View Poll Results: Which of these issues of the game needs to be fixed? (choose as many as you want)

Voters
498. You may not vote on this poll
  • Capping a level 10 NPC is too easy!! (easier than level 9 even! HA! Warriors? Randomize the troopS!

    75 15.06%
  • Capping a level 10 NPC is too POWERFUL!! (wow, a near maxed city in one shot? Ridiculous)

    89 17.87%
  • NPCs have too much!! (all other resource aspects are super weak, Taxes and Fields mean ziltcho)

    115 23.09%
  • All NPCs/valleys are too simple!! (rando the troops! Ex: heavy on archer / or cav / or swordsman)

    68 13.65%
  • Building X lvl NPCs narby is too simple!(server gets filled & blocks legit enem/newbs for tiny cost)

    149 29.92%
  • Archers are too strong!! (makes all other units weak)

    164 32.93%
  • Too easy to protect range units with rainbow/Darwin troops!! (1 of each unit stops whole platoons?)

    224 44.98%
  • Abandoning a capped town is to devastating!(how can vaporizing all a players work instantly be fair?

    138 27.71%
  • Swapping heroes for mayor minimizes build times too much!! (why even HAVE a "mayor")

    102 20.48%
  • Cavalry can capture towns way too quick!! (no reason to ever send anything else)

    76 15.26%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: The anti-exploit, pro-nerf topic. Cheese, and fixing it.

  1. #1

    Exclamation The anti-exploit, pro-nerf topic. Cheese, and fixing it.

    [[Required reading]]
    Design Theory: Why is Nerfing Good?
    Click the link -> http://mu.ranter.net/designtheory/balance/why.nerfing.is.good
    The following post is some examples of exploits/cheese...
    Some great examples, maybe some not the greatest examples.
    Regardless. Add issues to this topic.
    [[back to main topic]]


    Dear Evony team

    Evony is very well thought out and designed. However there are a number of Cheese tactics currently being employed that skew what I believe were the original balanced gameplay visions. These tactics are basically three-fold:

    Cheese 1) Barracks Cheese Build as many barracks as is humanly possible, and ditch buildings that are of no use or have served their limited function. Do not build anything but the bare minimum of cottages. We are talking cities with as many as 20 Barracks.

    Cheese 2) Raiding Cheese Don't worry about building resource development or capacity, everything you need can be raided from NPC's very easily (see Cheese 3) or other players that don't have enourmous armies that Cheese allows. And capacity doesn't matter.

    Cheese 3) Missile Troop Cheese Huge stacks of Archers and Ballista pwns j00 4ll (Barbarian Towns of nearly all levels can be easily raided for massive profit with 0 losses with nothing but a relatively modest stack of Ballista, Archers dominate Valley combats and most PvP combats)

    I have some solutions to this in mind, which if you will bear with me I shall detail here. I do not believe they are all silver bullets, every system no matter how well thought out will have its exploitable flaws, but some of my ideas I believe will quite competently knock the current exploits on the head.



    Anti-Cheese 1) Enforce Resource Capacity limits
    and introduce Gold capacity
    This is probably one of the first and most effective methods of limiting Cheese 2 and 3. Simply enforce the resource capacities detailed when hovering over the resource in the right hand details window pane. Anything brought into the city that exceeds this limit should be discarded as having 'spoiled'.

    This will have the effect of utterly destroying the current tactic of massive armies fed by spoils of constantly raiding easy players and Barbarian towns. I currently have food in excess of 90 million in one city alone - and I am a moderate level player. Besides, whats the point of a capacity limit if it can be exceeded without a moments thought. This will encourage resource tile development and proper Growth. Furthermore, and I believe most significantly the benefits of any combat exploit that may ever arise against NPC's or other players will be limited through this restriction.

    Additionally, a capacity should be introduced for Gold. I have 10 million that I acquired quite easily in 24 hours. More detailed reasons for this are in Anti-Cheese 2 later. Gold that exceeds capacity should be deemed to have been lost to Corruption.

    The effects of this in addition to being Anti-Cheese have the effect of opening up opportunites, such as making Warehouses and Stockpiling viable and useful buildings/technologies with some modification (see Anti-Cheese 2 for further details).



