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Thread: Warning: Not safe for jerks

  1. #1
    Forum Addict smercjd's Avatar
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    Warning: Not safe for jerks

    Dear Utopia Devs,

    I 100% applaud you for your work, dedication, time, effort, resources, and everything you put in to making this game better. I genuinely think that you are doing a great job and hope that one day this game will be as amazing as it used to be (it's already better than some recent ages). You have added more, made things more interesting, targeted some of the raw problems, and I'm impressed and happy with this improvement.

    This is not a however, the game will function w/o this.

    Now consider the following with an open mind.

    People are...people. There is a beauty to this and it should be welcomed because it's a game that can accommodate this mechanism. New players, will either learn and enjoy this aspect, or immediately despise it because it is inherently unbalanced. Evil is more dominating in this game because there is such corruption. There are those few or maybe many who combat this, but if they do not carry the tolerance, patience, and drive that is far more difficult to maintain, they will fail or give up early = fail.

    What am I talking about?

    I was just in a kingdom where the monarch basically had a fake war in his favor. There may have been a select few that were in on it...but the majority weren't. Some were duped, maybe I was the only one that noticed because I have experience. I didn't make it known to the rest of the kd, just informed the monarch and went about my way. He knew I was right about what happened and admitted to it to me. I truly doubt he will reveal it to the rest. I am not saying this is wrong or against the rules, the war wasn't entirely fake - the members of the kd who didn't know about the deals did what they thought was best (followed orders or not, blah blah, etc). I'm not here to present a moral argument, only a potential solution that could also help with other problems. Unfortunately, there will always be the people are people and it may never truly be resolved w/o HARD blocks to what people do.

    A second server, which is something I think you're already considering is the baseline of this suggestion.

    1. Make it known that this server is not an anything goes server and impose hard rules/laws that cannot be overruled by what is tactfully called "Diplomacy."
    2. Contents of the rules should include the following and probably more
    -- You cannot play in both servers with the same account (of course people get away with multi in the game as is, but do your best to keep up the multi bans).
    -- There is a HARD limit to the range at which one can even attack into another (including ops) - perhaps 50% kd size to 200%.
    -- Install an in-game democratic feature (like voting for monarch) that includes major decisions such as: offering/accepting/withdrawing from wars, entering/leaving stances, casting rituals, going unfriendly/hostile.
    -----> ex: province joe schmoe hits into kingdom x twice. Nobody else can hit kd x from joe schome's kd until the kd has all voted that it's ok to go UF with that kd, etc.

    NOTE: to many current utopia players, especially those who have played for a long time - this not only sounds like something that would instantly be rejected by them (either because they enjoy this corruption and are good at playing it, or just because whatever), but it shouldn't affect those players because nothing will be changed in the WoL server, this is a separate server that would be designed FOR newer players or players who have been victims of this (though probably mostly legal, still rude), and just can't deal with it. This can also be the server that provides a step-wise tutorial. (Brand new players can start off in a simulation mode where they can click +1 tick to advance and are in a game with a bunch of random bots that do basic things here and there - nothing complicated/fancy/AI). After a minimum amount of ticks or certain amount of basic functions accomplished (built, razed, explored, attacked, generated scientists/wizards, didn't starve, etc --which they can speed through if desired by +1 tick function) they can advance to the server.

    So...why am I suggesting this?
    It may be obvious to some, but this is parallel to most games available of any sort. There is "usually" a: tier system, an easy/medium/hard mode, etc. So if it helps to think of it that way, please do. Some people want always select the "easy mode" in a game because they just want to play the game, see the story, enjoy chilling out to a fun game. Others prefer the challenge of the harder mode and thrive on dying/respawning and refining their game play. Some people don't even TRY to play a game that doesn't have an easy mode (I've seen this so often and am always quite surprised by it, but it is true). As for the tutorial part, I've also seen people instantly give up if a game has a relatively fast learning curve.

    What are some potential things to watch out for?

    1) Meta/balance may be very skewed with a system like this. It may be better to make this server limited to only 4 races/personalities (the primary ones: Elf/Halfling/Undead/Human -- Mystic/Rogue/Warrior/Cleric) The game becomes more simple, welcoming, and "friendly" to B type gamers - I do not mean this as an insult in the slightest to those who enjoy the artistic aspects of a game more than the raw number/mechanics. Even with a smaller pool of choices, there may still be a need for some tweaks/balances [less overall bonuses/penalties, etc]. Maybe this could be story based with the "good" races in this server and all the "evil" races available in hard mode.
    2) WoL server would likely shrink and you may get a 50/50 split [if not 50/50 you'll at least see the ones who prefer the anything goes and those who prefer the 'easy mode'].

