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Slagpit Game profile

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Apr 8th 2024, 22:36:20

Update 04/10: Major rework removing the UNAP part

None of this is committed development and there's no timeline for it. The overall goal of these changes is to make it easier for clans to recruit and keep players. It also provides a base to add additional functionality in the future.


Player Registration:

Players will be asked for an initial country name during registration. They will also have the option to join a random clan (see 1)) which is checked by default. Upon confirming their email address they will automatically have a country created on the Alliance Server.


New functionality for clan admins:

1) Clan admins can allow countries to join the tag without the tag password if their tag has 3 or more countries in it. This setting can be changed but defaults to off.

2) A clan admin can specify other tags as DNH. This is a private, one-way action intended to prevent accidental hits. Your own tag is automatically included in the DNH list.

3) Clan admins can restrict attacks and harmful spy ops made by their members at the country level. The default option is "probation". All options:
a) Probation: Can only attack or harmful op NPC countries
b) Trusted: Can only attack or harmful op countries not in DNH tags
c) Unrestricted: Can attack or harmful op any country

4) Clan admins can restrict their members from sending FA at the country level. The default option is "no FA". Possible options:
a) Cannot send FA to anyone
b) Can send FA to anyone

New rules for tagging:

1) If a country leaves a tag it cannot attack, do harmful ops, or join another tag for 72 hours.
2) Untagged countries have the option to join a random clan that allows for joining without the tag password.
3) NPC countries are identified ingame but are not marked in the ranks feed (happy to change this if a third party site owner requests it).


Here are a few scenarios to better illustrate what I'm trying to achieve with these changes:

* A friendly netting alliance wants to grow their alliance as much as possible without worrying about player skill. They allow all countries to join and use the country settings in 3) to prevent their new members from causing trouble. The worst outcome is that a new player finishes with a poor NW.

* A bad actor joins a clan with the intent of causing trouble. The clan admin is able to use the member role settings to prevent the bad actor from doing damage. The bad actor detags his country but is killed by other clans before the 72 hours is up.

Any constructive feedback is welcome, but I'm especially interested in any possible loopholes.

Edited By: Slagpit on Apr 11th 2024, 3:54:13
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Apr 8th 2024, 20:28:33

Forget about the aid part of UNAPs, it seems that no one likes that. I should better try to explain the problems I'm looking to solve:

1) Big netting clans have a strong incentive to farm and kill little netting clans

Suppose a big netting clan got suicided on by a single country tag last round. They might conclude that the best policy going forward is to farm and kill any small tags. UNAPs provide a way for a small tag to indicate to a large tag that they mean no harm to them. If some tags, warring or otherwise, decide that they don't want to sign UNAPs that's fine.

2) Taking on new members is risky for netting clans

A new member could suicide on another tag, start a war, or even suicide on your own tag. Clan admins should be able to set their clan's policy ingame to make it safer to recruit new members. Ideally, the worst thing that a new member can do to a netting tag is to finish with a low NW. If this is true then we could easily add a feature to the game which allows new players to join a random tag that is accepting new members.

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Apr 7th 2024, 17:07:23

I updated the post with changes. Most of them have to do with the new attack mechanics.

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Apr 7th 2024, 16:40:41

This is the type of change where it would be very helpful to receive feedback from players in a variety of time zones.

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Apr 7th 2024, 0:03:35

If a clan violates the norms of the server then the victim can either get their allies to attack them, can ask for their police to intervene, or can get revenge in the next reset. I think it would be great if clans performed ingame actions that offended other clans which led to wars.

Let me explain it another way. It appears that there were effectively zero real wars this reset. Adding UNAPs to the game will by definition restrict player to player interaction. Is there some other way to balance that out?

Edited By: Slagpit on Apr 7th 2024, 0:21:03
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Apr 6th 2024, 19:17:04

What incentive does a large warring tag have to grant a UNAP to a small netting tag? I'll admit that sending tribute isn't much of an incentive but I can't think of anything else.

Can you explain what you mean by "cross tag FA as an abuse"?

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Apr 6th 2024, 18:02:58

How about this?

