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Protectorate Changes Request-Poll
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Author:  Mikeqe [ 08 Apr 2019, 16:08 ]
Post subject:  Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

I have many bitter experiences with the way AOC handles Protector and Protectorates. I have concluded that meaninfull changes could be made to reflect history better, to discourage voluntary submission, encourage protector to truly protect, make revolting easier if not being protected or oppressed and to not penalized so heavily the winner of a war.

I will try to copy and paste below recent posts and discussions I have made and ongoing test in multiplayer game I have been conducting. if I can't figure that out, I will just add in New posts under this topic.

Not sure if this is what Noblemaster intended as a poll but please comment and vote yes if you think some of these ideas have some merrit.

KingHowardII replied:

really i don't see a difference between a 'protectorate bloc' and a clan/ally bloc. either can be used to advantage, and players put themselves at more of a disadvantage offering guarantees of protection.

the only honest peasant is a dead peasant ;)

The One True Howard

2008 - 2018

rest in anarchy

My reply:

Very true King Howard. Taking the land is better but there is a price to pay, in extended wars, gold is wasted and land population depleted. Then you get a negative bonus when someone kills your vassal.

Under my experiment, land has not been depleted but expanded to full capacity, much gold has been saved. I have also expanded my # provinces in other wars. The only other condition I requested of vassals, they can't initiate wars on their own per history. Unfair to them but they have not lost a single province in over 50 turns due to protection by war or negotiated.

My reply:

My point and suggestion is that vassal should be handle differently in AOC.

1. If player requests or receives protection request, if accepted he should loose 50% of land to protector but if he had only 2 provinces or less vassal keeps the land.
2. Protector controls taxes and levies of protectorate. Higher taxes, reduces revolt penalties to vassal (making revolt easier).
3. Vassal duties to grow land, join protector in wars or at least help finance protector wars.
4. Declaration of war on vassal also declaration of war on protectorate (land belongs to Lord, not vassal, vassal just tends to land).
5. Declaration of war on protector does not equal to war with vassal (rescue of vassal from friends or allys).
6. If player becomes vassal by being captured, he receives 2 options, become vassal losing 80% of land but never under 2 provinces if he had 2 at least or exhile to water losing all the land to winner. If player selects exhile, he will not be at war with winner and no penalty to winner if loser gets killed.

Only a suggestion, this would better reflect history. Maybe more unfair to vassals, but such is life. Penalties for losing a vassal at least in water without holding land make no sense to me. If not holding land, not a vassal.

KingHowardII replied:

i agree with 2, 3, 4, 5

don't agree with 1, vassals (voluntary) should keep their provs

still considering 6... letting it mull on me like a fine wine :winkiss:

generally having vassals didn't help me personally, which is why i preferred to kill rather than enslave. but howard was a unique player, really into the whole fight to the death thing :gott: :sm:

The One True Howard

2008 - 2018

rest in anarchy

My reply:

Thank you KingHoward for entertaining my suggestions.

Number 1 is also very important for everything to work. There has to be a penalty for voluntary submission, maybe 50% excessive.

Consider this example that happens in every large map with many players. As game unfolds, several players dominate but not even close to try and finish the game by points. This bigger players are dominating by winning wars but very much by diplomacy and alliances.

Player 1 big fish, not an excuse to break alliance and attack another big fish.
Player 2 small fish, he is next on the list of casualties to bigger fish but friend of Player 1.

Without penalty to player 2 for voluntary submission to discourage him, Player 1 is in luck, Player 2 submits to 1, Any other big fish that attacks Player 2, automatically in war with Player 1 giving him excuse to dissolve diplomacy arrangements or alliances.

Common practice will be for Player 1 to acquire many vassal locking game up. The only way to prevent this loophole is to discourage players from voluntary submission losing heavily.

That will then allow other big fish to do as game intended, for small fish to be eliminated or as you so eloquently said before, "only honest peasent is a dead peasent".

KingHowardII replied:

i can't disagree with your logic :partyyy:

i urge you to gather support for this idea, the protectorate feature could use some improvement and you've got some good suggestions in my opinion :gott:

The One True Howard

2008 - 2018

rest in anarchy

Author:  Mikeqe [ 07 May 2019, 18:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

Update on experiment:
Game has ended. As I expected, convincing a few players to not deplete their land in wars with me and become vassals in exchange for absolute safety is all it takes to win and dominate a game. Vassals were obedient growing the land, joining me in battle or supporting my wars, and not initiating wars on their own.

