Rejected Rework Sea Storm already for gods sake

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Proposal: fix/rework how seastorm affects hydras

Reason: Hydras are NOT ships.

Details/Visual Aids:

TL;DR: How on earth can Sea Storm still be allowed to sink colony ships? The mechanic is stupid beyond belief.

Okay, up until like an hour ago I thought Sea Storm could only damage ships. It even clearly says so in the description:

Therefore, I've always built hydras in my CS city ever since I first lost a CS from a Sea Storm with a Trireme fleet (and realized how badly designed of a spell Sea Storm really is). Hydras are not ships. They are not affected by favorable wind. They are not affected by Zuretha. They are not affected by Ram. Hydras are not ships. Noone who ever played a CCG (collectable card game) would accept that wording, it is simply wrong.

Secondly, even if it wouldn't affect hydras, it is still the worst mechanic in the game. It is counter intuitive. It is random. It is the opposite of interactive. It is cheesy. It ruins days of planning and teamwork at the press of a button. It is simply not a fun mechanic and bad game design. Why would you want to punish people for sending large fleets with CS's? How do you explain to a new player that it is a bad idea to protect your CS, because a random spell might cause it to break if there are more ships with it? It goes straight against other parts of the game design and mechanics, not to mention common sense.

Let me explain this to the game designers who obviously never played the game enough to understand their own mechanics.
When attacking a city, you send a CS, you send clearing attacks that will land before the CS, and you send support to land after the CS.
Defenders send support to land before the CS, and attacks to land after the CS.
In a perfect world, the attackers' and defenders' attacks and supports roughly take out eachother. This is the effect of the anti timer.
So what is the job of the CS? Answer: The CS fleet is there to fight against the inevitable 0-1 second snipe from whatever units there are in the city you are attacking. If the city contains DLU, a good player will dodge all incoming attacks and make sure that DLU is there on the second before the CS lands. If that city is a slinger city, the CS will have to defend against those slingers on the same second that it lands. The meta works this way because there is no anti timer for troops coming from the same city. The CS needs to 1v1 that city, whatever is in it. And then we can't send ships with our CS because then it will sink?

So, how did I find out that Hydras can not protect you from the Sea Storm cheese? Well, just now, me and my alliance are doing an operation against one of the largest players on our server. We've been planning this for days. So I send the CS. After a couple of hours (slow speed world) he uses purification, wisdom, sea storm, and my CS and 6 hydras instantly die. Attack over.

Yay teamwork. Yay planning. Yay random factor.
The guy also has several cities on his islands called "-player name's- farm no1,2,3" and so on. I'm guessing a friend of his created these for him to farm. I guess it's technically not cheating, but damn, that's just low. All of them are small and have high temple levels. He is clearly farming them for favor to cast purify and sea storm on incoming CS's. And it's working, the guy is number 5 (!) in battle points on the whole server. (Do all top players have dedicated farm players create farms for them?)

The reality that now hits me (the reality that I still haven't gotten around this horrible mechanic and never will) makes me want to quit the game. I've earlier seen other players outright quit when their CS gets sunk by a Sea Storm and I totally get it. It's a horrible mechanic for player retention. I've got better things to do than plan for days and see someone click two buttons and it's all for nothing.

Who thought of this mechanic and why on earth is it still in the game?

To give a constructive suggestion of a change (other than rework the whole damn magic system because it's awful), you could change Sea Storm so that ships in the selected fleet fight with 20% lower efficiency in the upcoming battle, instead of destroying the ships. Zeus Rage should work similarly.

Balance/Abuse Prevention: None required.



Just the same as everyone else, I would hate getting my own CS killed by Sea Storm. But I feel happy when I manage to kill an enemy CS with Sea Storm. So, ignoring any feelings about being on either side of that scenario, I'll do my best to explain why I think the current mechanic is a good one.

- It adds another level of consideration: In this game, you need to take account of a lot of different things, when you are trying to take over an enemy city. For instance, do you think they will stack the city, or will they try to snipe? Will they use DLU or biremes? In the case of conquest servers (mainly a revolt player, but on my first conquest server as well at the moment), will the enemy try to backsnipe your CS instead? Will they use fliers for that, or LS? There are a lot of different possibilities, and it is the attacker's job to work out what they are likely to do, and try to counter it. Sea Storm is just another thing to be taken into account. Will you choose a smaller escort and risk the snipe, or will you choose a larger escort, and risk the possibility of a purification and storm? To an extent, Sea Storm is like a perfectly-timed snipe. There's basically nothing you can do about it once you realise it's happening, but you can prepare for it. I don't see too many players complaining about the ability for someone to snipe their CS (I'm talking about good timings, not opening this up for a debate about ways of getting perfect snipes through cheating).

