Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    3
  • comments
    50
  • views
    4,518

How to Save Our Beloved CN

Sign in to follow this  
Magicman657

308 views

Someone had posted a topic about trying to figure out what's driving players away from CN and after responding, I thought it would make a good blog entry. If you've been following along, you'll know that there's good reason to believe the not-TE resource system (which admin has stated will be fixed, yaaaay!) was definitely a contributing factor, but I'm sure we all know it's not the ONLY factor. Thus, I sat and thought about it for a bit and I came up with this answer.

You are entirely correct- the biggest issue with the game is that seniority is key. With the resource problem finally addressed, we will need to start looking at ways to address the seniority based problems. The two biggest ones are wonders and tech.

Just to collect all the wonders, it would take a new nation a MINIMUM of 2 and a half years, and that's assuming that they buy one every 30 days starting on the day they create their nation. 2.5 years just to be on the same collection level as me. Now, this is balanced by the fact that most wonders take a long time to pay for themselves, but still, the fact that I have that much more of a boost than any new nation is terrifying. It's not quite as bad as tech though since it's rare that new wonders are introduced, so the goal is actually reachable even if it takes years to do it. An easy way to reduce that 2.5 years to something more reasonable like maybe 1 year would be to just remove the 30 day period and just let nations be limited by their daily taxes.

Tech is probably our biggest problem though. It is literally impossible for a new nation to ever get anywhere NEAR bridging the gap that separates our highest NS nations from them because there is no limit to how much tech you can import. The thing is, because [toasters] function equally as well as [highly developed space telescopes] in terms of CN technology, tech can be bought at a flat rate all the time and there is no theoretical cap that prevents old nations from acquiring more tech. Imagine if everyone had to buy his or her own tech (or that importing [toasters] was less effective than importing or buying [highly developed space telescopes]). There would be at least some point at which nation would cease buying technology, because it wouldn't be worth the money spent on it, thus effectively capping it and making it at least POSSIBLE for a new nation to catch up (even if it took years).

As it stands, the older CN gets, the harder it is for a new player to ever become relevant because on average, more CN players progress to higher NS's than fight & lose NS. That's a large part of why we lose people- they see it as futile and pointless to even try to develop to be the best, and the scary thing is they're actually correct, it is impossible for them to reach the shifting goalposts created due to these seniority based issues.

The first step is always to try and identify the problem, and in this case, it seems to be Seniority. However, it's a hard one to fix, because it's not a direct, in game problem like the resource issue. Seniority manifests itself in many different forms, but I think we can agree that two of the biggest ones are through [Wonders] and [Technology]. While it might seem like removing the 30 day waiting period for wonders might at least somewhat address that part (which I will be considering and possibly crusading for at some point in the near future), the technology issue is a lot more complicated and there isn't an easy answer to it like there was with resources. If we want to revitalize CN, we'll need to give it some thought and come up with a good system that preserves the player cooperation aspects of tech dealing while also addressing the never ending benefits of toasters problem.

So just how do we remove or at least limit the effects of seniority? Start by looking at the biggest problems caused by it. Once we can agree that it's a problem (which it IS, there's no denying that), we can work on ideas that can address it. So with this in mind, I ask you to think about it. Tell others about it. Brainstorm up some ideas. Just, whatever you do, don't ignore the issue and expect it to resolve itself, or even worse, absolutely don't deny that seniority is hurting CN. If you want to shoot down an idea, that's fine, but I challenge you to come up with an alternative that still fixes the problem. The first step is always to recognize the issue at hand and we need to start giving this some serious consideration for the good of the game.

~Magicman657

Sign in to follow this  


31 Comments


Recommended Comments



Once we can agree that it's a problem (which it IS, there's no denying that)....

I deny it. My (current) nation is eighteen months old and I have fourteen Wonders.

