Balance changes and bribery

I feel that I must point out certain features that are being exploited repeatedly which makes the game bland:

  1. Rich players: It is true that every game has in game buy ins which allows the buyer some advantage. However if you allow the buyer a lot of resources in the beginning, that person takes all the conquers and increases his production. Allowing advantages is completely fine but if done so right in the beginning, the game skewed for the entire era. There are hardly 20 rich players every era and 100s of free to play people. If these people never even come close to victory, your player base will shift to other games which I hate to see cause BD is a great game. The lack of players is also the reason BD has to plant 1000s of fake colonies every era.

  2. Lot of rich players making a larger group: I played a few eras and currently in some as well. The biggest problem I am facing is that the top 2-3 alliances every era are in the same team and by boosting from the start, no other alliance gets a chance to fight at all. This happens because even if the alliance size is 5, 15 people who are boosting are getting everything in the first 100 ticks and anyone trying to rise up with negligible production gets hit with missiles.

  3. Bribery: The game is imbalanced as it is and by enabling the sending red tokens to any player in the era, bribery is official. If you bribe to get 20 players to fight against 5, then what is the essence of an alliance or alliance size limit? and this happens in every era. With spamming a really strong tactical play, 20 spammers can easily overpower 5 of the strongest players in the game by taking their network.

Suggestions

Even though the game is great, the balance is very bad as I feel. I am a free to play experienced BD player and I think a few changes are necessary. I am making these suggestions below. Please consider them.

  1. Allowing the usage of either red or blue tokens only after tick 200 or 300. Allowing token usage at the beginning is like playing a chess match with an extra queen. Its too overpowering and not everyone earns enough to spend on the game a lot. Moreover the biggest user base of your game is between 15-25 who don’t earn at all. Handicapping this user base will initiate further migration from the game.

  2. Preventing a user to create colonies in more than 1 or maximum 2 eras at one time. This prevents the rich player from dominating all the eras at once altogether. Also enable sending of red tokens to non-allied players from tick 1000. This prevents the bribery issue and diplomacy and strategy will be the true winners not money (offering red tokens to non-allied players for assistance is regular these days).

  3. Create a new world era (1 or 2 ticks) where no boosting is allowed at all. This will give a huge opportunity to new players to explore the game and become experienced before they fight with rich pros. I remember the first 2 eras I played I was overpowered very easily because of heavy boosters. With gamers having a low attention span, no new player will play on a lost era (due to low production) for 1000 ticks to gather experience. Too much time and no real learning. People who are skilled in the game will also have a great time.

In the end, I want BD to create a more equal gameplay for all the players and I feel the above suggestions are a big step towards the same. Thanks for your time.

PS: I posted this under a different thread earlier as I recently made my account.

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Lmao, I made a thread like over a year ago ranting about this when I was drunk.

No real way to stop either of them due to the Nature of the game. Only potential way is community-wide shaming of the “pros” who need 2 subs and 30 people on dead eras to feel comfortable.

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its called Galaxy , a lot of servers there with almost no boosting.

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I’ll not address the other suggestions, since they’ve already been talked about tbh, but I have another point to add about the “make a non-boosting server”. Obviously there is little incentive for gato to do so because there’s no revenue (and a buy in to play the eras has its own discussions).

I specifically want to address your claim that such an era would allow newer players to learn the game well, and with lesser time invested. I strongly believe it won’t. If (experienced) people want to win such an era, there would be an IMMENSE focus on efficiency (xp included) and activity, much more so than any normal era now since there’s no “easy way”. The newer players would really start to get run over after some time if they don’t catch up in activity or tactics. There’s lesser “eh he’s a neutral, no threat” leeway too since players would focus much more on keeping their territory cleared. Players will be relocated, nuked, farmed etc without missing a tick, and while that is great to truly learn the game, it would overwhelm any new players.

(At least that’s how I think the era would go)

Exactly this in my opinion. Boosting gives a chance to less active, possibly inexperienced players. Compared to some other games you don’t have to boost very much at all. I play Rise of Kingdoms on my phone and people there are spending 10-20k $ just to get a certain troop type!

this game is pay to win. you wont be doing anything without tokens unless u wait 1000+ ticks to slowly build without being bullied early. Tokens give a rather massive advantage that other games would deem P2W. And the bribery issue is a problem. You can see form this CE alone that bribery is an issue, nothing you can do about it tho. Theyll just paypal you directly.

Pay to win is when 2 people of equal skill fight each other, and the person who spent money has a massive advantage. Which in this game is true.

