Removing NPC Merchant - Gold Balance

  • Long-timer player, but first time poster, or reading this forum (so apologies if this topic has been discussed).


    Essentially, would there be any merit in removing the NPC merchant to help balance the gold vs. non-gold player difference?


    The impact this would have on the game is undoubtedly large; 15Cs wouldn't be able to endless spam NPC to push out troops; additionally, managing large crop-negatives would involve a greater element of teamwork.


    At the same time though, this would bring together an alliance to sustain large defences. It may also lead to a greater usage of the market place for trading.


    Alternatively, if this change is too radical, a daily cap on NPC usage may also achieve some of the things mentioned above.


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    For context:


    I am a gold-player and do use the NPC merchant myself. However, I'm supporting a brand-new player who is a non-gold user. Developing a 15c as a non-gold user is completely different to how an NPC user does this.


    Personally, maths and strategy are at the heart of the game, and the NPC option seems like a lazy way to play which encourages individualism and in-game spending.


    For obvious (financial) reasons I understand why this is in place, but if we're looking at balancing non-gold and gold players then removing this, and/or having a NPC daily cap usage, could help to bring both types of players together.


    Interested to hear if their are any opinions on this.

  • NPCs are a basic mechanic of the game, and its arguably more valuable than insta-building. I doubt they'd ever remove it, primarily because NPCs are the gateway drug to gold buying. Every non-gold guide starts with "sell hero items, get a cropper, and efficiently npc, then..".


    I personally do not like the idea. But if you want it on some special server, have at it. ^^

    Praxis (Anglo3), Whiplash (US1, IN3), Ifrit (US1), White Panda (IN-something) and a dozen others that I don't remember.

  • The problem isn't that there's a difference between gold users and non gold users, it's fine there's a difference.


    The problem is it makes the difference between resources irrelevant. It doesn't matter which resource you have, what the costs of a building is, how many crop is consumed because for a small fee you can transform a resource. And it completely removes the function of the marketplace out of the game. It decreases player interaction in a multiplayer game.


    Another option would be to not make the npc function "limitless" in transforming resources into each other, but to have a bigger cost for doing so, e.g. 3:2. That would balance things out perfectly.


    But actually instant building things is even worse, because it's instant and because there's an overabundance of resources in the game for the time it takes to build buildings. Sure the game change has been altered with this in mind (looks nice and offer a lot of resources, e.g. hero production+1,4 production in T4.2+25% production in T3 with the introduction of gold, and the removal of coupons), lots of resources=lots of instant building things. but it ruined the game balance. Because the cost of upkeep became incredible low, we have seen ridiculous large armies and stalemate effects.

    Gebruik jolijt wanneer gij zijt in uwe jonge jaren

    Post was edited 3 times, last by GGvdH_NL ().

  • If it was up to me, I'd put limits on the NPC merchant. Have it cost more gold for each time you use it per day, or perhaps per village per day. Having a limit would be good too, let's say three times per village per day.


    Considering it's probably one of TG's biggest cash cows, I don't really see this happening, but it would be good for both game balance and increasing the quality level of the playerbase, since it now forces you to plan ahead properly as a player. You know, as you used to have to do in T3 and T2 where gold and instant npc/building didn't exist.

  • what difference does it make if I have to do arithmetic or of the game does arithmetic? Arithmetic doesn't make you a better player. Limiting npc just means it would take even more time to npc phalanx in 20+ villages on my lunch break at work and would result in me not having time to eat.


    Limiting npc is a bad idea. I suppose older versions of the game with no npc were better for pushing rules, chiefing rules, raiding people you sit, raiding allies, sitting people in other alliances, spiking farms etc :D

  • If it was up to me, I'd put limits on the NPC merchant. Have it cost more gold for each time you use it per day, or perhaps per village per day. Having a limit would be good too, let's say three times per village per day.


    Considering it's probably one of TG's biggest cash cows, I don't really see this happening, but it would be good for both game balance and increasing the quality level of the playerbase, since it now forces you to plan ahead properly as a player. You know, as you used to have to do in T3 and T2 where gold and instant npc/building didn't exist.


    Limiting NPC trading does not solve the issue with npc'ing early in the game when it's most "fun" to actually trade and when the impact of resources is the highest. There needs to be a costs, and 3:2 (for what you actuall "trade") seems reasonable enough to make it desireable to NPC in some cases when there's a huge demand in, or surplus of a resource. It rewards those who are able to balance their resource production. There's just not a decent limit to set.


    I am far too lazy to play without npc merchant. Solid ‘no’ vote from me

    What point is there to make such a statement if you don't explain yourself? The OP made clear why there was an issue. Either you implicitely say you think a game without NPC'ing would raise the complexity, the strategic aspects or either the "workload" or mangement of your account to such a degree, it's too hard or too much for you to handle. There for you say implicitly prefer a simpler game, for a reason up to us to guess, disregarding all the arguments of OP. Extremely vague and not contributing anything. Also you say there's the current situation is better, then every other possible solution. While i am convinced OP issued (the surface) of a very important aspect of what killed the game, an explaination if you claim such a stance would be helpfull and argue why OP is false in his stance. It's not personal tast. For the game mechanics you should ignore personal taste but argue what would be the best for the game.


