Early Game Changes and New Farming Villages

Today I would like to talk a bit about upcoming changes to the early game. With early game, I mean the first 2 gaming weeks on a new world, especially the time when you have only one town and are busy with conquering farming villages.

We want to improve the early game in order to keep more players in the game and motivate them to come back on the following days. We are of the opinion that Grepolis is lacking clearer goals and challenging actions/tasks during the first few days. Currently you are guided through the quests, build up your town and recruit units to conquer farming villages. That all sounds good, but fighting against farming villages becomes quite difficult very fast and you need several hours (or even days) until you can fight your next battle. We feel that is simply too boring. We want you to fight more often in the first week, without losing all your troops. Especially for new players it’s important to perform several PvE fights in order to understand how the battle system works and to figure out the pros and cons of the different units. We want new players to be better prepared for the time after the beginners’ protection ends.

How do we want to achieve this?
First of all, we don’t want to change Grepolis into something completely new. We want to keep in line with the existing features, but we need to adjust some of them to add more possibilities to fight in the early game. In the future you will not be able to conquer farms any more. You have to build them. Building and upgrading farms will cost battle points, like the victory procession in the agora. How do you get battle points while the beginners’ protection is active? We will implement a new “attack spot” on the island, where you can find NPC units that you can defeat. This is a rally point for all insurgents and it’s up to you to knock down their revolt.

The attack spot is only placed on the first island on which the player starts. We will offer 100 battles with a cooldown time in between. Why should you fight against these agitators? Well, on the one hand you will get great rewards for your town and on the other hand you need the battle points to build and upgrade farming villages. You may think that you won’t have enough units to fight all these enemies, but we will also grant you instant units in the attack spot from time to time (even units you haven’t researched yet).

Adjustments to the farming villages

Farming villages will also get a new visual design on the map. As we don’t want only the new worlds to benefit from all these changes, we decided to also implement the new graphics on existing worlds. Now every level of a farm has its own image.

We have also looked at your feedback about the latest update. It seems that quite a few of you don’t like the fact that you can now see the level of a farming village on islands where you don’t have a town. This feedback was a bit of a surprise to us actually. The original idea was that this change would make it easier to look at the various islands and find a suitable location where you can establish a new town or which you may wish to conquer. We can revert this change and display the level 1 images for farming villages as long as you do not own a town on this island. Additionally it seems as if most of you think that the new images are too big. That is something we can improve on. Here is a new approach from our graphic artist:


We will reduce the number of farming villages per island from 8 to 6. First, we need space on the island for the new attack spot and second, our islands are already pretty overloaded with icons. By reducing the number of farming villages we also reduce the number of clicks you need to do when it comes to collecting the resources every 5 minutes.

Global farming village count Unlock costs in battle points
1 2
2 10
3 30
4 60
5 100
6+ 150

Building and upgrading farming villages will cost battle points. In total, 385 battle points are required to construct and upgrade a farm to level 6. Farming villages cannot be upgraded in cooperation with other players any longer. Every farm is a player instance, upgrades only belong to you.

Level Battle points costs Upgrade time
1 none (instantly finished)
2 5 5 minutes (fixed)
3 20 60 minutes / speed
4 40 3 hours / speed
5 70 6 hours / speed
6 100 15 hours / speed

To upgrade a farm, it has to be ready for it (meaning no running resource/unit cooldown). A higher level will still increase the number of resources you can collect, but upgrading takes time now. The upgrade time can not be skipped or shortened with premium. As of now, we have no new premium features planned for the early game.

We also want to simplify the usability of the single farming village features. That’s why we removed some existing elements and improved others. You will need less clicks in the future to collect resources from your farms. We added two buttons in the farm window to jump to the next/previous farm on the same island without having to close the window in between.

There have been also adjustments to the maximum amount of resources you can collect per day. It will now be easier to collect all resources a farming village has produced, as you will have more options to do so. That means it is no longer highly recommended to use the 5 minutes demand option in order to get all available resources. Probably you can also achieve that with the 90 minutes option, depending on how often you log in during the day. So, in the end, you don’t have to farm every five minutes for a longer period of time, but instead can also get all resources the village has produced by logging in more often, but for a much shorter duration.

