Posts by Gaius#EN(12)

    I do agree that it is slightly weaker on speed since there is more troops involved even in mass plundering.

    However since crop production is higher you can increase the reinforcement amount to about 3-4x more units than above and you get about the same results.

    OFC the losses would be shared across a lot of players so you would not loose everything, but the losses would be sufficiently big that there would be no economic gain from doing it.

    I doubt the trades would be favourable for the attacker.

    First of all farms are generally very small pop, this means on average they will recieve quite a decent morale bonus up to 50% (at about 8 times more pop on attacker).

    Second even though we wont have a lot of wall for most of the attacks the defending force will have a clear troop superiority which will result in really really favourable trades for the defenders since there is no hero or no weapon involved.

    This is a pretty realistic scenario of how most of the defences would look like

    And as you can see the losses of the attacker is more than twice of the defender. And phalanx+druid composition is pretty close to a balanced deff force so it works just as well against clubs

    However if we get back to the main point

    I don't think people realise how much you can abbuse this system so let me give an example how i would do it if i wanted to grief an entire server

    So lets say you play a big gaul deff king and you have plenty of druids/phalanxes.

    What i would start out by doing is i would make a kingdom post saying that every needs to stop plundering a certain date and time and make sure everyone gets this. There is two points to this, the first being to make sure no alliance members loose troops to what follows. The second point i will get back to

    After this i would proceed to defend every grey village over 100 pop with a balanced force of druids/phalanxes (troop size dependent on population) overnight. (And i really mean ALL grey villages). Preferably you should also time the defence so all troops land within a fairly short time span of a few hours (send reinforcement in waves, starting with villages further out and waiting to reinforce close villages)
    An example of troop numbers could be something like
    100-250 pop = 50 phal+25 druid
    250-500 pop = 100phal+50 druid
    500-1000 pop = 150 phal+75 druid
    1000+ = 200-250 phal+100-125 druid

    This would prevent most of the starving as the defended village likely would have enough crop production to feed the reinforcing army. And since almost all attacks on grey villages are very small (due to how mass farming works) the resulting trades would be extremly favourable for the defender.

    The reason why i defend during the night is that i wanna defend the farms when the plundering activity is the lowest. Since that means that they likely wont notice anything is wrong before its to late when they start their morning plunder (they could potentially loose 3-5 whole waves of plundering troops when they send out their troops in the morning).

    Finally 6-12 hours after the "great spike" i would pull home any remaining troops that still remains to avoid people clearing them with a sweep which would give me unfavourable trades.

    Say the average size of a grey village is 500 pop, that means i would need about 200-300 deff units for each grey village or roughly 20-30k deff units per 100 grey villages. With that in mind i could deff all greys on my current server with less than 50k deff (which is not much for good deff players).

    The second point is that i can now analyze the deff reports and see if any other alliances also stopped sending plunder. If they did i basically know they have an insider within the alliance

    The result would be huge unavoidable losses for any plundering player who did not get a warning about the "great spike". We are talking potentially x1-x5 full farm lists worth of units in losses here depening on how long it takes them to notice something is wrong and stop sending units.

    Now repeat this every 3-4 days att irregular intervalls and you have basically killed the ability to farm for the entire server.

    And this can be done by ANY large deff player or small alliance with a few deff players. Really you probably would only need to deff say 10-20% of all grey villages in this manner and the losses would still be so high that mass farming would no longer be a net gain in resources

    And worst of all there is almost nothing you can do as a plunderer to prevent this. The only option you have is to try and find the player/players who did it and try and remove them but in the case the player is in a decent sized alliance you would not be able to kill him off easily since they will know you are coming

    Problem with removing the visual indicator of inactive players is that it does not actually change anything about the "free loot" as you put it.

    There are plenty of online tools that helps you locate inactive players based on population growth etc. After that you just scout and tune the farms manually as usuall.

    I think the main result would be less players plundering overall, but the ones who do would be making a LOT more resources from it due to less competition (not just active off players).

    Frankly with all the visual indicators and farm lists its a bit to easy to make a lot of resources plundering (which you notice on how heavily the grey farms are actually plundered).

