The inevitable demise of War Dragons, and how it may be averted

suggestion

#1

I have had a vague feeling for a while now that there was something wrong with War Dragons. I am in an Atlas team, yet things seem to be stagnating. Atlas was meant to provide an additional dimension to the core mechanic of flying dragons against enemy bases, and for a while it seems to have done just that.

However, aside from the occasional new land release, the land of Atlas is becoming stagnant, and it was only this afternoon that I finally realised why. The reason goes right to the core of the rules PG set up to govern this digital realm, and unless something drastic is done, I fear that those very rules will result in the inevitable demise of War Dragons as a commercially viable and enjoyable game.

Let me explain: PG has set up rules that ensure that no one team or alliance can hope to hold more than a tiny fraction of the total real estate of Atlas, yet that real estate is also limited in quantity and necessary for progression in the game.

The result of this situation is that teams will grab any real estate that they can. When the land is unoccupied, players flood in, and grab whatever they think that they can hold, and if their eagerness exceeds their strength, other team’s will take over. Then, once the land grab is over, we enter a time of consolidation, where teams fortify their holdings against the depredations of other teams.

The very nature of a competitive game such as War Dragons means that there will be both strong and weak players and teams, and the rule that allows only five teams to form an official alliance would appear to limit the power of any single group of players, and for a while this has appeared to be true.

The effect of that has been that teams who are strong and bold can attack those weaker than themselves. The Glory mechanic would appear to make such hostile interactions mandatory for any ambitious team, and along with the crafting shards mechanic, this has made castles another important currency of the game that can only be obtained through effort.

Now, as expected, ths strong prey upon or intimidate the weak, and either take the castles they want, or convince the owners to give them up. However, human nature being what it is, everyone bunkers down and fortifies their position, hoping to protect themselves from those stronger than themselves, yet inevitably, strength tells, and the strong teams and alliances overcome the weaker and capture prime bits of territory.

But then, gradually, these strong alliances find that things aren’t as easy as they used to be. They attack a castle and bubble it, but when they come back for the conquest, the castle is defended not by one team or five, but a whole lot of them, all of whom, rather than attacking the vulnerable castle while its shield is in cool-down, seem to be attacking those who want to conquer it. What is going on?

An observant individual could surmise that human nature is asserting itself. Players are artificially limited to alliances with a maximum of 5 teams, yet many more than 5 teams can be seen defending. From this, it can be concluded that the players on those teams have done for themselves that which the game seems to be designed to prohibit: they have formed one or more super-alliances in order to protect all their members against the depredations of smaller groups of stronger players.

This is the point we have reached now. With their ability to simply take what they want curtailed, the strongest teams have more of a challenge. They must scout carefully to find those teams and alliances who are not protected by the emergent super-alliances.

However, as an amateur student of history, I can see the parallels between the inception of Atlas and its history to date with the history of the real world. Inferring from what I have seen, it can be deduced that one or more Atlas superpowers have arisen, each being a coalition of teams using back-channel communication to coordinate their actions. Superpowers that, due to the rules that PG set up in a vain attempt to prevent such a thing, have arisen without the awareness of many of the game’s players, and perhaps also without PG’s knowledge.

In the future, I predict that one or more super-alliances will awaken to their strength, and will begin to move against the most powerful Atlas teams and alliances who have been preying upon those weaker than themselves. When this inevitably happens, there will be a round of wars that Atlas has never seen before. Entire Diamond teams and alliances who refuse to submit to the rules that the super-alliances dictate to them will be evicted from their castles by not 150 or even 750 primarchs, the limit of what one alliance can muster, but thousands. We will have the new phenomenon of a homeless Diamond bully-team. Unless the other bullies knuckle under, they’ll find themselves homeless too. Atlas will have an entire new class of homeless teams - Diamond teams who failed to notice the change in the political environment of Atlas until it was too late, and were evicted by the “weaker” masses, being brought down by attacks that individually could not hope to inflict any more than minor troop losses, but together amounted to a death of a thousand cuts.

Then what? Everyone follows the rules, of course. No-one attacks another’s castle unless invited, for to do so without invitation is to ask for one’s own destruction. We end up with not so much ‘War Dragons’ as ‘Real Estate Dragons’… and that isn’t what most of its players started playing for. With the excitement gone, players will quietly slip away, and new players will have a hard time understanding the unofficial political environment of Atlas. War Dragons then dies not with a bang, but a whimper. Faced with unrecoverable player loss due to boredom, PG will regretfully announce that on such and such a date and time, the War Dragons servers will be shut down… but by the time that it happens, most of us will have moved on to something more interesting, and either won’t care or notice, or will simply acknowledge the inevitable.

In its present state, I wouldn’t give this game more than another two years before its demise becomes inevitable.

