Game Design ~ Notes from Legends On Tour 2019

Another big batch of notes, while you are waiting for the 2019 Travian Tournament! It’s time for some Game Design!

Automatization

Mission

We want to make sure Travian: Legends fits into our players’ time schedules. We want to make it easier to optimize the game, without giving the “one button to play it all”.

General Statement

Travian: Legends requires skills such as gathering intel, coordinating between players, decision making, planning and execution of these plans. When adding features for players’ convenience, we will make sure that those skills won’t be lost in the game.

Overview

The following features are under evaluation:

  • Celebration queue
  • Artwork queue
  • Wave builder

Celebration queue

Players would like to hold Celebrations as often as possible, even if that means getting up at 3 am.

We will reduce the gap between players who can easily do that and those who need some extra sleep by adding a queue.

It will work like the Construction Queue and it will use resources as soon as a celebration is added to the queue.

Players will be able to hold up to two celebrations (one currently going, one queued). Culture Points are added as soon as the celebration is started.

A queued celebration cannot be aborted.

Despite this automatization, players will still be able to optimize their account, which involves most of the above-mentioned skills.

Artwork queue

Players would like to use an artwork as soon as the cooldown is reached.

To remove the hassle, we will allow the hero to equip artworks in the consumable slot.

As soon as the cooldown ends, an equipped artwork will be used.

Wave Builder

As mentioned in the introduction, although we want to make it easier to participate in operations, we do not want to provide the perfect “one button to play it all”.

With that in mind, we want to add a wave builder, which will allow players to plan up to 4 waves.

A dice roller will decide if the waves will be all in one second or spawn over two seconds.

The current balancing is planned as follow:

Chance Attacks in 1. second Attacks in 2. second In Words
82% 4 0 all 4 attacks are in the same second
8% 3 1 the first 3 waves are in 1. second,

and the last wave are in 2. second.

6% 2 2 the first 2 waves are in 1. second,

and the last 2 waves are in 2. second.

4% 1 3 the first wave is in 1. second,

and the last 3 waves are in 2. second.

As an alternative, players will still be able to use the four-tab-method and will be able to optimize their results by using their own skills.

This wave builder will allow players who want to participate in an operation via mobile to join with the lowest possible effort.

Conclusion

With the described features, we wish to support players that want to optimize their accounts without removing dedication and skills for the best results.


Farm List

Mission

We want to improve the farm list feature to prevent it from being a pain point for extremely active users. At the same time, we don’t want to make it easily useable by bots. In addition, we want players to be able to use the farm list feature easily on mobile to start their raids.

New Features – Farm List UI – Collapsible Header

When entering the page, all Farm Lists are collapsed.

The visible header shows the following data:

  • Village of the Farm List
  • Name of the Farm List
  • (new) Amount of Farm List entries currently attacked
  • (new) Amount of green / yellow / red swords
  • Size of Farm List
  • (new) “start list” button starts the whole list with one click.

The following features are moved to be only available once the farm list is unfolded.

  • Edit name of Farm List
  • Delete Farm List

Farm List Filter

The newly introduced headline of the Farm List (read above) is extended by a filter feature.

The icons of green / yellow / red swords are buttons, which filter the Farm List Entries by the selected icon.

Those buttons also open the Farm List when collapsed.

The following options are available to change the filter:

  • Click the selected filter again to show all Farm List Entries
  • Click another filter to change the filter
  • Collapse and open the whole Farm List.

Filtering also changes the effect of the “check all” button. This only affects visible Farm List Entries.

Example:
Filtering for red swords only shows Farm List Entries where the last raid was unsuccessful, with no survivors. Clicking the “check all” button only selects those. Clicking the “start raid” button only starts raids to those selected.

Bulk Edit & Move Farm List

The expanded Farm List will have a “bulk edit” button, when at least two Farm List Entries are selected.

Clicking this button will open the “Edit Farm List Entry” pop-up without target entry.

Players will be able to change the Farm List, moving the selected Farm List Entries to another Farm List.

Duplicate entries might get overwritten after confirmation by player.

Players will be able to adjust troop numbers, overwriting troops on every selected Farm List Entry.

Players will be able to delete selected Farm List Entries with a click on the “Delete” button.

Scout Farm List

The community requested to enable the possibility of adding Scouts to Farm List Entries à Scout Farm Lists.

