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Open Discussion: CN Game Mechanics - Present/Future

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Xiphosis

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So as to not continue cluttering up the discussion of political/social factors past/present/future in the other entry I'm opening this one up strictly to core game mechanics.

The two main things that have been identified as needing change are:

  1. Foreign Aid System
  2. Nation Strength Calculation

Suggestions So Far

- Change how much tech/land contributes to NS after a certain NS point

- Remove the ability to send tech at all, and institute tech degradation where the more tech you have, the more it degrades per day (if I'm understanding Seerow's proposal correctly). Unresolved is how tech costs would scale - normally? This would certainly hurt warchests but it would also curb inflation. Also unresolved would be what to do about the nations already stacked with tech - although presumably they will lose it in time from wars and degradation [rapidly].

- Add a 'game tax' to every foreign aid transaction [some percent of the money sent - like 50%] and uncap foreign aid slots. Change DRA and FM to lower the tax by 5% for marginal gain. Allows new nations to be 'caught up' quickly but at the expense of warchests.

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The main problem now is that there's no advantage to buying infra once you have your wonders. It needs to tie in somehow. I've got some ideas and I'll lay them out, but I haven't put too much thought into them. Just throwing science at the wall, here, to see what sticks.

Give more aid slots as you increase infra. Simple, easy, links infra with aid and with tech growth.

Increase aid amount by way of infra. The FAC could then be changed to give smaller nations more "effective infra" when receiving aid from larger nations.

Have infra effect how much money you can have on hand. Perhaps impose a penalty for having more than 50m per 1k infra or some such.

Have infra effect your nuclear stockpile and daily purchase amounts. This also makes sense logically, as a RL nation like the US or Russia can maintain and produce more nukes than, say, Pakistan. Perhaps one extra nuke stored for every 1k infra and one nuke purchase for every 5k. One of these numbers could also be tied in with land to make it more relevant and help prevent naval turtling.

Have infra effect attacks per day. Perhaps an extra GA/Air/CM/Navy for every 5k and an extra nuke every 15k?

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What about limiting nuclear weapons to 1 per 1000 infrastructure? Current 25 nuke holders would keep them but would only be able to buy back to whatever level they have. To code it probably do something like the improvements where you can have all the improvements but if you lose infra and delete improvements then you have to buy the infra again to a point to be able to get them all again.

I do not like the tech degrading idea at all. Money, Tech and Land should be raided and not destroyed. Make tech like land. Also make land be able to be sold in $/tech/land/soldier deals. Have spy ops destroy money, tech and land.

End tech dealing. Make nations have to purchase tech. Increase the nation strength factor of tech from 5 to 10. Cut the cost of tech in half or maybe even by as much as 1/10th to allow some catching up by nations that don't have anywhere near 10k+ tech.

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As mentioned in the other thread, my belief is that tech dealing is a slow drain on the game, that is the core issue that prevents anyone from catching up. That and Warchests are the two biggest barriers to entry in the game. It takes years to get to a high enough NS/Wonder count to be relevant, and have the tech/warchest to be relevant... and even then you're NEVER going to come anywhere near those top 100. The people who have maintained a constant tech intake rate for the last 5 years aren't ever going to be passed by anyone starting today, unless the older nations quit. This is a serious problem with the game.

The suggestion of giving more aid slots with higher infra is extremely short sighted. Doing so helps the people who don't need help, the ones at the extreme top end. Low NS nations would see marginal benefit, if any, and they're the ones the focus should be on helping. The game's advancement rate needs to be sped up significantly at the low end, and growth needs to be more limited at the high end, so that given a few months, a new nation can be an average sized nation, and given a few months to a year longer with optimal play and not getting involved in damaging wars should be able to break into the top ranks.

To that effect, I think the following changes should go into effect:

-As mentioned in the other blog: tech degrades. The higher your tech level, the more it degrades per day. So below 1k tech it probably won't degrade at all. At 2k tech you may only lose like 1-2 tech per day. By 10k tech, you may be losing as much as 50 tech every day. At the extreme end where those top nations have 30-40k tech, they're losing like as much as 500 tech a day, so that amount of tech is simply not sustainable to hold on to.

