Posts by Kitty_COM

    My thoughts are to soldier on and stall either for admin intervention/advice or in the event that he returns. If he was committed initially, there is a respectable probability that he will return once he has finished dealing with his strife. You have ample time to garner attention from the mods, like @Georgi , to figure out what references you can use to make Gant charts or a decision tree timeline, and a plan of attack for each of your possibilities.

    I am an older player that used to play Legends over a decade ago that recently returned to Travian. I work full-time and a half, travel for work, and have other responsibilities, so I never was able to finish a whole server before becoming wrapped up in life. I really love the idea of a 6-week server because it's one that fits the game a bit nicer, I feel. I have started on over a dozen kingdoms servers and last a different amount of weeks each time and I would love a short server because it a) Reduces the "game time" that I spend being behind everyone else, and b) Reduces the interval between "fresh" servers so that there's a relevant option to start a new village on without being behind.

    However, shortening the server comes with a couple downsides, most notable how risky (and punishing) it can be for newer players. I really love Travian and want to see it grow, and for that we really need environments that are noob-friendly while also having enough of a "competitive edge" to reward players who really enjoy those large opportunities for outplaying opponents. I'm going to go quite at length with the extended metaphor here, but it was the first thought that came to my head when I read "short 1x Travian server".

    I work in six sigma management, and a couple of the most common questions I get asked by employers are:

    • "How do I know who I should promote?"
    • "How do I find out who I should fire?"
    • "How do I locate the employees who distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd through effort alone?"

    Each of these can be rewritten as "Do the tasks my employees perform provide enough opportunities for driven individuals to shine and enough difficulty to weed out dedicated employees?"

    One of the largest difficulties in designing a naturally competitive environment, be it a video game or an analyst team, is providing enough incentive to keep your dedicated employees performing and enough pressure to identify those who contribute "less effort." This is usually done through clear reward and punishment systems. In the workforce, it may include awards or raises or promotions for good work, while the "underperformers" receive warnings, write-ups, and termination. At the same time, that environment needs to have a sincerely comfortable "middle-ground" between those two groups to maintain a healthy work environment for the majority of your workers.

    The difference between the work force and travian is that in the work force you (typically) only have so much you can do to "outshine" your co-workers to ensure that you receive that award. The awards are realistically worthwhile and extremely rewarding to account for that, but it is often intentional so that good employees don't burn themselves out and so that they continually perform for longer periods and provide more value to a company. On the contrary, that raise or award might not go to that employee for one or two years of excellent behavior, or it might go to someone else entirely, meaning "all that hard work was for nothing". In Travian, however, you are (mostly) in control of your own promotions and raises (mostly) by the decisions you make. E.g., how soon you settle your second village, getting a good cropper, developing good relationships with those around you, raiding optimally (if at all), etc., all contribute to your performance in the game. On the other end of the scale, you can be punished for your behaviors. You can sit on a full warehouse for hours on end, you can never raid a single target, settle your villages days or weeks after you've had CP for them, etc. There are concrete examples of areas where you can either perform, or fail. This is measured mostly in what scheduling algorithms call utilization, the amount of uptime (active time) with respect to total runtime (duration that's being measured). To think about it in terms of Travian, an account's online time (uptime) with respect to server duration (runtime) that has a utilization of 1 is always online.

    For this next point, let us assume that no gold is bought, used, or spent by any player. In a normal 1x game of Travian, the time between actions ("Downtime") is far greater than the downtime on a 3x server. Meaning that if I wanted to go to sleep, I can queue up three levels of my main building or my residence and queue up units and upgrades. That's only possibly (on a solo account) because of that extensive, 10 hour-long downtime. On a 3x server, that 10 hours becomes 3 or 4 hours, meaning that I have to "play" the game more. Or in other words, increase my "Uptime". If I have a dual, or even decent sitters, I can still get by with sleeping on a 3x server as long as I can trust those people and that they have different absolute sleep schedules than me. However, new players (we assume) won't have sitters for a while and possibly never even a dual. That means that a new player's account will almost be guaranteed to have less uptime than an experienced player.

    But that's what we want, right? We want that competitive edge where an experienced player can be rewarded for all the time invested already in knowing build orders, building relationships, setting up farm lists, trade routes, etc. Think of a standard, six month 1x game. At two weeks in, how far part are you, population or troop-wise (whichever's easier for you) from the top players? How about at 4 weeks? Two months? Four months? How far apart are you, population-wise, from the top ranked players at the end of those 6 months? In my best games, at the very end, I am over 200 ranks down the list from #1 but I am absolutely annihilated by the numbers of the top 10 in any category. That's due to that initial difference in utilization compounding continuously and snowballing a victory through the end of the game.

    On the flipside, the inherent nature of the game is extremely intimidating for newer players and quite punishing when a first-time duke gets mowed down by a hammer because he went to sleep before asking his sitter to cover. That flipside is what we have to be careful of and try to avoid with this new server if we want to grow the community. If the choice is to lengthen construction times but reduce the number of levels, that protects new players but benefits gold (if allowed) users. If the goal is to artificially quicken/shorten construction times, that opens up windows that can increase uptime when capitalized upon by a new player. The amount of utilization opportunity for a good player must be paramount in designing this new game mode.

