Posts by Scorox

    If the cheaters really get spotted, banned and deleted, then I can see that working. But atm theres still too many cheaters around imo :/ Anyway it doesnt sound like a stupid idea and it was not my point. Was only concerned about abusing the rules again. I'm up to running a test server with these implementations. One more question tho: Aren't you afraid that the game will lose even more players as all the players who just sim around and not get involved will just stop playing since they will be refused everywhere?


    This may not ring well with you guys whom suffered from Multi Account cheaters, but I came to Travian Kingdoms from a few other games where these cheaters never got caught at all. So in a way I hold the Travian Team's ability to catch cheaters as one of the hopes for this game.. a bit unpopular standpoint I know, but just based on my own experience from other games the situation with cheaters can be waaay worse! But yes, we can absolutely hope for even faster cheater detection etc.


    Regarding your question Snorri. I honestly do not think there will be a lack of kingdoms to join and that they will get refused everywhere. I think there will just as now be an abundance of kingdoms to join. But actually kingdoms of better quality to join than now. As it stands in the current system there is basically only 2 or 3 kingdoms per server you really want to be a part of. And once you are invited there then is where you truely only can expect to sim since the leadership of these top 3 kingdoms will be furiously worried about spies. This means that approx. 3 x 6 players per server will be involved in true leadership tasks .. and the majority of the server will be siming in preparation for getting their attack plan uploaded into GetterTools. In contrast, with a max member count there can easily be 10 kingdoms that are all worthy to join. And even your non-premade kingdom you make out of random new friends on a server could actually play a role in the grand diplomatic arena as others will need to seek your allegiance now that the top dogs cannot gain supremacy by inviting +250 members. I think that the large number of kingdoms will instead let more players get involved in leadership roles and feel more engaged than they are currently asked to be in the current large kingdoms we see.

    I think because kingdoms are quite big these days, cheaters have less motivation to make multi-accounts to help their team (not only themselves) because they don't necessarily need it to keep the kingdom strong. But if the limit was set to 60, then you can't outnumber your opponent so every other account in wing kingdom counts (to reduce enemy deff, produce treasures, whatever). Hope you know what I mean. Simply each extra account working for your team would have bigger value than it has now.

    Ok now I totally get your point. In contrast I actually think the max limit would in fact discourage players from using multi accounts. For example, assume that you yourself and a few friends are trying to make a team to make a strong 60 man kingdom. Since there is a max number of members each member will have a much larger significance. Essentially, you can less afford one of your key members to cheat, because if he gets deleted before the WW phase then all his troops are gone with him. Sure, Multi account cheaters can have a strong impact early game, but I have seen a very positive trend of cheaters getting caught at least before the mid game. And if I would be running a team of 60 man only, and say 5 of my top 10 guys gets deleted, that would be it for my teams chances of pulling off some end game strategy. It might be 100k DEF or a WW rammer/hammer deleted per each of these 5 cheaters. Sure, cheaters can screw up the early game just as now, but the chances of a kingdom of cheaters to be the winner of a server will be MUCH lower when only 60 man can win as compared to when 300 can win as in the current system. Having a 60 man team consisting of a large group of cheaters surviving intact till the end game with sufficient diplomatic relations I predict very low.

    I think multiaccounting would be much bigger issue in this system than in the current system.. If you have 120 people META, you dont need much other help from outside. If you have 60 players META, then every single other helping account counts twice more so I think it would enforce such people to use it even more

    Ah now I get what you mean Snorri. Then I just think you misunderstand me slightly. So assume (as an example) that out of 2000 players on a server, say 100 of them will be using Multi accounts owning between 1-3 extra accounts each to cheat. That equals 100 cheaters with 200 multi accounts owned by the cheaters. Under the current rules the 100 cheaters and their 200 Multi-accounts can be either in the main kingdom making it a 300 player kingdom, or have them spread out in wings. Under a system of a max player count of 60 members per kingdom these 300 cheater account would be forced to spread out into 5 separate kingdoms. Why do you feel this is a benefit to the cheaters to be forced to be spread out in this way?

    These wings will just be full of multi-accounts who dont care if they end up 2nd or 15th as long as their main account wins.


    Snorri, you know just as I know that the topic of multi accounting works negatively on any system. Multi-accounting is a different beast for another topic.. it's not an exclusive problem to the issue of an upper bound to the member count.

    Thank you @Starx#EN(1) .


    I personally think that the Travian Development Team do not have much to loose by at least running an official "special even" server with such modification as a test. They have experimented with changes that had much less likelihood of reverting the downwards trend in the number of players in Travian Kingdoms (e.g. Dry Season server). So why not experiment with a special rule-set that Actually have the potential to "shake the ground" so to speak. I'm worrying that the development team will fear that too many players will feel their odds of winning are too small. On the contrary however, I know that myself will greatly respect and honor whom ever manage to come out on top on such server, regardless how I will fare personally. Winning such server will be a great accomplishment and any winner there deserves respect.


    I think that our path forward needs to be to keep discussing this topic here. And if enough of us can agree to the philosophy having some merit, then we need to start a petition for a special event server of this type. We could aim at sharing this post with our friends and contacts, trying to reach 10 pages of comments. Then based on the comments and analyses together work out the details for a petition for a special event server.

    I have now read all post here and the main objections to having a player limit per kingdom seem to be:

    1) People will create wings anyway to extend their member count.

