This man's on a role of conversational posts lol.
You're absolutely correct and Requiem isn't the only dog of war that has long advocated for both. They aren't mutually exclusive.
CDs to 3% or even 2% and lowering civilian returns to e2025 era levels where it took 500 hits to kill has seen support among players of all metas across all servers, with the exception of SOTS era team, which needed sorta buffed military numbers in order to effectively war.
In addition, the expenses formula continuously increasing the cost of carrying troops de-incentivizes being well protected. Several fixes to the expenses formula have been suggested, and particularly I've spreadsheet tested replacement formulas suggested by everyone's favorite player, Gerdler, and simply put they work marvelously (link: https://m.earthempires.com/...ormula-49843?t=1614959270
) Not only would they improve a war players ability to defend themselves, they'd also improve strategic parity for now, more or less, un-win-with-able strategies like MBR and CI.
All of these changes in combination with a ClanGDI which still allows for declaration of war, barring that the clans aren't pacted in a built in-relationships portal shared by tag admins, but that has a 48-72 hour countdown to conflict would in effect eliminate blindsides, mitigate suiciding, prevent oop war, increase the importance of building well in war, allow strategical parity for netters, while still protecting people from broken pacts and being able to respond to griefing at the same time the griefing starts.
You've essentially wandered in through the back door to a conversation of every individual change suggested around this that received any support from players playing both the war and netting metas. None of these proposals really solve more than a minority of issues on their own, but do address certain issues. Together, they would massively improve the game.
And isn't that really the way to fix/improve a game? Incremental changes as time allows and as we can test things?
So I have a question then. If the devs can't devote the time, or don't want to devote the time to do that, what other options exist. Just from getting to know a bunch of people around here, it seems there are people that understands the engine that drives this game, from a development and coding perspective.
Can the devs open up the development team? Take on some extra help? Do we have people that would be willing to do that? Is EE open source, or could it go open source so that it could be developed?
Could it be re-developed by some in the player base?
Yes, they could, and have before. Just an FYI, there are differences in admins vs devs. Pang, qzjul, izarcon, and slagpit are the admins. A few of the short-timers on the dev team didn't really contribute after getting access and/or said/did something stupid to be removed. The ones that still have dev access don't appear to be actively developing right now or they were on the AI team briefly (Disclaimer: I don't know this for sure and only assuming based on what I can see. So if you read this and you are developing, my apologies). Unless someone is working on something and I'm not aware, I don't think there is an active developer. I'm not sure if the code is bulk available somewhere at the moment but I don't think its some secret. If someone wanted to actually put in the time to work on something, I'm sure code could be provided with a test area... but this is not a new idea. The code is old and likely somewhat cumbersome so it takes a good many many hours to both learn and then develop - and most people don't want to work for free.
Martian and I have elevated access to make certain game-related changes but its only through access to a small admin UI, not direct database access, and is limited only to small server changes. For instance, we could technically change the number of "multis" allowed in FFA from 16 - But I have no idea what other things in the game might be impacted by such a change so I've actually never used this area. We could do a handful of other small things like make rounds shorter/longer, start and reset them on different days, turn things on and off like clans, auto-gdi, allies, etc., or change a server turn rate, max turns, or max store. Among a few other things that wouldn't really contribute towards active development. Further, I don't know any code other than self-taught html/xhtml many years ago so I'm not much use in that area. I'm also turning gray and have other responsibilities that would pull my time from helping much even if I had the skillset. I'm loaded with ideas, and understand logic, but can't translate that to game code.
Are there any options at all, aside from begging/hoping a dev actually cares to do anything about it?
Find someone to commit time to developing for free or hope pang or qz win the lottery and no longer need to work for a living. This game is not a measurable revenue source for them so begging won't help much besides the occasional knee-jerk response to constant whining from a couple of the same people that results in what you see in Alliance server now. Time is precious and qz and pang aren't likely to decide they don't need to work for a living anymore and devote all their time here. I suppose the game could be purchased again as well.
I find the relationship with this game and the owners/devs interesting.
On one hand, they seem content to just let it be what it is, until it inevitably dies from inactivity at some point in the next decade or two.
People have said this game is dying since as far back as I can remember.
On the other hand, they didn't want me advertising for another game on these forums. So there must be some level of care about the success of this game, if they didn't want competition being introduced here.
Promoting other games has never been allowed. The moderators enforce this rule and the moderators are still active. If an admin one day tells us they don't care anymore, then so be it. Until then, we enforce the same rules in their absence that have been around for a long while.
If there is a care about the success of the game, is there enough desire to actually develop/improve it further?
Care, yes. Ability, very little.
We had active dev in short stints. They were driven away by the community.
Maybe. And I'd say that might be true in a couple/few, but I'm of the opinion that far more devs have fizzled out for other reasons. The last real development seems to have been in different phases of bot edits and a few unfinished projects. Slagpit made minor changes here and there for a bit, some of which mentioned above, but I don't think he's been around for the last year. I did appreciate some of his minor tweaks to the mod/admin tools like disabling accounts and IP bans. I did not agree with him coding a military sanctions option into the game and gave my opinion on the matter during discussion and implementation, but there was never a way given outside the database to enforce it so it was an easy decision to phase that out. I can't speak for izarcon so I have no idea what happened to him. Its been a few years since I've seen him around or heard from him. Jabroni has dev access but I don't recall what he was working on and I don't think he's doing much at the moment either. Pang and slagpit have done the last significant changesets and I think the last one was about 2 years ago. In most cases, I'm sure its just a "life happens" situation.