FALL 2010 Esteemed Lords and Ladies,
Congratulations! Your World has been selected to take part in the sneak preview of the new combat system! As you are probably aware, we are making some enhancements to the combat and might system. The preview is scheduled to begin tomorrow, although this date could be subject to change. Worlds in the preview are: 21, 22, 77, 78, 145, 146, 201, 202, 217 and 218.
During this preview, we hope you’ll build a new army, engage in combat and share your opinions about these changes with us. To help you ready your army, we are sending you a Chest of items titled “Wages of War.” Included in the “Wages of War” Chest, you will find 3 Doves of Peace (each of which gives you 12 hours of protection as long as you do not attack), 3 Lancelot’s Tutelages (to help you train up new troops faster), a Horn of Majesty (which will reduce the upkeep for your troops by 50% for 3 days) and one Divine Inspiration (our way of saying thanks for playing!)
We are likely to be doing minor adjustments regularly during the combat preview, as we ensure that everything is functioning the way that we want it to. When we do adjustments, we will send out another message like this to keep you informed about the general direction we’ve moved things, and our reasons why. We want to make sure we’re giving you as much information as possible while we’re doing adjustments and balancing as needed.
To make taking part in combat even more fun, we will also be running a Tournament of Might on each of the Worlds testing the new combat systems. The Tournament of Might is scheduled to start at 12:01 a.m. PST Saturday, October 16th, and will conclude at 11:59 p.m. PST Wednesday, October 20th.
Head over to the forums over the combat changes. While we won’t be responding to every comment posted, we will be reading everything, and will do our best to post regularly to help clarify and discuss how the game is shaping up under the new combat system. Your opinions are important to us! Visit the Forums now!
Also, below you will find the last of our updates detailing the changes we are doing as part of the upcoming combat enhancements. We are sending it out to all users tomorrow, but Worlds in the combat sneak preview are getting it today so you can be ready for tomorrow!
Today, we’d like to walk you through the last of the changes that are coming with the combat enhancements– updates to the food economy. We are making some positive changes in the way food is produced in the game, which we hope you will find makes the game more fun.
Currently, some players can amass almost infinite food by “farming” barbarian camps. This allows them to, in turn, amass overpowering armies. Players can do this because they win battles against camps with no losses, essentially gaining food for free. This tends to unbalance the game overall as some players accumulate huge armies and huge amounts of might. Not to mention, it’s not really that fun to have to make endless attacks just to keep up the food you need to feed your army!
Instead of grinding, we’d like to encourage battles between players and strategic decision making. To this end, combat is now usually going to involve some troop losses. Attacking wildernesses or barbarian camps should always mean some casualties (that you can of course minimize by playing smartly!). Losses will be reasonable—you won’t need to completely retool your army after each attack.
Moreover, to help you get the food you need to feed the troops you have—and to rebuild ones you lose during attacks—we will be making food a more abundant resource in the game. This will be done in two ways.
Food from Wilds
First, food production bonuses from Grasslands and Lakes will be doubled. This means that a new level 10 Grasslands now provides a 100% bonus instead of a 50% bonus, and a level 1 Lake will provide a 10% bonus instead of a 5% bonus, for example. This will mean that high-level Wildernesses are even more valuable than they were before. You’ll need to defend your Wildernesses, probably by leaving troops stationed in them.
We hope this will also help address the “impregnable city” problem—where players bunch all of their troops in one or two cities. Now, leaving all of your defenses in your cities means you’ll have likely left your Wildernesses vulnerable to attack. Losing your Wildernesses will significantly reduce your Food production rate, making it hard to pay the upkeep for those troops in your fortress City.
Food from Barbarians
Second, we have also increased the amount of food (and other resources) available from barbarian camps. You will likely sacrifice troops in the battle to win the barbarians’ resources, but the resources you gain will more than offset your loss. Our goal is to make attacking camps to be a net positive, but not exploitable. You’ll find that the rewards for attacking camps also increase dramatically as the camp level increases—you’ll really make out like a king if you can beat those level 8, 9 and 10 barbarians!
Troops in Wilds
As mentioned above, battles should always results in some losses. The troops on Wilderness tiles have been adjusted to align with this goal. While taking an unowned wilderness should feel like a challenge, it is by no means insurmountable with a large enough army, particularly one that is well balanced.