    2) A hard limit of players per kingdoms will "push out" players of lesser skills


    I personally think that this is the conclusion one will come to if you just judge it for the first evolution to a system with a hard max limit (everything else being equal). But certainly there can be further changes coming along to compliment such a radical change to the game. I think a one needs to consider a max player limit as a philosophy to be further designed around rather than a change to be inserted into the current rule set without further changes.


    My motivation for why the game needs to be designed around such a core philosophy of a max number of members per kingdom goes something like this.


    a) Wings (or allied kingdoms) will exist regardless of a max limit or not. Without a max limit Wings exist to maximize boarders, member´count and treasury generation. With a max limit wings will exist for the same reason. The difference is only that wings under the current system are often working under a temporary basis with a promise of absorption into the main kingdom in order to share the win. With a max limit the option of wings to work under a temporary basis for the purpose of later moving to the main kingdom and sharing the win will get removed. And I personally do value this seemingly minor change to have a great impact on the game as such an arrangement will in general be more difficult achieve diplomatically. Trying to be more clear; It will be harder to have 120 members selflessly working for the win of another 60 members in the main kingdom without any chances of sharing the victory, as compared to having 120 members temporarily being in wings with the promise of later joining up into a 180 man kingdom to share the win. I sincerely think a max limit will lead to more kingdoms will strive to act independently and working to optimize their own game and chances when the option of absorption is removed. This will not happen over night and it will demand further rule changes to stimulate such a change in dynamic. But I think the key is that the game introduces more and more rules that pushes players towards independent team building.


    b) At this stage the game is pretty much solved. And I think many of the core/leadership groups of established organisations may agree with me that the META strategy of the current state of the game hold much more to be desired. The solved META strategy evolves around maximizing member count as to reach a sufficient passive treasury generation speed and to reach that critical level of DEF in a WW where a trail of 15 incoming sieges cannot damage your WW. The problem here arises from that a achievable OFF army size is bounded, while the DEF in the WW is a function of your member count. So one can practically reach "Checkmate state" due to the OFF army size being bounded by game "laws of physics" and WW DEF size being bounded by member count. A similar case also exist with the treasury generation. Treasury generation is a linear function of your member count. However, since VP is an accumulative additive function of your treasury count, VP becomes an exponential function of your member count! THIS is why the member coutn discussion is different and FAR more important in Travian Kingdoms than in Legends. And this is why there need to be a philosophy change (accompanied with several rule changed) when it comes to member count in Travian Kingdoms. As the META strategy stands right now, and everyone in the leadership groups knows it, member count is key for the 2 aforementioned reasons. And many leadership groups are constantly battling the contradiction of wanting to have a smaller tighter team with stronger community, against the by design necessity of having a huge member count to adjust to the non-linear impact member count will have on VP generation and DEF vs. OFF strength in the WW stage of the game.


    c) By a max limit winning a server and receiving the Victory Medal for a server will be something far more rare. When only 60 players out of say 2000 can stand victorious on a server it will mean a great deal more than if 300 players our of 2000 wins a server... whether or not you have been organizing "pre-made" wings or if you have simply been skillful to been able to gain necessary allies via diplomatic means.


    d) Finally, regarding objection 2 above. Yes it is true that players of lesser experience and connections will not have a very good chance of stumbling into a membership of the winning kingdom on a server. And I think this is a good thing. There will be other kingdoms to join, whom due to the necessity for alliances will not automatically all be destroyed to pieces. In reality all that will change for such players are that they will end up in kingdoms with lower chances of winning until they display the skill sought for by the more ambitious teams, and then subsequently being recruited by one of them. I would strongly argue that the experience for the players of lesser seriousness level or experience will not worsen. In fact, I think it will even increase as the community in ALL kingdoms will benefit from a stronger in-kingdom community as each individual in that kingdom now counts for more.


    Best,

    Scorox

    A fine tuning for that idea could be a building called "farmer" (or something bit more generic like prospectors hut or what ever)
    How it would work is that it would allow you to terraform the fields to your liking and the limit to field of any one type would be the lvl -2 so lvl 20 would allow for the 18-0-0-0 setup while a lvl 9 would allow you to have max 7 of one type of field (like say adding one crop or making a 7-2-7-2 for example). Terraforming would be more expensive the more of any one type of field you have already in the village which would mean you can create those 3/4/5 for roman defense pretty cheaply while the 0-0-0-18 would be really expensive.


    Tho I do have to say I do enjoy the varied map as well :D

    Ye, this was pretty much what I meant. I just did not have the time to be that detailed at that specific moment. Nice to see someone else finding the "FARM/Terraforming" building idea interesting :)

    My dream scenario would be that the number of Wood, Clay, Iron & Crop of a given village was something you as player where responsible of and able to adjust optimally. In the outset ALL tiles contained 4446 distributions. Later in the game each player could build a special building (Let's call it a FARM), which given it's level could transform X number of Wood, Clay & Iron into farmland (CROP). Specifically:
    Level 5: 1 Wood, Clay & Iron -> 3 Crop
    Level 10: 2 Wood, Clay & Iron -> 6 Crop
    Level 15: 3 Wood, Clay & Iron -> 9 Crop
    Level 20: 4 Wood, Clay & Iron -> 12 Crop


    Finally, you would be able to make an 18 Cropper should you want. This budding could possibly be restricted to the capital.


    This solution removes the unnecessary race to 15C's. It give's all players the option to play the 15C GOLD heavy game if they decides too. There are already so many hurdles to newcomers to this game, and this Fast Expand technic is just so unnecessary. And even to experienced player being 1 hours to late to settle could mean that your enemy got that 15C you had sent your settlers too .. and then you start a server with a pessimistic mood right from day 1.


