Posts by Scorox

    Be2-e4 wrote:

    You're just repeating yourself, without any new argument or going into my points, that I wrote. I really tried, but I don't see any substance in your last post. I do try to dicuss these topics, provide arguments and reasons for my believes and thoughts, everything you did was to say "you're wrong, I'm right". This appears a little childish to be honest. If you want your opinion not to be ignored (by anyone who doesn't share it, not only by me), post reasons for your thoughts and arguments of some quality.

    Telling me this just goes to show that you have not read my other posts on this subject. In these post I clearly point to the fact what I believe a max limit to be beneficial for. My last 2 posts were strictly aimed at pointing out the fact that hard limits are not inherently bad game design (which some people claim it to be), and to point out (which have been pointed out many times) that the max player limit is not a solution to wings or METAs. Why would you not finding any substance in this? Hearing people using the arguments over and over again that a hard player limit is bad game design and that it will not solve the meta problem is pretty problematic, because the first part is factually wrong, and the second part is not even the purpose of the proposal. It surely have substance to respond when these 2 arguments being used against the proposal of a max member limits of kingdoms.


    Furthermore, saying that all I did was saying that "you are wrong, and I am right", and that I'm childish ... I think this is highly unfair when I even in my last reply to you supplied a separate paragraph addressing why I think we have different opinions about this. If anything I try to see this from your point of you and trying to see why we differ so much in our opinions about it.


    If you still don't know why I support a hard max limit please read my earlier post on the subject (in Deacon's or Starx's post). Your quote above clearly show that you have missed these. This is understandable since there is so much to read in these threads now. Maybe there is a need for a new collection of the points and arguments I have posted before. I have even respond to why a soft limit is not something I believe to be better than a hard limit. So it's wrong for you to dishonor what I wrote in my last two replies (saying I'm childish and upset) just because I did not include the arguments I have made before into my most recent post/reply. This time I felt like I strictly wanted to comment on the argument "A hard limit is bad game design", and I think this is perfectly fine to do so without having to also supply all my other arguments and comments I have made before.

    No mate, I'm not upset at all. I'm happy this topic is getting this well deserved amount of attention.


    I don't think I need to add a list of more games with hard limits to prove my point. The evidence are abundant. Hard limits are every where in games.. even in this game. Its is factually wrong that hard limits are enherently a bad game design.


    The difference in our thinking may come from that you judge a max player limit as a way to stop metas (you conclude it will fail, and I agree). I do not judge the max player limit according to if this will stop metas or not. Metas will always form.. As they should be allowed to do. A max player limit is important for totally diffident reasons.


    Its a cheap shot trying to frame the debate of a max player limit as a method that will fail in its objective to stop metas. Any system will fail with that, and its not the aim of a max player limit to even try to stop metas.

    Be2-e4


    While I mostly agree with you on "Good game design doesn't enforce hard limits to try to force players to do something", good game design and balancing in particular entails "pulling levers" on variables within your control, be it existing or new ones. A member limit can be one such lever, and whether you achieve such a limit by strictly enforcing it or by making it almost completely infeasible (e.g. by a nerf on troop strength or by making treasure production negative or w/e if your kingdom > 60 members) doesn't make much of a difference in this case.


    Anyway, I don't think the point is that having a member limit would stop metas in their tracks - it obviously wouldn't. It would only function as a small first incentive against metas. If you want to have a meta you need to organize several wings, which is somewhat more work than simply having everyone in one massive group.

    Well spoken Ammanurt . Let's not accept the proposed frame of the debate that hard limits is bad game design.. This is untrue and a lie. Just look around you which games have been among the post popular in human civilization and you know how false such a statement is. This is a false premis of the debate and a frame set by people whom are against a max player limit for other reasons they may not want to reveal.


    Hearing people say that a hard member limit is a bad game design in Travian-like games clearly contradicts the fact that Travian Legends are built on this rule. Put this in the light of the dropping player base and closing of local servers in Travian Kingdoms, and the large and frequent updates of Travian Legends recently makes the statement of a hard member limit being bad game design even more absurd.

