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Thread: Colonization and Drafts

  1. #1
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    Default Colonization and Drafts

    The last few days have seen considerable discussion of the perceived need to adjust the risk/reward calculus for strong players across different areas: troop building, HC drafting, etc. Successful players, however, map out their respective strategies based not only on game mechanics but also their understanding of the strategies that others have adopted. To that end, any discussion of altering the manner in which successful players build their armies and the like is incomplete without addressing these other strategies and issues. My first suggestion along these lines has to do with colonization.

    The Current System

    Risks/Rewards for Suzerains. Put simply, the colonization system is so heavily weighted against the suzerain/attacker that it makes little sense for most players to even bother with suppression. These boards are filled with numerous examples of colony hits after tanking techs, blind suppression battles, serial uprisings followed by legit uprisings, and so on that highlight the numerous risks associated with being a suzerain. At the same time, a suzerain or HC owner has largely illusory "authority" over the cities they have conquered/in the territory covered by their HC's. To that end, the rewards are virtually non-existent if the target has even a basic understanding of the game mechanics.

    Risks/Reward for Colonies. What are the downsides for Colonies? Troops/heroes can be protected from drafting without any risk; colonies can and do continue to build, attack, and farm without making troops vulnerable to drafting (unless the suz is very lucky); and colonization has no lasting impact on prestige or other objectives that some players base their games around. Moreover, given the strategies that have been mentioned on these boards repeatedly, any player who is even marginally competent (or has friends/allies who are) can escape colonization at any time under the current system, even against substantially stronger suzerains and, often, with enormous losses imposed on the suzerain.

    Many stronger players have adapted to this imbalance by either not colonizing at all (and thereby increasing their potential to build the dreaded "never-ending armies") or engaging in "catch-and-release" colonization attacks designed to weaken opponents but not subject the attacker to the numerous downsides of colonization. Likewise, HC owners quickly learn that drafting players within their territories will yield little to no returns, so they focus their energies on drafting and farming NPC's.

    What is the Goal?

    Developers continue to say that they never intended players to build "never-ending armies," but there are two reasons for this: the ability to acquire large numbers of troops daily through training and drafting AND hoarding troops rather than putting them into battle. The weaknesses of the colonization system contribute at least as much to the latter as anything else in Age II, and I suspect it does more to add to troop volume building than HC drafting.

    Likewise, I assume that developers do not want colonies to be placed in an impossible position, where they never have a realistic chance of escaping a suzerain's control. This strikes me as a reasonable objective, but the current system virtually ensures that any colony, even the weakest and most poorly developed, can escape and inflict horrible damage on even the strongest suzerain. This goal can be achieved without discouraging strong players from colonizing (one of the few things you can do with troops other than farm).

    Suggestions for Discussion

    With these points in mind, these suggestions are intended to open discussion for how modest adjustments to the game mechanics could balance the risk/reward profiles for both potential suzerains and colonies.

    1. Reduce the Risk of Colony Attacks. I do not favor changing the current colony tech calculation system. If someone likes to colonize incredibly weak players and hold onto these colonies ad infinitum, my own opinion is that they accept the risk of doing so. That said, any colony can work with another player or an alt account (in spite of rules against this, I hear rumors of this sort of thing almost daily), tank the colonies techs and have a devastating attack on the suz hit within 2-3 minutes. My suggestion is that a colony cannot destroy or downgrade any building within the city as long as he/she remains colonized. This would solve the collusive hit issue without rewarding those who colonize relatively new/incredibly weak cities.

    2. Increase the Risk of Failed Uprisings. Currently, there is no risk to the colony if an uprising fails, esp. where the colony launches an uprising with no troops present. This leads some players to launch fake uprisings on a daily basis, whether to annoy the player who runs the suz account or set a pattern before launching a real uprising. Even if it is a real uprising, however, there should be consequences to failure. I propose either giving the suzerain the option to declare martial law (i.e., the owner of the colony is prohibited from doing anything in the city for 24 hours...no building, no troop movement, no training, no research, nothing...with any pending builds/research suspended until the period ends) and/or razing the city altogether.

    3. Make Hiding Troops/Heroes a Risky Proposition. It is currently very easy for colonies/cities subject to drafts from player-owned HC's to hide troops. Again, it carries virtually no risk to the player doing so and largely nullifies the advantage of being a suzerain or conquering an HC in hostile territory. To that end, I propose making any transfer or other mechanism to hide troops will automatically result in the desertion of 1-50% of the troops so moved (in the alternative, that these troops defect to the suz/HC owner). The only time this would not kick in is if the troops are in attack mode on another player. This would not only address troop hiding but also make farming while a colony far riskier...limiting players' ability to build their own "never-ending armies" while colonized. Likewise, efforts to hide heroes could carry a similar risk of desertion/defection.

