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Implemented [Fellowships] Tournaments shouldn't depend on neighbors

bobbipiazza

Guest
We all know Neighborhoods are broken now...so I don't want to rehash. But...

Even if they get the Neighborhoods fixed - why would I want to play Tournaments with random neighbors!!

First of all - it puts too much of the game in the realm of random luck. We get a one-time draw to see who gets the short straws - the disinterested, unskilled, smaller neighbors. Then we're stuck with them permanently.

It's not like it won't matter. These Tournament points are adding up quickly - I'm already going to lose a rank place this week because the person below me in rank is buying the Tournament every week. Oh well....

But what happens if Tournament play remains linked to new and improved Neighborhoods. Some of us will get mediocre neighbors. Some players will luck out and get a powerhouse. Some of us will get stuck with junk. The players with powerhouse locations will win, and win, and win...while the ones who lost the neighborhood placement lottery will lose and lose and lose.

How did it come down to a point where Elvenar rank is going to depend on dumb luck?

**************

And just briefly - I don't really want to play with random Neighbors. I didn't pick this neighborhood - Elvenar just stuck me in it. I have a group of Elvenar friends I enjoy; we work well together and have similar interests and goals. It's called a Fellowship.

Tournaments linked to Fellowships would be far more appealing to players.
 

bobbipiazza

Guest
Katwijk, how hilarious!!! You're implying that - since Inno can't manage to retain players - they could be shifting responsibility on us to assist with retention?

They should ask - or observe - before assuming that we have impact on retention.

Every player who accidentally lands within the range of my Trader has hit the jackpot. I pick up every trade posted by every non-fellowship player - including those where I have to pay the full Trader fee. None of these players has to wait more than a couple of hours before they have the goods they're requesting. I pay special attention to the tiny trades of newest players - remembering how frustrating it can be to need 30 Gems.

After 8 months, is there any higher retention in my area? No. I don't have more active neighbors than anyone else. I like the thank you messages I get, though!

For several months I personally messaged every new player in my discovered area - offering assistance and goods. No visible retention - and not a single request for help from anyone I messaged.

With regard to Tournaments, I have 3-4 neighbors who play. I take note of which provinces they've completed, and make sure to play in that Province enough to bump them up to the 2nd reward level (even when I have no interest in the relic they're pursuing). Does this encourage them in the Tournaments? They're likely appreciative of the relic or two...but it doesn't mean they are "encouraged" in the sense that they'can become powerful cities capable of affecting my Tournament outcomes. They dabble in Elvenar - and no amount of interaction with me is going to change them from dabblers into avid players.
 

Philplessis

Well-Known Member
@Katwijk , i have a very good example of "cultivating new immigrants"
a long time ago (!) a new player landed just next door to me; could not have been any closer ! :D
I welcomed this player to the neighbourhood, made sure I helped on a daily basis (with returns), took offers from this player on the market, with much pleasure : the lucky skunk had steel as a bonus, which virtually made him a king in this neighbourhood - I still can't figure why my neighbourhood has so many deserted cities (including gold mines ...) with a steel bonus o_O
this player used to be in a fellowship, too
you can go have a look at his city : player name is Sdnative8
go figure ...:confused:

and now, back to our subject :
the way tournaments get people to cooperate ... or not :p
I have the chance to have an excellent neighbourhood, with plenty of inactive cities and a bunch of active neighbours, 1/3 of them are in my fellowship, another 1/3 return help, and the rest ignore me intensely :D
now regarding cooperation, we all have different objectives in a tournament :
-is it my boosted relic tournament or not?
-do I need more KPs or not ?
-do I need ranking points or not ?
-do I need random rune shards or not ?
at the end of the day, I try to help the best I can;
I do the first level of all provinces I can, then I check the rankings for each of them;
in case I am alone, there is no need to sacrifice troops to reach the 1st reward by myself, this province goes to the shelf :)
whenever there are members of my fellowship or known neighbours involved, I do my best to do my part of the business, and reaching the 2nd reward is generally piece of cake;
If it is my boosted relic tournament week, anything goes !
 