    With the system above it instead will be up to each individual players ability .. can you afford pulling in enough RES to make a 18C with level 18 Crop fields? Its about how you play for the reminder of the 149 days of the server.. not how well you master the Fast Expand the first day.

    Would be great if the RP had a role to play in the "Remove Inactive King" discussion/Solution. There have been many discussions/treads on this subject (e.g. King gone AWOL).


    For example, it would be fitting if you in your RP can select between 2 options (Happy with King .. or .. Not happy with King). This would make sense since in real life the Rally Point would be where the citizen would gather with their pitchforks if their King was highly unpopular. Say I have 5 villages with a total population of 2732, and I set "Not happy with King" in all my5 RPs ... then on the Kingdom Page it would be displayed "2,732 out of 100,323 citizen are unhappy with the king" (assuming all other villages in the kingdom have set their RPs to "happy with the king". If the Kingdom had too many citizens that are "Not happy with King" for a certain amount of time, then A King would be replaced with the Vice King, and the Vice King would be replaced by a Duke.



    Would be cool if the "Bad King" issue got solved in a "role playing" way like this.

    If you do not think there are racial features to make your hero look Asian.. then you have not looked. As for making your hero having an African look .. well yes that do not exist .. but why on earth should we demand all game developers to let us choose playable characters that have the look of all possible races? I mean, I do not complain that there are no Swedish looking character in some random Japanese RPG game. Let the game developers focusing on delivering a fun game rather than pressure them into engaging in identity politics.....

    1. Disagreed or 'depends': A newbie in a game gets vastly different objectives than a veteran. You need to fulfill a lot of prerequisite objectives before you can tackle the main objective. Each one provides a challenge and thereby risk to fail. You may have to play multiple servers to build up resources (friends) to be able to overcome all objectives and win on a given server. So for the first few worlds any player is playing, it is unrealistic to expect to win right away - they must play to achieve sub-objectives first.Think of Kingdoms as a roguelike - the objective is more like getting a little further each time you try and be stronger on the next server, rather than winning.

    I think you misunderstood me here. I did not mean that every player who jumps into a server realistically expect to win, but his dream, wishes and hopes are to be part of the winning team of the server. This wish to win and not to be defeated is the motivation for hours and gold spent.



    1.b) One of these sub-objectives is to 'find and join a reliable team'. You factually can't win the game without joining a kingdom, so 'join a kingdom' is a hard prerequisite to winning the game. A team is something you can take with you to the next server and thereby start stronger with more resources to overcome challenges.

    I agree that trying to find a team to join for future servers is a good side objective, but only for some people. Not everyone are able to join in at the next server which the team of this kingdom plans to join. I'm running a premade team and we organize our selves in Discord, and trust me.. it is not that easy to find players that are willing to join this group... even if we totally dominated our last server. And I can imagine it will even be harder for teams that got crushed by us... I mean, who would like to follow them again? And not only that.. pre-made teams are also picky. They usually only invite the skilled part of the players of the previous server, leaving the new and unskilled players to start without a pre-made team.




    2. "Depends". You'll have to get through a lot of dice rolls and retrys to have a realistic shot to win the game. For example, at the start of any server, you're positioned at a random point on the map. You can be placed next to a premade meta which just farms you immediately, you can be placed amid a lot of inactives producing no resources,, or next to a bunch of nice veterans who wanna team up with you and a lot of simmers producing a ton of resources and who don't mind getting farmed by you. The player in the first situation will be way more challenged than the latter (and there may even be no strategy whatsoever to get out of it), and that due to a random dice throw. Right at the start of the game - and this doesn't exactly get better later.
    This is due to the game being multiplayer - the other players aren't agents within our software, we can't control them. so the more a game relies on human actors - and Kingdoms has almost exclusively human actors - a single player is depending on the behavior and strategy of others, and his own strategies and behavior may or may not influence that.

    I did not mean to say that sound decision making can mitigate all the randomness. But it cannot be disputed that sound decision making is a practice you must follow to maximize your chances to win.



    2.b) Strategically sound decisiontaking doesn't imply or equal perfectly informed decisiontaking. Deliberate imperfect information mechanics are a core part of strategy games (fog of war, etc. No plan survives contact with the enemy - because what the enemy will actually do is rarely known), but that you can find strategies to mitigate the risks. For example, people can improve their chances of a successful start on a server by coordinating with friends and joining the same quadrant. The decision to join up with friends as premade team is a strategy that greatly increases their chances of being in a good spot when the map is revealed and they make contact with the enemy. Asking a friend who doesn't play the world or who plays and has already joined where other powerful premades are to avoid choosing that quadrant to avoid having a strong early game competitor right next to you is is even more sound decisiontaking, as it also increases your changes. (You basically scout the map and remove the fog of war before you take your decision where to spawn - sounds smart.)

    As I said above I did not mean to say that sound decision making can mitigate all the randomness. I do agree that starting a server with pre-mades can absolutely increase the chances of winning, but as I described above, not everyone can join a premade team and not everyone will be invited to a good premade team. For this reason I find it puzzling that the design of the game somehow would be built around such philosophy. The wast majority of players will start the server without a large enough or experienced enough pre-made team to win.. new players will come, and old ones will leave. Hance, the majority of the players will be left to their own capability of sound decision making as their predominant tool to be on the winning team... either by helping the kingdom they happen to start close to, or to decide it's better to move another kingdom.



