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Tiberius

Hard caps tied to averages

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I propose that we implement hard caps in infra, land and cities. These would be tied to the games average of each above 1k score +50%. This would ensure that those who join the game have a realistic chance of catching up and hitting the top of the leaderboard. As with all changes they should be geared towards newer players, as otherwise we will inevitably be left with a handful of people to play the game in a few years time. 

 

As an example, say the average cities in game above 1k score is 20. The max amount of cities you could have is 30. 

 

I would imagine there would need to be exceptions with infra and land due to war etc and so I propose that if you reached a certain amount of infra that would become your max if the average +50% was lower. 

 

It is an idea that would need to be refined, but the goal here is to make the number 1 spot achievable to new players. For those already at the max or above the max amount we would then need to look at introducing extra things to do.

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Why should a new player be able to catch up with a player that has played for... how old is the game now? 4-5 years?

But sure this is great if you want to alienate all your upper tier nations.

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22 minutes ago, Sweeeeet Ronny D said:

Why should a new player be able to catch up with a player that has played for... how old is the game now? 4-5 years?

But sure this is great if you want to alienate all your upper tier nations.

I get it that it isn't going to be popular with those upper tier Nations, however at some point PnW is going to have to act or end up like CN. The lifeblood of the game is continuously getting new players joining. 

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I mean you can pretty easily make 20 cities in less than 6 months. Mind you, i made it to 19, with relatively minimal aid from any alliances i was in, while sitting at city 12 on 100/0 for 30 days at a time i could've taken grants, and then putting off buying an actual city for something like 60-80 days (math says i could afford a city by myself every 40ish) in preparing for both Knightfall and making my own alliance.

So according to these numbers i actually could have made it to city 21 or even 22 in 6 months. I don't have any rich benefactor friends who randomly threw 500m at me because "LOL im a whale this is nothing", i wasn't in some immensely rich alliance as some super important player either. Even despite those holdups i mentioned, i made it to city 19 at around 170ish days or so.

Now i like to think well of myself and consider myself at least decently competent, but not so much so that somebody else couldn't easily blow the above out of the water. Growth these days just simply isn't that hard. It took the first people to ever reach 20 cities ingame like 3 years of actually trying, with friends, and lots of alliance support, etc etc. It took me 6 months of just me being me, mostly with just me, so unless base form Akuryo is just that good. *shrug*

Hell, most micros make growth look difficult until you see mine and realize my problem isn't the money to give people cities it's having people to give cities too. My very first member was 3 cities, they're about to go to 12 soon after 50 days, all alliance funded, having been on 100/0 the entire time, while a dozen other people were being built up just the same, while alliance funds were used to fund unnecessary bullying of shittier micros, while i still gave money to my bigger members when they joined to help rebuild (even buying one a city as i promised long ago), while paying back loans, while even paying back about 1 billion i stole long ago as a part of a deal (up to 200m, 20% WOOT), while STILL spending over 250m converting my nation into a farm so they dont have to worry about buying food ever again. and all this during a major war i !@#$ed about strangling the economy and other crap. Now maybe that proves i'm an idiot for !@#$ing, i don't know, but it proves something. 

Whatever the hell it is you and your alliance are doing, maybe it should re-examined, and mixed up somehow. Because coming in (albeit as a reroll), it just isn't that hard. A new player, provided they join a good alliance with the right people could easily match me even without the prior experience, and could even surpass that. It's not impossible to catch up, it's just really fricking hard, which makes alot of sense. 

 

A better solution to is to encourage the whales to pump money back into smaller nations. But... that's a thing that's already done. Most major alliances actually tax their whales little if at all on the condition they invest massive amounts of capital into alliance growth while saving for a city. GoB regularly and discreetly funds projects of all sorts without a word to the wider world (or so they claim, still haven't sent me so much as a complaint letter :( ) and even paperless whales like Odin (Nordland) do by investing into projects like uhh... *checks alliance page* That one. Guy's put in almost as much money into it as i have. <3 


Besides, 4000 infra is typically a retarded thing to do and i enjoy people being punished for it. Whale-tier cities are less about making money and more about military-capacity and, in the case of some, building as far above the IQ death swarm as possible. Score doesn't mean everything, teach your noobs to aim for greatness beyond nation score.

