Changes to portals

  • In my opinion, portals are a core element of Arkheim, and very important to avoid spending 50% of a round just walking to your borders (or wherever you place it). Internally in my realm we have discussed portals, and I have seen some discussion about them here on the forums and on discord. In my opinion portals are very strong, so I have some suggestions based on discussions that I think will make portals more balanced.


    1. Change instant travel to speed modifier

    I think that the most broken thing about portals are, that they allow instant travel. Within seconds (depending on server lag ^^) you can cross your realm.

    This makes them extremely easy to defend, and defend against split attacks in both ends on your realm. Positioning of your troops is not very important, if you have placed the portals in sensible locations.

    The instant travel also makes it very viable to setup camp in the other end of the map, and fight enemies you "shouldn't have been able to fight" with your ascension spot, ex. what we saw happen to Murx. So in my opinion instant travel makes big coalitions very viable, as they do not need to consider travel time limitations, if only they can manage to get a portal online.

    So, to the suggestion. Change portal to give a speed boost when travelling to them, ex 100% or 500%, instead of instant travel. You can still get around pretty fast then, but you're not able to cross the realm (or island) in a matter of seconds.
    This will make them harder to defend, and to defend against split attacks. It doesn't ban island spanning coalitions, but makes them less viable (at least to gang up on 1 realms), and makes it more of a strategic choice with pros and cons.


    2. Make portals upgradeable

    Extending the first suggestion, then portals could be upgradeable, ex. with a soul energy cost. Then a portal would maybe start with a 100% speed boost, and could be upgraded to 500% or even 1000%. This allows for more strategic considerations. Do we upgrade our portal to get to the frontline asap, but then have weaker WLs (because we can't afford as many of those damn expensive runes), or do we focus all on making beasty WLs and then accept movement will be a bit slower. If a realm can upgrade their portals it can make fighting in far away lands a bit easier, but that comes with a price.


    3. No refill in portals

    Okay, this might be a bit controversial. Remove the possibility of refilling WLs in the portal. As the system is now, it makes sense that you can do it, but if there's actual travel time involved this should be removed. This makes upgrading the portals much more important, and after fighting you still have to move troops to the area of fighting again, which gives small defence advantage the closer you're fighting to your ark compared to the enemy. And also


    So, these changes don't all need to be implemented, but I think #1 would really do some good to how the portals work in the game. This is a pretty big nerf to portals, but I also think they need it. I would love to hear everyone's opinions on this matter :)

  • Portals are very strong indeed. And (as we all saw and discussed back and forth) they become even stronger when realms team up and allow their fellws to build a portal far away from their area.


    Too strong imo. MrCements ideas sound interesting and I would like to add some thoughts:


    1) restrict distance:
    Portals cannot be built outside a range of XX fields from your Ark.


    2) territory:
    Portals cannot be built in a spot that is surrounded by territory onf other realms.


    ~Lotte

  • how eve online handled their issue with jump gates, they ran into the same problem in 2019



    its a much more complicated system than the current suggestions however


    basically traveling through a jump gate isnt instant in the first place, it takes time, and once you jumped through the gate you also have cooldown until you can jump again


    jumping more often and in rapid succession increases your time it takes to travel through the gate and the time until you can jump again


    your first suggestion is almost like astro empires handles their jump gates:


    Jump Gates are a late-tech structure that aids in transit away from the base it was built at. For each level of Jump Gate you increase the speed of your fleet by 100%. Jump gates can also be used by your Guild mates so they will often be gathered by your guild for times of war. Also, when stellar units use a Jump gate, it will allow them to travel between galaxies.


    i would add a much more simple suggestion to the list, add combat damage to defensive battles:


    Meaning even if you defend the portal attack, the portal will still take damage based on the number of combatants, the more brutal the fighting the more collateral damage the portal will take. Meaning you can slowly wear it down by constantly attacking it, and the defender has to move back to the ark and reinforce while the portal is damaged. So the further the portal is away from their ark, the harder it is to hold and defend (as it should be).


