A closer look at map design and the cause of stagnation

Tactical Design:

Tactical games are designed for either short-term or long-term play.

They are designed to either degrade rapidly or escalate endlessly.

Depending on which design mechanic is the basis of the game and what combat mechanics are used to support it.

Short-Term Games:

Short-term games are most often designed around a mechanic known as degradation and as the game progresses less and less tactical play is possible.

This allows the game to quickly produce a winner and a loser, or most often, a draw.

These games typically support 1-6 playersimage

Tic tac toe is the most basic example of this. Having 9 total squares, with the goal of acquiring 3 squares in a row, it’s so simple that it almost always ends in a draw and is often played by children for that reason.

This is achieved by using acquisition to support degradation. During each turn a player acquires a square and the simplicity of the board results in almost instant degradation, quickly producing a draw.

If we scale up its complexity, we can slow degradation, and what we end up with is chess.

Chess utilizes a larger game board of 64 squares and pieces of varying value and ability. The game is based on acquiring your opponents pieces, with the goal of capturing the King. It is very balanced and designed around acquisition while utilizing some escalation as well; however, as complex and balanced as it is, it can ultimately end in stagnation, and often does between equally skilled opponents.

The game of Risk also utilizes degradation. At first glance, we might only see regions of differing values and a large and complex board. But when we look closer, it consists of 42 squares and all pieces, or troops, are of equal value.

Although tactical, it uses dice to randomly produce a winner. The game is based on degradation, but utilizes some escalation. Like chess, it’s balanced.

Now look at the mess above, lol, and tell me how we can balance this. Will making this more complex slow degradation? Nope. It will be more likely to produce massive lag instead. Which is exactly what has happened.

Long-Term Games:

Long-term games are designed around a mechanic called escalation, and as the game progresses, combat tactics escalate and players utilize positional dominance to support escalation. As combat ensues, the players fight for a better tactical position to attack from. This aids in creating endless conflict and long-term play. These games support a larger number of players than short-term games!


Long-term games utilize a larger game board. The game of Pente includes 144 possible positions. The ultimate goal is to move 5 or more pieces into a row, and no one piece or individual position is more valuable than the other; they are all of equal value.

A players overall position on the board, along with the size of the board, is what determines the outcome. This can go on without end, and the more players involved, the larger the board the longer the game will last!

Above is an example of a massive open map, without castles of differing values, where rank is determined by a team’s position relative to the center of the map. This view is zoomed all the way out. At the combat level view you can see rolling hills, valleys and other terrain features. This view is used for tactical planning and allows a player to see the map as a whole.

Note that each player’s base is a dot on the map and my base’s location is at the map’s edge. The map’s edge is where all players begin, or restart if they have lost all their troops,with the goal of reaching the center of the map.

I will have to fight my way back towards the center of the map to rejoin my team after having lost a battle and all of my troops. I will need to quickly rebuild troops to do this.

In this scenario, I will have to make a long distance attack to rejoin my team cluster. My team will need to help secure a position for me to take now so that I can rejoin them. Once I return to my team cluster I will begin to build up my resources and troops to contribute to their movement closer to the center of the map, where better resources and targets can be found.

My team will not want to establish a mega alliance and surround itself with allied teams because this will limit their mobility and prevent us from gaining better positional dominance. This tactic will produce small situational alliances based on position. These alliances are fleeting and change as teams vie for the center of the map where attacking is most profitable.

Additionally, because rank is determined by position on the map, it makes conflict happen positionally and prevents lag, because you won’t see 30+ teams sending multiple primes to a single location. Conflict only takes place between a handful of teams in any given location, so mega alliances would actually hinder your team’s efforts. Sandbagging could be done by individuals, but not by whole teams.

An open map founded on escalation would be ideal and is what I believe is needed.

Team rank should be moved to the map contingent upon position, with Diamond League at the heart of the map. The center would hold the best rewards and whoever holds the core area would definitely not want to surround themselves with allies, as doing so would essentially leave them nothing to attack.

I would like to see removal of the defensive castles that cause stagnation, along with building a long-term map revolving around combat and attacking, in lieu of defending tactically stagnant castles.

All teams should have a real reason to fight and the rewards at the center will need to be considerably better than the rank system we currently have to properly drive escalation.


I mean it would be neat if atlas were divided into different leagues. For staying in higher leagues give more incentive ie:

Diamond: has only tier 5, 4, and 3 level islands. Maybe higher farmer regen rate to give more incentive for playing at the highest level. Only diamond teams to attack.

Sapphire: level 4 and below islands. Again an increased farmer regen rate but lower than diamond. Only sapphire teams to attack.

Platinum and below: a few level 3 islands and basic farmer regen. All remaining teams to attack.

I don’t know if it would help reduce mega alliances (was initially thinking of splitting sapphire but with the amount those teams move between s3 and s1 would be tough)

I’m sure this can be done a lot more cleanly, but I really dislike having everyone on a single map.


The problem with this idea is I rather enjoy being in my alliance. Even if they all seem to be in a higher league then we are.

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Haha my idea’s just rough. Maybe it could be dependent on alliance rankings or something :sweat_smile:. Point remains having all atlas teams on one map is :skull_and_crossbones:

Pg would definitely have to determine what to use to drive escalation.