 

/akuryorant

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As someone with a 30 city nation, I'm not opposed to this.  From a gameplay perspective, more people being able to interact with each other is a good thing.

For players with nations at the cap, letting them create a second nation (at a steep price) would give them something to do.

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This is why I'm downvoting:

 

What the game really needs to avoid is a bimodal distribution, that is to say, half the players cuddle around the city average (15, 17, 19), another big spurt involves long-term players who've had strong economic support. The long-term players basically end up killing the game; i.e, no one is ever going to reach them, when it comes to war, it'll take disproportionate strength to take them down (see Syndisphere vs Grumpy and Guardian).

 

The hard cap suggestion doesn't actually help, because it makes it so that you'll get more and more players accumulated at the 30-40 cities point, until the game turns into TKR-sphere and IQ dominance, i.e, IQ controls the 15-20 city tier, TKR-sphere controls the 30+ city tier, and everyone else suffers. The mechanism is the capping; i.e, you'd assume the people at the 30+ cities point tend to use their economic strength to support lowbies for max RoI, but given that growth essentially becomes impossible for them due to the cap (and it is partially impossible already due to exponential city costs), they have much less incentive for such a project. If they can't expand economically, they can definitely expand politically, which means financing allied players to tier up in the 30+ city point, until they have tier dominance in the God/Whale tier.

 

====

 

Imo, the best way to fix this problem is to encourage infinite inflation. That is to say, what is 20 cities today is equivalent to 40 cities a year in the future. The people who are currently whales (Seb, etc) have to keep up their economic growth to maintain their relative ranking, or infinite city inflation will cause them to fall down to the average. If the problem becomes that 100 cities becomes unmanageable, add city classes. Each city could be considered a township, and you can merge 2 cities to form a great city, then a metropolis, a megalopolii, etc... So we'd end up with people with the equivalent of 100 cities, but they'd only manage 25 megapolii.

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13 hours ago, Sweeeeet Ronny D said:

ok so my question to you is, how long should it take for a nation to reach the leaderboards?

Including natural destruction due to war, I think it should be feasible to have a shot within 2 years. Sure it's making it easier for those joining now than those who have spent the time and effort to get there previously. The one aspect we don't know is why people give up on the game when they join. If we can nullify one of those aspects, being that they will never reach the top realistically, then we stand a good chance of keeping newer players. The success of the game will be in being able to continue getting new players. Without them the game will inevitably die out. So it does throw the position of alienating long standing players in favour of new players, who may not even stay around. There does need to be a balance, and at the moment the advantage is currently held with the players who have played the longest. 

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6 minutes ago, A Boy Named Crow said:

This is why I'm downvoting:

 

What the game really needs to avoid is a bimodal distribution, that is to say, half the players cuddle around the city average (15, 17, 19), another big spurt involves long-term players who've had strong economic support. The long-term players basically end up killing the game; i.e, no one is ever going to reach them, when it comes to war, it'll take disproportionate strength to take them down (see Syndisphere vs Grumpy and Guardian).

 

The hard cap suggestion doesn't actually help, because it makes it so that you'll get more and more players accumulated at the 30-40 cities point, until the game turns into TKR-sphere and IQ dominance, i.e, IQ controls the 15-20 city tier, TKR-sphere controls the 30+ city tier, and everyone else suffers. The mechanism is the capping; i.e, you'd assume the people at the 30+ cities point tend to use their economic strength to support lowbies for max RoI, but given that growth essentially becomes impossible for them due to the cap (and it is partially impossible already due to exponential city costs), they have much less incentive for such a project. If they can't expand economically, they can definitely expand politically, which means financing allied players to tier up in the 30+ city point, until they have tier dominance in the God/Whale tier.