-As mentioned in the other blog: Tech dealing is no longer possible. You buy tech directly through your nation screen, not via taking advantage of small nations to grow your own. Possibly standardize tech buy costs, so it's always around $50,000 per unit of tech (a bit more expensive than the current going rate of 30,000 per unit, but cheaper than the up and coming rate of 60,000 per unit).

-Alternative: Tech may only be sent to a nation with lower tech than you. So you can still buy tech and send it to a young nation to help it grow, but it effectively kills tech dealing, and makes tech aid what it should have been from the start, older nations giving tech to younger nations, or tech being sent between alliances as reparations or whatever.

-Not mentioned in the previous blog but would be needed to balance the system: A limit on tech you can buy per day. The limit should be pretty high (like you can buy 500-1000 per day), so new members buying up their tech can get there quickly. This would be in place to discourage people from sitting at 0 tech with money on hand, then buying up maximum tech when war starts, to avoid the upkeep of degradation.

That handles the tech end of things, and makes it so that NS levels would eventually normalize, but there are still a couple more areas where new nations are at a disadvantage:

-Money on hand not being used should also degrade. The more money you have on hand, the more you're going to leak. Effectively putting a cap on how much money you can realistically have on hand at once. This limit should be high enough to allow sledding or saving up for a new wonder or major infra purchase, but should not allow people sitting around with 10 billion+ on hand so they can just war forever.

-In a similar vein, the cap on money destroyed via ground attacks should be lifted. All attacks that are resisted should result in destroyed money, and attacks that are unresisted (ie defeat alerts) should result in stealing money. This encourages nations to continue spending on buying up troops, and simultaneously discourages them from having more money on hand than they think they need. Just like in the old days when a nation could survive on the money they loot, this would become possible again by lifting the cap.

The goal here is to basically destroy warchests. Between those two things, plus tech degradation as something for people to sink money into, people shouldn't have much more on hand than 1bil at the high end. Just like tech degredation it's not a sudden reset mechanic, but instead a new mechanic that encourages things in a new direction, which gradually normalizes things. It may take a few months for the larger warchests to die off completely, but eventually you'd have things set up so new nations aren't stuck sitting around for months doing nothing just to compete. Having one 20 day collection on hand should in general be enough for most people.

I would also like to see other things for people to spend money on (in the past I've campaigned for improvements being uncapped, but given a very quickly scaling cost, that would be a great money sink, since past the first few, you'd have improvements that take !@#$@#$ forever to actually pay for themselves). This would allow for lower cost improvements at the low end with higher cost at the high end, allowing for faster growth towards the middle, and keeping people interested in the nation building game longer, rather than hitting 8k infra and having everything.

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You know Xiph... For all the minuses that I give you for being in SP :P .... I give you a massive +1 for the suggestion of removing tech as foreign aid completely... I have long been a proponent of such a move, and made threads about it, and been roundly criticized for it. The other suggestion Id add to yours is limiting(in a sense) warchests by adding an increasing happiness penalty for each day you have... say.. more than a $1 billion surplus. Why? Citizens would not love a government who didnt spend money on them. It would force people to buy more infra, it would mean the loss of infra in a war is MUCH more severe because of its level costs.

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Limiting nukes to 1 per 1K infra would give a huge boost to recruiting alliances and the curbstomping side of a war. As it stands, the ability to drop nukes is what keeps the outnumbered side from being rolled until people get tired of it (as they continue to take good amounts of damage from the nukes)

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The simple answer to the tech dealing problem is to reinstate the tech damage bonus cap. Once upon a time, the bonus damage from tech was capped so any tech level over 300 did not produce any extra damage.

This cap was wayyy too low, it meant that tech was basically irrelevant in warfare. So it was removed.

The problem now is that there is no cap at all, and high-tech nations (10K tech and above) do so much damage with their attacks - particularly tech damage - that when they engage their opponents, in a single week months or possibly even years of tech dealing is removed. The infra damage isn't important in itself, the problem is that these high-tech nations can render the other side permanently less effective at fighting.

We need a cap. Maybe 10K tech or so.