    Anti-Cheese 2) Make all Buildings and Technologies properly Useful
    This goes some way to countering Cheese 1. Currently There are a number of buildings that are utterly superfluous to requirement either from the outset or in the long run, and inevitably get smashed down or not built at all to make way for Barracks Cheese. This is quite a fun one to detail as I have plenty of detailed ideas about this in relation to each building - however some are pretty obvious and you may wish to skip to Anti Cheese 3 if you want to be spared the details.

    • a) Warehouses and Stockpiling
      This is a big one. I mean really, who in their right minds builds Warehouses or researches Stockpiling? The resources you can safely stash are insignificant in quantity, and you would have to flood the town with them to even get half-way to a useful capacity even with Stockpiling 10. I have a number of suggestions to improve the usefulness of these:


      • i) Obviously, increase capacity. I would suggest a scale that ends up with 4 or 5 million or so total capacity at L10. Possibly more. This would also make the research of Privateering something worth considering as an attacker.
      • ii) Make Warehouse Levels and Stockpiling Levels have an effect on overall non-protected Resource Capacity. Watch people build these things so they can truly stockpile stuff overnight (assuming Resource Capacity is enforced as in Anti-Cheese 1).
      • iii) Introduce a Gold capacity that is affected by Warehouses and Stockpiling (although I have other suggestions for Gold capacity this is one option). If a Gold capacity setting is right, people will be required to build Warehouses to save for expensive Technologies.


    • b) Forges and Military Science
      OK, so you build a Forge, Level it up to 10, research Military Science 10 and build Walls 9/10, then knock the Forge to the ground as you have had all the benefits you can get from it and plop yet another Barracks in it's place.

      I genuinely doubt this was what was intended to happen with these buildings, the answer is easy:
      Make the benefit of Military Science only be applied up to the level of the Forge owned in that city. E.g.: You have Military Science 9 generally, but in city X you have only a Forge level 6. That city will only receive the benefit of Military Science 6, meaning troops are trained slower here than in a city with Forge 9. Forges will be levelled up and kept everywhere should this be implemented.

      This principle applies to a lot of subsequent building/tech suggestions.

    • c) Workshops and Metal Casting
      Same principle as Forge. Make benefits of Metal Casting available in City X up to the level of the Workshop in city X. E.g. You have Metal Casting 10 but City X only has Workshop 6, you only get Metal Casting 6 in that city so you can build Transporter and Ballista in that city but not the Battering Rams and Catapults even though you have the overall tech for them.



    ...continued in next post...
    Last edited by ! mINDsELFiNDULGE !; 07-13-2009 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2

    Exclamation The anti-exploit, pro-nerf topic. Cheese, and fixing it.

    • d) Stables, Relief Stations and Horseback Riding
      Currently these are built to Level 1, then a Relief Station built to maximum (9/10), and the Stables knocked down for more Barracks.


      • i) Relief Stations should be affected by Stable Level. Stable Level 5 Relief Station 8, you go as fast as Relief Station 5.
      • ii) Cavalry/Cataphracts do not require Stables. This is an obvious oversight. Cavalry should require Stables. Cataphract should also require Stable 5.
      • iii) Horseback Riding level benefits should also be restricted to Stable level for armies based in City X.


      *note* The text for Stables mentions higher level stables speeds up troop production time, although the general opinion I have encountered is that this isn't true. If it isn't it ought to be. Also I expect this should read that this only speeds up mounted troops production, not troops generally.
    • e) Inns, Feasting Halls
      Once your Feasting Hall is up to the maximum desired (9/10) Inns aren't really required - you would probably only need one high level Inn for all your cities - in fact if you are happy with your Heroes once your Feasting hall is up to desired level Inns are utterly superfluous. Crushed and make way for more barracks.

      Easy Suggestion - make Feasting Halls cease to function without Inns. (This might already be in place but just in case...)

    • f) Academies
      Edit: Apparently these are not destroyable without losing some benefits. However you do still get benefits of L10 techs with a L2 Academy (as in Agriculture, Lumbering etc.), which doesn't make sense.


    • g) Marketplaces
      Marketplaces are great and useful, but not necessary, in all cities. But do you really need a Level 9/10 one? My earlier suggestion regarding a Gold Capacity could be implemented here with the Market Level determining Base Gold Capacity (modified by Stockpiling and Warehouse Levels perhaps). This is only anti-cheese in so far as implementing the Gold capacity concept but does give a good reason to build and level up Marketplaces.
    • h) Treasuries
      Furthering the Gold Capacity concept this was one more alternative that occurred to me as a method of implementation. Simply a new building type, Treasury, that acts effectively as a Warehouse specifically for gold with all the Levels and Stockpiling enhancements therein. Just an idea.