    What are some indirect benefits to expect?

    1) You will essentially be making it easier for those people I mentioned previously who really try to do the right thing by their kd-mates. Make "honorable" war agreements, try to really focus on kd-team play, fight "fair", etc. You'll give them a chance to shine w/o being forced to first climb Mt Everest. You will also make it harder and probably less desirable for those who are the opposite and thrive on the scheming, backstabbing, and manipulation. This is fine, because there are two servers.
    2) Eventually, once solid kd's are formed in this "easy mode" server, maybe they will want to migrate as an entire kd to the "hard mode" server where they can test what they've learned and how much they've united as a kingdom. They will know that they will be transferring to an anything goes server and they will only do so by choice.

    Of course, I'm sure I've missed plenty of things to consider. This is just a suggestion that I think would, overall, expand the game itself. It might annoy some of the current players because they "need" those more trusting/naive players to feed off of. Which there will still be plenty, but less is always hated by people who always just want more.

    There are many other things you could do with this, but the basics are there.

    Please give this suggestion a hard consideration, you're probably way smarter than I am and at least more complete in terms of what would need to happen.

    I know one thing is certain --> I feel terrible inviting new players to the game as it currently is because they will mostly hate it. With this other server, I would not feel this way because I think they would rather enjoy the game.

  2. #2
    Postaholic Ovenmitt's Avatar
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    BF didn't work with 100k players. It certainly won't work dividing a 2500 person playerbase (and 1000 bots/multis)

    Your suggestion has nothing to do with your issue or whining either. Consider making two separate posts
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  3. #3
    Forum Addict smercjd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovenmitt View Post
    BF didn't work with 100k players. It certainly won't work dividing a 2500 person playerbase (and 1000 bots/multis)

    Your suggestion has nothing to do with your issue or whining either. Consider making two separate posts
    I'm confused by your third sentence. Are you saying I'm whining? That's funny, but I think you have read my post and heard a tone that wasn't there. This is not a whining post. It's my honest opinion about how to help expand the game.

    As for your first comment about BF not working. Hmm...I remember enjoying it, however, it wasn't "different" from WoL to the degree I'm suggesting. I'm not sure you read everything I posted or just didn't understand. Regardless, you could try to be constructive rather than "doesn't work, quit whining." Because 1) you have no true reason for why it doesn't work, what aspects it won't work with, or how it won't work and 2) there's nothing constructive about telling someone to not whine (especially when they aren't even whining).

    EDIT: In fact, if you read the very first part of my post - you should gather than I'm actually very happy with how much Utopia has improved in the recent ages.

  4. #4
    Post Fiend trekdrop's Avatar
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    The "Easy" mode suggestion sounds like millenial snowflake server :/

    How about a bootcamp? Pro's take noobs under their wing. New talent immediately gets to play in a real KD instead of giving up after 2 weeks.
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  5. #5
    Forum Addict smercjd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekdrop View Post
    The "Easy" mode suggestion sounds like millenial snowflake server :/

    How about a bootcamp? Pro's take noobs under their wing. New talent immediately gets to play in a real KD instead of giving up after 2 weeks.
    Even if it sounds likes that (and tbh it sort of does to me, too) it doesn't mean you have to be in it if it bothers you. Why be mad about people who want to have an "easy" mode if it's not truly bothering you?

    As for bootcamp...that's exactly what's NOT for everyone. Bootcamp is something you do when you are motivated to do it. That's exactly why many people never join (even though bootcamp these days are basically "millenial snowflake" level). Those who complete bootcamp should be proud of themselves, or those who beat the "hard" mode or at least play the hard mode should also be proud. There may be some that never leave the "easy" mode, but there are those who enjoy progression (actually quite a lot of those exact players are the ones who find interest in Utopia initially). Then there are your veterans who thrive on dominating what they already know.