Limiting nukes to 1 per 1K infra would not have a huge impact on people's long-term fighting ability when they're on the receiving end of a curbstomp. Admittedly it'd mean the lower-infra nations would start the war with fewer nukes, but they'd still be able to buy 1 a day when they hit 1K infra, which is what most of them do now anyway.

Well it would mean that WRC owners would need to maintain 2K infra to keep on buying 2 a day. Maybe cap it at 2 per 1K infra? That would mean a 5K infra nation like one of BAPS' bulldogs would have 10 nukes, and I'd have 16.

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I've long thought about ways to make CN better, and my two biggest gripes are in actual nation-building.

1.) I'd like to make wonders more tied in to actual game mechanics. For example, you need to buy the Internet to get past 5,000 infrastructure. Or you need an Interstate System to get past 3,000 infrastructure. And things like that. Obviously there is always infrastructure for nations (in RL) to enhance, but it usually goes towards specific things. (For example, there are only so many dirt roads a nation can have, in RL). So, tying the wonders in to game play, would change how you build your nation. And at least momentarily make CN more complex... until someone figures out the optimal way to do this.

2.) Have stockpiles for alliances. (This specifically comes into play with the new projects implemented in TE which allows alliance leaders to kick people from their AA and stuff). Basically, it'd be a system that would help recruiting alliances that would work something like this: For every bank your alliance has, you have $1,000,000 in a stockpile that can then be distributed to anyone in your alliance once every 90 days. So, for example: Ragnarok has 485 banks. Every 90 days we have 485 million to be distributed as our alliance gov sees fit. It takes up no aid slots, it just goes to wherever they assign it. Similarly, Barracks would provide 500 soldiers per improvement in the alliance. All transactions must stay inside the alliance however. So Ragnarok can not give 300 of it's 485 million to FARK. Different improvements provide different resources to the stockpiles. Wonders contribute even more. (Numbers are just for example purposes, and would obviously need to be tweeked). This adds a new dynamic to alliances, and would certainly add more strategy to wars.

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@Halfinger

Implementing a tech cap just says "You must be this tall to ride", and destruction of tech via war is currently the only way higher nations could EVER be brought down to the level of other nations. Capping out tech damage increase without first fixing other problems leads to higher nations being even HARDER to catch up to.

@Wu Tang Clan

1) By what you described, all this would do is slow down growth of new nations, exactly the opposite of what we want to encourage right now. Seriously all the old nations already have all of the wonders, putting wonder check points at low infra levels just forces young nations to sit at a low infra trying to save up millions of dollars so they can move on. This is bad.

2) While I like the idea of an alliance bank, I think first you're doing it wrong by disallowing trade between alliances with it. Second, an alliance bank wouldn't be possible without first having hardcoded alliances, which seems to be a ways off from being seen in SE.

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Limiting nukes to 1 per 1K infra would not have a huge impact on people's long-term fighting ability when they're on the receiving end of a curbstomp.

Really? No long term effect?

So I start with 14 nukes. I get hit by 3 nations. They spy 1 nuke. I have 13, I go to nuke all 3 nations (as we are on the stomped side). It takes 5 nukes to get all 3 opponents (SDI), I am at 8 nukes. I rebuy 1. 9. Next day, another lost, 5 to nuke all 3, rebuy 1. I now have 4 nukes. After 2 days.

You don't see the issue with that? From Day 3 on, I can buy and fire one nuke and have a 60% of nuking 1 person.

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Limiting nukes to 1 per 1K infra would not have a huge impact on people's long-term fighting ability when they're on the receiving end of a curbstomp.
Really? No long term effect?So I start with 14 nukes. I get hit by 3 nations. They spy 1 nuke. I have 13, I go to nuke all 3 nations (as we are on the stomped side). It takes 5 nukes to get all 3 opponents (SDI), I am at 8 nukes. I rebuy 1. 9. Next day, another lost, 5 to nuke all 3, rebuy 1. I now have 4 nukes. After 2 days.You don't see the issue with that? From Day 3 on, I can buy and fire one nuke and have a 60% of nuking 1 person.

