HH's guide for players ending CQ stagnation, Step 1

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typos?

Give me a minute to fix typos and formatting. I will remove this when I am done. Screw it. I’m not in the mood. If there are typos or problems, maybe I will fix them later.


Conquest (CQ) is yet again stagnant. It will be weeks or months before Synapse can redesign Conquest, and there is no guarantee that Conquest version 3 will avoid stagnation. Therefore, if the stagnation will end, it must be the players that end it. Many players and factions have attempted to end it, but, so far, no one has succeeded. I have an idea that might work, but it will require effort and most people who play this game don’t want to expend much effort. A few players do the heavy lifting and most players reap the benefits. Nevertheless, if the right people put out effort my idea will work.

My idea is simple, but so is chess. Chess is simple, but it is difficult to master. Similarly, my idea is simple, but it will be difficult for people to change their way of thinking about Tyrant and CQ.

Step 1, Information

My idea requires some automated, publicly-available tools or it will not work. These tools already exist, but the people who created them have not shared them with everyone in Tyrant. That was a good idea because if they had shared their tools before now, then it would have helped their opponents.

Oh yeah, I am the enemy

I am currently in the faction, That’s All She Wrote (TASW), which is part of The Alliance or G5 or Evil Alliance or something like that. TASW is one of the only factions earning 7 CQ tokens. I might be writing this as a ploy to make sure that TASW stays on top.

On the other hand, I am not an officer in TASW. I joined TASW without realizing that it was part of the Alliance. I don’t participate in discussions with other factions about CQ strategy, and I only the CQ plan that has been shared with my faction. In other words, I don’t know anything. And if I do know something, I am not going to tell anyone what I know.

Why? Because CQ stagnation is a result of CQ; it is not a result of the plans created by the Alliance of factions. If you just want to know how to destroy the alliance or get revenge, then my words won’t help you because you will fail to understand what I am saying. My idea is about how to end CQ stagnation, and it doesn’t matter if there is an alliance or not.

I should also mention that the current stagnation is very good for me. I get 7 CQ tokens per day, I don’t have to worry about missing CQ wars, building defense decks that inevitably lose, balancing my stamina usage between CQ and Faction Wars, learning how to fight CQ with different battlefield effects, or lots of other things. If no one takes my idea seriously, I don’t really care that much.

So why am I writing this? I did not participate in CQ version 1, and the stagnation was an interesting puzzle to me. I spent time thinking about how to fix it, either as a designer or as a player. I have a bunch of thoughts and ideas about CQ floating around my head and I want to see if my ideas are correct. In short: CQ stagnation is a puzzle, and I like to solve puzzles.

Make calculations

If you want to win a war, you must first plan the war. The first chapter of Sun Tzu’s Art of War is Laying Plans. He writes,

Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

—Sun Tzu’s Art of War, ss. 1.26: Laying Plans (suntzusaid.com)

To make calculations, however, you must first collect data, or even better, collect information. The first step to ending CQ stagnation is to collect a lot of data, convert it into information, and then make it publicly available.

What is NOT necessary?

To end the current stagnation, it is not necessary to make an alliance that is larger or stronger than the current alliance. In fact, to end the stagnation, counter-alliances are not necessary and large counter-alliances might actually make it more difficult to end the stagnation. To some people, this won’t make sense until I explain steps after Step 1, collect information.

What data? What information?

To make proper plans (calculations), factions will need to collect and share at least the following:

  1. What factions have agreements with what other factions, and the nature of those agreements. (This happens to be one of the few pieces of information that I might have that is not widely known, but I’m not sharing it. Even if I did share it, the information will change regularly, so you, the Tyrant community, need a system for collecting and sharing this information. The system is much more important than knowing what agreements exist today, 20 Jan 2013.)
  2. The data from the CQ map must be converted into multiple FORMats so that the data is inFORMative. I am not going to bother to elaborate this because multiple people have already created private tools that do this. Those people just need to share the information.
  3. Real-time data from Faction Wars, cross-linked with the real-time data from CQ, and linked to historical data about CQ and FW.
  4. Historical FW information.

More steps

This is just the first step. If people don’t want to make this information available, then the rest of the steps are unimportant.

 
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U are evil, go away :c

 
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While I appreciate your attempt at fixing stagnation, without your own transparency, I fail to see how you expect everyone else to lay down their held information regarding conquest alliances.