As I mentioned in earlier posts, their safety required me to pay, give away land, cancel at times friends and allies to keep all my land safe (vassals lands belong to Lord). I only had 2 wars in which I ordered and included only 1 of my vassals to join. Both wars were very briefed and successful but initiated by me. I also had wars on my own.

I really expected for others to attack my vassals so I could join wars in defence of my land but it never happened. I had informed all players of my test and willingness to attack anyone, friend or ally, that attacked my vassals to take my land.

Our combined land, population, and active army was kept at least 2X higher than any other single player for almost 76 turns (70% of the game).

The unexpected consequence was that more and more players voluntarily requested my protection as game progressed in exchange for absolute protection when facing larger enemies instead of fighting wars on their own as game intended. All that was then required was to pay small gold and/or land compensation (form new vassal land) to vassal current enemies. If enemies did not agreed, they would face war with the empire.

This was a domino effect, aquiring more voluntary vassal resulting in victory owning only 58 provinces myself but ending the game with 382.

This proves exactly my point. Protectorates (vassals) rules or settings need some change, particularly voluntary vassals. The main intention of this game is to be challenged in battle, not to hide behind stronger players when in trouble. We are supposed to give it our best, we will win some wars but also loose some.

Voluntary protectorates should be modified to discourage the practice. I have suggested lost of 50% of land to protector, most will not contemplate submission for such high penalty. Maybe this is not the best way to discourage it, but changes are required.

My other concern is that now that I have successfully deImonstrated this strategy in a world map scenario against 12 of 15 top ELO ranked players with inexperienced vassals (I am also inexperienced) others will exploit.

Author:  Baldilocks [ 08 May 2019, 13:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

I agree with parts but not all of that
My additional suggestions/modifications to suggestions are as comments to the attachment
All of this is just my opinion so feel free to disagree and rebuttal if you're so inclined :^^:

File comment: The option to be captured or banished should be set ahead of time on a whole new tab (otherwise what if you get captured twice in the same turn)

The captive should be made a protectorate if and only if both the captor is set to demand submission *and* the captive is set to submit to protection, otherwise the captive is banished (idc if that means sea or land or whatev (I visualize it as being the same as when you're captured now but like you're still at war or maybe just maybe neutral))

On that new tab, the protector should be able to choose if he will or won't automatically defend his protectorate. (if set to automatically join war, allies cannot attack your protectorates, people at peace/ceasefire with you will but get a huge happiness penalty (an additional -20% modifier maybe), and the happiness penalty for going to war should be whoever would normally give the worse penalty (for instance if it would normally be -4% to attack protectorate, but -12% for protector, it should then be -12% to attack both))

In the event that your protector is at war with someone who you aren't, you should be able to join the war without happiness penalty for anyone (after cancelling any required treaties (and taking the happiness penalties and ceasefire time from that))

In the event that your protectorate is at war with someone who you aren't, you should be able to join the war without happiness penalty for anyone (even if/when going straight from allies/peace/ceasefire to war)

Screenshot (263)_LI.jpg
Screenshot (263)_LI.jpg [ 528.58 KiB | Viewed 903 times ]

Author:  Mikeqe [ 08 May 2019, 18:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

I had not thought of approaching protectorates changes in that way by adding additional tab and pre-selection of options or intensions. I really like your suggestions dear sir Baldilocks.

Your ideas would really solved or greatly improve my complaints about captured players. A captured commander can be sent to water without being a protectorate by combined or conquerors desicion.

Regarding voluntary submission, do you have any suggestions or opinion? That is the biggest problem. As I demonstrated, currently it is too easy to acquire protectorates (and even increase happiness in the process) to dominate any game as I did. My offer of absolute safety, which I truly provided, facilitated and even encouraged others under stress or at war with stronger enemies to seek my protection. Per your suggestions (I may have misunderstood) my allys could not attack unless they dissolved first our alliance.

In my opinion, this may actually encourage voluntary submissions by at the very least giving protectorates some turns to recover until protector alliances are dissolved with his previous enemies and also penalizing his previous enemies again, but greater this time in happiness to initiate war a second time. My suggestions were to discourage voluntary submission by substantial loss of land to protector. AOC is game of war and expansion against others. I would not like it to change to a strategy of seeking to monopolize and war prevention by placing greator obstacles.