 

====

 

Imo, the best way to fix this problem is to encourage infinite inflation. That is to say, what is 20 cities today is equivalent to 40 cities a year in the future. The people who are currently whales (Seb, etc) have to keep up their economic growth to maintain their relative ranking, or infinite city inflation will cause them to fall down to the average. If the problem becomes that 100 cities becomes unmanageable, add city classes. Each city could be considered a township, and you can merge 2 cities to form a great city, then a metropolis, a megalopolii, etc... So we'd end up with people with the equivalent of 100 cities, but they'd only manage 25 megapolii.

Tiering would solely be a political choice and one that could be brought down by a coalition by political manpuvering. This isn't something I am trying to control/stop.

What I don't want to see, Is the decline in player numbers and a situation where eventually a 10k score Nation could declare war on someone 10-15% of their size and this will happen if we don't restrict growth at the top end. 

In fact those tierings you mentioned would make the game much more interesting. Because as IQ increases cities it puts IQ in range of those 30 city Nations etc 

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Well, in other games where similar tiering issues have emerged, the mid-tier / lower-tier (NPO) coalition ended up allying with the top-tier (Umbrella) coalition to destroy everything between them. It turned out that, until the game died, they couldn't really touch each other. And even then, the mid-tier could destroy the top-tier, but the huge warchests accumulated by the top tier meant that they could render the war incredibly prolonged. And the top-tier, were it to go after the mid-tier, would end up triggering the same infinity war that discouraged the mid-tier.

 

====

 

We actually should connect this issue with excessive warchest accumulation. Let me put it another way. Why doesn't Seb get a 39th city? Because it's outrageously expensive and adds only a very small increment to his military power (2.6% linearly, 5% quadratically, 8% including ground and air control).

 

What's the intelligent thing for Seb to do, then? One, he can contribute it to his alliance's warchest. Two, he can help build massive tiering in his alliance or in alliances allied with his alliance. So by capping nation growth, you're encouraging two things that are bad for the game.

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7 hours ago, Tiberius said:

Including natural destruction due to war, I think it should be feasible to have a shot within 2 years. Sure it's making it easier for those joining now than those who have spent the time and effort to get there previously. The one aspect we don't know is why people give up on the game when they join. If we can nullify one of those aspects, being that they will never reach the top realistically, then we stand a good chance of keeping newer players. The success of the game will be in being able to continue getting new players. Without them the game will inevitably die out. So it does throw the position of alienating long standing players in favour of new players, who may not even stay around. There does need to be a balance, and at the moment the advantage is currently held with the players who have played the longest. 

so you think telling a brand new nation in 700 days you could be on top of the leaderboards tied with about 500 other nations, that will make them want to play?

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9 hours ago, Tiberius said:

Including natural destruction due to war, I think it should be feasible to have a shot within 2 years. Sure it's making it easier for those joining now than those who have spent the time and effort to get there previously. The one aspect we don't know is why people give up on the game when they join. If we can nullify one of those aspects, being that they will never reach the top realistically, then we stand a good chance of keeping newer players. The success of the game will be in being able to continue getting new players. Without them the game will inevitably die out. So it does throw the position of alienating long standing players in favour of new players, who may not even stay around. There does need to be a balance, and at the moment the advantage is currently held with the players who have played the longest. 

Of course the score advantage is held with the players that have played the longest, why exactly shouldn't it be? You want new players to have the opportunity to become the wealthiest player artificially? That defeats the entire point of the concept of a leaderboard if you're just going to GIVE it to people. I'd call that preferential treatment of the worst variety, and it wouldn't solve a single thing to boot. In fact it would cause a lot of needless problems.