At that same rate though, you would be out by day 5 with 20 nukes. That's a fair bit of extra damage, but not a lot in terms of extra longevity.

Personally if I were going to mess with the nuke cap, I'd take off the max nukes completely, and make cost the primary limiter. If someone really wants to carry 50 nukes, that probably cost them several hundred million and has increased their bills to the point where they are collecting next to nothing. This means they'll have smaller warchests, and drain warchest faster in war, so it's a balancing act, how many nukes do you think you can afford?

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Changes to Alliance Sanction Procedure

I think this change would be pretty simple to implement and make things much more interesting politically speaking, even more now with the new trade resource system. Along this changes we could give more powers to the senators too.

One of the main problems in CN is that we don't have a limited resource to fight for what makes the CN wars meaningless and based in childish reasons.

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-Money on hand not being used should also degrade. The more money you have on hand, the more you're going to leak. Effectively putting a cap on how much money you can realistically have on hand at once. This limit should be high enough to allow sledding or saving up for a new wonder or major infra purchase, but should not allow people sitting around with 10 billion+ on hand so they can just war forever.

-In a similar vein, the cap on money destroyed via ground attacks should be lifted. All attacks that are resisted should result in destroyed money, and attacks that are unresisted (ie defeat alerts) should result in stealing money. This encourages nations to continue spending on buying up troops, and simultaneously discourages them from having more money on hand than they think they need. Just like in the old days when a nation could survive on the money they loot, this would become possible again by lifting the cap.

The goal here is to basically destroy warchests. Between those two things, plus tech degradation as something for people to sink money into, people shouldn't have much more on hand than 1bil at the high end.

Your ideas are interesting, but completely destroying warchests would put at a great disadvantage the smaller party of every war, as they couldn't anymore count on the ability to inflict damage as a deterrent to protect themselves. Ideas like the old Citadel (now PF I guess), TOP's plans for Armageddon or in general the existence of "antagonists" with small numbers but high preparedness would basically be made impossible.

This would lead to even more conformism and - probably - even less balanced wars, as being on the smaller side would mean certain hopeless defeat. I don't think it's a coincidence that being hegemonic became more difficult when lots of huge nations had started being around. Taking down a prepared alliance 20-30th in score - say, today's Valhalla - has to be a bloody affair even if you can muster really huge numbers against them, whereas destroying FAN at the very height of power wasn't really that difficult, considering the numbers aligned against them.

How would you address this aspect?

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Weird, my reply vaporized. I'll restate it.

A question to have those that suggested rethink their suggestions. Why should a new nation be able to pass an active 5 year old nation?

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Weird, my reply vaporized. I'll restate it. A question to have those that suggested rethink their suggestions. Why should a new nation be able to pass an active 5 year old nation?

Because any game that makes it literally impossible to become relevant in less than 2 years, and ensures the guy on top always stays on top forever, really is bad design.

Look at just about any large scale long term game. They stay successful by defining a point where past it there are only marginal differences, and typically skill matters more. Somebody who just started WoW today, could within a month be level 85 and have enough epic gear to participate in end game raids. Someone who started CN today would in a month barely be scraping past 3k infra if they got outside aid from someone.

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-Money on hand not being used should also degrade. The more money you have on hand, the more you're going to leak. Effectively putting a cap on how much money you can realistically have on hand at once. This limit should be high enough to allow sledding or saving up for a new wonder or major infra purchase, but should not allow people sitting around with 10 billion+ on hand so they can just war forever.-In a similar vein, the cap on money destroyed via ground attacks should be lifted. All attacks that are resisted should result in destroyed money, and attacks that are unresisted (ie defeat alerts) should result in stealing money. This encourages nations to continue spending on buying up troops, and simultaneously discourages them from having more money on hand than they think they need. Just like in the old days when a nation could survive on the money they loot, this would become possible again by lifting the cap.The goal here is to basically destroy warchests. Between those two things, plus tech degradation as something for people to sink money into, people shouldn't have much more on hand than 1bil at the high end.
Your ideas are interesting, but completely destroying warchests would put at a great disadvantage the smaller party of every war, as they couldn't anymore count on the ability to inflict damage as a deterrent to protect themselves. Ideas like the old Citadel (now PF I guess), TOP's plans for Armageddon or in general the existence of "antagonists" with small numbers but high preparedness would basically be made impossible.This would lead to even more conformism and - probably - even less balanced wars, as being on the smaller side would mean certain hopeless defeat. I don't think it's a coincidence that being hegemonic became more difficult when lots of huge nations had started being around. Taking down a prepared alliance 20-30th in score - say, today's Valhalla - has to be a bloody affair even if you can muster really huge numbers against them, whereas destroying FAN at the very height of power wasn't really that difficult, considering the numbers aligned against them.How would you address this aspect?

