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Subject: Predetermined Countries / World Warlast
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1)Johnny(Overlord)
A new game mode is coming! This oneís an idea Iíve had in the back of my head for years: Predetermined Countries.

The first world to use it will be part of a new World War series. The world will consist of real countries, exactly as they exist in real life!

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Joining the world will let you select any available country (first come, first serve). Declaration of War will also be enabled, so all countries will begin with 28 day treaties.

From there, some of the details are still up in the air. Iíd like to hear all of your thoughts on the following.

1) Capitals

I could place capitals in the geographic center of occupied areas, or I can place them where they really exist. Right now Iím thinking the latter. Some of the largest countries will have a sector advantage, but capitals like D.C., Ottawa, Moscow, Bejing, etc. would all make it difficult to protect the full border early in the game.

2) Money

I could use the standard starting income, or perhaps I could set the smallest countries to start with the most cash. I could also make it more realistic and go with GDP or wealth levels or something along those lines, but I think that would give the big countries too much of an advantage.

3) Resigning and Rejoining

The current resign/rejoin schema wouldnít work at all. It would allow a player to claim a country, launch missiles/nukes, and then resign and jump to another country. I could make the world be a one-time join, so you get one chance to claim a country, period (which is the direction Iím leaning to currently). If I do allow resigning, I suppose all attacks for that country would have to be cleared and a new owner would just get the country in its current state.

Any other thoughts on other aspects of the game that could be affected?
Love the idea.

Could play the map over and over with the variations in capitol location and starting income.

I have a couple idea for the resign/rejoin issue.
1) As mentioned - no rejoining
2) Can rejoin but must get smaller country income wise - don't know about the programming of this one
3) Delay nukes - Must be a country for a set time before ability to buy/use nukes. This would prevent someone joining and rejoining just to be disruptive

I also think you might be able to test some of these options with regional maps.

South America would be a great small test of income, capital location, etc
3)Johnny(Overlord)
Hanibel wrote on :
2) Can rejoin but must get smaller country income wise - don't know about the programming of this one
3) Delay nukes - Must be a country for a set time before ability to buy/use nukes. This would prevent someone joining and rejoining just to be disruptive
I think #2 would still leave the door open to running through countries and launching air attacks, then moving onto the next one. #3 could be an interesting approach!
4)Johnny(Overlord)
Another option to consider!

4) Land Bases

Each country could begin with just a land base on their capital, or cities that have a minimum population could also get a land base. What I like about the former (which I think is the way I'm leaning) is that it creates a disadvantage for large countries to counter the advantage of having so much land and income. It will take quite a bit of time to get units across to protect all of that land.

Here are maps with capitals (black dots) as well as and cities (white dots) whose population are 100K+, 500K+, or 1M+ (click for large versions):

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And here's a map with just capitals:

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I think if you're going to set it up as the "real world" then you need to place cities where they actually are.  So if a city has more than 100k in real life then there should be a city there in game.  Otherwise it'll be really hard to fortify your country against the smaller countries, who can get some rapid expansion into your country before you can get a land base over there to protect yourself.
6)Johnny(Overlord)
Joder wrote on :
Otherwise it'll be really hard to fortify your country against the smaller countries, who can get some rapid expansion into your country before you can get a land base over there to protect yourself.
That's true, but those smaller countries start at a disadvantage. With less land, they're already making less income.

If all countries only start with a capital, then expansion rate is completely equal. Larger countries still have an advantage in that they immediately start earning more than smaller countries. It's just harder to hold onto that land in the beginning.

Larger countries would also have more cities with high populations, which would give them even more of an advantage right out of the gate.
This is awesome Johnny.

My thoughts:

Small countries should start the game with long treaties against larger neighbors. Global treaties  for nations that have not yet been filled with a player and allow them to continue to generate income even while un-played (so they are not gobbled up right away and late joiners will have some consideration).

Keep the normal income rules intact. If possible, perhaps adjust sector resource values to be much higher in smaller nations.

Go with the cities, not capitals. Personal opinion.
8)Johnny(Overlord)
Thanks, Kadath! I'm really excited about this one. I feel like there's so much potential.

This world is going to have Declaration of War enabled, so all countries will start with 28 day treaties. That will give people weeks to fortify and move units into place (assuming they want to war with their neighbors in the first place).

Unclaimed countries will still generate income, since they do exist and own the land. So, a player claiming them later will have a good shot. (You'll also be able to see the country's current wealth when choosing a country to claim.)

Increasing raw materials in areas with smaller countries is definitely an interesting idea! I really like that as an approach to helping overcome the income disparity with larger countries.