    Anti-Cheese 3) Find more Employment for Population
    So, we have found reasons to make sure that all buildings are 100% useful 100% of the time. This leaves us with about 20 tiles spare to decide: Cottage/Barracks/Warehouse. Current Cheese is 5 or 6 Cottages maximum, no Warehouses, and 15 to 20 Barracks. The reason Cottages are spurned is that they are only required for the Idle population (usually 100%) for troop production - Resources and Gold are supplied from constant raiding, resulting in dispproportionately large armies supported by 0 infrastructure. My suggestions are:

    • a) Enforce Resource Capacities (again)
      With resource capacities enforced, the only way to expand the possible limit for resources is to build your Resource Tiles up, and, if other suggestions are adopted regarding Warehousing and Stockpiling, by expanding the town infrastructure. Limitless resources will not be possible from simple raiding, and these Resource Tiles will require Population to work them. The further addition will have to be made that a Resource Tile must be worked in order to gain the Capacity bonus (otherwise Cheesers will just build the tiles for the capacity and not build cottages to work them). This at current workforce requirements will demand approximtely 25k-30k population, or in other words about 8-10 L9 cottages, to work a maximum developed City resources screen. Add to this the need for idle population in order to both buffer for Tax rates and to recruit troops a fully developed city will be demanding about 12 L9 cottages to operate efficiently.

    • b) Make Population a Maintenance requirement of Troops
      Currently the population requirement of troops is a one-off cost, easily gained and easily replaced to the extent it's almost insignificant. Simply making the population requirement of troops a maintenance requirement would add an essential requirement to having a large population if you wish to support a large army. The details would take some working out, but the principle is sound.

    • c) Make workforces required for Buildings
      At the moment the buildings (Town Hall, Marketplaces, Warehouses etc.) are run by a ghost workforce it seems - nobody is required to operate them. Simply adding a workforce requirement for each building that scales with Level would give a use for population.


    Anti-Cheese 4) Missile Troops should not be so Deadly
    This is based on history and fact. Indeed, the textual description of Archers defines the role of Archers and other missile troops as they really were used 'to soften defenders'. They have never been solely responsible for utterly destroying entire armies. But, in Evony, Archers and Ballista rule the day (the idea that a few hundred indefensible, slow to arm, move and operate pieces of woodwork can take down masses of cavalry swordsmen is frankly risible). I'm sure the team is already aware of these Cheese tactics but I thought I'd make some suggestions of my own.

    • a) Impose a percentage maximum of fatalities upon Missile troops
      This is a bit of blunt hammer appoach but it fits in pretty well with real-world results of using archery units. Basically only 20% (if you are very lucky) of large scale Archery attacks would find their mark (well, I'm pulling that figure out of the air, but I'm sure some research would come up with the exact figure), in real life. For game play this could be increased to as much as 40% or so to make Archers etc. useful, with Swordsmen having a massive reduction in this percentage (they are supposed to be effective against Archers after all). A maximum of 10% fatalities from ranged attacks for Swords say.

    • b) Impose a limited number of Rounds on Missile troops
      Archers, Ballista etc. require Ammunition. Their currently devastating power could be easily restricted by imposing a set number of rounds in which they can shoot due to ammunition. In protracted battles they would be vastly less effective, or even in average length battles, depending on the set number of rounds.
    Last edited by ! mINDsELFiNDULGE !; 07-13-2009 at 02:45 PM.

  3. #3

    Exclamation The anti-exploit, pro-nerf topic. Cheese, and fixing it.

    ... and finally...
    It would be quite easy to suggest simply reducing the rewards from NPC's to ameliorate a lot of current Cheese tactics, however I believe that if attacking an NPC city was sufficiently damaging there ought to be decent rewards - otherwise people will never attack them at all. Simply removing other reasons for Cheese leaves this very desirable aspect of gameplay intact.

