Proposal Revamp NB and introduce it to EN for more beginner friendly servers

Shuri2060

Phrourach
Proposals: (note these are separate proposals that can be implemented independently from each other)

Apply the following changes to Night Bonus (NB):

1. Players can choose what time their 8 hrs of NB starts every day. These hours should be publicly displayed (maybe in a player's profile as well as attack window). Players can change NB times, and after a change NB doesn't apply for 48 hrs.
2. (CQ only) NB doubles offensive power of units attacking sieges (instead of affecting defence). It is the NB times of the city owner that is taken into account.

Turn the NB setting on for servers aimed at more casual players (usually ones with slow speed and morale).

Explanation:

1.
I think NB would be improved if players could pick when it started in their settings. NB gives players not in the server timezone (or different sleep schedule) a disadvantage. With this, that would no longer be the case. This also gives players the option to have it on during other times, eg. work, rather than when they sleep, if they want.

A few practical details:

- Imo it shouldn't default to server night time - I think it would be better if players had to select it before entering a world. NB could still be viewed as a disadvantage to players who change it if the default was server as the majority of players wouldn't bother changing it (but that doesn't necessarily mean they are in server TZ), while the players who change it obviously want it on during the times they chose for whatever reason.
- Imo the hours should be publicly displayed. If it is hidden, the enemy will constantly HC to try figuring out your exact NB hours and that is probably undesirable for both sides (a pain to do, and a pain to be on the receiving end). Since these times will eventually be public, might as well have them on display from the very beginning.
- Players should be able to change these times when they want, but like VM there needs to be some sort of delay. I think 48 hrs would be a reasonable delay for the change, and during those 48 hrs, NB does not apply at all. The player profile should also show the change made and when NB starts again. Eg. my NB is 22:00 - 06:00 and at 05:00 15th August I change it to 03:00 - 11:00. From the moment I make that change, NB no longer applies. The next NB would be 05:00 - 11:00 17th August, and from then on it would apply at my new times normally.

2. Like morale, NB was created to help the less active players by lowering the activity requirement to play at a competitive level. While both work well in Revolt, a major issue in CQ that was overlooked when they were first implemented is that Attacking and Defending switch their roles during a siege. Defending a siege is an offensive play (trying to take city), while attacking is a defensive play (trying to save city). However, morale and NB didn't reflect this, so obviously it led to them both being weaponized into an offensive tactic. While morale has been removed from sieges, the issue remains with NB (and maybe that's why it's not in EN? Not sure).

Perhaps doubling attack is too much - that can be looked into, but the aim is to discourage sieges while the player is offline, which would help less active players more.

Issues:

I've tried to solve possible issues that might come up with these proposals, but a few remain:

A. (issue with 2) NB would get in the way of friendly handoffs/internals. Changing your time just before handing off is a possible workaround... but an unintended feature, really. Perhaps NB shouldn't apply when the conquerer is in the same ally/pacted. Not sure this is the best solution.

B. (issue with 2) It becomes harder to conquer cities in general, and makes it harder for smaller alliances to fight larger ones. I think this is the main issue and probably why doubling offensive power is likely too much. Even if the buff was reduced, I don't like the idea of widening the gap between small/large alliances. The issue for smaller alliances is that even more units are needed to sufficiently stack a siege during NB, and that is probably when the majority of sieges are held (when a player is caught offline).

However, I think this a general issue with CQ anyway - imo it is too easy to break sieges of weaker alliances near their end nowadays. I think it should be harder to break sieges the longer the CS has been in, and for smaller alliances, stacking isn't enough to account for that.

Possible solutions:

- Introduce an academy research that builds the wall during the siege. Eg. with the research on, during a siege, the wall increases by one level every 30 mins. Imo this would improve CQ in general (irrespective of this NB proposal).
- Progressively reduce the NB debuff during all sieges. Eg. For all sieges, NB starts as 100%. Then every hour, it decreases by 10%.

imo both of these solutions can be implemented and would help close the power gap between smaller and larger alliances.

C. (issue with 1) Being able to pick NB times could be 'abused' (by players who are very responsive anyways) by selecting times when most enemy players are awake (ie. making it harder to be OPed/hit in general). Not sure what can be done about that... perhaps reducing the % effect of NB could help, but...