We have also removed “Happiness” and the option to plunder a farm. Farming villages should be something positive. You help the farmers by defeating the evil enemies in the attack spot, so the farmers can produce resources and units in a friendly/safe environment. Therefore it would not make much sense anymore if you could plunder them. Another reason why we wanted to remove plundering is that it is hard to understand for new players that there are two different ways of getting resources. Sometimes players start a revolt in a farm by accident and then feel frustrated about that. Our goal here is to reduce the number of negative experiences a player could have within the first days.
To make things even easier you will only have one demand option at the start of the game, the 5 minutes option. The other 3 options (20 min, 90 min and 4 hours) can be unlocked by leveling up your town. To be able to use the 4 hour option to gather resources, you need to upgrade the warehouse to level 10 for example. To request units you need to upgrade the farm in your town.
Trading with farming villages doesn’t change.

research_icon_windmillWe will remove both technologies connected to the old farming villages, booty and diplomacy, and combine these technologies into one. The new technology will double the cooldown times for collecting resources, but it will also increase the amount of resources you can collect by 115%. With this Technology, the cooldown times are 10 min, 40 min, 3 hours and 8 hours, but you will get more than double the resources as before. That will make it even easier to reach the max. daily capacity and you no longer have to click every 5 minutes for that.

So, what do you think about these changes?

Posted in Community Updates, Game Design, Graphics
49 comments on “Early Game Changes and New Farming Villages
  1. Arsenal says:

    I like this change 🙂
    It sounds pretty good to me.

  2. Nyia says:

    I think I like it. 🙂
    Will know for sure when it’s out for testing.

  3. a gamer ro says:

    The idea sounds good, but please don t reduce the number of farming village or the plundering option…. The loyality that we win at the island quest it will be unusable.

  4. Rick says:

    If/when these changes are made, I will leave grepolis permanently. I wish you would stop catering to new players that don’t have the intelligence or take the time to learn how to play properly.

  5. CC says:

    Whose idea was it to make it so that we have to use up our BPs on farming villages? That is brilliant….NOT!!

  6. Charlie says:

    Yet again Inno, you alienate the veterans of this game.

  7. Mim le Fay says:

    Thank you for the publication.
    I guess, it looks like well, but I had to try it by myself to have my own and reasonable opinion of this.
    First of all, I have a few very short question:
    Are this “Early Game Changes” only for new worlds, or do you want to change the old worlds as well?
    If there are in future only six farming villages instead of eight, get I the same number of receipts as before, per island or only per farming village?
    What is your intended release date and do you will open a new beta world for all the tester which like to try or test it?

    • Tobias Winter says:

      Hi Mim,
      Yes, these are changes only for new worlds, as we want to focus on new players. We only copied the farming villages map images to the old worlds.
      I’m not sure if I got your next point right… What do you mean with receipts?
      We don’t have a release date for this feature. First, we want to collect more feedback to improve the feature. We did not discuss yet if we will open a new beta world, but it makes sense for me. We definitely want to test it also on a specific market (one new world on one market), to get more numbers.

      • Mim le Fay says:

        Hi Tobias,
        Thank you for the question.
        I meant something like income 😉
        Well, what I really mean is that I try to ask you to calculate the maximal daily capacity higher to avoid the reduced amount concerning the deleted two farming villages. It have to multiply with 1,33. I’m undecided by myself but it would lovely to players, which farmed every day the whole capacity.
        Furthermore you should accordingly increase the volume of trade. The maximum amount have to change from 2.000 pieces to 2.667 piece, which can be redeemed at a price of 1.25 or 1.35. I guess, it’s the same, you have to consider the missing two villages.
        Sometimes I’ve destroyed some units in the farming villages to build a colony ship. As far as I’ve understood it will be no longer possible in the future, right? Are there any suggestions on how I get rid of 170 BHP in an emergency without attack to somebody from the island?
        And my last question for the moment, the attack spot is always on the first island. What happens if my town on this island is conquered; but I have still not all battle points successfully to build and upgrade my farming villages? Stupid gone? Tough luck and restart attached or come up once again on the idea of designing the first city impregnable?