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Katwijk

Well-Known Member
The 80 per Guild + 80 PvP Neighbors (no physical map) + 80 arbitrary Friends model that's used in FoE has some serious weaknesses. I think we can all agree that using a physical map is a thorny challenge, but PERHAPS Elvenar will become an outstanding game because of our efforts.
  • Using a physical map may not be a solvable problem.
  • If, somehow, the folks who are doing "well" have the opportunity to cultivate "willing" immigrants, then it MAY be wonderful. That seems to be what the developers are trying to accomplish
  • If the concept is a bust, then we're no worse off than we were with the "fill from the middle" algorithm
The OTHER half of the experiment is being run over at FoE. The Guild Expeditions (Tournaments) are individual efforts, and the only "Guild" part is that
  • Goods are withdrawn from the Guild Treasury to unlock the 2nd and 3rd round of Expeditions, each week.
  • The individual member scores are added together for a composite Guild score.
The seminal InnoGames product was Tribal Wars, and Grepolis is pretty much JUST about the intramural wars, so InnoGames has PLENTY of experience with the exclusivity inherent in the "Fellowship" approach. I'm VERY reluctant to focus on Fellowships, because we'd end up with a dozen or so strong Fellowships and everybody else would be left out in the cold.

Hopefully the Elvenar experiment will enable InnoGames to find a balance that will encourage the cultivation of new players, and thereby improve our retention rates. I can see TONS of reasons to stay with the "civilized physical neighborhood" paradigm, for YEARS, and I hope that InnoGames sticks with the concept, which has HUGE potential if the developers can pull it off.
 
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bobbipiazza

Guest
PERHAPS Elvenar will become an outstanding game because of our efforts
?? I pay to play. I should receive an outstanding game because I've paid quite a lot of money for one. (is that a chorus of "ditto" I hear?)
I'm VERY reluctant to focus on Fellowships, because we'd end up with a dozen or so strong Fellowships and everybody else would be left out in the cold.
What's the difference between having a few strong Fellowships, or having a few strong Neighborhoods? Nothing. Except that the Fellowships are bonded by choice. If the Tournaments were re-worked to award bonuses based on Fellowship participation/contribution, we would see changes in Fellowship memberships and fresh competition. Why? Because many larger cities don't fight: Fellowships would have to re-evaluate the criteria for their membership. Some of the mid-range players who do fight consistently would either find their Fellowship ranking increasing, or be invited to join a Fellowship to fight with like-minded players.

I really like your term "civilized physical neighborhood"...if it worked. Unfortunately, it introduces a permanent random element in game success, an unfair quality that's not "civilized". Oh, and rune sniping...
 

Katwijk

Well-Known Member
I should receive an outstanding game because I've paid quite a lot of money for one.
You ARE getting an outstanding game, but you don't get a PhD in the 3rd grade, no matter how obvious your potential.

Here's one of your quotes from the US forum, at https://us.forum.elvenar.com/index.php?threads/tournament-checkpoints.2702/page-2#post-16189
Players who landed auspiciously near to other active players. Why would we want to return to a system where luck of placement determines game outcome?
Your "auspiciously near to other active players" is precisely what we need. If new immigrants, however it's accomplished, PREFERENTIALLY land near a strong city, THEN we'll have the opportunity to cultivate them, and draw them into the community.

The ugly weakness of the current "fill from the center" paradigm, in that Rookies are thrown onto the playing field in clumps, and the blind end up leading the blind.

So, to directly answer your question, I'd like to REMOVE the luck element, and allow EVERY immigrant to land in an auspicious sector.
 

bobbipiazza

Guest
You ARE getting an outstanding game, but you don't get a PhD in the 3rd grade, no matter how obvious your potential.
First you say that Elvenar will become outstanding because of our efforts, I reply that it's Inno's responsibility to provide an outstanding game, you retort that I'm like a third grader asking for a PhD. ??? There's no logic here. If anything, I feel like a third grader at the Carnival gallery: the giant teddy bear prize was dangled in front of me, but now that my allowance is all spent I find myself with the miniature cheapy.