Now, if you were talking about military balance, you might have had a point... except that the score range and war slots mechanics ensure that all fights are, while perhaps not fair, at least feasible. Lemme put it this way: Grumpy/Gob doesn't matter to a new player. They don't change a single thing, at all, except for some stuff about color bonuses. So, the old G cannot actually prevent anyone from reaching the highest levels of achievement on any of the non-score leaderboards, and those actually are quite realistically obtainable given sufficient effort. In 2 years, someone that starts within this month could very well be launching their 600th missile, or their 400th nuke. So while the "score" leaderboard is locked down pretty tightly against any new joiners, the rest are potentially anyone's game. We're not out of major achievements to accomplish, not by a wide margin.

I really don't understand why people care about score so much... Low score is objectively the best score, and you all should be familiar with that fact by now 😛

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@Sir Scarfalot

 

So let's put it another way. Assume, say, our growth is normal, while Fraggle keeps on amassing nukes. Say, in a year or two, Fraggle can get to the point where she can VM for 6 months and still remain on top. Is that normal?

 

The idea that older players should be automatically ahead of new players without struggle or attempts to adapt to changing metagames is silly. Seniority is one of the reasons we criticize the old Japanese lifetime employment system, i.e, people whose only virtue is having been on the job longer than others get more preferential treatment than younger and more talented counterparts. In a game, which is supposed to be more idealistic than in real life, we should not have people be powerful based merely on their nation age.

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16 minutes ago, Sir Scarfalot said:

Of course the score advantage is held with the players that have played the longest, why exactly shouldn't it be? You want new players to have the opportunity to become the wealthiest player artificially? That defeats the entire point of the concept of a leaderboard if you're just going to GIVE it to people. I'd call that preferential treatment of the worst variety, and it wouldn't solve a single thing to boot. In fact it would cause a lot of needless problems.

Now, if you were talking about military balance, you might have had a point... except that the score range and war slots mechanics ensure that all fights are, while perhaps not fair, at least feasible. Lemme put it this way: Grumpy/Gob doesn't matter to a new player. They don't change a single thing, at all, except for some stuff about color bonuses. So, the old G cannot actually prevent anyone from reaching the highest levels of achievement on any of the non-score leaderboards, and those actually are quite realistically obtainable given sufficient effort. In 2 years, someone that starts within this month could very well be launching their 600th missile, or their 400th nuke. So while the "score" leaderboard is locked down pretty tightly against any new joiners, the rest are potentially anyone's game. We're not out of major achievements to accomplish, not by a wide margin.

I really don't understand why people care about score so much... Low score is objectively the best score, and you all should be familiar with that fact by now 😛

We can either look and do something to make reaching upper tier and being able to compete at that level in a reasonable amount of time or sit here in another 4 years with 2k players. I am merely here for my community, and that being Pacifica. If I had chanced upon the game now without being part of an established gaming community, I wouldn't even bother. You either make the game appealing to new players, or you can ride the ship downwards. 

3 hours ago, Sweeeeet Ronny D said:

so you think telling a brand new nation in 700 days you could be on top of the leaderboards tied with about 500 other nations, that will make them want to play?

Yes. Right now, it's impossible. The current upper tier simply aren't going to stagnate so the rest can catch up. Browser games are already limited in the base it can recruit from, so we should do all we can to grab as many of them as possible before they fade away to consoles. 

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38 minutes ago, A Boy Named Crow said:

@Sir Scarfalot

 

So let's put it another way. Assume, say, our growth is normal, while Fraggle keeps on amassing nukes. Say, in a year or two, Fraggle can get to the point where she can VM for 6 months and still remain on top. Is that normal?

 

The idea that older players should be automatically ahead of new players without struggle or attempts to adapt to changing metagames is silly. Seniority is one of the reasons we criticize the old Japanese lifetime employment system, i.e, people whose only virtue is having been on the job longer than others get more preferential treatment than younger and more talented counterparts. In a game, which is supposed to be more idealistic than in real life, we should not have people be powerful based merely on their nation age.