    2.c) Strategically sound decisiontaking as described above requires resources. Choice is a luxury you must be able to afford. Without resources, you don't have options to choose from. To influence the first dice roll of the game already requires having friends. That means when you're first joining the game and have no friends in the game, you must roll the dice and, if you survive, make it your first objective to get friends, to be able to start the next server with a full friendslist and to influence the first diceroll to be able to keep up with all the other premades doing the same. Since friends are the only thing you can take with you between worlds, and all the hardest challenges the game throws at you require you having built up the vital resource 'friends', building up this resource is the most important thing you need to get to the main objective of winning. People who've built up more friends than you can start any server with a huge advantage over you.

    I already voiced my criticism against designing a game around this principle. But just to add to my credibility I want to say that I'm part of a pre-made team that have won may servers, plus I have my own premade team in discord consisting of about 30 members. And I still do not agree with your argument because of the reasons I mentioned above.. especially due to that the good pre-made teams do exclude the new and unskilled players. Furthermore I might add that even in the large pre-made team which have won many servers there are frequently problems with Kings and Dukes going inactive. So it does not in anyway ensures against the problem in question.




    So does the kingdoms system. You can't even get victory points without joining a kingdom, so the kingdoms system FORCES you to join a kingdom as player. Capitalizing and writing it bold doesn't make it a problem.As I said, it's a challenge the game throws at you, not an option. You need to overcome challenges to win. That's gaming?
    The union system is a second stage of the kingdoms system, an additional tier of the absolutely non-optional "you must team up to win" challenge, but for the kings, because the king role is meant for veteran players who get another tier of the same challenge thrown at them, with higher stakes. As explained above, once you recognize the roguelike elements and that there is a resource you can take with you between servers (friends) which makes subsequent plays massively easier, it may not always be the strategically sound decision to play every single server to win, but rather build your friends-resource to start the next server more powerful. But unions may even help with that.

    I'm puzzled by your response. What you mean by "So does the kingdoms system"?. The Kingdom system did not even have the union option. What I said was "the union system FORCES you to union with another kingdom as King." ... maybe me using bold had the opposite effect of trying to highlight the importance of my statement. And I did not mean that finding a good kingdom to make a union with was a challenge.. the point being was that the Union System forces to as king to find another Kingdom to make a Union with ... and the problem of this is something I map out later in my post. And again, the pre-made response to the problems of the system I do hold i my opinion as I decried above.




    Would you form a kingdom next server with a team which leaves the kingdom at the first diffculty? I won't make players dukes of which I think they may betray the kingdom at the first offer of a kingdom that may have a better shot at winning instead of fighting harder - I'd make them my farms next server. All these players will not get a list of reliable friends out of the action to start the next server way more powerful, which means their development in the game as whole will stagnate compared to those who try to use the challenge to weed out who are loyal to the team and who not, and make friends with the reliable people. That's not what I'd call a dominant strategy. :P The vice-king has failed his additional challenge of teaming up with a reliable partner, but gained a lot of vital information which may help him next round. He also still has the option of gathering resouces for next round - writing other kings who are left alone and asking whether to team up next game, and such. Gathering possibly more reliable friends.

    So on COM5 where we do have this problem we have had talks with the Vice king if it was ok for all members leave. And it was no drama about it. We cannot win win our King inactive.. and every governor and duke agreed. The Vice king was not in any way angry on us, just super mad at the King that tricked him to make the Union with him and then went inactive. It's not like it is a few members in the kingdom that want to leave, everyone want to... and the only one that will be on anyone's farm list is the King that want inactive. And the reason that everyone agreed on leaving the Kingdom is not because they are afraid of challenges.. it's was because there are 0 probability of winning with an inactive king. And as for the side mission of making pre-made team the situation is that we where already a premade team, and who knows, after joining another kingdom we may even have more friends to join next server. SO yes.. the dominant strategy is to abandon the Vice king and leave.



    To your first point about having your spy becoming King later. This is risky and requires far more work than simply start as king. For this to work the King first of all need to go inactive, and then you need to be the most prominent member of this kingdom to be elected King. If you simply start as King then you just need 30 days of half decent activity to keep your members hopes up. For your analysis.. first of all you don't even need your friend to play for 30 days.. you just need him to start the server and make him your sitter.. and then you control 2 kingdoms. As for your 3 strategies neither of them reflect what I had in mind. This is how you do.


    1. Make a friend start the server as King and make him your sitter.. grow your kingdom as much as you have time with.
    2. Merge with an enemy kingdom with the King your friend started. On your main account you merge with your premades kingdom (the 3rd kingdom).
    3. Get sitter access to the other King in the enemy kingdom if possible.
    4. Use your kingship in the enemy kingdom to send away def as you attack the enemy kingdom so that you can take all their treasuries (or most of them).
    5. Start to kick members in the enemy kingdom for and give stupid reasons to why.. demoralize them.
    6. Go inactive.
    7. Speak to the members of the enemy kingdom using your main kingdom and invite them you yours.. and thus you now control members from 4 kingdoms and the king of the enemy kingdoms will have to delete.



    Yes, lesson is: Don't team up with cheaters, or people who can't behave, or freeriders, and don't make people who can't commit to play a round the team captains. There are many tales how kingdoms were screwed by leaders who gone inactive without telling anyone, or kings who betrayed their kingdom, waay before the unions feature, and unions at least give governors a signal that these two players intend to commit to and stick with with the kingdom, back each other up and play to win, and suffer consequences if they don't, which is much more security than we had before.