If new players are unable to grow quickly and start buying Wonders a couple of months after signing up, they're in the wrong alliance.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I don't think seniority is the problem. It's a problem for some people. A lot of people like to play the star player - that guy who people sign treaties over, that guy who wins wars, that guy who leaves a dent in the AA if he leaves. Well, you'll have to stand in line for that. In single-player games, you can be the star 5 mins into the game. In multiplayer games, it's just a grind to be the star player... deal with it. CN's grind is very simple - keep buying tech, keep a warchest, stay out of war. The neutrals are leading on that grind for good reason, because the game punishes war so much, though many neutrals get bored of tech buying after a while.

It's a problem, sure. But as it is, infra costs rise too much late game and growth is only in tech/warchest. Nerfing senior members will encourage senior players to quit because then they feel they have nothing left to accomplish.

But it is very possible to be a contributing member to the game without being a senior nation. Politics prioritize intelligent members more than seniority. Good tech sellers are probably one of the most important roles, but it rewards those who enjoy playing support, which is much rarer.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Stop. Making. These. !@#$@#$. Posts.

None of these will ever do any good for anything. Do you really think that all we need to save CN is one more post about why it's dying? Did it occur to you that maybe when new players see topics about CN dying, that could drive them away?

Share this comment


Link to comment

Ashoka - It's not about not being able to start buying wonders in 4 months, it's that the time limit is an artificial implementation that prevents people from getting to the same level as everyone else for a minimum of 2.5 years (plus that initial 0-4 months and however many days they were not able to buy on schedule due to things like, missing trades, etc). I don't know that I'm necessarily ok with that, but because it is actually achievable as opposed to the tech issue, it's not quite as important.

MrMuz - You have a very legitimate point and I also think that is a part of the reason as well, but that's something that's not directly game related and really there's not too much that can be done about it, which is why I've chosen to focus on things that CAN be addressed. There's no denying that you need time to learn and get your name out there before you can rise to a position of importance within an alliance. It also tends to work better in democratic groups as you have the chance on a regular basis to campaign and get to know the people that will be voting for you, as opposed to the dictatorship type alliances where moving up takes a really long time.

And yea, we do want to find a way to keep the senior players interested, but at the same time, doing it by keeping an eternal seemingly or completely impassible barrier between them and the new nations doesn't seem like the right way to me. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. My hope is that someone will come up with a suggestion that addresses both issues.

New Frontier - We've already passed the point where that would have a significant effect. We're down from ~40,000 members to ~17,000 (someone can correct me if this is slightly off but it's close enough) and sticking our heads in the sand isn't going to make it any better. In fact, we have plenty of evidence that this doesn't work (see previous sentence). If we want to get back up to 40,000+ we need to start looking at the reasons why those people left and find out which of them can be fixed. Obviously not every reason can be because not every reason has to do with in-game factors, but the ones that do really need to be looked at closely else we will continue to see people leave for those reasons.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I don't think the issue is seniority. Those that have worked to get to where they are should have an advantage. I think the issue is that the newer players don't feel as useful to the over all scheme. If you take a general Aircraft carrier fleet, it consist of and aircraft carrier, and a majority of support ships. Without the carrier the support ships will die, but without the support ships the carrier is dead. Together they are a very lethal force.

We need to increase the value of smaller nations. So your senior nation can field 80 planes? why not link up with smaller nations who also supply planes to an attack and together you can field 150 planes? That way nations like mine can use smaller nations to help bring down larger nations I couldn't solo. They feel useful and stick around, my nation doesn't die, which means we win. And over time they will grow in to a nation my size and repeat.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Once we can agree that it's a problem (which it IS, there's no denying that)....
I deny it. My (current) nation is eighteen months old and I have fourteen Wonders.If new players are unable to grow quickly and start buying Wonders a couple of months after signing up, they're in the wrong alliance.

In other words they need to be a part of the global hegemony. I mean, who wants dynamic politics anyway, right?

This is like when Umbrella laughed at me for holding a full arsenal of nukes. "LOL didn't you know your allies can protect you while you grow?" and then we all got rolled 2 months later. Yeah.

I suppose it's easy to forget when you're busy hoarding tech and passing out curbies that not everyone has it so nice.

