Dev Diary: Retreating Realms

  • Discussion of article Dev Diary: Retreating Realms:

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    I can feel it in my bones, the day is upon us and we will be victorious! Enemies will becrushed under our hammers! But it is not today... Retreat!! Once again, we wish to grant you a sneak peek behind the scenes and we are looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the feature currently in development: Realm Retreat (working title). In a situation where one Realm is clearly weaker than another Realm, the game can get hopeless for the weaker Realm. A defeated team that has lost most of its…
  • relocate could be abusable if it is available asap, i suggest to give it a "cooldown" of at least 3-4 days after the realm ascended to an island in the first place


    defeat - its never ever going to happen, no realm ever will invest the time and effort in conquering EVERY tower, especially given the conquering times on i2-3


    however if it also triggers if a realm DISMANTLES all remaining towers, it could work, but then they could just relocate

  • I am one of the people suggesting such a feature in an earlier survey, as i had seen realms around us "dying". I still see how a retreat function can help to avoid players getting demotivated and quit the game, however like to say bit more about it, sorry it it turns into a wall of text

    · Root cause 1: knowledge gap leading to non-level playing ground

    All basic rules should be available in one forum thread at the start of the new server. Currently some bits of information are readily available, other bits of information can only be found after searching in old forum posts. Some crucial information is simply not available to new players, while it is “common knowledge” to experienced players as it has been shared by arkheim team in the discord channel. If all information is readily available there would be more of a level playing ground. Experienced players would still come together in stronger teams, with better strategies/ activity/ coordination/ diplomacy, however there would be less of a knowledge gap for new players.

    (I was a new player, never played arkheim or travian, and used much of island 1 and 2 to learn about the game, so that our team could be well prepared for endgame on island 3. The discord channel players-help-players has been useful, however that should not be seen as an alternative for posts by arkheim team explaining all important game rules)

    · Root cause 2: Lack of separation of top teams vs subtop teams

    One of the things that appealed to me and why I choose to start this game, is the idea that “better” teams would outgrow the more casual teams. This is also very normal in one of my favorite games, where the better teams will grow bigger, and have less gains when attacking smaller players/smaller teams to a point that effectively the teams are separated based on size. Here in Arkheim this is done by the ascension, leading to a physical separation of the “better” teams from the more casual teams. Enough has been said that this has not worked properly in the current server, and a number of good suggestions have been made on how to improve this.

    (I started later than start of server, landed in a “C-league”-team on the outside of map in island1. Even although we had little idea of the game, we had no problem to ascend to island2 the moment the gates opened. Obviously for anyone who has the knowledge of the placement rules, we landed surrounded by four teams belonging to the “union of six” and were attacked for towers and orbs by in well-coordinated attacks by 2 of the top realms. Three neighboring realms in a similar situation “died”: the realms lost towers, orbs and troops in fights, players started leaving/quitting, until the last player left and the ark disappeared. We learned a lot about the game those 2 weeks. Lucky for us we sticked together as a team and because 3 of our neighbors died we could pick up a few more active players from those realms, and expand our territory into their territories)

    · Addressing root causes may also take out need for the “fix” with the escape button

    IF these two things are properly addressed, there will be less need for the “escape” option that is now proposed. As new players in new realms will know better what they can expect, and there will be less situations where a realm of new players is completely locked in by stronger realms.

  • · Why would a strong team want to force another team to relocate?

    First a bit of perspective on the aggressors side. By the time we reached I3 we realized how important the supply points are, and how effective it can be to remove neighboring realms to create more space and capture more supplies. During third moonphase we teamed up with 2 other realms in our circle to take all the towers and supplies of the two other neighbors in our circle of 6. This allowed us to cover a huge area, and have all our towers link to at least 2 military supplies. Considering the importance of military supply, and the need to fight PvP anyway in order to get exp /soulenergy /fallen, to me it seems a viable strategy to team up with one neighbor in order to oppress another neighbor. In the 4 wars we fought on i3, we were able to take all the opponent’s towers outside the area of the control of the ark, and often a number or all of the towers inside ark area too. I do NOT see any justification for the possibility that the aggressors can force an opponent to retreat by taking all the towers. I fear this give too much power to the aggressor. In the current situation, it may well be possible to take all towers hence all supplies of an opponent, however an aggressor cannot touch the ark and the troops in the ark. The suppressed realm continues to be a threat to the aggressor, and the aggressor will need to keep resources (portal, troops) nearby or run the risk that the oppressed enemy retakes towers. This is the price the aggressor will need to pay for the control of the area of the suppressed realm


    my recommendation: do not implement the "defeat" option, giving the power to relocate a realm to an aggressor, leave that choice with the "defeated" realm

  • · What options does a losing team have, and what does the escape button add?