Being on the smaller side already leads to hopeless wars. Being involved in a dragged out 3-6 month long struggle isn't particularly interesting to the people involved. After the first two weeks, the war has already been won, and people just keep fighting because they can. This is a lot of boring drudgery for basically everyone that doesn't actually give the smaller side any sort of advantage.

The problem you have of the larger side having a huge advantage is one that would need to be addressed via the core war system. Removing Warchests may make the already existing problems apparent earlier, but doesn't actually cause any problems that already exist.

Oh actually reread my post here, I did forget to mention one key part: Faster rebuilding. A nation that gets beat down should be able to recover to 75-80% of their top infra level within 1-2 backcollects worth of money. So the money you DO have on hand can be used for the war, and running out of money doesn't mean dicking around at 2-3k infra for a few months.

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Being on the smaller side already leads to hopeless wars. Being involved in a dragged out 3-6 month long struggle isn't particularly interesting to the people involved. After the first two weeks, the war has already been won, and people just keep fighting because they can. This is a lot of boring drudgery for basically everyone that doesn't actually give the smaller side any sort of advantage.

The problem you have of the larger side having a huge advantage is one that would need to be addressed via the core war system. Removing Warchests may make the already existing problems apparent earlier, but doesn't actually cause any problems that already exist.

The point of having warchests is not "to protract the fun" or to be curbstomped for long, and certainly not "to win", but to be able to resist and to force the aggressor to fight a bloody carnage for a really long time: it's a deterrent as it is supposed to prevent the aggressor from attacking in the first place, and/or to give the weaker a bargaining chip at the table for peace; as such is a military/political tool which works on removing (= completely avoiding or shortening), not on winning the fight. Sometimes it works, some other times it doesn't, but having it or not as an additional (and viable) option makes all the difference of this world.

I don't think that your reply really addressed the concern I tried to express.

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Being on the smaller side already leads to hopeless wars. Being involved in a dragged out 3-6 month long struggle isn't particularly interesting to the people involved. After the first two weeks, the war has already been won, and people just keep fighting because they can. This is a lot of boring drudgery for basically everyone that doesn't actually give the smaller side any sort of advantage.The problem you have of the larger side having a huge advantage is one that would need to be addressed via the core war system. Removing Warchests may make the already existing problems apparent earlier, but doesn't actually cause any problems that already exist.
The point of having warchests is not "to protract the fun" or to be curbstomped for long, and certainly not "to win", but to be able to resist and to force the aggressor to fight a bloody carnage for a really long time: it's a deterrent as it is supposed to prevent the aggressor from attacking in the first place, and/or to give the weaker a bargaining chip at the table for peace; as such is a military/political tool which works on removing (= completely avoiding or shortening), not on winning the fight. Sometimes it works, some other times it doesn't, but having it or not as an additional (and viable) option makes all the difference of this world.I don't think that your reply really addressed the concern I tried to express.

It's because I don't think it's actually legitimate. You say sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, I'm saying it pretty much never really works.

What warchests DO do is make it so people have sit on their hands collecting and not spending anything for several months before they are considered ready for war, because the existence of warchests has made long wars a forgone conclusion, and the need for a warchest to rebuild makes not having one a huge setback in the long term.

That isn't fun, and it isn't conducive to getting new people into your game. Seriously, go tell your friends about this amazing game in which for a period of several months you can't actually play the game because you need to sit in one place for months to be considered ready. See what their reaction is. It's not good.

