The much bigger picture

5th August 2014 5:22pm

When you are running a MMO Its easy to get bogged down in day to day maintenance.  The other day Lothar100 snapped my head around and reminded me about the big picture.

His full email is below, the key point for me was:

“The problems lately stemmed from an imbalance between players who are active and players who are inactive.  The reason it isn’t balanced is because the game does not have enough depth, I’m not talking about size, I mean depth.”

He is absolutely right.  Things are out of whack with newbies vs experienced players.  Flagships and Rexes are the pinnacle of the game, and they are far too close to new players.  Experienced players need something else to do.

Pretty much everything currently in the game, earth, keeps, castles, prehistoric realms… is what I want to be the playground for new players.

Experienced players should be in Space, the Moon, Mars and eventually other planets.  They should be fighting and building space stations not farming wood in the prehistoric.  Grass will be pretty rare in space, so you won’t be able to use Stone Circles to instantly get there.  Uranium will only be found in game, you won’t be able to buy it.  Experienced players should be fighting over Uranium refineries on Mars.  That’s why things feel out of whack at the moment, Ironfell isn’t finished yet!

There are currently 140 units in the game, I just checked my notes for Space… I’ve mapped out 162 ! units for Space.

Remember when you see the Astronaut on the loading screen, that Ironfell isn’t finished yet.

David,

spaceman

Hey David,

I’m just writing you because I never write you, but I want to be heard around here. I’ve run out of things to exploit, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have suggestions.

My biggest suggestion has to do with player activity and balancing that in the game. I don’t feel that it is a very balanced aspect of the game right now. The problems lately stemmed from an imbalance between players who are active and players who are inactive. The reason it isn’t balanced is because the game does not have enough depth, I’m not talking about size, I mean depth. The way I see it is, there are only two primary objectives in this Ironfell universe. Hold onto and take other islands (for iron and oil). And build, protect, and attack wood farms (for wood). Food, know, and electricity come later, those are a dead giveaway and not complicated to achieve. Both of the main two goals in ironfell revolve around PvP to achieve, so when you’re put against player’s like Falazar (“players like”, others may come along) it’s very hard to compete against someone with that kind of activity on the game. You cannot be online for every attack and it’s not likely you will win in live battle with a very strong player. Doubly so when they have active members to help out. I can only imagine what that is like for smaller players. In my opinion Ironfell needs something else to either occupy more attention from the stronger players or build more mechanics that safeguard the smaller players.

I can only think of two ideas that I can give you that I would expect to balance out the game.

1. Bring back tunnels or some kind of non-permanent resource that can be gathered more safely (aka privacy or seclusion) or in non PvP areas of the game. This allows players who don’t have a lot of time to hold onto resources without needing to defend themselves from bigger players who want to take their lands. They can just hide away or play casually until the bigger players have wasted enough resources fighting each other that it gives them an opportunity to fight back and also not be crushed for giving it a try. I’ve played this tactic in Universe 1.

2. Add higher reward objectives for bigger players. Idk what, but something. Mega mines or something.. mega oil. Some place or thing that bigger players can fight over and compete for to get a high reward. If you can add something worth while enough where the larger players will stay occupied then they will have no choice but to compete for the large player goals and leave the smaller guys alone. Flagships do not do this. Although bigger players do compete to gain them. There is no guarantee it wont be used to slaughter all the noobs. (I think its horribly powerful and should be removed, but that’s not as important) And these ships are just used to complete more of the main objectives I mentioned before, its not creating a new objective.

2 continued. I really don’t know what you could throw in to balance it this way, #1 is a better way. Maybe do really expensive tunnels that cost more than castles, but they would have to have very high resources inside. Players would have to save up A LOT MORE to get to this objective. Instead of dumping everything into getting more land and making more farms. I ‘thought’ this was the point of dino realms, but it only became the new mainstream way of getting wood. And any player could get there… I thought the point would be to give the bigger players space to compete for more important goals, but that’s not the direction the game went. I think you missed your chance for that. So maybe you can do something else. Idk.

You are probably already aware of the other mechanics of the game that Ironfell desperately needs such as Kicking from Alliances, Alliance Ranks, etc. So I’m not going to go into that.

Let me know what you think. I know you’re under a lot of stress with this Falazar buggery, but I just wanted to put my two cents in and make some suggestions. I feel like whatever I say in-game doesn’t ever amount to anything, so here I am sending you an e-mail.

Sincerely,
Lothar100

Posted by on in Ironfell