Hey now, you don't think Fraggle struggles? Or adapts to the changing metagame? Fraggle most assuredly does on both counts. And do you seriously think Fraggle is the most powerful individual in the game... or for that matter, "powerful" in a meta-political sense at all? Come on man, Fraggle can declare war on like 3 people and is leading an alliance of two. For all the nukes and score, Fraggle isn't as politically powerful as @Roquentin, @Buorhann or @Nizam Adrienne, each of whom I should point out aren't on the score leaderboard by a factor of four. (No shade of course, @Fraggle, we all love, respect and certainly fear you and your amazing, unique nation :wub:)

Fraggle has put in the effort. If someone wants to overtake Fraggle on Fraggle's strengths, then they need to put in at least as much effort as Fraggle already has. Otherwise, we're not merely stripping away Fraggle's achievements, but we're devaluing said achievements themselves in the process. If instead they just want to make a major achievement, they don't need to overtake Fraggle; they just need to find their enjoyment of the game, get involved, and work hard enough to overtake somebody. And lemme tell you: it won't take two years.

21 minutes ago, Tiberius said:

We can either look and do something to make reaching upper tier and being able to compete at that level in a reasonable amount of time or sit here in another 4 years with 2k players. I am merely here for my community, and that being Pacifica. If I had chanced upon the game now without being part of an established gaming community, I wouldn't even bother. You either make the game appealing to new players, or you can ride the ship downwards. 

Or, alternatively, we could consider that there are more accomplishments to be made than just accumulation of wealth, and encourage a culture that welcomes and accepts achievement in all its many forms. You don't need to be in the top 1% to have fun, which is good because otherwise we'd be sitting here with a dozen players right now.

Edited by Sir Scarfalot
meh.
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Fraggle is actually on a different track than the city count thing, but the idea that, for a new nation, they'll have to wait years to be able to compete with Seb is one of the things that kills the game. Once you hit 19 cities or so, you realize growth is now going to be near impossible unless you pool the capital for a bank and play investment banker to get the money needed for a truly large nation.

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1 minute ago, Sir Scarfalot said:

Or, alternatively, we could consider that there are more accomplishments to be made than just accumulation of wealth, and encourage a culture that welcomes and accepts achievement in all its many forms. You don't need to be in the top 1% to have fun, which is good because otherwise we'd be sitting here with a dozen players right now.

Sure different people join and play to achieve different things. At the moment, upper tier is still achievable. The game is running rosy. I have no issues with it in it's current guise, but i'm looking at the future with this change, because at some point even mid-tier is going to be unachievable. In 4 years, what achievements are realistically going to be attainable? What happens when those who have been here for so long get bored, and quit the game. Who is going to replace them, when they can't achieve anything of note? The younger generation are more and more demanding and impatient these days. If we aren't going to cater to these, then we are looking at a bleak future. 

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29 minutes ago, A Boy Named Crow said:

@Sir Scarfalot

 

So let's put it another way. Assume, say, our growth is normal, while Fraggle keeps on amassing nukes. Say, in a year or two, Fraggle can get to the point where she can VM for 6 months and still remain on top. Is that normal?

 

The idea that older players should be automatically ahead of new players without struggle or attempts to adapt to changing metagames is silly. Seniority is one of the reasons we criticize the old Japanese lifetime employment system, i.e, people whose only virtue is having been on the job longer than others get more preferential treatment than younger and more talented counterparts. In a game, which is supposed to be more idealistic than in real life, we should not have people be powerful based merely on their nation age.

So... your argument here is competency should merit reward over seniority, yes?

Now i know i'm rambly as hell and made a giant textwall, but that textwall is literally pointing out how this is already the case, and how i am a living, speaking example.

