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Domination: Earth

2.7.0 Characters, Items, Skills and Combat Changes


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Hi all,

An exciting new update is about to launch, initially as an in-app update for early testing (later today) and next week+ as version 2.7.0 on the App Store.
Edited: Play Store version 2.7.0 is now live.

This is a major update featuring a number of changes to the core game mechanics and several feature additions.

  • Characters & Items.
    A new type of collectibles has been added to the game in the form of Characters.
    Collectible characters appear at random locations, same as resources, and can be picked up when standing close enough and by using the "Pick up" button.
    All characters and their names are procedurally generated (any similarities to real-world names are coincidental), but come in a range of rarity levels and classes, and have a unique set of attributes and skills that can be advanced by accumulating character experience.

    Additionally, all characters can be equipped with items, another set of collectibles distributed around the globe.

    Both characters and items appear with 1 out of 6 rarity levels. 
    For characters, rarity determines their starting attributes and maximum number of skill upgrades per level.
    For items, rarity affects their attribute and skill bonus values, possible number of concurrent bonuses per item and damage amount for weapons and explosives.
    Rarity is permanent and cannot be changed or upgraded later. However, characters can be dismissed while items - deleted and replaced with new findings.

    It is possible to have 3 characters with you at any time, unless the additional slots are purchased with Unobtainium.
    Character items that aren't equipped by a character are stored in your personal inventory and follow the same storage rules as the Assembly Plant items, so you can put any unused items in the warehouse for later use.

    The character and item rarity levels are:
  1. Ordinary
  2. Uncommon
  3. Rare
  4. Epic
  5. Legendary
  6. Unique

    The higher the rarity level, the quicker you have to be to pick that item up.
    Ordinary characters and items stay in one place for roughly 24 hours, Uncommon - 12 hours, Rare - 4 hours, Epic - 2 hours, Legendary - 1 hour. 
    "Unique" is the best and rarest type one can possibly find, but chances to do so are extremely low; only a few of such characters and items exist on Earth at any given moment and they will disappear and respawn every 30 minutes, so they are insanely hard to catch.
     
  • Command Centre.
    A new building is now available for construction named "Command Centre".
    This building allows to assign a number of characters to its base in the amount equal to the building's level (e.g. level 3 Command Centre allows assigning 3 characters to a base).
    Once assigned, all bonuses provided by character skills activate and these characters will participate in all battles happening on the assigned base's territory.
    Characters cannot be killed in combat, but they do have a limited amount of stamina provided by the Constitution attribute (and boosted by certain items), which is required for any skill to function.
    Once the character runs out of stamina all of their active bonuses are disabled and they stop fighting in all active battles.
    Character stamina regenerates slowly with time (a small amount every 4 hours for assigned characters and every hour for unassigned characters).
    The regeneration amount also depends on the character's Medicine skill, as well as presence of other characters assigned to the base who have some levels in the same skill.
     
  • Character advancement.

    All assigned characters accumulate experience from several actions:
     
  1. Land capture and land upgrades, awarding all characters assigned to the nearby base with at least 100 points of experience (plus Exploration skill bonus).
  2. Combat actions: peacekeeping points earned during army battles also provide characters with experience.
  3. Diplomacy: if a character has at least 1 level in that skill they will award all characters assigned to the same base with experience whenever you collect resources and share them with allies.

    You can spend the accumulated experience on skill upgrades at any time.
    However, the maximum number of skill upgrades depends on the current character level.
    Once you perform 10 skill upgrades (+10 levels in the same skill or +1 levels in 10 different skills or any other combination) you will be able to advance your character to the next level by spending a few Peacekeeping Points.
    Note: level 1 characters only require 5 skill upgrades to reach level 2.

    Upon advancing to the next level your skill upgrade cap will increase and several random character attributes will grow by a small amount as well.
    There is no limit to the character level that can be achieved. However, higher skill levels will require more experience to upgrade.
     