    Honestly - it's a little like bringing a middle school soccer team to pro level play against. You would be shocked to see it in action and even more shocked when the pro adults aren't holding anything back. But to be shocked when 1/2 the middle school team quits before half time and claiming they're snowflakes is a bit of an exaggeration. (Though I still agree that it does sound like a safe space lol)

  6. #6
    Veteran RattleHead's Avatar
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    I see the need to keep new players and be more welcoming in general. IMO the best way to do this would be some kind of buddy system as stated above, or certain KDs could designate themselves as learning KDs(applying for this would have to go through devs, or at least respected members of the community, somehow), and would receive some protections, but also some gimps to prevent them from becoming "competitive", so as to push the newbies out into the wild eventually.

    I think the food chain is just part of the game, as you say people are people, and they will take their meals easy when they can. Even with a tiered system you will have some range of ability, as well as an increased temptation for people to 'smurf' and abuse this system because they can't win in other tiers.

    "UTOPIA The Strategy RPG for HARDCORE PLAYERS" Its right there. Only a hardy snowflake can survive here and that is how I like it. There is scope for anyone to play the game however they like, ONCE THEY HAVE LEARNED HOW. You can run your KD as a full democracy, you can be a scumbag and try to subvert the rules or find loopholes, you can grow, or not, you can war, or not... Just be aware that there are 100+ other KDs with 100+ different ideas how to play Utopia, sometimes you will bump into each other.

    I think your idea is well-meaning but would be readily abused. It also seems like a bit more work than just an extra server, with changes to certain core elements like democracy or hard attack range it is easy to see the two servers becoming divergent from one another, and essentially become 2 different games. Which can become more work than the idea of a "test" server (as I understand, genesis-like) that works on the same fundamentals, generally with differences not much more drastic than general Age-Age changes.

    Such a test server would be a decent place for Learner KDs to reside. People are introduced to the idea that things are fluid within the game itself with shorter Ages there, as with 0 reservations; hypothetically less deal-making and more breaking, so they can also learn that the people they play with are scoundrels, and they will need to have their wits about them if they want to succeed in Utopia.

    An added benefit would be not excluding players from playing on both servers, that idea seems silly to me. I would be more inclined to invite a friend to just try the game on a Genesis-like server where its more a free for all, and a new player is less likely to be harassed by their own KDmates if they do something foolish.

  7. #7
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    The major problem in Utopia (I guess that's a good reflection of the world) is that about 95% of its player base intentionally wants to not learn how to play the game properly. This leads to the imbalances we see every day. It's hard though I guess to force good play on people?
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    Your suggestion is basically for Utopia to become like ******.

  9. #9
    Post Demon Elldallan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smercjd View Post
    -- You cannot play in both servers with the same account (of course people get away with multi in the game as is, but do your best to keep up the multi bans).
    I don't think that splitting the already small playerbase would be a good idea.
    Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day, Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  10. #10
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    Try to get your friends to play on social media! I share and tweet about utopia, and a couple of people have asked me about it. Its way funner then Farmville or Candy Crush and tens of thousands of people spend hours and hours on those games. I bet that if everyone did this consistantly, we would double our player base. I do it, I've had friends who used to play msg me that they were surprised to see that the game was still running, and yet others (two total) who had never heard of it but that they started playing, and asking me for tips.

    Also for the owners, I recommend that you try to find ways to advertise utopia for free. There are lots of ways to advertise a game that wouldn't cost money.

    This is the one assertation that you made that I agree with. I don't think that how the game works needs to radically change, there are similar games with no age end/beginning where players gather so much size that there is no way in hell that new players can catch them. I played game of thrones ascent for awhile, and thats what it is like and there are tons of pay to win features. Each province can have dozens of dragons for example, but you have to buy them with real money.

    They get players because they used the name of a popular HBO show, and show up in a google search for that show..... fans be like.... oooh a game of thrones game!!! I'm not suggesting that the name of utopia be changed, just that some kind of advertising is necessary to bring in new players. One idea that I had, you can already link your province to social media, how about an advertisement for the game that can be shared on Facebook that will get you a small amount of game credits, or even game gold if you share it.... Of course it would have to be limited to a once per week payout and it would have to be something that doesn't actually cost the owners money. This is just one crazy idea, and I'm not sure how difficult this would be to arrange, but there are things that could be done to get people involved.

    As far as veteran players having an edge, all online games are like that. Utopia is less like this then any other. The game resets every 3 months, and we all start out equal.

    Another idea I have is for a botted KD for the server. A utopia owned, botted KD that could be warred like any other KD. It would be tough to beat all bots, but it might be interesting. It would have to be clearly marked so that ppl didn't war it accidentally.
    Long live Mehul!

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