    Jak actually as I see it the evidence from the 2 servers BM played in 2018 suggests even more that a Max Limit of 60 members per kingdom needed. These 2 Server were two of the very few where the meta was not structured as a +130 man kingdom. Instead the meta BM faced was formed by an alliance of 3 opposing 50 man Kingdoms. The effect of this was that BM was able to run ahead in VP based on superior skill. Had the 3 Kingdoms instead been formed as a 150 man kingdom BM would just barely been able to keep up with this meta in terms of VP despite superior skill. I was on that server myself, as I have been on with one or two dominant +130 man Kingdoms... And to me the servers with 4 Kingdoms of 50-60 members each was a way better experience.

    I disagree, limiting the territories helped massively, so much so that a 50 player premade is now very often compared to a meta, just because they have the strength to beat them


    Restricting borders to maybe 250-300 fields max (expanded over time with treasuries as it is now) would not stop any Kingdom recruiting as many players as they wished, but it would mean there was less to be gained from it (so less reason for it) managing a smaller team is lot easier & a lot more interesting overall and stops Govs just being tribute mules for their kingdoms

    I agree that it did help. The situation before they decreased boarders size was crazy. I'm just not sure that it will help to the same extent if another Territory Size decrease would be implemented. If anything it will make it harder for the in-game constructed Kingdoms to compete with the pre-made out of game constructed Kingdoms.

    Disclaimer

    Last few days there has been much debate on the the "Kingdom Member Limit" topic. To avoid any blame of hiding my bias on the topic I should declare that I'm in the camp that supports a Member Limitation to Kingdoms. However, to the extent that you believe me, I want to state that I have tried to stay unbiased when both gathering and presenting the data in this post. My intention of this post is not to shame anyone, nor is it an attempt to add leverage for my opinion in the debate on "Kingdom Member Limit". The intent of this Post is to describe as clearly as possible the state of the game in 2018, and to analyze the implications of the current game rules and mechanics.


    Also, please leave a like on the post if you liked it. If there is interest I may find the effort to go back in time, digging up and presenting some data from 2017 and 2016.



    Data

    The presented graphs in this post are based on collected data from GT archives for 2018. In total there were 15 servers that ended during this year. Each server was played under the Kingdom Union system. For each server data was gathered for the top 6 kingdoms (ranked by Victory Points). Recorded Victory Points are excluding the Wonder of the World bonus.




    In the Average: The Member Count - Victory Point relationship

    For aspiring new players to this game you may want to know what other successful kingdoms are doing in order to reach the top 6 ranks of a given server. This information may be useful if you are interested in creating your own team, or simply if you want to avoid getting crushed in the mid game repeatedly. As a first taste of what the 2018 data tells us it's always good to look at averages. In total there were 15 Kingdoms reaching Rank 1, 15 Kingdoms reaching Rank 2, ... and so on. The following graph shows you the Average Member Count and Victory Points in each Rank-Bracket for 2018. The yellow and white down-pointing arrows with associated [- %] numbers display how much lower in % a given Rank Bracket is in average as compared to the Rank 1 bracket.


    Key Observations:

    1. On average, a Rank 1 kingdom had 107 members in the end game.

    2. On average, a Rank 1 kingdom had 11.4 Million Victory Points in the end game (before WW Bonus was applied).

    3. There is a near perfect correlation between end game Member Count and Victory Points in the averages.

    4. End game Victory Points seem to fall linearly and to an almost exact proposition to falling member count.

    5. One may derive a model for the Expected Kingdom end game Victory Point via the Member Count in the following way: Expected VP = Expected Member Count * 100 000. That is the same as saying that each member of a kingdom is on average worth 100 000 VP.








    Applying our Model - Studding each Kingdom in 2018

    Although averages may give us a model in the expectation, no model can describe a data set perfectly. Let's now apply our model to each individual observation we have of a Kingdom ending up in a top 6 Rank during 2018. In the figure below you see a scatter plot describing each Kingdoms member count (x-axis) and before WW bonus VP (y-axis). Our model for the expected VP is added as well (orange line).