However…

In the title of this post, I suggested that this fate can be averted.

This game is called ‘War Dragons’. Not ‘Real Estate Dragons’. Allowing the ownership of castles to become static will be the death of this game, since, in a parallel with real history, players will seek security in alliances and law and order. Safe, but also ultimately boring.

What have I as a player found most exciting? Conflict. Capturing territory… not trading real estate - one of your Earth castles in return for one of our Dark castles.

So… how can we liven things up? Shake off the shackles of an unchanging landscape?

The answer is simple, though it may be difficult to execute

  1. Atlas must cease to be static. It must be - at least in part - destroyed and made anew on a regular basis. Furthermore, the newly recreated lands of Atlas must come pre-populated with NPCs. NPCs with strength and intelligence who can offer players a real challenge, and not be merely metaphorical straw figures erected only so that they can be knocked down. NPCs who - if not treated with respect and caution - could carry the fight to the players and cause them to retreat. NPCs who will grow in strength, if given the opportunity.
    One possibility is that non-Atlas players and teams could actually be these NPCs, and their attacks and NPC opponents be scaled invisibly to real anonymised Atlas players. Newcomers to the game would learn from the more advanced players, and if good enough, may advance to Atlas next round.

  2. The Atlas teams must be divided into two super-groups who are ultimately competing between themselves as well as the NPC groups. I think of them as Angels and Demons, but the actual names don’t really matter, just that they are opposed and different. Players and teams progress within their supergroup by achieving goals - capture of NPC or opposing supergroup castles and other tasks. Their reward? Dragons unique to their supergroup.
    Of course, some players or teams might want some of both supergroup’s stuff, so it should be possible to change allegiance. But how do we prevent an imbalance that would see players flocking to the side that looked like it would win? The answer is to provide each supergroup with an equivalent attack power, which is divided between its players. If player and/or team movement resulted in an imbalance in player numbers, the attack power allocation would mean that those players in the smaller supergroup would become individually more powerful, and achieve greater rewards. If all Atlas players were aware of the current relative power allocation per player for both super-groups, the super-groups would be more or less self-balancing, without restricting the possibility of choice.

  3. Sub-factions within each supergroup should be allowed. Teams should be able to join a 5-team alliance, but 5-team alliances should be able to join super-alliances. However, being in the same super-alliance should not prevent attacks between non-five-team-alliance members, but should only prevent conquest of castles. I rather suspect that many such organisations exist unofficially, so let’s formalise the situation. Additionally, groups within the two super-groups should be able to capture each other’s castles. Just because there’s a common enemy doesn’t mean that infighting should be disallowed.

At the end of each Atlas season, the outcome in Atlas should be totalled as if it was an event. The best performing teams should be placed in the best starting position for the next Atlas season, then Atlas should be cleared and made anew. Treat it as a special type of event, with its own rewards for good performance.

This situation, being non-static, would provide plenty of opportunities for doing that which interests players the most, and having a common enemy as well as definite, group goals would distract players from pointless backstabbing and raiding that is currently in fashion.


#2

Yawn. Is this over yet?

TL;DR Grandiose and full of hot air…


#3

I gave up after the 7th paragraph. Way too long and uninteresting.


#4

I made it through the first sentence.


#5

I saw your wall of text and decided I had better things to do with my life than read that. Only got to the second sentence, sorry. But I’ll respond to your subject: War Dragons is still a lot of fun for a lot of people, otherwise you wouldn’t see such passion here on the forums or the facebook groups. I don’t think its going anywhere any time soon.


#6

Interesting prediction, and it makes sense - not saying I subscribe to it, but there is logic behind it. Interesting concept for avoiding the prediction, although the implementation obviously favors the stronger teams, by putting season winners in more advantageous starting positions. Seems kind of like an opportunity for the strong to get to re conquer the world every so often - which is great for them, but sucks for the rest of us.


#7

There are plenty of problems with the game right now, but honestly super alliances isn’t really one of them. A super alliance certainly makes it difficult for a team to take a castle from a super alliance. because of the vast amount of prims they can summon and launch at a castle. But for an alliance of that many to actually take a castle would be almost impossible. Imagine trying to organize a team of 300 teams attacking a castle without friendly fire, then based on conquering mechanics have all the teams leave at the right time so a 5ta can conquer. So super alliances work to protect already owned land, but are relatively inefficient at actually taking new land.

I do agree Atlas is too static. The only way transfers of land happen effectively is when a team disbands and gives land away. In the normal game, if a team loses big players, they get warred and drop leagues. Happens relatively fast too. In atlas, the team usually keeps their holdings and has protection. So you see previous D2 teams in Saph3 who hold high castles due to protection.