It is nice to know that there are members of the community who have developed tracking tools however. While it would be naive of me to expect them to come forth with the information while it directly benefits them, if people really dislike stagnation and want the fun of a dynamic conquest, I would encourage them to share those tools with the community, in the interest of conquest being more fun.

 
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None of that matters to be honest. Until defenders have a valid chance to win against an equal faction nothing will change.

 
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Therefore, if the stagnation will end, it must be the players that end it.

I disagree with this premise. Alliances will always be stronger than a lone wolf and as long as alliances benefit from stagnation that is what they will implement.

3.Real-time data from Faction Wars, cross-linked with the real-time data from CQ, and linked to historical data about CQ and FW.

There is a dangerous line, here. While much of this is completely possible to automate it would require public volunteers and, in my opinion, it creeps too close to botting/scripting to guarantee no action from the developers.

Of course, if we could get some clarity on what the developers think is kosher, that would be great.

 
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I’m confused how publicly releasing anything would end stagnation.

 
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LDV’s tl;dr summary

(I couldn’t parse the bit about “info” and “step 1” sry.)

HH’s assertion: Conquest in its current form will trend deterministically towards stagnation.

I agree with the gist of this. Conceptually, human beings tend to see things in a deterministic fashion, cause & effect, and ****ing hate randomness. However …

… this usually depends on fixing certain parameters, and in tyrant the problem is:

Conquest in its current form will trend towards stagnancy given the parameter that most tyrant players are lil biches:

(i) the majority of them are overwhelmingly risk averse.
(ii) dey lurv dem tolkeins. coz covetous.

So yeah, i agree.

 
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I interpret this subject as “Players must created 2-4 legitimate factions (no alts) and sweep conquest periodically and surrender their tiles shortly after conquering them (1-3 days)”
Per-say, street sweeping.

I have no problem ‘biting the bullet’ and making a faction called " Conquest Cleaners" and clean house.

 
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I think one big problem with ending CQ stagnation this way is that it starts to sound way too much like work.

Ideally, Tyrant is supposed to be a game played for fun.

 
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Originally posted by ggplatypus:

I think one of the biggest problems with ending CQ stagnation this way is that it starts to sound way too much like work.

Ideally, Tyrant is supposed to be a game played for fun.

Sitting around like ducks is not fun, and if you think it is…. Please, go outside and swim in a, gun-promoted, swimming hole while dressed like a duck.

PS: Don’t actually do it, I was just making a point.

 
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Originally posted by BeerBaron:

None of that matters to be honest. Until defenders have a valid chance to win against an equal faction nothing will change.

what if as a defender you had the opportunity to manually play your defense?

 
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Originally posted by 0hio:

I’m confused how publicly releasing anything would end stagnation.

It won’t.

Publicly sharing this information will not end stagnation without a few extra steps. First, let me digress to remind people that this data is already publicly available—but data is junk. Information, however, can be gold. Some people have created tools to convert the data into useful information. It’s so useful that they haven’t even told you that they created the tool. Digression over.

The information (not data) is necessary but not sufficient for ending stagnation.

Hmm. I think the following will make sense to the people who have created the tools or have the skills to create the tools. First, the information contained in any individual tool is valuable and useful. And that value/usefulness scales very well when more people have access to the information. Second, there are multiple tools and because of secrecy, the tools are operating independently from each other. In this case, however, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Just like the sum of the Fansite’s and Evaluate Decks’s value was less than when the two tools were integrated, the value of these individual tools will be much greater if people are able to use them in conjunction with each other.

Merely having the information (the tools), however, is not enough. Faction leaders will have to change how they think about Conquest. They will have to learn how to use the tools to reach their objectives. Hell, they are going to have to redefine their objectives! Because of the success of the alliance, it is difficult to imagine a different strategy that could be successful. (See, for example, the other ideas in this thread about how to end the stagnation.)

Forget all that philosophy—let’s be pragmatic. The tools exist. The tools are secret. The alliance is still in control. Keeping the tools secret hasn’t helped, so bringing them into the open, seeing what other people have created, cross-pollinating the tools, and maybe integrating some of them, can’t hurt. The only thing it can do it make the tools even stronger.

Furthermore, when information is clearly presented, it is often the case that people can see how to use the information. It might be the case that merely bringing all of the tools into the open will make it obvious to other players how to end the stagnation. Hell, I came up with the core of my ideas before I had even played in a conquest battle. Being in TASW just helped me refine and define.

