Posts by Ammanurt

    Nope, that won't work.


    There are too many variables at play here to give a complete answer. Essentially, they most likely inferred/guessed the targets from your attacking and faking patterns. Or, you were attacking their most important villages which they defended by default. What was your pattern like? Did your faking pattern look like your real attack pattern?

    Hi Wizzball - It's good to see an honest reaction from the devs to this. That should happen more often and on more areas of gameplay. Anyway, although I believe you immediately when you say the dev team is passionate but without much in the way of resources, I think there are things you could be doing better. Certainly from a game design perspective there are things that imo you're not seeing clearly. I'll disregard the other issues since I think they're less important and because I expect they will be solved in some way.


    Yeah, treasure-swapping is a thing that this part doesn't touch at all. We've discussed that among the team many times too, but as of yet the "freedom" of the players was considered to be more important than stopping that thing dead by imposing certain restrictions on gameplay.


    I can meet you halfway there - the freedom of players IS more important. The way the game should work imho, is that creating metas is possible, but only well organised metas can survive. In other words, put incentives in the game that metas will dislike, such as penalties on e.g. troop strength if your kingdom is larger. To stop treasure sharing from friendly wings, why not incorporate something that counts "damage done from ally x to ally y" over time, which for a major part determines the amount of treasures/VP that can be stolen. Then, wings will have to be attacked and damaged for real before any useful amount of treasures can be taken. Can you see how that would change the game? Wings wouldn't want to be wings to metas anymore. And this way, there are disadvantages as well as advantages to being a meta, the same way there are advantages and disadvantages to playing as smaller teams. You might still have a problem with multiaccount wings, but that's a different issue to which different solutions exist.


    I think I've said that earlier, but it's impossible to stop players from cooperating unless you make it impossible for them to interact, and cooperation between kingdoms is actually meant to be an essential part of the game.
    Even in a pure 'team-vs-team'-game like DotA or LoL a gamedesigner can't stop both teams from cooperating and meeting peacefully in the middle of the map and just having a chat. They also couldn't stop two teams to partake in a tournament and the one deliberately losing to the other to push their buddies to the finals. They can maybe punish it afterwards if they have the resources to detect and prove (!) it happening, but they can't stop it from being possible.


    But that is flat out wrong. In Dota or LoL, if competitive players only meet peacefully in the middle of the map, and use this as a consistent strategy, their individual rankings will drop over time. If it happens in a team vs team setting the same thing happens. If they are professional teams, they will undoubtedly be penalized, suffer reputation damage, etc. Do you really think it's hard to see when two professional teams don't play in the usual manner? If two teams partake in a tournament and one of them decides to play only until they meet the other team and then lose to it, well you're right that's always possible. Technically. But the thing is - these are edge cases. How often have you seen teams do the things you're talking about? How often do they play normally?


    The incentives in those games are such that this behavior almost never happens. It's better and simpler to play normally because of how the ingame (or out-of-game) incentives work. Also, two teams doing what you say outside of competitive play will have virtually no direct impact on any other players. Compare that situation to the meta situation here and you'll see the difference - the incentives encourage metas, which impacts everybody, and playing differently is almost impossible because of how the incentives work. And I say that as someone who usually plays as offense coordinator of small teams that love to crush metas (Hi Walhberg, if you're the same Wahlberg that the Colony¿ fought, you were a massive pita as a forward base of a Russian alliance once iirc :D).