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This is completely true. If equally skilled, the one paying will win.

Nobody is equally skilled though…

There’s more examples of people who boost very little or not at all beating down big boosters who are also skilled players or leaders than I can count…

As someone who went from being a non-booster to being a booster, I can say the game is a ton more fun as a booster since you can war much earlier without near as much care. I can also say I had a load of fun as a non-booster winning even early wars against boosters, though. Feels pretty satisfying to know someone can’t beat you with money.

  1. The problem on Gato’s side here is that this would likely reduce our income to a fraction of the actual server costs of the game. As others pointed out, many of our biggest boosters use it to compensate for some of their inactivity, those would simply quit the game. In addition, anyone who pays attention to the boost bar can probably tell you the early ticks are when most of them go off.

I’m all for introducing more ways to stay competitive, but I am loathe to cut out a current source, especially if it’d potentially kill the game.

  1. Preventing colony creation I feel would piss off free to play players more (since they farm tokens - not aware of any boosters with the wallet and will to win more than a few eras at once anyway…) but I do think it’d help non-boosters (indirectly so: by forcing non boosters to commit to era’s and form alliances to take down boosters).

The downside is, if you lose the era, prepare to be bored for weeks or months on a single, or quit the game. I feel like the latter would happen… a lot… Of course we could add a ‘delete own colony’ option but that’d lead to a ton of different issues.

Stopping red tokens sending doesn’t stop bribery, it just stops legitimately sending tokens to teammates. Boosters will just use another world, or galaxy, or PayPal, or bank account. I’m aware of people who got thousands in bribes back when admins tried to hunt it down through PayPal.

3.As pointed out, this would be really hard for newbs. It’d probably turn into a mini championship era and people would decide this is where true skill is shown. It’d be a big problem for our other eras :’)

This is pretty much on point. Community shaming is powerful. If you really want to stop this behavior, getting the community to gang up on them and publicly disapprove of it is more powerful than anything we can do.,

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There we go, let the players do the work again
Not only do we have to be 24 7 active to not miss a tick but on top of that we have to research and report cheating, all while trying to shame circlejerkers

Boosting removed is a really bad idea
I say remove 3rd party ion jams and scans, solves literally every unfair part of the game

Lmao what snapped in you like 6 months ago that made you into an ass?

Wtf is a 3rd party scan or jam lmao, I mean, how do you even plan to detect that?

That’s simply how it is Capo. We’d happily listen to suggestions on fixing the issue in a game mechanic, but practically every suggestion that came for that has been beaten down by community vote, making it pretty difficult for us.

You’ve to be active if you want to be one of the best… Just like every other competitive game… Albeit usually, I’ll admit, night-time activity is a choice, not a requirement. That said, we specifically offer E4 to solve that, so not entirely sure why you bring that up now…

You’ve to report cheating if you mind seeing cheaters, yes. You don’t have to research it at all, we’ll happily do that. If you do research it’s appreciated, of course. If everyone reports one cheater an era, well, there won’t be enough cheaters to go around anymore.

The simple truth is a lot of rules even now (even after removing a ton…) simply aren’t viable for fast discovery. Even new admins with single worlds spending many hours every day to check as much as possible find themselves missing XP farms for sometimes hundreds of ticks… It’s not malicious. It’s just a case of a lot going on in a game that is decidedly not designed to forbid that. We’re faster with account sharing usually and faster still with multis most of the time (even including some unfortunate holes occasionally, I think the admins deserve some credit for going from taking days to weeks per multi, to catching most multis within some hours of planting… We improved their tooling and they took advantage right away - it was pretty wonderful to log on to find many new bans without reports… That never used to happen.)

I’ll take responsibility for the crappy tooling requiring reports - I’ve to admit I simply had other priorities. I improved some tooling, but not all of it. I do intend to improve it further, but the time I can spend on it is directly correlated to the amount of time my other tasks leave me, which is usually not much.

We’re always learning and improving, but… We’ll probably always be a little behind where we’d like to be.

Shaming works because players can punish behaviour purely based on rumours, speculation, ‘common sense’. Admins have to stick to evidence and there’s absolutely no way we’ll ever be able to prove what a player does via PayPal or whatever.

Admins can’t really risk bad bans unless we change policy and go back to also banning anyone questioning our bans. This way we can upkeep community trust and take some gambles (sucks for the innocents that get the can I guess…), but obviously we’d prefer not to…

How? How can you tell the difference between a ‘3rd party’ jam, scan or ion, or an involved one?

