A Very Special Test Server
Soon we will start a special Travian: Kingdoms test server to try out some significant rule changes to how alliances and kingdoms work in the game, as well as a rebalancing of victory point stealing and bonuses for holding Wonders of the World. The following blog post will lay out the changes in detail.
Merging Alliances and Kingdoms
Probably the most fundamental change we want to introduce is a stronger focus on kingdoms. We feel that the game is unnecessarily complicated in many aspects due to the two different diplomatic structures. Basically, we are asking the question: What if there were no alliances? To simulate this on the test server, we will limit the maximum number of kings per alliance to 1. This means that alliance borders and kingdom borders will always be the same and there will essentially only be one major diplomatic entity. If it turns out to work really well, we would of course properly transition all necessary features directly to kingdoms and get rid of the “alliance” term completely.
To accompany this change, we want to try and make kingdoms more stable by distributing responsibilities between more players than before. In short, kings will move closer to dukes and dukes closer to kings. Instead of receiving regular robber hideouts, dukes will now be able to collect their own tributes from governors within their influence. A quarter of those tributes will go to the king, who himself collects tributes from all the dukes.
To make dukes even more important, there will be changes to the number of available duke slots as well. With each new expansion slot the king uses by founding a new village or upgrading an existing one to a city, an additional duke slot will be unlocked. By default the king and each duke will be able to build one treasury each. By collecting treasures for the kingdom, more precisely every 4000 treasures, additional treasury slots can be unlocked that the king can then grant to himself or one of the dukes. There has to be a roughly equal distribution of those slots at all times though.
To further support the idea of more robust kingdoms with a more meaningful hierarchical structure and stable borders, we will only allow the king to collect tributes from dukes whose treasure villages are connected to the same territory, i.e. within a common border. We want to encourage playing together rather than forming multiple independent “islands” spread all over that game world, that only just politically belong to one and the same kingdom. On top of that, if a king should resign, we want the strongest duke to take over automatically. Overall, kingdoms should be more or less stable collectives throughout a full round.
Victory Points Rebalancing
Another thing we would like to try is to reduce the impact of the Wonders of the World a little bit. Currently victory too often comes down to just having the most victory point bonuses by holding one or multiple wonders. This can make the rest of the game feel way less meaningful. We identified two reasons for this issue.
Firstly, victory point stealing has too much of an equalizing impact pulling the alliances too close to each other. Therefore we will reduce the victory points you can steal along with treasures from the #1 ranked alliance to 25 (down from 50). On top of that, you will always be able to steal 10 points per treasure from alliances within the top 10, instead of only just from higher ranked alliances. So in many cases stealing back the victory points you lost previously should be a lot easier.
The second part of the problem lies in the world wonder bonuses themselves, which are too impactful currently. So we will reduce them to 50/33/25/20/15/10/0% for the seven positions in the world wonder ranking (down from the previous 100/50/33/25/20/10/0%).
We are looking forward to your feedback and trying out all of these changes together with you on the upcoming test server! Stay tuned for more information!