  • Item levels.
    Once you pick up a character item from the world map its attributes will be generated for the highest level of the currently assigned character.
    If no characters are assigned to the nearby base, the highest level of your unassigned character will be considered.
    So if you have a level 50 character assigned to the base along with a level 25 and a level 5 character, all picked up items will be between level 49-51.
    Removing the level 50 character from your base will result in newly generated items being of level 24-26.
    Item levels and attributes do not change after they are picked up.
     
  • Character Classes.

    You will encounter 6 possible character classes:
     
  1. General
  2. Commando
  3. Medic
  4. Treasurer
  5. Spy
  6. Engineer

    All characters have access to all skills, but each class specializes in 3 skills only.
    The 3 class skills cost twice less experience to upgrade than all other skills.
     
  • Character Skills.
    Each character has access to 16 skills providing various bonuses:
     
  1. Melee Weapons
  2. Handguns
  3. Rifles
    The first 3 skills affect the character's ability to wield a specific weapon type and increase its damage in % growing with the skill level.
  4. Strategy
    Increases damage dealt by each army unit.
  5. Leadership
    Increases the number of army units that can act simultaneously during each combat wave.
  6. Fitness
    Increases the amount of Stamina your character has and provides a health boost to all army units stationed on the character's base.
  7. Medicine
    Increases regeneration rate of all characters assigned to the same base and allows healing wounded army units in combat.
  8. Exploration
    Increases the number of experience gained from land captures.
  9. Explosives
    Increases the damage from carried explosives and a chance to detonate them in combat.
    Unlike regular weapons (Melee, Handguns or Rifles) Explosives only have a small chance to be used during each combat wave, but once they are they deal a much greater amount of damage.
    Chance to detonate an explosive depends on the current skill level.
    Every character can equip up to 2 explosive items.
  10. Bomb disposal
    This skill allows a character to intercept an attempt to use an explosive by the enemy. Chance to disarm an explosive grows with the skill level, same as the Explosives skill increases the chance of detonation.
  11. Sabotage
    Upgrading this skill increases the chance to sabotage enemy defences in the beginning of a combat wave, which disables all sentries and negates all of the defence bonuses provided by enemy perks and walls.
    So even if you are protected by dozens of sandbags a successful sabotage attempt will make them completely useless until the end of this battle or until the defences are reactivated using the Repair skill.
    The skill also works against the attacker and can disable their Tactician perk bonus.
  12. Repair
    A counter-skill for Sabotage activating immediately when a Sabotage attempt is made. If successful, prevents your defences from being deactivated.
    However, if the initial attempt fails, characters with this skill will continue trying to reactivate the defences after each combat wave.
    Stamina is only consumed upon a successful repair.
    Additionally, Repair lowers the cost of repairs (by up to 95%) for all damaged structures such as walls.
  13. Logistics
    Decreases cooldown between army battles and reduces the amount of time between the offensive structure attacks (e.g. Guard Towers).
    Additionally, decreases cooldown for the Assembly Plant, allowing to produce items more frequently.
    On top of that, this skill lowers the amount of fatal damage in combat (see below) and increases the percent of damage that becomes treatable by medics.
  14. Construction
    Decreases costs and time of all construction.
  15. Economy
    Increases the amount of resources collected via "Pick up" or from the resource stations.
  16. Diplomacy
    Provides all assigned characters with experience as soon as any picked up resource is shared with allies.
    The more allies your resources are shared with, the greater is the experience bonus modifier.
    Shared resource amount determines the base amount of experience gained, which is then increased by the bonus modifier.
    Skill levels in Diplomacy increase the number of allies considered when sharing (i.e. the bonus modifier up to x10; minimum being 1) and also determine the % from the shared resource amount that is transformed into experience.
    Diplomacy level of 40 means that 40% of the shared resource amount is added as experience points.
    Diplomacy level of 200 transforms 200% of the shared resource amount into experience.

    Additional skill descriptions are provided in the game.

    In addition to skill upgrades purchased using experience points, your current skill level is affected by a character attribute associated with that skill.
    Attribute amounts above 100 will provide a skill level bonus per character level.
    However, attributes below 100 are considered "below average" and instead create skill penalties that will also grow as your character level advances.
     