    And if you have friends who create kingdoms on the same server as you, then playing as a meta and ganing up against your enemies is way more powerful than having your freinds work to shove more members towards your enemies somehow (example above), and meta-ing was powerful before unions as well, because having more friends that start the server with you is the dominant strategy in this game and a prerequisite for winning, and was so before unions. :P

    First of all, you do not know if the people you team up with are cheaters of if they will commit for a full server surely. Secondly, again the premade argument I do not agree with as I gave reason to above. However you are right about that there have been kings that have screwed their kingdoms before the Union system ... but this is not an argument to why Kings should not be able to be replaced... rather it is an argument for that it should be possible. Actually, as I pointed out, the Union system make such situations even worse ... since in the old system the Governors could just join another kingdom if that happen, but under the Union system they will have to ditch the Vice King when doing so. To stick around when one of the Kings screw the kingdom (like in the strategy I described above) is just crazy. Furthermore, should you against all odds win while having a king that continuously sabotage your progress, then you also give this King the win... and who in their right mind want to do that? No, you leave the Kingdom so that sabotage King do not get a free win.

    Thanks for reading and the informative replies! here are my thought on what I read in your replies:



    The problem is that I don't think that feature was actually meant that way. I think the progression from governor to king was considered to be a purely temporal, from newbie to veteran player. Governors would be a mostly supportive role for the kings who actually compete to win the game, while they in turn are less threatened and can learn the ropes and participate in the game for a world or two without actually competing much. I think it was inteded that over time, *every* veteran player would become king - activity or wishes not being a factor.

    Oh I never realized that the initial idea was to have you progress from Gov to King as you gained experience with the game. The reason why I think it's so damn cleaver is because it really let you tailor your role according to level of effort and commitment you are able to put into a particular server. Playing as King is my choice when I want to maximize my chances to win... because then you have much larger control over your destiny and may end up with a crushing victory like this :thumbsup:
    Victory.png
    On the other hand, on servers or at other times in your real life you may know that you cannot put in the effort needed to make use of the full control you have as a king, and hence I then choose to play as governor. This is why I love this system.




    many of the kings in-game are zero-prestige newbies in their first round, because of all the veteran players this game has, way too few choose playing king voluntarity. That would mean, since without kings -> no kingdoms and without kingdoms -> noone collecting victory points to compete over the game (no kings meaning to the game as it is designed that just noone wants to play competitively), the game would effectively become Sim City.

    I do not completely agree with this. The Image I posted above with my victory as King I did have "3 bronze" prestige level.. I had never completed a server before that one. What made a victory of such a great marginal possible was dedication and the willingness to learn everything.. and possibly also some individual skills that are useful in the King role. Therefore I strongly disagree with having Prestige as a Barrier to Entry for the King role. And this is why I made my suggestion of having everyone start as major and letting Kings and Kingdoms form naturally among the players whom their neighbours assess to be capable enough. In my suggestion players that will be allowed to start a Kingdom and be King is basically restricted by the players in that area who will have to be this King's governor and/or neighbour. And given how many people that do select the King role today, I do not fear that there will be a shortage of players whom will try get the 10 Majors to pledge loyalty so that they can be King. The only difference here is that you need to convince your neighbours or your suitability of being a King before you can be one, instead of just "selecting" King at a menu.


    As you see, my suggestion still allow anyone to be king, but it requires that you first convince your neighbours that you are suitable for the job.




    The problem isn't "how can we better weed out the suited candidates from the bad ones from our huge pool of candidates for the king role", the problem is "how do we get enough candidates for king in the pool to allow us to be picky in first place."

    To solve the underlying problem, we need to somehow fix the attractivity of these roles, so that we have more candidates for the king role, and then we can get picky.

    In my opinion no extra perks and benefits can balance up the sacrifices you need to make as a King. In the contrary, the extra perks you get of being King do really attract people to the King role that are in it for the perks, not for leading a Kingdom. So the question is not how you do attract more players to be king, the question is how you attract more of the right players to be King. This is what my suggestion is aim at. Say for example that you are an experienced player, and you realize that all the Majors whom try to gain your loyalty are shit.. then you might consider taking on the King role after all, since this is your better chance to making something out if this server as compared to serving under one of these "perks or ego driven" wanna be Kings. And suddenly this server is up one more experienced as King. Even if the process of selecting a King in your region takes a day extra or two, compared to areas where there is a premade group, I feel that it absolutely worth it.


    However, I do agree that there are several things you can do to make the King role less stressful and demanding.
    1. A King must be able to step down should he find it overwhelming. It is a way to huge task for some players to commit to the King role for 6 months straight.
    2. The administrative duties must be simplified. Especially the treasury management craziness needs to be simplified... planing treasury villages location, instructing dukes to place down treasury villages in time, having understanding on how moving treasuries work, and all of this is totally unnecessarily burdening the King role.
    My second suggestion about the Castle Cities are aimed to solve this.



    Many players complain that their kings are so bad and that ruins the game, and that governors are really at such a disadvantage, and that they can't change anything about that as a governor, but that they still want to play competitively and win, and they don't pick the obvious remedy the game offers for their plight: Playing as a king themselves. So play king and you can change it!

    Actually I think that this response do happen, and that it is equally likely to fuel the "bad king" situation as it is to solve it. Because the more players that have had the negative experiences of bad kings, the more people will be motivated to play the next server as King themself.. without regards to whether or not they will have the right activity level or skillset for the job. The "bad king" situation thus pushes even more unsuitable kings into the game.. all thinking "Next time I will play as king.. I'm fed up with shity Kings". But there is nothing and no one evaluating these "reactionary" King's suitability. This is where my suggestion comes in.