 

14 minutes ago, Tiberius said:

We can either look and do something to make reaching upper tier and being able to compete at that level in a reasonable amount of time or sit here in another 4 years with 2k players. I am merely here for my community, and that being Pacifica. If I had chanced upon the game now without being part of an established gaming community, I wouldn't even bother. You either make the game appealing to new players, or you can ride the ship downwards. 

Yes. Right now, it's impossible. The current upper tier simply aren't going to stagnate so the rest can catch up. Browser games are already limited in the base it can recruit from, so we should do all we can to grab as many of them as possible before they fade away to consoles. 

I find it amusing for a self-admitted NPO drone to be complaining about not having any chance of competing with whales in score or wealth. Literally nothing about your alliance or its community or its allies has anything to do with that. Weirdly enough, your alliance and its allies are still successful.

It's almost like there's more to the game than being 30+ cities and 10k score.

1 minute ago, Tiberius said:

Sure different people join and play to achieve different things. At the moment, upper tier is still achievable. The game is running rosy. I have no issues with it in it's current guise, but i'm looking at the future with this change, because at some point even mid-tier is going to be unachievable. In 4 years, what achievements are realistically going to be attainable? What happens when those who have been here for so long get bored, and quit the game. Who is going to replace them, when they can't achieve anything of note? The younger generation are more and more demanding and impatient these days. If we aren't going to cater to these, then we are looking at a bleak future. 

If you think this game or its genre in any way, shape or form caters to the more impatient "HIT ME WITH DOPAMINE EVERY QUARTER SECOND" population or ever could while still being a nationsim of this variety than Roq needs to update his clone software.

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2 minutes ago, Akuryo said:

I find it amusing for a self-admitted NPO drone to be complaining about not having any chance of competing with whales in score or wealth. Literally nothing about your alliance or its community or its allies has anything to do with that. Weirdly enough, your alliance and its allies are still successful.

It's almost like there's more to the game than being 30+ cities and 10k score.

I'm not complaining. I am thinking of future players here. This has nothing to do with my gameplay experience and everything to do with keeping the game active with a growing playerbase in the future.

 

Sure there's plenty more to the game once you start playing etc. but shouldn't everyone have the opportunity through dedication and skill. Sure it's attainable now, but in 4 years? 

Edited by Tiberius

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Actually, if you were competent, you'd be able to score 23 cities in 6 months.  But good luck getting to 32 cities in a reasonable timeframe, at least without going into the I-banking business.

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4 minutes ago, A Boy Named Crow said:

Actually, if you were competent, you'd be able to score 23 cities in 6 months.  But good luck getting to 32 cities in a reasonable timeframe, at least without going into the I-banking business.

And 32 cities is less than 50% more city; the difference is almost negligible compared to the cost. Which is how the game was designed, for good reason. In all sincerity, what's your point...?

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TBH, you could make that argument for why everyone should copy Typhon. An endless horde of micro nations is more cost effective than the equivalent in larger nations; the point where it's more cost effective to have a larger nation than a smaller nation is somewhere in the sub-10 city range.

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6 minutes ago, A Boy Named Crow said:

TBH, you could make that argument for why everyone should copy Typhon. An endless horde of micro nations is more cost effective than the equivalent in larger nations; the point where it's more cost effective to have a larger nation than a smaller nation is somewhere in the sub-10 city range.

That would require an endless horde of competent players, the lack of which is a huge bottleneck. With that in mind, it's better to find and groom the best available with all available resources, distributed as cost-effectively as possible within that limitation, since players are the truly limited resource.

Edited by Sir Scarfalot
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As a new player, and speaking only for myself, I don't expect to reach the score or nation capabilities of the long-term players. People who started long before me are likely to have things I don't, including a long string of Awards, a dozen National Projects, and more cities than for which I'd care to think of names. None of that bothers me. I can still choose to punch up or down, get involved in politics, and fine-tune my nation.

Maybe I just feel like a temporarily embarrassed billionaire, but a cap strikes me as an artificial limitation on what I can achieve. 

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