************************

Since we'd both like to remove the luck element...perhaps we're just miscommunicating about neighborhood fundamentals. I think you remain of the opinion that we can influence our neighborhood - mentor new players and assist with retention. I'm of the opposite opinion, as expressed above. Do you have specific suggestions or examples on this topic? It just surprises me to hear you speak of cultivating fellow players, since last fall you told me that picking up trades for neighbors was like enabling - it shouldn't be so easy for them.
 

Katwijk

Well-Known Member
you told me
Hopefully not.
  • I've always advocated that undiscovered Traders are an EXCELLENT reason for building a bridge toward their villages.
  • Likewise, if they're doing Tournaments in territory that you've already discovered, there's a very good chance that they're doing tournaments that you have not yet reached.
Let's speculate on a couple of the tools that the developers might be working with, to facilitate and encourage reaching out to our new neighbors.
  • The Trader already has a list of your nearest 200 city sectors, in a flat-topped hexagon. It would be easy enough to calculate a Goldmine percentage.
  • The most recent WEEKLY tournament score, for each player, indicates not only their own activity, but the extent to which they've managed to engage their neighbors.
So, how about THIS for an immigration algorithm.
  1. IF more than half of your Trading Partner cities are Goldmines (30+ inactive days, rather than the current de facto 60+ days).
  2. AND IF you scored in the top 50% during the most recently completed tournament.
  3. THEN the Goldmine sectors in your neighborhood will be earmarked for new immigrants, for the next several days.
InnoGames can position new immigrants where they are "needed", but those locations are auspicious only because of OUR efforts.
 
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Irishna

Guest
you'll be able to make your own luck by cultivating the new immigrants.
Okay so I have to insert my 2cents here.... First, if you and your neighbors are randomly placed into a world location by the developers formula.....YOU as a player cannot at any point attract new immigrants!!! In what realm of your mind does that even make sense?

Also, WHY on earth would I have even the slightest notion left to "cultivate my neighbors?" -----> For the past 8 months in the US server I have done just that...
  • gone out of my way to be kind
  • accept trades not in my favor paying the trader fee
  • participate in tournament providence's THEY have been in
  • invited them to my fellowship
  • created and maintained a YouTube channel to post tutorial videos in order to help them
  • mailing them to offer up a wealth of information to see them grow.
  • And a host of other things to 'cultivate' their growth and participation
The only thing I have managed to accomplish here is seeing them go AWOL as soon as long wait times come along or a higher cost of participating. Granted I just started here in the beta server so I am small and things may end up being different. I truly hold out very little hope of that happening.

In the US server I have at least 15 active neighbors that truly play the game the rest are all gold mines. Out of that 15 MAYBE 5 if I am lucky on any given day will actively give NH, accept trades or participate for a whole 2 or 3 total battles in a tournament without finishing an entire providence. So NO...NO...NO...NO....NO... I do NOT wish to continue 'cultivating' my neighbors or neighborhood. Find a different method!

This game should NOT be a full time job. After all I do not get paid to play it. Hell I cannot even get 1 free diamond out of the developers per week.
 

Katwijk

Well-Known Member
First, if you and your neighbors are randomly placed into a world location by the developers formula
The placement is not random, and never has been. Vacancies, and thereby immigration has always been very orderly. Blind, but orderly.
  • For several months vacancies followed a hexagonal spiral that started at the center of the map. The removal threshold was around 60 days.
  • Immigrants followed shortly thereafter, so the effect was a ripple of new immigrants, that expanded from the center of the map
Muf-Muf indicated a few weeks ago that the algorithm would soon be more favorable to the folks who were on the fringes of the map, and then in the Release 1.8 hotfix notes he indicated that they were going (back to) a center to edge approach. Looking at my US1 map validates that we DO have a considerable number of vacant sectors on the fringes of the map PLUS a vacancy ripple that's around 3o rings from the center of the map.

