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Domination: Earth
Mr. D

Upcoming Rule Changes

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As mentioned in this thread:

 

The land trade system removal is now cancelled and instead we are going to release a set of game mechanics changes.

Some of you may find them harsh, but we believe these changes to be in the spirit of "Domination: Earth's" core principles and values that we try to uphold, primarily the need to travel to advance.

This is a semi-official announcement, as the new features are still being developed and the list may change. However, this should give you a bit of a heads up in regard to future travel planning.

So the main changes are:

- A new resource is introduced named "Travel Points". Travel points are only obtained by (you guessed it!) travelling in real world. Every new land you create will award you between 1 and 100 points depending on the travelled distance from your last land capture (1 point per kilometer, at least 1 point awarded at all times).

Upgrades and utility structures award no points.

- Land merging and trading will now require to expend travel points (amount depends on the merged/traded land level). Buying a level 1 land requires 10 points. Merging a level 100 land with a level 5 will require 1050 points.

- Automatic land merging will be removed; only the magnet merge remains.

- Merging a level 2000 land with a level 1 will no longer award your base with 2001 points, but only 1 (the difference) instead.

- Duplicates of merged structures on level 100+ lands no longer award base levels, so there is no longer a need to fill 100% of your land surface with walls to maximize the benefits of merging.

- Deleting a Utility structure will now deduce the previously awarded level points from the base's total.

That's it so far, please post if you have any questions!

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Just a quick one off the top of my head, if we have an area staged for base lvls with sandbags and utilities..can we merge them before the update to capitalize on our efforts?

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Thank you. 

I find this update of idea extremely refreshing compared to the former system. 

I do however have 2 questions

1) does this mean it will constantly be pinging my GPS?

2) Will I be able to "start"  my travels from a utility structure even if I cannot end them there? And does this 1 for 1 expand? (Eg, I travel 100 km I get 100 points not a interest system)?

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Thank you for reacting on the current problem with such haste even though you are busy in your private life. I feel that you have gotten alot of negativity thrown at you regarding the thought of removal of land trades and your absence from coding. I respect that you still try to find a solution that pleases for majority rather than taking the easy way out.

 

Regarding the new changes here are my questions;

- Do you have any plans on updating the current anti-cheat that is in place with these new changes? 

- Do you have an estimate on how long it will be until we can expect to see this update? (Not trying to hurry, just asking)

- Will there be a new leaderboard for accumulated travel points?

 

And here are my thoughts;

I like the idea of fixing a problem and that the solution contains something new for the game. But what I'm afraid of is that how big of an project will this be.

Untill we actually see this new change in the works it's hard to say if there is a way to cheese the mechanic but on paper it looks like it should quite well destroy the "couching" tactic. Without giving it more thought the only way to get around this would be to use 3rd party programs but then it would be just plain cheating rather than 'working around the rules' or 'its just too easy to not to'. Also the anti-cheat should pick up on this quite fast.

So I quite like it and will be eagerly waiting for the new travel points to gather and see who actually travels and who sits at home.

// ValarMorghulis

Edited by ValarMorghulis
Don't ask

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20 minutes ago, ValarMorghulis said:

How much of our location is actually saved? I think I read about this in the earlier threads but I will ask it again. If you are measuring between my last check-in and current check-in that means you will have to save my last location. For how long? And do you save the location after that or is it "deleted"?

All of your locations are currently saved 😂 That's what your check ins are 🙃

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1 minute ago, Eerienkah said:

All of your locations are currently saved 😂 That's what your check ins are 🙃

Go away 😂 In my defence I woke up at 5am for my morning shift so such brainfarts are to be expected!

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Ok, so everyone left in discord wanted to clarify..

You get no travel points for increasing the lvl of a flag or utility, but you do get base points?

More than one sandbag on a 100+ flag is (will be) just sand art now.. And if you merge in a flag with a sandbag on it, only the lvl of the flag will be added as base levels

These are the running premise?

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Question on the issue of merged structures. The example provided seems to indicate that extra structures, such as sandbag walls on a level 100+ land will not contribute to the advancement of associated base progression. Just for the sake of clarity, does this change apply to ALL structures on a land, including the naturally existing ones? If it does, this would eliminate a strategy that several players use for base progression, even among frequent travelers.

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I quite like the general idea, though I have few problems with it, some of them, well, crucial.

7 hours ago, Mr. D said:

- Automatic land merging will be removed; only the magnet merge remains.

Great and longly awaited news!

7 hours ago, Mr. D said:

- Merging a level 2000 land with a level 1 will no longer award your base with 2001 points, but only 1 (the difference) instead.

