When you are running a MMO Its easy to get bogged down in day to day maintenance. The other day Lothar100 snapped my head around and reminded me about the big picture.
His full email is below, the key point for me was:
“The problems lately stemmed from an imbalance between players who are active and players who are inactive. The reason it isn’t balanced is because the game does not have enough depth, I’m not talking about size, I mean depth.”
He is absolutely right. Things are out of whack with newbies vs experienced players. Flagships and Rexes are the pinnacle of the game, and they are far too close to new players. Experienced players need something else to do.
Pretty much everything currently in the game, earth, keeps, castles, prehistoric realms… is what I want to be the playground for new players.
Experienced players should be in Space, the Moon, Mars and eventually other planets. They should be fighting and building space stations not farming wood in the prehistoric. Grass will be pretty rare in space, so you won’t be able to use Stone Circles to instantly get there. Uranium will only be found in game, you won’t be able to buy it. Experienced players should be fighting over Uranium refineries on Mars. That’s why things feel out of whack at the moment, Ironfell isn’t finished yet!
There are currently 140 units in the game, I just checked my notes for Space… I’ve mapped out 162 ! units for Space.
Remember when you see the Astronaut on the loading screen, that Ironfell isn’t finished yet.
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I’m just writing you because I never write you, but I want to be heard around here. I’ve run out of things to exploit, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have suggestions.
My biggest suggestion has to do with player activity and balancing that in the game. I don’t feel that it is a very balanced aspect of the game right now. The problems lately stemmed from an imbalance between players who are active and players who are inactive. The reason it isn’t balanced is because the game does not have enough depth, I’m not talking about size, I mean depth. The way I see it is, there are only two primary objectives in this Ironfell universe. Hold onto and take other islands (for iron and oil). And build, protect, and attack wood farms (for wood). Food, know, and electricity come later, those are a dead giveaway and not complicated to achieve. Both of the main two goals in ironfell revolve around PvP to achieve, so when you’re put against player’s like Falazar (“players like”, others may come along) it’s very hard to compete against someone with that kind of activity on the game. You cannot be online for every attack and it’s not likely you will win in live battle with a very strong player. Doubly so when they have active members to help out. I can only imagine what that is like for smaller players. In my opinion Ironfell needs something else to either occupy more attention from the stronger players or build more mechanics that safeguard the smaller players.
I can only think of two ideas that I can give you that I would expect to balance out the game.
1. Bring back tunnels or some kind of non-permanent resource that can be gathered more safely (aka privacy or seclusion) or in non PvP areas of the game. This allows players who don’t have a lot of time to hold onto resources without needing to defend themselves from bigger players who want to take their lands. They can just hide away or play casually until the bigger players have wasted enough resources fighting each other that it gives them an opportunity to fight back and also not be crushed for giving it a try. I’ve played this tactic in Universe 1.
2. Add higher reward objectives for bigger players. Idk what, but something. Mega mines or something.. mega oil. Some place or thing that bigger players can fight over and compete for to get a high reward. If you can add something worth while enough where the larger players will stay occupied then they will have no choice but to compete for the large player goals and leave the smaller guys alone. Flagships do not do this. Although bigger players do compete to gain them. There is no guarantee it wont be used to slaughter all the noobs. (I think its horribly powerful and should be removed, but that’s not as important) And these ships are just used to complete more of the main objectives I mentioned before, its not creating a new objective.
2 continued. I really don’t know what you could throw in to balance it this way, #1 is a better way. Maybe do really expensive tunnels that cost more than castles, but they would have to have very high resources inside. Players would have to save up A LOT MORE to get to this objective. Instead of dumping everything into getting more land and making more farms. I ‘thought’ this was the point of dino realms, but it only became the new mainstream way of getting wood. And any player could get there… I thought the point would be to give the bigger players space to compete for more important goals, but that’s not the direction the game went. I think you missed your chance for that. So maybe you can do something else. Idk.
You are probably already aware of the other mechanics of the game that Ironfell desperately needs such as Kicking from Alliances, Alliance Ranks, etc. So I’m not going to go into that.
Let me know what you think. I know you’re under a lot of stress with this Falazar buggery, but I just wanted to put my two cents in and make some suggestions. I feel like whatever I say in-game doesn’t ever amount to anything, so here I am sending you an e-mail.
Speedy Sundays are now a thing. :)
Every Sunday, all day long, from 00:00 to 24:00, midnight to midnight… your units move at double speed!
Like everything in Ironfell, its based on New Zealand time.
Here is a neat timezone converter to help you figure out what time that converts to in your timezone:
And yes, this will happen every Sunday! :)
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Ironfell is back online.add a comment
In October 2013, Falazar used a bot to cheat, and was banned from Ironfell. You can read more about it here:
In August 2014, when Ironfell rebooted with a new universe. I cleared all the previous bans and gave everyone, including Falazar a second chance.
Falazar was banned for 7 days for creating a wasteful alternate account.
He was then permanently banned for trying to hack Ironfell.
Since he was banned, he has started using VPN services to get more IP Addresses and created dozens more alt accounts. All of which have been banned and deleted.
Divine Dead was banned and deleted for giving an alt account to Falazar to use.
I don’t like Falazar. He lies and manipulates people into doing his bidding. Usually by getting them upset about a lie, then complaining to me.