- This is a vital tool for the defender: The attacker has a fair few advantages in this game. They choose when to attack, what city to attack, and what sort of units to attack with (where this isn't governed by the defender having a bias towards one type of defensive unit). The attacker should be able to dictate the way in which a takeover attempt flows. Not to say that they can guarantee success, but the attacker does have the initiative. Sea Storm is one of the few ways (in my opinion) that the defender can do something to actively try and damage the takeover attempt before it reaches their city. The attacker can use Earthquake or catapults to destroy the walls in a city. Sea Storm allows the defender to destroy some enemy ships, and possibly the CS itself. You may as well complain that EQ is unfair because it could mean you get wiped out rather than killing all of the attack wave.

- The defender has to correctly identify the CS wave: Now a lot of veterans may say that this point doesn't matter, because "anyone competent can spot Colony Ships easily". And in a lot of cases, it can be easy to spot a CS. But when people start to stack speed bonuses onto a CS (Atalanta, increased movement, cartography, set sail) and possibly use invisibility to further decrease the visible travel time, then it can be harder to correctly identify a CS. I've used that technique combined with long range decoy CSs to fool people, and other people have successfully fooled me with it. If you manage to disguise your CS well enough, there is a chance that the defender may waste his Sea Storm spell on entirely the wrong attack wave.

- Multiple CSs: Multiple CSs on a city can be an utter pain, especially if you rely on sniping as your defence tactic. Sea Storm gives a chance to kill off one or more CSs before they arrive, and increase the chances of saving the city. In revolt worlds, this is especially vital, as you can't let any CS land and hope to take it out later, because you've lost the city by then.

- Sniping: If you prevent Sea Storm from killing ships, then you are biasing it in favour of the attacker. It would become a rather easy tactic for the attacker to use CSs with half-nukes of LS. If you are sniping a CS, you've probably lost your wall due to dodging, or you can't rely on the enemy not using catapults in one of the clearing waves. So you'll probably be sniping with biremes, not DLU. If people start putting ridiculous numbers of LS with their CS (and presumably using Zuretha or Deimos to boost them further), then this supposed 1v1 of the CS vs the target city becomes tilted towards the attacker. Combine this with the tactic of multiple CSs, and the only way to guarantee saving the city is to either individually snipe each CS with a significant number of biremes, or to rely on lots of people all sniping their biremes in at one specific time before the first CS. Without Sea Storm, it would be extremely tough to stop this sort of thing. The attacker could just spam CSs with large LS escorts. It would become a popular tactic on revolt worlds. And if everyone uses the same tactic, this game would be rather boring.

I'm also going to take a quick look at your suggestions for how you would change Sea Storm and Zeus' rage to reduce combat effectiveness, rather than damage some units.

- Desire copycat: Desire (Hera) reduces the combat effectiveness of land units by 10%. Your suggestion would just make both Rage and Sea Storm into near copycats of that spell. Rage would become Desire with twice the level of effect. Desire is useful, I won't deny that. But do we really want another spell that just does the same thing a bit more effectively for a higher cost? I know I don't. Admittedly there isn't a spell that reduces the combat efficiency of ships, but to change Sea Storm into this sort of thing would just make it feel like 'Desire for ships'. I like the variety in this game, and we should be encouraging the variety and the wider array of tactics that this brings (personally I would be interested to see a couple of new gods, but that's on the DNS list, so I won't go any further), rather than trying to reduce it.

- Reworking favour cost: Not really a huge required change, but another change that would be required. If you kept the favour costs, and set Sea Storm as a 20% reduction in capability, you end up with the issue that, for 250 favour, you can increase the attack strength by 10%. But for only 30 favour more (yes, I know you have to purify if the attacker has used a spell, but that's removing their bonus as well), the defender gets to use an effect that is twice as strong. That sounds a bit unbalanced to me. And for Rage, you would be paying well over double the cost of Desire to double the bonus. Again, not the sort of numbers that I think people would like. You'd probably see the community gravitating towards one of the two spells, and leaving the other alone.