    or add a unit (siege unit) that even deals damage to enemy structures if the battle is lost

  • how about having one portal for defense and a separate portal for offence, and the offensive portal would have all the restrictions needed for better game, in one hand all the better players are complaining that the game does not have enough strategics, the more restriction the less you will have. a game needs to be challenging and as long as we all have the same opportunity then let the game play. i personally like all the maneuvering that has been going on, much better than last server where all the realms all wanted to sim and sleep through the game. i think that this game is to transparent and i think that less should be es posed, we know to much information on each player and realm should not be shown, i will even go further to say that attacks should be shown but types of troops or troops amount should not. lets give the programmer some real info on how they can make this game better, i have read a lot of complains but nothing that made me feel like it would really be the answer to make this game better. personally this game is already much better than travian or kingdom

  • Weakening portals will (almost) always result in less PVP, so i am not sure if it's a good way to adress issues which are implified by portals with a portal change istead of an indirect approach.

    If you are referring to the island spanning coalition, then I agree, this would not solve that problem, but I did not suggest these changes to fix that, some of my suggestions would merely have an effect on those.
    I made these suggestions because I think portals are too strong at them moment, as they allow you to traverse too much territory in a too short amount of time.

    I do agree, that disallowing refills at a portal (suggestion 3), could potentially have a more limiting factor on pvp, that it would do good. I would not be sad, if it wasn't included, but I thought it would be interesting to consider.


    Normally points of supply / reinforcements are important strategical targets in real wars (and hence in strategy games). With the current portal system it is very rare that a realm have to sacrifice defending other places in order to save their portal (just based on my own observations), and this is what I would like to see more of. If you face a well coordinated strike, you should as a defender be forced to make some decisions about what is important to defend in your realm, and not just teleport around play whack-a-mole, having cleaned up everything within a hour.


    As a side note, I saw some suggestions revolving around hard caps on portal usage, and I would absolutely hate to see that implemented, which is why I thought some suggestions that were a bit out of the box could be interesting to discuss.

  • 1) Could be interesting , but I do see some possible problems with it. It would indirectly enforce a certain realm shape in the game, at least if you want to be able to actually place a portal at all your borders. The range would need to be clearly communicated, otherwise this could be a confusing and frustrating limit for player. But if the range is sufficiently large, it could work. Personally I don't like hard caps, I prefer to have all options open, so I can consider the pros and cons of making a certain decision.
    An alternative suggestion could be, that a portal must be placed within XX fields from your ark or another portal. This way you can still expand more freely in whatever direction you want, but you have to use more of your precious portals to actually do it. Lorewise it could be explained, that the magic used does have some limitations, and hence you need teleportation transits.

    But again, I'm not a huge fan of hard caps.


    2) It would certainly make offensive portals really difficult to actually place. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know, but I think it could be worth investigating. It would be a big change to how some realms use their portals at least. But I like the idea, that you need to have a foothold in the area before you can place a portal.

  • I think siege units could be an interesting addition to the game. They provide no fighting power, but does building damage instead. But I can already see myself being extremely frustrated watching my portal or towers getting destroyed, even though my realm organises perfect defences against the attacks. So I'm very conflicted about this suggestion


    (by the way, sorry for the triple post, but I felt it would be easier to read if I split my responses :S)

  • I really like the original post's suggestions.
    If I may, I'll just add some other options:

    1) & 2) Instant travel could be an upgrade itself. Maybe only available on Island 4 or the opposite (only NOT available at Island 4). This way it would be a complete choice from realms and definitely a strategic one. And if not available on Island 4, it would probably make things more interesting in the end game as well as prevent early power plays like the ones we saw happen to Murx. They would require some time to get upgraded after all.

    So, just to be clear, this is my expansion on the first suggestions:

    - Instant travel could only be possible through a last upgrade
    - Not available on Island 4, since it's the end game

    Also, although it could make things more complicated (not necessarily more interesting), I don't like the ideas of not being able to refill in the portals (A) and the siege unit (B).