Note this issue kind of exists already with NB (players in different TZ to server with NB).

Background:

There is a spectrum on Grepo players, I'd say.

At one end you have the most active 'hardcore' players. They react to 90%+ of their alarms no matter the time and spend many hours a day here. You generally only find a handful of them in the top alliances (maybe up to 20 early game, and 5-10 or less later on) and they generally are responsible for the frontline of the alliance.

At the other end are the more casual players. Maybe they are busy IRL, or don't want to commit as much to this game. They might not respond to alarms at night/work or even have any at all, and would generally spend less hours.

Now, I believe both are important - while the most active are generally the most aggressive and carry the alliance, the less active are responsible for their supporting role - they make up the bulk of their alliance. In recent times, I'd say the casual players are becoming even more important in an ally as there are fewer 'hardcore' players than there might have been a few years ago. So although the super active players might not like it (and I think they make up a larger part of this forum's community), I think we need to accept that a majority of the playerbase is likely struggling with the activity demands of this game, and it is probably for the best we lower them - at least in more casual worlds. A lot of players can't or aren't willing to respond to alarms in the middle of the night/work to play this game, while top alliances continue to demand players to do so, and perhaps we should look into doing something about that.

Some evidence supporting this is players frequently leaving early-mid world when they can no longer handle the pressure of losing units and cities when caught offline. Also, I feel like there has been an increasing usage over the years of illegal scripts that dodge/spell/militia when you're offline. All this probably points towards what I've said.

I'd like to see less of an emphasis on responding to your alarm (some consider it skill, yes, it can be, but is heavily dependent on your situation IRL) in terms of what makes a player 'good' in this game. I would say the Alarm is overpowered atm, and this proposal could help fix that and keep more casual players in the game.
 
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ukcolonist

Hipparchus
Night bonus should stick on regional servers and stick during the... night, that is if we have to have it at all, as for more casual servers, there is a 2/2 morale conq world in 128 and its literally 127 refugees and a few premades, not so sure casual worlds exist anymore
 

Shuri2060

Phrourach
Night bonus should stick on regional servers and stick during the... night, that is if we have to have it at all, as for more casual servers, there is a 2/2 morale conq world in 128 and its literally 127 refugees and a few premades, not so sure casual worlds exist anymore
(1) I'm less sure about (as raised by C), yes.

I didn't mean literal casual worlds - I meant ones aimed for more casual players - like ones with similar settings to 128 (as opposed to fast ones like 125).
 

Clas17

Lochagos
Proposals: (note these are separate proposals that can be implemented independently from each other)

Apply the following changes to Night Bonus (NB):

1. Players can choose what time their 8 hrs of NB starts every day. These hours should be publicly displayed (maybe in a player's profile as well as attack window). Players can change NB times, and after a change NB doesn't apply for 48 hrs.
2. (CQ only) NB doubles offensive power of units attacking sieges (instead of affecting defence). It is the NB times of the city owner that is taken into account.

Turn the NB setting on for servers aimed at more casual players (usually ones with slow speed and morale).

Explanation:

1.
I think NB would be improved if players could pick when it started in their settings. NB gives players not in the server timezone (or different sleep schedule) a disadvantage. With this, that would no longer be the case. This also gives players the option to have it on during other times, eg. work, rather than when they sleep, if they want.

A few practical details:

- Imo it shouldn't default to server night time - I think it would be better if players had to select it before entering a world. NB could still be viewed as a disadvantage to players who change it if the default was server as the majority of players wouldn't bother changing it (but that doesn't necessarily mean they are in server TZ), while the players who change it obviously want it on during the times they chose for whatever reason.
- Imo the hours should be publicly displayed. If it is hidden, the enemy will constantly HC to try figuring out your exact NB hours and that is probably undesirable for both sides (a pain to do, and a pain to be on the receiving end). Since these times will eventually be public, might as well have them on display from the very beginning.
- Players should be able to change these times when they want, but like VM there needs to be some sort of delay. I think 48 hrs would be a reasonable delay for the change, and during those 48 hrs, NB does not apply at all. The player profile should also show the change made and when NB starts again. Eg. my NB is 22:00 - 06:00 and at 05:00 15th August I change it to 03:00 - 11:00. From the moment I make that change, NB no longer applies. The next NB would be 05:00 - 11:00 17th August, and from then on it would apply at my new times normally.