Thanks (and apologies) to anyone who bothered to read this far into my post. I hope I've been able to point out why I feel that Sea Storm, love it (when you kill an enemy CS) or hate it (when they kill your CS), is an important tactical tool for the defender that shouldn't be changed. There may be points I have missed, so feel free to point them out, or debate the points I did make.


half agree, half disagree
think sea storm should stay and have cs killing power
however, your point in the hydra needs to be cleaned up (by inno)... sometimes they are ships, sometimes myths (think you use urephon not zuretha but not sure), sometimes none of the above
all other myths (even fliers) are considered lu and myths all the time so there is never any issues


Okay that was alot to answer to. First of all, I think we are coming from different experiences, I am mainly a conquest player.
That said:

Just the same as everyone else, I would hate getting my own CS killed by Sea Storm. But I feel happy when I manage to kill an enemy CS with Sea Storm. So, ignoring any feelings about being on either side of that scenario, I'll do my best to explain why I think the current mechanic is a good one.
But the level of happiness does not come close to the level of frustration after you've planned something for a long time. And you know that this will happen over and over. It is a feeling that makes people want to quit the game. This can't be stressed enough. Any such feelings in any game are bad game design. The spell can clearly be reworked without killing the CS and completely destroying the whole attack by one push of a button.

- This is a vital tool for the defender:
It is not a vital tool for the defender though. Not at all vital. It is a cheesy sidestep away from a battle that's possible simply because your opponent sent "too much" units in an attack. Anyone can press purification and sea storm, it's done in a couple of seconds. Just like that, what has been days of planning on part of the other side, you have alone mitigated with not even a chance of interaction on the other side. It is purely bad game design, and it further tilts all advantages to the defender (at least for me, playing on conquest worlds).

For conquest, when two experienced groups fight the typical attack goes:

The attacker sends the CS. Then the attacker sends clearing raids to fight off what the defenders throw in as support to bust the CS. The defenders then sends attacks to fight off what the attackers throw in as support after the siege started. That's it.

What we are left with is one city (the city that is getting attacked) that will dodge 100% of the clearing raids if it's an experienced player. Those troops will land on whichever second you choose, because they are from the same city. If the CS lands at 12:34:56, your slingers will land on 12:34:56 too. That is one of the huge advantages the defender has in all of this. Another is being able to stack the city before arriving CS's which makes attacking troops deal far lower casualties, and being able to select wether to build a wall or not (especially big advantage for a golding player).

Planning such attacks takes a long time and the attacks and supports needs to be well times. Being able of stopping such a CS by the press of a button completely ruins the planning and work that a group of 20 people may have put into this for days.

- The defender has to correctly identify the CS wave:
Not to talk you down, but identifying a CS attack is straight forward. If it moves slower than a slow transport, assume it is the CS. If it is a hydra (very rarely is) you'll see on the wisdom. The only way for a CS to move faster than a slow transport is by using all speed boosts at once, plus helmet of invisibility, which isn't worth it because not using Thermal Baths gimps your city (another stupid design of the game) and in the end the CS is quite easy to narrow down by attacks and supports anyway.

- Sniping
A CS city never has the advantage attacking a nuke city. Well, unless the whole CS attack has been built especially for the occasion. The defending city will always snipe, perfect to the second, and if the snipe is full it will basically always beat the CS. The defender also has access to the list of incoming supports and attacks. He knows, that "alright, the first incoming support is after 2 seconds. We just managed to put a myth nuke in after 1 second. This city is safe, no need to plan for it any longer." It doesn't matter if you have huge amounts of LS with your CS, because then it won't be able to clear any land and the attack will fail. Going for only sea or only land is not a luxury you have with a CS city if you fight someone decent.

Also, you are talking about large amounts of CSs. You can realistically cast sea storm on at least two of them. More if you have favor farms, like this guy has. Do you seriously propose this does a huge difference to your gameplay right now? I can honestly say it absolutely does not for me. It is a cheesy way to avoid fights that does not suit me.

