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Domination: Earth

06.06.19: Travel Points Adjustment


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Hi all,

After playtesting the new Travel Points for a week we have decided to make the following adjustments aimed at improving the system's balance:

  • Travel Point merge and trade cost per land level has been reduced to 1 per 1 level (previously: 10 points per level).
  • Buildings disappearing as a result of a merge no longer award any points at all. After discussing this internally we have come to conclusion that several extra level points awarded to your nearest base just aren't worth the increased Travel Point merge/trade cost.
  • All Travel Points spent by everyone since the launch of this system have now been refunded, so don't worry if you've already performed a really expensive merge. ;)

Please post if you have any questions!

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This just flushed a horrific amount of my work down the toilet. Vienna, Lviv, Hongkong, Nanchang, Lushan, Changsha, Zhangjiajie.

I don't know how the decision process works here, but regardless of what playstyle started this whole affair, it is somehow that it's me getting f*cked up more and more by each new rule change applied, even though not only did I never take part in any of the targeted activities, I even long time ago abandoned the whole megaland craziness.

This megasucks.

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Wait, what?  So the 15 lands I've been slowly building sandbags and guard towers on, around my relative's place, and the park I visit a few times a year, and my church, and more recently my house and my work, are now completely useless?  That's a bit demoralizing.  

I guess the only time I'll be playing now is when I'm really traveling, so I can get new bases.  :/

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9 hours ago, S Keillan said:

Well, this renders my proposal in the General Discussions thread moot. Not that I'm complaining, but I will note that this will impact some strategies significantly.

That's pretty much what you suggested, so... Why would you be complaining?

On 6/6/2019 at 7:40 AM, S Keillan said:

I propose that the cost would be reduced to 1 TP for each level on the resultant land under the following conditions:

  • All lands merged into the primary land would have no structures on them, so no base points added.

 

I think, the simpler we keep the system, the less "tactics" that would lead us back to this kind of situation we'll have 🤷

And I don't want to get nerfed again because someone's gameplay is borderline cheating 🙃

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38 minutes ago, Eerienkah said:

That's pretty much what you suggested, so... Why would you be complaining?

What part of not that I'm complaining was construed as complaining? 🙂

Indeed, I am mostly fine with the changes. I was simply noting that others would probably not be, and subsequent replies demonstrated that.

38 minutes ago, Eerienkah said:

I think, the simpler we keep the system, the less "tactics" that would lead us back to this kind of situation we'll have 🤷

And I don't want to get nerfed again because someone's gameplay is borderline cheating 🙃

There may be some merit to this, although I've never been impressed by a simpler system. For example, the simplest tax system is give the government all your money. No deductions, no calculating percentages, etc.

The main point of my proposal was to serve as a corrective for those whose legitimate strategies were nerfed by the recent rule changes with minimal alteration of existing rules. Certainly the proposal could be subject to comment, especially if there was something that I might have missed. To simply dump on an idea because it adds an option is pretty unfair, in my opinion.

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On 07/06/2019 at 2:01 AM, Олег Поленин said:

This just flushed a horrific amount of my work down the toilet.

I have to admit that I am completely astounded by the responses in this thread.

Let me retrace our steps a little bit: we've had a serious couching issue allowing players who never leave their house to be #1 in the leaderboards thanks to unrestricted trading.
We have found a perfect solution that the majority seemed to be happy with, as all trading and land merging now requires some form of travel to succeed.
However, after the introduction of the new system a wave of negative feedback was received based around the outrageously high prices of trades and merging; having played for a week myself and checked the totals of everyone's travel points (with the greatest amount to date being around 1700, which involved expensive plane travel, but the majority of players staying well below the 100 points threshold) I have agreed that the merge price is indeed a bit too high, since now very few players can afford to merge lands above level 20, let alone 100.
So the price was lowered.

