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|
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.
We 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?