The problem and why so many players who enjoyed this game have left.

How many would like to go back to playing without instant complete. Keeping the heroes of course?

  • Keep instant complete

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Remove and go back to 25 percent reduction to even the playing field for ALL players.

    Votes: 12 92.3%

  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .

Sambam214

Newcomer
The biggest issue facing grepolis today is the instant complete. It has become in all worlds who can spend the most money. The actual skill of playing this game has been lost to gold and using bots to cheat the antitimer. It has become so bad that I barely see any of the old school players around anymore. It was honestly better when you could only reduce the time by 25 percent. At that point no matter how much money you spent it took real skill to still achieve victory. Now ANYONE can buy victory and this has taken away from the game which was once the most popular MMORPG. I am sending this out as I hope the mods see it and bring us back to when real skill mattered instead of how much money they made off of it. Good day and thank you for your time.
 

gribbe

Peltast
Inno makes way too much money to go back to the 25% reduction thing. Only thing they go back on are truly game-breaking things such as giant myth tokens (which are far more limited now than they were a year ago). It sucks but that's the way it is.

Also bots can't change game code, No matter how much propaganda you got in the Pigs alliance in us84 that we used bots, doesn't change the fact that bots can't alter coded mechanics such as the anti timer.
 
Also bots can't change game code
Doesn't need to change the game code, off the top of my head I can figure out a way for a bot to work. Send and recall as fast as possible until it hopefully lands at the exact time I input into it. All it'd need is a good connection to the server and access to the game.

It's not changing the code, but it'd still more/less work.
 

Megalopsuchia

Philosopher
There are basically two reasons for the current condition of US servers, which has led to the disappearance of the "skilled" and "old-school" players.

1. Game is pay-to-win
2. Player pool is a shrinking pond of whales
2a. The proverbial level playing field is de-monetized and rule-breaking is ubiquitous
2b. Community is a cliquish and unwelcoming echo chamber

The calls to bring "skill" back to the game have been ignored for a long time. Apart from new ways for players to trade and spend gold, changes in the game have been mostly cosmetic for years. Innogames is apparently satisfied with the game's current equilibrium, which we can only conclude must be a profitable one.

The insular state of the US community obviously does not bother Innogames. From what I understand, other regions have broader player bases. As a smaller market, the US is unlikely to be driving business decisions. Perhaps developers would rather simply accept the warts of the US community than try to boost the community and risk disturbing the globally profitable equilibrium.

I do think that "skill" matters more in larger worlds in general; maybe you should look into EN worlds or other regions if you have language proficiencies.

Otherwise, you can try a new game. There's nothing quite like Grepolis, but you'll find similar games if you look hard enough.
 

WorstxPr0

Citizen
I don't really use gold except for advisors and I don't think there's really a big problem with the game as it is rn. I'll give you a few reasons:

1. Players spending gold does not prevent you from dodging troops or sniping CSs. All it does it give them extra troops to use, or a second CS attempt if your first one failed.

2. Gold can't really stop a siege break. As long as you time attacks to land shortly after the CS, you can kill it very quickly. You don't even need to snipe the CS necessarily, as long as you have enough alliance members sending attacks.

3. Gold still takes time to use. People seem to think that gold lets you just spam attacks out constantly and makes it impossible to siege anyone. The truth is, any time you build troops you're limited by your warehouse and resources. Without rss, you can't build troops. So in order to gold up a nuke, you first need to send rss to the city, which could take anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes, depending on how far away you are. Since a full nuke often requires multiple full warehouses to build, you'd probably need to do this another 3-6 times (with just a level 20 ari in your city and no other bonuses, you need 5 full warehouses for 300 LS, or 6 for a decent nuke). And before anyone tries to mention golding the rss, the gold trade takes 20 minutes. Once all the units are done and ready, you still need to send it to the siege. And depending on that, it could still take you anywhere from 20 mins to 1 hour based on the TT. This means that, yes, while instant golding does save a lot of time, trying to gold up a nuke could still take up to 1-2 hours between each attempt, and the more you gold the more rss you'll need to spend.

Now I want to touch up on that little remark you made talking about "using bots to cheat the anti-timer". For this we need a little bit of math:

When you time an attack, the anti timer will either add 10 seconds to the TT, or subtract 10. This means that there are 21 possible times that the timer could give you (10 times "behind" the prediction, 10 times "in front" of the prediction, or give you the actual predicted tme which would be +0). This then means that if you are aiming for one specific time (let's say the same second as the CS), you have a 1 in 21 chance of getting that time you want as long as you time the support within the timer window. The timing window is also 21 seconds long btw, since if you send the support 10 seconds before the CS, you have a 1 in 21 chance of getting +10 on the anti timer.