    But if i get back to the point on the "free loot"

    I dont actually think it's a problem you can solve, since none of the sugestions mentioned actually stops me as a deff players (or passive off player) from finding and scouting out inactive players with the methods i mention above. Worst case it becomes slighly more time consuming.

    And if you remove the possibility to farm players that have been inactive for say 3-5 days then you also remove the incentive for off players to attack other players for economical reasons. People would still attack for other reasons (like a clean back yard or war) but overall i think the fghting between players would decrease, especially in the early game.

    I dont get the argument that since plundering is booring, it should be removed.

    You do realise that plundering is optional right? It is not a requirement to plunder to have a competitive account, however it helps.

    I usually play extremly strong accounts without plundering, however in those cases you need a strong crop capital (and preferably tributes). Currently im doing all of those (plunder, crop capital and large king) to see just how far you can push a single deff account. However high quality accounts that work without plunder require a lot of gold.
    Moreover low risk plundering is one of the few ways to have a competetive account without gold so removing it you are giving gold spenders an even larger advantage which i really dont think is needed (more like other way around).

    And it is not free resources to plunder, a lot of time, units and infrastructure goes into plundering so saying its free resources is far from true. Moreover there is always the risk of chiefing and players going active again so there is always some troop looses even without spiking.

    Just because its not your cup of tea to plunder doesnt mean you should remove the option of playing relevant low gold accounts which is essentially what you are arguing for

    Also as oomph points out the inactive farming is basically the incentive off players have for clearing players around them. Clearing players and making them go inactive is almost always a net negative in resources, the inactive period after is basically the payback period for investing into clearing other player. With inactive villages easily identified this makes it easy for other players to mooch of other players work and get part of the cookie without actually paying for it. For this reason i think it makes sense to not have inactive players easily identifiable since it benifits players who actually cleared the farms in the first place. Now the payback period is basically over as soon as the village turns grey (since everyone sees its inactive and it will get plundered heavily).

    For that reason im more inclined to retain the option to reinforce all villages, however inactive players should not turn grey so they are so easy to identify. This solution removes most of the griefing problem while benifiting the active off players who clear farms (Basically it promotes an active play style and not sim city).

    If you are of the opinion of that it should be allowed i dont think you have considered how unbalanced the situation between plunderer and spiker is. Currently the system favors the spikers a LOT in terms of the most important metric which is time. If they wanna keep the ability to reinforce anyone they need to make it harder to spike cause the effort of plundering vs the effort of spiking does not line up.

    I could single handedly stop all plundering on my current server if i wanted, it wouldnt even be that expensive. It would take me maybe a few hours of work per week since its so easy to identify what villages to spike, unlike when you plunder you dont even need to scout, you just reinforce blindly.

    For plunderers it takes a lot of time to scout, clear and tune in farm list as well as keeping the troops working, for high level plundering we are talking lots and lots of work.

    Think about it like this:
    I could destroy all the hard work of all the plunderers on the server just by spending a few hours of work per week spiking, for however long i want. That kind of unbalance just does not make sense in a balanced strategy game. And this is the reason why i think the developers needs to get working on this cause if someone works out what you can actually do with the current system a large deff player or small alliance could single handedly destroy the potential of plundering of an entire server. While also causing huge troop looses for anyone who tries to plunder. Its not even that hard if you think about it.

    If they stay with being allowed to reinforce any village then at least they should stop marking the inactive villages on the map by turning them grey. Just that little adjustment would stop this kind of griefing in its track cause suddenly the spikers would have to actually put some time and effort into finding the inactives instead of just blindly reinforcing grey villages from map.

    So basically, either stop turning villages grey (marking them as inactive) or remove the possibility to reinforce inactive villages. Both methods would work

    Wrote a ticket regarding this some time ago where i explained how flawed the system is with allowing reinforcement of inactive villages.

    Lets just say there are HUGE griefing potential with the current system which thankfully hasn't been exploited.

    They pretty much just said it was all according to the rules

    "Right now it is legal to do so not against any game rules"

    But i think its a real issue since it causes a lot of frustration and actively hinders people from building large hammers. To build the really big hammers you need plunder, but if you plunder with current system soon your losses to inactive spiking become so big your army stop growing.

    And i really dont see any upsides to allowing reinforcement of grey villages so i dont get why they still allow it