Forgive me if I have misunderstood you or wrongly extrapolated your great suggestion regarding captured players with regards to voluntary submissions. I thank you for taking the time to reply and suggest a much better way to handle captured enemies. I look forward to your ideas to discourage voluntary submissions.

Author:  Baldilocks [ 08 May 2019, 20:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

You're right, I had forgotten to touch on voluntary submission. I honestly hadn't tried thinking of that so I'll try now...

If the land is given to the protector I think that it'd still be mutually beneficial and in a game where everyone is submitting anyway it wouldn't make a difference. A possible other way to go about this would be to have land of the protectorate being abandoned rather than given to the protector that way any player can come in and seize territory. (if abandoning doesn't sound good maybe the inhabitants of some (maybe a random (or not random) half of) provinces can instantly revolt as if lost to poor happiness (although that might give an edge to the prospective protector as they very well may already have an army built up))

That one is definitely one of the hardest ones for me to think of... (maybe because I'll sometimes be a wimp and request protection from anyone who looks ready and more than able to kill me :kg:)

P.S. on the tangent of how territory should be lost from the prospective protectorate, I think that it really shouldn't be a random algorithm deciding what provinces get lost, if it is the abandon/revolts it should definitely be edge pieces being decided at random (edge pieces being provinces that are adjacent to players not involved (so not your prospective protector or any of his other protectorates))

P.P.S. idk how well it would actually work (since it could just be requested back next turn) but the protectorate could loose like half of it's bank balance to it's protector just a thought that I just thought of while finishing this up

P.P.P.S. I really have no idea that I am confident in for addressing this specific issue, just trying to help with the brainstorming :^^:

Author:  Mikeqe [ 09 May 2019, 15:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

Thank you again for considering options for voluntary submissions. All I am trying is to start a conversation to get ideas such as yours.

To better explain my point of view and reason for my suggestions let me board you with why? From my perspective, historically, a vassal was a knight or such that had helped the king in wars and as reward war granted lands to tend from the kingdom, still all the land in the kingdom belongs to the king. The protectorates very similar, usually land conquered or voluntarily surrendered (facing extinction) and king sometimes appointed knight to manage.

I agree to some extent about your concerns regarding land that protectorates may loose but I believe AOC has established already that oldest owned provinces are the ones kept by vassals (maybe I am wrong and is based on happiness or population).

Your suggestions about some land from protectorate becoming abandoned or much lower happiness facilitating revolt is intriguing. It will certainly discourage voluntary submissions from both parties. I'm still concerned that it will be difficult to then end a game without elections. Currently, players use submissions to give winner required points. If land becomes abandoned or may revolt, game will be difficult to end. My other concern is that why bother considering voluntary submission if winner will loose land to other players? Almost feels like penalty to smarter player to deny him of part of his bounty. In this case I would never target king of enemy, would take all his land 1st.

Maybe that is what most will consider fair, I hope not. I just want to discourage voluntary submissions somehow penalizing protectorates not the protectos.

Will give your suggestions more thought. Thanks.

Author:  TexasReb [ 09 May 2019, 17:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

I'm having a hard time trying to read everything from the beginning, however, I think the example you gave of winning a game by making a lot of protectorates is not a guaranteed tactic. For instance, I'm in a game right now where a few turns ago, I was in the #1 spot with a lot of protectorates. They all conspired against me behind my back and attacked. Now I'm struggling to stay alive.

I find protectorates often revolt and a player that manages to use good diplomacy, as you described, to keep them under control is a very strong player!

Personally, I like the way protectorates work currently. It's nice to have a chance to come back after being defeated. Voluntary submission can be favorable for the person demanding submission. A lot of times I find myself on the winning side of a slowly progressing war. It is better for me to offer the player I am beating protection, so that I can be done with the war quicker and focus my attention on other potential threats and expansion.

On the historical/realistic side of things, think about Vietnam. When the U.S. attacked Vietnam, its protector (USSR) did not declare war on the U.S. However, I do understand that there is a historical precedent for forcing protectorates to join the wars of their protectors (think of Great Britain's use of their empire during WWII). However, as far as the game goes, I wouldn't want this to be so. It's hard, if not impossible, to defend a weak protectorate. This would just give the aggressor the upper hand. The only way to make this realistic is to give the protector complete control of the protectorate. But in that case, there's not point in that player still being in the game if they can't independently control their nation.