When you say, "Go with the cities," what are your thoughts on my comments about how I'm thinking that would mostly just help the bigger countries that already have the land advantage? I'm concerned it would just make it harder to start with a smaller country, but, of course, I could be overlooking some other aspect! So, just curious about the reasons behind it.
9)Johnny(Overlord)
I distributed country colors so neighboring countries aren't too similar. Please take a look (click for larger size) and let me know if you see any I missed!

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10)Johnny(Overlord)
I've been testing variations of raw material levels based on country size.

The first test set the materials based on proportion to the largest occupied country:

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The second test was just distributed evenly, ordered from largest to smallest:

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Both were two extreme, so I tried an average:

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I liked that distribution, so I added some blurring and variation for this end result:

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Johnny wrote on :
When you say, "Go with the cities," what are your thoughts on my comments about how I'm thinking that would mostly just help the bigger countries that already have the land advantage? I'm concerned it would just make it harder to start with a smaller country, but, of course, I could be overlooking some other aspect! So, just curious about the reasons behind it.
My primary concern was that the larger countries would essentially get wrecked by smaller neighbors within the first several rounds as many of the large nations capitals are quite far away from anything. However, when I made that suggestion I was also not aware of the Declaration of War aspect. The 28 days is sufficient time to overcome that obstacle.

In that light, your points are very valid and cities will mostly favors larger countries, so let's take them out.

It will be an interesting dilemma for large nations to prioritize base building and balancing aspirations for expansion whereas small nations will be able to focus intently on a specific area (at least early on). Again, showing that diplomacy is the key to GT.

Perhaps we should tweak the away alliances work for this scenario as well?
This is amazing as well! Exactly what I was imagining!

One would almost point out how the resource distribution seems to reflect oil in the real world (albeit with a few major exceptions).

Well done!
13)Johnny(Overlord)
Kadath wrote on :
Perhaps we should tweak the away alliances work for this scenario as well?
I hadn't thought about changes to alliances. What did you have in mind?
14)Johnny(Overlord)
Kadath wrote on :
This is amazing as well! Exactly what I was imagining!
Thanks! =D
Hey when this gets started I would love to try it out, and if possible dibs on Israel
Johnny wrote on :
I hadn't thought about changes to alliances. What did you have in mind?
Few ideas there:

1. Static Alliances: Nations begin in a specific alliance in order to further balance the smaller and larger players. Depending on the number of players, we could probably come up with maybe 2-6 various Static Alliances that balance across the world and roughly balance the amount of land each would start with. Could be interesting.

2. Place size limits on which nations are allowed to ally. This will keep large blobs from forming early on.

3. Maybe even place a sector cap on how large an alliance can be. Perhaps even booting players when a specific threshold is reached. Or even making it dynamic so that it scales up as the game matures and countries are eliminated. Or make it relative to the size of other alliances.
17)Johnny(Overlord)
Kadath wrote on :
Few ideas there:
Thanks, Kadath! These are all really interesting ideas. Definitely going to give them some thought!
Um just a quick question,  If there aren't enough people to play this map will some of the nations be cpu or something?  Because I noticed that you have lots of nations there and I don't know how many people would play this map
19)Johnny(Overlord)
Razatron1 wrote on :
If there aren't enough people to play this map will some of the nations be cpu or something?
They'll essentially just act as abandoned countries. They'll still be there for the other countries to conquer.

I have to put some materials together, and then I'm going to do a big promotional push. I'll e-mail past players, put ads online, etc. Likely to be GT's last hurrah!
Johnny wrote on :
Likely to be GT's last hurrah!
Trying not to read into that statement too much...

Regardless, I will attempt to find some time to participate on this one.

I missed the last incarnation of the world map from way back. Is there a world-wrap feature implemented when we cross the east/west boundaries of the map?
21)Johnny(Overlord)
User activity in GT is extremely low at this point, so this will likely be my last push to try to drive participation and get some interest back. (Hard to keep putting money into running ads for it, especially since we now have a baby on the way!)

There won't be a world wrap feature, just because the game would require so many changes for that to work logically and intuitively. (For example, the whole air attack system would need to be redesigned.) I just don't have the time for that at this point.

I gave your alliance adjustment idea more thought and I decided I'm going to do a size limit (rather than a country limit). Alliances will be limited to about 400K sectors. So, if a country joining the alliance would exceed that limit, it won't be allowed to join. (Once an alliance grows beyond the limit, it just means no one else will be able to join it.) I think that will work well to balance power in the new world. Thanks again for the suggestion! Fantastic idea.
Indeed. Participation seems to be at an all time low. I personally have not joined a map in years but I do tend to browse from time to time. I know there have been a number of discussions on why this is, the amount of time it takes on larger maps etc. However, you have implemented some good changes in this regard, particularly in allowing users to generate their own maps. The problem now is the  player base you once had is no longer around.