If you want to dig into the actual map filling algorithm, I've reverse engineered it at https://us.forum.elvenar.com/index.php?threads/nine-near-neighbors.1248/#post-10443. The filling pattern is an emergent flat-topped hexagonal spiral BUT the actual map schema is simply a table with City Sector identities that are create as needed.

THE IMPORTANT concept is that it's just a table, and there's no programmatic awareness that there's a hexagonal structure, rather the observed pattern is a mere consequence of walking down the map table in identity order.

LOTS of other orders are possible. As above indicated, they've recently been walking the table in REVERSE identity order, and if they want to use Global Points or Recent Tournament Points or Neighborly Help or the Phase of the Moon as a relational index, those choices are all readily available.

The QUESTION, however, is if they are WISE, and if they are functionally any better than a simple hexagonal spiral?

If you read through https://us.forum.elvenar.com/index.php?threads/nine-near-neighbors.1248/#post-7835 you'll find that I have a LOT of opinions about how to take full advantage of our physical map.

I do NOT wish to continue 'cultivating' my neighbors or neighborhood. Find a different method!
To cut to the chase, I'm NOT talking about the equivalent of Sorority Rush Week.

Rather, I'm talking about STRUCTURAL FACTORS that will provide an incentive for including your new neighbors in your routine activities.
  • The Tournaments are an excellent start.
  • I'm still hoping that the Ancient Wonders will be accepted as PERMANENT buffs that make all subsequent activities more efficient. I've by no means given up on my KP Club concept.
 
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bobbipiazza

Guest
...provide an incentive for including your new neighbors in your routine activities.
Please clarify. Irishna just mentioned all that she did to include neighbors in routine activities, but you dismiss her conclusions.

I know you have a mathematical interest in algorithms, but let's use an allegory to clarify this misunderstanding. We don't want to play Elvenar based on a random one-time deal of the cards - you know, where some players get good hands and others don't. We want everyone to have equal chances of success. So, we don't want to rely on neighbors: no matter how beautiful the algorithm, we'll all be stuck playing with different calibres of "hands".
 

Katwijk

Well-Known Member
ou dismiss her conclusions
Not at all. She's doing exactly the right thing. What the DEVELOPERS need to do is place new immigrants NEAR such strong cities, so that the new immigrants have a decent example of "how it should be done", to the benefit of both parties.
So, we don't want to rely on neighbors: no matter how beautiful the algorithm, we'll all be stuck playing with different calibres of "hands".
Nope - The world would end up with a few strong Fellowships, and everybody else would be excluded.
  • I totally agree that a few groups of 25 people would be able to blow the top out of the chart if they could feed on each other.
  • I'd MUCH rather see a paradigm where those same 25 people will EACH need to pay attention to their neighbors, in order for the Fellowship to score well in the Tournaments, and thereby in the Global Ranking.
 

bobbipiazza

Guest
I'd MUCH rather see a paradigm where those same 25 people will EACH need to pay attention to their neighbors, in order for the Fellowship to score well in the Tournaments, and thereby in the Global Ranking.
You just keep making the same assertion, without addressing the facts. "Paying attention to" neighbors produces no tangible results.

And even if it did - or especially if it did - it remains totally unfair. I'm not going to discuss this any more because we're just not getting anywhere...but if Inno follows through with this and increases our dependence on neighborhoods, I sincerely hope you're one of the ones who get the worse possible neighbors. It will give you the opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of your version of "paying attention to neighbors".
 

Irishna

Guest
Granted I just started here in the beta server so I am small and things may end up being different. I truly hold out very little hope of that happening.
So far after a few days the 1 fellowship I joined and was a part of for only 1 day turned out to be a bust!! On the first day (today) they had several higher ranking members state they have NO intention of visiting at all and don't wish to 'help' others. So my assumption of NOT having hope here has proven right. Very very sad!!! I am still without a proper fellowship home after playing 3 days in beta.

The placement is not random, and never has been. Vacancies, and thereby immigration has always been very orderly. Blind, but orderly.
If in fact the placement is NOT random as you suggest and never has been ..... what the heck is the problem with the neighborhoods??? Why can't developers get it right? The truth of the matter is developers CANNOT, I repeat CANNOT predict which players will remain active and which ones will not so we have a bonified "cluster F***" with NO actual benefit to the neighborhood system. Tournaments wont change that, active members going out of their way will NOT change that, any algorithms you try and place on this issue will NOT change this. It is broken period!!!

