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Thread: Rebalancing offence & defence: large army bonuses

  1. #1

    Default Rebalancing offence & defence: large army bonuses

    This is a long post, I apologise in advance. There's a TL;DR at the end.


    Introduction
    There is currently a raging debate over the “troop merging” idea in Travian, and whether or not it'd add or remove tactical depth. A lot of this has been focused on the idea that somehow offense is relatively underpowered and it needs to be compensated for. I somewhat disagree,and I also disagree with the idea of troop merging for reasons that have been said on this forum a thousand times.


    Before I go into my suggestion, let's look at the state of play between offence and defence.


    Offence
    Requires building a hammer in one village – takes a long time and requires a dedicated infrastructure.
    Because hammers are centralised, their villages are vulnerable to attacks/chiefing.
    Information asymmetry. Because of fakes, the attacker can always start a fight where they want, but the defender doesn't know where the fight will be.
    When an attacker wins, they are often rewarded: building destruction with catapults, stealing artefacts, stealing resources.


    Defence
    Defence can be built in any number of villages and be just as effective – defence building is primarily village and resource bound than time bound.
    Defender has no idea which of the attacks is real and this often makes putting defence in the right place difficult.
    When a defender wins, they don't gain anything other than having not lost the battle/artefact/resources.


    The thing I want to focus on is the first point in each section: that hammers require dedicated infrastructure in one village to create an attack force, while defence does not. This is one of the things that makes defence and defenders less valued in the game. With a small number of factors: N defensive troops from one village are verynearly as effective as (N/5) defensive troops from five different villages – with the exception of things like TS levels, hero defence bonus, etc.


    Because of this, anyone can build and use defence, and there's no big advantage to be a dedicated defensive player running a large anvil. An offence player can invest in a few villages for defensive units and those units are pretty much just as good as anyone else's.


    Large army attack bonus
    (This is not a particularly good name, imagine a good name for it here.)


    What if having a large chunk of units from one village was rewarded? It's obviously a difficult management task – to set up the infrastructure, to keep building 24/7, to feed all those troops – so why is there very little advantage to doing it?


    Say there's a rule:
    For every N upkeep worth of units from a village in a battle, those troops gain 1% extra attack/defense. (Optional: up to a maximum of X%)


    For the sake of this discussion, let's say that for every 1000 crops worth of units, they gain 1% extra attack/defense, up to a maximum of 30%.


    You'll note that I am explicitly powering up large attack forces as well as large defence forces – to equal extents.


    Let's run some numbers

    You can probably skip this bit unless you're particularly into big wall of numbers.

    These numbers are rough, for sure. If anyone has any ideas for more/counterexamples, I'd be interested.

    Current version of travian:
    There's a hammer of:
    12000 axes
    5000 Tks
    Total resources: 13.5 million
    Total wheat: 27000
    Total time: ~3.5 weeks out of Barracks/Stable 20


    Attacking a defence of:
    20000 phalanx
    10000 druids
    Total resources: 17.2 million
    Total wheat: 40000
    Total time: ~4.5 weeks for the phalanx, ~5.5 weeks for the druids out of Barracks/Stable 20


    For the purposes of this, I'll ignore walls, morale bonuses and hero bonuses/weapons and assume everything is level 20 in the forge.


    The defender wins with 77%losses:
    http://travian.kirilloid.ru/warsim2....10000U20,,,,20


    Suggested– 4 small groups
    What if we use our new rule?Let's say that this defence is made up of 4 equal armies of 5000 phalanx and 2500 druids.


    Hammer of:
    12000 axes
    5000 Tks
    Total resources: 13.5 million
    Total wheat: 27000
    Total time: ~3.5 weeks


    Defence of:
    4*5000 phalanx
    4*2500 druids
    Total resources: 17.2 million
    Total wheat: 4*10000
    Total time: ~1 week for the phalanx, ~1.5 weeks for the druids – each.