He has wasted so much of my time, time that would have be better spent improving Ironfell or walking my dogs.
I used to enjoy making Ironfell, it just isnt fun any more.
I don’t want to do this, but really have no other options.
So … James Ratcliff aka Falazar email@example.com … congratulations you have personally destroyed Ironfell.
Ironfell servers are now offline, sometime this week I’ll take the site and servers completely offline.
You can now kick people out of your Alliance.
This isn’t a perfect system, but I’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible.
Here’s how Alliance Kick and Promote work:
- There are two ranks: General and Everyone else.
- Everyone can Invite people to an Alliance.
- Generals can Invite, Kick and Promote.
- The Founder, who created your Alliance is automatically a General.
- Generals can Promote other people to be Generals.
- Generals get a star next to their name :)
- Click on an Alliance crest to see who is a Founder, General etc.
- You can also see who invited which people into your Alliance.
Generals can Kick other Generals. So think carefully about who you make a General, they could kick you out and take over your Alliance.
The Promote and Kick commands are available to the same units that can Trade or Invite, Knights, Princes, Explorer Caravels and Queens. Only Generals can see the commands. So to Kick someone out of your Alliance, select a Knight, select Kick, and then click on a unit belonging to the person you want to Kick out of your Alliance. You might want to take a pony hostage so you can easily Kick someone out of your alliance :)
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have no Generals or Founders in your Alliance, this can happen if your Founder left your Alliance since it was made.
I’ve also rolled back the map control changes, so its how it was about a week okay. Its less annoying, but the “cant click-drag on some void areas” bug is back.
There is one new swear world that’s filtered :) See if you can guess it.
And there are some new behind the scenes tools which should make banning people faster for me.7 comments
A few days ago Falazar was banned for a week for creating too many wasteful alts (alternate accounts). Creating lots of accounts takes up server capacity, every wasteful alt is one slot less for someone else.
He has repeatedly tried to get around the ban, by using other peoples accounts or by creating more alt accounts. I’m sorry if you or your accounts were also caught up in Falazars ban.
Today I took the server’s offline while I added some code that will stop what Falazar was threatening to do, hack the servers, and ruin the game for everyone. I’m not going to go into details about what the potential hack was.
Falazar’s account has been deleted. All his units are gone from the game.
I understand that he was holding resources on behalf of his Alliance, I will split those between the other people in his Alliance.
I’m leaving the account and ip address bans in place for a few days, just to make sure Falazar doesnt cause any more trouble.
James Ratcliff aka Falazar aka Nibor, you are not welcome here. Go away. You are ruining Ironfell for the majority of players who are good people.
Ironfell Alliances and New Universe is Live!
Auckland, New Zealand – July 24nd 2014
DataSmugglers is pleased to announce that Ironfell, an indie MMORTS for Android, Windows and Mac platforms, is back with new features and a new expanded universe!
The new Alliances expansion allows players to join forces for an offensive and defensive advantage. The top players have already joined together into an Alliance that controlled 95% of the resources. Until one player treacherously stole his allies and tore the Alliance apart. Knowing who to trust is now as important as how much Oil you control.
Ironfell is a single massive persistent universe, with everyone playing in the same world. This new universe is made based on the map of earth and has 7,096 connected realms that everyone can fight for control of. View the map of earth and the 34 Flagship hero units here: http://www.ironfell.com/map/of/earth
A truly indie game, Ironfell is built by one person and is free to play. In Ironfell, you’re allowed (and encouraged) to gain an unfair advantage over your enemies. The longer you’ve been playing for, the more resources you have, the stronger you are. And you can take that full advantage into battle, in a massive persistent universe.
The next expansion is Race to Space, including Rockets, Space Elevators, Space Stations, Moon Bases and Asteroid Mining!
Game Information:Name: Ironfell
Description: The great big multiplayer strategy game that gives you the unfair advantage.
Platform: Android, Mac OSX, Windows and Browser.
Developer Blog: http://datasmugglers.com/category/ironfell/
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Just updated the FAQ…
Under the “What else will get me banned?” section, I’ve added this…
“There is an unlimited number of things that people should be banned for. More than I can possibly list here. To cover any possibility, at the GM’s discretion, you may have your account banned, units and resources deleted or IP address locked. An explanation or conversation about why this happened may not given.
If you disagree with that policy, I respect that, and feel free to not play Ironfell.”
I really should have had a clause like that in there from the start.
David,add a comment
Also… he has threatened to break Ironfell if he can’t play:
Falazar: “Well if I cant play might as well wreck some shit bad”
Its just not fun anymore.David,
Just a few small bug fixes today…
- Changed the loading screen messages to be more newbie focused.
- Changed the AFK disconnect timer to be 30 minutes (was 10 minutes).
- Fixed a bug with the AFK disconnect so that alliance and chat talking correctly resets the timer now.
- When you attack an enemy unit, and a non-allied unit is next to it. That non-allied unit no longer retaliates to defend its neighbour.
- Stopped the Trade Panel from auto-scrolling to the top and bottom.
- When you are the only person in an Alliance, and you accept an invite to a different alliance, your old Alliance stops existing (as it has no members left in it).
- And some realms names updated.
And the Map of Earth has been made faster and I’ve added a “total user units” counter to each realm. The numbers are only updated hourly, so don’t be surprised if they’re not accurate.