com2 - ΛD.CHΔØ
I dislike the adding of even more PvE to a PvP game. It would be cool and interesting, no doubt, but it just doesn't fit in a PvP game. You would have to spend a decent chunk of the already short gameround to get your cropper, you have to blow a lot of troops into robbers, every now and then even more robber (camps) appear and then there's the natarian 15c. If you want to make a PvE game in the style of Travian fine, I'd probably test it, if it's fun play it, but don't force even more PvE changes to a PvP game with a PvP community - please.
Right now the best strategy is to sim in a corner all round without any pvp and just win? Looking at last coms that ended this is what people do, pvp is quite small nowadays let's not fool ourselves. Not preformed kingdoms either fold on first attack and join a meta or delete and go to another server and become the meta. If experienced kingdoms start fighting first months another kingdom will sim in peace and win just by having bigger numbers overall because they didn't use them.
I think it adds a bit of conflict and opportunity in the beginning with you being able to cata the natar if you see our enemies are going for it, or even try to snipe chief them. I think it also adds some teamplay with people needing to organize a bit to get a natar for a player that can't take it solo or just to help with chiefs. Whereas before anybody could get a 100% 15c first day with fast settle and gold it as fast as possible. Everybody was minmaxing this cause it was so easy to do, even as a new player with the 40 gold you get it's easy to get a cropper and countered only by sending settlers faster than the other.
I'd love for something like this too, tho I fear that defending this with multiple helpers trivialises the power of these natar/NPC cities troops, maybe even making this the 'meta' way to clear them.
"This player has engaged in a duel with the natars and such cannot be reinforced for the next xx hours, please respect honor of combat"
On the specific questions:
Rewards - I too agree that resource piles are the way to go; xp scrolls for consecutive successful defenses from the same player maybe? most def players have trouble leveling their hero if the kingdom is not actively engaged in wars in the beginning and even then it's hit and miss for them
Siege units - yes they should, maybe lock it to only trigger on Case 2 and 3, let the rest be raids
As a fairly low gold user I like this idea. The best builds will focus on getting chief and 2 culture slots fast which will take a lot more than the current 12-24h fast settle build that everyone is doing myself included. This will create a chief meta with the premade teams however, considering the 15c will be a city so 2 culture slots needed, which in itself is not bad for pvp but the newer or let's say less dedicated players will be forever locked out of 15c, as Curtain mentioned the big players will swoop every 15c near them. As most kingdoms are somewhere between a meritocracy and a monarchy I don't see most big/king/duke/ww hammer players sacrificing time and armies to clear even 9c natars for the small def player instead of just getting another one for himself.
I would like to see some mechanic for the def players to be able to take one of those without them needing to clear it. Letting them somehow clear the 60% remaining army by triggering the natars to siege his capital with half the army. If defeated the natar surrenders to the player and gives them clear passage to chief by not defending with their remaining 30% when they attack and not needing to destroy the residence. Something like that would let def players be def instead of branching into offense or require sacrifices from their off friends while still keeping the 15/9c somehow secured from enemy opportunists which brings to the next point.
Denying the chief will become more common. Teams of players will actively scout the map now for all natars around their enemies. If the 15c is a city so it requires 200 loyalty to take it means the chiefing time will be quite long thus being easily targeted by enemy catas cause they saw somebody brought down residence with the population dropped. 15 players each targeting the fields can ruin your chief attempt. This will not be a problem for the experienced players as they will find ways to minimize the losses by adapting with their teams but the small players that maybe just want to take a 9c and invested so much in the beginning to get a chief ready they will be set back by quite a lot if somebody just zeroes the natar before him chiefing with no real counter. We do this now and will probably do more of it with this change.
I agree with the others that this is a nerf to off. I also see it as a slight nerf to def as they won't be able to just take a 15c/9c somewhere without help or friends and if they do have a plan to chief one it will take a while till they get it and start their anvil there. This is of course countered by the fact that you can do def in every village so in the end def can have the same mass production as before but the off players will probably start their ww hammers late now.
Numbers not needed: 4 and 9