Number of Servers on Merged English Domain (UK Edition)

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    • Number of Servers on Merged English Domain (UK Edition)

      TL:DR:
      • The merged domain should have (1) Birthday Special, (1) New Years Special, (1) Speed Server and (6) 1x T4.4 Servers.
      • Suggestion for numbering convention: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 until all the current low number servers are complete. Then cycle them down to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. (Though the announcement suggests something is in the works it doesn't hurt to chime in, whatever the numbering scheme is should be simple!)
      The Analysis

      Now that TG has seen fit to merge the native English language domains, I think it is fitting to discuss how many servers the merged domain will have. One of the issues of the multiple domains (not just on English servers) is the glut of servers dividing the population. It is important the number of servers be kept reasonable and not aggressively high. I don't think TG would be naive enough to come close to the current server count but it doesn't hurt to remind them, as well as help them determine a reasonable figure.

      UK = (4 active / 6 total) 1x, 2 Special (BDS, NYS) and (1) 3x
      US = (4 active / 6 total) 1x, 2 Special (BDS, NYS) and (1) 3x
      UK = (3 active / 4 total) 1x, 2 Special (BDS, NYS) and (1) 3x

      That is roughly 25 servers running per year currently across the 3 domains. According to what is available on Getter (and a little extrapolation since it doesn't have the PtP server listed + AU/US Speed don't seem to be active?) there is approximately 7-10k accounts registered across the 3 domains right now. I would estimate peak accounts would be around 12-14k. How many are actual players and then who actively play is something that is difficult to determine. But lets assume all registered accounts are real players.

      I would argue that there should only be 1 speed server, 1 Birthday Special (aka PtP this year) and 1 New Years Special per year for the combined domain. Maybe a special 3x edition of the Birthday special as well.

      Specials and Speed will use up 4-6k of those players. The current UK speed has the most players of any active server (except the special but I don't have access and don't feel like registering an account) and the combined figure will of course be higher. The specials always get fairly good numbers (relatively speaking). That leaves at most 8-10k players by my estimation for the remaining servers. Far fewer will ever reach end game. Attrition rates can be upwards of 90-95% by end game (Us3 is on Day 169 and has an 86% Attrition rate. Since it is impossible for us to know how many were real vs bot it is the best we have). The goal in my opinion should be for every server to remain above 1,000 active accounts by end game. An absolute minimum of 500-600. That should allow for a competitive environment, one of the goals of a merged domain.

      Given those high rates servers need to be able to start with more players than are realistically available. I expect it is lower in reality when accounting for only real players but it is impossible for us to calculate that. Without going down an analysis rabbit hole, I recommend 6 servers. New servers can always be added but straight out of the gate any more would be both overoptimistic and symptomatic of what brought us to this point in the first place.
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      Carni wrote:

      God I would kill to have like 4 of you on every team I play
    • “I would argue that there should only be 1 speed server, 1 Birthday Special (aka PtP this year) and 1 New Years Special per year for the combined domain. Maybe a special 3x edition of the Birthday special as well“


      I think you forgot something, there’s currently 2-3 speed servers a year per domain, cause they restart.

      Cutting down the number from 7-9 speed servers a year down to 2-3 won’t work out, cause some of us play more than one server at a time.

      I think TG will have to have at least 4-6 speed servers running a year on the new merged domain.

    • What crazy people play more than 1 speed at a time? 8|

      I am less networked with speed so you might have a point. But is there usually that much cross over between AU/UK/US speeds at a given moment?

      And can say 2 speeds maintain sufficient population to be interesting? I suppose it depends how many play multiple speeds / total speed population.

      There are also other domains that will have speed servers running. Roughly 10 seem to restart each month if the last 2 are any indication, including of course COM which is in English.
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      Carni wrote:

      God I would kill to have like 4 of you on every team I play
    • Some of us play up to 3 at a time :whistling:

      I can only really talk about speed servers, and not slow...But I know that a lot of the people who usually play comx will move to the new merged one due to smaller map and MHs being better on UK/US.

      So I reckon that there will be more than enough people to have 2 speed servers running at the same time...Not to mention that the start date of the servers rarely fit into everyones schedule.

      Or TG could just enable English ingame on all domains...

    • BlackBlade wrote:

      What crazy people play more than 1 speed at a time? 8|

      I am less networked with speed so you might have a point. But is there usually that much cross over between AU/UK/US speeds at a given moment?

      And can say 2 speeds maintain sufficient population to be interesting? I suppose it depends how many play multiple speeds / total speed population.

      There are also other domains that will have speed servers running. Roughly 10 seem to restart each month if the last 2 are any indication, including of course COM which is in English.
      Like @Lemon, I prefer speed and will dual on so we can play two at a time if needed. Speed places are a special breed. Slow servers can drive us battier than you realize in under 24 hours.

      Based on the crew I play with, the crossover is .us/.uk/.com. It never includes .au. .au has always been a training ground. Even in the good old days when .au had a large population, .au did not have the same skilled players or population as .us and .uk.

      And I do think that the merged domain can support a few speed servers. And many on .us and .uk refuse to play .com based on issues they have encountered there previously. Admittedly, some of the issues are years old but one thing the two domains have in common is long held memories. Some of the other issues have to do with the other players on .com.