Part of the issue on my end is time constraint but I would also be more inclined to make the time if I saw a large number of players involved. Which I suppose other veterans face as well, which leads to even less participation.

The world wrap explanation makes sense... and now that you mention it I vaguely remember this discussion from a while back.

Thank you again for implementing another idea! I like throwing them around!


(AND WOW! Congratulations! Best to you and your family!)
Further thought: In regards to drawing new players and increasing veteran participation, have you considered bringing back the prize maps?

These seemed to generate a good amount of interest and participation in the past.

I would probably be willing to make a nice donation just to get another Rioja going... :)
24)Johnny(Overlord)
Kadath wrote on :
Thank you again for implementing another idea! I like throwing them around!

(AND WOW! Congratulations! Best to you and your family!)
Thank you for the suggestions, and for the congrats and good wishes!
25)Johnny(Overlord)
Kadath wrote on :
These seemed to generate a good amount of interest and participation in the past.
The prize world was functional when there was a larger active user base. Now, though, the funding levels would likely be very low.
26)Johnny(Overlord)
Right now, I'm hoping to open World War I up for joins on September 27th (countries being first-come, first-serve), with the world starting a week or two later.

I also had another idea for the Predetermined Countries mode: the ability to restore a capital. I want countries to be able to back each other up, and for that show of support to carry more weight. So, for example, if the U.S. were to ally with a small country halfway across the world and then other countries attack that country and overtake it, the U.S. can then wage a war to take its capital back and return it to that country, putting them back into the game.

I'm thinking that the capital restore function should probably only apply to countries within the same alliance.

Any thoughts?
I think the capital restore function is a great idea. I wish it had been around before.

On this particular map, I think that it should on be available only to use on alliance members. However, it may be interesting on other maps to make it available to use on any player, regardless of alliance.
28)Johnny(Overlord)
Kadath wrote on :
On this particular map, I think that it should on be available only to use on alliance members. However, it may be interesting on other maps to make it available to use on any player, regardless of alliance.
Thanks, Kadath!

I'll start with it being available on worlds with predetermined countries and only for fellow alliance members. We can see how that works and potentially expand it to the entire game.
29)Johnny(Overlord)
Johnny wrote on :
I'll start with it being available on worlds with predetermined countries and only for fellow alliance members.
On second thought, two countries could easily form a temporary alliance, so restricting the capital restoration to just alliance members doesn't really make much sense.

I'm going to change it to allow restoration for any country, alliance or not. If a player wants to restore a capital to a country outside of his/her alliance (which, of course, has its own obvious drawbacks), so be it!
30)Johnny(Overlord)
Johnny wrote on :
Alliances will be limited to about 400K sectors.
I was looking at the map and also realized that the sector limit may be a bit too high (since it was based on total available land sectors, rather than the sectors actually used by claimed countries).

I'm thinking I'll likely lower it to 10% (280,560) or 7% (196,392) instead.
31)Johnny(Overlord)
Johnny wrote on :
I'm thinking I'll likely lower it to 10% (280,560) or 7% (196,392) instead.
Oops. I didn't notice an alliance has already been created!

Anyone have any thoughts on changing the setting now? Perhaps we just leave them bigger for this first go around.
Johnny wrote on :
Oops. I didn't notice an alliance has already been created!

Anyone have any thoughts on changing the setting now? Perhaps we just leave them bigger for this first go around.
Alliances should be based on total sectors available rather than claimed.

What if everyone had picked a small country, then the alliance limit would be so small that alliances could not really be formed.

Also, at the smaller size no one single alliance could be larger enough to challenge the largest single countries. It would take an alliance of alliances to take down one of the top three countries.
33)Johnny(Overlord)
Hanibel wrote on :
Also, at the smaller size no one single alliance could be larger enough to challenge the largest single countries. It would take an alliance of alliances to take down one of the top three countries.
Good point!

I was thinking that the 14% level I chose was too large, but you just made me remember that going any lower meant alliances smaller than the largest country (which definitely didn't seem right).
34)Johnny(Overlord)
Quick preview of things to come (click for full size)!