 
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umm what is ur idea exactly and how would this help

 
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How do you think the community at large will react to these “tools” being brought out for everyone to see?

 
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As I’ve said all along – this depends on your definition of success. Is success having fun with factionmates, constantly conquesting & developing new decks – actually PLAYING the game? If yes, then I believe Warlike Brother has been very successful. Is your idea of success controlling a map, sitting still, collecting useless tokens and causing map stagnation? If yes, then the alliance has been successful.

Do a google search for war games, conquest and stagnation. You will find that the reason for the stagnation EVERY TIME is a huge alliance.

 
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Originally posted by ladolcevita:

LDV’s tl;dr summary

(I couldn’t parse the bit about “info” and “step 1” sry.)

HH’s assertion: Conquest in its current form will trend deterministically towards stagnation.

I agree with the gist of this. Conceptually, human beings tend to see things in a deterministic fashion, cause & effect, and ****ing hate randomness. However …

… this usually depends on fixing certain parameters, and in tyrant the problem is:

Conquest in its current form will trend towards stagnancy given the parameter that most tyrant players are lil biches:

(i) the majority of them are overwhelmingly risk averse.
(ii) dey lurv dem tolkeins. coz covetous.

So yeah, i agree.

This is awesomely funny, and it accurately summarizes some of my points. And it’s funny. :D

 
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Funny you mention evaluate decks and fansite as the fusion of those caused way more damage to this game than the stagnant conquest map.

Sharing tools is silly. When only a single faction was being botted back in the days, they were invincible. When not everyone had simulators, those who had were at a tremendous advantage. Now everyone is botting their simmed decks so they have a lot of time to post idiocy on forums. ;]

 
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Originally posted by 00craigs:

How do you think the community at large will react to these “tools” being brought out for everyone to see?

Originally posted by inorix:

Funny you mention evaluate decks and fansite as the fusion of those caused way more damage to this game than the stagnant conquest map.

Sharing tools is silly. When only a single faction was being botted back in the days, they were invincible. When not everyone had simulators, those who had were at a tremendous advantage. Now everyone is botting their simmed decks so they have a lot of time to post idiocy on forums. ;]

I don’t know how people will react. People really liked the YouTube video of the conquest map—the way that map was created would be very easy to change into multiple useful tools. People love the Fansite, especially the Raid features. It makes Raids more transparent. Some people hate or are at least uncomfortable that their cards are publicly viewable on the Fansite. Most players don’t understand that this data is already public; the Fansite just makes it easier for people without programming skills to see the card lists. Banana doesn’t seem to cause any outcry.

On the other hand, as the simulators have become more sophisticated, there has been some grumbling. And bots, of course, are widely hated.

Maybe some people will be upset about how much of their Tyrant activity is public. Maybe some people will like that the public data is no longer limited to technophiles.

Right now, the strongest tool in CQ isn’t a bot or a sim—it’s a diplomat. You are correct that these secret tools are strong, and that by sharing them, a lot of factions will instantly become more powerful.

Isn’t that the point?

 
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Originally posted by ralkkdillon:
You will find that the reason for the stagnation EVERY TIME is a huge alliance.

Much like the real world.

 
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Originally posted by purei:
Originally posted by ralkkdillon:
You will find that the reason for the stagnation EVERY TIME is a huge alliance.

Much like the real world.

Not always.

Please forgive the poor writing in the following link; I wrote it 10 years ago and before I had any formal training in writing.
http://www.hunterthinks.com/politics/history/philippines.html

 
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Obviously the only successful tactics is tens of low-level factions with good players that don’t care about anything. Simply like in the real-world.

 
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I must follow protocol: type something just to be known.

 
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A huge alliance will dominate conquest in its current form due to there being no strategy involved besides overwhelming numbers. It is depressing to see how easy tiles are taken. When a faction that can take on 2 other factions in the alliance in faction wars and win both wars cannot hold a tile against either of them something is out of whack.

 
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A few more generic points, mostly disagreeing with you:

  • The value of information is inversely proportional to the number of people who have the same information
  • Conquest is still in Beta; refining a bunch of tools may be futile at this point
  • The current mechanics base of Conquest is never going to break up the Alliances (unless they get bored)
  • The more tooling exposes the internals of how Tyrant works the more I worry about the developers trying to interfere. In other words, I do not want to slay the Golden Goose.
 
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Originally posted by MrHen:
I do not want to slay the Golden Goose.

So says Mr Hen :p