* Players cannot play untagged or detag.
* Tag admins can assign roles to their members to limit how they can landgrab players in other tags.
* Special attacks cannot be done unless a tag declares war on another tag and a certain amount of time passes before war starts.
* A clan can send a UNAP proposal to another clan. If the receiving clan accepts then neither clan can attack or perform harmful spy ops on the other for the rest of the round. An optional part of the proposal would be for the sending clan to provide X worth of FA by Y week of the set. If the tribute isn't sent by the deadline then the pact automatically breaks. The pact is otherwise unbreakable.

The general expectation is that clans that wish to net would want to get as many UNAPs as they can as quickly as possible. Clans that wish to war would want to limit their UNAPs to what they need for their strategic interests. A clan's UNAPs can be discovered by performing an alliance spy on one of their tag admins. As a special exception, we would allow players to share this information on Alliance Talk.

I don't know what players would do this mechanic, but here are a few scenarios:

1) A solo player creates a clan and wishes to net by himself. He is able to get UNAPs with all major clans and nets in peace.
2) A solo player creates a clan and wishes to eventually suicide on an alliance. He refuses a UNAP request from his future target. His future target finds this suspicious and bribes a warring clan to kill the solo player.
3) A warring tag demands FA from a netting tag in exchange for a UNAP. The netting tag agrees and pays the cost for the UNAP.
4) A warring tag demands an unreasonable amount of FA in exchange for a UNAP. The netting tag either prepares for war or simply skips the round and plays their countries on the Cooperation Server instead.
5) Two tags war each other. They use the UNAP mechanic to make peace for the rest of the round.

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Apr 6th 2024, 0:27:50

Originally posted by UgolinoII:
I’m nearly almost possibly perhaps considering thinking about planning on theoretically playing again.


If you don't play then I'll make the bots use your old country names!

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Apr 4th 2024, 20:57:50

Originally posted by SuperFly:
You can check my profile scrub.


Thank you, I've been waiting for someone to say that.

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Apr 4th 2024, 20:39:53

For 3 it'll seek out the countries with the most land that don't have too much DR. If it can get a spy op then it will consider doing an attack. If the target's defense is too high then it may choose to move onto the next potential target.

The behavior is meant to emulate an unsophisticated human player. It's not using any third party tools to find targets. It just goes after who has attacked it or who appears to be the easiest or juiciest target at a glance. If the target has relatively strong defensive allies then the attack is more likely to fail.

I updated the main post to add more bots to the server.

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Apr 4th 2024, 6:07:18

Doing this change is more complicated on the backend then it appears.

As I understand it, the public market on Team isn't in a good state right now. Adding another clan market would make that problem even worse. So I'm very hesitant to make a change like this. The Team server also doesn't have a strong identity right now.

To make Team better, the only thing that popped into my mind is giving each team an exploring pool and making exploring subtract from that pool. So for example, there could be 50000 acres for each tag and the countries in that tag would have to cooperate in how they get allocated. Countries would explore for 0 acres a turn once the pool runs dry. The purpose of the change is to encourage players to landgrab each other. I suspect the outcome instead would be that everyone would just do tech starts.

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Apr 4th 2024, 1:28:28

I'm in favor of trying to solve the problem of getting woken up in the middle of the night in order to stonewall. Here's what one implementation would look like:

* Players would specify up to an 8 hour window in their game profiles during which the attacks their countries can receive are restricted on clan servers that allow for PvP with FFA excluded. I'm just going to call this "sleep hours".
* A country inherits the profile setting for sleep hours upon creation. In other words, changing their sleep hours in their game profile won't change it for any active countries.
* A player cannot login or perform any action with their country during sleep hours except on the final day of the reset. Countries still gain turns normally and can perform automated market activity.
* Countries during sleep hours cannot be subject to special attacks. They could still be landgrabbed or be the victim of harmful spy ops.
* Countries would appear to be on vacation during sleep hours. This is the only way that I can think of to communicate the new change to third party sites via feeds. As a result, we would remove the current vacation system (currently zero countries are using it).
* Flavor text might be "Your generals refuse to perform cowardly special attacks against a nation whose people are sleeping!"

The problems that come to mind are:

1) War is already difficult between clans that have few members. This would restrict the number of targets available during war chats. I suspect that this would be especially bad for warrers who live in Asian time zones. Would they be able to meaningfully participate in wars?