    It definitely is possible to come up with ways to create a fair environment where metas are possible, but any other playstyle is usable too. But you do need to first accept that incentives determine for a large part how a game is played before you can start coming up with ways of directing gameplay in the way you want. You could see it this way: You can work to find incentives stop the unwanted cooperation for any (for instance 99%) percentage you want. The remaining 1% of unwanted cooperation you can probably not do much about without hardcoded restrictions which would indeed suck the fun out of the game. But that's okay! Anyway if you're just going to assume that nothing you do can possibly have any effect, well...Why are you even a game designer then? :D


    When I'm analyzing the ends of recents worlds (which I've done before this change, so my memory should be relatively recent.), the endgame highscore always looked something like an exponential curve (first has twice the VP's than second, second has twice the VP's than third...), and the first kingdom always had twice (or more) as many players than the second.
    That, right now, as per my analysis, is the essence of the game - someone who's ahead already often starts snowballing, and the more players are within a kingdom the better, period.
    I guess way more fundamental changes to the game would be necessary to fix that than what we can do right now or in the near future.

    Yes.


    And people must be sware that policing is ridiculously expensive (see the problems Blizzard has with Overwatch or Riot has with League of Legends, both must spend ridiculous resources to police their communities.)

    Depends on how you want to do it and on what exactly. Creating some stuff like the automated anti-pushing restrictions isn't that expensive. Having people manually ban players, yeah that could be expensive. It's probably better to have an automated system, but I agree this will be hard and probably expensive anyway. A really good policing system is probably too expensive to have. I really don't have a solution here, the only thing I can think of is to have some kind automated system + a tribunal system based on volunteers/players that determine whether or not players have crossed any rules. Which itself would indeed be difficult and expensive to create. Shouldn't be your first priority at the moment anyway :)



    And if a MMO's community wants to police itself, at least duke it out in-game. If there's a majority in the community of a server who loathe a certain behavior, they can still feel free to team up on the offender and punish them with numerical superiority.

    But now you're disregarding the way metas work. It's not like everybody who hates metas are (in some weird paradox) all organised in the same team and can gang up on 'everybody else'. This is just not how it works. Most players on a server don't have, can't have and don't want to have, any kind of influence on what their team does. So how could they punish the players that do have influence, when they themselves have none? Sorry, but this is again the incentive issue that only the devs can solve.

    Concidering this is still a developing game I suppose they have to gradually develope the game. New strats and challenges are added. Some are changed and few are rolled back. Launching an actual server is kind of the only way to test how it works. Players expecting a polished product streamlined to perfection will always be disappointed what ever devs do. After 13 years as an active sometimes high level player I've seen changes come on that no one asked for or really wanted and then taken away. I think they're realizing our reactions and balancing it out for a major reworking. This thread has been super useful for both advice, opinions and devs have enganged. Now we players must be patient and let the devs work this one out. Will check back and start actually playing when things get playable again.

    You're making it sound like their development cycles are normal, planned out and well executed. They really aren't...

    [Ammanurt rant in 3, 2, 1..]


    2 steps forward, 3 steps back. Pretty much that has been the case since I joined at closed beta, yup. Or rather, it has been the case I suppose since before that, the beginning of T4 or possibly before that. So so much could've been avoided, and the game could have been so much better for it, if they had listened to ANY of the veterans that have virtually without exception left the game over time (and what new players have been retained?). The devs seem more interested in making it look like they care, than in actually caring about what players have to say. I've been waiting and almost hoping for this game to get shitcanned for quite a while now, it's obviously terrible for their company but somehow that's apparently infinitely okay?


    I still keep up with the forum, can't look away, it's like watching a car crash. I wonder how much more development money they're going to waste before they realize this game isn't going to work because it can't work. Too many inconsistencies in the general design. Too flawed execution/implementation of the design. Imho, not enough insight into what made the old games work, both gameplay-wise and market-wise. But who knows, maybe it's still making enough money. Maybe Travian Games cannot be NOT developing this game for some company-political "reason". What they should do in that case, is look very carefully which things about this version are good, such as the graphics, maybe VP and some part of the kingdom idea, throw absolutely everything else away, and rebuild from the ground up a game that is actuallly different from 99% of the games in the genre, including the other game they're directly competing with, over the same playerbase: Travian Legends. Yes, that definitely means this game cannot be another casual game. Travian Legends is your casual game already. It's not doing all that great either. So don't make a watered down version of a previously watered down game and expect it to work. This should be obvious...And get an actual senior software engineer for crying out loud. Or better programmers. Or both. Whichever the problem is.