    On the receiving end. The realm that starts losing fights, towers and supplies will start losing war potential compared to the aggressor. Consider different scenarios

    Well organized teams with strong players know when a retreat is better than to continue the war. With the current game mechanics, there is the simple solution to take over an inactive realm on a lower island. We have seen this for Bavarian kings early in second moonphase with Murx at start of third moonphase, and later with N seals in end of third moonphase. Murx and Bavarian kings still made it to I4 with the first 10 realms, and N seals won the endgame in I2. Hence the current system worked well enough for them, and does not call for a new feature of an “escape button”. Sure, when moving to another realm these realms lost some ark power, they had to collect the orbs to ascend again and compared to the competition lost time to gather supplies on the higher island. That is the price these realms paid for losing the war and migrating to a lower island , and apparently they all came to the conclusion this was a better option that staying on the island and continue to be stomped. For these teams the retreat button may not be needed, as they apparently managed to stay together and still finish the game in a good way. If there would be a retreat button, it does not have to be much better than the option of migrating, so going to a lower island and loosing 50% ark power would probably be equal to migrating to a realm on a lower island, just saved the hassle of finding a suitable realm, entering it, voting the original members out and getting your own members in. migrating may still be considered as you can find an inactive realm with number of towers, supplies and orbs

    In the current game round, there have been more teams that are not organized well enough to pull off such a migration successfully than teams that did. In some cases the loosing team decided to stay together, improve the team by voting out less active players and inviting more active player, slowly rebuilding the realm while waiting for the aggressor to move on. For us this worked, though we never were in a situation where we lost all our towers. In other cases players will start leaving the realm that is losing, and will find a new home in another realm. This mechanism of players changing realms is a good way to get more teams with players of same level of activity /ambition. In this respect losing a wars may trigger teams to get more homogeneous, which may be good for the game. Also this mechanism of individuals changing realms is a feature that is already working well, and this also does not call for the new proposed feature of the escape button

    In my opinion, the main reason to implement the feature of escape option should be aimed to help those teams that are not yet well enough organized to pull off a mass migration to an inactive realm, and where the players want to stick together as a team. It should avoid players to get demotivated by the game and entirely quitting.

  • The retreat option as proposed could be an option next to the available options: migrating the team to an inactive realm, and individual players shifting realms. The proposal seems fair to me (choice of the realm voting, 2/3rd majority) however i would really suggest the realm to be demoted to a lower island.

    This means no option to retreat from i1 (no conquest possible anyway, so realms will not loose their towers) from i2 retreat to i1, and from i3 retreat to i2. I am not sure whether the option to retreat from i4 to i3 is expected/wanted/needed

    I realize this may pose a problem for the teams that are based on the lower island, and suddenly get a new team from higher island next to them. the best place to locate this retreating realm may need to be looked into. "the place the next spawning realm would be placed into" on the lower island may not be the best position. as several realms have already ascended, a random "old" spot may be better

  • The retreat option as proposed could be an option next to the available options: migrating the team to an inactive realm, and individual players shifting realms. The proposal seems fair to me (choice of the realm voting, 2/3rd majority) however i would really suggest the realm to be demoted to a lower island.

    This means no option to retreat from i1 (no conquest possible anyway, so realms will not loose their towers) from i2 retreat to i1, and from i3 retreat to i2. I am not sure whether the option to retreat from i4 to i3 is expected/wanted/needed

    I realize this may pose a problem for the teams that are based on the lower island, and suddenly get a new team from higher island next to them. the best place to locate this retreating realm may need to be looked into. "the place the next spawning realm would be placed into" on the lower island may not be the best position. as several realms have already ascended, a random "old" spot may be better

    As a player from a realm on i2 that suddenly had Murx as a neighbour after they were kicked of i3, I think that a retreat of a high level realm to a lower island is not good. Overnight we (a 10M FP realm) were attacked by 24M troops, losing four towers in the process. While we could take them back because of the long walking distances of Murx, we couldn't handle the second wave. Our realm fell apart and players relocated to other realms. The balance was way off. Situations like that should not happen.

  • As a player from a realm on i2 that suddenly had Murx as a neighbour after they were kicked of i3, I think that a retreat of a high level realm to a lower island is not good. Overnight we (a 10M FP realm) were attacked by 24M troops, losing four towers in the process. While we could take them back because of the long walking distances of Murx, we couldn't handle the second wave. Our realm fell apart and players relocated to other realms. The balance was way off. Situations like that should not happen.

    Mind that even if a new retreat feature is introduced, the current options are still available. Examples of this age are Bavarian Kings going back to island 1 taking over a realm with almost enough orbs to ascend again to i2, murx going back to island 2 and taking over a realm next to another realm with enough orbs to ascend again. Such things can and will still happen in next age, unless the new retreat feature is so much better for the defeated realm that the players will always opt for the retreat instead of for the current available alternatives.

    Then again, if the new feature will be so much better than the current available options, there is of course big risk of abuse.

  • The problem is that you can't win. And even the Kingdom that you won will be an eternal problem for you. War is already not profitable, and given the impossibility of winning it is doubly unprofitable. Moving after the conquest may partially solve this problem.