    Thanks a lot for your feedback Curtain, and I'm happy you like the ideas in the broad sense! ^^ Your suggestions for sure improves it I agree. Let me give my thoughts as I read it.


    "majority so at least 66% of the kingdom agreed but perhaps even something like 75% or 80% to make sure no trolling happens."
    ... Ye I totally agree, I just pulled a number of 50% out of my head as I typed on.



    "often times the barrier for entry is something like more prestige requirement which isn't really fun and doesn't guarantee the person is actually good at the game (let alone being good as a king)."

    ... I feel like that in the very very initial state there are now barriers of entry for kings. You simply select King when you start the server.. and then you are off to selecting your 2 Dukes. Note that under the Kingdom union system Kingdoms will start with 2 UNLOCKED duke slots. Anyone is in other words free to make a kingdom and select 2 dukes... this is what I mean by lack of barrier of entry to be a King... not even prestige points are required (which I agree would not help very much if that was a limiting factor).





    "danger that it favors premade teams if the interface on it isn't crisp as heck. I got a premade team myself and I bet I wouldn't have any problems getting 10 govs to vouch for me to be a king if I wanted to."


    ... Yes but if the players you know have enough trust in you from previous servers to pledge loyalty to you and serve as your governor and making you king, then this is a good thing. You passed the evaluation by your friends, and other governors in your area can feel a bit more save following. In today's system it is usually the remade teams that are the most successful in electing a King, just because there are some level of evaluation my the pre-made group of the king in advance. What I would argue is that the system I propose will benefit players that do not start as pre-mades .. since the kingdoms they will find on the map have a king that has been evaluated and trusted but more experienced players. The system do however, as you say, make it more difficult for an unknown and unskilled player to form a kingdom... but this is the purpose, so that players new to the game do not end up with an king that ruin there first experience in TK. There is however room for new players to become King their first or second server, but that will require them to be very skilled diplomatically and dedicated... but this is what we want for the rest of the players that play governors.






    "I think the castles shouldn't be real villages though, instead they would be more like the Robber Camps ...Say Outpost as lvl 1, Fort as lvl 2 and Castle as lvl 3"
    ... Ye I though about this too.. and I'm not completely sure what I prefer myself where thb. However, the benefit of having real villages is that now with the new treasury system you are required to place about 2 to 3 treasuries in each treasury village in order to be able to expand contentiously. So having Fort/Castle villages for this propose could have the following necessary implications:


    1. They can have stronger but much more expensive defence as compared to normal villages. Hence to build a Castle Village to protect the treasuries would sort of act like a mini-WW project that you have to succeed with as a team throughout the server.


    2. All troops build there belongs to the Kingdom. So the hammer built in this village (or the DEF) will not get lost when the King gets deleted or goes inactive. It will fall under the control of the next King.


    .... In this way the whole kingdom will be motivated and engaged in pushing res to the Fort/Castle villages to secure the kingdoms treasures... to maybe work towards that max level 50 Castle there. And maybe also pushing res there to build a common monster hammer. In general this will favour teamwork and organisation more.. and all members of the kingdom can take pride in what level of the Castle they have there and what crazy size there Castle City hammer is. But most importantly, nothing will get lost when a King has to be replaced.

    Dear TK developers and community,


    First of all I would like to say that I absolutely love what the developers have made with Travian Kingdoms (TK). It is an incredibly cleaver idea to introduce the 3 different roles (Gov, Duke, and King) in a systematic fashion to accommodate for players different levels of activity and wish for responsibility in the kingdom. However, over the time of playing TK I have come to realize that the game's largest problem have always been the negative player experience that players have had due to their own King. Don't get me wrong here, it is not power of the King that I'm arguing is the problem, it is rather who the game encourages to hold this power that is the problem.


    Let me be a bit more concrete. We have all have seen it happen to our selves or to other players, bad experiences with Kings that have either gone inactive, have threaten his governors to send resources to him (or be kicked from the kingdom if they didn't), used his kingdom in a purposefully destructive way to his governors, or in any other way abused his power as a king... or more commonly been a very poor leader. Again, do not get me wrong, I think that there will always be a skill disparity between the Kings on a server, but what I will argue is that the current system encourages disparity to be larger than it needs to be. And the losers of this happening is the governors.


    Given the importance the the King role have over the game experience of other players I think it's high time that we together analyse the King situation and possible remedies to it. Please keep the discussion going in this thread and I will update my solutions section with the new good ideas that are submitted.



    ~ Problem -- What is the Bad King Situation in TK? ~
    In short the "bad king situation" of TK could be descried as: Players are by the game forced to permanently subjugate themselves to a king whom have not proven his ability or willingness to act as leaders or to act in the players own interest, and there are no clear way for governors to judge a King in advance of joining. Or in other words, the game throw players into the force of other players whom more often than not abuse this power in various ways, and in the process sabotage the player experience of the players the game have allocated to them. There are 3 parts of this problem:
    1. The Game essentially forces the player to join the first best king based on your randomly allocated position. Alternatively move away from your starting location to another King, which might be just as likely to ruin your experience on that server.
    2. The Game does not only facilitates, but also encourages, anyone to assume the King role, independently of his/her suitability to hold this power.
    3. The choice of King is in practical permanent. As you start to settle more and more villages in the area of this King, you will eventually find it impossible to revolt against malpractice of the King.
    In short. There are no checks and balances on who can assume or hold the King role, and consequently on who will have this huge impact on the player experiences of unknowing governors.