I would be very glad to just see a completely different spell system instead. I mean, the fact that a divine statue is worse than just adding 5 levels to your temple, that just speaks volumes to how little math the developers must have done about this game before just adding stuff. Same with effects of other special buildings, event rewards that are extremely unbalanced and so on. This game is ripe with bad math and design.

However, while waiting on a new magic system, how about removing the spell that makes people (including me) quit. (I've decided to take a break from Grepolis after easter, it's simply not worth it putting time and money into this game when that spell works like that, the game is absolutely broken.)

Hope I made myself understood and without any bad feelings.


think sea storm should stay and have cs killing power
As long as it has CS killing power, the spell is simply broken.

Outright instantly killing 10-30% of all ships in an attacking fleet, that is also broken. "Oh, you attacked with 360 LS? Well here's three sea storms, 200 of your LS died." (the guy I attacked casted three sea storms on me in the course of a couple of hours)

The spell system would need to be completely reworked. Something like, spells are cast from cities instead of from a common pool of favor, and the temple level in the city determines the amount of ships you can destroy. Not a %-based kill-all type of spell, and definetly not destroying a CS.

The way you cast any spell on your troops to try to protect them is another example of how bad this magic system is. How can that system be allowed to remain for years in a serious game? Ah yeah, helmet of invisibility, of course that should protect against zeus rage... Right.

But either way, the pinnacle of stupidity in this system is still how it allows a single player to foil the plans of 20 others by the push of a button. It makes people quit. It feels hopeless. Sigh.


i understand your frustration with storm, all sides: the planning, your feeling it is broken, the lack of balance with other spells
and to be clear, i have never killed a cs with the spell and every single time it is employed on me it kills my cs
it's about "random" luck (yeah right)
however, i still think it gives smaller players a chance and should stay

if you notice, i did not make any arguments for the favor farms that you cited (legal but annoying)
nor did i say it was a "vital" tool (sorry kal)
it is no more hurtful than having 20 rages thrown at you (kill all the olu and a cs can't land either)
i think storm is a spell, in a game, to be used as a resource like all other resources
it can be abused just like all other resources

no where in your posts have you made any arguments for any true unfairness in the spell
players wanting to quit over failed cs's is part of the game

AND the one area in which your case holds water (hyrda), where i made the actual details for change, you made no follow up
are you here to provide ideas or just to rant?


I concede that maybe it's not vital in general. But there are certainly some times when I've found it to be vital (stopping CS attempts when I wasn't sure if I could get enough there, or killing off one of a group of CSs when I was under pressure or stretched thin). It's been vital for me, and I think some others may say so as well, but maybe it isn't vital overall.

I think the favour farms issue is a pain. I've found that as you get further in, you tend to run out of favour farming opportunities unless you can easily dominate contested islands, or you have prearranged being able to loot favour from another alliance member in an efficient way. So, from my experience, I've found that it's difficult to get more than 3 Sea Storms off in a limited period of time. (Save up to 280+ favour, then wait til late in the evening. Cast Sea Storm, then use daily bonus, then use next day's daily bonus. But with short TT CSs, this isn't always an option, so you are only looking at a maximum of 2 guaranteed storms before favour farming, assuming you didn't already need the daily bonus for the purification, wisdom, or some other use). Remember, it costs either 480 or 620 favour to kill that CS, not 280. 480 for purification and storm, or more likely, 620 for purification, wisdom and storm. As such, it isn't quite so easy to guarantee. And I've had people beat me on recasting before I can storm. Unlikely, but given the common nature of short TT CS attempts, the attacking player may be watching carefully, and recast in the short time you are checking the wisdom report.

I've seen players want to quit over all aspects of the game, from issues with gold/events, to boredom, to rage-quitting over being betrayed or losing a city or two. Sea Storm isn't unique in making people quit.

I agree that using hydra can be a bit confusing. I think they need to be classed as either ships or myths, not both. That would clear some of it up. (Personally, I would say ships, otherwise you get an unstormable CS with a huge escort, which is a bit unbalanced in my opinion).

Again, this is just my opinion, but I feel that if someone is doing extensive planning, they should consider the possibility of Sea Storm, and either consciously take the risk, or choose a smaller escort. If you forget about the possibility of Sea Storm, in my opinion, it is the attacker's fault. Just in the same way that you wouldn't blame the game mechanics because you forgot to time it so that you could send an LS nuke before your OLU nuke, and you get lots of your OLU drowned by biremes.


good grief! surely better planning is all that is needed


Having had the pleasure(not) of playing against Zambo on a previous server I can say "OH PUNY MORTAL, TREMBLE IN THE PRESCENCE OF ZAMBO!" loves nothing better than to rant and rave.