    Key Observations:

    1. The model of predicting a Kingdoms end game VP using only the kingdoms member count seems scary accurate!

    2. A few noteworthy outliers are the 2 for Kingdom BM, and the worst one for Kingdom Stars. It should be said that the 2 servers BM played in 2018 did not have any of the 150 member kingdoms we saw on the other server. In fact BM was the largest team about about 60 members in both the servers they played. As for Stars, their low outlier was on a server where EMC with about 140 members had a complete hegemony, it might have been they case that Stars (just as any other kingdoms on that server) had no chance to compete despite their 62 members.

    3. It appears as if the teams that are above the 100 member threshold are the ones that a) have an open discord server and engage in active recruitment, b) are the ones that we see surviving and occurring on more than one server. Teams below the 50 member threshold appear to either be temporary in-game constructions, or have in many cases died off as pre-made teams.








    Server Balance - The Kingdom Member distribution on a server basis

    Having looked at the data in averages, and on a Kingdom specific basis, it may be insightful to also look how the VP - Kingdom Member Count relationship have appeared on a server to server basis. In the figure presented below you will see each of the 15 servers with an end date in 2018 along the x-axis. The y-axis displays the a Kingdoms end game VP. Each Kingdom (Rank 1 to 6) of a given server is depicted as a bubble, which width shows the Kingdoms Member count.


    Key Observations:

    1. We can again see the relationship between member count and VP as the bubbles generally are larger in size the further up the VP y-axis we go. The relationship is not perfect as we saw in the previous section, but we can clearly see a clear tendency that Rank 3 - 6 Kingdoms having a completely irrelevant position on most servers.

    2. A common scenario on a few servers is the Rank 1 vs. Rank 2 Kingdom situation.

    3. One some servers the Rank 1 kingdom is so far ahead that WW bonus will not matter.

    4. There is a HUGE variance in terms of server style. In some servers you see the 150 man teams, some times in hegemony position, and some times battling another 150 man team. On other servers there are no 150 man teams, on which Rank 1 - Rank 4 appears to have roughly similar member counts, yet one team coming out on top (in 2 cases its the Kingdom BM contribution to this more rare situation). The distinct randomness by it self is a noteworthy observation though.








    Ending words:

    I do not want to add my own conclusion from the data presented in this post. I simply hope this can inspire some good and constructive debate below. I do however want to add a few recommendation to new players coming to the game in order to at least attempt them to not become discouraged form experiencing crushing defeats in their first and second server. My recommendations to new players goes as follows:

    a) If you are a solo player coming to the game, try to seek out one of the kingdoms whom often seem to be able to mass 150 man Kingdoms. As a member of these you will be able to play a complete round without fear and stress. Often you can also get good help on how to improve your individual game play in these Kingdoms.

    b) If you aspire to build a Kingdom out of curiosity or due to being unwanted by one (or all?) 150 man capable teams, then try to make sure you are able to reach that >100 member threshold as fast as possible. The data suggest this being important as many of the Kingdoms below this threshold appears only once in the data.. while the 150 man capable teams appear to survive and even grow across servers!

    c) Be very very careful which server you decide to play. If you are new and not yet part of a 150 man capable team, then you had best odds on a server where one of these 150 man capable teams do not join. Jumping in blindly and joining the first best kingdom you find, then you may soon find yourself getting obliterated for staying loyal to your king by your 150 man Kingdom next door. In essence, joining a random kingdom will be a more fun and fair experience on servers where you do not see the 150 man capable teams.


    That is all for this post! Hope you find some interesting and fun facts here! :)

    I am against restricting players, I would more lean towards restricting borders so that all kingdoms are fairer in terms of wealth and tributes regardless of how many members they have.

    Another suggestion would be for stolen goods to be worth the same amount whichever Kingdom you are in and not have it based on treasures and treasuries (since this just makes larger Kingdoms richer & leaves greedy Kings wanting more)


    If the rewards were the same for large and small Kingdoms then a more even fight would present itself and there would be less need for "metas" to happen


    I think the development just over the last 6 months to a year are more and more indicating that a "territory" limit will not do the job. On COM6 where Phoenix and Nemesis merged (temporarily for the COM6 server) we had no problem fitting all 143 members easily .. and even with smaller boarders that would not be an issue either. The problem, in my opinion, lies in the accessibility (and even optimallity) of massing a server "raid party" of a Game Winning size before launch.

