First off this message was primarily sent to support staff which told me to post this here, so forgive my phrasing as this is message is focused towards Travian development team.
I'm writing in response to issues that are widely known and made public in COM1. I shall not resort into any types of insults, my suggestions are based of research on other games.
To start off i wanted to open this ticket as your support staff has stated clearly that the game is fair. The definition of fairness is blurry by itself due to your rules and the way the game works. I'll be talking mostly about the randomness which is a rather important thing in this game as the map generation, artifact spawns, village spawns, adventure rewards are based on that. Most of what i say is based on numerous years of research done by Adam Millard, you can find most of his results on youtube and more.
I don't have the complete data how random or not are the spawns of artifacts or map generation so please take some things that i say with a grain of salt, but i shall note a few things that could and would improve the game experience and attract more people. Hidden game mechanics or "cheating" in a good sense. The way i and a fair amount of other users see it the current complete randomness is fair but frustrating.
Adventures would become way more balanced if there were hidden. Right now i assume there are fixed chances on what reward you get. Instead of that i'd suggest to increase chance of rare drops like items or horses each time you get silver or resources. While current mechanic implemented is fair it also might create unbalanced scenarios in which one majority gets awesome items and another majority completely nothing. By introducing flexible drop rates you could secretly increase the chances of better drops which would.
Why do that?
- More enjoyment of players, so players will tend to play for longer/spend more money.
- More expensive items in auction so more people converting gold to get those items. More profit for you.
Certain restrictions could be put on a generated world so that each quad would get more or less equal amounts of 150% 15-croppers. I don't expect to generate a completely equal map, that would be boring, but putting a restriction to make the difference between the amount of these kinds of 15-croppers between different quads to be 5 or so. Since you don't start thousands of servers each day maps could even be reviewed by people. Simple statistics would show the amount of oases, croppers and other stats and if imbalance doesn't pass a certain threshold the map can be used online.
Why would you need to implement such a thing?
- More balanced quad fights.
- Less chance of multiple quads fighting one quad which makes the game one dimensional and causes a fair share of users to leave the game.
- More players stay to play for longer in a balanced match up, more profit for you.
I am quite sure that artifact spawns are not completely random but i'd also like to point out that moderated and balanced spawns would help to make every server even more fun and competitive. Adding to this i'd like to touch on an issue seen in current COM1 where new accounts (techs or not) were created solely to get artifacts and keep them safely under BP. While this is not illegal this is abuse of rules. I know what you are going to say, that this is fair and doesn't break the rules, well, you are in charge of those rules and this is unintended abuse of game mechanics which should be patched out. In other games unintended game mechanics are treated seriously. They severely damage the amount of fun players have, the issues become personal and toxic. I'm sure you know this just by reading COM1 forums. The way it is now, this exploit encourages cheating on a larger scale than ever before, buying techs or creating them yourself. I'm afraid without treating this issue with the proper respect it deserves might lead to a complete downfall of this game. Look at examples of other game developers who mistreat their users. Currently the only reason the people are not deleting is because of how invested they are into the game, but everyone is losing respect towards you. You should treat this seriously as this will impact your game severely.
Why you should fix this?
- Players do not delete and thus spend more money on this game = more profit for you.
- Players respect Travian Games staff and developers, refrain from cheating and exploiting as they will know that is not tolerated. And by that game becomes that much better and new players are not pushed away by the toxic environment.
All of the things i noted are not only for the benefit of the players but also for the benefit of the developers which would ultimately lead to higher revenue. What players expect from you is to treat them fairly. What you call fair is going by the rules, but the rules and mechanics are not fair, in fact they can be extremely imbalanced. Thing is, we do not expect you to act fair, we expect you to act responsibly and respectfully and right now majority of players in COM1 feel cheated. Sadly COM1 will stay the way it is and no roll back or anything can save it, but i do hope you take into account everything i said for future server as i honestly do want your company and this game to grow. I cannot overstate how important are all of the things i touched on.
By ignoring my points i'm afraid the awesome communities this game created might disperse and leave. Your game would not be as profitable and you'd have to implement more ways to make money, which will backfire as it does to ALL of the games that are anti-consumer friendly these days. The companies that are already facing this problem are already laying off employees massively and losing stocks fast.
I'm not just all words, i'm attaching images of EA, Ubisoft, Blizzard stocks. All of which have fallen after major contraversies with anti-consumer friendly decisions. So i advise caution as i don't want this to happen to you.
Thank you for reading through and here's to a brighter future of travian!