2. Like morale, NB was created to help the less active players by lowering the activity requirement to play at a competitive level. While both work well in Revolt, a major issue in CQ that was overlooked when they were first implemented is that Attacking and Defending switch their roles during a siege. Defending a siege is an offensive play (trying to take city), while attacking is a defensive play (trying to save city). However, morale and NB didn't reflect this, so obviously it led to them both being weaponized into an offensive tactic. While morale has been removed from sieges, the issue remains with NB (and maybe that's why it's not in EN? Not sure).

Perhaps doubling attack is too much - that can be looked into, but the aim is to discourage sieges while the player is offline, which would help less active players more.

Issues:

I've tried to solve possible issues that might come up with these proposals, but a few remain:

A. (issue with 2) NB would get in the way of friendly handoffs/internals. Changing your time just before handing off is a possible workaround... but an unintended feature, really. Perhaps NB shouldn't apply when the conquerer is in the same ally/pacted. Not sure this is the best solution.

B. (issue with 2) It becomes harder to conquer cities in general, and makes it harder for smaller alliances to fight larger ones. I think this is the main issue and probably why doubling offensive power is likely too much. Even if the buff was reduced, I don't like the idea of widening the gap between small/large alliances. The issue for smaller alliances is that even more units are needed to sufficiently stack a siege during NB, and that is probably when the majority of sieges are held (when a player is caught offline).

However, I think this a general issue with CQ anyway - imo it is too easy to break sieges of weaker alliances near their end nowadays. I think it should be harder to break sieges the longer the CS has been in, and for smaller alliances, stacking isn't enough to account for that.

Possible solutions:

- Introduce an academy research that builds the wall during the siege. Eg. with the research on, during a siege, the wall increases by one level every 30 mins. Imo this would improve CQ in general (irrespective of this NB proposal).
- Progressively reduce the NB debuff during all sieges. Eg. For all sieges, NB starts as 100%. Then every hour, it decreases by 10%.

imo both of these solutions can be implemented and would help close the power gap between smaller and larger alliances.

C. (issue with 1) Being able to pick NB times could be 'abused' (by players who are very responsive anyways) by selecting times when most enemy players are awake (ie. making it harder to be OPed/hit in general). Not sure what can be done about that... perhaps reducing the % effect of NB could help, but...

Note this issue kind of exists already with NB (players in different TZ to server with NB).

Background:

There is a spectrum on Grepo players, I'd say.

At one end you have the most active 'hardcore' players. They react to 90%+ of their alarms no matter the time and spend many hours a day here. You generally only find a handful of them in the top alliances (maybe up to 20 early game, and 5-10 or less later on) and they generally are responsible for the frontline of the alliance.

At the other end are the more casual players. Maybe they are busy IRL, or don't want to commit as much to this game. They might not respond to alarms at night/work or even have any at all, and would generally spend less hours.

Now, I believe both are important - while the most active are generally the most aggressive and carry the alliance, the less active are responsible for their supporting role - they make up the bulk of their alliance. In recent times, I'd say the casual players are becoming even more important in an ally as there are fewer 'hardcore' players than there might have been a few years ago. So although the super active players might not like it (and I think they make up a larger part of this forum's community), I think we need to accept that a majority of the playerbase is likely struggling with the activity demands of this game, and it is probably for the best we lower them - at least in more casual worlds. A lot of players can't or aren't willing to respond to alarms in the middle of the night/work to play this game, while top alliances continue to demand players to do so, and perhaps we should look into doing something about that.

Some evidence supporting this is players frequently leaving early-mid world when they can no longer handle the pressure of losing units and cities when caught offline. Also, I feel like there has been an increasing usage over the years of illegal scripts that dodge/spell/militia when you're offline. All this probably points towards what I've said.

I'd like to see less of an emphasis on responding to your alarm (some consider it skill, yes, it can be, but is heavily dependent on your situation IRL) in terms of what makes a player 'good' in this game. I would say the Alarm is overpowered atm, and this proposal could help fix that and keep more casual players in the game.
damn these are some golden ideas here but nobody understands them
 

gkassimis

Lochagos
i cant say that i am extremely happy about night bonus and in general i dont like anything that makes it harder for a big player to become bigger. There is always the solution of revolt worlds for those who cant respond to alarms on 24h basis and want to have time to sleep or work or simply do something else apart playing grepo. However i recognise that the biggest problem of grepo the last 5 years is the constantly shrinking player base and this proposal was in the direction to increase it.
 