  • Attributes.
    Each character has 5 attributes that determine their predisposition to certain skills:
     
  1. Strength
  2. Dexterity
  3. Constitution
  4. Intellect
  5. Charisma

    Skills affected by these attributes are illustrated in the game on the "Skills" window of a collected character.
     
  • New Combat Mechanics.
    Combat mechanics and formulas have been overhauled and rewritten.
    From now on, every army unit has a certain amount of health (boosted by the Fitness skill of the accompanying characters) and each soldier deals a range of damage (affected by the Strategy skill).
    However, only a certain % of damage (affected by character Logistics) dealt at the end of the combat wave is fatal and kills enemy units: the rest is considered to be treatable wounds and rolls over into the next round.
    At the beginning of the round any characters with at least 1 Medicine level will attempt to treat army wounds and can restore army health.
    Any untreated wounds from the previous round become fatal at the end of the next round.

    All character interactions are automated and healing happens without your intervention as long as characters have enough stamina.
     
  • Combat wave interval has been decreased to 5 minutes (previously 10 minutes).
     
  • Defence bonus from walls of any kind and the Tactician perk no longer provides a dice-based survival chance, but instead translates into a direct %-based damage reduction, lowering all incoming damage from all sources.
     
  • Army cost has been increased to 5 supplies and 1 personnel per soldier.
     
  • Sentries.
    Sentry towers no longer have a %-based chance to slay a certain amount of soldiers, but instead deal regular damage increased by their level. Sentry damage is affected by the same combat rules as army and character damage, and may not be 100% fatal.
     
  • Perk adjustments.
    "Pathfinder"
     now affects the collection distance for Characters, Items and Quests, all of which can be picked up via the small hand button on their description tooltips or using the big "Pick up" button at the bottom of Earth view.

    "Counterstrike" now adds +100 damage per level to your army attacks.
     
  • Combat log.
    Combat actions will send much fewer push notifications upon every wave end.
    Instead, combat screen now features a "Combat log" section describing everything that happened during each round in detail (including any character skill use attempts).
    Combat UI has also been rebuilt and will now list characters participating from all sides (with the ability to view their details by tapping on the character icon) and includes additional information about the active armies.

    Multiple characters attacking the same land will see action details of all sides in the combat log, while the defending base owner's log will contain records about actions of all armies that are currently invading their lands.

    Please note that some legacy activity (such as the building damage details) is still recorded in your messages and the appropriate combat log items will be gradually introduced to the game in the future.
     
  • This update also introduces a number of miscellaneous fixes and adjustments (you will notice some new icons here and there), and performance improvements (especially in "My Lands").


Please note that although I did invest a significant amount of time in designing the new formulas and illustrating various outcomes in spreadsheets, I am conscious that much of this data is based on hypothetical scenarios and I could only experience them in the game from a limited range of test accounts.
I am aware that we have some really powerful veterans in "Domination: Earth" with an enormous amount of bases and resources, and some very new players at the same time, so everyone's experience will be different and I am counting on your feedback to make things fair and balanced.
Accordingly, please be prepared that any new formulas are subject to change in the near future based on the community feedback and any reports of issues.
Finally, please report any problems with text localisations as most of the new non-English texts were provided by automated translation tools.

And of course, any general (and especially positive! :)) feedback is greatly appreciated and do post if you have any questions! ;)

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Version 2.7.0 is now available on the Play Store.
It is recommended to download the update manually as there have been reports of certain devices struggling with downloading the latest version via an in-game updater facility due to its larger than usual size.

App Store (iOS) version is still being prepared, I will post again as soon as it becomes available. 😉

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I think an inventory bug has been introduced relating to character items, at least on iOS.

If I move character items from storage into available item slots, then equip a character with the item, the item slots are still occupied on the Items screen. (See screenshot below)

If I reverse the steps....unequip from the character, then move the items back into the warehouse, the available count goes back to zero.

And maybe this is a related question....should I be able to equip a character directly from the Items screen?  The Equip button is not active.  I have to go to Characters -> Assigned -> Items to equip.

