Another Blog Message

Once again I try to post a readable blog. This time using Live Writer which should be linked to WordPress and Widows Live (Home).

First signs are looking good. I can see my previous little posts listed nicely underneath this one. And here I was thinking they had been posted and went AWOL.

Hopefully this will display straight away.

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New Blogger – give me a chance to get used to it

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog. I don’t actually know if anyone will be able to read this as I’ve never blogged before and don’t really know what I’m doing.
I think I’ve set it up as Public view which I take to mean anyone can read it. Time will tell.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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Evony 3 – How the Game should be

Evony 3: Age Of Reason

(The Ideal “Evony” Game for players as wished for by Lord Falcon Oldeblague, Server 88)

To begin with, let me state that the original concept / game play / terminology etc is the property of Evony© and is protected by all relevant laws associated there within.

This document is not a rendition of the rules, regulations and system plans of Evony / Evony II but is my concept of the “Evony” game as I would LIKE to see it.

I have called it “Evony 3: Age of Reason” for the simple fact that the game I’d like to play follows a more logical game mechanic with more “reasonable” restrictions / advances which make for a more believable and thus, more playable and ultimately, more enjoyable gaming experience.

To be fair, the original concept of Evony is a very good one and in its first incarnation, is sufficient to introduce what the game is about. Many of the mechanics used however, are ridiculous to the point of stupidity and needed to be reconsidered when the creators started developing Evony II.

The sequel should have been bold enough to make basic changes but instead, it just added some extra concepts and tidied the graphics. These were needed but the changes didn’t go deep enough into the core of the game.

The purpose of this document is to highlight some of these flaws and to suggest the improvements I’d like to see.

As an example to illustrate this point, let’s look at the limitation on constructions.

A new-found town – population 150 – 1 build at a time

A mid-level village – population 2,500 – 1 build at a time

A high-level city – population 60,000 – 1 build at a time

There is absolutely no common sense used in this restriction and is cause for frustration with players.

The restriction should be based on available resources and town development so I would prefer the numbers of building works to be limited by the level of the Town Hall i.e.

Level 1/2 = 1     Level 3/4 = 2    Level 5/6 = 3

Level 7-9 = 4     and    Level 10 = 5

In Evony, the higher the Town Hall level, the bigger the town / city.

Bigger towns / cities should be able to build more things at the same time.

This is logical and REASONable and my ideas for Evony 3 explore this, and other concepts further.

I am not going to write down all the things I don’t like and how I’d change them, merely write a concept of a game based on Evony but with the gaming ideas / mechanics I feel would make much needed improvements.

Any numbers / formulas and such that I write will be the ones I wish to see altered in the Evony environment. If it’s not noted here, I’m satisfied with the mechanics as they are within the game.

1 – The World

As world maps go, there isn’t anything wrong with having a continent split into 9 or 10 regions but the regions themselves should be mapped out with more detail given to locations of rivers, hills, mountains, valleys, forests etc.

Every map section should have resource areas relevant to their location i.e.

Lakes – scattered / close to coastal areas or rivers etc

Grassland – scattered throughout the map

Deserts – found around wasteland areas

Hills – Outskirts of mountain ranges / scattered

Swamps – areas where grassland meets a lake, river or coastal region

Forests – Throughout the map

Flats – Created by stripping resource valleys down to L0 through Deforestation, Levelling (Hills) and Conversion (Grassland). There will of course be naturally appearing flats but not in great numbers. Too many flats would lead to excessive NPC creation and eventually leave nowhere to move into and clutter up the game.

Lakes / Swamps and Deserts cannot be converted into flats. Keeping in mind the medieval setting of the game, the conditions needed to survive would be practically impossible to maintain in these areas but I’m open to suggestions how it could be achieved.

This set up for resource areas means players will have to think about their expansion plans in a little more detail by considering location. Where to build your next city should be a mix of capability and organisation. Not to mention availability of the resources needed for a fledgling city.