Having taken part in wars before the age of huge warchests, one sided beatdowns didn't get extended forever just because. Those are draining on the agressor even if the enemy doesn't have warchests, because after the first 2-3 weeks, your members' activity is drained, and you're struggling to keep the enemy engaged even when you outnumber thm 2 to 1 or more. Those who aren't engaged can slip into peace mode, recover, and then come back out. This was literally how FAN fought for one of the longest wars in the game's history.

As far as I'm concerned, the first concern is to make the game more accessible. This requires getting rid of warchests as something expected and needed, then see how things hash out after that. I would personally expect relatively little change in what wars get fought, but generally (maybe not always, but on average) faster resolution of the wars.

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Oh what the $%&@. I type out a big ass wall of text hit add reply and it just evaporates? No message, no pop up just gone? $%&@ you blogsystem!

Alright, trying this again.

First off, we always see suggestions like these, suggestions of people whining. Its always couched in terms of "fairness" and "catching up", but what it is, is a symptom of the society of instant gratification fostered for so long. Nobody wants to work for their gains, they want to join a game and be able to be in the top 10 next week. They don't care the 5 year head start somebody has, they think they should be able to 'catch up'. Every game which isnt based on a resetting round (or new server launches) sees people like that all the time, the lazy people, the people who think they are entitled to more for less work because they showed up late.

Its silly on its face, but lets go to the actual bad ideas now :D

- Remove the ability to send tech at all, and institute tech degradation where the more tech you have, the more it degrades per day (if I'm understanding Seerow's proposal correctly). Unresolved is how tech costs would scale - normally? This would certainly hurt warchests but it would also curb inflation. Also unresolved would be what to do about the nations already stacked with tech - although presumably they will lose it in time from wars and degradation [rapidly].

This is another "Boo hoo I can't be as cool as the high ranked guys" suggestion. Its basically saying "take years of effort and flush it down the drain because I have an inferiority complex". But that's not the terrible part, that's just the bad part. The terrible part is that its an idea to turn off tech. With tech importing gone (bye bye tech deal, the corner stone of the CN aid system) and tech degrading, everybody will quickly have an identical amount of tech. Somebody will do the math, and figure out the best amount of tech to maintain to get the biggest bang for your buck. With everybody having the same amount of tech.... Why have tech at all? Everybody will have the same tech infra upkeep discount, everybody will have the same bonus damage, everybody will have the same econ bonuses.

But that's just the beginning, you've now made the WRC way less useful, the econ wonders that adjust based on tech, also now just a homogonous econ block, maybe even not so good anymore depending on where the tech stops.

Wanna take in game politics driven by game mechanics? There is more than one alliance whos identity and power are about their crazy tech stockpiles. They worked hard to get those too. TOP is TOP because they have crap tons of tech and money. Think we wont see a couple of wars the second we see an update announcing that somebodies alliance is about to drop 300k tech? Don't think people will want to try and secure an advantage for themselves before their advantage gets taken away from them?

- Add a 'game tax' to every foreign aid transaction [some percent of the money sent - like 50%] and uncap foreign aid slots. Change DRA and FM to lower the tax by 5% for marginal gain. Allows new nations to be 'caught up' quickly but at the expense of warchests.

Oh boy, you know why there's a foreign aid cap? Because admin wanted somebody to play his game, not hop skip and a jump clear up to 20k NS.

Oh let me explain. 3 mil is chump change now a days, alliance growth patterns are limited by incoming FA to new nation. The trick in CN has always been redistributing the wealth. An alliance wants to get the cash from the high nations down to the low nations where its got lopsidedly high value. When my infra costs 20,000 times yours it's a far better investment to give you the cash. The FA limit is there to make sure people actually play the game instead of getting gifted half way up to endgame.

But that's not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that its already criminally cheap to sit at 1k infra and nuke forever, less than 5 mil a day, less than that even depending on trades and wonders. Based on a 2 billion dollar warchest somebody could keep hovering at 1k and nuking for over a year 400 days in fact. The only saving grace to that scenario is that eventually the money runs out, and even FA can't come in fast enough.