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I'll probably keep the "World War" series be full planet Earth maps and start a new series called "Civil War" with states/provinces within a country.
35)Johnny(Overlord)
Johnny wrote on :
On second thought, two countries could easily form a temporary alliance, so restricting the capital restoration to just alliance members doesn't really make much sense.
On third thought, I realized that hopping in and out of alliances isn't necessarily as easy as it sounds in some worlds (notably those with sector-based alliance limits).

I also like the idea of adding more functionality to alliances. So, capital restoration is back to being an alliance feature.

On that note, I'm also now leaning towards money and base transfer also becoming restricted to alliances.
36)Johnny(Overlord)
Johnny wrote on :
Here are maps with capitals (black dots) as well as and cities (white dots) whose population are 100K+, 500K+, or 1M+ (click for large versions):
I think I'm going to really change things up for WWII, just to see how it plays out. I'm going to create land bases on all cities with a population of 1000 or greater, which will look a little something like this (click for a larger version):

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37)Rick
Looks cool.  That'll change it up a lot.

There's a base in Antarctica below New Zealand.  Who gets that nifty one?  Ain't that the US's McMurdo?  Or New Zealand?

Dang!
38)Johnny(Overlord)
Rick wrote on :
There's a base in Antarctica below New Zealand.  Who gets that nifty one?  Ain't that the US's McMurdo?  Or New Zealand?
It'll probably be an unoccupied base, to go along with the unoccupied sector.

I think I may use a new alliance limit setting, as well. Instead of it being percentage based, I'm going to try a setting where any alliance but the biggest alliance gets to add any country. It will almost certainly turn into a two-alliance world, but I think that would be pretty interesting.

Let me know what you guys think!
Johnny wrote on :
I'm going to try a setting where any alliance but the biggest alliance gets to add any country.
sounds great. i think country resources would have to be more level since alliances would be more about equal land.

i had an idea too. if a country disappears and is part of an alliance, i think the other countries should be able to claim their cash. maybe even their whole country, lol.

one of the things that sucked about WWI was that we'd be relying on a country in our plans and they'd disappear. sometimes i could hound them into sending their cash.. but not always. and not being there to execute our plan was a huge setback.
40)mex
They should have it where if an ally falls if you recover there capital they regain there land (rebellion style).
41)Johnny(Overlord)
Question for all of you. Do you think Antarctica should be included at all in WWII? I'm considering just leaving that land mass off entirely, so the battles are just about existing countries.

Or, alternatively, should I make it be a selectable country? The player would start with a huge plot of land, but only one base on a capital. (Everyone else will start with bases as shown above.)
Johnny wrote on :
Question for all of you. Do you think Antarctica should be included at all in WWII? I'm considering just leaving that land mass off entirely, so the battles are just about existing countries.

Or, alternatively, should I make it be a selectable country? The player would start with a huge plot of land, but only one base on a capital. (Everyone else will start with bases as shown above.)
No Antarctica please.
Johnny wrote on :
A
the entire alliance paradigm eludes me
(please disregard the whole quote)
kayell wrote on :
the entire alliance paradigm eludes me
you mean how it works or how you think it'll play out?

any alliance except the biggest can add countries. i'm really curious to see how it's going to play out though, lol.
45)Johnny(Overlord)
Johnny wrote on :
I think I may use a new alliance limit setting, as well. Instead of it being percentage based, I'm going to try a setting where any alliance but the biggest alliance gets to add any country. It will almost certainly turn into a two-alliance world, but I think that would be pretty interesting.
I just noticed big chunks of vacated space and realized that I forgot to disable Mass Vacate for the new alliance mode. It's a really unique dynamic, and mass vacating to get under limits negates the whole concept.

I temporarily disabled alliances and I'm going to manually restore the vacated sectors.
46)Johnny(Overlord)
Johnny wrote on :
I temporarily disabled alliances and I'm going to manually restore the vacated sectors.
And we're back!
Johnny wrote on :
I just noticed big chunks of vacated space and realized that I forgot to disable Mass Vacate for the new alliance mode. It's a really unique dynamic, and mass vacating to get under limits negates the whole concept.

I temporarily disabled alliances and I'm going to manually restore the vacated sectors.
Well... I'm certainly not going to manually vacate 35,000 sectors! That's like 35,000 clicks right?

This makes sense, this alliance mode is great new feature, completely support it.

Thanks Johnny!
48)Johnny(Overlord)
Thanks, Kadath!

Sorry for overlooking the change before the map started.
49)Johnny(Overlord)
I've made another change to alliances to further support the new alliance mode.

For countries with the "largest alliance" limit, a player cannot rejoin the same alliance within thirty days of leaving it.

Just trying to minimize loopholes to keep the spirit of the setting in place!
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