Of course, there is always the option to conquer an already established city. This is still a war game after all. It’s just better if it needs a little more brain than “build the biggest army in the quickest time and trample the little guys into the earth”.

With this in mind, there are many different ways of organising your military arm but more of that in another section.

To finish this section about the world of Evony 3, the set up of valleys and their level is based on the number of squares occupied by the resource area(s) within the world map. This is on a 1 to 1 basis so,

1 square = L1 Valley    2 squares = L2 valley etc. Up to     10 squares = L10 valley.

Resource Valley(s) – Level, Limit and allowance

The current system of a % increase in production based on the resource area level is still used but will have a variation on it. Namely, the % bonus is split evenly between the valleys that make up the resource field.

I.e. a L10 valley is worth 50% and is made up of 10 individual squares so each square is worth a maximum 5% bonus to the player and this is what the player gains when they capture the valley.

The available resource bonus is a fixed % and is directly proportional to the Level of the valley. Each individual square will have an equal proportion of the resource.

Area Level

Space occupied

Prod Bonus (%)

Bonus/Valley

SET

SOLO

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

4

2

2

3

3

9

3

2

4

4

12

3

2

5

5

15

3

2

6

6

24

4

3

7

7

28

4

3

8

8

32

4

3

9

9

36

4

3

10

10

50

5

4

There will be a restriction on the number of valleys that can be occupied much as it is now. It can be seen with this set up, that players will have to decide if their city is going to have mixed income or use up their slots to specialise in one commodity and rely on other sources (trade, conquest etc) for the rest.

Of course, this might lead to valley disputes but that has always been a part of the game anyway. This just makes it a more integral part and an added challenge in the development of the city.

NB. You must capture / occupy all the valleys which make up the resource area to receive the max bonus see Bonus / Valley (SET) above. Incomplete sets will achieve a lesser return see Bonus / Valley (SOLO) above. All this extra resource does not automatically come to the city. You’ll need to send workers to actually “work” the resource valley at a rate of 100 / level. This is to encourage city management and allows a method of army deployment which I’ll go into later.

The following page is an alternative way to calculate resource income. It uses the valley level / Tech level and Out of Town building level to calculate resource income and although I much prefer this method, in practical terms it probably wouldn’t succeed. Within the framework of Evony, it would require too many individual calculations to find the total result.

The level of these resource areas is based on the number of 1 mile squares occupied and will give a fixed amount based on this level. Each individual square that makes up the resource will in turn give you a %age of the max resource. How much you acquire is based on your technology levels and the level of the appropriate manufactory.

Example 1 (1 x L10 Forest occupied)

A Level 10 forest occupies 10 squares in the region and can provide 100,000 units of wood / hr. Each square represents 1 of the valleys your city can capture and gives you up to 1/10 of the maximum available or 10,000 units in this case. Remember though, you’ll need to send Workers to the forest to cut down the trees @ 100 / valley level or 1,000 workers in this case. Without these workers, you get nothing.

A “Lumbering” technology level 8/10 means you can turn 8/10 (80%) of what is available into usable “unfinished” wood. The rest is wasted because your technology isn’t high enough to produce the best logs.

This example gives a delivery rate of 8,000 logs / hr

Now you have 8,000 logs / hr for use in sawmills and, using the level of each sawmill plus the production rate that’s been set, we determine the speed logs are shaped into working “Lumber” for use in building / training.

To continue this example let’s say you have 3 sawmills @ Levels 2, 4 & 5.

Between them, you can convert 11,000 units per hour (1000 units / level).

This is for 100% production. Changes in production rate directly affect the result.

This example gives you have a resource delivery rate of 8,000 / hr

Your sawmills will handle and convert 11,000 / hr

Example 2 (4 x L8 Hills occupied)

Level 8 Hill offers 80,000 units of iron ore (10,000 / valley). Your mining tech is 6/10 (60%) so each occupied valley gives 60% of 10,000 or 6,000 units. 4 valleys occupied. This gives you 24,000 units of iron ore / hr (delivery).