    Scorox: If limit, then 100 - from my side. Most of kingdoms can be inside it, for example on com3 - three of five biggest kingdoms with their wings are smaller then 100 players. That way would allow some new members to join too, probably.

    But 60 will ruin the game too much for new players.


    Maybe you are right. As some critics have said before, a hard limit may be hard to balance. Personally I'm for the most part happy that there is a debate about this issue. If I had to give a number I'm more leaning to a 60 man limit based on the Data I am about to present in a new post soon. But that is just my own guess what would turn out best.

    Member limit is a good way. In classic there was so. Embassy lvl allowed to nv more. Here we have monster kingdoms who dont allow smaller teams to play.


    I agree with you TheSimon. And the bit disturbing part is that it appears as if a disproportional number of the critics of a Kingdom Member Limit are steady members of one of these "monster kingdoms". But I strongly agree with you in the conclusion that smaller teams are not viable in the game. And the strategic decision by already large premade teams to merge and completely dominate a server is a sign that also they know this fact about the game.

    ....basically the argument he is making is that the reason for the development of big meta kingdoms is the snowball-effect of the treasure mechanic

    for example: more members -> more treasures -> more vp -> more members again...... an other one of the mechanics that keeps meta kingdmos growing is that due to the faster treasure generation they get more treasuries -> more influence zone -> more members ... the fact that this way many of the big kingdoms can just cover complete kingdoms and recruit even more players throughout the game ...

    Although I do agree with that the that the main effect pushing players into META are the VP system, I see enough other reasons to keep aiming for max member count even if the VP system is reworked or removed (which I think it needs to be BTW). Each new member brings a certain probability of one more late game hammer, or a certain uptick in WW/Treasury def. So the pull to cram in as many members as possible is there even without the VP system as it a tool for gaining the upper hand on your enemy army-wise. Concretely, even without the VP system you would aim for 150 or more members rather than 50.


    Quote

    one of the possible solutions could be to set a limit to the count of treasuries a kingdom can have... for example a if a kingdom could only get additional 4 treasuries (at 5k 15k 25k and 40k) -> that would lead to "smaller" kingdoms having faster access to new treasuries to be able to recruit players by covering their territory or merge with an other smaller kingdom and overall make the choice of joining a not top-tier kingdom more attractive

    this would also be an obvious nerf to "bigger" kingdoms since they wouldnt be able to outgrow all kingdoms in size and cover an entire quadrant with their influnce zone at later stages... this would force leaders of large kingdoms to choose between recruiting new players in new areas and deactivate already populated treasury zones OR sticking to the area where they already have settled and established dominance but not beeing able to recruit smaller kingdoms by covering their zone

    Personally I think it was a time when the territory size mattered way more than it does now. Even if you theoretically could cover another Kingdoms members with boarders and invite them today, the inability of Kings to abdicate after Union makes members of other Kingdoms unwilling. So mergers of large Kingdoms into one in-game is much less of a kingdom territory size issue today than it was in the past. The more present issue I see today is kingdom size in terms of members organised into premade teams in discord. With 200 members awaiting a launch of a server in discord, kingdom boarder size is less of an issue.


    Quote

    also an interesting take on this issue could be making it easier to beat bigger kingdoms:

    what i mean by that is that a kingdom could recieve a small debuff on their defensive forces when defending against members of a kingdom that has a lower population by a certain percentage... that way there would be an obvious disadvantage in just mindlessly recruiting a large amount of players... this would also counteract to a big kingdom beeing able to recruit more defense just because of their large playerbase

    these are just suggestions that came to my mind so there could be some flaws in them that i didnt think of

    Maybe, but reverse engener that formula and you would have a number of troops build compared to population and you would know which members would be a cost and whom are contributors. At least with a hard player limit the lowest performers do not cost you more than the alternativ cost of someone better taking this players membership. But with a soft limit like this there will be a computable performance threshold you need to meet to not be considered a direct loss.

    More people in leadership positions isn't a pro at all. This means, that most kingdoms will be lead by garbage and are just a snack for kingdoms with a good leadership.