Now, since you can recall support right after you send it, this means that if you're quick, you can send and recall support several times within this window to try and get the perfect time. Assuming you can send, check the landing time and recall in 4 seconds (which, if you have decent internet, is not an issue), that means that you can potentially get 5 attempts at it. to figure out your chances of ONE city being able to get the perfect time after 5 attempts, you simply need to use this equation:

100 * (1 - ( 1- (1/21))^5) = 21.65%.

So, using this method, you might be able to get 1 out of every 5 cities to land on the perfect time that you want!

However, some people are definitely faster. If you have good internet and are quick with the mouse, you can even reach 6 or 7 attempts each time on support. Just going from 5 attempts to 6 raises each city's chances of hitting the perfect time all the way up to 25.38%! That's 1 out of every 4.


Finally, let's address what "skill" means in this game. I think I can confidently say, without any objections, that the number 1 thing that determines who a good or bad player is is activity. The less active you are, the more likely you are to be caught offline, and thus sieged. Staying active also means you don't waste resources, you build troops and ships constantly, and you keep up to date with everything going on in your alliance. More importantly, you're there for your team when they plan something, or someone tries to CS them. If you're offline and your teammate needs help, you are harming your team.

The second biggest thing that determines how "good" a player is is merely how good they are at timing and sniping. At the end of the day, sniping is just simple math, and the only thing that's going to stop you from perfectly sniping or timing everything is internet. Bad internet = server lag, which can be the difference between losing a city and killing a CS. If you are having trouble with either of these, it's either because you have terrible internet, or you're just not putting enough effort in.
 
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Tbom9

Taxiarch
I don't really use gold except for advisors and I don't think there's really a big problem witht the game as it is rn. I'll give you a few reasons:

1. Players spending gold does not prevent you from dodging troops or sniping CSs. All it does it give them extra troops to use, or a second CS attempt if your first one failed.

2. Gold can't really stop a siege break. As long as you time attacks to land shortly after the CS, you can kill it very quickly. You don't even need to snipe the CS necessarily, as long as you have enough alliance members sending attacks.

3. Gold still takes time to use. People seem to think that gold lets you just spam attacks out constantly and makes it impossible to siege anyone. The truth is, any time you build troops you're limited by your warehouse and resources. Without rss, you can't build troops. So in order to gold up a nuke, you first need to send rss to the city, which could take anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes, depending on how far away you are. Since a full nuke often requires multiple full warehouses to build, you'd probably need to do this another 3-6 times (with just a level 20 ari in your city and no other bonuses, you need 5 full warehouses for 300 LS, or 6 for a decent nuke). And before anyone tries to mention golding the rss, the gold trade takes 20 minutes. Once all the units are done and ready, you still need to send it to the siege. And depending on that, it could still take you anywhere from 20 mins to 1 hour based on the TT. This means that, yes, while instand golding does save a lot of time, trying to gold up a nuke could still take up to 1-2 hours between each attempt, and the more you gold the more rss you'll need to spend.

Now I want to touch up on that little remark you made talking about "using bots to cheat the anti-timer". For this we need a little bit of math:

When you time an attack, the anti timer will either add 10 seconds to the TT, or subtract 10. This means that there are 21 possible times that the timer could give you (10 times "behind" the prediction, 10 attack "in front" of the prediction, or give you the actual predicted tme which would be +0). This then means that if you are aiming for one specific time (let's say the same second as the CS), you have a 1 in 21 chance of getting that time you want as long as you time the support within the timer window. The timing window is also 21 seconds long btw, since if you send the support 10 seconds before the CS, you have a 1 in 21 chance of getting +10 on the anti timer.

Now, since you can recall support right after you send it, this means that if you're quick, you can send and recall support several times within this window to try and get the perfect time. Assuming you can send, check the landing time and recall in 4 seconds (which, if you have decent internet, is not an issue), that means that you can potentially get 5 attempts at it. to figure out your chances of ONE city being able to get the perfect time after 5 attempts, you simply need to use this equation:

100 * (1 - ( 1- (1/21))^5) = 21.65%.

So, using this method, you might be able to get 1 out of every 5 cities to land on the perfect time that you want!