You have 3 mines / refineries and all are L8 (8,000 units/hr max) but the production is only set at 80% so you achieve 80% of 8,000 (6,400) per refinery or 19,200 units of workable “iron” processed / hr.

This gives a resource delivery rate of 24,000 / hr

Your refineries will only handle 19,200 / hr

You can see 2 obvious effects of this system.

  • The first (i.e. ex 1) is that you may have a greater processing rate than delivery and this means less work for sawmills so you need to reduce production rate. This affects working population and Public Grievance can build up (your laying people off after all).
  • The second (ex 2) is the other side of that coin. A resource “backlog” can happen if resources gained from valleys exceed the rate they can be finished. This leads to delivery stopping and then there’s no work in the valleys. The workers you’ve sent there beforehand have no jobs and they walk out.

A balance is needed but this also enriches the game play. It becomes more challenging.

Your Town / City

At the beginning of your game, you start with an empty village with nothing more than a Town Hall and it’s a Level 1 building. At this point, there are only 10 other spots within the boundaries with 5 resource fields out of town and 1 valley slot. These limitations observe the fact you have only just taken control of a small newly founded village and thus have very few spaces to develop and expand your realm.

The Town Hall is ultimately what decides the size of your location and also the level of development available. Any building can be upgraded to, but not exceed the Town Hall level. The Town Hall represents the core of the town and this gives it its place in the scheme of things.

The various building types (cottage, inn, barracks etc) remain the same as do the pre-requisite conditions that are currently in use. The difference is in what each building development allows you to do as a player. There are an additional 2 types of building available also. Hospital and Public Baths

Town Hall

Level

In-Town Spaces

No of Barracks

Out-of-Town Spaces

Valleys

No of Builds

Max Pop

Specials # 1

Extra Buildings

Specials # 2

Tech Development

Specials # 3

Personnel Development

1

10

1

5

1

1

10000

*

*

*

2

12

2

6

2

1

15000

*

*

*

3

14

3

8

3

2

25000

*

*

*

4

17

4

10

4

2

50000

Hospital

Defence Mechanics

Recruit Bodyguard

5

20

5

12

5

3

100000

*

*

*

6

24

6

15

6

3

240000

2nd Inn

Espionage

*

7

28

7

18

7

4

280000

2nd Academy

Counter – Espionage

Recruit spy

8

32

8

21

8

4

400000

*

Infiltration

Recruit spy hunter

9

36

9

25

9

4

450000

2nd Hospital

*

*

10

40

10

30

10

5

500000

*

*

Recruit Assassin

The additional Technologies and Personnel and what they are, will be discussed at a further point in this document.

Barracks

The general set up and capabilities of barracks are more or less the same as those currently in use within Evony.

I.e. certain troop types can only be created at barracks of a certain level or higher and require specific resources, buildings and technologies as well as available population.

There are restrictions on the number of troops permitted however. I feel it is a necessary change that HAS to be made to the basic workings of the game.

As another (and in my opinion, the worst) example of silliness from Evony (I & II), a city of any level and population, as long as it has a few barracks could have at its disposal 1,000,000 Archers plus 1,000,000 Warriors and the same again for Scouts, Cavalry and every other troop element you care to mention.

In other words, a city (whether it’s small or large) COULD have a standing army of several million troops at its disposal and as long as there is food enough (either by production, buying or conquest) and time enough left alone to train them in the first place, this is considered a reasonable mechanic.

I don’t. It’s a piece of absolute nonsense which is the main reason for players abandoning the game. This is a view shared by practically ALL the players I have come across and spoken to in this regard.

It is this blind spot in the design that ruins the game for many people, myself included.

This huge flaw reduces the Evony game to nothing more complex than:

“Build the biggest army in the quickest time and trample the little guys into the earth”.

This is the only rule that enables a player to survive. Once you have your unrealistically huge army, you become untouchable and no-one will think about attacking you or your cities. While this may sound like a good thing, follow it through to its logical conclusion.