PS: People like you and me with lots of friends often get the privilege of massive aid influx to boost us up really fast when we return to the game, something that the majority of new players don't get when they first sign up.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Once we can agree that it's a problem (which it IS, there's no denying that)....
I deny it. My (current) nation is eighteen months old and I have fourteen Wonders.If new players are unable to grow quickly and start buying Wonders a couple of months after signing up, they're in the wrong alliance.

Why would they sit there for several months when they can download a free MMO and be max level in that time? Or even a browser based game like BSG online? You can become more competitive more quickly in nearly every other game in existence than this one.

I think the curve needs to be changed so that smaller nations grow faster than they do right now.

Either that, or raise the aid cap from the age-old 3mil/50tech which as become obscenely outdated.

The one thing I don't agree on is that seniority is a prerequisite for alliance leadership. While some alliances have fixed rulers for indefinite amounts of time, most alliances have a fluid enough electoral process that if you do lots of work, you can get noticed and elected quite quickly. I know I was when I first started, I ended up in a senate seat before I broke 1k NS.

Share this comment


Link to comment

In other words they need to be a part of the global hegemony.

I'm going to assume you're not being serious, because if you really mean this then you're clueless. I've belonged to many alliances on different parts of the web over the years. Some are great at helping out new members. Others are terrible. Who their friends are is unimportant.

People like you and me with lots of friends often get the privilege of massive aid influx to boost us up really fast when we return to the game, something that the majority of new players don't get when they first sign up.

Again, my situation within my alliance is not unique. It is something available to all members.

I think the curve needs to be changed so that smaller nations grow faster than they do right now.

Again....the speed of a nation's growth is directly related to an alliance's growth program(s) and members' participation in them.

The same is true of the 'missing trades' argument used in the OP's reply to my initial comment. If an alliance has its (economic) act together, all of this will come together very, very quickly. If it doesn't, then sucks to be one of its members, I guess.

Share this comment


Link to comment

The war mechanics should be the next item to be updated. Finding the right balance so we have less time between wars. Quicker post war rebuilding or less damaging wars, not sure which way to go.

But what it really comes down to is retaining new players and the best way to do that I believe is to get them in an active alliance where members bond and become friends and CN almost becomes secondary to thier alliance community.

We have many longtime members in the STA who keep playing the game simply because of friendships made over the years. Many have friendships outside the game. Should our alliance go the way of the dodo I would guess 60% of our members would call it a day.

Share this comment


Link to comment

There is also the issue of players who have been around for a while, once they run out of wonders to buy they don't have much to aim for in regards to their nations with no worthwhile goals left. So doing so people can get all the wonders faster will just do so people run out of things to do faster. Once you've done everything worth doing, there isn't much reason to put a lot of effort in other than mess around.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Why would they sit there for several months when they can download a free MMO and be max level in that time? Or even a browser based game like BSG online? You can become more competitive more quickly in nearly every other game in existence than this one.I think the curve needs to be changed so that smaller nations grow faster than they do right now.Either that, or raise the aid cap from the age-old 3mil/50tech which as become obscenely outdated.

When you change the curve, all you get is inflation. It's not about how fast they grow, it's about how much faster they grow than everyone else. Seniority is a good solution of who gets to be strong and who doesn't.. it's not just sitting around doing nothing, you still have to actively import tech.

The game is actually quite good on the young nations. There's always goals to chase after - tech buying, MP, SDI, WRC, space wonders. It's the upper mid tier that are suffering the most, the ones with most of the wonders, WRC and a sizeable warchest. They're effectively well, max level, just don't have the little advantage from months of tech collection. A 5B warchest is no different in war than a 20B warchest, so after a while the only advantage is from tech.

And unlike what HoT says, you lose much more infra being part of the hegemony as opposed as being in some remote microalliance with a few ODPs, because the hegemonies will never be able to dodge a global war. It's just that the remote microalliances don't have the nation building knowledge to build up safely.