    I'm sure I will get some criticism from people saying that this is simply a polemic promoting my own preferred style of gameplay. My answer to that is simply 'do you genuinely believe that the game designers had the possibility of 24 Barrack towns in mind when creating Evony?'. Of course they didn't. They expected variations on a balanced theme. Currently the dominant forces use Cheese. These are my answers. Most of my ideas are pretty much implied in the game design anyway, but seem to have been overlooked.

    Beeblbrox

    p.s. I'm unemployed with University level education in Computer Science. Hint. How else do I have time to write up a detailed post like this....

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbaluba View Post
    I disagree with the concept of cheese here. THe world of evony has certian rules in order to be more effective you learn how to min max to ensure survival and growth. This is not an RPG it is NOT a freindly love fest it is a WAR GAME. Instead of screaming cheese why not learn from the tactic and put what seems to an intelligent mind to work refining and improving it so that you can out perform those around you.

    Otherwise nice work a blunt hammer at times but nice work.
    I have and it's dull, dull, dull. The game was more enjoyable, made more sense, and was more of a challenge when I perceived some level of playability in the game, i.e. balancing my cities, working for my Valleys, and not knowing there was one kill-all battle tactic available.

    Hey BooBoo, I'm smarter than the average bear - and this is what my noggin has driven me to notice and comment upon. I could just jump on the NPC farming bandwagon, spend my days rotating my armies through large self-created NPC farms whilst simultaneously rubbing my hands with glee over unfeasible troop number spreadsheets and shouting 'ya boo sucks' at anyone that doesn't like dull games I suppose...



    I don't feel however they are too revolutionary. They are only revolutionary in that the game winning tactics currently rely solely upon Cheese, and the dominant player base has adopted Cheese in order to survive. My proposals remove Cheese, nothing else.

    Look at the game from a noobs point of view. She follows the Quest guidelines faithfully - the Quest guidelines being the clearest indication of game designers intent.

    • She builds all types of Buildings in every city to maximum level (well, 9), because, clearly, they all should have a purpose and a function.
    • She builds her Resource Tiles up diligently, believing them to be the prime source for materials, in a balanced manner as obviously all resource types are valuable, and to expand her overall Resource Capacity.
    • She builds up her Cottages because they are a prime source of taxation revenue, and are required to work her resource fields.
    • She builds a varied and balanced Army, because obviously there is a requirement for all types of troops.
    • She spends time conquering Valleys to maximise and enhance her Resource Tile revenue.


    She does all this, because it makes sense, it's what the Quest guidelines taught her to believe, and she looks forward to leaving protection and taking part in the game proper.

    Now, you tell me what happens? Allow me to repeat the whole thrust of my post.

    • Half of her Buildings are worthless. She should have ignored guidelines, and built Barracks everywhere.
    • Her Resource Tiles are relatively worthless. She should have raided easy NPC's for her resources, built only sawmills as a cash crop, and ignored the Resource Capacity as it is a completely redundant concept
    • Her Cottages are nearly all worthless. She should have built Barracks and raided easy NPC's for gold.
    • Her varied and balanced Army is worthless. She should have built a ton of Ballista and Archer and nothing else.
    • All the time and troops she spent conquering Valleys was worthless. She should have raided easy NPC's.




    One approach was the game as it was intended and meant to be, what Evony really actually wanted to be.

    One approach is what the game has become, due to un-bridled Cheese and dominant players using Cheese.

    Which game is Evony, and which game isn't?
    You decide.
    Last edited by ! mINDsELFiNDULGE !; 07-13-2009 at 02:47 PM.

  4. #4

    Exclamation The anti-exploit, pro-nerf topic. Cheese, and fixing it.

    And while people may not like the rules, changing the rules in mid-stream is patently unfair.
    Ok, so next time Evony stops we can implement new rules and start over again. One small question, when does the game stop?

    You have overlooked one of the significant problems of on-going dynamic MMO. To correct something it will always be mid-stream.

    We can tackle this problem from two angles:

    • 1) Never change anything in Evony again ever.

      The existing dominant group who jumped on the Cheese wagon quickest will continue to rule the game. New players will only continue to become Evony players after they have followed the guidelines, found out they were irrelevant, torn down their buildings and played the game the way the Cheesers say it should be 'cos we're winning like it'.

      Trust me, that's about 20% of players who are signing up now. Most can't be ars*d to do this (and who can blame them). For some reason many of the dominant players don't understand why there are so many idle/inactive level 2 or 3 towns popping up everywhere constantly. Rather than looking for a reason they cry out 'delete the inactives!' as if this is all that's needed. You can either treat the causes or the symptoms.

