DE Community ''talkrunde'' Roundup #1
Last Tuesday we spoke very extensively on a broad range of important topics based on our second community discussion on the German Server. We discussed performance problems and offered some insights as to what we can and will do to resolve them. We've already received positive feedback for this, for which we are of course very grateful.
In order to continue on this path, we would now like to answer the remaining open questions that were asked during the talk last Friday.
We'll start right away with a classic, the Alchemist:
We won't beat around the bush - the old man is retiring! That is to say, we won't be running this event anymore. This was clear to some already due to the alchemist's long absence. But what will happen to all the ingredients from the event now? We will compensate you for your investments through two packs.
1. Players who purchased ingredients for rubies during the last 3 times the event has run will be refunded the value in rubies!
2. Players who still possess ingredients (e.g. from farming) will receive appropriate compensation, but not in the form of rubies. Our balancing team is still working on a formula for this calculation.
An in-game message will also ensure that you receive relevant information about this. In order to avoid confusion, this message will also contain your storehouse inventory of ingredients which were identified in our database. The whole process will most likely be carried out at the end of November.
You will be able to keep all achievements that were gained through playing the alchemist event. We do not want to make you lose the achievement points that you need for rewards. However we will be implementing new achievements in the next year that will make rewards available to everyone without achievements from the alchemist (or others).
Next we would like to deal with the storage capacity of time skips and equipment items. The latter was not so easy to raise, since we're technically limited in this area. Each item is stored individually, and if we raise the limit here, it is very likely that the game's performance will suffer as a result. Our Product Management will sit together with the team and define new limits so that there is at least a bit more capacity available, while also maintaining the performance. Time skips will be treated similarly, however in this case the limitation is a design one. We are working to increase to 180, i.e. 50% more than can currently be found in the game. We do not want to go any higher than this as one of the tasks of a castle lord or lady is to manage and use their storehouse inventory appropriately. These changes are planned for November/December.
Lucky pennies are another topic on many of your minds. Too many lucky pennies contain the risk of an inflation, and that would damage the in-game economy. Too many are not good, but neither are too few. You will still receive a couple of lucky pennies as a reward, and we will try to find a middle ground. Your expectations and ours should ultimately blend together.
Next up is the hall of legends. The cost of reorganizing your skills will be lowered, however not as greatly as you had wished for in the Community Talk. Additionally, the time frame for this will be significantly reduced. Currently it is 30 days, however less than 10 are currently planned. We can't give you exact numbers just now, but the direction is fixed.
By resetting the skills in the hall of legends, we are not far from another topic that is often discussed: the balance between attackers and defenders. As indicated in our roadmap, this topic is really important to us and we are continuing to work on the points mentioned in the roadmap in order to find a solution that will improve the current offense/defense situation. Whether it's the strength of individual units, the effects of different types of equipment, the cost of units and tools, or the rewards for everyone who defends, all possibilities are being taken into consideration. As mentioned on Friday, you will be able to test the first steps in these changes on our test server in November. Along with your feedback, we will then continue to work on this problem over the coming weeks and months.
Another point on our list is the current event rewards, or classifications. We want to improve the way in which we organize you in groups (brackets). Currently the only criteria that we use is the player level, which doesn't really lead to fair competition, for example during foreign invasions. After implementing the "Difficulty System", there will be a fairer distribution of players according to their "real" strengths, as well as more brackets! For example, in the Foreign event, we currently have 7 brackets, and after the adjustment, we plan to have more than 10. We will most likely implement this project in Q1 2017.
And things will continue to happen in the events themselves. Is the Nobility Contests lacking variety? We can find a remedy for that! As you've already established, some well-known events in which you can collect points and rewards have been running again in recent weeks.
● 18.10 Bounty hunter
● 19.10 Wheel of fortune
● 20.10 Units
● 21.10 Robber barons
● 22.10 Units revived
● 23.10 Resource looting
● 24.10 Tools
There won't just be a change in the event rewards, but also in the chest related offers in the game. The selection and value of these were also criticized and we would of course like to accommodate for this. We want to adjust the chests more to the current game situation and also make these available for any player who doesn't want to invest so much in rubies (November). The number of pop-ups and uninteresting offers will also be reduced so that the flow of play is interrupted less (December). In the second step, we will increase the variety of boxes again in order to cater to as many player types and game activities as possible (Q1 2017).