So, no, it's not really a problem. There are a few nations out there that are very well built despite being in a lot of wars. CN is a game of patience. It takes patience to build diplomatic ties, patience to win wars, patience to grow a larger nation. The winning move is not seniority, it's being able to stay out of wars. Unfortunately, this rewards going neutral and not participating in the politics at all... and rewarding boring play is your main problem.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Once we can agree that it's a problem (which it IS, there's no denying that)....
I deny it. My (current) nation is eighteen months old and I have fourteen Wonders.If new players are unable to grow quickly and start buying Wonders a couple of months after signing up, they're in the wrong alliance.

Your current nation. You have the experience and that has alot to do with how fast your nation has developed. A player that just heard of CN today would not be able to develop their nation equally to yours no matter what alliance they joined. They could be here two years, learn, then leave, then return and in 18 months they could be you and say their current nation has 14 wonders in 18 months. Well, duh it should the second time around.

@Magicman - Part of the problem is CN is boring. The politics are old and boring. References to crap that happened the first few months of the game.

There are still thousands of players left in this game and it would be much more enjoyable if people could actually play the game rather than join an alliance or die on none or peace mode. Offensive slots should be unlimited or stay as they are and defensive slots should be a maximum of one with peace mode being an option one day after a war has expired. Example: last day of war is September 15, September 16 is stagger day with enemies having to attack, September 17th the nation can escape to peace mode if it is not at war.

The problem has and always will be predetermined results. I guarantee you that many more nations would go "rogue" and stir things up if nations only had to face one defensive war at a time. Yet, current large nations and the powers that be will shrink from such a proposal because it puts their nations and alliances in harms way.

This game is easy to adjust. Admin just needs to do it. What's the worst that can happen? Another 1000 player leave? That's happening with doing nothing so might as well have players leave with all sorts of changes being implemented.

Share this comment


Link to comment

the problem really lies in the fact that few new players are coming to the game. You will always be losing people even if there is a fix to this, but if the games does not bring in people then there is no fix.

That is where admin needs to step in and launch a marketing campaign or something.

Share this comment


Link to comment

the problem really lies in the fact that few new players are coming to the game. You will always be losing people even if there is a fix to this, but if the games does not bring in people then there is no fix.That is where admin needs to step in and launch a marketing campaign or something.

Seriously. It's not because the new players are going "awwww... look at all those top tier nations. I'll never be that good. Oh well *delete*." If that were true then EVERY browser game on the internet would be dying, which they're not. The problem is the lack of people coming to the game when lots of people are leaving the game at the same time. I say we spam Reddit until the problem corrects itself :P

Share this comment


Link to comment

Games come and go, and like many before them, CN had a start date and it will have an end date. While I'm sure we're all mostly in agreement that we hope it will not be for some time, it is none-the-less important to say that an end will eventually come.

When I think of the problems we face, Seniority isn't what tops my list. CN rode to 40k players by influxes of users from sites like digg, 4chan, Fark, and so on in addition to the word naturally spreading around through the community of players who play this type of game.

The number of people coming into CN has slowed down because we've already exploited the markets that were most accessible. I don't know if the rate of nations that have been deleted has gone up significantly over time, (I doubt it has) but the rate of new nations joining the game has most definitely gone down. When CN was at 40k nations, there were people quitting the game right and left, probably as many if not more then there are today. We didn't notice it then because there was an ample supply of new nations taking their place.

I think the problems that CN faces are more then just petty little problems in CN like resources or seniority, but simply the problem that the word isn't making its way around fast enough to bring enough new players into the game to replace those who will naturally leave. There are ways to rectify that, but sometimes its a toss-up in the air, and many of the solutions are ones that only admin can decide to take, as they rely directly upon his assessment of if the return would be worth the investment.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Your current nation. You have the experience and that has alot to do with how fast your nation has developed.

I'm going to say this one more time in the hope that someone actually reads it.

It does not matter how many times one has re-rolled. It does not matter how many times one has played. What matters is whether or not one joins an alliance that genuinely encourages growth.

Also, please don't try your hand at neologisms by typing 'alot'. Every time you do that you shave days off of the life of anyone who has ever taught English.

Share this comment


Link to comment

This is great input guys. I'm really enjoying reading all these different viewpoints, and my hope is that by the time this post dies, we have a good idea of what we should be doing.