2) A player couldn't choose to login into the game during an important event or an emergency, such as participating in an FS or responding to a suicider.

Edited By: Slagpit on Apr 9th 2024, 18:11:35

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Apr 4th 2024, 0:42:11

I don't mind sharing the things that I think would be most helpful for game developers:

1) Getting a better understanding of the problems with the game, such as the parts that aren't fun or feel imbalanced. For players who stopped playing, why did they quit? This is way more valuable than being given suggestions for game changes.

2) Gathering data on player preferences and encouraging otherwise quiet players to share their opinions. For example, we plan to release a new server with very short resets. Which reset start times work the best for the most players?

3) Some method of dealing with the 10% of players who cause 99% of the problems. You mentioned in another thread that you'd like to see this site treated more like a business. Well, I guess I'll go ahead and not say how I think that a proper business would resolve that problem.

Do you mind changing your suggestion to better address those needs? If it helps, my initial thoughts to your bullet points are:

* Discussing and voting on appointment of game and forum moderators - How will a group of players evaluate moderator performance when they don't have access to the moderator tools? You can't just go by what players say because many of them will claim innocence no matter what.

* Responsible for promoting the game - Where does the budget come from?

* Propose and vote on game changes - This is way harder than 90% of players think and it's nearly impossible to do properly without source code access.

* Decide on game rules and implementation of them - Is this really that dynamic of a concept?

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Apr 4th 2024, 0:05:28

I know that it didn't happen in the way that some people are claiming because I've known qz for over 15 years. If I had concerns that something improper happened (which is the "narrative" that is getting pushed by some people) then I would ask qz about it directly. My objection is that people are spreading propaganda that the admins are deliberately biased towards one clan. It's pure poison to the health of the community.

If clan GDI is a bad idea then it should be directly criticized on its own without regard to its supposed origins, like what Requiem did. I have no issues at all with Requiem's post. It's constructive and it's focused on the merits of the idea and possible solutions instead of focusing on goofy conspiracy theories about the origin of the idea.

As someone who does have access to all of the data and understands how development works on this site, I can confidently tell you that people have lied in this thread dozens of times. In terms of getting feedback, I would love to get useful feedback from this community. Unfortunately, attempts at doing so either end up with not a lot being said or they turn into a complete clusterfluff like this thread.

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Apr 3rd 2024, 20:24:00

Originally posted by Suicidal:
Originally posted by Sov:
I have been logging in here quite a lot in recent times and have thought a lot about whether I should return to the game. Along with that I have thought hard about how I would revive the game and more than that, try and give it a future. For me I think about rebuilding SoF but then I look at the server and it becomes a question of the value of the time investment.

Here are some brief ideas I am happy to put forth for you all to ponder on and possibly consider. Keep in mind that these ideas are with a longterm goal of growth in mind...


- Introduce "Bad Weather"
One of the biggest aspects of warring is walling, but the problem is not everyone can be online 24/7 to wall. I have been known as one of the harder to kill players in the game, but it is very draining in my older age to go without sleep. In fact it is one of the things I dread about the game.

I believe it would be a positive for the game if a player has an option to select an 8 hour period of the day where their country cannot attack or be attacked. That means any player willing to wall have an 8 hour respite and also any player who does not wake to wall has a fair opportunity to level the playing field against the guys who will wall 24/7. There will always be those players who do not take up the 8 hours.

If that player is attacked during this 8 hour period the attacker would be greeted with a message along the lines of "Your Generals refuse to attack due to bad weather. They advise that the weather will improve in ** hours."

You can change your 8 hour period but any changes will take 24 hours to become active.


- Introduce clan incentives based on number of members
You want to encourage clan/alliance leaders to recruit more people and you want to reward them for making their clan bigger. They should not be overpowering bonuses, but ones that are enough to encourage clans to grow. For example you could boost restart bonuses for clans with more than 15 members by 5%. If the clan has 20 members then that could become 7.5%. If the clan has 25 members then that becomes 10%. etc etc. I have other ideas but not the time to go into them. But I will note that history has shown warring tags have always been the ones more inclined to recruit heavily for obvious reasons.


- Forget new UIs and out of reach projects like AI overhauls. Keep it simple.
Do small UI improvements and other slight changes but forget the blue sky projects that go nowhere, utilize the resources you have better.