    But one must ask the question. Why do you think most people are not suitable for leadership positions? Is it because of they are beyond all help and can not develop some of the skills needed for it? Or is it because they are never given the option to be in this position? Personally I think that more people than are currently entrusted by the larger more well known organisations are capable of at least learning, if not already capable of handling these tasks.

    Quote

    To sum it up (for the other readers, I'm sure you know the post very well, but just chose to ignore it):

    A) Hard limits force you to make bad decisions like "do I keep an active, chatty noob or do I kick him for someone who does nothing, but build def"

    B)This won't work after all, there will just be a wing. In T:L it is like this, main ally only gets the win, wings get nothing. There still are metas. T:L is the living proof, that what you propose won't work as intended at all.

    C) New players are more or less fucked. You euphemize this by saying "it'll take them some time to get recruited by a top kingdom", but they just won't get recruited at all, get bashed, and get farmed. Either this, or they land in the 17th wing of some random meta.

    A) Even under the current system "noob" get kicked and farmed. This is nothing that is completely elusive to a system with a Max Member Limit. If a player ever get kicked from a kingdom in-game and feel unfairly treated.. then truly this player would fare much better finding a better home where new players are welcome and guided properly. In other games it is a common thing with "guilds" that are focused at welcoming new players to teach and train them. In Travian Kingdom these players are instead left to guessing in-game which kingdoms may be suit him and his level of experience and commitment.

    B) There may be METAs and Wings in game. But there can never be an agreement of that 100 players in a group will always work for the win of the other 50 (main members) in a 150 man group. And are you proposing that Travian Legends are working worse than Travian Kingdoms?

    C) Here we fundamentally disagree. If "Permanent Kingdom Organisations" are supported, I can promise you that new players have more Organisations to choose from than they possibly even have time to evaluate before they have decided to stay in a particular team.



    Be2-e4 wrote:

    It's not even remotely less biased, premade kingdoms rarely do exceed 60 members and if they do, they will be much much much more likely to be willing to create a wing for the sake of playing together, thus boosting premades even more. It also won't be more competetive at all. Either there will be lots of wings, or, the good kingdoms are now only X accounts, a number which will exceed the number of decent+ accounts anyway, getting rid of the semiactive garbage, which isn't a big deal to fight off.

    I agree that the Pro/Con list in the original post do not deliver the arguments, just desired effects. The arguments to why Wing-METAs would have a harder time under this system I wrote in the longer text which ⭐Starx⭐ quoted. Essentially the argument is that players they do feel that they are put on the bench and being done away with will eventually look for a team where they are fully appreciated.


    Be2-e4 wrote:

    I dislike kingdoms based on pure mass aswell, which you will know if you read the other thread, but this solution is just not working and this thread and poll is biased as hell ... and there are much better ideas and solutions than hard limits, for the most trivial instance, the one Curtain posted in the post I linked.

    You cannot say for sure that its not working. And if there are better suggestions to save this game we should lift these suggestions up for concrete debate too. Curtain would you have time to formalize it into a new post?

    There are so many pressing issues in this game that need to be addressed....I just dont think the member limitation is one of them....not to say that it wouldnt be appreciated in the game, but just so many more things that SHOULD be addressed first, like the fact that you cant dissolve a kingdoms union.....thats fine, but the fact that you can delete.....with an active treasury....and TREASURES!!......thats is just a terrible design!

    SacredLegend That is indeed not good. But the foundation problem there is also that the wrong people are in control to the faith of so many other players. Travian Kingdoms do, via the "random in-game" kingdom philosophy facilitates this. This is just another reason why we need "Permanent Kingdom Organisations", where players can seek out a variety of options in terms of teams to join before they enter a server. Such an ongoing kingdom development in-between and across server have a good potential of establishing more organisations among wish less such bad surprises happens. A competitive environment among organisations also outside of servers, I believe, will organically push teams into "shaping up".

    I dont think Travian would institute such a restriction....and if they did it would take years for them to do so. There are "simple" issues in this game that could and should be fixed, but Travian hasnt done so.....doing something like this would be a huge over haul to the game, as i believe there would have to be other changes made to kingdoms before you could institute this 60 member limitation.