DE.thumb.png.c6ca402f57cfbd7a5e9dff4fa82a9c74.png

Edited by EMonster
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Thanks for the report, @EMonster!

Will investigate. ;)

You are correct, the only way to equip items currently are via the characters screen ("menu -> characters -> items").

The disabled button on the inventory screen is there to highlight that it's not one of the items that can be activated.

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Some quick feedback, for your consideration....I've now picked up a few character items which show first with their larger boxes in the storage/warehouse list.  I suspect that I will still be going into my storage list most often to activate super magnets, bullhorns, etc. which now all appear at the bottom.  I can see it getting annoying having to scroll to the bottom every time to get to the items I'm most interested in, especially as more character items are collected.

It would be nice to either have the original collectables and the character collectables on different tabs, or have the originals stay at the top of the full list.  Or have a means of a personalized (sticky) sort/filter option.

Thanks for the new features!  I know it must have been a lot of work!

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14 hours ago, EMonster said:

If I move character items from storage into available item slots, then equip a character with the item, the item slots are still occupied on the Items screen. (See screenshot below)

If I reverse the steps....unequip from the character, then move the items back into the warehouse, the available count goes back to zero.

 

Fixed and...

8 hours ago, EMonster said:

have the originals stay at the top of the full list.

...fixed! 🙂
Additional tabs would get a bit messy, but since we only have a few items that can be activated keeping them on top of the list sounds perfectly reasonable.
Please let me know if there's anything else I can help with.

8 hours ago, EMonster said:

Thanks for the new features!  I know it must have been a lot of work!

No worries, it has been indeed! 🙂
I hope you like these new features and not just suffering through them though. 😁

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There should be some way of picking these new items up from a farther distance. With quests having them spawn in an unreachable location was okay because you could just ignore them, but this is the entire basis of the overhauled combat system. The only character I see nearby spawned in a lake, so I can’t do anything with the new system.

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Also, now that personnel beacons are even worse because of the army resource rebalance, maybe characters have a higher chance of spawning around high level ones?

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I like the beacon idea, that makes a lot of sense. Not entirely sure how it would work from a programming level, but some variation of it would be really good for balance. It’d mean more characters would spawn in areas with a lot of players so they wouldn’t have to fight over them.

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I’ve tried the new system for a big, and the ability xp costs seem incredibly high considering the scale you seem to expect them to reach. Diplomacy has a multiplier for reaching level 50, but that would take an unbelievably long time to reach, since the cost increases every level.

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1 hour ago, Celestius said:

Diplomacy has a multiplier for reaching level 50, but that would take an unbelievably long time to reach, since the cost increases every level.

It is worth remembering that, first of all, you aren't meant to achieve the maximum level in all skills in only a couple of days. :)
Characters are an open-ended long-term investment without a level cap and some players have been with us for years; some things are supposed to take a long time and function as a veteran player reward.

However, please also remember that the diplomacy bonus is cumulative from all characters assigned to your base. So to achieve the value of 50 you could have 3 characters with 17 Diplomacy each. Additionally, this entire bonus could be acquired from items.
Every item equipped on every character on your base provides a bonus to the overall skill pool. So achieving even 150 in diplomacy isn't that impossible after a while. ;)

Item bonuses grow with your character level and become significantly greater already at level 10+, and I am positive that there are rare items that will award you with +50 diplomacy out of the box.

On 4/19/2021 at 10:18 AM, Celestius said:

It’s weird that the command center doesn’t require any personnel. That seems like exactly what would need them.

The only personnel inside a command centre are your characters, without them it doesn't really do much. :)

On 4/19/2021 at 4:40 AM, Luna said:

Also, now that personnel beacons are even worse because of the army resource rebalance, maybe characters have a higher chance of spawning around high level ones?