Never dreamt of saying that to any game developer, but...

Mate, this is not how your game works :D

Merging naked lands of any level gives 0 (zero) base points. Or it's just my account that's broken...

@Mr. D, since it caused quite a confusion on Discord, I'd like to ask you to clarify:

Do you intend to award base points upon land merge, based on the merged land level?

7 hours ago, Mr. D said:

- Merged structures no longer award base levels, so there is no longer a need to fill 100% of your land surface with walls to maximize the benefits of merging.

This makes me quite bitter. I feel I've spent quite a lot of time gathering arguments to convince you to save the land trade, and now that you've decided to save it, you bring along changes that, well... invalidate my initial arguments.

Namely, without what I could call "sandbag merges", the land trade looses it's appeal to players. We will no longer want to trade lands with newcomers. Considering the scale of such trade so far, it'd be not be worth the trouble; I've traded 6-7 lands this way in last yer, it gave me +1-2 levels across two or three bases would now count to nothing, and such pace considered, I'd need at least several years to grow any base one level up.

But this also removes all the fun of meticulously planning land placing on my trips. All the additional effort would be pointless and the game will default to a dull button clicking every 15 minutes or so. Any player that cares to put more effort will not be able to be any better than one who just clicks. Moreover, you would never be able to outperform any player in remote location - it all cuts down to who sits longer in any chosen area.

Not to say that the lands I've already staged in Vienna and Lviv, which were meant to grow both bases to lv 20 once winter comes and I'll get the required resources, all that effort would be wasted.

This said, @Mr. D, I know there are some exploits involving massive merges using large amount of structures. Therefore consider:

  • saving the ability to convert primary structure levels into base points,
  • exclude only the secondary structures from conversion, ie. all the structures placed manually (utility structures and secondary sandbags, guard towers etc.).
7 hours ago, Mr. D said:

- A new resource is introduced named "Travel Points". Travel points are only obtained by (you guessed it!) travelling in real world. Every new land you create will award you between 1 and 100 points depending on the travelled distance from your last land capture (1 point per kilometer, at least 1 point awarded at all times).

Upgrades and utility structures award no points.

This will cause some severe inequality for commuters, depending on the size of land-free area between their home and work/school lands.

Consider two cases below. They differ twice in daily travel distance, yet the Travel Points (TP) outcome differs sevenfold.

This could well be fixed if the algorithm were to count the first capture of in-base object (upgrade of land or utility structure) after a normal new land capture.

image.png.c6b3be6569599df3450bdc32bcf30fa5.png

Edited by Олег Поленин

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Hmmm.  Sounds interesting. 

I also dislike building levels on merged lands not counting towards base levels. Maybe the 'natural' (first sandbag and guard tower) buildings could still count, as was suggested? 

I really like the automatic land merge being removed.  That has caused me several issues with land merging when I didn't want it to. 

The number of points required to merge a land seems a bit steep. But that's something that can be tweaked in the future, if needed.  Gotta start somewhere. 

 

I'm looking forward to having new mechanics, and I really appreciate the effort to add something different, rather than the straight-up removal of a feature. 

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Oh boy, lots to go through! :)
Thanks very much for your (mostly) positive feedback, guys!
I am really glad that to see that the majority of posts support the new feature! ;)

So, questions, let's begin!

10 hours ago, Irrelevents said:

Just a quick one off the top of my head, if we have an area staged for base lvls with sandbags and utilities..can we merge them before the update to capitalize on our efforts?

You can, it is not illegal, but I would advise against doing this too much: as mentioned in the other thread, I will have to trim many lands to a certain level (we haven't yet decided on that level, but I'm estimating it would be somewhere in the region of 1000), so if you go above that threshold this land will be lowered to the new one-off "hard cap"; you are free to level beyond level 1000 after the release though.
I know this is painful news for many of you, but imagine what it would take to achieve the same level for any new player in the new system, we are asking people to travel 10,000km+ here.
So we are going to start afresh in a way, but yes, I am hoping that I will never have to do this again.

10 hours ago, Republic of America said:

1) does this mean it will constantly be pinging my GPS?

Nope! We don't actually need to know where you are at any given point in time. :)
Data required for the new system to work is already in place: once you capture a new land its coordinates will be compared to the land you captured before that and the distance is used to reward you with the appropriate number of points. That's it, no extra GPS operations anywhere!

10 hours ago, Republic of America said:

2) Will I be able to "start"  my travels from a utility structure even if I cannot end them there? And does this 1 for 1 expand? (Eg, I travel 100 km I get 100 points not a interest system)?