This kinda makes sense… that’s weird. It’s meant to be confusing :rofl::rofl::rofl:, but it is understandable.
It is hard to say what exactly but I feel some parts would be helpful to get more into specifics of what you want to change, but this definitely explains the basic concept of what you recommend. I do know that people won’t be happy being sent to the back of the map when they lose troops. I feel this may just cause people to hoard the crap outta troops still.
When it comes to better rss and targets, I’d love to see the rough numbers/specific resources you should refer to here.

I understand how this may hurt large alliances as it would limit progression and limit how much you can grow. In this case mega alliances hurt you and stop you from growing. However, if you are happy with your current bonuses you will likely form an alliance with teams bigger than you and some teams smaller than You to see sure you keep your rank. Fear of being pushed to the edge will likely make people want to cluster in groups and alliances.
can guarantee however there will still be lag. It may be reduced slightly, but when you have dozens of prime attacking in an area it is bound to be laggy.

I also agree with @Dracaron here. Separating leagues like what is the case in wars, and also providing better rss in these bigger leagues will work quite well. Increased farmer rates allow for the more competitive players to build more troops, get more glory, and get more rewards. Thus, making them want to Join bigger leagues. This works similar to your idea, but here it separates larger teams form small ones ensuring teams will be more likely to fight similar strength teams and won’t have to worry about bigger teams until they themselves are bigger.

Big teams will fear smaller teams-and lots of these small teams, will force them to the edge. So
again, I feel that being worried about being pushed back will cause some large alliances to form. People don’t want to lose castles (currently), so they often join a larger alliance.

It’s late here, and my thoughts are rough, would be Interested to see what you have to say about what I wrote lol.
So really, I feel that teams being happy with where they are and being worried about losing what they have will cause them to form alliances that last as loom as they are in that relative rank. However, I also see how increased rewards will cause some brave teams to try and fight for better rewards. But at higher leagues, I’d be interested to see how this would work out.

There’s nothing to loose because there would be no castles!?
And yes small alliances will form with teams attempting to work together and push their way up leagues as they battle towards the center.
But that’s positional and those alliances will be met with other small alliances in the leagues above them .and the alliances will shift and change as teams progress forward.
And if I’m in diamond I better have one or two allies nearby as I approach the top 5 in the center of the map .
Lol and we all know who will be in dead center of the map and they will be the only teams attacking down and it will be against the top 5 teams who are surrounding them.lol
And yes sapphire teams will be attacking into our territory as well trying to get into diamond but a team will only consist of 50 islands and territories are not taken and controlled your teams territory moves with your team cluster as you fight towards center of the map .

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Effectively a open map would do just that as the map would basically be broken into large regions for each league.
Also note the big black cluster on the example map above once you have attacked past that and you have moved your island base beyond it your now in gold and your getting more rewards so much as you described yes the map would be bracketed in my example i suppose :thinking:

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I can get behind that. I just feel like atlas is too clustered right now, like you said.

Ahh. What is the intent of the post? To whom the post is directed to?
A wall of words so I did not read all of it.

It’s a closer look at map design and the source of stagnation on our map
And how map design mechanics can support actual combat instead of hiding in defensive castles .
So this post is for community discussion feel free to read or not read.
comment or not comment :sunglasses::+1:


Basically atlas is a cluster duck (replace d with f), and it’s too easy to sandbag.

They should have just do an reset and/ or ramdom placement after every season. Like now its same as KW, it only gets worse and not better.

Aha… gotcha.

I could not agree more.

so if i get this strait there will be no castles and no different types of primarks

Castles yes but primes not necessarily but i think we could use a simpler less clunky multiple prime system so we don’t have 3 pieces “primes “on the board at every attack for every player present.
I think this would help to streamline combat and reduce lag overall.

I think you have overcomplicated this a little bit. Stagnation happens because risk/reward is super skewed in atlas.

Fighting over castles is a high risk/low reward activity, so no one does it. This leads to the map being super static and castles never changing hands unless a team decides to sell a castle. To decrease stagnation, you need to decrease the risk that teams take on when fighting over a castle and increase the rewards you can get (especially short term rewards).

This broken risk reward is why teams don’t fight in Atlas when compared to something like Kingdom Wars. In Kingdom Wars, you have low risk for fighting, and high short term and long term reward. And thus the map actually has back and forth conflict and fighting.

Game barely functions due to extreme lag already.:man_shrugging:
Do you think increasing castle turnover and activity on this overly complex map will help with the lag ?
It just isn’t viable to encourage team based attacking on castles where 30-60 plus teams show up and lag the game into oblivion lol
We need situational combat taking place between just 2-4 teams in localized areas having battles over individual base placement that don’t require every team from across the map participating :crazy_face::facepunch:
If it was just risk / reward that was the issue then we would only need to hold double glory events to solve stagnation but they instantly lag the game out and create massive burden of play that requires leadership to constantly be here to coordinate defense.

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You also don’t have mega alliances showing up to lag the game out in kingdom wars your only having to deal with the teams positionally you don’t see teams from all over the kingdom wars map streaming into to defend my single city on a tile lol
The event map has a placement issue correct? And it’s that very issue that keeps war on the kingdom wars map localized.
So the comparison there doesn’t really equate very well.
Unless you want to remove all free zone and red zones that allow travel on our map?

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