Sorry, I'm not entirely sure I follow what personnel beacon issues you're referring to. Army became a little bit more expensive in supplies, but nothing changed in regard to personnel beacons. What am I missing? :)

Regarding the character locations on the map:
There is no plan to increase the number of those at this point as characters are supposed to be relatively hard to acquire. You can only have 3 of those at a time and they stay with you pretty much forever. If there was an abundance of options just across the road it would not only devalue the Ordinary ones (what's the point in collecting such if there's a dozen of rare ones a few steps away!), but also make the character "lifespan" much shorter: constantly coming across new, better characters will force you to abandon the old ones, which makes advancing their levels a fruitless enterprise with very little incentive.
So the plan here is to make all characters desired and competed for.

In regard to them spawning in inaccessible locations, I don't think it is a major issue as the longest amount of time a character stays in one place is 24 hours.
Which means that even without travelling anywhere you will see at least 1-2 new character locations every day.
Not being able to pick up all of them makes them even more "exclusive" and incentivises players to pick up the accessible ones as soon as possible (otherwise it would be too easy and boring). ;)

In terms of remote item collection... there is a similar logic behind the associated restriction, so the only viable option I can think of is making this an Unobtainium-powered feature. Otherwise, allowing to collect items via drones or other similar methods would once again make items as "motivationally insignificant" travel-wise as our resources currently are.

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12 hours ago, Mr. D said:

Sorry, I'm not entirely sure I follow what personnel beacon issues you're referring to. Army became a little bit more expensive in supplies, but nothing changed in regard to personnel beacons. What am I missing? :)

I was talking about in terms of balance. When deciding whether to build a silo, solar panel, beacon, or turret in a new location, it seems like there’s very little reason to build a beacon anymore, since the rebalance heavily favors supplies in fights, and pretty much all buildings use supplies and not personnel.

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15 hours ago, Luna said:

it seems like there’s very little reason to build a beacon anymore, since the rebalance heavily favors supplies in fights, and pretty much all buildings use supplies and not personnel.

I think this is different for every player, to be honest!
For instance, the testers I know have accumulated thousands of supplies that never seem to run out, but the personnel constantly requires collection (I think I'm at 50-60 myself right now despite having a fairly large number of all other resources!).
I also received more than a dozen requests to erase someone's Supplies in the last two years (yep, many people PM'ed me asking to reset their supplies to zero!), but not a single request to reset their personnel.

This overflow problem combined with the fact that supplies can be generated by the Supply Factory (the premium building) and obtained via Scrapping (which is not possible for Personnel) are among the reasons behind the army supply cost increase.

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@Mr. D While the update is awesome (even though I still have to find my first character), it makes one existing issue even more pronounced, namely: the long full refresh that most actions trigger.

I believe the choice of actions that do trigger this full refresh needs to be heavily revised.

One of the most irritating moments, that sincerely made me play a lot less, are all the military actions, like firing from towers or sending armies. I used to like to keep my lands free from FoT, but with the full refresh introduced in one of the updates and also the FoT spawn rates heavier than ever, I'd have to spend hours tidying up FoT from all my areas, not actually playing, but watching an empty, frozen screen.

Now, with new objects introduced (and to be queried and rendered) the refresh time is even longer. And even picking these new items requires a full update... Why does it?

Picking resources works fine without such updates. Why can't the attacked lands or picked up items cause single-object updates too?

Edited by Олег Поленин
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1 hour ago, Олег Поленин said:

 

1 hour ago, Олег Поленин said:

@Mr. D While the update is awesome (even though I still have to find my first character), it makes one existing issue even more pronounced, namely: the long full refresh that most actions trigger.

I believe the choice of actions that do trigger this full refresh needs to be heavily revised.

One of the most irritating moments, that sincerely made me play a lot less, are all the military actions, like firing from towers or sending armies. I used to like to keep my lands free from FoT, but with the full refresh introduced in one of the updates and also the FoT spawn rates heavier than ever, I'd have to spend hours tidying up FoT from all my areas, not actually playing, but watching an empty, frozen screen.

Now, with new objects introduced (and to be queried and rendered) the refresh time is even longer. And even picking these new items requires a full update... Why does it?

Picking resources works fine without such updates. Why can't the attacked lands or picked up items cause single-object updates too?

To be perfectly honest, I believe it was an unintended side-effect of another feature that has gone unnoticed/unreported for a long time!