Nobody will attack you because you’re so strong so what do you do? You get bored and start attacking your neighbours whether you’re at war or not. You know you can’t lose because 10 waves of 100,000 Archers each can’t be stopped except by someone who has the same size army and you probably wouldn’t attack someone that strong in the first place would you?

So you attack weaker players.

New players who have only just started may get 1 week of immunity but after that’s up, they’re fair-game. You can send your army of 1,000,000 in for the kill. Your victims will be lucky if they even have an army of 5,000 by that time. They wouldn’t have a chance and so get destroyed before they’ve even begun.

This in turn prevents these players from developing unless they too are given the time, space and freedom to expand and build up. Even then, if they don’t get enough time before someone attacks, and are a few thousand short, 1 attack reduces them back to nothing and all that time they spent on the game becomes nothing more than wasted effort.

It may sound like sour grapes but I have had this happen to me many times in both Evony I and II and to say its very frustrating is the greatest understatement of all time.

I like the game. I’ve spent hours playing it and trying to build up a little kingdom but this unlimited army nonsense really does get to me for its inherent unfairness and impractical application.

That is why I would have restricted numbers of troops. It requires players to think a little more. It evens out the playing field and makes the game fairer and more enjoyable to play.

With this in mind some of the limits I would have in my game are listed as follows:

  • The maximum number of barracks is dependent on Town Hall level on a 1 – 1 basis
  • The maximum size of the standing army excluding Workers / Scouts = 10% max population
  • The maximum number of Workers prior to allocation = 5,000
  • The maximum number of Scouts = 1,000
  • Scout recruitment requires the new Infiltration PLUS Informatics Techs

Any troop recruitment is still dependent on idle population

To explain some of the reasoning behind these limitations a little common sense needs to be applied.

First off, towns / cities etc are places where ordinary NON-military people live. There is of course a need for an army for protection but there’s no justification for barracks to outnumber cottages hence the limit on the number permitted.

In a similar manner, it is completely absurd that the size of an army should be greater than the actual population of the city so a restriction is needed here also.

This still gives a reasonable and realistic size for an army.

I.e. L10 city has the greatest population limit (500,000) which allows a maximum army of 50,000.

This could consist of:

  • 20,000 Warriors    5,000 Swordsmen
  • 7,500 Archers    2,500 Cavalry
  • 5,000 Pike

Even this could be considered a sizable army and it only consists of 40,000 troops. When you remember that other players in either attack or defence are under the same restrictions, you can see that this will work in practice.

When you develop Workers, they’re main purpose is to collect the raw resources from your valleys. Maximum number of valleys you can have is 10 x L10 thus the most Workers you’ll need are 10,000 (100 / valley level and 10 valleys). They get created and held in the city limits until sent to a resource valley. They can be sent with an army for carrying captured resources but count towards the maximum size of the attacking army which in turn is governed by the Rally Point level.

Scouts are traditionally small military units whose sole purpose is to find and assess the military disposition of an army / city and report back to their commanders. Their strength is in secrecy so you wouldn’t send 100,000 Scouts on a mission. A small number is required thus a limit on how many you can have.

The new Infiltration tech is required for Scout training as they need to be able to get close to their target in order to discover the necessary details of an army / city. The Informatics tech is also required to allow them to accurately assess the info they obtain and put it into context for delivering the report to their commander.

As you can tell, a serious overhaul of the troop building abilites would be top of my alternative gameplay and I reckon most players would agree with me. (Unless of course, they’re the ones with 3,000,000 + troops who stamp everyone else into the ground) and are ruining the game for everyone else.

There are many more alterations I would make to the game to enhance gameplay.

  • Assassins and spies for special missions (eg. kill an enemy hero to reduce fighting capability of the army or discover the location of an enemies resource valleys / other cities etc).

There would also have to be counter-espionage and personal bodyguard options which make for interesting quests.

I had planned to go on with my “Evony 3: Age of Reason” paradise but I no longer play either of the fore-runners and no-one even knows this document is here.

Still. I know about it and I’ve had my say. (Even if it’s only myself who cares).

Alan Graham

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