        • Tobias Winter says:

          Hi Mim,
          I think we should not increase the max. daily capacity, but better increase the amount of resources you get per demand option. If we do it this way, you will get the same amount of resources in the end in less time. But yes, I will take into account that we remove 2 farming villages. You will get more resources from the other ones and the default trade ratio will also be adjusted to compensate the missing farming villages.
          Destroying units in farming villages won’t be possible any more. We are currently thinking about a new feature in the agora (defense tab) where you can always destroy own units from this city. What do you think about this? With this option it would also be easier to destroy redundant transport ships for example.
          The attack spot will stay on your first island. If you loose all cities on this island, you need to reconquer a city on this island in order to continue fighting the attack spot. Your progress will be saved.
          If you have more questions, just go ahead.

  8. Dirty says:

    I’m in full agreement with Charlie, CC and Rick. It’s a game of strategy (or, rather, it was) and these changes are cheapening the effects of playing the game. If Inno wants to make a hand-holding version of Grepo, then they should just do it. Or tell new players to go back to Age of Empires (or something of similar caliber) if they’re incapable/unwilling to invest 12-16 months of their time to play a fully engaging game which requires strategy, poise, patience, and intelligence to master.

    I love this game, but I’m probably not going to come back to the next iteration of a revolt/active morale world if it’s dumbed-down this much. (I’m also a gold purchasing player. So my meager stream of revenue for Inno is likely to disappear with the new changes, too.) Please reconsider your planned changes, Inno.

  9. Deboy1 says:

    Beyond Stupid.. Just another way to make more money.. Leave the game the way it is. Please and thank you.

  10. ZdlN says:

    I don’t like the fact of removing two farming villages. My mostly used feature ist trading with these villiges, and removing two of them means, that the amount of trading will be smaller. But more relevant (for me) is, that the probability of having a farming villag, that trades from the much produced ressource of an island to the less produced ressource, will be realy reduced.

    (sorry for my bad english – i hope you can understand)

  11. andre hansen says:

    i think i like it

  12. christov23 says:

    Don’t like what this game is turning into at all. Feels like the community concerns are being ignored and changes are being implemented that nobody needs, wants or asked for.

    Hopefully another company will make something similar to the old grepolis. Because right now we’re being railroaded.

  13. rickwadj says:

    I will no longer be a customer of inno games.. here are my issues:

    1. the changes make it more suitable for big time gold spenders!!
    2. the skill level is dropping and people just pretty much buy cities
    3. so essentially where gold didnt really help you with your farms you can gold them up now.. SHAME ON INNO
    4. I fear with all the changes, its going to hurt the retention rate of players. These are not bonuses at all, this is a ploy to milk the cow even more.

    I am going to be playing League of Legends i guess

  14. Mutzzy says:

    I dont believe Im saying that: I like those changes. Why? Very easy to understand: I dont care if noobs are learning easier to play, the only thing Im interested is to not waste my time clicking. I will kill them even if they know how to farm. The idea of every player should up-grade the farms by himself is brilliant too. I never sent resources into the villages. Why? I dont like to waste my resources in the first days. And if Im doing that I want to be the only who gets benefits. Now, I see a reason for doing that.
    Another stuff, there will be 6 villages, not 8. WHO CARES? I want one, not 6. Why to be angry if the game is made easier? I want to spend my time killing and making strategies. So, 6 is at least as good as 8 if its not better.

  15. IHOP says:

    I’m in full agerement with Dirty, and I will leave grepolis permanently when the world I playing right now is finished

  16. Conquering the farming villages for your city are tedious and right now, needing so many units to complete a farm is very time consuming. The great part of this game is the battles, fighting other opponents and that cannot happen until one can obtain the resources to build their armies and ships. Why not make obtaining farm villages easier and quicker, with less units required, so all cities can be up and running the way it is supposed to be? The new idea seems to be a longer and more tedious way to get your city built.

  17. another veteran says:

    Inno if you want to turn this game into farmville then please stop. Bettter make new sim growing farm-raizing corn game and leave grepo as it is and was- a WAE GAME!!!!

    free advice: you ll loose more than you ll gain, in every way, especially $$$

    giving BPs for farms, PHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    Every narcisoid 24/7 fighter with master card will leave the same istance you apply this

    • another veteran says:

      You cant make someone stick who isnt willing to be around for 2 weeks to get a grip and few months to learn to play game, its not up to you!!1

      lazy unwilling people are and ll be lazy unwilling people

      If you really want to keep them, update your wiki with detailed guides with all invented strategy, hints, some stages of game, basically knowlege of the game and present it to them during game..