Personally, I think a good solution would be to have land change value every atlas season. Perhaps have land either go up by one or down by one. It would encourage far more battles and frankly, teams may let some land go because it doesn’t have the worth it used to. And maybe throw in a few more castle tiers. Perhaps have castle levels 2-7. And add more land. Right now, everyone basically tries to hold every piece of land like their team will fold if they lose a single castle.


#8

Isn’t the future you predict the opposite of stagnant? Sounds quite exciting to me, with lots of movement and land changing hands. Sign me up!

I absolutely agree with the notion that Atlas is a mess, I just don’t see any solution that involves land values changing (or resetting once a season) as a viable option for a couple of reasons; namely, top teams have spent real money to build those lands up, and even if everything is reset once a season, the same teams are going to dominate the landscape each season. Sure, there would be movement as teams and people scurry for position, but the end result would be the same; the same three teams are going to have cool, custom Atlas avatars.


#9

What league are you in? (He is in P1)
And maybe your team should be more active?

My mini team in platinum is constantly in raids or defense (of our or alliance castles) and have been getting new land


#10

shakes magic 8ball
is crendor in D1?
magic 8 ball
"it is decidedly so"


#11

Shakes sarcastic 9-ball
is Crendenor in D1?
sarcastic 9-ball
YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!


#12

So basically… destroy everything they have worked on for many years and create an entirely new game? This is supposed to be advice on how to make the game better not how to invent a completely new game.

Also, in what way is it stagnating?? When pvp bubbles aren’t up, I am constantly , CONSTANTLY glory raiding, and defending. :thinking: so I don’t necessarily agree with that.
Castles are being conquered/attacked/defended very often . Hell, even during pvp week, people are letting down their bubbles to create a glory hole. There is always something going on in atlas. Maybe your team isn’t as involved as they could be, or maybe they aren’t the team you are looking for, or maybe your just simply in too small of a league, but I see changes constantly . I see no stagnation.


#13

@discobot fortune


#14

:crystal_ball: Without a doubt


#15

I have played so many video games and I have never seen how one section inside a game can create so much frustration and concern among the game community. You think PG don’t know about the atlas MAFIA and how teams ask for protection or pay for it to be able to have castles without even spent one troop just like a mafia movie or history. Just take a look as how many diamonds teams actually can’t hold any level 4 or 5 because they are not in one particular side of the chess board and how many sapphire teams have level 4 and 5 that is extremely frustrating. Atlas if not change soon will sink this game. Atlas will be so bore with no teams to attack because in some point all team are forced to join the same side or to disband the game. Again tell me what teams are under attack every day and by who and not because of bonus or more game benefits is because of power and because the balance of atlas is terrible. I think probably 85% against a 15%. All because pg allowed this to happen letting teams to be overpowered and others even more weak.


#16

it is a war game… power and strategy is everything in a war… game OR RL…


#17

won´t happen. For 2 reasons:

  1. amount of players count for nothing - decisive factor is size (your base level)! If you can´t take a maxed base in Atlas you are worthless against Top-Tier Alliance players.
  2. big alliance players usually are that far ahead with everything (shards - timers - level of gear - troops) that smaller teams can´t possibly hope to catch up.

example a) lets imagine a lvl500 player decides to put his destroyer with 10k troops on a castle of one of those teams with 10 players lvl200-lvl300, each of them loaded with 10k troops. Who you think will lose more troops? Works the other way as well: has anyone ever seen 10 midsize players trying to take a castle protected by one lvl500 primarch?

example b) how many top team players do NOT have a full elite set on their most powerful dragons? How many do NOT have a maxed defender set on their base? and how many players of lower leagues can claim to have a full legendary set (maybe 2-4 elite gears) on their dragons?


#18

There are many teams who get attacked every single day. The difference is not every team complains about it. Sometimes you gotta suck it up, take the troop loss, and figure out how to approach atlas differently . I would also like to point out that it’s very much NOT one-sided. Teams from both sides (any side) lose troops non-stop . Also, I would hope if your doing an attack in atlas it’s for glory and power. If it’s not for power then what are you fighting for?:woman_shrugging:t2:More castles= better rank=more prizes at end of season.


#19

Pg agreed that atlas needs a change because of how unbalanced is and that they will be addressing that soon. :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:. Hope don’t be too late for those that are constantly defending and resisting.


#20

TL;DR version: Atlas is stagnate because of super alliance. One evil super alliance will one day conquer all Atlas and kill the game. The solution? " for the horde!"

What OP fails to realize is the power of defense and strong players. Strong players can decimate many many weaker players in this game. You can’t use human history to predicate a game’s future because the mechanics of a game is different from a real life experience human beings rely on.

P.S. Take some technical writing please. Your post is wordy and boring to read.