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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2017
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    Game balance / Improving the game

    I'd like to share some thoughts on game balance and suggestions on how to improve the game. This is going to be a bit long but hopefully it'll be worth it. Before I get started I'll give a bit of background on myself. If you just want to skip to the sections on my thoughts, follow the headings.

    I've been gaming in some form or another for nearly 40 years, with my first real war gaming experience in UMS (universal military simulator) on the Amiga back in the 80s. I'm also a software programmer and have done some game programming and design over the past 15 years.

    I've been playing KotR for the past 2.5 years, mostly casually (in the 1-2 hours per day with bursts on weekends or when I had more free time). As you can imagine from my background, I enjoy using strategy and thinking through my approach to the game. I've got more than a few spreadsheets that I use in the game to calculate wall breaks, orc builds, masking, etc.

    I'm currently level 58 and beyond leveling comms and crafting gear, there's not much more growing for me to do. I am in a top 20 alliance though we're one that doesn't hold a realm.

    Walls

    My issue with walls are the level 25 walls are actually more of a problem. I currently have keep walls of 25 and district walls of 24. I wish I would have stopped at 24 for keep and 23 on districts. This feels wrong as you'd expect the more expensive 25 walls would be better. For those not aware, the reason 25 walls are a problem is due to wall breaking. This is where you figure out how much damage you need to do to take down the walls and put the right combo of troops and gear so that you break the wall early in the 2nd round of battle. Part of me like this aspect of the game but I figured once I got my comms high enough my enemy wouldn't be able to do a wallbreak and still win the battle. However, this is not true as I've seen a level 50 comm break my 25 wall and beat my 46 Veros with a level 6 OB set on.

    One suggestion is to lower the health so wall breaks would gimp the attacking comm too much.

    A different direction would be to change the nature of how walls help your defense. What if walls reduced a percentage of the incoming attack? Instead of having the defender wait until the walls are down (range still attack), they would attack back in round one.

    Resource Constraints

    One of my biggest pains with rss in the late game is that stone is just silver fodder and food is so restricted. This is a symptom of not really balancing the resources types for all stages of the game. If we could exchange one resource for another, like we do with silver that would be the easiest fix of all. Allow a 3 for 1 conversion or simply match the silver conversation rate. This way we'd still see value in all resource types late in the game.

    Beyond tiles and raiding inactive player districts, there aren't ways to raise a specific resource if you're running out. So I'll typically orc for rss but then have high amounts of non-food resources without any use for them. I've be known to attack districts for no resources just to silver heal and burn up the excess silver.

    One thing that would be nice is to have monsters not all be so food dependent. I could see trolls having a steady diet of stone. Basilisks seem like ore eaters to me. Gryphons, you guessed it, wood.

    While I think that sort of change would be great. Allow us to convert one resource type into another through a market exchange like we do with silver.

    Troops

    It would be nice to have mid level troops have more benefit beyond being decoys later in the game. It seems that once you get the higher level troop, you no longer use the mid level troop. I like that Celestial Hunters are also useful in end than than just Martyrs. I'll give two examples of new troops that would be interesting to see.

    First, we'd get a heavy infantry that's the ultimate tank. It would have a lot of health but not great attack. It would be slow but heal costs would be much lower than Order of the Bloody Cross or Men at Arms. They would be especially good at reducing damage versus orcs.

    For cavalry, we have a light cavalry that's very fast and excellent versus ranged attacks. They would not be very effective versus other cavalry or infantry but wouldn't have as long as a heal time as Shining Lance.

    It would also be interesting to have these new troops be decent against monsters. That way you aren't always forced to counter monsters with Monster Hunters but could use troops that have other benefits.

    Gear/Crafting

    I've played in a lot of crafting systems over the years and this one is the stingiest of all. High level materials are really hard to come by and high level gear have terrible success rates. It's like adding insult to injury when you use a crafting stone and you have 90% chance but still fail. I swear that's happened so many times to me that it's more than the 10% likelihood that it statistically should be.

    Materials

    I know we just changed this and I haven't had a lot of time to feel things out but here are my initial impressions. I don't like how I have no idea what type of mats I can field. I'm done with orc and trinity gear so I really only want dark steel and oathbound mats. The epic battle calculation seems cool but I'm struggling to find the right target to get the mats I want.

    Even though we get loot from all hits, I'm not finding that this has yielded a lot more materials. Often times this is because certain hits were 'too weak' and I end up getting useless junk (bronze or iron mats) from it.

    The special materials tournaments so far haven't been sufficient. Not everyone has the time or the opportunity to place in those. So if that's a required way to get materials to craft, that makes the system worse. Many of the tournament formats favor those in alliances with lots of shrines, top comms and great gear already. So those trying to level to build up good gear are at a disadvantage. Also, it feels that these material chests have too many lower level mats in them so any progress is really slow going.

