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Prefontaine

Military changes - The beginning of wars

Start of wars  

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I'm at a special training program for three weeks (this was the first), thus my lack of updates/posts in this area. One of the major areas of focus to be addressed is the war system. I know there are a lot of ideas regarding the war system and what needs to happen, but I want to start at the beginning of wars and only the beginning. 


The beginning of wars faces a problem in that you can lose a large portion of military virtually instantly. Say you don't log in for 8 hours you can come back to very few units (even if you were max or near max), blockaded along with air and ground sup's against you. However there's also the problem of not changing things so much that the attackers advantage goes away, because a coordinated blitz should be important still. I've listed some ideas in the poll above, you can vote for more than one. If you have other ideas, please post them below and we will use upvotes to mark as if they were in the voting option. 

 

I know people are going to have a lot of strong opinions here, so keep it civil. Trolls will be reported. This is far from a complete list of options as there are a lot of ideas out there, but these are some of the more popular ideas that have been mentioned to me. 

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Now this might sound weird, but how about you reduce dogfight casualties by x% for the 1st 2 turns of a war to give the defender time to react. The percentage would have to be high enough to discourage immediate plane spam but low enough that you could bite the bullet and dogfight if it was absolutely needed. I'd love to hear what you think.

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1 minute ago, Vein said:

The "No Blockade in the first 24 hours" is really useless and is supporting the bad players. if someone would have bank loot on them, I wouldn't like to not be able to blockade them in the first 24 hours due to them being bad.

People having an entire bank on them is a rare case that I don't think should be focus, and it's also not necessarily a bad thing to give players a chance to deposit their bank. But that aside: in most of wars blockading is about preventing warchest resupply (blockading people who run out of gas etc.) and in this case the 24h change would address some issues such as perma blockading. Instead of immediately being re-declared on and blockaded again once a war ends, you would have 24h to do transactions; it's a good way to balance perma-blockading strats imo which could be very devastating in theory if pulled off correctly leaving players blockaded for weeks on end.

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From a gameplay perspective when you look at successful games you have two "genres" of war games:

  • Strategy Games: These type of games balance their usually-shallow war system with mitigating factors such as army movement, terrain bonuses or penalties, fortifications, and bonus research trees that affect unit stats.
  • "Instant" Games: Games like Clash of Clans where you instantly go into battle have a different set of balancing factors. If you get raided, for example, you lose resources but your army and buildings aren't affected. 

PnW has some elements of strategy but it is not a strategy game. Your army cannot avoid or mitigate wars. Someone blitzes you, your army takes damage. Pretty simple war system. The problem comes from the lack of balance: Blitzes are too strong. We don't need to eliminate the ability to blitz, but we need to mitigate and balance it.

PnW also has an added element of being a persistent game - meaning you cannot pause it. You logging on or off has no impact on someone else blitzing you.

 

So how do we balance it?

  • Reducing casualties: Two or three coordinated nations can cripple a target with an initial blitz. They can also completely zero out a maxed military overnight while you're asleep. Casualties need to be reduced to allow for players to have a chance to respond to attacks before they're completely incapable of fighting back.
  • Increasing daily military buy limits: This is probably the biggest culprit of the "snowball effect" we see in an effective blitz. Not only will you lose 50-100% of your military in a blitz, you can only rebuy 10-30% of it per day. Even in a double-buy situation, you're facing 3-to-1 odds and if your opponent is online at update they'll just zero you again.
  • Refactoring score ranges: Cities, being the determinant factor of military capability, should count for more score than they currently do.
  • Reduce cost of units: Tanks are still too expensive in steel. Navies and Airplanes take too much cash.
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Hate to shill my own thread, but I would be okay with a dramatic increase in unit production and cap across the board because of this:

 

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How about allowing us to set which # of our nation's military is either reserved or active? So say your max aircraft is 1000, and you set your "active" component to 500 (even if you only have 400 aircraft). Any aircraft you have over 500 will feed into the active component when your aircraft are destroyed.

An example, a nation with 2000 aircraft declares war on a 1500 aircraft nation. 1500 was expecting war so he is spending a lot of money keeping "750" airborne aircraft, and the 2000 nation has "1000" airborne aircraft. 2000 gets an immense triumph, but the next time he attacks it will still be "1000" on "750" aircraft fighting. This gives a buffer towards any blitz. Add a two turn delay to any change of % from reserves to active to give alliances a reaction time, make it expensive to keep a large active component in peace time, and max it at 50%.