  18. al3gr1 says:

    Grepo indeed it’s turning into something else.

    The villages upgraded are a distraction, they are so big, we cannot even see our own cities on the islands, let alone our pacted allies cities. Also it is hard to see , now,which villages have been “farmed” or not.( Making it bigger it’s not a good solution)
    Don’t think this “improvement” on villages was necessary and certainly will not keep new players in the game.

    In regards, with ” the new village system” do not like it all.

    One of the “bugs” which i have noticed on new worlds , even though ” Forced loyality” was applied , the village morale was still going low, hence the villages are revolting.

    While the idea of an “attack point” where new players could learn, it’s good ,the same could be achieved with a city on a random island.In general , any good alliance, will help new players and will teach them , what troops to send in attacks or defense or what is the best way to build up your city. It’s up to the individual player to learn , follow instructions and ask questions, if they are interested in playing Grepolis for a long term.

    What is turning away new players ( and old) from this game, is the expectation to use gold in the first few weeks of play in a new world, in a game which is advertised as “Free to play”.

    Since the introduction of ” Instant build” and ” gold trade” this game is in imbalance , and favors the people who are using gold and veterans of the game and would like to recommend. to the ” Dev team”, before they implement any more changes to the game, to play for 2 months , in a new world,join a small alliance, to understand , what this “improvements” have brought to the game , from a player perspective. Only then , the Dev team, will understand why so many people are leaving in droves and why new players are quitting , after a month or two, never to come back.

  19. Mike says:

    Unfortunately I agree with the dissenters on this. Every update that comes out seems less like it is for the community and more of a way to try and squeeze every extra bit of revenue as possible from players. And the amount of resources it appears you are able to demand from a “level 3 village” in the above image are paltry and seem to be pushing players to start using the trade for gold feature to buy instead of earning it.

    Which is fine, I understand its a business as well as a game. But the changes being made are making the game require less skill and more of a bigger wallet and I among many others Ive spoken with, who are the ones spending money to begin with, are beginning to shy away from the game entirely because of it. Careful inno, don’t get too greedy and push away the ones funding the project. How sure are you that these new players your trying to net in aren’t just going to sim and quit? Because thats exactly what an environment like this creates is just more simmers.

    Hopefully sure enough if you’re going through with all this.

  20. Fran5 says:

    1) I don’t like removing 2 farming villages. I put this first because it attemps to the late growth of the city. You are always using the farming villages, and trading/loot them is very useful sometimes, then “more” equal “better”.
    Dev could make islands Biggers 😉 but I know is really complicated.

    2) I like the change for upgrade them. It cost almost 1 culture point per Island, and it doesn’t help other island players. Btw, “diplomacy” tech will be great to down that points needed to the half (i.e., With diplomacy invested, you will need 190 BP to upgrade a farmin vill to lvl 6)

    3) I don’t like at most the “Battle spots”. I think the devs’ idea isn’t really good. Would be better to modify that and have battle spots that last continuously so you can keep fighting (at least for smalls resources or BP). And would be better to fight with your units (against some proportiional defending units).
    A maximun of 1 fight per day and 10 per month will be great (in the late game). In the early, you could keep 100 fighs and then consider “late game”

    4) I like the change of available resources per day. You are not now in disadvantage with freaks (:P) and is, o my point of view, easier to collect all resources.

    5) New technology is good.

    6) I like the buildings req for demand 20/90/240 min and units.

    I hope my feedback will be read and understood by Devs 🙂


  21. unit72 says:

    I be seein’ now.
    Yer dumbin’ down the game (again) soes ya can be makin’ it easier fer them lightweights.
    There be too few games about what needs smarts an’ patience.
    A bit o’ mathematics do be helpin’ as well.
    It be seemin’ the trend here be to drive off them what helped to put this game in the #1 spot.
    No players… no game!
    An’ probably no more o’ meself as well.
    I’ll be givin’ it one more shot at the next server.
    But that will probably be the last one.

    yer downcast

  22. jan kolacinski says:

    i dont think these changes, wil have any effekt at all. the villages is the only place a newbe can get resources, by removing some of the willages, you wil make the game even haarder for new players.
    grepolis have over a periode made the game more interesting for the attack players, that means that the distance betwen a newbe and a expiriense player now, is wery big, in order too keep new players. you wil have to make the gab smaller, but if you du that, yuo wil make other players angry. T

  23. Emanuel Jose-Alo says:

    Frankly, I really feel this is not quite necessary. I like the whole feature change but building and upgrading farming villages with BP? Hell no! I am sure not in support of that.