However, having the ability to merge level 1 land with another level 1 land (spending 2 travel points in total) and gaining 11 base points (10 from a wall, plus 1 extra from the merge itself) does not make a lot of sense, as in this situation creating only 2 lands in any convenient location and merging them is more beneficial than actually travelling and creating 11 different lands (to receive 11 base points).
Naturally, extra points awarded for building merges had to be removed; we cannot have the following 3 conditions be "true" at the same time:

1) Low trade & merge costs.
2) No couching exploits.
3) Points awarded for performing remote actions.

If the removal of bonus points from disappearing structures is such a critical change for you that the game is no longer playable, then I have to say you are most likely enjoying the game for the wrong reasons.

As always, I am happy to consider any new features that add more things you can do from home in between travels (if you are bored and ran out of remote things to do); please feel free to post your ideas on the forum.
But travel-based advancements should and always will be more rewarding points-wise than anything done from home, that's the main rule of "Domination: Earth".

On 07/06/2019 at 9:56 AM, S Keillan said:

There may be some merit to this, although I've never been impressed by a simpler system. For example, the simplest tax system is give the government all your money. No deductions, no calculating percentages, etc.

There is a difference between a system being "simple" and "missing". :) Having a 20% VAT/GST tax is simple. Having 25 variable rates and 200 country-specific exceptions is why our accountant has a stash of ibuprofen in the office.

I have to admit, I am personally a fan of "intricate systems" with flexible rules myself and more often than not I really tend to overcomplicate things.
But unfortunately, the majority of mobile players aren't like me and having a series of complicated formulas is what deters them.

I have interviewed a number of former DE fans who've been with us since version 0.x but left in a few months, and they confessed that although they liked the game at first, there's a bit "too much" going on in it right now and I can understand the problem: wars, remote land management, utility structures, all the merging rules and trades; all that is very different from a "one button check-in" concept we started with. The concept that was easy to demonstrate using the examples of "Swarm" (and similar social networks) and explaining why we enjoy the game without coming off as major geeks.

So these days I am really doing my best not to add any more unnecessary complexities to the existing rules, as I really believe that a game can be made fun without needing a spreadsheet to understand the rules. :)

However, as stated above, I am still reading and considering every suggestion; your ideas is what powers the progress. ;)

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21 minutes ago, Mr. D said:

So these days I am really doing my best not to add any more unnecessary complexities to the existing rules, as I really believe that a game can be made fun without needing a spreadsheet to understand the rules. :)

However, as stated above, I am still reading and considering every suggestion; your ideas is what powers the progress. ;)

What? People don't like spreadsheets? And here I am, excited that I was able to make one game-related that used the inverse cosine function!

I definitely understand the rationale for keeping it simple. Ultimately, it's a better user interface. But something can easily be too simple. Tic-tac-toe is simple, and it's boring. A happy medium needs to be found, obviously. Hopefully we as a game community can find it.

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@Mr. D The previous system, which I have already said, gave players two paths: a slow and simple (press the button once every 15 minutes) or fast and somewhat harder (plan your path to maximise base points output).

You're basically eliminating the more "demanding/rewarding" path, but this means that:

1. Game becomes simple. Very simple.

2. The speed of growth at home is generally similar to the speed of growth during travel; this means a great imbalance between time bases and remote bases (your remote bases will forever be rather weak, like two weeks of travel vs two years of living in some place); this doesn't benefits travelers.

3. Regardless of one's will and effort, an active travelling player will never stand a chance against a resident but lazy player. This is terribly demotivating.

Overally, I think the best option could be to:

1. Scale the TP cost, so that it's still 10 TP per level for lv100+ lands, but 1 TP for lower lands (you may think in more steps in between too). I'd say for the latter you could also charge TP only for lands growth levels, not the resultant size.

2. If you REALLY want to punish/tax sandbag mergers, hell, let be it, simply add to each merge a TP cost equal to base points gained, but please do not remove that feature completely. 