Regarding a start from the utility structure: I believe it's a fair request; unless anyone can think of a way to abuse that I think I'm going to add this to the new rule list. ;)
Not sure what you mean by "interest system" though, sorry!
If you travel 100km from the last land/utility structure you will receive 100 points. Please note though that the distance is calculated in a straight line, so zigzagging on your way to the next capture is not going to award any extra points (for that we would need to constantly track your GPS and that's not something I want to do :)).

10 hours ago, ValarMorghulis said:

- Do you have any plans on updating the current anti-cheat that is in place with these new changes? 

Nope, the anti-cheat works perfectly well and we aren't introducing any new GPS operations; all point calculations are purely in the server's database (distance between the two existing lands)!
So unless you intend to start using FakeGPS to gain travel points there's nothing to worry about. :)

10 hours ago, ValarMorghulis said:

- Do you have an estimate on how long it will be until we can expect to see this update? (Not trying to hurry, just asking)

95% of it is actually done (I'm already testing all of the new features in a dev version of the app), but I do need to fix a couple of bugs, make a few final tweaks and resolve a few platform-specific issues (iOS release is giving me an extra headache), so my current ETA is the end of next week, but the release may happen sooner or later (depending on 3rd party real-life circumstances and day jobs :)). Will keep you informed! ;)

10 hours ago, ValarMorghulis said:

- Will there be a new leaderboard for accumulated travel points?

Don't see a reason why not, but that will delay the release, so maybe it will be added separately unless I get a few unexpected hours of free time somewhere. :)

7 hours ago, Irrelevents said:

You get no travel points for increasing the lvl of a flag or utility, but you do get base points?

However upgrades of lands and utility structures work currently the same rules will remain. :)
So yes, upgrading lands still advances your base, no changes there!

5 hours ago, S Keillan said:

Question on the issue of merged structures. The example provided seems to indicate that extra structures, such as sandbag walls on a level 100+ land will not contribute to the advancement of associated base progression. Just for the sake of clarity, does this change apply to ALL structures on a land, including the naturally existing ones? If it does, this would eliminate a strategy that several players use for base progression, even among frequent travelers.

Sorry, I was responding in a rush from my phone while running to work, so I did leave some ambiguity in this matter indeed.
I meant that all duplicates of the structures that you are able to "paint" on your land after level 100 will no longer award points upon merging.

One of each of these structures (the highest level or a randomly picked structure if they're all of the same level) still awards base points for merging.
Example: I have one level 3 sandbag wall and 99 more sandbag walls of level 1 on my land. Merging that land will award my base with 3 points only from the highest level sandbag wall. If I also have a guard tower there, it will award my base with extra points separately.

So lands below level 100 are unaffected by the new rules in that aspect.

And of course, same as before, premium structures disappearing as a result of a merge will refund your Unobtainium spent.

4 hours ago, Олег Поленин said:

Never dreamt of saying that to any game developer, but...

Mate, this is not how your game works :D

Yes, I believe there's been somewhat of a misunderstanding; I have included this new rule in the list as a result of a potential exploit report by a player, but while working on the code today I was unable to find any logic supporting that claim... oh well!
If anything, that's good news for you as nothing is nerfed in that area! :) 

4 hours ago, Олег Поленин said:

Do you intend to award base points upon land merge, based on the merged land level?

Yes, you will receive a number of extra base points equal to the level of the merged land.

4 hours ago, Олег Поленин said:

This could well be fixed if the algorithm were to count the first capture of in-base object (upgrade of land or utility structure) after a normal new land capture.

Upgrades will not participate in any part of the algorithm for one simple reason: they can be done remotely.
The same applies to new flags created as a result of a remote resource station capture - these will not award you with any travel points.

However, as mentioned above, at this moment in time I cannot see any harm in considering in-base objects (utility structures, which cannot be upgraded remotely) as a starting point for the distance check.
You would still need to leave the base area and establish a brand new land to receive travel points after that though.
Running back and forth between two solar panels around your house is not going to cut it.

I think I covered everything, but please post if I accidentally missed someone's question! :)

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Sounds like a great idea to solve all those trade related problems!

1 hour ago, Mr. D said:

So we are going to start afresh in a way, but yes, I am hoping that I will never have to do this again.

Seems like I would be affected by this. Nevertheless I appreciate this step. It just seems fair.

1 hour ago, Mr. D said:

Yes, you will receive a number of extra base points equal to the level of the merged land.

So this will make it a little easier to upgrade remote bases if you find some mergable lands but I guess this is somehow balanced by the much higher costs considering the new TPs.

12 hours ago, Mr. D said:

Merging a level 100 land with a level 5 will require 1050 points.