  24. Lahire says:

    First, please leave the eight villages, i thik reduce to six is a very big change that many old players will not like. Same for plundering, it’s a part of the game, and if you think players do accidentally revolt a farm too often, a simple warning message would be a better idea in my opinion.
    For the rest of the changes, it looks good, but we still need to try before the decision to implement them is taken.

  25. gigi says:

    if you change the farm system at least make it harder for the ones that are using farming scripts

  26. carmen says:

    I am wondering why the last changes on the game only affect the villages, that …. lets be serious…. this is a game of war and strategy not farmvile….

    Why they do not focus on important things (for real players) like changing wonders, sorting the lag problems, etc…..

    Buen Grepolis!

  27. player2323 says:

    The idea of underdeveloped …
    battle points used in the construction of villages ????
    where is the option of plunder ????
    why everyone has the same build villages since they are on a common island, the construction should be shared with other players
    or you will be improved job option units?
    2 players you perceive why the village?
    What about the new opportunity to gain coins of war and wisdom? it can be introduced in villages on the island

  28. Donna says:

    Once again you are taking something that isn’t broken and “fixing it”. I have been playing grepolis just under two years. In that time I have been through quite a few “upgrade” most of which were not to my liking. To arbitrarily change things that are functioning properly is to kill the interest of your current audience. As others have stated before. “If you want to attract the Farmville customer, build a better Farmville.” Don’t take a game with a loyal following and wring all of the fun out of it for the all mighty Euro.

    A pox on you and your house if you implement these changes.

  29. HBB-1 says:

    On the way it is now, being active with farming you grow fast.

    On the new way the options to get resourses are less, so if you want to grow fast you have 2 buy on the market place. (or packages they tested)

    So the big spenders wil grow faster then the active players who dont have the possibilities 2 spend the money

  30. Mildewlicious says:

    If Inno needs the money so bad. Why not make Grepolis a subscription based game? Scrap the free to play. Even the playing field. Get new players into it by a free month or so pass. I would spend more on the subscription based version knowing I would have an even playing field that doesn’t favor the player with the fat wallet.
    Grepolis claims to be a game of skill. As of right now it’s a game of who is willing to pay the most to win. Which is just sad.

  31. Anik says:

    If you want to upgrade grepo, may be add more units, so that it required more intelligence to play this game.. since this is a war game and not farmville.. We are already bored with NPCs please try some thing new. No fun in attacking AI when you have players on the other side to deal with.

    The snipes, the Attack timings, the nukes- The are the thing that makes the game great. Please focus on these areas.

    And BP for upgrading farm is such a bad idea. Very Bad Idea.

  32. David Sim says:

    INNOGAMES – Stop destroying this game!!! Your Dictatorship like changes are most undemocratic – the majority of players are experienced and have played this game before – they come back because the game works and is fun – yet you keep changing the fundamentals of this game!!!

    When previous worlds have finished, players have looked forward to playing in new worlds because they have enjoyed the previous world. . .now players do not want to play again because of all of these changes!!!

    Make a new version of Grepolis if you want to make all these changes, because if you keep changing Grepolis like you have in the previous year, all the experienced players will leave!!!

  33. Thasoss says:

    I need some place to destroy unnecessary units – units by Patroness in naval city etc.
    Next, because I have one attack spot on the first island, I will have just 6 villages on other islands? Attack spot is great idea, but if you dont have place on a island, why dont place it in the town overview? “New ruler (player) has come, but someones dont agree with him, so they started a revolt, bla bla bla…”

    I am opened for changes… but only for good changes. I think instant buy is enough… dont try your luck again. 😀

    Btw, graphic design is very nice, thumbs up.

  34. mike says:

    How is this supposed to be simpler? Maybe it’s just me being stupid but I really don’t understand what’s being proposed. How am I supposed to upgrade villages on islands after the first?

    Call me old fashioned but I still hanker for the V1 farming system where you had to send troops to prise resources from the clenched fists of the farmers. Now THAT was easy to understand.