    Although I disagree with OP, as his claim is that the majority of the magnitutide of toxidity is caused by disbalance between gold users and non gold-users. Ofcourse this is partial the problem, but i think the effects of NPC'ing itself are much more severe, just image a server were npc'ing would be free to use. I hope we can all agree that would be horrible, because of reasons mentioned in my previous post.


    The problem with response of "I am too lazy" "Or please have no animals spawn in oasises that cleaned" "I would like more free resources". Is that you destroy/nullify otherwise perfectly healthy mechanics, and challanging aspects of the game. Those challanging aspects are what make the game fun. Anybody who ever used a cheat code knows that it's more fun for a second, but ruins the fun in the long term.


    It's everyones tasks to ignore those people and help them mature, because it's an extremely immature stance, it's the kid who wants to play monopoly with "all the money from the bank". It's someone who "adds endless amounts of sugar", cause sugar is nice, ending up with a dish way too sweat. Knowing Moderation is virtue. And if you don't know that virtue you should be silenced.

    Gebruik jolijt wanneer gij zijt in uwe jonge jaren

    Post was edited 5 times, last by GGvdH_NL ().

  • well lets face it, its a massive pay to win game,

    I truly don't see how they will ever get new players coming to the game that stay more than a few servers...

    but I guess thats a risk greedy companies take,


    honestly not sure this is the way to balance it, but I think the main problem is that they don't want to balance it...

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  • Sure it's a massive pay to win game, but you can keep it lucrative without ruining the game balance, and nullify otherwise perfectly healthy game mechanics (e.g. having different resources). With restrictions such as a 3:2 trade you still make sure there's an associative cost. Similair with instant building, you directly nullify a tribe advantage (The Roman one), and effectly remove an in game mechanic/contraint; building time. Sure there must be other healthier alternatives. That still would be worth it, without ruinning the game completely.


    Similair for troop evasion. Make it so that 90% of the troops flee, enough so the non competative player does not care, but so that the competative player would never soley rely on this mechanic to have e.g. save scouts. It's not hard to keep things in balance, they just lack a decent game designer/ game philosophy.

    Gebruik jolijt wanneer gij zijt in uwe jonge jaren

    Post was edited 1 time, last by GGvdH_NL ().

  • What if instead of change how npc works for gold user players, they could add some kind of npc for non-gold users??

    Maybe a resource penalty like 25% or 33% could be added. This way both players (gold and non-gold users) could have this awesome functionallity of the game and decide weather pay with resources or with gold.

  • What if instead of change how npc works for gold user players, they could add some kind of npc for non-gold users??

    Maybe a resource penalty like 25% or 33% could be added. This way both players (gold and non-gold users) could have this awesome functionallity of the game and decide weather pay with resources or with gold.

    That would almost certainly become an exploit to prevent raiders from getting res from you. No way it's a good idea.

    Praxis (Anglo3), Whiplash (US1, IN3), Ifrit (US1), White Panda (IN-something) and a dozen others that I don't remember.

  • That would almost certainly become an exploit to prevent raiders from getting res from you. No way it's a good idea.

    That's true, didn't thought about that.

    To prevent this, a limit for non-gold players could be settled.


    I'm thinking on a way to set some kind of a time limiter to npc without gold. It could be work like the celebrations on people's house for culture points. The cooldown time for npc would be based on the market level and only unlocked at level 10 or something like that.

  • why does it need changed at all though? If a cooldown period is introduced, I'll need to do arithmetic instead of being lazy or just multiple npc when I'm short on time. All that will happen is that it can be used less often but with no effect on the end result. Travian loses out on me wasting gold, with no benefit to any other player whether they are good user or not

  • The idea is to make possible to npc for non-gold users (the npc would be paid with resources penalties, instead gold) and decrease the gap between them and gold users.

    Once TG will never remove this tool for obvious reasons ($$$$), the usual npc (paid with gold) won't change.

  • Quote

    What if instead of change how npc works for gold user players, they could add some kind of npc for non-gold users??

    Maybe a resource penalty like 25% or 33% could be added. This way both players (gold and non-gold users) could have this awesome functionallity of the game and decide weather pay with resources or with gold.

    Quote

    The idea is to make possible to npc for non-gold users (the npc would be paid with resources penalties, instead gold) and decrease the gap between them and gold users.

    Once TG will never remove this tool for obvious reasons ($$$$), the usual npc (paid with gold) won't change.


    That would not fix the problem at al. The function is not awesome. It's horrendous. Two wrongs don't make a right. The gold makes it so there's an indiffrence in regards to what resources you are producing or having. There needs to be an higher exchange rate. Whatever function you want to add above that is irrelevant to the discussion. It's most definitely not solved by introducing new functions, without adjusting the old ones.


    The problem is not that there's a difference between gold user and non gold users. The problem is NPC'ing remove a vital game aspect and important game mechanics from the game. Paid or free, is not part of the problem.

    Gebruik jolijt wanneer gij zijt in uwe jonge jaren