But if we uncap FA, hooo boy. As little as tripling the FA from 3 mil to 9 mil is enough for outside funds to keep our nuking friend going indefinitely. 9mil every other day should be just enough to keep the nukes flying, and that low low on hand cash once you hit that point means spy ops and GA's aren't gonna nab very much of that on hand cash.

A couple of guys with 5 billion a piece could fund 10 guys at indefinite nuking for 200 days. 12 guys raining nuclear Armageddon for over 6 months. Who could then immediately rebuild to a quite high level thanks to that uncapped FA. Find a home, sign up for growth program, 20 days later sitting on 100 mil or so they should find themselves back up to 5k infra and on self sustaining back collects in short order.

But hey, none of these are issues right? Lets uncap FA cause people can't get their instant gratification, lets do away with tech because the people who haven't been working at it 5 years think they should be able to compete favorably with the people who have! There couldn't possibly be any negative consequences for completely breaking a games economy and invalidating one of its core mechanics!

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Typo Ninja: Your entire post pretty much exemplifies everything that's wrong with the game. People who have been playing for 5 years have the advantage of experience, and do have a headstart on their nation building, but that advantage should not be insurmountable. What you're saying is basically a gigantic $%&@ you to any player who wants to join at this point, telling him it's not worth it for him to play, because he has to put in his time before he can play with the big boys.

$%&@ that !@#$. Nobody wants to play a game like that, and that's a large part of why we've seen a steady decline in membership. Because where it used to be we'd lose people and gain people, now we just lose people, and nobody new comes in. Those who do come in quickly realize that they aren't going to be relevant in any timeframe that interests them at all, and thus quit.

That is fundamentally bad game design. Admin originally made this game expecting it to last a couple months before people got bored of it and left well enough alone. The community has evolved beyond that, but the mechanics are still stuck back in 2006, and that doesn't work. If you don't allow for new members coming in to actually be able to get to a point of relevance, and relatively quickly, then they won't play, and the game continues to stagnate and dwindle.

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@TypoNinja:

It's OK if a 5 year head start means something, but it's not OK if the new player knows that he won't be competitive, ever.

A new player joining now is told that (military) he's going to be completely irrelevant for one year, and even after that he will remain at a severe disadvantage for another couple of years. Then some of the nations that are on top right now will anyway have twice his tech level, and while at that point he might be somewhat significant, the top guys will "always" remain out of his reach.

Also remember that to obtain that "success" he needs to stay put and out of trouble most of those three years, or else...

Do you think that this could be appealing to any new player? I don't think so.

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Uncap money aid, remove tech aid and remove the 30 day limit on wonder purchases.

Make land and tech cheaper to buy than they are now and scale up more slowly.

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@TypoNinja:It's OK if a 5 year head start means something, but it's not OK if the new player knows that he won't be competitive, ever.A new player joining now is told that (military) he's going to be completely irrelevant for one year, and even after that he will remain at a severe disadvantage for another couple of years. Then some of the nations that are on top right now will anyway have twice his tech level, and while at that point he might be somewhat significant, the top guys will "always" remain out of his reach.Also remember that to obtain that "success" he needs to stay put and out of trouble most of those three years, or else...Do you think that this could be appealing to any new player? I don't think so.

You can be competitve. This is my second nation, I lost something like 2 years of growth. When I existed CN I was in the top .1%. Now I'm not quite in the top 10%.

But holy crap, I'm nearing the top 10% of the game despite losing two years of headway. I'll probably never see the top 1% again, but that's not the point.

Too many people !@#$%* and moan and try to excuse it as being no fun or unfair because they can't catch up. What they really want in instant gratification, its a remarkably common attitude in north America, but certainly not limited to there. The idea that you should be able to be the best at something just because you want it bad enough, and if you can't get it clearly somebody should make those big meanies doing better than you stop being exceptional.

You can catch up. I caught up, you will never be the best of the best, but you can definitely still grow to a significant size. New nations are extremely unlikely to ever become the best, but they have more than enough opportunity to be able to matter.

If you really want a stat game focus on TE, it resets regularly. But remember that SE is a political game too and your nation is only one piece of it.

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