    • Tobias Winter says:

      I also like the V1 farming system but that also means that you cannot demand resources from a town with ships only because you definitely need land units for the attack. This method is pretty time-consuming and you have to wait for the return of your units to get the resources.

      In the new concept you would just need battle points to unlock and upgrade farming villages on a second island.

  35. djdom32 says:

    Grepolis roadmap 2012 or 2013 it’s still in the 2015 roadmap but now you say you’re not sure when or if you’ll ever do it.

    I’m going to make a bold suggestion that every single veteran player will agree with. For the love of all things holy please stop tinkering, stop wasting time, stop doing all these things in updates that knock out the server for minutes for no tangible gain. Please do spend 80% of your time and resources on fixing the endgame.

    The problem with grepolis is that you keep pretending the solution to dropping player numbers is to retain players after the first week. This isn’t your problem the problem is the drop off of experienced players who are quitting after 2-3 months because the game has no point. It has no point because good ww tactics are soul destroying. Filling up all the empty slots so no-one can colonise near where you’re going to build your wws.

    There is no point tinkering with the little things until you solve the big problems. Most players don’t need or want different graphics for different levels of farming villages it’s a waste of time and now you’re changing something to fix the problem you created. Is there any chance you can think through the consequences of each update and what it leads to as opposed to then having to do another update to fix the previous one.

  36. dr Ivago says:

    I’d say,try this and only newbees allowed.Veterans not allowed cause first:we don’t like them changes and will not take part and second;some vets may enter to finish the newbees chanseless.

  37. Mark says:

    Underwhelmed. With a few focused beginner quests, and some embedded tutorials within them, you can teach the basics of the different units, and the differences between demand and plundering. Instead of taking villages away, create a 17th city spot for the training attacks, similar to your idea of the attack spot, but doesn’t disrupt the long game, trains the new player to attack cities, not an imaginary spot, and can ghost and disappear (to the new player) as soon as they complete the training attacks.

    The individual level discourages team work among those on an island, especially at the upper village levels, which really aren’t worth what they cost.

    There are other village changes that would make more sense, and would improve the game. Starting them at random levels, instead of all at level 1 would be a boost the beginning game; linking level and trade size/recovery would make leveling them up more useful.

    This energy would be better spent in addressing the 2 issues that people complain about after playing for a while: discrepancies between light and heavy gold users, and the whole WW process. But those are topics for different discussions.

  38. Hasan says:

    “Don’t fix whats not broken”

    This is all I can say. Your developers have developed a habit fiddling with things and messing them up. Today I demanded units from farming villages at 100 mood. 5 of them. Each one of them revolted.

    This is the first time in 3 yrs of my gameplay that this has happened. why did this happen? Probably you messed up some code while making those farms gigantic and ugly. And then you say players don’t stay.

    • Tobias Winter says:

      thanks for your report on this topic. I cannot say what exactly went wrong there, but it will be fixed with tomorrow’s update. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  39. Garan says:

    will we have to pay 385 BP per farm to get to Level 6 if so that is very expensive, also the cost of the amount of BP needed will mount up with more and more cities meaning a player misses out on cultural points and eventually a new city.
    A mechanic introducing players to the concept of BP and attacking is very good under a controlled environment. Also allowing players with less time to get as much as someone that has all day is good but if the limit is set too low especially in the late game where buildings and research is majorly expensive it can hinder the grow of cities. Another problem with this proposal is the time needed to build up the farms this is very long especially on a speed 1 world for a player to wait so long for an upgrade.

  40. agamer says:

    Not sure why all the complaints. System isn’t perfect yet but it’s a step in the right direction to remove the mindless 5 minute clicking intervals.

    However I agree with other posters that the discrepancy between premium and non premium is responsible for the lack of retention in new players.

    That and the fact we have months of waiting between new worlds. Players get dropped alongside people with dozens of cities.

    I understand that many complained about the monthly or bi-weekly cycle but now it is excessive on the other end of the spectrum.

    It was pretty much a full year in between high speed no morale revolt world releases.

    Back on topic, the system is interesting. If I have the ability to get the same amount of resources per day that I’d get by maxing the current 8 farms then I’m all for it.

    Some don’t like change and will complain that other things need working on without seeing the appeal of fewer clicks. But they are the minority imo – they’re just louder.