This somehow changes my current play style. I'd upgrade lands around a 100+ land until all of them can be merged at once to save TPs. Is it right that the magnet button will still act like at the moment? So it will still be possible to merge several lands into a level 100+ land if they are all close enough to the 100+ land?

1 hour ago, Mr. D said:

Upgrades will not participate in any part of the algorithm for one simple reason: they can be done remotely.

I don't really get your idea here. Yes it is possible to upgrade lands remotely but this requires Unobtainium (this is somehow different to regular upgrading) or you are closer than 500 meters to your land. In this case you might get a "bonus" of a half TP which is not really much. 

This bothers me since I thought about my train trips where I tend to capture some new lands around but upgrade the lands at train stations. I don't really see the reason why this should neither count as a starting nor an ending point considering TP calculation. If you just leave Unobtainium upgrades out of calculation, the biggest "remote bonus" I could get would be 1 TP when upgrading 500 meter before my trip step and after my trip step with two upgradable lands below 100. On the other hand I could loose 1 TP when upgrading in the moment I am on the other side of those lands. What's the point? On the other hand if I capture a land somewhere in between then get to earlier captured land, upgrade this land, proceed my trip and capture again I' loose several TPs since they are calculated in a straight line.

I'm sure I'm leaving something out so please tell me where I'm wrong.

After all, it's great that you want to keep the trade system and introduce something actually measuring how much a player is travelling outside his home lands :D

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1 hour ago, Mr. D said:

One of each of these structures (the highest level or a randomly picked structure if they're all of the same level) still awards base points for merging.
Example: I have one level 3 sandbag wall and 99 more sandbag walls of level 1 on my land. Merging that land will award my base with 3 points only from the highest level sandbag wall. If I also have a guard tower there, it will award my base with extra points separately.

So lands below level 100 are unaffected by the new rules in that aspect.

Thank you very much for the clarity, although this does raise one minor point. Would utility structures convert to base points? If so, would only the highest level convert? If so, would one of each kind convert or simply the highest?

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13 hours ago, Mr. D said:

Land merging and trading will now require to expend travel points (amount depends on the merged/traded land level). Buying a level 1 land requires 10 points. Merging a level 100 land with a level 5 will require 1050 points.

I understand the price will in fact be based on the merged land level only. Thus, in your example, the price will be 50 points, not 1050 points.

Otherwise, you'd be paying multiple times for the levels already paid for or generated by captures.

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On 29/05/2019 at 1:27 AM, Олег Поленин said:

I understand the price will in fact be based on the merged land level only. Thus, in your example, the price will be 50 points, not 1050 points.

Otherwise, you'd be paying multiple times for the levels already paid for or generated by captures.

I would appreciate if you didn't put words in my mouth, my example is perfectly correct. :)

You only gain bonus points to your base based on the merged land level, but you will be paying a full price of the combined level every time (consider it a "stamp duty" on high-level lands!).
So yes, it would be a terrible value to merge a level 1000 land with a level 1 three times in a row, which is why it would be wise to merge more than one land at a time. ;)

On 29/05/2019 at 1:01 AM, S Keillan said:

Thank you very much for the clarity, although this does raise one minor point. Would utility structures convert to base points? If so, would only the highest level convert? If so, would one of each kind convert or simply the highest?

Nope, sorry! Utility structures already awarded your base with a point when they were constructed, they will not do so again.
But thanks for reminding me about these, there is another new rule that I forgot to mention:

Deleting a Utility structure will now deduct its levels from your base.
When the "delete" button was introduced it was purely due to a large number of requests wanting to switch solar panels for turrets, turrets for silos etc. etc.
So the fact that this button is currently used to clear the same spot and continuously re-create the utility structure is another couching technique that we've been meaning to address for a long time.

On 29/05/2019 at 12:42 AM, Ruvox said:

This somehow changes my current play style. I'd upgrade lands around a 100+ land until all of them can be merged at once to save TPs. Is it right that the magnet button will still act like at the moment? So it will still be possible to merge several lands into a level 100+ land if they are all close enough to the 100+ land?

Correct!
The more lands you merge in one go the fewer travel points will be spent in the long run. ;)

On 29/05/2019 at 12:42 AM, Ruvox said:

I don't really get your idea here. Yes it is possible to upgrade lands remotely but this requires Unobtainium (this is somehow different to regular upgrading) or you are closer than 500 meters to your land. In this case you might get a "bonus" of a half TP which is not really much. 

The idea is to prevent a very strong "pay to win" incentive. Introducing upgrades in this equation sends a clear message that 100 travel points can be obtained for 5 Unobtainium, so players with plenty of Unobtainium can resume the original couching techniques via merging that will now become perfectly legal.