- Advanced vs Normal Servers
Make it easier for new players to come into the game with simple server choices. Such as:-

Easy Primary Server - Basically how Primary Server is right now but with bots. You need to make the server feel more populated for newer players.
Advanced Primary Server - Think of the old 1B server back on Swirve. Basically same rules as Alliance but no clans. Let people coordinate ingame and learn how to relate with other players. Maybe no bots, but this would need to be considered. It is a step to Alliance but also introduced the social aspect back to Primary which is something that really drives people to be active in the game.
Easy Alliance Server - A server designed more for netting rather than warring. Basically make it so a country cannot be killed, for example special attacks are nerfed and a country can never drop below 100 civilians.
Advanced Alliance Server - Basically the server as it is now.
Easy FFA Server - Can only run a max of 5 countries, for those who do not have time to run 16. An easy stepping stone into FFA as 16 countries is quite daunting for those who are used to only running 1.
Advanced FFA Server - Basically FFA as it is right now.


- Create a standard EE staff forum handle
If someone is posting in an official capacity regarding an admin or mod action as EE staff it should be as EE officially and not as an individual. Remove the personal side from the forum mods and admins.


- Promote the game immediately
Use the large database to begin emailing all past and present players to invite them back to the game. Encourage current players to invite people back to the game. Promote the game through all avenues to the Earth2025 community. There is a big opportunity to really kick this game back into gear in 2025 but you want people to come back to something in a healthy state. I know if I came back I could get SoF back to 40 members in 2 sets if I put in the effort by myself.


There are a ton of other things I would also do but perhaps I might post about those another time. The fact is the admins need to stop thinking about this game as their side hobby and consider it as a business and run it like one.


slagipoo....how long will you let this thread go sideways???
The two smartest people to ever walk earth have given you two perfect options.
Pick one. Rehashing old stuff is why most folks lose interest.


Sov's post does have a few good ideas. If this thread had remained closed yesterday then he wouldn't have been able to post it. Can't predict what people are going to say, especially on this board.

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Apr 3rd 2024, 19:26:39

Requiem, I would honestly love it if the majority of player criticism was about unfixed bugs. You guys are more than welcome to complain about unfixed bugs all day along. As you can see, that's not really the way this thread is going.

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Apr 3rd 2024, 18:23:12

Originally posted by Tertius:
Originally posted by Slagpit:
g0nz0, clan GDI currently is not in the game and Gerdler is not playing this game. How is this evidence of special treatment? The admins didn't do the gameplay change that he wanted and he quit.


Just to touch on this - that's the current state, but during the time, it seemed like Gerdler pushed for the implementation of ClanGDI directly to qz on discord (it may have also included others from LaF); there was no discussion on the forums that it would be coming or asking for input until after it was decided and ready to go. It was a complete surprise to everyone except LaF that it was coming.

So admins did do the gameplay change Gerdler wanted, and then the rest of the server revolted because it was too extreme (and while you can never please everyone, you can see in the comments that removing the politics and clan interactions for this server removed the whole point of it). That lasted for several months, until it was further discussed in the forums to be rolled back and implemented with changes in a future version. At that point, given that LaF had made a number of diplomatic missteps, even longer ago leading to the war, and now unilaterally pushing for this change that fundamentally altered the game (even after they had been given longterm pacts from their enemies), they did not return (as they reasonably expected those unhappy folks to further continue the multi-set wars once the artificial protection was removed).


You used speculative language such as "it seemed like Gerdler pushed" and "it may have also included others from LaF" but from that concluded "So admins did do the gameplay change Gerdler wanted". It's only improper if qz implemented the change to benefit a clan or as quid pro quo for someone to moderate the forums. Neither one of those happened. Pang started the development in 2019: https://www.earthempires.com/...gress-spec-47925/4#918776

I used to play with you on the team server and I remember it being fun. Can you do me a favor and stop pushing narratives like this? What is the actual, concrete problem here? What is it that the admin team could have done better?

You said that the changes came as a surprise. I don't know what the exact timing was, but maybe there wasn't enough advance notice of the changes. Sure, I can take that feedback. In a ideal world, for Alliance I think that we would give players at least a month of notice for major changes. I don't know what happened specifically in terms of the clan GDI rollout. Maybe qz ran into technical or other obstacles that resulted in him not being able to give as much notice as he would have liked.