Hope the poor enemy player has nerves of steel and can survive spam attacks 24/7 and ranting mails


It's just another aspect of the game that you have to consider. Stop being such a snowflake. I had an inventory full of favour tokens and someone launched a manti nuke at me. Over the course of 4 hours I used the tokens to cast zeus rages and whittled down a 72 manti nuke to 12. It was hilarious, seeing all the fuzzies dropping out of the sky.

I'll give you a handy tip, since the sea storm kills up to 30% of the ships, just make sure the CS comprises 29% of the attacking fleet. That way, the CS won't sink.


Sorry - but don't see this as a problem... I can see the Hydra's dying is probably wrong... as they are not "ships"... but then if you just sent Hydras with a CS, I would think any seastorm should take out your CS... as its the only ship to be hit... I think its a good option that you can get lucky and get the CS...


It's just another aspect of the game that you have to consider. Stop being such a snowflake. I had an inventory full of favour tokens and someone launched a manti nuke at me. Over the course of 4 hours I used the tokens to cast zeus rages and whittled down a 72 manti nuke to 12. It was hilarious, seeing all the fuzzies dropping out of the sky.

I'll give you a handy tip, since the sea storm kills up to 30% of the ships, just make sure the CS comprises 29% of the attacking fleet. That way, the CS won't sink.
First of all, I would be fine with giving Sea Storm the Zeus Rage mechanic, in which it at least can't kill a CS. 10-30% is still ridiculously strong and I oppose it, but not being able to kill CS's would at least be a good start.

If you make the CS-fleet that weak, the enemy can simply 1-second snipe it. Especially if they just spend 200 gold or so completing some LS. It almost seems you guys are only considering what it's like fighting semi inactives and catching people when they sleep. It's not possible to do that against people who can always go online.

Let me explain: We just had another attempt squashed against that alliance. Sure we've taken some cities from some of their inactives, they take cities from our inactives... But looking at active vs active players, the war is at an absolute standstill.

Now we were making a push against a player who is number 4 in the world (not the one I told you earlier with personal favor farms made for him, he is number 2 in the world). They are very active players and not afraid to put some gold into the game, but otherwise make surprisingly bad decisions. The activity and knowing how to play is more than enough to make them very hard to take cities from though. Now this is what happens:

The guy had just sent out his forces on a couple of quite stupid attacks and two of his cities are empty. We decide to plan for taking one of them.

We get intel, and one of his cities has got like 4k archers and nothing else in it (brilliant composition). I send clearing to that city. First an attack with LS, then one with olu + cats, and then an attack with slingers. Then we all sit and time in fake supports to land 20 secs after my clearings on that city. The city gets cleared.

Roughly half an hour before those attacks land, and logically all their clearing attacks are heading for that city for the short range CS (that never came), we send clearing, a CS and our support to the other city.

Now, if we send a weak CS, all that's gonna happen is that the guy will gold 50 or so LS, time a perfect snipe and it's over. Let me ask you, are you guys in here aware of this? Because it sounds as if you aren't. Or do you seriously suggest that to take a city the other side must be expected to manage to time a second-perfect snipe? (this time we had two attacks going in the second before the CS, but supports had worse luck and the first support was after 6 seconds)

So the guy sending the CS decides to attach enough ships to withstand a small snipe and try to press "cast spell" as much as possible to prevent SS. The city is empty but we've seen him gold up stuff before. But then unfortunately, he manages a sea storm with like 20 minutes remaining, and is lucky enough to kill the CS.

I really don't understand what the problem would be, if his SS instead would work to only sink combat ships. How would that be a bad thing, really? Because as it is now, it is futile to attack eachother directly. All we can do is eat eachother's inactives. Is that the kind of game you guys want?

Are you seriously suggesting that the only way to properly fight eachother would be to send a strong CS, and then click the "cast spell" button on your CS-fleet over and over for hours until the CS gets to its location (1x speed world)? Because we are at the point where that would be needed in order to succeed with one CS. It is an absolutely ridiculous design for a game. And don't tell me "surely all you need to do is plan better".

