Improving Finals

  • So the current year's winner on Finals is all but decided. However that leaves many just going through the motions and waiting out 4 weeks until WW reaches 100. In my opinion, the current convention of taking a WW, rushing in millions of def, grabbing plans and holding out for 2-3 days has become very stale. Finals needs a revamp, something to keep it interesting for the remaining month. Introducing new ways to win would go a long ways to revitalizing Endgame for Finals (or any WW server) in my opinion. Including VPs or random events that are more critical (Natar hits have become a joke, really - they're supposed to be an awe-inspiring, technologically advanced Wakanda-like tribe - but they're wimps.) would give other teams more chances to win and give players a reason to stick around actively for the remaining weeks.

    ..And that is the Final Word.

  • Natar hits don't pose a threat to WW levels this is true. But they do kill a good amount of defense on each hit, in my experience 2-5% each time, at least on normal servers. I'm not sure if the Natar hits scale based on any factors, if they don't scale they will do little in a Tournament server because of the sheer amount of defense. I think they should pose some sort of threat, but at the same time with diminishing player numbers on servers making them too strong would knock off weaker alliances competing. The tournament of course is a different animal, if they could be a more properly scaled threat I think that would be a good change.

    A hybrid game model with WWs and Victory Points would be interesting and is something I've been considering myself. I have a few concerns, like avoiding becoming a clone of the Kingdoms model. I also don't think regions (as currently conceived) can simply be slapped on to a WW server.

    I do prefer the idea of competing based on Victory Points, but without regions how do we award them? Here are some possible sources from existing game stats:

    • Offense & Defense Points (ex. 100 points per 10,000 points accumulated)
    • Alliance Ranks (ex. Rank 1 pop = +10 points per day, Rank 2 = +9 and so on)
    • # of Top 10 Medals (player and alliance)
    • Artifacts held (ex. +5 points per day small, +10 points per day large, +15 points unique)
    • Plans held (ex. +5 points each)
    • WW levels built
    • WW levels destroyed
    • WW completed

    I don't think they are ideal but could be used in some combination. They could also be done in combination with new concepts:

    • "Territory" - Some sort of mechanism that measures "control" of a field, expanding out from players villages. The issue would be implementing it in a way that doesn't require crazy settlement like regions do in F&S/RoA. Think in the context of the territory around cities in Civilization games. Could be tied to culture point generation? (Kingdoms has something called Influence but it operates in a different manner than I envision)
    • "Points of Interest" - Some sort of Natar style villages that you need to capture and control. Ideally they wouldn't be permanent, otherwise they will turn into a WW clone. They could come and go at set intervals in different places, ideally varied throughout the quad and along borders. Some easy to take and hold until a timer runs down, others you have to fight over. Points awarded on a per minute basis? They could also provide temporary bonuses to the alliance.
    • "Treasure" - They have "treasure" in Kingdom but I certainly wouldn't implement it in exactly the same way. It still might be a good idea, especially if combined with other concepts.

    Obviously you would also not automatically win by building the WW. I think whoever does (player and alliance) should still get recognition in the final letter, but could read something like "X of Y managed to build the greatest monument in the world but A managed to dominate the competition and achieve victory." This would offer the chance for something like an "overwhelming victory" where you both build the WW to 100 and have the most VP points. Then you would have two other variations where someone else builds it to 100 or the Natars do. They would be a lesser victory of some kind.

    As long as there is a clear path to victory outside of building the WW to 100 first, I think it is a good overall change. Otherwise things become stale easily. Shorter server times I think would also be beneficial. While Tournament is rather quick, other servers can drag on for 350 days.

    Right now I've got a draft proposal for reducing server times. I haven't shown it to many and it could still be revised before it gets finalized.

    All are 1x speed. I'm preferential to Option A myself, B feels just a bit too short. The changes in field production, troop training times and construction times are designed to increase server speed based on the reduction in server length and provide an additional boost. I personally think 1x servers a tad too slow, hence the extra boost beyond the change in server length. I also think the +1 troop speed is a reasonable adjustment so the game moves a tad bit quicker. I'm not sold on the +1 FPH, but its something I've considered as a possibility.

    It is also vital for normal servers to utilize the new smaller 501x501 map that they are using on the NYS. Though the larger may still be good for the Tournament servers? I haven't played on them other than to check out the qualifiers quick.

    I have some additional changes I'd make beside those outlined above, all with the same goal of making the game a bit more enjoyable, accessible and quicker:

    • Bump the tournament square bonus. 400% or 500%. Apply additional bonus only 60+ fields. Maybe 80+ or 100+? Just something to help speed things up at longer distances. 36+ hr travel times into the boonies is not fun.
    • Increase Merchant Speeds.[b]

      • Teuton ---> 20 fields per hour
      • Roman ---> 25 fields per hour
      • Egyptian ---> 25 fields per hour
      • Hun ---> 30 fields per hour
      • Gaul ---> 30 fields per hour
    • Increase W/G Capacity to 100k and GG/GW to 300k
    • Reduce GG/GW construction times to be equal to W/G
    • Reduce Level 11+ field construction by an additional 25% (over what I outlined above)
    • Reduce Lvl 11+ field cost by 25%

    Another idea is a “Supremacy” Rank. Initially Supremacy points would be an average of offensive, defensive points and population. If the game added other stats/ranks I'd like to see tracked, like net chiefings, net buildings destroyed (measured in cost) and tracking net robbing (only top 50 would display publicly until the server ends) over the life of the server.

    These new stats/rankings would provide other means of accumulating Victory Points.

    Those are the most relevant ideas from my project that relate to server duration/speed. (that I see right now) None of these have really been vetted or edited and come straight from my initial notes. So I'm not saying they perfect and may turn out to be flawed.

    So I think the best way to address declining game interest over the length of a server has to be done in multiple ways. Reduce server length, make the game flow faster, and allow for other methods of achieving victory.

    Former Anglosphere Ambassador 2019-2020