So maybe seniority isn't the biggest issue after all. I still think that it has some negative side effects that deserve to be looked at, but that's not the real point of this entry. Let's then try to look at it as two tasks.

1, We need to bring in new players. Word has to reach new untapped areas (like UE did with Ponychan). This means more active recruitment on everybody's part and more advertisement. It also means that alliances have to WANT more new players, which I have no idea if that works into everyone's overall plans.

2, We need to keep the players here once they get here. It's in this category that all the gameplay balance and whatnot goes, and where I think the seniority effects might start coming into play. Note that the gameplay stuff is only a section of this goal, as some people will leave once here because of reasons outside the game (not being an influential alliance leader, real life obligations, etc). I will be focusing on the gamplay aspect though since it's something we definitely CAN do something about. I'm going to cite Diablo 2 (or World of Warcraft if you prefer, it applies all the same) as my example games. While a lot of games do reward seniority, it's usually through a combination of grinding and luck. The grinding often has some kind of cap associated with it- you level up to max level (which can take a few weeks to a few months depending on the game), but after that initial grinding period it then becomes a game of luck- usually in the form of items. Some items are outright better than others, but usually not so much that it makes everything else completely unusable and not competitive. Still, if you put in the time, you'll eventually come across that one item that gives you the extra edge which might make the difference in a duel between two players of the exact same skill.

I think that's a decent design strategy- the game is then roughly equal for everyone, but there's still an element of strategy and luck. How could we do this? First, remove the 30 day cap for wonders. That reduces the grinding period from a 2.5 years down to something closer to 1 year (though reaching the infra and tech caps might still take longer depending on optimizations and how much aid you end up getting). 1 year minimum is way long for the grinding period as it is. Find some way to effectively "cap" technology in the same manner as infra or land so that its not worth it for nations with tons of tech to continue buying it.

Then, add in the luck element of developing. This could be as simple as a set of [positive only] events where you gain like 100 land / 100 tech /100 infra (found the remains of an old civilization under your capital! :P) or something of that sort. Get them on average once every month or two (every nation has a chance at these) so that nations can continue to make gains even when the cost to buy stuff wouldn't pay itself off for years. This then naturally lends itself to a new idea, call it "Investments", which you could buy for some amount of in game money to raise your chances of finding something.

Part 1 may very likely be more of a factor than Part 2. I don't have the statistics to prove or disprove that. Still, they are both valid reasons and I'd love to hear your suggestions for how to address this kind of thing.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I agree here, Fighting in CN is like a kicking contest where whoever has the biggest boots wins, and the only way to acquire boots that are equal to the veterans of the game (have all the wonders & improvements) is to do a grind that lasts two and a half years under perfect conditions. Removing the wait period between purchasing wonders might shave a few months off this grind. And more than a few people do not want to get into unnecessary fights before they get to this stage so this reduces the number of wars and powerplays in the game as a result.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Your current nation. You have the experience and that has alot to do with how fast your nation has developed.
I'm going to say this one more time in the hope that someone actually reads it.It does not matter how many times one has re-rolled. It does not matter how many times one has played. What matters is whether or not one joins an alliance that genuinely encourages growth.Also, please don't try your hand at neologisms by typing 'alot'. Every time you do that you shave days off of the life of anyone who has ever taught English.

You're wrong.

:rolleyes: neologisms...you try too hard to make yourself more than you are; you should stick with photoshop :P

Share this comment


Link to comment
Your current nation. You have the experience and that has alot to do with how fast your nation has developed.
I'm going to say this one more time in the hope that someone actually reads it.It does not matter how many times one has re-rolled. It does not matter how many times one has played. What matters is whether or not one joins an alliance that genuinely encourages growth.Also, please don't try your hand at neologisms by typing 'alot'. Every time you do that you shave days off of the life of anyone who has ever taught English.
You're wrong. :rolleyes: neologisms...you try too hard to make yourself more than you are; you should stick with photoshop :P

Share this comment


Link to comment

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...