We will make this possible, with the limitation scout raids started via Farm List only “Scout resources”.

Conclusion

With the mentioned changes players will be able to find needed information faster and managing Farm Lists will require significantly fewer clicks.


Pushing Protection Changes

Wording:

  • When talking about allies and alliances, confederacies are included.
  • When talking about raided resources, bounty of both attack and raid are meant.

Mission

We want to change our rules to remove some game mechanics which leave room for multi accounts, toxic behavior and violations.

Config Changes coming soon

The following changes will be put in place in the upcoming weeks.

The aim is to disallow exporting resources willingly from accounts until 200 population (before it was 40). This way more resources need to be spent to upgrade potential Multi-Accounts, effectively reducing the amount of resources they can send away.

One suggestion was to block marketplace until settling of second village, but we keep in mind players who want to support others of their team / alliance to settle faster before they settle their own second.

Possible additional changes

Alliance Conquering & General Raiding

We want players not to leave their alliance for chief their own villages for strategic reasons. To achieve this, we want to allow chiefs to lower loyalty even within alliance villages.

To avoid that plants or spies conquer hammer villages as a move of backstabbing, we add a feature that players can mark their own village as “No, I won’t listen to alliance chiefs”. This enables protection for players if necessary and wanted.

Also, we want to remove the difference between raiding an alliance member and raiding anyone else. To achieve this, we will expand a limit to how many resources can be raided to all accounts. According to the participants of the Legends on Tour 2019 Summit this will increase teamwork, as multiple players need to raid a target to maximise bounty.

Additionally, losses suffered in raids and attacks against a player are added to his limit, so that players who fight can raid to make up for their losses.

Making the whole thing simpler

To reduce the number of rules, we want to simplify connection types.

Current Definition

  • Type 1: Players who do not fall in Type 2 or Type 3.
  • Type 2: Players have been sitters recently or have used the same network (IP).
  • Type 3: Players are currently sitters or used the same PC recently.

Simpler Definition

  • Type 1: Players who do not fall in Type 2.
  • Type 2: Players used the same PC recently.
    • All limitations of former Type 3 are applied to the new Type 2.

First, we removed Sitter of the equation. Sitters are regular players and can interact regularly with their sitted accounts.

Second, we removed the “same IP” flagging, as it is not reliable (e.g. Bulk IP Providers), and easy to circumvent (VPN, Tor). With the bigger picture of “don’t make players cheat” we remove that limitation.

Conclusion

With simpler rules, we hope that players will stick to them easier. Also, we hope we remove some grey area in the rules which created confusion between players and HQ.


Vacation Mode

Mission

We want to give players the chance to take a break from their Travian: Legends account… without making “Vacation” a tool used in strategies.

Changes

Vacation Hopping

Players are blocked from certain actions during vacation mode. Vacation Hopping happens when a player leaves the vacation mode status just for a few minutes to perform actions that are blocked during vacation mode and then goes back to it shortly after.

To decrease the exploitation of this mode, we will introduce two cooldowns:

  1. Abortion-Cooldown after the start of vacation mode
  2. Vacation-Cooldown after the end of vacation mode

The first cooldown prevents the usage of vacation mode to save a target for a few hours, e.g. when the account owner sees an enemy operation starting up.

The second one prevents fast vacation hopping and gives a time window for enemies to react and block that account from going on vacation.

Both cooldowns are 12 hours long.

Vacation Duration

As requested, the amount of days available for vacation will be reduced to 15 days (from 21 days).

This change will reduce the time players protect their hammers in the endgame with vacation mode.

The duration will still be dependent on the speed factor of the server, and thus will be shorter on speed servers.

Alliance Donations

During Vacation Mode no resources will be exported by the account anyhow. With that in mind, we will block the alliance donation page during Vacation Mode.

Conclusion

With these changes, the vacation mode will fulfill its original purpose of allowing players to take a break from the game. This tool won’t be used as a strategic tool anymore.


World Map and Endgame

Mission

We want to provide a fair and interesting playing field for our players.

We want to ensure that there is enough randomness for replayability but, at the same time, that there are no game-breaking edge cases.

In addition, we want to make changes that will shorten the game world duration, offering more intense fighting with less downtime.