      I am looking forward to the first new merged server to see who shows up and how it goes. I think many will need to rethink the tactics they have used in the past. I know some of those tactics are rather stale. So it should be really interesting to see new tactics and evolving game styles.

      And please bring the discussions over here to the forums. For some reason, Discord gives me a headache.

      ps - @BlackBlade you really do need to come over to the dark side and play speed. How else can you accurate comment on it without playing a few rounds?

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    • I played speed for a couple rounds a decade ago, as well as the 10x server they did, that was more than enough for me in a life time. :p I like to be able to sit and enjoy my life. 1x takes too much time per day as it is. :whistling:

      Well I suppose 2 can be tried with relative ease, it isn't hard to eliminate one if it became necessary. I guess my real concern is the slow pace by which decisions and changes are made. That is to say, if 2 are tried and prove to be excessive it could take them a while to make the decision to nix the 2nd one.

      I think if 2 are tried, they should be planned around the COM speed as well. I.e Month A English 1 Starts, Month B COM starts and Month C English 2 starts. I doubt they would start both English's in the same month but I don't think it makes sense to start both a COM and an English in the same month.

      Speed is what roughly 90 days?
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      Carni wrote:

      God I would kill to have like 4 of you on every team I play
    • I think Travian should be careful not to have too few servers, as this could make numbers dwindle further. There needs to be regular restarts, as 2 months is just too long imo. I had a 2 yr break once, and it was luck that there was a server starting when i wanted to return, if I'd had to wait 2 months I probably wouldn't have started, and therefore wouldn't have got hooked again.
    • alestorm wrote:

      I think Travian should be careful not to have too few servers, as this could make numbers dwindle further. There needs to be regular restarts, as 2 months is just too long imo.
      I'm more concerned with too many servers than too few but I do see your point of concern. From a business perspective it also does pay to have more servers starting to both attract players and bring in that early to mid game gold windfall. That said if 1x servers were a bit shorter it would make it easier to run more per year without negatively impacting player numbers per server.

      For arguments sake lets say each server is 8 months currently. Obviously they can go longer which would screw this scenario up but there are too many What ifs (also some easy solutions to make it more full-proof) to address initially.

      Theoretical Server Start Model

      Jan - NYS Starts
      Feb - EN1 Starts
      Mar - EN2 Starts
      Apr - EN3 Starts
      May - EN4 Starts
      June - EN5 Starts
      July - EN6 Starts
      Aug -
      Sep - BDS Starts
      Oct - EN1 Restarts
      Nov - EN2 Restarts
      Dec - EN3 Restarts


      Under this model in the first year there would only be 1 month without a restart of a 1x server. With effort put on spacing that could essentially be eliminated, making no extra large gap of no server. You would also have the (2) speed servers doing their usual thing and equally split apart.

      Now on to the issues & solutions:
      • A server decides they want a Natar win: Easily solved by changing end game pacing. Make the Natars finish sooner. (Day 250 would work)
      • A server can't get a WW to competition within 240 days (the assumption of the 8 months): Change the Natars to completion at Day 250 and you tack on only 10 additional days which wouldn't modify the schedule that much.
      An even more radical solution as I mentioned earlier would be to completely change the duration of a 1x server, something I fully support. I think 1x is just too long and a bit too slow (and no 3x is not the solution Lem/Mia :p ). Below is a one of the ideas I had on that. In order to ensure a similar level of account size, troops etc. (and with a little bump up) I have also included modifications to field production, troop training times and construction times. I'm not married to the precise details, but I am very much behind the intention and general direction of what I have outlined.


      Modified Server Length Proposal

      Event
      Current
      Proposed
      Minimum Server Duration (Days)
      226
      165
      Maximum Server Duration (Days)
      350
      210
      Artefact Drop (Day)
      100
      75
      Plan Drop (Day)
      200
      150
      Natar WW Starts (Day)
      250
      160
      Natar WW Ends (Day)
      350
      210
      WW Construction (Days)
      ~26
      ~15
      Field Production (Increase)
      -
      +50%
      Construction Times (Decrease)
      -
      -25%
      Troop Training Times (Decrease)
      -
      -25%
      Tier 2 Items Release (Day)
      65
      60
      Tier 3 Items Release (Day)
      165
      120



      This would allow servers to end in 5.5 - 7 months and probably 6 months on average. A smaller range than current servers have and obviously shorter, making it easier to have servers starting more often without increasing the total number of servers.

      Servers starting more often could also help prevent burnout. One of the bigger issues the community faces is players simply getting too run down. Some of it is self inflicted with players playing multiple servers. But I see it even with those who only play one server. The servers are so long and tend to drag over the last couple of months. Faster servers would be better for the health of players. Add in more frequent starts and you enable players to actually take a break. No more "Do I start this server with only 1 week break or do I wait 2 months for the next one?".
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      Carni wrote:

      God I would kill to have like 4 of you on every team I play
    • I find it kind of annoying that I have been agreeing to every single one of Black Blade's suggestions since the days of the old forums.

      You have done it again, BB. Bravo!
      Yes, I've built my fair share of WWs. Won a few, lost a few. Played far too many rounds for far too long. Made a lot friends and enemies.

      Yes, I've played as an anvil and as a hammer. I'm only playing now because of all the friendship I have built over the past ten years. I love Travian but I love the community even more.

      Envy me for I have everything, Fear me for I have nothing to lose.