    Overall, I think this is a dying game...the devs seem to be putting in less and less time into this game.....and just apply bandaid fixes to issues as they come up.

    Basically....dont expect Travian to do anything about this anytime soon.


    I think the Kingdom Unions update, and the Menhir update were pretty significant in their technical differences to the past system. So one could argue that the Devs are still putting in effort. I agree that the game is on a downwards slope in terms of active players however, and this we much do everything we as players can to prevent. We must ask of the Devs to have one question in mind when designing coming updates of the Union and Menhir scale, namely "Why are players leaving the game, and why are they not recommending the game to others to a larger extent?". I personally feel like the Menhir update was very much a response to the answer such question may produce. So I'm not completely sure all is lost just yet.

    One further consideration could be that this does not necessarily need to be something that excludes servers with 150 member in 2 dominant kingdoms each. There could be Limited Kingdom Servers and Unlimited Kingdom Servers, just as there are x1 and x3 speed servers. Personally I do however see more and more players preferring the Limited Servers for both fairness and challenge reasons. And with that thought in mind, if I had a new friend whom would be interested in Travian Kingdom, I would for sure recommend him to join a Limited Kingdom Server .. I reckon he would be better welcome by the community there. Just having the "new player"-friendliness objection in mind.

    ⭐Starx⭐ I think it would be worth to map the details and supportive features such restriction would optimally demand. If the details are not mapped out fully and described in detail everyone will judge such proposal in the light of their own individual assumptions of how such restriction will be implemented and what affects it will have.



    Background:


    In essence this proposal is a change in game philosophy. The current system evolves around a kingdoms who's "life" span over one server only. Membership in a kingdom is temporary, and there is no restriction in regards to how many such temporary members a kingdom can have. By the increasing ease of organisation and communication using 3rd party software, such as discord, the playing field is getting increasingly unfair as the power difference between pre-made kingdoms and in-game-constructed kingdoms widens. Especially new-comers to the game are more likely to suffer at the hands of more experienced players whom joins a server in a pre-made kingdom. This proposal intends to level the playing feel by adding pre-made kingdoms (with restrictions) as an core mechanics of the game, thereby facilitating for new-comers and experienced players alike to find an group of players to bond with, learn from, fight for survival together with.



    Proposed Details:


    A) Official Support for "Permanent Kingdom Organisations" on the official Travian Kingdoms web-site. Such a support if implemented correctly could serve as way for new and inexperienced players to find a "home" in this game, where they can get help and guidance from more experienced players. Such official support for "Permanent Kingdom Organisations" may involve:

    - Kingdom Information Page describing the Kingdoms Culture and Status in terms of recruitment.

    - Display of Kingdom Achievements

    - List of Kingdom Members

    - Statistics over Kingdoms Past Results

    - A Kingdom lobby chat for members.

    - Kingdom customization (Kingdom Banner/Flag/etc.)


    B) A "Kingdom Member Limit" of 50-60 Members, and a restriction of only being allowed to assume membership in one Kingdom at the time. These restrictions are aimed to stimulate the create of a larger number of "Permanent Kingdom Organisations", with a more distinct and varying culture and goals.


    C) Only 1 kingdom can "WIN" a Server. Winning a server will be something very rare and truly astounding, since only 50-60 members can win. Also a loss will be something less dramatic as compared to now.. were approximately half the server wins, and half looses. Such a change also holds the potential of reducing the problems of huge Wing-METAs as players will not accept playing in "helper wings" and helping their main Kingdom Win server after server. By time, more and more players will seek out a home where they can act more independently, and maybe even get a win of there own.


    In closing ...


    Following through on such a fundamental shift in philosophy the hope is that it will encourage team building and bonding players tighter together. Every kingdom will need to make the best use of the members they have. Train, motivate and encourage. More and a larger variation of organisation cultures will appear. With that comes an increasing chance of that every player will have a good chance of finding a team he or she feels at home at in. More players will be engaged in and develop expertise in leadership tasks. A more vibrant diplomatic and political landscape on each server.