Changes

High-Quality Croppers

When generating a world map, some game settings are validated on each server.

We want to introduce a check for 125% and 150% croppers per quad.

If the amount of these high-quality croppers is too low or too high, we will re-roll the whole map.

The limitations will be:

  • Minimum per quad
    • 15 high-quality croppers for 401×401 size map.
    • 60 high-quality croppers for 801×801 size map.
  • Maximum per quad
    • 25 high-quality croppers for 401×401 size map.
    • 100 high-quality croppers for 801×801 size map.

We won’t check for overlapping oasis in these croppers. This means that technically it is possible that a few 15c won’t have their full bonus applied because their oases are already occupied by a different 15c.

This is still approved as a valid reason for conflict and battle.

18c

We introduce 18c which will be placed ONLY in the grey zone. Around 4 – 7 will spawn there and it will be up to the strongest players to conquer them.

With minus three population-giving resource fields, the Natarian attacks will be harder to tank.

Wonder of the World

Currently, all Wonder of the World Villages (short: WotW-Villages) are placed and heavily defended at world creation. Players have more than enough time to conquer them and create their needed infrastructure around those positions.

As those positions are static on every game world, we were told that the introduction of the following changes would be a huge improvement of the game:

  • World Wonders are spawned 30 days before the spawn of Construction Plans.
  • World Wonders are spawned randomly on two different circles around the center of the map.
    • One ring will be in the Grey Zone.
    • One ring will be outside the Grey zone. Currently the WotW spawn on a fix position (ex. 50|-50 for the small map and 100|-100 for the big map), with this change they will spawn randomly on the ring generated on the same radius of previous WotW.
    • The number of WotW-Villages per ring is still under discussion
      • Currently in discussion inner ring: 9 WotW-Villages
      • Currently in discussion outer ring: 4 WotW-Villages

Construction Plans

Currently, one construction plan is needed in the WotW-Account, and another one is needed once the WotW reaches level 50.

To encourage the fight over Construction plans, we want to introduce an additional effect to the Construction Plans.

Each activated construction plan after the second (within the alliance of the WotW-Owner) will decrease building time of WotW by 10 % multiplicatively.

  • 3 active Construction Plans: total of 10 % build time reduction
  • 4 active Construction Plans: total of 19 % build time reduction
  • 5 active Construction Plans: total of 27 % build time reduction
  • 6 active Construction Plans: total of 34 % build time reduction

To encourage and reward successful fights, we also want to break a Travian: Legends’ tradition.

Normally changes to building speed factors do not update already queued entries. When you queue to train troops in your level 20 barracks, they train in that speed, even when your barracks is damaged to level 2.

When you lose or gain a Construction Plan, the build time of your WotW in construction will be updated.

Example:

Your current level WotW has 12 hours left to complete the current level. One of your alliance members suddenly has an active construction plan, reducing the build time by 10 %. With 12 hours left, that time is reduced by 72 minutes.

Conclusion

We want to make sure the game is fun, even when it is your 15th year of playing. To spice things up, we want to change how the Wonder of the World spawn.

Instead of fighting for a central point of the quad, a bigger area needs to be secured. With the additional effect of the construction plans, there will be something more to fight for. In addition, this will speed up the whole game server. Making sure that enough high-quality croppers are available ensures fun game worlds for all quads, while adding 18c gives even another level to fight for.


Oases Changes

Goal

In the Legends on Tour 2019 Summit we discussed many topics that could fit or overlap in different categories. The purpose of this document is summarizing them.

Early Game Oases

Multi-accounts are generated in order to have an easily disposable Hero to clean oasis.

In addition, Nature Troops in Oases are counterintuitively strong, which confuses new players a lot.

To address both topics we want to change how Nature Troops spawn in the early phase of the game:

  • When generating oases at world creation, we will decrease Nature Troops to a level that will allow players to defeat them with a low-level hero and some troops. This will still be random which means not all oases will be easy.
  • During the first three days of a Game World, re-spawn of nature troops will be halted. Once an oasis is cleared, it can be farmed without hassle.
    Both changes should allow new players to participate in the raiding game easier, while also reducing the benefit of creating multi-accounts. Still, this change will not solve the issue completely but at least it will address it.

Conclusion

We hope to remove one of the reasons behind multi-accounts, without removing a reason for legit team play.

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