I was planning to introduce the facility to purchase travel points in the future, but at a much lower rate to preserve the same balance as we have with the resource purchase currently: you can do it via Unobtainium, but it is much easier to just go out and collect them for free.
The same applies to travel points, but 100 points (100km+ of travel) is way too much for 5 Unobtainium; at that price it would definitely be more expensive to travel to another city than purchase a land upgrade!

On 29/05/2019 at 12:42 AM, Ruvox said:

This bothers me since I thought about my train trips where I tend to capture some new lands around but upgrade the lands at train stations.

I don't see how this affects your trips, to be honest! :)
If you capture a land in point A before boarding the train, upgrade some lands while travelling for 150 minutes, then exit at point B 100km away and capture a new land you will receive 100 points.
Alternatively, if you capture a land in point A, perform some upgrades, capture a new land while travelling 10km from point A, do a few more upgrades, then capture another land at point B (now 90km from the interim land) you still get 100 points, same as the first scenario.

If you feel that you will be losing points by performing upgrades during a travel please describe your scenario in more detail so that I got a better understanding!

 

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OK, next question regarding lands being built toward each other. At present, when two lands are adjacent to each other, if one of the lands is trying to be upgraded and that land is of greater or equal land level than the other, there is an automatic merge between the two lands. However, if automatic merges no longer occur, does this mean that the upgrade would fail? I am imagining a situation where a level 1 land is blocking an adjacent level 99 land from growing.

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3 hours ago, Mr. D said:

I would appreciate if you didn't put words in my mouth, my example is perfectly correct. :)

But these were your words:

On 28.05.2019 at 5:25 AM, Mr. D said:

Land merging and trading will now require to expend travel points (amount depends on the merged/traded land level).

...not on the sum of merging and merged land levels.

This was in contrary with your calculations in the same paragraph. Thus I just asked for clarification, no wrong intentions :D

Anyways, do you realise the TP cost would be insane even in a very small scale? To merge 30 lv1 lands you would need to travel 4640 km... :o

...as opposed to 290 km, if we assume only the merged land level counts.

Perhaps the merging land levels should be added to merged land levels only on merges on lv100+ lands?

Edited by Олег Поленин

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37 minutes ago, S Keillan said:

OK, next question regarding lands being built toward each other. At present, when two lands are adjacent to each other, if one of the lands is trying to be upgraded and that land is of greater or equal land level than the other, there is an automatic merge between the two lands. However, if automatic merges no longer occur, does this mean that the upgrade would fail? I am imagining a situation where a level 1 land is blocking an adjacent level 99 land from growing

I'm guessing it's going to be the same as it is currently when you're trying to upgrade smaller land and the bigger one is in it's way..?

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3 minutes ago, Олег Поленин said:

Anyways, do you realise the TP cost would be insane even in a very small scale? To merge 30 lv1 lands you would need to travel 4350 km... :o

...as opposed to 290 km, if we assume only the merged land level counts.

So here's your opportunity to strategically put lands so they don't clash too much? 🙃

Edited by Eerienkah

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4 hours ago, S Keillan said:

OK, next question regarding lands being built toward each other. At present, when two lands are adjacent to each other, if one of the lands is trying to be upgraded and that land is of greater or equal land level than the other, there is an automatic merge between the two lands. However, if automatic merges no longer occur, does this mean that the upgrade would fail? I am imagining a situation where a level 1 land is blocking an adjacent level 99 land from growing.

@Eerienkah is correct, it would work in a similar way.
Yes, a level 1 land can block an adjacent level 99 until you merge it.

4 hours ago, Олег Поленин said:

To merge 30 lv1 lands you would need to travel 4640 km... :o

I'm sure we could come up with some worse scenarios than that, but it's all in your hands. :)
Perhaps merging 30 level 1 lands in a row is not the best use of travel points. ;)

In any case, I remember us having a similar discussion when the resource cost for merging was introduced and the initial price was unanimously deemed too high by our community, so it was lowered and we've ended up with millionaires who have nowhere to sink their resources into.
So we are going to try the original formula first; if it's completely unreasonable (remember, I am playing this game too and suffer together with everyone else! :)) then I can always lower the price, but please don't count on it happening in the near future.
The "stamp duty" is there by design, i.e. some percentage based on the total land size will always be paid to make it harder and harder to advance your lands further.
I may be convinced to lower the percentage if the game gets too difficult, but not eliminate it completely.

4 hours ago, Олег Поленин said:

Perhaps the merging land levels should be added to merged land levels only on merges on lv100+ lands?


That is another viable alternative, but let's experience the new system first before making it easier. ;)

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