    A. Not Refilling in portals would make it a huge hassle just to move things around in my opinion. And way too complicated probably. You'd be forced to send your WLs to the Ark just to make sure they're filled up. It would make it insanely difficult and time consuming at war times, just to make sure you don't miss those precious timers of when they arrive to the Ark and when you need to send them out again and when they arrive at the portal. Just too over complicated, imo.

    B. Siege units would either require an extra building or an extra type of unit. As the game currently is, an extra building would make building times even more complicated as they already are unless they were reduced at least 50% and probably the need to have another one of those unlockable spots in town. Otherwise you'd also have more space issues.
    Also, even if this unit was for example a cavalry unit, wouldn't it be super redundant? It's already hard to have balanced WLs suitable for PvP (specially as an Elf), imagine having that with siege units xD It would be a nightmare, specially for newbies.

    The only way I could see siege units in this game would be if there was a specific WL that would boost those units somehow, and even then, you'd have to solve all the other issues, from a design standpoint.

  • Maybe new functionalities like fortified military camps - forward camps, and roads - supply lines, sieges - assault mode.

    Roads - supply lines , bringing supplies directly to the front lines, attenuates the need of a refill at a Portal.

    Assault - Invasion mode, allowing faster conquests with great forces;

    Siege mode, allowing slower conquests but steady supplies - demanding smaller forces;

    Forward military bases allowing faster troop movement when linked to the main roads/supply lines, takes less time to build/activate than a portal, can be used to defend or to attack, dismantles faster than a portal too.

    This forts/bases could have an influence, like a tower, but a bit bigger, like 2 or 3 times, all warlords on that influence move faster.

  • B. Siege units would either require an extra building or an extra type of unit. As the game currently is, an extra building would make building times even more complicated as they already are unless they were reduced at least 50% and probably the need to have another one of those unlockable spots in town. Otherwise you'd also have more space issues.
    Also, even if this unit was for example a cavalry unit, wouldn't it be super redundant? It's already hard to have balanced WLs suitable for PvP (specially as an Elf), imagine having that with siege units xD It would be a nightmare, specially for newbies.

    The only way I could see siege units in this game would be if there was a specific WL that would boost those units somehow, and even then, you'd have to solve all the other issues, from a design standpoint.

    You dont need a new building for it. Just add it to the existing buildings. Its more a theme than anything else. If you want it to be a "range" unit, add it to the armory and call it siege cannon for dwarves or some kind of trebuchet, ballista for elves. If you want it to be a melee theme add it as a battering ram or siege tower for the barrack. If you want it to a cav unit add it as some big ass giant monster.


    Just add a different bonus as a mechanic. Some idea: This unit deals X damage to an enemy structure, even if the battle ends in a defeat. As an additional mechanic you can make it deal x damage over time to enemy structures as well, in case it is conquering, so players finally have a tool at their disposal to reduce the conquering time. The offset is obviously low combat power as it doesnt gain any specific bonus, so it needs protection so to speak.


    Players could send in armies to break the defense and send in a couple of warlords with siege units after, only to aid the conquering, would also help to decrease time to dismantle goblin towers. In any case it would be a highly situational unit, because atm its way easier to defend as we all know. However if it is used well, it could be very strong under the right circumstance, as it decreases the time the defender has to react before the timer runs out.


    At least in this way it would add another layer of strategy to the game which is direly needed in any case.

  • No refill and traveltimes to portals would make them nothing more than fancy towers.The MAIN advantage of attacking/defending from a portal instead of from a tower is the instant refill possibility. So, I'd keep the instant refill and add travelingtimes-bonusses.


    Regarding Mr. Cements suggestion of placing a portal within XX number of fields of the Ark or another portal.

    In that case you could still go very far: A----P1----P2. *remove P1* And you can do this: A---(P1)---P2---P3. *remove P2* and build P4 etc.

  • I like the idea of making instant travel available as a final upgrade. This way portals can still reach a pinnacle of power, but a realm would need to invest a lot of resources into this.
    I'm not a huge fan of disabling it on island 4 though :)