Just as we had announced in the previous News post, our current priority is to make the game more accessible and friendly to the newbie players. This update adds conditionally prolonged beginner's protection, as well as other things - more quests from Bulat and Zweistein to guide people further into the game, town capture mechanics redesign, and many others. Read on for details.
Prolonged Beginner's Protection
There was an issue brought up by one of our players about newbies being punished too early in the game, before they figured it out well and learned enough. There is beginner protection when you start a new hero, but we took it more seriously and decided there must be something else we can do to help new players transition further into the game. We did a discussion on forums, and the feedback was positive - so we gave it a go. Current implementation of this "Conditionally Prolonged Beginners Protection" is almost exactly as proposed in that discussion, except for two things:
- It is not the number of attacks which enables protection, but rather the amount of damage a newbie receives (i.e. if someone is attacked 7 times with a single Hunter unit, it won't be enough to trigger the protection, but if someone is attacked with cataputs, losing numerous units and structures, then that single attack may enable the protection)
- There is an additional clause which will make you less protected - the more military buildings present in your town and the stronger they are, the less entitled you will be for beginner's protection.
This is another feedback service. Back in the day, one of our players reported that at some point in the beginning of the game there is not much stuff to do - until you settle the second town. It was a valid issue, so we have taken it seriously. Another thing was people are recklessly not building enough defense in their town. We have addressed these issues by adding two (in fact three) multi-step quests to our famous advisors, Bulat and Zweistein.
- Zweistein's quest will guide a player step-by-step into settling a second town
- Bulat's quest is in fact two completely different quests, which depend on which politics you have. Collectivism players will be guided through how to defend their town better, while Leaderism players will be motivated to attack others and do various nasty stuff :)
We have also noticed that markets in the game are seriously underused, because everyone loves to accept a trade, but most people are too lazy to put up their own offers :) That's why we have added some bonus quests:
- There are two new regular quests at Zweistein which are pretty simple - you have to put up an offer on the market and accept someone else's. Not a big deal, but this will introduce new players to the market stuff earlier, so they will be more aware - and hopefully pay more attention.
- The second is a little bit bigger. The Antiquarian will gladly hear your boasting about trades you have done, and will reward you with blueprints and figurines. Not a fancy quest, but rather a motivator for people to use the market more often, benefitting everyone in the long run.
Town Capture Mechanics Changes
When we initially added town capturing mechanics with the launch of alpha 4, people were overwhelmed with things introduced, so priests and town capturing went slightly under the radar. It is almost a year later - and people have re-discovered this feature and actively started to use it. We would like to thank everyone who actively participated in town capturing (both willingly and unwillingly), because without you we would be unaware of how bugged it was and would have no data on our hands to analyze and fix accordingly. This is a natural part of the testing process.
The core idea of the town capturing remains the same - as it was designed to be. However, fixing the problems forced us to rewrite some formulas behind this from scratch. As a result, it finally seems to be working as expected.
In order to make sure, we wrote a tool which simulated town capture attempts from each player against every other player currently in the game. The results have shown that out of all combinations, in 17% of them town capture is possble in certain specific situations, in 6% of cases it is theoretically easy (requires 50% or less of possibly available priests in all towns), and 2% are possible without doing damage to the target town (destroying buildings).
The last number is useless right now, but if all goes well, we will remove the conversion immunity feature from the main buildings (chieftain hut, residence, town hall etc.) or replace it with a small protection boost. In fact, it is already implemented in that way, but the bonus is so big that it kind of provides immunity.
People have been complaining about the ugly interface for as long as this game has existed, and just like we had announced before, we have started yet another attempt to make things right. Today you will see a small panel when you select a building. This is one of those "work-in-progress" changes, so either enjoy it, or disregard it. There will be more, and eventually this small panel and some buttons on top of the building will replace bottom panel and reduce screen clutter.
As always, we are happy to hear your praises, odes, and encouragements in the comments below. Oh, you can ask questions there too :)