    ~ Current Solutions -- What do the game offer today to mitigate the problem? ~
    There exist only 1 counter measures to the problem today, and that is to only start a server as pre-made with a group that have a king of proven good records as king. Unfortunately this option is not available to new players, and they are left to the lottery of placement.



    ~ Is this problem solvable? ~
    One may begin to think about whether or not TK does something differently than other games of this type, which could enhance this problem. In my experience there are 2 MAJOR difference in TK compared to other games of this type.
    1. In the other games there is HUGE amount of work required to be performed before you will be accepted as the leader of an Alliance. Specifically you need to first assume the willingness of the people around you to have you as their leader. This process of trying to gain the loyalty of your neighbours and having them accept you as their leader is by itself sort of a natural filter that will eliminate leaders that cannot handle work of actually being the leader throughout the server. In TK however, the process of becoming a leader is as easy as clicking the left mouse button at the start of the server.
    2. In the other games your position as leader is not in anyway fix. You may at any time be switched out for someone else if the members decide they want a better leader.


    To summarize, TK is unique in the sense that it requires almost no effort to assume OR to keep the role as King. The only thing that can threaten your position as king is if you AND your governors are demolished by an opposing Kingdom. And the fact that TK is unique in this regard is for me a sign that there are solutions to this problem.



    ~Proposed Solutions ~



    §1. First off is the important question of WHO can assume the powers of being a King. The key here is to set up Barriers of Entry. Before a player even can claim the King role he must have demonstrated some abilities that will be required to lead a kingdom and to keep this governors safe an with at least a hope of going far on the server. A concrete proposal I would like to make is:
    - All players on a server start completely without Roles, they start as Majors.
    - A Major can pledge loyalty to 1 and only 1 other Major, and thereby signalling that he would be willing to serve as the other Major's Governor should the other Major get enough support to found a Kingdom and be King.
    - IF a Major can make 10 other Majors (within a certain distance from him on the map) pledge loyalty to him, then this Major can Start a Kingdom and crown himself as the King. The Majors that had pledged loyalty then instantaneously becomes Governors of this kingdom.
    This System would not only filter out Kings that are incompetent in the diplomatic realm. The governors have themselves been engaged in evaluating all players that aspires to be king by asking them for their loyalty. Furthermore, the fact that a king have been able to gain these first 10 loyal Majors to join him as Governor will signal to the other players in this area that this King may actually be someone they can rely on, hence they are also more safe in their decision even if they did not take part in the "evaluation" process.



    §2. As I mentioned above. It is not only enough for the King to do a good job in the start of the server, a king should also be required to do a good job throughout the server in order to make the experience enjoyable for the kingdom members. Solution in §1 increases the likelihood of this, but things may happen along the way. In short, should the King be banned for cheating, go inactive for some reason, start to abuse the power of being king, or clearly demonstrate that he is not capable of working in the members interest, then there MUST be a way to replace him. In the current Kingdom Unions this is not possible, which have been criticised here on the forums (I will not enter into this discussion here). In the previous version it was possible for the King to abdicate voluntarily. However, the option to abdicate voluntarily is not enough to protect the Governors and the Dukes from a King that decides to go inactive or begins to abuse his position. There must be a way to replace a King from below.


    Before going into suggestions on how such a system could and should work there is one thing that need to be kept in mind. Namely, that even if the King himself is supportive of stepping down as king, maybe due to some unforeseen event IRL that forces him to stop playing.. there are Barrier to Exits that make the process of changing king close to impossible to achieve after a while. Primarily these Barrier to Exits are the treasury villages he is owning. The process of replacing these with villages of the new King is simply too much to go through with. But these Barrier to Exits must be torn down.



    So a concrete solution to this problem I would like to make is:
    - On the initiation of a Duke, a vote to replace the King with himself (The Duke) will be accessible by all members. Only submitted votes are counted, and a majority of >50% is needed for the change to realize.
    - Treasuries are NOT built in normal cities belonging to Kings and Dukes. As a new Active Treasury slot would become available (in the current system) instead a Castle City Slot Becomes available. This slot permits the assigned Duke/King the ability to found a Castle City on the map. These villages have certain properties:
    1. These are the only villages in which you can build treasuries.
    2. The population in these villages do not count towards the Duke/Kings total population.
    3. IF the King/Duke loose his role as King/Duke the ownership of these villages goes to the newly assigned King/Duke instead. The same is true for the troops produced in them. These villages are simply "owned" by a certain Duke/King slot, and the player have only control over these as long as they hold the position of that King/Duke slot. Who even holds these positions gains control of these villages. It is also to these castle villages that the Taxes goes... which in a way ensures that the taxes will be used to increase the power of the Kingdom, no matter of the current King/Duke falls of along the way.
    4. These villages have a distinguished look that captures some of the feelings it gives he players that have been lucky enough to hold a World Wonder. Specifically I would find it interesting if the Inner Circle of the village was covered with a Castle (like a WW, but a Castle instead), hence the name.
    5. These villages starts with a water ditch (level 1) as if it was a city., and a Wall (level 1).


    By this system the kingdom is allowed to live on successfully even in the unfortunate situation of the King goes inactive or something else happens. There are no Barrier to Exits, the only that is needed is a majority vote... + we get a cool new village type :whistling: .




    ~ Final Remarks ~
    1. As you noticed I did not mentioned anything about the Kingdom Union version here. The reason is that this system can be incorporated with with either 1 or 2 kings. But just from my own preference I see no reason why there need to be 2 kings if you can easily remove a bad king with a new and better.
    2. I personally fully support the changes so that we now need 10.000 Treasuries for a new Active Treasury slot. Smaller Kingdoms were indeed needed.