    Crafting

    I didn't have problems crafting iron, orc or trinity gear but I'm expecting dark steel and oathbound to be a different story. My biggest concern will be success rates will be so low that I'll waste really hard to get mats more than I did with the other sets.

    One suggestion that I'd have here is allow us to upgrade existing equipment. That way if you craft a level 2 item, you could eventually get it up to a higher level through a similar crafting process. Maybe it only needs 2 materials and have a much higher success rate than crafting it outright. It could simply be a one level upgrade each time. I know I'd prefer that so that I can get some useable gear sooner with the knowledge that it can improve over time. Now, I'll likely end up sell lower level gear since it's taking up space and I'll have to craft something better eventually.

    Tournaments

    I really like tournaments and I'd love to see a variety of them constantly in the mix. I've enjoyed the comm specific ones as well as alliance-wide tournaments.

    I will say that most of the tournaments favor the top players/alliances and that the rewards continue to give them an edge. While I think this is fine, it shouldn't be that way most of the time. Here are some suggestions to balance out tournaments so that up and coming players have a chance.

    Turning off Shrines - I love it when tournaments turn off the shrines and players have to use their own skill to compete, not the shrine bonuses of their alliance. I think this would be good for 1/3 of tournaments. Some should be pvp-based while others should be orc-based.

    A balance of set tiers vs player placement - I like seeing both of these formats. For some types of tournaments it's full to go against your fellow players and see how you fair. However, I like having set goals to achieve so it's not always about who can place in the top 20.

    Leveling Up tournaments - I'd like to see more tournaments geared towards players coming up the ranks than the players at 60+. Maybe have several different tournaments at the same time so the 60+ crowd can duke it out as they like but have those in the 45-59 range have a different format that will help them in their progression. Gear comes to mind as something that we'd like a chance at earning.

    ... to be continued since there's a cap on how long a post can be ...

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2017
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    Shrines

    I've found the change to make shrines only affect adjacent realms as a brilliant design move and one that forced more strategy for alliances that want to attack enemy alliances in distant realms. The change to have them go back to province wide has upset a lot of players.

    Shrines, as I view them, are the most powerful effect in the game and they can make things so easy for alliances with lots of shrines. The fact that they can take those bonuses anywhere makes the already overpowered shrine effect even more so. In P5 we have a situation where most of the realms are held by a coalition that can now have all of its coalition members port into distant enemy realms and overwhelm the alliance(s) that hold those shrines, unbalancing matters even more.

    Now, you might take my view as biased as I'm not part of that coalition that holds the majority of shrines, but I'd contend that it's bad for everyone when things become so unbalanced.

    The alliances with the shrines will become so overpowered that even skilled alliances with high level members won't be able to fight them fairly. Over time, these players will quit and those alliances will dissolve or fade away. You lose competition and what would you do in the game then?

    I'd suggest that it's better to have things be balanced and enjoyable for everyone to play. Those even if you're in one of those alliances you don't want things to be so unbalanced.

    The other piece of this that bothers me with shrines is they effect every aspect of the game that I have to believe it's night and day difference playing with or without them. I've seen players with these shrines play stupid but it doesn't matter since they have all those bonuses and heal times aren't as much of a factor.

    Here are some suggestions to address the imbalance of shrines.

    Though we could go back to how they were just affecting adjacent realms, I would suggest something in between. They affect the current and adjacent realms at full strength (how it was before this last change) and all other realms get half the bonus. This way you have some benefit if you depart your home realms but it's not as much.

    Since I haven't been in an alliance with tons of shrines, I don't know how this mechanic plays out but my assumption is there's no cap to the bonus shrines give you even if you held 40 of them. So the next suggestion would be to add a diminishing return algorithm to the bonus. For example, the first Shrine of the Wind you hold you gain 20% bonus to speed. The second shrine would give you 10% and the third would give you 5%. Any more shrines beyond the third would yield no bonus. That's still a lot of shrines an alliance could hold until it caps off but it limits how overpowering it can be.

    The saddest of all shrines is the Shrine of Abolition. It only yields a 10% bonus versus the king's tower. Usually if you've cleared the gatehouses, the king's tower is easy to take. However, I could see a way to make this shrine the jewel of a realm. Increase the attack to 20% and have it affect ALL shrines in the realm. Instead of a rarely used shrine, I'd predict this would make that shrine very popular to anyone contesting shrines or the king's tower in that realm.

    Other Suggestions

    I'll throw out some other ideas I've had here and there. Some are pretty simple that I'd assume would be easy to implement while others would include significant and potentially complex changes.