As I stated in the ideas and suggestions on one of these forum threads.... I think they expanded and grew way too fast. They need to close several worlds and condense them down to only a few and place ALL active accounts close together. YES... the game would go into some growing pains and things would be topsy turvy for a while. The boosted goods can be changed IF developers allow for the same stats in each city to remain the same (ie: replacing the same tier and level production buildings with the new ones surrounding a city after it moves.) I wont go into the entire work up here as I already did it and don't wish to repeat it... but my idea/system to fix the problem remains very probable and doable.

She's doing exactly the right thing. What the DEVELOPERS need to do is place new immigrants NEAR such strong cities, so that the new immigrants have a decent example of "how it should be done", to the benefit of both parties.
Thank you for the compliments. Right thing or not I am tired of going out of my way to 'cultivate' neighbors. I have thrown in the towel and decided my time is better spent on other things so .... I guess any new neighbors unless already big productive cities LOSE out. I tried and failed.

I sincerely hope you're one of the ones who get the worse possible neighbors.
I do not wish that on anyone even if we do not see eye to eye on most things. I actually do wish him to prosper! I do value his input. It allows me the chance to have an intelligent conversation discussing several viewpoints of any given issue. But I DO so very much appreciate your support and kind words backing me up bobbie.
 

bobbipiazza

Guest
I do not wish that on anyone even if we do not see eye to eye on most things
Thanks for pointing this out - I need to clarify. Since someone is inevitably going to get the short end of the stick - the worst, most disinterested neighbors - I just think they ought to go to Katwijk, not me (nor you, nor anyone else with the sense to fight this).
 

Grace

Well-Known Member
So long as the placement is random, we cannot have strong neighborhoods. In order to have strong neighborhoods, Inno would have to permit existing strong players to invite friends to their neighborhood directly. This would then provide an incentive for bringing on friends and keeping interest going. You aren't going to get that from random placement.
 

Katwijk

Well-Known Member
So long as the placement is random, we cannot have strong neighborhoods.
That's the problem, actually, because the placement has never been random. It's been MUCH too orderly in that vacancies have been created, in order, using a clockwise hexagonal spiral, and immigrants followed exactly that same path.

The consequence was that we always ended up with new players who were adrift between active cites or, worse, immigrants weren't arriving fast enough to EVER add more cities to the fringes of the map.

It appears that the developers intend to cluster new immigrants around the active cities, and especially so on the edges of the map, with Goldmines in the wastelands between the clusters of active players.

That's actually not a bad model, because within very few months we'll have a lot of medium sized clusters. I would still prefer to have an archive/retrieve/move capability, which would allow us to improve the DENSITY of active players, but half a loaf is better than bread crumbs.
 

Grace

Well-Known Member
I think you misunderstood me Katwijk. By random, I mean that the players themselves cannot choose a direction and cannot choose to be placed near friends who may have started playing some time ago. While there may be a spiral pattern to placement, it still is random in that there is no logic to who might /might not be a strong player being placed near other strong players. Inno has enough other games that at the very least it could have a less random model by guiding placement according to length of time playing other Inno games.

So the fact that there is a spiral does reduce the randomness, but not by a significant amount since the player signup is still random and active players still cannot invite friends to be nearby.
 

benroq

Well-Known Member
I shall like to help my new novice neighbors to make them possibly come in my fellowship is the problem is that for more than a year that I began the game I have never had the new only one neighbors.:(

I thus have around me 162 gold mines, 22 ghost towns for months and 2 active players.
For the tournaments I manage well évidement alone.

I think that the system of tournament such as it is at present is good, you should not put fellowship in the tournaments because it shall create "great fellowship ".

Gold mines are only the first part of the improvement of the neighborhood, I thus hope to see the continuation very soon to be finally able to take advantage of tournaments.