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...we did it for the Newbies!

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.

New Quests

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Interface changes

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 :)

Posted 3 years ago.
19

Comments

Regarding Town Capture Mechanics Changes...

Could you please explain it a bit more...?

What kind of culture/pop ratio from attackers/defenders side is needed for those probabilty conditions you mentioned (17%, 6%, 2%) to be present...  (formula? ...unless thats something you have no intention to share, of course).

Maybe explain how conversion works in general (for how many 'rounds' priests can  attack, what can they do per round, what type of building(s) need to be wiped first, etc...) 

Is it possible for the priests to succeed if there are still defending troops present? or towers? ...meaning, if enough priests sent (lets say 50-60), can they succeed in just a round or 2, before defensive units (or towers) have a chance to wipe them out, assuming the culture/pop numbers of both attacker and defender would meet the conditions for succesful conversion?

Would military units hidden in catacombs 'activate' versus conversion type attack? (i think spies in catacombs do not 'activate' when town is being spied, unless that has been changed at some point).

Good work adding extra protection for newbies!

Edited by savipats 3 years ago.

3 years ago

Reply to savipats :


What kind of culture/pop ratio from attackers/defenders side is needed for those probabilty conditions you mentioned (17%, 6%, 2%) to be present...  (formula? ...unless thats something you have no intention to share, of course).

I took all players on the server and simulated what happens if each player will try to capture a town from every other player on the server. For example if the server ony had berserker, astor, savipats, and tuey, it would first try berserker to capture town from astor, then berserker will try to capture town from savipats, then from tuey, and then astor will try to capture town from berserker, from savipats, and tuey, and them savipats will try to capture town from berserker, astor, and tuey respectively and so on. Percentage of successful attempts are given above in my original message.


Maybe explain how conversion works in general (for
how many 'rounds' priests can  attack, what can they do per round, what
type of building(s) need to be wiped first, etc...) 

The core mechanics stayed the same, what is changed is the formula which is used to determine points required to capture town.

3 years ago

I clicked thru the quests for Zweistein, but did not get any mission for the market. Now all he says is Under construction when I click on him. Then Bulat is telling me to train 12 braves and 8 archers of which I can't do cause I am Ren. 

plus this seems redundant, I like the bottom portion instead of the little box thing. 

 http://clip2net.com/s/3tvWyhN?gallery=%2Fmembers.html%23%26page%3D1%26sort_by%3D%26folder_id%3D%26type%3D%26search%3D%26after%3D%26before%3D

Edited by Sandy Sue 3 years ago. Reason: added photo

3 years ago

I know the news post is long, but its worth to read it through, honestly ;)

The equivalent units and buildings from classical and medieval can be used to finish new advisor quests.

Edited by berserker 3 years ago.

3 years ago

I like the interface changes you have made, thank you! There are 2 "ease of play" suggestions I have for other small changes, but I am not sure how difficult the code would be for you guys :)

1) A "Train All" option for buildings. I for one get a hand cramp training each individual messenger in 5 maxed out observation huts when I have killed them all as meat shields. I realize we each have our own design on troop and siege combinations, but I have come across many moments when I wish I could just click a button and have 10 knights lined up to train.

2) a "Call Hero" option, so no matter which town you are focusing on, with a click from that screen, you could move your hero to the town immediately. (Or as fast as his skirt allows he move :)

I'm going to start a new hero just to see the changes in the intro.... Oh, that brings me to another suggestion...

For those of us that have had the tutorial over and over, by the time the finished product is released, will there be a "skip tutorial" option? I realize at this phase you are still fine tuning it and it needs to be gone over.

Thank you Bers and all the other devs, this game is by far my favorite.

3 years ago

Reply to berserker :

I know the news post is long, but its worth to read it through, honestly ;)

The equivalent units and buildings from classical and medieval can be used to finish new advisor quests.

since I am in Ren then it will not complete?

3 years ago

You should still be able to complete it in Ren. I'm Ren and I just completed it with swordsmen and crossbowmen.

3 years ago

ok thanks

3 years ago

Reply to thedevinekate :

1) A "Train All" option for buildings. I for one get a hand cramp training each individual messenger in 5 maxed out observation huts when I have killed them all as meat shields. I realize we each have our own design on troop and siege combinations, but I have come across many moments when I wish I could just click a button and have 10 knights lined up to train.

2) a "Call Hero" option, so no matter which town you are focusing on, with a click from that screen, you could move your hero to the town immediately. (Or as fast as his skirt allows he move :)

I'm going to start a new hero just to see the changes in the intro.... Oh, that brings me to another suggestion...

For those of us that have had the tutorial over and over, by the time the finished product is released, will there be a "skip tutorial" option? I realize at this phase you are still fine tuning it and it needs to be gone over.

1) There won't be "train all" but when you order a unit you will be able to enter quantity, so 10 knights with one go will be possible.

2) I understand what are you talking about, but unfortunately this is not always possible even if your hero is not busy and not dead. If your hero in the quest location or reinforcing someone he/she will only return to the town he/she was sent from to the destination. Scheduling 2 trips, back to original town and then you your "call" place is not trivial technically right now.

3) There won't be "skip tutorial", but the tutorial will be less intrusive eventually, benefiting veteran players too.