In our roadmap for Q4, we also mentioned a rework of the kingdom resources, among other things. We would like to make some of those adjustments in Empire as early as November. The very high taxes for sending resources to other kingdoms are outdated, there's no doubt about that. For this reason, we will optimize and thus significantly reduce them.
Here are the current (and soon, old) values:
The Great Empire: 70%
The Everwinter Glacier: 30%
The Burning Sands: 50%
The Fire Peaks: 65%
The Storm Islands: 50%
We have decided that we'll reduce the taxes in the Great Empire by more than half. In order to make the other kingdoms more attractive as destinations, we have also reduced these further. Additionally, all outer kingdoms were made equal, since we currently don't see a reason to continue treating them differently.
The new values will be:
The Great Empire: 25%
The Everwinter Glacier: 20%
The Burning Sands: 20%
The Fire Peaks: 20%
The Storm Islands: 20%
We think this is an important step in the right direction and plan these changes for November. Further steps will of course follow and build on this.
One path that is rocky but must be taken is that of fair play. As was inferred in the roadmap, we are aiming to develop measures to counteract unfair playing styles, such as the use of bots. We will exclude players from game events, but also integrate special features that are more player friendly.
We are currently testing the first iteration of automatic recruitment on the Polish server. Anything that you have read about this in other places can be forgotten. Based on the feedback we received, we have created an even better version of the feature. You can find a taster of what awaits you attached.
Important: Unlike the current version in Poland, the new system DOESN'T generate any additional costs in any way (rubies, coins, or resources) apart from the actual costs of the units and tools.
The automatic recruitment now works with an expanded stack. There are five slots (three of which can be rented) in the stack. Each one of these slots can be filled with up to 80 units. A stack of five units is then taken from the first of these waiting slots and recruited. The recruitment follows the mechanic as we currently know it, and after a certain recruitment period, all the units are available in your castle. Once the recruitment of the first pack of units is complete, the system takes the next pack of five from the line. This mechanic repeats until all units have been recruited from the waiting slots. As soon as a slot in the line is empty, you can fill it with new units straight away. Furthermore, the mechanic for selecting the units to recruit has been improved. You no longer open a new window when you click on the recruitment dialog on a unit. Instead, all control elements in the recruitment dialog are shown beneath the units. That's where you will find the cost of a unit and their food consumption, and you can select the number you wish to recruit. This new mechanic means you can select many different units quicker and you have an even clearer view of the recruitment slots. Functions like the alliance help and doubling units are still in place of all slots in the recruitment dialog. A new addition to this is the ability to copy the troops queued for recruitment. In a new dialog, you can now copy the queued troops from the castle currently selected to another castle. There are NO extra costs for copying!
In short, it now takes less effort to select troops in the recruitment dialog. The new slots in the line make it possible for you to select many troops at once. The line is automatically processed and the troops are added to your army. You can also copy the line to your other castles. We hope that this system will save our players some effort and help you make sure you always have enough troops. This feature will probably be available for all global servers in November.
We believe that this is a nice way to end this post, and it shows that your feedback is very important for the continued development of Goodgame Empire. At this point we'd also like to say thank you to you, the community out there!
But that's not all! We would like much more feedback, so at the end of October there will be an in-game survey to ask all players for their opinions on their Empire:
● In the future, this survey will arrive in your inbox approximately every 2 months as an in-game message.
● We will ask about many different elements of the game (e.g. bugs, fairness, challenge) and we want to find out how happy you are with these elements and how important they are to you.
As you can see, there are still a few things to come this year. We are looking forward continuing the development of the game with you and, above all, to discussing how in our next Community Talk on Friday November 11, 2016.
You can find the discussion thread on this announcement HERE.
Your Goodgame Empire Team
PS: A few closing words regarding our Customer Service. We are currently working very hard to quickly get through the mountain of tickets that we have piled in front of us. We are currently unable to recruit colleagues to help us out with this on short notice, however we are working with an external service provider who is helping us and will continue to do so in the future. We still don't have a "perfect" set up, but we are currently working out a strategy which involves working with external agents to quickly counteract "peak times" (for example on days when we get five or ten times the usual number of tickets) in order to avoid these situations happening in the first place. The less tickets we need to answer, the more time we can spend on the requests coming in that will help us meet your requirements.