun. No point in winning with a meta. Would be like beating a 3 year old at kickboxing
I think one of the problems is around the definition of Meta. I'm taking a Meta tag because:
- We're large
- We have or have had NAPs with other leading alliances
- We've absorbed players as influence expanded.
That's close enough in my book. The classic meta that is an attempt to NAP/Confed everyone on the server, avoid any sort of hostilities etc... is not us.
There are 6 alliances with a big enough player base to be looking at a server win, ranging from 65 for BoB, who's work would be cut out, to us at 112. (The others are at 69, 79, 94 and 103).
We have 70% more VP than second place in that stat.
We have close to double the pop of second place in that stat.
We have more than 50% more attack points than second place in that stat.
We have 75% more def points than second place in that stat.
Though we are only second in area to Circle, which is an indication either that they're ridiculously spread, or had far fewer quality alliance in their section of that map - much as I'd love to sledge them, I think it's probably more the latter - Titans, BoB, EMC, Tonkawa all spawned in the same area, and now GS
The disproportionate lead we have in attack and def points tells you immediately we're not a simming meta.
All of those 6 alliances have recruited outside of their core. We've just recruited better, kept more players, and seen off the original second placed alliance (who have disappeared off to com1, if my understanding is right) - though that's also because EMC thought it wise to get in a dust up with VR/GS, BoB and ourselves simultaneously. VR killed off the early game hammers, BoB did serious damage to Red Dog and his treasure count, and the vast majority of EMC's mid game hammers splatted at my joint. Then El B.'s monumental suicide run at Mona finished that account up, with the rest of us following him in and mopping up. Morphy survives, for now, in GS, but we'll see for how long.
I've always thought to get the full opprobrium of the meta tag and forum ridicule, an alliance had to be ridiculously OP'd. On the base stats, I don't think we are, we've just kept our players better, and developed them better than the rest. One of the main things I do in metas is help the newer players - I think our newbies are coming along just fine. I look at some of the newbies in other alliances, and I don't think they're getting the same level of support. (And that's before we go into my well documented behaviour as free NPC for alliance members - I take all 1:1 trades so people without gold can get the res mix they need - or the fact that most weeks, my raiding total is in the hundreds of thousands negative if not past a million as I let alliance members raid a designated supply villas when needed to rebuild lost hammers, lost buildings, or help dukes get those punishing last levels of treasuries - whatever the alliance needs).
I'd love to get Titans to the point where a core of 50 or so players could hit a server, not recruit, hold our own and go for the win - but at this stage, that's not possible. The bulk of the players are newbies, there are few TL veterans - we need a couple more servers before we reach the right level. We're improving every server, and we'll get there, but in the meantime, we need to do a certain level of recruitment to be competitive. And if we aren't competitive, the chances of holding the membership long enough to develop the skill base is extremely small.
The disproportionate lead we have in attack and def points tells you immediately we're not a simming meta.
That's not completely true, a lot of big players means a lot of big robber hideouts, it means lots of off points for offers and lots of def points for deffers. The rankings due to robbers hideout are quite inaccurate
It's still disproportionate, even taking into account the argument around robber hideouts:
Yeah, BoB are the heaviest attackers for the server, I'll grant them that. But compared to everyone else, we're the second least simmiest alliance around.
And just because I can, here's a random picture I found in the same folder...
You have almost twice as much pop compared to the second alliance as you said, it's like having twice as many players troops wise hence much more off points coming from the robbers hideout, its like this, it always was like this on tk, it's not a mistery.
On COM4 out of my 500k off points 200k come easily from robbers, probably more. To be honest just like anyone in top off, lots of people that havn't sent out twice their hammers on real enemies and they still have 150/200k off points.
I'm not saying that BoB aren't the heaviest attackers. I'm just saying there's simtastic metas, and those that build a large but solid player base in order to win. There's a difference.
I'm not talking about what you said in general, I kinda agree actually. I'm just saying that those stats are not relevant in case of huge alliances, either they sim or not those numbers will be much bigger than anyone else