This could generally mean that merging a star of 6 fully sandbagged lv1's with a central lv1 land costs 6*11 (base points) + 6 (resulting land growth) TP = 72 TP. Any discount factor greatly appreciated :)

With 1 TP per lv with no sandbags, well, it sounds better for fresh players and small lands. But 1 TP per lv for large lands is laughable for many players and thus does not solve the problem of huge land hoarding. My calculations give me easy 25 TP daily when not travelling. It's like two or three months for an lv1000+ land, not counting weekends and other travels.

---

Regardless, I think you must at some point decide, if you want your app to be "Domination: Earth" with some strategy depth, player interaction, opportunities and losses, or "Exploration: Earth" that focuses on having some flags, and, well, "that's all, folks".

The "Domination" part, I feel, is tempting many people into believing this will be a GPS-based simplified 4X-genre game. If you really don't want to head into this direction, and don't take me wrong, I don't mean is as a pun or mean comment, just an honest suggestion: maybe it's a right time to rethink the branding into something less aggressive and therefore less confusing. 

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As a sidenote though, I'd remind that sandbox merging already did carry a huge cost (resources), so it's not that these base points earned such way were in any way free.

Now, however, that this is gone, there's no use for gold, and other resources can only be spent for army. It's just another example of how the game heads each leg towards different, conflicting directions.

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Hi Mr D,

Please don't implement this change.  I agree with Олег above.

I appreciate the balancing that you have done thus far.  And I understand the focus you want to have on travel.  However eliminating structure point from base upgrades makes traveling to collect resources almost meaningless.  A fun part of this game before was saving powerups in order to collect accumulated resources in major cities.  Now there isn't the incentive to do so., beyond collecting just enough resources for land merges.  This change will actually negatively impact travel for the game.

There is also the issue of purchased unubtanioum.  I'm happy to support this game, and I made an investment in order to supplement some family trips with resource location.  (By using  5 unobtanium to relocate a base).  This was my primary motivation for this purchase. 

Andy

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Yet another issue is that whenever you visit new area during travel, sandbag strategy gave you something worthwhile to do before you had time to make a base.

Like, making base requires you to spend an hour in a close proximity to a single flag. Otherwise, all your captures are for nothing in terms of base points. Often I would rather go sightseeing (or pubcrawling) right away, and sandbagging gave me an opportunity to make a progress for the future base by placing lands in a right way along the trip.

Now it's either "wait in one place" or "lose your progress", which ain't exactly travel-motivating.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your feedback, @Олег Поленин @AndyP!

I understand and agree with some of the issues you are describing, but I disagree with the fact that they need to be solved via "sandbagging".
This feature never felt truly in-line with the rest of the game mechanics ("base points are awarded for travelling around the world and for whenever your sandbags disappear" even sounds a bit silly!) and its presence creates gameplay pathways that are unintuitive and impossible to consider as "official"; I do not see myself writing a tutorial that includes your alternative strategy; the whole concept sounds a bit overcomplicated and... a little weird.

I mentioned this on multiple occasions in the past (also within this thread just above :)), I am indeed aiming at the game being as simple to understand and explain as possible.
However, it does not mean that I want it to be boring for you, so I will keep thinking about some new features (that do not involve the disappearance of sandbag walls being a core strategy) and remain open to other ideas. ;)

As for the brand name... I am sorry if you find it confusing, but "Domination: Earth" stays. :) The brand has secured a good position in both Android & iOS markets; a tremendous amount of resources went into its marketing and the flow of our organic traffic is backed by years of operation and search engine indexing.
Besides, there are far worse and confusing names around!

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@Mr. D

Thanks for the reply and your willingness to consider future enhancements.

However what about the issue of Unobtanium purchased in order to facilitate upgrading of structures in order to gain base points?  While traveling we spent real money in order to be able to move the base more frequently.  (Allowing us to restock on power-ups to pickup more resources).

Since you can no longer gain benefit from upgrading structures while merging, it means that the value of the purchase (for us) has deprecated.  I know its not your intent, but this feels like a bait and switch.  Can you please roll back this change, and it you are still confident it is the correct thing to do how about implementing after a warning period.  This would give us the ability to spend the unobtanium on an upcoming trip.

Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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