    I have a few suggestions for how the developers can help mitigate this. (I mean, I wouldn't spend hours to write all of this prose just to criticize things that the developers are already aware of, right? I'm an engineer, not a writer.)

    The first suggestion is to impose stricter limits/bounds on the static production/generation/uptime of each player while still having a realistic, achievable upper bound. This is a more effective method of normalization and progress acceleration than the aforementioned "make the time to reach upper bound faster by reducing max levels/upgrade duration/starting in a maxed out village". For example, if a village has every building and resource field maxed out, it has reached its Static Upper limit. It cannot be improved anymore than it already is without directly interfacing with (dynamic action) the village. A village that has nothing but lvl 1 fields and a Main Building is the effective lower bound. Can't get much lower than that. A few ways to implement this are:

    • Reduce the total number of upgradable buildings. e.g., start with a maxed out MB, Residence, and possibly discover a fully upgraded Town Hall, Marketplace, and Great Barracks/Stable as you progress. Maybe maxing out certain buildings unlocks a "clear rubble to discover the GB" quest.
    • Increase starting baseline production and decrease maximum production. E.g., start with lvl 3 resource fields, lvl 5 wh and lvl 5 granary instead of one lvl 1 field and nothing else. Decrease the maximum production by capping all resource tiles to 10 in the capital, and only a max of lvl 5 in other villages. This allows for beginners to know what to work towards without feeling like they have nothing while allowing for optimized build orders for efficient results for experienced players without creating as large of a snowball effect. This strategy is largely effective due to being easier to design, balance, and implement since the bounds can be statically defined and the time between limits can be fine-tuned easier than with other methods.

    My second suggestion is aimed towards making the game more approachable for new players. For a 60 day server to attract new players, core elements of 1x Travian's game play need to be revamped so that the game becomes not only more entertaining for the new (and old) user, but also provides the new (and average) user with more options to improve the understanding behind their decision-making and overall play style choices. Here are a couple:

    • Increase the reward for high-risk aggression and speed the recovery of costly losses. The main problem with current server designs are that the end-game is a waiting game until the big hammers swing once and the game's over. This lull in action will push away newer players and is the military-building equivalent of the "simming" snowball effect discussed earlier. By increasing the reward on attacks without reducing the penalty of failure, newer players can be active offensively and increase the overall action of the game, creating a more lively environment. Additionally, in the event that big clashes result in heavy casualties on both sides, (for example) a dynamic increase in % of losses being recovered over a day or two (almost 5% of total game duration) as the game progresses (e.g., starts at 5% of units recovered after combat, ends at 50%) means that more and larger armies are clashing over the whole game and ensures that the end-game isn't just a one-pump deal. This allows for bandages to still be relevant early-game, but there is a late-game alternative with the same impact.
    • Incentivize hitting players other than dukes and kings. Whether it's percentage-based (Attacking player steals % of treasures of the duke/king that owns the territory) or static rewards (quests), there needs to be more reason to hit governors. Dukes and kings are designed to lead and protect their governors anyways, so this would increase the interaction within a kingdom. Also, it would make being a part of a smaller kingdom more rewarding than being in a Meta-blob since you can defend against multiple attacks more effectively. It would also potentially punish defenseless hammers that are building up an infinitely scaling army in a corner without any repercussions.
    • Reduce the complexity of dynamic production interactions. Whether it is in the form of educational tools (forum posts, wiki) that explain some cost-benefit analysis of decision-making in Travian or in reducing the simplicity of the game play by reducing Travian down to its core elements of war and economy. It might mean taking out blacksmith and Academy and instead unlocking units and upgrades as you upgrade the Rax and the Stable and the workshop. It might mean that you need to have a certain level MB or Residence to produce certain units. Maybe EC/H/TK needs non-conventional conditions met before being unlocked. Having the dynamic interactions in Travian allows for us experienced players to optimize our choices and feel confident that it was the right decision. Since this is a core part of the "intrapersonal game play" in Travian, it need not be completely overhauled to have an effect. This may be one of the most effective strategy as it not only decreases the learning curve of the game, but it makes the consequences behind each choice clearer while retaining the importance of the decision itself.

    I know I was on the soap box for quite some time, so I'm going to take this chance to say thank you to the good admins and mods that keep making this game better and better, as well as all of the great members of the community. I'm grateful that we are able to provide our input on the game because at the end of the day, we're all Travian.

    As a new player, I am in wonder (hahahahahahaha) at how informative this guide is. I never have been on the winning team, let alone be part of a kingdom that has held a wonder before.

    This is really interesting, though! It really does become a team game and I can see why meta kingdoms have such an advantage

    Well you could put up beta speed server, for all of us, who don't like slow servers ...

    I think it's more of a "resource management" thing. They only have so much staff dedicated to Kingdoms, so they all work on datamining and refining/bug-fixing/evolving one version of the game before they figure out how to adjust it for a speed server. Besides, it would split the pop in the beta.

    If you want to do a speed server, I believe USx3 of classic trav started 9 days ago.