1saaa

Strategos
What I like about this proposal is that it most effectively deals with all the complaints associated with night bonus, most notably the issue with conquest drivers going in at night time.
 

Hydna

Grepolis Team
We can pass this suggestion on. We could try a NB on a slow server if there was interest.

What worries me about this proposal is that if players can chose different NB then they are effectively making public their offline time. Whilst the idea to double attacking units in a siege situation helps (and i would agree this is a good idea), when there is no siege in a conquest world it still advertises the sleep time and realistically even with double defence a city without a wall is vulnerable. There will always be players on this server with different time zones and they will want to attack.

I think varied NB times are extremely complex and we would need a lot more feedback.

If you would like this I think we need to break it down and get feedback on 2 areas first.

1. Would a NB be of interest in its current format for a specified 8 hr period?
2. Would a NB be of interest in its current format for a specified 8 hr period provided there were changes so that in conquest sieges could be attacked with double strength.
 

thunder123

Hipparchus
my personal opinion:
i understand all the players who ask for NB but as hydna pointed out, telling everyone your sleep time is even worse than playing without NB. MAYBE, and i say maybe because i'm not even that sure about this, in revolt you could have NB (wall 25, tower and 12 hours to react before losing a city)
in conquest it would be just bad, everyone would target you on your sleep time only and make your game hard for no reason.

one note for @Hydna your second points has a big problem. "i" could attack a siege without double defense, but what if enemies pull the cs and the guy is not online? (BN is supposed to defend players who want to sleep, not to mention the big number of alarm he would receive from his alliance, forcing him to turn it off) that would me a massacre and that strategy could be applied in a lot of different situations to waste enemy ls and fliers
 

Hydna

Grepolis Team
You are correct about the issue with double attack @thunder123. This is why a proposal must be thought through and fully assessed/discussed first.
 

Clas17

Lochagos
my personal opinion:
i understand all the players who ask for NB but as hydna pointed out, telling everyone your sleep time is even worse than playing without NB. MAYBE, and i say maybe because i'm not even that sure about this, in revolt you could have NB (wall 25, tower and 12 hours to react before losing a city)
in conquest it would be just bad, everyone would target you on your sleep time only and make your game hard for no reason.

one note for @Hydna your second points has a big problem. "i" could attack a siege without double defense, but what if enemies pull the cs and the guy is not online? (BN is supposed to defend players who want to sleep, not to mention the big number of alarm he would receive from his alliance, forcing him to turn it off) that would me a massacre and that strategy could be applied in a lot of different situations to waste enemy ls and fliers
people finding your sleep time is pretty normal and easy in CQ. You can look at a player's behaviour and find it out pretty quickly.
As for your problematic point, thats how NB works. In the current national servers almost nobody breaks sieges during the night. The same thing goes here. Since you know the NB of the player, you also know what might happen if you attack the siege. In that case you decide if you want to go for it or not. The same thing you have to do when it is NB in national servers, if it just started you might send close attacks and try your luck.
In the above proposed type of NB it is even better because you at least can kill the CS.
Of course the comment from Shuri needs brainstorming and discussion, but getting attacked during the night time would at least discourage players to attack during that time.
I have played both NB and non NB servers and I find it more enjoyable to play in the NB servers. Activity should be rewarded of course, but not sleeping the whole night and having to defend cities is not really the best way to keep players here. Having the NB at least would make the attacker pay 2x units for attacking someone during that period. The point of the game is also not who can go more hours without sleeping than the others. Not to mention it being bad for your physical and mental health.
 

