Base self defense late start problem - Devs please look


#1

Ever since I started playing this game - about a year ago now, just after I became unemployed from my job as a professional software developer, I have noticed that this game seems to have more bugs than the underside of a rotten log. It seems to crash more often on startup than starting successfully… but that isn’t the problem I’m about to write about today.

My problem is that when defending a base - notably my own - the ‘story’ is that my character is the owner of the base, and if at home, can decide to defend against an incoming attack.

To this end, I can tap “Join” when offered the opportunity, and the expectation is that I’ll have 5 seconds or so to set up my defence before the first raiding dragon appears over my islands.

However…!

This is not what always happens. When I started playing, occasionally an enemy dragon would have already begun destroying my towers before I got a look at my base, and these days, it seems to happen more often than not. Recently, an attacker killed over 50% of my defences before I could act, even though my defences only start on the 2nd short island, and I have an otherwise useless tower at the far end of my base whose purpose is only to give me the time to set up that the game should already be giving me.

As a professional software developer with experience in distributed communication protocols on top of the TCP stack, it is clear to me that there is no effective handshaking between attacker, defender and PG’s servers, that the game UIs are relying upon relative timing, and further, due to whatever development has taken place since this system was originally implemented, the relative timings have slipped and no longer produce the intended results.

Ideally, what is needed is a system where if an owner-defender opts to defend, their acceptance sets a flag on the server for that attack instance, which prevents the server from allowing the attack to go ahead until the owner has had verified time to set up or the connection to the owner’s GUI is deemed lost.

Furthermore, I would like to see a system where if a base owner gets a (currently useless) “your base is under attack” notification, they can click it (before it times out), the game will load, and they can defend normally.

Ultimately, I would like to see attacks on my base in real time, and be able to defend as I please, and not have to join an instantiated copy of my base at the start of an attack. Of course, this would require that each base have an attack queue, but that’s not a bad thing either.

Now for the shameless self promotion…

I am a highly experienced senior developer, and I am currently looking for work. If PG was to hire me, I could take a look at and solve many of this app’s problems. I also have experience with board games, roleplaying games, world design, and procedural map generation, so there are any number of ways that I could help.

I’m currently in Australia, so remote access would be necessary, but my hours are completely flexible. If PG is interested, I can send a private message with my resume and other relevant experience.


#2

@PGCrisis


#3

Preach!

Btw if you’re based in Sydney PM me and I can put you in touch with the Dev team at Domain who are doing some really cool stuff atm.

And yes, the Android programmers at PG are quite bad.


#4

Unfortunately, I’m in Melbourne.

I may not know the source code for WD, but I have enough dev experience to know that it needs some really serious help. All those crashes, functionality that only works on iOS, changes that break things… that all smells like the original devs left and the replacements don’t understand the source code.


#5

Yep. And if you include the issues with security, double yep.

Really though, I love this post.


#6

I don’t see why you can’t join to defend an attack on your base at any time during the attack. I always get notifications that I’m being attacked and by the time the game loads I can’t join. I understand the attacker can’t be expected to wait round forever but I think the ability to defend yourself shouldn’t be set to that 10 second window.


#7

I could write a novel about what this game needs…

For example, when I first installed it, it looked great… but I soon realised that the dragons fly on invisible rails, and the base defenses don’t make any logical sense- why don’t dragons approach from the base end - there are no defences at that end, and every defence tower nearby is pointing away.

I’d like to see a base that makes sense… a castle in the middle, defences on the walls and in the surrounding fields and forest and mountains, and attacks that allow the attacker to choose their own route in through the defences, as well as allowing attackers to change their altitude and speed as well as fly to the sides. All this maneuvering should allow the dragon a chance to dodge. Defenders should be able to take over the controls of defence towers and try to improve the hit rate. Bases should be fully integrated into Atlas, with real, random topography, and the player’s choice of a site for their base should confer real advantages and disadvantages, rather than “Everyone’s base looks the same, except for their choice of defence towers.” The player’s non-attack-roster dragons should all help defend the base, not just sit warming themselves in their quarters while enemies blast them down around their heads.

I’d like to see a story line and technological progression that makes sense, has been thought out in advance, and is fully integrated into the game, not the current “You were born to a family that could talk to dragons… murdered family… wicked uncle… now you’re back… and the unscripted reality is that your wicked uncle is pretty much an irrelevant wimp amidst the otherwise aimless free-for-all between the other players… and that’s all there is.”

With only player teams having any significance, only player teams are the enemy, and there’s no goal other than to try to become tougher than everyone else, and collect all the dragons that, while nicely ‘ugly’, are for the most part only used briefly before being replaced by yet another soon-to-be-obsolete dragon.

However… give the players an emerging storyline, and something to fight against… or for… that is not just another player faction, and a lot of the current problems with player and team behavior will go away, or at least be reduced.

Of course, if this was to be implemented, it would scarcely be recognisable as War Dragons any more.


#8

When I started playing June of 2017, I could join my defenses when the banner dropped on my phone. Game loaded and I was in. That hasn’t happened in months. My device is iOS. I messaged support a couple times about it and they said that my (brand new virtually empty iPhone X) had too much on it, too many apps open and poor connection. No one I know has been able to get in to defend in ages.

This is definitely one of the fixes on my top ten list. Thanks for bringing it up!


#9

the only thing we can do after a notification of under attack pop up is get in fast and burn all the resource. most of the time I can not even do that and I have a base with 8 island long


#10

All of what you said is really interesting, some of it I also expected to see when I began playing two years ago but indeed that doesn’t look like the game we have at the moment. Besides I can only shudder imagining how resource-heavy such a game would be for a mobile device, especially when many devices already struggle to display it correctly (though you seem to suggest it has to be with the original code).

I know absolutely nothing about coding, but I feel like the game you describe would work much better as a video game exported on a gaming platform or computer than on a mobile/tablet device because of the sheer range of smart devices which exist. From my limited knowledge it appears that gaming platforms and computers are less widely spread out in terms of minimal performance and in my opinion the game you describe would work better on these more specialised or powerful platforms.


#11

Resource heaviness is a result of setting graphics detail too high for the device. Trim stuff back to simpler, lower polygon models with detailed skins, and mobile devices handle it just fine, and it can still look good.

As for tapping on a notification banner and joining a defence, that’s just a matter of client-server handshaking. Right now, there isn’t any that I can see, but put it in, and you get your join-from-unloaded defences back.

Just more things that I could help PG with…


#12

PG is recruiting, if you’re interested…


#13

Ivused to have this problem on my old phone. After upgrading I’m not having issues loading in to defend. Maybe it’s just internet/hardware issues.
I also changed to my mobile wifi on Verizon network.