    Using our new rule, the attacking hammer gets a 27% (27000/1000)attack bonus,while each of the 4 defending armies get a 10% (10000/1000) defence bonus.


    (Note, I'm simulating this by adding 27% and 10% extra troops respectively to a kilroid simulation.)

    The defender wins with 93%losses:
    http://travian.kirilloid.ru/warsim2...._15240_6350U!b#d:r2#r2u22000,,,,11000U20,,,,20


    Suggested– Two anvils
    Hammer: same as before
    Defence: 2*10000 phalanx,2*5000 druids
    Total resources: 17.2 million
    Total wheat: 20000 + 20000
    Total time: 2 weeks for the phalanx, 2.5 weeks for the druids


    Attacking hammer gets a 27% bonus, the 2 defending armies get a 20% bonus.


    (See note re: how I'm simulating this)


    The defender wins with 83%losses:
    http://travian.kirilloid.ru/warsim2...._15240_6350U!b#d:r2#r2u24000,,,,12000U20,,,,20


    Suggested– One massive anvil
    Hammer: as before
    Defence: as in “currently” example


    Attacking hammer gets 27% bonus, defending army gets 30% bonus.


    Defender wins with 74% losses:
    http://travian.kirilloid.ru/warsim2...._15240_6350U!b#d:r2#r2u26000,,,,13000U20,,,,20


    Suggested– 10 small anvils
    Hammer: as before


    Defence: 10*2000 phalanx,10*1000 druids
    Total time: under a week for both druids and phalanx.


    Attacking hammer gets 27% bonus, each defending army gets a 4% bonus.


    Attacker wins with 99% losses:
    http://travian.kirilloid.ru/warsim2....10400U20,,,,20


    Analysis
    The idea of this suggestion is to reward large anvils and the skill required to build them,by making hammers better against defence that comes from a variety of sources.


    Let's look at the cases:


    Test Def Build Time % loss against hammer
    Current travian Any* 77%
    Suggestion: 4 small anvils 1/1.5 weeks 93%
    Suggestion: 2 anvils 2/2.5 weeks 83%
    Suggestion: 1 anvil 4.5/5.5 weeks 74%
    Suggestion: 10 anvils <1 week 100%


    *Current travian is marked“any” because the amount of time it takes is dependant on the number of villages being used – could be anywhere from a day to the whole 4.5/5.5 weeks to build the full anvil.


    What is clear is that this makes hammers more effective against defense that's cobbled together from different armies – while still keeping the effectiveness of large anvils at the same level or perhaps even improving it, for mid game armies.


    Other considerations
    If you were going to implement something like this, there are a few things you need to consider:

    • What numbers of N and X work best? i.e. how well should this bonus scale, and where should the cap be? Should there be a cap at all? (Probably?)
    • What does this do to small alliances fighting large alliances? Does it tip the balance in the favour of the large alliances even more? If so, how could this be compensated for – morale bonus change maybe?
    • What does this do to WW defence and WWKs?
    • What's the impact if you take into account walls and heroes?
    • Does this actually make hammers too good, given the information asymmetry aspect? If so, what could be done to compensate? (I can see this being a bigger problem in the midgame)
    • Does this penalise people who want to make small villages for defence too much?



    The promised TL;DR
    The TL;DR version of this is:

    • There's no real encouragement to build massive great big anvils right now as opposed to splitting it up into smaller villages.
    • Let's reward defence players who are good at their jobs and make them more valued.
    • What if we made any army from the same village have extra attack/defence based on the number of troops.
    • For example: a 30k crop hammer/anvil would have a 30% attack/defence bonus.
    • This means hammers would hit harder
    • And anvils of the same size would also hit harder
    • But defence scraped together from a tonne of different villages would be relatively less effective.
    • [Random numbers and simulations]
    • This could work, but there are also a lot of other considerations.