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4 hours ago, Bartholomew Roberts said:

Refactoring score ranges: Cities, being the determinant factor of military capability, should count for more score than they currently do.

I disagree with this in the current state of the game. At 34 cities I can easily be held down by 2 nations at like 15 cities who have less score than me after i'm already zeroed. Cities themselfes don't fight, a zeroed whale will be up against max milled mid tiers, can actually not do much and is reliant on receiving beige to rebuild. If the whale is built up on the other hand they will have a hard time reaching low enough to hit a lot of people, which was a major part of NPOs dominance, hiding below the reach of their foes. Increasing the score given by cities will increase this phenomenon.

However I do believe that this will hold more true once a change such as the increased unit buy is implemented.

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9 hours ago, Hafestus said:

Add a two turn delay to any change of % from reserves to active to give alliances a reaction time,

4 hours? Sleep exists. Ideally at least 6 turns.

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Guest Elijah Mikaelson
6 hours ago, Dryad said:

I disagree with this in the current state of the game. At 34 cities I can easily be held down by 2 nations at like 15 cities who have less score than me after i'm already zeroed. Cities themselfes don't fight, a zeroed whale will be up against max milled mid tiers, can actually not do much and is reliant on receiving beige to rebuild. If the whale is built up on the other hand they will have a hard time reaching low enough to hit a lot of people, which was a major part of NPOs dominance, hiding below the reach of their foes. Increasing the score given by cities will increase this phenomenon.

However I do believe that this will hold more true once a change such as the increased unit buy is implemented.

but hitting people with infra and the same city count you are likely to get more loot, yes generally smaller nations can keep a larger one down, however it is also very easy for a larger nation to wipe a small nation out 



 

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30 minutes ago, Bjorn Ironside said:

yes generally smaller nations can keep a larger one down, however it is also very easy for a larger nation to wipe a small nation out.

Thats where "if you're bad, you should be punished for it" comes into play. no1 should send city 15 people at a city 34 to hold them down. IF they do then they should be punished for it. The military system shouldn't change due to someone else being bad.

 

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13 hours ago, Vein said:

The "No Blockade in the first 24 hours" is really useless and is supporting the bad players. if someone would have bank loot on them, I wouldn't like to not be able to blockade them in the first 24 hours due to them being bad.

Normally when these sort of ideas are pitched, the no blockade is tied into the no superiority option. I wanted to separate them because you can still vote for both, but I feel they are different mechanics. Superiority greatly impacts the rest of the conflict, blockade on impacts your ability to keep fighting if you're not prepared (or in a long conflict and drained), or if you have a lot of loot you wanted to stash. 

This is why they're separate. I didn't want people to look at the no sup option and see the blockade tied into that and think they want one, but not the other.

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Guest Elijah Mikaelson

The only problem i for see is these changes might be worthless once the changes to planes and other things come in to place, think we need to see what other changes might be coming in to play as if planes get a nerf or other units get a boost being able to hit planes then it will change a lot.

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55 minutes ago, Prefontaine said:

Normally when these sort of ideas are pitched, the no blockade is tied into the no superiority option. I wanted to separate them because you can still vote for both, but I feel they are different mechanics. Superiority greatly impacts the rest of the conflict, blockade on impacts your ability to keep fighting if you're not prepared (or in a long conflict and drained), or if you have a lot of loot you wanted to stash. 

This is why they're separate. I didn't want people to look at the no sup option and see the blockade tied into that and think they want one, but not the other.

I feel like "no superiority/blockade/less/no MAPs" would be flipping the switch the entire other direction. Blitzes would become useless and the war system would suffer for it.

 

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Posted (edited)

Unit casualties should be lowered drastically. Losing a war should do more damage than it does and have lasting 'effects' on the nation. And some pop-up events throughout the war, to make them all new experiences and a better test of skill than rock, paper, scissors. The number of wars fought concurrently should also be reduced or face a soft cap in the form of 'army attrition' or 'war weariness' for the nation's population.

Edited by Epi

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The funny thing is that whatever changes you make, the same people will come out on top.

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Posted (edited)

10 days later:

  • an average of 12 forum accounts voted for no changes
  • an average of 4.5 forum accounts voted for less or no MAP's when wars start
  • an average of 9 accounts voted for no superiority or blockading when a war starts
  • an average of 31 support reducing casualties and increasing buy rates in some way.

That's a pretty clear result. I'm sure Alex will be implementing no MAP's very shortly. 

Edited by Roberts
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