However, some people are definitely faster. If you have good internet and are quick with the mouse, you can even reach 6 or 7 attempts each time on support. Just going from 5 attempts to 6 raises each city's chances of hitting the perfect time all the way up to 25.38%! That's 1 out of every 4.


Finally, let's address what "skill" means in this game. I think I can confidently say, without any objections, that the number 1 thing that determines who a good or bad player is is activity. The less active you are, the more likely you are to be caught offline, and thus sieged. Staying active also means you don't waste resources, you build troops and ships constantly, and you keep up to date with everything going on in your alliance. More importantly, you're there for your team when they plan something, or someone tries to CS them. If you're offline and your teammate needs help, you are harming your team.

The second biggest thing that determines how "good" a player is is merely how good they are at timing and sniping. At the end of the day, sniping is just simple math, and the only thing that's going to stop you from perfectly sniping or timing everything is internet. Bad internet = server lag, which can be the difference between losing a city and killing a CS. If you are having trouble with either of these, it's either because you have terrible internet, or you're just not putting enough effort in.
Ill drop a like for effort, but no way I'm reading that
 

Megalopsuchia

Philosopher
Finally, let's address what "skill" means in this game. I think I can confidently say, without any objections, that the number 1 thing that determines who a good or bad player is is activity.
Agreed, and activity mostly being a function of time (a resource) combined with the number 2 thing determining who is a good or bad player, money (another resource) neither of which are skills, is the primary reason why we see complaints like OP's.

My 2 cents - there's only ever been one real skill in Grepolis: the ability to leverage teamwork. The game is really quite simple. A trained chimp can master city administration and combat mechanics. I assume this is by design, so that players can focus on the complexity of the human element of the game. Being part of a group of players that is greater than the sum of its parts is where the game requires skill, and that is singular quality that separates good players who are mere technicians from great players.

At the end of the day, sniping is just simple math
Another example of the role of time and effort, not really much skill.

P.S. Sniping can be situationally useful in revolt, but it is really only important in conquest.
 
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Spartans189

Citizen
Inno makes way too much money to go back to the 25% reduction thing. Only thing they go back on are truly game-breaking things such as giant myth tokens (which are far more limited now than they were a year ago). It sucks but that's the way it is.

Also bots can't change game code, No matter how much propaganda you got in the Pigs alliance in us84 that we used bots, doesn't change the fact that bots can't alter coded mechanics such as the anti timer.
you would have to fight more to understand how a bot gives someone the edge and myths are still over the top. If I converted all my cities to dlu (over 200k dlu) I still wouldn't be able to hold a siege with the myth numbers seen. I think Sword/archer/hoplites should be have their stats reevaluated or introduce new standard units to compliment them because conquest becomes nearly impossible on active players with 12 hour siege times and events every 3-6 weeks (accompanied by favor farming). I realize inno won't do away with limiting myth tokens in any way so they need another option to give the siege holder a chance to actually conquer on a conquest world
 
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Crash586

Artisan
Everybody blames instant complete and gold advantages for the reason the US side is sinking. Its not the issue. The reason the US side is terrible now is the way we all go about playing it. Also this opinion isn't based on my current world... yeah its happening but my alliance did it too so nothing I'm whining about. So here is the real issue of why our game is losing its fun factor.. Ever month we get a new world with all these cool settings. In those settings is a "Alliance Cap" which is where we screw up. Every damn world whether its a 35 or a 50 alliance cap, what happens is 1 alliance runs 3 alliances and the opposing team runs 3 alliances. During all this, all the newbie teams are quickly destroyed and then we drag for 6 months with 2 teams that cant really be effective as they should be against one another. So due to this, the majority of the rest of that world is played internalizing or taking inactives. Its not how the game was meant to be played, its what we as the US players created. So when you want to gripe about someone playing with money, yet your currently rolling with 3 teams, ask yourself if Inno making a profit is really the issue. They have to keep these games up. Whys everyone so scared to fight with the 1 team you get, no NAPS, No Pacts?
 

ROCK27

Philosopher
The only way for the game to advance is to do away with PACTS as well as 'sister' alliances. I don't know when things changed,,but today 2-3 huge alliances control EVERY world. All my friends that I have played with for years,,feel the same way. We are all looking for another game to play.
 

gribbe

Peltast
5 years ago worlds were more than 10x they are now. There isn't a single thing that Inno or the players can do to fix players leaving the game and not allowing new players to join. The era of flash and browser games like grepolis is over and there isn't anything any of us can do about it.