    Summary
    This is an idea I thought up in a Skype chat, and isn't fully formed – and there are lots of considerations to take into account. But I believe if you want to change the landscape of travian, particularly the balance between offence and defence, this is a better place to start looking than troop merging.


    So, thoughts?

  2. #2
    Honoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian Member Trouble's Avatar
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    Defence also requires dedicated villages and infrastructure.

    The downside to defence is that you play a more passive play style.

    However defenders are often the highest valued players in the alliance, especially the skilled ones. Although there impact will be lower unless they are lucky and are given oportunities to exploit.

    I do not agree with your idea or see any merit to it.

    Why would you punish defensive walls? Standing infantry defence is the cheapest form of defence, aswell as being one of the most effective. It is barley used properly as it is, why would you nerf it?

    Anvils are already over powered. They require dedicated villages complete with infrastructure (Tourney square and black smith + Stables and barracks, minus the siegh).

    So defense is some what cheaper, but its also less effective, since you cannot chose your battles in the same way.

    Really don't think its a good idea. Don't see why multiple defenders should be punished.

    Defense should get minorly buffed if anything, as in increased in effectiveness, since the playstyle is often avoided in favour of the more effective offensive play style.

    Since fewer players are actually any good at a defensive play style. (Most because its so hard to stick to, since active defenders allways end up switching to offensive in my experinece.)
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  3. #3

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    Trouble, why do you keep commenting on threads without reading them...? He says defence players should be rewarded, not punished, because offensive players already got an advantage over them. With his proposed change, defence players who are able to queue alot of deff in one village will also get a bonus.

    He literally even said read before posting in the title. Please dude, this is getting tiresome.
    Last edited by Placebo; 03 May 2016 at 06:43 PM.

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    Would this add incentive for people to play defense though? I think if you applied something like this the main effect might be to just reduce the incentive for smaller accs that wont compete with the bigger anvils to play def - as their value is reduced, and it'll reduce the incentive for off players to build defense too as their def is worth less anyway. I think such a change would only reduce the amount of players building def tbh.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinJames View Post
    Would this add incentive for people to play defense though? I think if you applied something like this the main effect might be to just reduce the incentive for smaller accs that wont compete with the bigger anvils to play def - as their value is reduced, and it'll reduce the incentive for off players to build defense too as their def is worth less anyway. I think such a change would only reduce the amount of players building def tbh.
    Hmm, the way I understood it, all defense will retain their current value, but the more you have in each village, the stronger they get. However, the bonus for offensive troops should maybe be lower.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Placebo View Post
    Hmm, the way I understood it, all defense will retain their current value, but the more you have in each village, the stronger they get. However, the bonus for offensive troops should maybe be lower.
    (Yes, RE: defense retaining current value). The bonus for offensive troops being a bit lower could work, though.

    The idea that Travian Games seems to have in their head at the moment (with them suggesting troop merging), is that offense needs a boost. (also, kerching kerching, but lets put that aside a moment.) I think something similar to this could... not boost offense so much as make good offense on par with good defense in terms of the difficulty in management.

    Would this add incentive for people to play defense though? I think if you applied something like this the main effect might be to just reduce the incentive for smaller accs that wont compete with the bigger anvils to play def - as their value is reduced, and it'll reduce the incentive for off players to build defense too as their def is worth less anyway. I think such a change would only reduce the amount of players building def tbh.


    The smaller account thing is definitely a consideration - and was one of the things I (loosely) put in that list.

    In part, making it pay less to have a couple of smaller villages pumping out def was part of the point. Or rather, to make defense be something that you get more reward out of when you make a big investment.

    --

    (Also I apologise for the "read before posting" thing, the forum seemed to insist that I put a "prefix" on the thread title. Personally i thought it was a bit obnoxious.)

  7. #7
    Honoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian Member Trouble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Placebo View Post
    Trouble, why do you keep commenting on threads without reading them...? He says defence players should be rewarded, not punished, because offensive players already got an advantage over them. With his proposed change, defence players who are able to queue alot of deff in one village will also get a bonus.