    4. Prestige Farming as a Colony. This is somewhat of a different issue, but the idea that someone who is colonized can build massive prestige because they have intentionally made themselves weak is absurd. I propose a colonization penalty, up to 10% of total prestige a day (based on the percentage of their cities that are colonized), for someone who is colonized.

    This is the formula: # cites colonized/# cities total * .1 * total pres. = penalty.

    So, if someone has ten cities but only one is colonized at maintenance, that person would lose 1% of his/her total prestige (1/10=.1*.1=.01). If that person has just two cities and one is colonized, he/she would lose 5% (1/2*.1=.05).

    Conclusion

    I am sure there are other ideas that can achieve a better balance than the current system or these proposals. Still, by focusing solely on one aspect of the current system, these discussions create the appearance of penalizing strong players rather than moving the system toward the desired play style through a balanced modification of risks and rewards across different player types. At the same time, I am not saying that I agree with the perceived need to make substantial modifications at all; I am merely proposing that, in the event changes are deemed necessary, they be spread out across the player base and take into account more than just the direct options available to strong players.

    I welcome constructive comments. Thanks.

    Historical Heroes :39 Historical Cities :3 3 1 *

  2. #2

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    All pretty solid ideas.

    I agree that there should be much higher incentives for the Suzerain of a colony. If colonizing is part of the end-game (and attack is NOT introduced retroactively), then there should be a much higher reward for it.

    I DO, however, think there should be ways for colonized folk to annoy or otherwise deter Suzerain's from maintaining their hold. Valley stealing is a great example. It provides the victim an easy means of simply "getting under the skin" of the Suzerain. Unfortunately, the Suzerain has very few ways of stopping this tactic, but there are others that are effective, yet can be negated.

    As it stands now, though, it is a very lopsided mechanic in favor of the victim. Increase the draft %. Allow the Suzerain to choose which branch of troops he drafts. Burn a certain percentage of food each day as a new policy or something (though that would require upkeep to mean something)...I don't know, spittballin'.
    Last edited by ElNiNoSt0rM; 08-17-2010 at 11:41 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I like your suggestions, +1 rep from me, especially as a good starting point for further discussion.
    HH: 1| HC: 1 0 0 0

  4. #4
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    Default

    Excellent thread.

    I would only leave prestige out of this, as it is completely worthless.

  5. #5

    Default

    Great post.

    What if the Suz recieved 10% of the troops produced in the colonized city per day just like resources? I would like to hear your thoughts on that.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by webby189 View Post
    Great post.

    What if the Suz recieved 10% of the troops produced in the colonized city per day just like resources? I would like to hear your thoughts on that.
    I wouldn't be opposed to something along these lines as it would give those who take the greatest risk (multiple high-level colonizations, for example) the greatest potential reward. I suspect that some might be concerned about the potential for mass troop building, etc., but I do not really share those concerns.

    Historical Heroes :39 Historical Cities :3 3 1 *

  7. #7

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    +1 Rep. Nice ideas but I agree with Woldere, prestige is useless
    Ram - Catapult + Ram/Cataphract x Calvary -((-Archer) Cataphract) + Warrior^2 x Pikemen^3 - Worker(Swordmen)/Transporter + Ballista((-Scout)(Cataphract - Calvary^2)Archer) - Cataphract^7 = Horsebow.
    [omkitshuy]: anyone worth recruiting is a person worth farming
    http://bbs.evony.com/showthread.php?...32#post1391632

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default

    Instead of prestige you could do something with honor. Every day you are colonized you receive a certain amount of honor to encourage you to free yourself.

  9. #9

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    Call me a whiner, but your suggestions just insure that the credit card heroes on many of the servers continue to control with an iron fist, removing any possibility of a successful uprising or any hope of release.

    While Evony, LLC. probably has no problem with this (it insures they make money), a good number of players who are currently subject to said CC heroes would probably leave the game.

  10. #10

    Default

    Yep this is very much just a bonus for larger players.

    Totally agree with the no downgrading is colonised idea. This means freindly alliances won't team up against colonised towns to smash enemies.

    The troop hiding... Well if you have enough food in the town then I think its fine. If you run out of food then your men should return thus being able to be drafted.

    Nothing wrong with uprising... I'm sure big time players would enjoy the fact that they can suppress knowing that the colonies mechs are the same as when they took them - or better....

    I would agree just with the 'colony' hit side.. If this isn't fixed then the game is doomed... as the whole idea is a colonising game ( over age 1 ) and not just building armies.

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