Bottom line:
Being able to sink a CS at the click of a button is not good game design. Simple as that. At the very least there should be counter input given to the other player. A warning that a sea storm is incoming in 20 minutes or whatever, and the ability to purify it. Because the current system simply does not work (especially not against people with dedicated favor farms named in their honor).


What you are missing in all this is, yes you were unlucky, but he might have cast the seastorm and it hit other ships and not the CS... it is a risk he takes in casting the spell, and a risk you took in not sending a large escort... plus, if you take into account the suggested change to the purification spell, it would mean that if you cast Heroic Power or Favourable Wind on the CS attack it would be well protected... as the attack can only have one spell cast on it, and the suggested change to purification is that once cast you can not cast another spell for 5 minutes...

What you are suggesting is not a bad suggestion, but it does take an element of risk out for what? The risk is if you send a small attack with a CS and don't cast spells on it, you leave it vulnerable...


Zambo - that is exactly the point. If you keep getting your CSs sunk by Sea Storm, you are using a large CS escort. Which means you are knowingly risking Sea Storm. It's all part of the planning - do I risk Sea Storm and go for a larger escort, or do I go for a smaller escort and try to use close attacks and supports to protect the CS against snipes.

While you might still have bad luck at times, there are ways that you can improve your attack/support timings:
- Have a few practices, and see if you can work out if you PC/laptop has a noticeable lag. Then take that into account when working out when to launch the CS.
- Use anchors. You can anchor a bireme support up to 3 times: fireship, slow transport, light ship. That gives you 4 attempts to get a same-second support, just with that one bireme fleet. Now repeat that with multiple bireme fleets, get other players to help, and have some improved movement tokens around. That's a lot of attempts, and while you can't guarantee it, you are getting very good odds on having some supports landing close to the CS. You can do it with attacks as well, but you can only use a slow transport if it's an LS attack or LS-escorted OLU attack (you can also anchor with a hydra if you have some lying around), and only a slow transport or an LS if you have a trireme attack or trireme-escorted OLU attack.

You are missing something when you talk about all of this. A same-second snipe isn't actually guaranteed. You need to be counting it right, and not have any sort of lag when you try to cancel the attack/support that you sent out. I've lost cities on revolt worlds because a couple of attack reports lagged my command overview at the crucial time. And not everyone has access to gold. You're complaining because Sea Storm works against you in your specific scenario. But imagine you are on the other side. I am pretty sure you would love Sea Storm and be laughing at anyone who complains about having their CS killed by it because they used a large escort.

Both rage and sea storm have a bias towards hitting the units with the highest-population cost in the attack wave. So Sea Storm works exactly like Rage. Rage is infamous for taking out tonnes of catapults from OLU+cat nukes. Sea Storm works the same way. In a mixed group, you are more likely to hit the LS than the birs, and then CSs, hydra and triremes are even more vulnerable. And the only reason Rage can't kill a CS is because a CS is a naval unit, made in the harbour, not a land unit made in the barracks. It's not specially designed to avoid killing the CS. It's just designed to hit land units, which the CS is not.

Again, you are basing it on specific cases. A lot of players don't have a set of personal favour farms, and therefore can't chuck out loads of Sea Storm spells. A 20 minute warning is hugely biased towards the attacker, in the era of short TT CSs. The attacker will probably be online, and you can easily deny the Storm for less favour than the Storm cost, nevermind the fact that the enemy spent 200 on purification as well, when most people don't choose the pricier spells for their CS wave. (Personal favourite is invisibility, just to tip the odds a little in terms of catching the enemy out if I can.)

Bottom Line:
- You're complaining about Sea Storm because it is working against you. Given the way you've been posting about it, you'd probably be praising it if you were on the other side.
- It is a game mechanic, with a simple way to avoid it. You choose a large escort, then you are knowingly risking Sea Storm. We don't get people complaining Zeus' rage shouldn't be allowed to kill catapults, because it makes it hard to knock the enemy's walls down. (There are debates on whether it should be population-biased, which currently means it tends to hit cats or myths, or just an equal chance for all units, but I haven't seen anyone say that catapults/myths should be immune to rage).
- It's part of the game. I find it an interesting tool. It's another level of thought in a strategy game, which isn't a bad thing for Grepolis.
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