    He literally even said read before posting in the title. Please dude, this is getting tiresome.
    No I read it.

    What he says is:
    Analysis
    The idea of this suggestion is to reward large anvils and the skill required to build them,by making hammers better against defence that comes from a variety of sources.

    Making hammers better against defence from a variety of sources.

    I.e Making defence weaker.




    And Also if he wanted to say "make queuing troops from one village stronger" Where at all has he justified a reason for making defence from multiple sources weaker.

    The proposed changes are not in fact improvements to defence, but improvements to offence. Which are not needed.

    If you want to buff defence then you should go for a flat scaling buff in the village of defence, that is an expensive bonus.
    Something similar to the tueton's brewery. A party for 1 village, increasing the effectiveness of its defence troops. I will outline more clearly my idea later in this post, but first must explain why your all wrong.

    Needs to be expensive if its properly to improve defence. (reference to the building that I suggest later..)





    Overall this thread is proposing buffing offensive whilest trying to improve defence, pretty funny how you got that completely wrong. In this respect I refer to the %'s proposed. In the table, in particular for those who dont want a long read:

    The original post says; Loses for defence now, as not having any type of single village scaling is at 77%, but loses if they where from multiple village, if this guys change goes through, is 100% i.e. increasing by 23%.
    - Therefore, buffing offensive. NOT Buffing defensive, as the original poster suggests.

    At no point does it state that these % are scaling on how strong the defence is, and even if it was like that, again it would be a complete opposite of what your trying to achieve. In-fact if it was like that a scaling multiple to the defence total in the combat calculation, the proposed numbers would achieve a buff for multiple defence, since the % is lower for anvils and higher for combined defence. But thats not what you mean.

    The table should look as I suggest bellow if you want the effect that I THINK you want, from reading your post and that of others it seems you want to reward anvils making that play style stronger, and make it less popular but not weaker to have defence from multiple sources.
    (Sorry; but in its current form the change would completely crush and idea of a WW defence, by making it weaker. They don't need to be weaker. Which is why I was correct in disagreeing with your idea initially.)



    @ Thread starter.

    Your numbers would be ok, if you also across the board increased the defence stats of all defence troops, in current form punishing defence from multiple sources. But this would be required in addition to your changes to allow the numbers you put in that table to achieve what you desire.

    If you want to implement your idea in its current form and without simply buffing defence across the board by increasing the raw stat of each troop, the correct table will look like this:

    Standard loses 77% (Current travian)

    Loses with anvil <77%
    Arbitrary scaling.
    Loses with defence from multiple sources - 77%. Capped at this.
    "100% " is actually making it worse for defence from multiple sources. There fore I cannot support it.

    Tbh buffing anvil in this way though, I still think its a really clunky and boring way to go about implementing a buff (This is a popular slang word for increasing something power in a game)

    For example: Pre t4, tuetons where buffed, the changes to there cranny dipping, resulted in a nerf.


    I think to be honest, offensive should have interesting buffs also, not to make them out of control over powerful, but to make the play style more adaptive and to reward intuition and initiative.

    Flat buffs like % changes, while they can be useful for balancing purposes, they are a little dry. Its clear from this thread that its hard for most people to understand them, and to get exited about them? Well, that number is fewer still.

    PS: There is no reason for hostility over a misunderstanding. I simply understood the percentages in the correct manner, whilest you did not. You understood the sentiment and intention of the post, which was improperly portrayed by the numbers.

    "Hmm, the way I understood it, all defence will retain their current value, but the more you have in each village, the stronger they get. However, the bonus for offensive troops should maybe be lower."
    This is incorrect from the post.
    The post states that:
    from a 77% loss in current travian,
    The proposed changed loss for "10 anvils" will increase by 23% to 100%.

    There by resulting in those players being punished and the defence play style becoming weaker.

    Whatever, thats cleared up now. I'll try not to be mad next time. tbh i tried to edit it to make it easy to read, but I give up.