      This is only good if you want a stagnant game.

    • 2) Strap on a pair, diagnose, and treat the problem.

      When exploits outside the spirit and aims of the game itself are discovered, found to be harmful and not condusive to a fair and enjoyable game experience, stamp them out with all due care and speed.

      Firstly, consider that all players will be affected by system wide changes. It wouldn't be 'unfair'. Unfair would be changing the rules to apply only to a certain set of players. When all players are subjected to the same rules it is a fair game. In fact, Cheesers will have a massive advantage, as they have managed to accrue enourmous resources and armies through use of Cheese. New players will not have this advantage. All we will have to do is decide how to adapt to them out of the enourmous advantage we have had the benefit of.

      Yes, many existing high level players will throw their toys out of the pram and quit. This is called bad sportsmanship. However if changes are introduced carefully and with appropriate sensitivity this should be a minimal loss. In many cases we will be losing players that are only interested in using cheesy exploits anyway, and I for one will not be sorry to see them go.

      However we do have to consider those who have hung on with sheer determination. Those who have adapted to 'real politik' in order to survive, and find the prospect of having to reverse for a second time in game tactics a bit much to bear. This would include me, as I have adopted a fair bit of Cheese out of survival necessity.

      I'm not too bothered about those who found Cheese early on and went straight for it. You expect us to tear down our balanced cities, I expect you to tear down your unbalanced ones. Feel my pain (to some thrash metal music). In seriousness though, as Canus says at the end of his post, there should be benefits and penalties to all styles of play, not One Style To Rule Them All.



    In respect to my particular suggestions
    • 1) Simply throwing all players over a certain Prestige amount a quantity of Dynamite in relation to number of cities owned would go a fair way to compensating exisiting players. I made the changes necessary once, I'd strap on a pair and do them again. Some notice in the period of say 2 weeks before changes have effect should be sufficient to ameliorate the impact very significantly - it didn't take me that long to Level Up Stables/Forge/Workshop etc. originally.

    • 2) Applying the resource cap to new resources gained from a certain point in time. Granted food would eventually run out and troop losses would occur - I believe this would affect approximately 5% of players given my food deficits combined with my ranking. Boo hoo for us, everyone else (95%) stands a chance, how unfair is that.

    • 3) Removing missile troop dominance will affect everyone, and has no retrospective penalties - we will just have to find balanced Army tactics. Boo hoo, my poor brain.

      The only caveat to this would be a short notice period warning to the changes being made so that people don't send out an Army expecting their Ballista/Archer to wipe the floor with their enemies.


    Lastly, a message to the Evony team. Do not be disheartened if when balancing the game (through any suggestions or ideas of your own) you see a number of players leave. In most cases this will be the 'fanbois', and their Loyalty is legendarily fickle. They will get bored of the game and leave for something else new and trendy fairly soon anyway. I've seen this occur in Planetarion, most significantly when it became Pay to Play, if that gives you any idea of where their priorities lie. Some are after a good game, some are after a free, easy ego boost.
    Last edited by ! mINDsELFiNDULGE !; 07-13-2009 at 02:45 PM.

  5. #5

    Default

    I love the post! Most people cant read something so long and bland though. Tr highlighting and underlining what you fid important. I did the same wrdy post thing on m first post, Combat Issues
    Look for Heights in the RPG and story section


  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks, will attempt to pretty it up a bit

  7. #7

    Default

    Academies. You said that they may be knockdownable. They are not. If you have built a new cityyouhave noticed tht you cant use the techs from the other cities unless the academy is a high enough level.

    The forge should do something different, like hero upgrades or a place to do certain techs.

    Tell me if you like the math in Combat Issues.
    Look for Heights in the RPG and story section


  8. #8

    Default

    Fair enough - I wasn't sure. But have you noticed you can get the benefit of Agriculture 10 with a L2 Academy?

  9. #9

    Default

    Yup. You can get agriculture at academy lvl 1.
    But you cant get archery till that academy is lvl 4
    Look for Heights in the RPG and story section


  10. #10

    Default

    Cavalry doesn't use all barracks to train. Is this a game problem or dont higher troops train in all barracks so we can save time trianing them?

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