    Thanks for reading~
    /Scorox

    I think that in order to discuss the problem of this system one must first realize two things.
    1. In any given server of Travian Kingdoms the objective is to win.
    2. In order to win players will have to make strategically sound decisions.


    Now, with that out of the way we can start to discuss the problems of the Union system.


    §1. First of, the union system FORCES you to union with another kingdom as King. It is not something you can choose. If you don't you cannot win as King.
    §2. Should one of the kings go inactive or in another way sabotage the Kingdoms progress the Governors dominant strategy is to leave the kingdom for another kingdom. This was the case before when you had only one king, but now the 2nd king will be left with a Kingdom with no members and will most likely need to delete from this server.
    §3. Before the Union update the most damage a spy could have in your Kingdom was to leak information to his friends in the enemy kingdom. Now however the best way you may use a spy is to have him as a King and simply let him start sabotage or go inactive once the union is performed. Basically the optimal strategy here is to ask a friend that do not really intend to play the server to start a kingdom and have him merge with a neighbouring enemy, and then go inactive.
    §4. Should one of the Kings be banned or deleted for cheating, then this will force the other king to quit the server as well (for the reason in §2).


    To summarize, the union update forces each king to make a gamble after 30 days. You have to make the union to be able to win.. but the outcome from this union is not up you or your members effort. The other king may be purposely offer or accept the union to sabotage, he may seek to free ride all the way to the end of the server, he may get banned for cheating, or he may simply loose interest in playing. In either of these cases the other king is forces to quit playing the server ... all because an unfavourable outcome in a gamble that he was forced to enter.


    EDIT: I expect the term "sabotage" kingdom will come up as a common term soon due to the weaknesses of the system. basically meaning: A kingdom one of your friends create to sabotage for a neighbouring enemy kingdom.

    @Wizzball,


    "It's basically like a player dropping out of any multiplayer match with set teams - yep, that screws everyone else."
    ... this is a very simplistic way of framing it. What I think people have problems with here is that:
    1. A game of Travian Kingdoms is 6 months.. not 30 minutes. To see taxes not be collected and the kings troops stand idle for months is something that destroys the loyalty to the Kingdom (and the loyalty towards the Vice-King indirectly).
    2. When this happens it forces the member's of the kingdoms to choose to screw over the Vice-king. Because when you will be one Active treasury village down for the reminder of the server, then your kingdom have a disadvantage for the reminder of the server which is irreversible.. independently how well you play.
    3. The main King can basically CHOOSE to go inactive, knowing that he have trapped the Vice king to do all the labour (or the other way around). Even worse, one king can actively plan to trap another king in a UNION.. the Vice-King cannot leave so the King can basically start to purposely sabotage things, knowing that the Vice-King is trapped.


    "You're basically just experiencing the one major drawback of a union. Yes, you get additional dukes, and it comes at a much higher dependency on the king(s). There's no free lunch here."
    ... the problem here is not that it makes the game harder. The problem is that Travian Kingdoms is a competitive game where everything about your kingdom is relative to other Kingdoms. It is the relative disadvantage your kingdom is facing to other kingdoms that is the problem. Not the challenge.


    "Joining any king no matter if united or not is a risk, because if that king declares war on a larger kingdom, it's also your villages getting cata'd for his decisions. The whole group facing consequences for bad actions of their leader is what submitting to a king's rule entails. "
    ... Again, I think what people have the largest problem with here is that the Vice-king is locked with the Kingdom, which forces the members to screw over the Vice-King as they leave their kingdom for another kingdom which have 2 active kings.


    "As for preparation, it's of course ideal if a group's leadership consists at least partly of real-world friends so that one can check up if another has gone missing."
    .. Yes, also the old system with only one King required you to be very careful in the selection of the king. However, the problem here is that now the correct way to play Travian Kingdoms under these rules is to from server start have a group of IRL friends create 2 kingdoms with the propose of making UNION between then after a while. Otherwise you cannot ensure that one of the kings goes inactive. So the task now for a IRL friends group is to select 2 trustworthy kings rather than 1 as it was in the old system.


    "The difficulties you are facing are also intended - great gaming entails overcoming difficult challenges, and surviving a very difficult situation"
    ... The objective of Travian Kingdoms is not to survive, it's a game of winning and dominance. Hence, the solution for the members are very simple .. ABANDON the kingdom and join a kingdom which do not have one less active treasury, and where taxes are being collected... and in the process screw over the Vice-King whom did nothing wrong.

    "Consider it a new and unique challenge the game throws at you and either decide to take up on it... or restart the game. That's all the advice I can give."
    ... Again, it's not a challenge... it is a irreversible disadvantage for for reminder of the server relative to other kingdoms. No matter how you tackle the challenging.. your kingdom will always be one active treasury down and taxes will not be collected. The dominant strategy for the members is to change kingdom and to leave the Vice-king in the cold.

    So here are 3 bugs that I have discovered over playing the last year, and they have not been fixed.


    1. All my armours are displayed as the female version, even though my hero is a male.
    2. As soon as I add someone to my friend-list their these players names are no longer displayed in the list of conversations. Instead if a name it is just a blank empty space, you you basically have to memorize the avatar look to find the right conversation.
    3. I'm currently playing on COM5 and tried to add a sitter. For some reason I can only add sitter by their nickname on server N02. So for me and my friend to add each others as sitters we had to create a village on NO2 and then add eachother as sitters on COM5 via the nickname we choose on NO2.


    Anyone else experienced any of these bugs?


    /Scorox