    I need to get better at winning arguments cleanly without upsetting people, its getting really tedious upsetting people all the time, its not my fault I'm right and your wrong.
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    Last edited by Trouble; 03 May 2016 at 10:17 PM.
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  8. #8
    MartinJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    No I read it perfectly.

    What he says is:
    Analysis
    The idea of this suggestion is to reward large anvils and the skill required to build them,by making hammers better against defence that comes from a variety of sources.

    Making hammers better against defence from a variety of sources.

    I.e Making defence weaker.
    Not quite, as I understand it the base defense level is still the same, so wouldn't be better or worse than current, but defense from larger anvils would get a boost.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Placebo View Post
    Hmm, the way I understood it, all defense will retain their current value, but the more you have in each village, the stronger they get. However, the bonus for offensive troops should maybe be lower.
    Yeah thats true, but it would be worth less comparatively than the def of bigger players. Which might turn the people who can't keep up with the top players off playing def. If I can't build an anvil to match the anvil of the better deffers because I can't afford GB/GS, but i can match their numbers by building def across more vills , my def is still of less value than theirs. The effect of that is that you basically reduce the value of moderate deffers to an alliance, these are often players with limited screentime or little experience.

    Another adverse effect is that you'd have more deffers trying to make use of GB/GS to get the % bonus, when the extra res from that would normally be building def in another village. So you might end up with less def overall as deffers focus on bigger anvils.
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  9. #9
    Honoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian MemberHonoured Natarian Member Trouble's Avatar
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    MJ go read my edit, I'm right, sadly.

    "as you understand" unfortunately the numbers tell a different tale.

    If you wana make this interesting why don't we get creative and throw buildings into the mix?

    I think to make the changes exiting it has to be focused around new buildings,

    The reason for this is, no one is going to be exited for some % changes, even if you do them correctly, its still gona be hella boring for some one to be like.. So now when I build my anvil, I'm 10% stronger.. whooopie.

    How about a building such as...?
    "Comanders Tent"
    Very expensive, Scaling up to x levels.

    In there there is two options:
    Option 1: When activated offensive troops that land within 10 minuets recieve healing, as in, those that die, are brought back? - Context is routers (i.e peolpe who run away) are rallied and returned to the ranks. Say 0-2% of the attacking army is "healed"
    This costs a lot. So Its good for smashing through caps, when you predict losses will be heavy, you wait and activate ahead of time to mean next time you fight you got more to work with.

    Option 2: Similar to brewery an increase to fight strength of troops.

    Both changes - just do it to 1 village, not account wide.

    There by - BUffing anvils. I,e increasing the effectiveness of such a play style.

    Both activations should be short, creating a "hype" around taht 1 second calculation that goes on in germany before we get our reports.
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  10. #10

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    Read the TL;DR, didn't read the comments. Not a huge fan of redistributing strength based on size. It disadvantages a 50k hammer which could be a big hammer for one player, compared to a 100k hammer which could be a small hammer for another player. As for defence, the incentives are there to build defence if you know how to. Generally, splitting the villages you train defence in is a defenders greatest strength. Costly on forge's, but worth it long-term.

    You mentioned in one of your comments incentive to make big investments; I think there is a stronger incentive to train in multiple villages since anvils aren't usually dependent on feeders to feed queues / -ve's, freeing feeders up for extra def. Perhaps an incentive to train more troops on the account, not village specific? If player 1 defends with 20k troops they might get a 1% bonus, but if they def with 50k troops, they get a 2.5% bonus (regardless of whether 20k/50k is made up of an entire anvil or not)? At least it encourages a player to send more def (not they should need encouraging to send more) or even to train more? Not sure how that would work for off players though!

    That said, kudos for the well-thought out analysis (that I did briefly skim over). It's nice to see so much thought going in to these ideas and someone really engaging with how to make the game more interesting / challenging
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