Also, wouldn’t this totally cripple backstabs (which are vital to the games competitiveness IMO) and any attempt to strategise based on actual data prior to war?

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I understand all the feedback you people have given out. Most make perfect sense. Just a few points I would like to mention:

  1. Community shaming seems to be the only working solution. However, a lot of active players are not even in the community. And spending energy on messages does not help either. Simply said, why would a winner sitting behind 2 subs even listen to any of this? An alternative solution is to reduce alliance size to 4 or 5 on all world eras to encourage more people wanting to go for the win rather than playing a sub with a 10 man alliance era.

  2. Allow players to view who jammed them. This gives a better idea to players as to who might be working against them. It’s similar to being told whose spy you captured in case you capture one.

  3. As to restrictions in number of colonies created, I say a limit of 3 would be fair to all. Not 10 to wreck the chances of other players and not 1 to prevent token farmers from gains. The game is intensive enough to keep you busy all day on one era alone. 3 is a good number in case you lose a few eras as well.

  4. The bribery issue does not seem to have a solution. In the least I suggest atleast preventing open broadcasts or colony names which clearly suggest they want reds in exchange for third party aid. (Eg: Redsforions )

  5. A new war tactic: Every time a colony loses war on their colony (conquered or unconquered) they lose 50% of mana reserves. This makes it a bit harder for third party colonies to keep jamming others if their colony is hit every now and then by any other colony wherein a loss results in a decrease of 50% mana reserves. No mana loss if they win the battle in their colony.

  6. To those who are sitting with 2 subs and paying to buy out everything, you gotta look hard at yourself. You are nothing but a big loser who can’t even win a game at the stipulated alliance size with decent boosting. At the end of an era, you have nothing to brag for and you just have 5k blues which you invest next era. And at the end of a year after about 20-30 eras, you can’t even say you are a real gamer lol even you won every time. Even a moron with 5k soldiers can beat 2k soldiers every time with a bit of strategy.

  7. New players in a non-boosting world era would last more than a boosting era. Even experienced players would take time to conquer you cause they have limited resources at your disposal. Moreover, you won’t get nuked as often as compared to a boosting era. Resources are very important. And I can bet one thing a 100%, an inexperienced player isn’t gonna spend much on a game in which he is beat up in a day. You want long term spending or a fat one time spending before the player switches to a different game? It’s your pick.

Thanks

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Love the suggestions and thought you put into all of this, honestly :slight_smile:
Now the unfortunate part. Now that I’m on the other side of things, I know what can and cannot be done and sadly, the simple answer for some of these is, it just can’t be done. But hopefully, I can at least shed some light on why.