    Temporary Boosts

    It would be interesting to introduce temporary boosts to your commanders. They could be things you find from loot or earn in tournaments. Maybe you can craft them or purchase them with silver. For example, you would use up the item and get a 20% attack boost for the next 4 hours. I would also suggest more specialized bonuses such as 40% health boost to infantry or orc debuff of -30% attack. What I like about this is a way to mix things up. You can surprise your opponents or use it to do some high orc camp farming.

    Entrenching

    This is the concept that your army can 'dig in' by entrenching itself to make it tougher to defeat. The cost is that it takes time to entrench before you get the bonus. Maybe it even costs resources to initiate. Additionally, it would take time to undo the entrenchment and become mobile again. This could be used at any time you are placed in defense such as your keep, districts or shrines. I would not allow this for tiles. I'd suggest that entrenching gives a debuff to your attacker's attack.

    Standard

    Throughout history, militaries have had a flag or banner called a standard. My thinking is that your army has one standard that would give a bonus wherever it was wielded. You could have it shown in your keep or have it carried out for an important attack. Think of it as another piece of gear that could be passed around but there can only be one. The boost your standard gives could be customized so your standard might boost attack, speed, health or reduced heal times.

    Over time you could enhance the bonus of it. This could follow a crafting approach where you can upgrade it by collecting materials, or you could have it follow more of a kill streak approach so the achievements you gain with it add its boost. Either way, this gives players a way to boost some aspect of their game that might be enough of an edge to gain the advantage.

    District defense bonuses

    This extends the idea that districts aren't just something you have to pass through when you attack a keep. A portion of your district defense boosts the keep defense. This way you could turtle by defending all 4 districts along with your keep. Your opponents could try to take your keep while only going through one district, but at a higher difficulty. Instead, they would take out your districts first before hitting your keep to remove the boost.

    Anyway, I hope you found some of these suggestions beneficial as ways to improve the game for everyone.

    Thanks,
    Sylvan

  3. #3
    Digit Staff
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Dublin
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    128
    Hey Sylvan,

    Thanks for the suggestions, there are some really nice ideas in here. We are actually looking at the design for a bunch of things you have mentioned here.

    The shrine of abolition will definitely see some changes as it is overlooked almost entirely at the moment. We are also looking at reducing heal times for all shrine battles in order to increase competition there.

    Cheers,

    - thebl4cknight

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    Glad to hear it. If you ever want private feedback on new proposed changes, you're welcome to send me a private message.

    Cheers,
    Sylvan

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2015
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    183
    Few interesting ideas, yes. Few might be even doable i suppose (not all i'm affraid thou).

    Walls - the thing that would solve all the problems with walls would be to give players the opportunity to raze the walls and therefore change the lvl of a given wall down by a level. You want to have smaller walls? Click, and there u go. Might be even a price involved (demolish workers cost silver), but u might get some stone/wood in return (or not, thats just a small detail).

    Troops - while there are lots of different ideas for troops, I would suggest only one small GIU correction - for players in P5 set the list of troops on recruiting screen and on choosing army for a comm screen to be in order from the highest tier (monsters/orders/trinity/etc.etc.) instead of lowest to highest like its now. It takes loooots of time to scroll through lower tiers of troops every time, and it does not give players anything except piss them off.

    Ress - sure it would be nice to be able to exchange the resources to another, but that would kill the gold buying ress biz for Digit. I would be surprised if that would come to life.

    Crafting - this is part of the game that a player can like. If he/she has the matts to craft with that is. And after all those changes that is no longer the cause - we have some matts, but we are denied the others. I did not craft an item in months because i can't get the matts i need - lvl6 antlers or bas claws. I doubt if anyone even craft items lvl lower than 6.

    Shrines - even if you delete the shrines from the game completely, there will always be some players who play longer, harder, pay more to play, arned better gear/comms etc. and therefore have more advantage than others. The shrines are availible for EVERYONE EQUALY, you just have to be willing to take them and hold them. Some players are (those who hold the shrines) and some players are not (those who do not hold them), it is a natural way of things. Having the shrines to work only in some realms did nothing for the "small alliances", because none of those small ones tried to fight for them. Even if the shrines would work only in this one particular realm, it would still not make small alliances to go and fight for the shrines. The only thing tha would change (and it did change during "adjactent realm working" time) is to turn off the players will to roam the realms and fight aways from home. Everyone would just sit in their realms, and hold shrines, not even hit players "abroad". Less PvP, that would be the effect, not some "balance of the Force".

    Temporary Boosts - it's called KillStreak and we do have it in game already.

    Entrenching - interesting, but we have sort of that - it's called Trinity set of gear. It takes time to put it on/craft it and it nullifies god portion of the attacker attack bonuses.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
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    Oct 2016
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    Dublin
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    Good evening m4rry.

    Thanks for your feedback. Not sure if the Troops idea is doable, but I will share it with the team as is a good idea.
    Solapaine - Community Manager
    twitter.com/CM_Solapaine

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