3 years ago

I like all these new updates, they really enhance the playing experience at any level. I was also having the same ideas as thedevinekate with one small addition, would it be possible in the future to see which upgrades are on queque in a specific town? Not sure yet how I feel about the small window that lets you see the time remaing for the upgrade. Overall GREAT JOB GUYS!!  

3 years ago

Never mind...adjusted my glasses, found the queque :)

3 years ago

One very small detail on the new tutorial. The added elements of interaction with the market, trading and buying, have the incorrect thumbnail when you select them in the conversation responses with Zweinstein. Once I completed the 2 tasks, instead of the key symbol, or the key and chest, I see the "guy running out the door" symbol. The same thumbnail generally attached to the quit talking option. Although, when selected it still gives me my reward.

Like I said small detail :)

Edited by thedevinekate 3 years ago.

3 years ago

Alicibiades is a hero on a new account I created in the dying stages of Alpha 5 to test out a few things.  It turns out it's testing out one I hadn't planned for.

A stronger neighbour came raiding me, killed off all my scouts and made off with several hundred resources.  It looks as though he was working through the new leaderist tutorial quest.  Not a problem, and by the next time he came calling I had stronger defences and a Stash.  The result was no loot and no losses on either side.  This seems to be the raiding part of the game working as intended and a new player who thought to ask for advice could have done the same.

The next thing to happen was that another player attacked my dwelling with a large classical army including rams and catapults.  I happened to be online and moved my troops to safety, but my palisade was flattened and several buildings damaged.

This triggered the new protection feature and I had 12 hours to rebuild in safety, in which I put my main effort into building a stronger palisade - getting it to level 5.

Next day I logged in to find my attacker had returned.  The palisade-5 itself survived but it seemed to do nothing to protect the buildings inside, and by chance my lumber shed was completely destroyed.

This makes rebuilding quite difficult, with only 200 lumber available and nowhere to store any I can trade for.  I'm experienced enough to be able and willing to work around this but I think it would be quite reasonable for a newbie in this situation to despair, and they would probably be lost to the game.

I've seen other newbies be attacked by far more advanced players in a similar way.  When other players hear about it in time the newbie often gets help from players of the attacker's era.  How many times does this happen and the player just drops out silently?

The current protection is some help but I don't think it's a solution in itself.

The new defence tutorial makes no difference, this hero has some things to do before completing the initial military adviser quest so hasn't even seen it.

3 years ago

Did the defense enabled for another 12 hours when attacker returned again?

The situation you are describing is relatively artifical, because of alpha version of the game. In real game there will be constant flow of new players which will make distribution of players relatively even, making those who started earlier and have significantly more developed countries further away from you and less likely a threat.

3 years ago

True, but it's the situation we have now and players who drop because of it are lost to the test, and quite likely lost as early adopters when the game goes to beta and release versions.

Another aspect is that it's harder to test things like the new tutorials when any fighting between neighbours is likely to be subject to overwhelming interference from more advanced positions.

To answer your question, the novice protection was indeed triggered again by the second attack.  There has not been a third attack, possibly because my classical attacker found himself being spied on by one of the most advanced heroes on the continent (my associated hero Nefret who is well into medieval).  I think he took the hint ...

3 years ago

Is there no specified limit as to when someone is no longer considered a 'newbie'?  I recently attacked someone (by agreement) who is in classical age, 28 days old and had three towns.  Immediately after the attack, the 'newbie' protection of 12 hours was placed automatically for this hero.  Just curious as to what the limits are, if any.    

3 years ago

Reply to riley :

Is there no specified limit as to when someone is no longer considered a 'newbie'?  I recently attacked someone (by agreement) who is in classical age, 28 days old and had three towns.  Immediately after the attack, the 'newbie' protection of 12 hours was placed automatically for this hero.  Just curious as to what the limits are, if any.    

There paragraph above about the prolonged beginners protection has a link to the thread which explains the conditions in a bit more detail.

3 years ago

Reply to berserker :

Did the defense enabled for another 12 hours when attacker returned again?

The situation you are describing is relatively artifical, because of alpha version of the game. In real game there will be constant flow of new players which will make distribution of players relatively even, making those who started earlier and have significantly more developed countries further away from you and less likely a threat.

The distance would have to be a -lot- greater.  Some of the interventions I was describing above involved overland attacks from one side of the current-sized continent to the other, and seaborne attacks have a much longer range than land ones.

I recently had Nefret (in Thorheim) send ships to raid a neighbour's port in the hope that it would provoke a response that would test my own port's defences.  The actual response was a series of attacks from Renaissance heroes on the other continent which didn't test anything.  Rather gratuitously there was also an attack by a Ren hero on my test hero Icarus, still in the stone age and well to the west of Thorheim - so even the edge of settlement is subject to this sort of thing.  Icarus duly got the 12 hour's truce protection but that wasn't anything like long enough to rebuild the damage.

This problem may well disappear in the mature release game once a large player base has been built up, but its effect during these tests is to make it difficult for new players to contribute to the testing process or gain battle experience against equal opponents.  This may often make the game much less enjoyable for new recruits who come in via the new invitation system.

3 years ago

Reply to Alcibiades :

effect during these tests is to make it difficult for new players to contribute to the testing process or gain battle experience against equal opponents.  This may often make the game much less enjoyable for new recruits who come in via the new invitation system.

Testing is always difficult and less enjoyable than the final game, that's the nature of testing.

3 years ago

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