(Sorry if I am missing the point of the thread, again I didn't read through everything from the start)

Author:  Mikeqe [ 10 May 2019, 14:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

Tex thank you for consideration and reply.

I think you did get the essence of discussion and your opinion is valuable. There are key critical omissions when I explained my strategy and experiment that prevented revolts, facilitated growth, and maintained dominance during 78% of the game that I can't share to delay players from successfully using it to win unless they collaborate as a group. Eventually most will figure it out.

Your point is understood. Under current rules, a protectorate has better chances to revolt, sometimes creating chaos and even making a comeback. I do like to preserve if possible that option for captured players that actually defended instead of running away from war and immediately hide under protection of larger player.

My biggest complaint is about voluntary submission without even trying to defend immediately seeking a protector. A higher penalty may reduce it and encourage them to engage in war instead as game intends.

In my experiment my 1st two vassals did defend against my attacks and were distrustful of my offer of absolute safety. It took over 10 turns to convince them with my king at their borders with overwhelming army. Protectorates like them do not deserve higher penalties submitting or for revolting, but the additional 10 voluntary vassals that followed over the next 68 turns where not at war with me or even threaten with war from us (my vassals could not initiate wars).

In fair deffence of protectorates that followed, many of them were friendly to me before this game and for that reason didn't attack my vassals, I also limited their growth options by offering and demonstrating absolute safety of my vassals. Attacking any of them would have resulted at least in war with me as well.

I would welcome a way, any way, to discourage players not at war with potential protector to voluntarily submit.

Author:  LanM4rker [ 12 May 2019, 19:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

Let me share some points I have reading and thinking about this treat. Discussion is extensive and I can see more opinions here and my english is not as high level to make clear conclusions, so I write my ideas, like Baldilocks noted, as brainstorming. I take the scheme 1-10 from voting.

1. discourage voluntary protection: I agree to do that as one reason to change, but in my opinion taking 50% lands will disballance the game. It also can generate corruption (I am loosing, so I submit to ally giving him land and maybee position advantage over common enemy...) Maybee not so with some modifications - lost provinces loose 20% pop and 30% hap simmilar to abandoning. Point is rotectorate loose more than protector get, because of revolution or something. But look at current state - becoming voluntary vasal is encouraged by 15% happiness bonus - we can simply change that, so if chcange to 10% happiness malus can discourage many manoeuverers. I think, that original idea was, that with war devasteted weaker side with happiness low is giving up by sendind submission request which helps it survive.
2. Control taxes: I am not sure if this is beneficial, this is only less authonomy for protectorate. Unability to control own taxes can lead to protector harming ecconomy his protectorate with bad chosen tax level - because it is ballance between earn money and loose happiness. If, than control might be given on percentage of share protector is taking from protectorates taxes and levies. Technical solution: Protector can control share he gets from protectorate taxes (and levies) by changing taxes, which are ussually disabled during year. I don't know how much it is now, it need to be good balanced, not too much range.
3. It can work with "opinion", used now only for AI, I think, but if revolt penatly have to depend on taxes set by protector, it is simple mechanism to control it in time. So not only (but also) current tax, but also opinion will have influence for both - revolt and release protection.
4. not sure if really should be required, maybee discount for protector - only 0,5 AP to send standard request. And it should also affect opinit, it means joining war is service for protector and people of protectorate fighting are more likely to support independence.
5. War against protectorate affect protector: why not to rise responsibility for providing protection. But what is the price of happiness penalty for attacker? Average of both? It shold be prevented that protectorate become a backdoor for attack protector cheaply.
6. Yes, but I suggest the same as in point 4, protector can ask (make joining cheaper also for protectorate, as it works now by asking). Asking or not, joining war should affect opinion.
7. Captured commander: Yes, this can be unfair, because captured commander will appear randomly. We can count with that in our tactics but concidering unpredictable part I prefer peace with others. Or include protector - authomatic 1-tur casefire for all and message, if they want enter war with prootector (point 5). Because I can be angry that someone captured my enemy before and protect him, when I was so close to destroy him, can't I. Now I can continue in war with protectorate and "punisch" him and new protector who take my business. But sometimes he is my ally and we simply want erradicate someone - this is how it works now I think.
8. Choice of captured commander: interresting and with 1-turn casefire possible (you need turn to make choice). Exhile is strongly unattractive, until we offer something to that. What about taking 40% of army and current gold with king and rest of gold divide between all fighting sides to end wars? Than can be exhile part of tactics and possibility of choice.
9. If 8 than also 9.
10. I think exhiled king loose his lands but keep his independence so his elimination must affect all in conflict with him. Tke key should be in changing diplomatic states when captured - so system can ask enyone: The king was exhiled. do you want preserve current diplomatoic state? (allies). But we loose another turn, so maybee more simple is general rule: death king without any land don't affect allies (or minimal: -2%). Because in this case he don't have protector, this problem is not present.