I actually noticed the same thing today and was planning to address it tomorrow among a few other issues reported to me via DMs. 😉

I cannot guarantee a release tomorrow, but this is definitely something that will be fixed!

In general, if you find something really annoying about the game UI behaviour, please do not hesitate to bring it up and complain loudly to me, as I really want the gameplay to be enjoyable as a priority #1. 🙂 

P.S. I am really happy to hear that you like the update though! ☺️

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1 hour ago, Олег Поленин said:

When I assign a character to the Command Center, it does not free the unassigned characters slot. Have 1 unassigned and 2 assigned, and the unassigned tab still shows 3/3, preventing me from acquiring new characters.

I think there is a hard limit of three characters per account.

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@Mr. D, I think I found another bug.  I had three characters, one Ordinary and two Uncommon.  Had another Uncommon appear in my area, so I dismissed the Level 4 Ordinary.  When I tried to pick up the new Uncommon, the app says something to the effect of 'You are at your limit.  Dismiss or use UBT."  I thought I got a screen shot of the message, but when I got home to post this I realized I missed it.  But from the screen shots I did get, you can see that I was close enough to pick up the character and that I only have 2 of 3 character slots taken.

So now I've lost my highest level character, and can't add any new ones.  Sad EMonster.  😞

(Obligatory 'on iOS' FYI)

 

DE-Characters.png

Edited by EMonster
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2 hours ago, EMonster said:

I think there is a hard limit of three characters per account.

From what @Mr. D said..

On 4/16/2021 at 4:18 AM, Mr. D said:
  • It is possible to have 3 characters with you at any time, unless the additional slots are purchased with Unobtainium.

...I assumed that the "with you" refers to the unassigned characters only, as opposed to those stationed in any base.

Otherwise, many aspects of the game would sound pointless, especially the enormous scale of the available classes and items. One would assume a necessity to widely experiment with different character configuration, to test them every now and then, to have like an offensive team and defensive team at various moments, to dwell on training policy (should I have one maxed out team, or several less trained teams - since we cannot train all at the same time).

If the total limit of characters is indeed 3, noone would experiment, since the cost of lost exp would be enormous. At most, people will search for a preferred set a bit longer at the beginning, but once you have a month or more invested exp-wise, you'd feel quite locked with the crew you have and not interested with collecting them anymore.

And late in the game, once you find that few-per-world "Unique" character, you would have a really tough nut to crack, to waste any of those two-year-fed characters to risk picking that single gold one and start from scratch? Would it ever get better than a two year older character of an "ordinary" type?

@Mr. D So, is it a bug or is it a feature? :D

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I agree, 3 should be the cap for unassigned. You can’t level more than three at a time, so from a balance perspective it shouldn’t be a big deal, but being able to collect a wide array of characters and spread them over your different bases sounds really cool.

Edited by Luna
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52 minutes ago, Luna said:

I agree, 3 should be the cap for unassigned. You can’t level more than three at a time, so from a balance perspective it shouldn’t be a big deal, but being able to collect a wide array of characters and spread them over your different bases sounds really cool.

Hell, I would even go along with keeping the limit as a global assignment limit ("you cannot have more than 3 characters assigned globally at any time") if that was an active balance consideration (like, to limit the game impact of older players with lots of bases), but the "unassigned" limit (if limited at all) should allow to store at least few different builds (to adjust to any unrolling situation*). It would also allow player to pick up any encountered rare character and only later decide who to keep and who to dismiss.

I'd say 10 is not a bad number, expandable for UBT. We could also limit UBT purchases to the unassigned limit expansion, so that the in-game purchase would only affect the players convenience ("I have more room and more time to decide") instead of providing such a straight P2W option ("I can attack F2P enemy from two bases simultaneously, both armed to the teeth with characters").

All the above applies only if @Mr. D confirms it's a feature, not a bug, ofc :D

*) For balance issues, I'd assume that you could assign/unassign only a 100% healthy character, to keep health relevant during battle (to prevent players from replacing "dead" characters with healthy ones during a lenghty battle)

Edited by Олег Поленин
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