Clas17

Lochagos
And another topic, @Hydna why is there differences between this server and the german one in regards to guidelines. Spam rules are different here. In particular, hiding CSes by spamming even though you dont call it spam here when 20 people send 5 mini attacks each.
 

thunder123

Hipparchus
i agree when you say "The point of the game is also not who can go more hours without sleeping than the others"
everything else, i think it is a bit arguable.
1)your point on the problem i pointed out is like saying "it is your decision to choose to lose a city or get fked". is that how the game is meant to work? coinflipping things instead of strategy?
2) finding sleep time is normal-->not really. you can look for sleep time sure (player are 99% european or americans means you need to attack 3 am and 10 am server time... easy done if someone doesn't have alarm. but there is a huge difference between screaming everyone "hey i'm sleeping" and playing to find it out (you might find someone offline 2 times at 3 am, still not his sleeptime, maybe he is american and he was with friends)
3) " In the current national servers almost nobody breaks sieges during the night." i played 10 years in italian server, with nb... i know how nb works. honestly it sucks. everyone plays around 23.59.59 landind time. if you survive 1 second you won the city, such a fun and interactive playstyle (really tactical, isn't it? game telling you that 23.59.5x-9 is the key to win free cities) same would apply there.
not to mention another big problem i personaly never agreed with: in nb you have 100% bonus defense BUT you can still attack everyone.
now you might say "nb is supposed to let you sleep" but not really.
i will explain with an example to make things easier, please consider i'm using 00.00.00-7.00.00 nb for everyone (as i said, only an example to explain it easier.)
everyone will play with that 23.59.5x arrival time or, sometimes, try to land 7.00.01 hoping you sleep without alarm until 7.30.00
now i know i can sleep "safe" 20.00.00-23.00.00, wake up, play until 4.00.00 and trying to catch as many people sleeping as possible, knowing they all sleep and for sure someone won't have alarm because he needed nb, so he wants to sleep (not everyone, but someone will sleep), get one or two free sieges, get some good clearing, back to sleep until 6.30.00. maybe take a nap in the afternoon because, again, everyone will play around sleep time only. so 99% of player won't attack me 12.30.00-14.00.00
what did bn do to that world?
1) ruin the life of all those who want to sleep without alarm
2) tell none my real sleep schedule, none will ever find out i'm taking 2 hours nap here and there
3) tell me everyone's sleep time
4) avoid every possible fight during the day
5) most annoying part. americans would never be able to have fun against europeans. (using italian-american time zone, being 6 to 9 hours difference--> when "i" sleep (00-8) it is evening for them, in the evening most players will be there willing to play after dinner, before sleeping etc. if they want to play they need to do everything with nb. not only they know "i" am sleeping (good for them) but they also know they can't do crap if i have alarm because of nb (not to mention i could send 800 birs to my cities and fake sleep so they waste 4 ls nukes to break them and try to siege me) then it will be morning for me, again, good time to send a few slingers, spy etc. oh well, i can't same problem as before.



tldr: if you want time zone nb just make a server where everyone can attack only 13 to 20 (remember, there are asians with +6, need to take care of them too) how many people are willing to play that boring game? i hope none, unless you are the kind of player that really needs to find everyone sleeping for hours before you send your first cs.
every decent-good players that can siege active and online players will avoid any "custom" nb server, making my own game impossible 8 hours a day is just stupid, if i want to sim i become a farmville player


a completely different story would be IF and only IF nb would be introduced in 4 worlds a year (2 revolt, 2 conquest both of those with 1 slow and 1 fast) so those players who need nb can play their world.


but again, the first problem that comes to mind is that we already have this "to many new worlds but not enough" problem
1 new server every 6 weeks
8 servers a years
4 conquest, 4 revolt (2 slow, 2 fast)
if you are a fast conquest player you need to wait 6 months every time.

while it looks like inno is spamming us with new world, in reality if you are a dedicated player that really loves only conquest or revolt and only slow or fast, you need to wait months every time. if you skip the one you love for real life problems (maybe 1-2 months busy with job) then you either accept a world you don't like or wait months and complain because inno doesn't give us enough worlds.

and again, spamming us with all those worlds make server kind of empty, there are maybe 1k active players on start and 150-200 (IF REALLY LUCKY) after 2 months.


i know i talked about a lot of different topic about the "new worlds" problem, i know at first glance it could look confusing, but please consider each paragraph and you might understand everything, sorry for the really long reply, i don't like talking to much in forum but reading this topic made me think most people answer with their own likes not thinking how those would affect other players (shuri not included, his argument would need hours of talking, best if with really experience players who know what they are talking about)
 
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