  1. Community Shaming is POWERFUL. BD used to be PLAGUED with sub empires. Every era a main family winning with 3 or 4 subs. Only an occasional world inbetween where an outstanding team would rise up to take them down. Now, you actually hardly see this anymore. Occasionally you will, but most of the time, it’s just 1 MAYBE 2 subs. But more often than not, it’s primarily been ingame diplomacy now-a-days. Not preplanned 5 teams that win the era. And that is primarily due to community shaming of such tactics. Now that it’s not as common, i’ve seen a few bring it back, but it’s usually just an occasional era.
    As for the changing worlds to 4-5 man alliance sizes, it can work to some degree. I did so on galaxy while admining there and i usually saw about 1 era that ended up being heavy sub (pretty much encouraged sub empires all over as folks now had enough friends to form 3-4 teams to work together), then the next era being good as all those made at the one’s who basically sub empired come back and team up to fight them. Then the next era dead as folks either felt they showed them, or the sub-empire prevailed. Making alliance sizes smaller basically has a 50-50 chance of helping things, or it’ll just go bad in my experience. Once it normalizes, it can be ok, but i don’t think the community has become small enough for that to be necessary on .com.
  1. That could actually be a good idea if Alex can input it into the game without too much trouble. It’d eliminate a bit of the secrecy of some more covert underhanded tactics that some like to do (like jam up allies gates during relic release), but for me, as an admin, I’d encourage folks starting wars over that… sooo I’m all for it. Also would make energy farmers more apparent, in which teams could then begin to counter them by jamming them when needed against opposing teams.
  1. I’d disagree still on this. As Alex stated, it’ll likely just lead to folks quitting the game if they get a bad roll of the dice on their luck. Imagine placing on 3 worlds. And all 3, you invested a lot of time, money, and effort. And all 3, you lost. Bad roll of the dice. Imagine if it was within the first half of the era for them. Now you’re stuck with nothing to do, or to try to rise from the ashes (which, honestly, i do encourage, but many don’t like to). Shouldn’t limit how much a player wants to play imo. I personally as a player never do more than 1 era at a time. But this is just my own personal preference as I like to go 100% into 1 thing. Not 75% on 2. Cause no matter what, if you do multiple, you have to take some time away from the other.
    In reality, i’d in some ways like if folks had a limit to how many worlds they could place on. It would make xp farmers and energy farmers become almost nill as folks would now consider which worlds they planted on. But, I would fear we’d just inflate the number of multi accounts players have so they could plant more colonies. Not saying it’d increase cheaters, but we’d simply have more folks with more accounts so they COULD place on every world.
  1. Not much to say here really. It’ll happen if someone wants it to happen. I thought about limiting sending reds to only teammates, but as Alex said, then folks will just play together on another world to send reds to folks they want to have it. Or you just get a larger influx of folks using things like, venmo, paypal, zelle, etc etc to send money to folks they want to help them.
  1. I would disagree with this. It’d be abused like crazy to keep the little guys down. Funny enough, the folks it’d hurt the most are the non-boosters attempting to fight the boosters. Boosters wouldn’t care if you kept hitting them to deplete their mana. They’d just boost it back when they wanted to attack. But the folks who waited for their revenge would be punished. I like your 2nd suggestion better. Just have a colony name added for who jammed you.
  1. Nothing to really say on this. It ain’t a suggestion lol. But there are folks who get a sense of satisfaction from winning, regardless of how they did so (assuming not cheating). Me personally, my greatest sense of satisfaction comes from winning under the worst conditions. The worst odds. The comeback. The era’s I’ve planned every detail out for, I’ve won with practically no competition. When I play to win, I usually look to eliminate every little bit of competition as soon as possible and in the most effective way. Which also meant… I usually won those eras in about the first 800 ticks of a 2000-2500 tick limit (it’s been a while since I played an era where I planned every detail…). Now, I find more enjoyment in planting, picking up folks that simply planted on the world, and playing things as they come, even if it means i lose. To some, this would be absolute madness. :man_shrugging: Everyone finds satisfaction in different ways.
  1. Sadly, I would highly disagree with this statement. For the exact statements that were made by the others. This would become the new “norm”. It would become the place to go to show your “true skill”. And when folks are trying to show their true skill, it means they become extremely meticulous over every little thing. Now, newbies will get farmed, nuked, and abused far more in the long run. Sure, they might live to tick 200 now instead of tick 50. But instead of simply getting hit with a small army at tick 50, they will face the full force of a team at tick 200 who now also has nukes and still significantly larger armies than they have. And, now, every player on the world is absolutely starved to take them out. For xp, for resources, and some even trying to manipulate them for gain (sadly, there are those who purposefully teach new players bad habits so they can easily take them out for xp). On a world where every little bit counts, i can only imagine this becoming more common unfortunately. No boosting won’t mean less nukes. Nukes are a resource dump no matter what 75% of the time. Mostly used to clear out unsafe ops, gates/radars on the frontline of battle fronts, to hurt colonies that relo to frontlines, and to make it easier to farm xp from AI or newbies.
    Retaining newbies won’t be coming from a non-boosting world. We’ve had many talks of other means to help newbies (such as a world dedicated to newbies only for learning the game and after a certain time frame, it will no longer be a selectable world.
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Thanks for all the feedback on the suggestions I have made. I wanted to clarify my non-boosting server idea though. Its really not possible to keep hitting new players with bigger armies and keep nuking them. The reason is simple. Less income than usual and no boosting. With a bit of boosting, the best guys easily cross 50+ conquers in 50 ticks. This will take about 150 ticks atleast in a non-boosting world. Moreover fighting isnt always the best idea here. Because once your troops are depleted on an enemy, you cant build back up fast. So you have make sure you keep conquering but also keep yourself safe. In a normal era, the experienced guys dont face a huge task or focus attention on defence because boosting makes it easy. Boosting allows for structures to be built very quick too and non-boosting will make it a challenge as to whether a player wants to invest in a structure or build an army for defense with minimal structures. Also people wont attack early due to fear of heavy losses giving new inexperienced guys almost 500 ticks atleast instead of 50 ticks usually.

What I am saying is that it wont hurt to try it out. Just a few eras. Discontinue it if it is unsuccessful. At the end of the day, everything is in the hands of the CEO (Alexander) and he can try it out if he is willing too. Experimentation never hurt anyone.

PS: I really hope that Alex sees it fit to incorporate the feature where we can see which colony jammed us.

Thanks

this was a great read, thank you guys for this

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