Is there a demand that all game feedback to admins needs to be made publicly on these forums? I'm never going to agree with that. People on these forums are way too toxic. I'm not going to require that someone engage on these forums and to put up with that abuse just because they have an idea to improve the game. If you'd like a more polite explanation, someone today sent me a private message about a possible exploit in the game. Qz and I are now discussing the issue privately. Should we be required to have that discussion in public?

What else?

Edited By: Slagpit on Apr 3rd 2024, 18:46:49

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Apr 3rd 2024, 5:20:00

Can you make a new thread or bump an existing one? The backend functionality doesn't exist for it. It's not as simple as adding a missing link.

Edited By: Slagpit on Apr 3rd 2024, 5:22:10
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Apr 3rd 2024, 3:06:42

What's the use case for deleting messages when you can edit them?

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Apr 3rd 2024, 2:48:57

No timelines on this right now, but I'll share my current thinking. The goal of this change is to make the server more challenging, to improve the health of the public market, and to encourage players to interact more with each other instead of just with NPC countries.

NPC countries will have one of six attacking styles. The attacking style is randomly decided at the beginning of each round at the country level.

1) Never attacks
2) Only retals 1:1
3) Retals + prefers to attack countries with the most land on the scores page
4) Retals + prefers to attack countries with the lowest NW/acre on the scores page
5) Retals + prefers to attack countries with the lowest NW on the scores page
6) Prefers to attack random targets

Specific behaviors/changes:

* NPC countries can get defensive and intel allies.
* NPC countries can landgrab both players and other NPC countries, even if they haven't been attacked first.
* NPC countries will generally only attack and retal when their country is in good shape. Good shape means having high readiness, a minimum number of acres, being mostly built, and having enough cash, military, and oil to perform the attacks.
* NPC countries will not perform landgrabs against countries in heavy DR.
* NPC countries may choose to retal countries that perform harmful spy ops on them.
* NPC countries will pick a "retal window" between 24 and 72 hours.
* NPC countries will only SS, BR, AB, and launch missiles.
* NPC countries will not attack if they cannot get a spy op.
* NPC countries will not attempt to get alliance spy ops. They will make a random guess as to the defensive power provided by the target's allies.
* NPC countries will only perform special attacks if they have been attacked by their target.
* If an NPC country decides to do special attacks, it will generally perform many of them.

The overall number of NPC countries will be increased.

I understand that these changes may not be entirely popular, but please share any constructive feedback that you have.

Edited By: Slagpit on Apr 4th 2024, 23:01:21. Reason: added six style
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Apr 3rd 2024, 2:16:18

In some scenarios it was possible for players to view deleted forum posts. This is a problem because deleted forum posts can contain country information, personal information for players, and various other content that violates our rules. I believe this issue has been fixed now. I would like to thank Celphi, Requiem, and Bluecow in helping to troubleshoot the issue.

As a general reminder to the whole community, it is important that you report any bugs that you happen to find.

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Apr 2nd 2024, 20:54:57

Except on the Memorial Forum, there is no legitimate reason to share another player's personal information here. You can have the exact same conversations about the game with and without personal information.

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Apr 2nd 2024, 19:39:03

Players post all kinds of vile fluff here, including the personal information of other players. Stuff that like needs to be deleted and it needs to not be accessible to other players after it is deleted.

It's obviously a bug. I asked the admins about it and no one had heard of it. Now, it's possible that someone posted about it on B&S and we missed it. It's our fault in that case. But if no one reported the issue then in effect players knew about a bug and kept quiet about it. Is the community really in that terrible of a state?

The false accusations you guys throw around are annoying, but this is the first time I'm actually pissed off about something.

Edited By: Slagpit on Apr 2nd 2024, 19:46:43
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Apr 2nd 2024, 19:29:42

I reopened the thread.

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Apr 2nd 2024, 19:23:49

Reminder that you can't post info on the boards that can only be obtained through a spy op.

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Apr 2nd 2024, 18:24:57

Yes, by definition an exploit takes advantage of bad code. I appreciate you trying to help out but game exploits need to be reported privately.