today we want to start discussing the announced changes. To have an educated discussion I want to provide some more insights.
First I want to introduce us: I am Jake, responsible Game Designer for Travian: Legends. With me is Brian, which you might already know as responsible Product Manager as well for Travian: Legends. Together we want to face your concerns and argue about why we think troop forwarding and merging is an interesting change for Travian: Legends.
Before I go into the details, I go into a very high level view. Travian: Legends is the “more hardcore” big brother of Travian: Kingdoms. With that, we want to be the game where you can hit hard (and of course be hit hard as well). We want multiplayer engagement, because we belief in Travian: Legends as a game able to forge friendships and rivalries which both can span over years.
The discussed features consist of two parts. First there is the possibility to forward reinforcements within an alliance. That means, that players are able to forward reinforcements received from alliance members to other alliance members’ villages. This is a huge buff for defending as the need to walk back to the troops’ home village first is removed. With that defenses from far away can be used as they would be pretty local.
Merging Troops allows players to change the home village of troops within an account. With that it will be possible to save troops if you are about to lose a village. Or use these troops in an offensive way, as they can start attacks from their new home village. Changing the home village will cost twice the resources needed to train them, or an amount of gold.
So why do we think this whole thing is a good idea?
In the current Meta it’s a fight between clusters of villages belonging to one alliance or confederacy. Usually at least two parties have world wonders, usually some of the “outside the grey area” ones.
There are good reasons why clusters are a good thing: they are easy to defend, as reinforcements don’t need long for their way to defend. And, for the changes more importantly, the way back to their home village is not needed anymore. With the forwarding changes clusters can be spread more out, using better resource slots, more oasis and so on. With that the game allows more strategic decisions, because it decreases the need to settle next door of your alliance mate.
So defending got easier. Defending is buffed. We need to buff the offense as well. One of the limiting factors for offensive troops is the troop production time. We already give bonuses on them, like the trainers talent artifact, so just decreasing the troop production time further is not a good way to go.
Also offensive players usually focus on a few villages. We want to add value to these villages as well. Both supports a feature where players train troops in different villages and join them together in one hammer.
We’ve discussed different approaches as well, e.g. just buff training times, but these changes would buff defensive players as well. As they are already buffed, these ways wouldn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve.
And the gold
Whenever we introduce new features of course as a company we want to make money with them. And the usual way free-to-play games monetize is that players can remove restrictions or timers paying. As there is a resource limitation, it is a pretty normal way nowadays to offer a shortcut for gold. So we’ve added that as well.
Okay, that’s what you’ve thought – but what did Scattered Empire Players say about it?
Instead of “just bringing it to live game worlds”, we put it into the Scattered Empire servers. And alone because of technical difficulties at the very start of the SE game worlds, that was a really good way to go.
But now these features are stable from a technical point of view, and the feedback we’ve got was pretty good. We did multiple surveys on Scattered Empire servers, and yes, we did not ask Travian: Legends players, and for us that made sense – they haven’t seen the feature yet, nor played with it – so all points are based on assumptions and “what if’s”.
We also had pretty similar discussions in the forum when we started the SE servers, but once we saw it in action the fears did not become true.
But now we do discuss it as we care about our players.
Thank you for your time and dedication.