All in all, anyone can blame a multitude of reasons for how the game is basically dead. The one true reason why grepolis is dead is that people just don't play these types of games anymore. Any game that was a flash/browser hit in the early to mid 2010s is not doing as well as they once did and that is just the fact of the matter. Games get stale and people move on. The people left now will all be gone in 3 years tops.

It sucks but oh well.
 

Megalopsuchia

Philosopher
Everybody blames instant complete and gold advantages for the reason the US side is sinking. Its not the issue. The reason the US side is terrible now is the way we all go about playing it. Also this opinion isn't based on my current world... yeah its happening but my alliance did it too so nothing I'm whining about. So here is the real issue of why our game is losing its fun factor.. Ever month we get a new world with all these cool settings. In those settings is a "Alliance Cap" which is where we screw up. Every damn world whether its a 35 or a 50 alliance cap, what happens is 1 alliance runs 3 alliances and the opposing team runs 3 alliances. During all this, all the newbie teams are quickly destroyed and then we drag for 6 months with 2 teams that cant really be effective as they should be against one another. So due to this, the majority of the rest of that world is played internalizing or taking inactives. Its not how the game was meant to be played, its what we as the US players created. So when you want to gripe about someone playing with money, yet your currently rolling with 3 teams, ask yourself if Inno making a profit is really the issue. They have to keep these games up. Whys everyone so scared to fight with the 1 team you get, no NAPS, No Pacts?
Not sure what you're saying... does alliance cap need to be increased to allow more players to be in a single alliance? Or decreased? If decreased, you may just see more pacts/sisters.

It all comes down to the games inability to attract new players. Gribbe says it's because "players just don't play these types of games anymore." Idk, there's probably some truth to that, but it seems like too sweeping of a statement to me. I can't help but think that If someone builds a great game, then people will play it regardless of platform. (And in many ways, Grep is still a great game, which is why we're all still here...)

Why are there so many pacts/sisters nowadays? One might say because there aren't many real fighters left anymore. Just a bunch of nits who only want to fight when it's convenient and not have to defend too much. And if they can't join the biggest, baddest alliance to allow their game play to be convenient, then they quit and find a new world.

But I'd suggest it's more subtle, and goes back to what I posted earlier in this thread. The heavy emphasis on gold use, events, special packages, etc..., combined with Innogames lax rules enforcement, allows groups of unscrupulous power gamers to blow people out of the water at a blistering pace. I can't imagine being a new player trying to play this game anymore. And I can understand why even knowledgeable, experienced players get sick of it and throw in the towel on empires they've invested a great deal of time into. Why does Innogames open worlds so quickly even with its player base dwindling? Gotta give all the quitters new hope.

There's always going to be quitters and frontrunners. But when you have veteran players who abandon worlds or even the game entirely because the playing field is so tilted, that's a huge problem.

Maybe gribbe's right, maybe not. But the "people just don't play these types of games anymore" line has become a self-fulfilling prophecy with Innogame's focus on squeezing it's players for as much money as possible. What's the ROI for Innogames to attract new players? Development? Ensuring fair game play and rules enforcement? Geez, I would think it'd be positive, but I'm no expert. I can only conclude that Innogames perceives it as negative.

You have to wonder - if us remaining players stopped spending... would Innogames innovate and improve the game? Or would they just shut it down? I think the answer to that hypothetical would explain a lot about the current state of the game.
 

Crash586

Artisan
IMO I don’t think the cap needs to be adjusted at all. What I’m getting at is I always see people complaining that gold is killing the game. I don’t feel gold or instant build is the issue. I feel it’s the sister alliances and all the pacts. I don’t think people will ever quit and there is really no way I can think of for Inno to fix it. Nor do I think they would want to. I do think worlds open to quickly but if I look at it from Innos view point, I’d imagine that’s when they see the most profit. Basically all I’m getting at is we kill the game ourselves. It’s the same groups that are constantly dominating worlds (I can admit, I’ve been part of the group) and by doing this we are over time killing our game. Like you said, I couldn’t imagine being a newbie in today’s Grepolis either. It’s barely possible, if at all.
 