Author:  Mikeqe [ 15 May 2019, 17:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

Dear sir LanM4rker,

Thank you for opinion and adding #'s to poll questions. It is difficult to disagree with your statements. You have valid arguments against most of my suggestions and have also made your own ones of how changes should be made to discourage voluntary submissions more.

Loss of happiness and population in part of the protectorates land is intriguing to me (instead of loosing land to protector). On one hand, at times we are too weak and submission is the only way to survive, loosing even more by penalty of revolting land, population, and happiness will certainly discourage voluntary submissions but feels unfair if player has no other way to survive. So is my initial suggestion of 50% loss of land to protectorate. TexasReb also did not like my suggestions. TexasReb and your point regarding protectors control of levies also very valid.

I still would like AOC to somehow discourage voluntary submissions for players that don't make an effort to defend and instead seek protection at 1st threat of war against them.

Without revealing all the details of strategy used in my experiment to others (you know them all), I believe we proved that after aquiring first 2 voluntary vassals we changed the game balance and substantially reduced opportunities for other players to win. You properly defended your land against me for many turns and reluctantly submitted. You also doubted that my strategy would result in winning the game as I claimed so early (I would have also had the same doubts if I was in your situation). My point still is that if no changes are made to current way AOC handles voluntary submissions, players can use similar strategies to dominate games.

Maybe the simple solution is to limit # of vassal that can be aquired voluntarily by protectors and to differentiate it from voluntary submissions intended to end the game.

Author:  KingHowardII [ 20 May 2019, 03:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

TexasReb wrote:
I'm in a game right now where a few turns ago, I was in the #1 spot with a lot of protectorates. They all conspired against me behind my back and attacked. Now I'm struggling to stay alive.

it's not about winning or losing... it's about how many peasants you can kill before they 3-hole you


Author:  Mikeqe [ 20 May 2019, 18:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

Dear KingHowardII,

Coincidentally, I just witnessed a game where 4 out of 5 vassals also revolted against their protector. I suspect but don't have prove that the protector enemy convinced his vassal to revolt at the same time. It devastated the protector, 25% of his land revolted and lost another 25% in wars.

Four of his 5 vassals submitted voluntarily, 3 of them among 4 that revolted. Way too easy (including 15%happiness bonus to encourage it) for players to submit instead of facing wars. Many using protection to buy time, recuperate, and then conspire as group as you have experienced.

This reinforces my point, voluntary submissions need some changes to be discouraged. If no changes are implemented, I will follow your philosophy, no mercy, kill enemy until completely gone.

Author:  TravisII [ 23 May 2019, 10:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

TexasReb wrote:
The only way to make this realistic is to give the protector complete control of the protectorate.

Now there's an interesting idea! What if instead of protectorates, what's left of a nation after being conquered became a sub nation of the conqueror. The player who lost is gone, done, dead. Not all of the land would become a sub-nation, just as the game does now it should give most to your main nation and have a small amount become the sub-nation. But now you control his lands somewhat separately, there is a leader without the perks of offense/defense as the traditional leader has. This sub-leader could die, and you would lose that sub-nation. All wars/alliances/peace would be shared, all gold would be shared, all troops could walk freely between, and all land would go towards winning points.

So then, what would be the point? Why not just give all the land to the conqueror? Well, a dominating nation needs to have possible weaknesses to keep the match healthy. These sub-nations would be targets for enemies, but unlike protectorates, they will be under your control and won't stab you in the back.

Author:  Mikeqe [ 23 May 2019, 17:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: Protectorate Changes Request-Poll

Dear sir Travisll,

Thank you for input. Interesting, that would definitely cripple and eliminate captured vassals as they are currently handled by AOC. I have to :* e it more thought but open to such changes.

My main concern is voluntary submissions. Do you have any suggestions? How can it be discouraged a bit more? Also, please take some time to vote in poll.

Thank you for input.

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