    [Ok, rant over!]

    I see the quests as something that helps the beginner get to some kind of guaranteed half-decent start. Making the game a glorified to-do list is just...boring and wrong.


    The rest of the game should take over after the quests run out and be interesting in it's own right. But because of metas and other problems which cause players not to fight, the game becomes very boring indeed. You could make midgame shorter, cause the suffering to end sooner...but then you have no gameplay left. You begin, boom you have WWs, boom it ends.


    The middle game should be much longer, but even more importantly, something should actually happen between players in that timeframe. The original T versions got it right, there was plenty of time for a natural flow of wars with winners and losers, meaningful decisions and mistakes. TK? Not so much.


    Anyway, what could be interesting is to have the server setup as follows:


    1. Everyone starts out with 8 fully developed villages, with CP for 4 more. You can choose, at the start, how many troops you want to have and of which types, including chiefs, cats and rams. There's a crop cap, of say 40k. This skips early and part of midgame entirely.
    2. You get VP for destroying population. So grabbing a village of 500 pop -> 500 vp. Catting a building of 20-pop: you get 20vp. You can't lose VP. You're limited by how much you can destroy.
    3.the winner is whoever has the most VP after 6 weeks. There are no wonders or anything else, no time for it. We skip the entire endgame.
    4. You cant get vp by destroying players in your own alliance. This counters metas.

    So what you plan on doing so far is:


    1. Make playing this server an option for beginners
    2. Make the game faster by adding resources in the form of quests
    3. Decrease troop training and costs over time
    4. Make the servers shorter than before


    This is exactly what you have been doing with kingdoms. Is it working? And isn't this server supposed to be both special and different from a normal x3 speedserver? I don't see anything new or different from your general Kingdoms plan here.

    Maybe it's time to test if "battling for VP", that is, bringing population down gives you VP, could work. Make it a battle server without world wonders in which everybody destroys eachother to get population down -> get VP. Then end the world after 6 weeks, whoever was battling best will have the most VP :D

    Weird since as far as i'm concerned everyone wants to be part of a meta when it's winning.


    Not exactly. The leaderships of those metas want to be part of the metas. Based on my experience in dealing with metas, the rest of the players in metas think they're boring but don't know/don't care about how to change it.



    Now suddenly "most" are against it. I hope that developers don't get carried away with the "anti-meta" revolution, since staying in the community is a huge factor which keeps players playing the game for years. Maybe instead of trying to tear metas apart you implement changes that will bring equality between big and small groups of players. Unions doesn't, we can get everyone in the kingdom with just 1 village and still have 100 active players working for victory. An idea would be to implement same rules of +/- % attack power which is used currently for big population players attacking smaller players. So If a huge Meta kingdom player would attack a smaller kingdom governor they would be affected with -x% attack power for his army and same if small kingdom players attacks bigger. etc. Obviously the effect shouldn't be too overpowered but it would make it more reasonable for small kingdoms to defend themselves against bigger ones.


    I agree with your point that it would be good to bring equality between big and small groups of players e.g. by means of a kingdom-wide morale-bonus. I think it's quite obvious that this game hasn't managed to attract or retain many players. One (out of many) major factors at the core of that problem is that the game mechanics encourage metas. So making it harder to be a meta, slower to grow, without taking away the potential for a meta (it still needs to be possible to be one), can only be good for the game. Why not do both?

    @Zoo Keeper: I don't believe for a second that Mayo was successful thanks to this bug/feature. I've torn apart metas without ever using this particular little tactic, you really don't need it. If Mayo is as capable as you make him out to be, he won't need it either, it's just another tool. As others have mentioned, it's easily avoidable and therefore not very reliable against good opponents. You give this trick way too much credit.