Aurabolt

Citizen
IMO I don’t think the cap needs to be adjusted at all. What I’m getting at is I always see people complaining that gold is killing the game. I don’t feel gold or instant build is the issue. I feel it’s the sister alliances and all the pacts. I don’t think people will ever quit and there is really no way I can think of for Inno to fix it. Nor do I think they would want to. I do think worlds open to quickly but if I look at it from Innos view point, I’d imagine that’s when they see the most profit. Basically all I’m getting at is we kill the game ourselves. It’s the same groups that are constantly dominating worlds (I can admit, I’ve been part of the group) and by doing this we are over time killing our game. Like you said, I couldn’t imagine being a newbie in today’s Grepolis either. It’s barely possible, if at all.
A year later, it's become more obvious Rampant Golding is a top issue on US Servers. Like you said, Inno's not gonna do anything that will mess with their cashflow so...yeah. Some options for people to level the playing field need to be implemented even if they're region or server exclusive at this point.

I also agree with Rock's point about too much pacting and cliques destroying any sense of real competition. That was a big factor in why I left Selymbria as soon as I came out of VM a few hours back. In the past, friends in opposing alliances wouldn't dare share intel for fear of being eaten alive by their alliance. Now adays, Alliance loyalty means nothing. People just want to jump on the top alliances for a cheap crown first and to avoid getting eaten second. The day after I went into VM two weeks back, the alliance I was in disbanded. According to a reliable source that inboxed me after I came out of VM, it was planned for weeks and who would be a part of the merge was pre-planned. I was apparently included to be brought on board but when I found out a lot of loyal players in several alliances were getting eaten, that pissed me off so I ghosted.

This is a community problem. If we want the hugfests to end, we need to take it upon ourselves to take the initiative. This isn't something Inno can do anything about but incentivizing competition between Alliances and discouraging too many pacts/NAPs would be welcome. It starts with us though. I have run into a few folks who have strict no-Pact rules. I understand now why they play that way. If I ever decide to play on a Fast Conquest Server again, I would run or help run an Alliance with that policy.

Each server, the pool of skilled players from the U.S. gets smaller and smaller. I am going to look into playing on EN Servers in other regions where things are much broader and varied. I also figure I could use the time zone difference to my advantage like many of them have been doing with U.S. Servers.
 

Megalopsuchia

Philosopher
The no-hugging self-policing is an ideal that I doubt would ever work. It’s simple game theory / prisoner’s dilemma. It’s like how some oil producer always cheats the OPEC cartel... as soon as they all take the leap of faith to trust each other to sell at a certain price, the incentive to undercut becomes too great to resist.

The change would need to be more fundamental.

Btw, greatly appreciate your thoughtful posts about potential improvements to the game. You have some great ideas!
 

Aurabolt

Citizen
True, but it's really the only way we can put a stop to that practice. I also never said it would be easy, just necessary. Naturally, it will also take some time before we start seeing meaningful changes.
 

Husker Red

Newcomer
First off I would like to say that I left Grep for 2 yrs and played other games. There are worse and even greedier Devs out there. That said couple thoughts that I have about the decline of the US servers would be, that gold should be only able to be used in the Server that it is traded for, second Favor Farming combined with horrible Alliance Caps is one of the biggest reasons that we are seeing new players leaving. Back in the day when you had Alliance Cap of 70-100 and saw a new player developing you might reach out and see how they were doing and if they would respond and be at least able to form a coherent thought we would be willing to try to advise and work to help them grow. Now days as soon as a Server opens 30-35 players jump in as a pre-made allowing very little space for adding new players. And most new players that grow a little slower while trying to figure out the game mechanics end up getting farmed for favor and resos. The Devs seem to be happy with the current arrangement so without a major cultural shift I do doubt that very much will be done to change the natural progression to decay.
 

Aurabolt

Citizen
Back in the day when you had Alliance Cap of 70-100 and saw a new player developing you might reach out and see how they were doing and if they would respond and be at least able to form a coherent thought we would be willing to try to advise and work to help them grow. Now days as soon as a Server opens 30-35 players jump in as a pre-made allowing very little space for adding new players. And most new players that grow a little slower while trying to figure out the game mechanics end up getting farmed for favor and resos. The Devs seem to be happy with the current arrangement so without a major cultural shift I do doubt that very much will be done to change the natural progression to decay.
You do raise some valid points here and you're right. There simply is no place or space for new players to learn from experienced players anymore compared to years' past. Hyperborea is for people who don't want to lose cities or are Semi-retired. Olynthus us for Gold Farming. I do think more structured Servers for new players should be made. You can't force people to train new players. That's a given. So, it's only right Inno make servers geared for players to learn mechanics.

...Some PvE Servers wouldn't be a bad idea either now that I'm thinking about it. In that case, players would face AI-controlled foes instead of other players.