Why do the Developers hate Highly Active Kingdoms at Maximum Capacity?

I know what you are saying. You do a lot of Crests. You want to be in one of the highly active kingdoms and reap all the rich rewards that you would expect from being in a full group of like minded folk! Be careful what you wish for!

Let’s look at the Kingdom benefits overall and the specific benefits to highly active Kingdoms at maximum capacity:

  • Keys from Crests - This is the benefit most people think of first. It sounds nice! A couple of extra Ruby Keys a week. But let’s take a look at the reward structure. You get the following keys at each of these total Kingdom Crest counts:

    • 6,000 Crests - Gold Key
    • 9,000 Crests - Gold Key
    • 12,000 Crests - Ruby Key
    • 15,000 Crests - Ruby Key
    • 18,000 Crests - Diamond Key

    What does it take to reach these rewards? The expected weekly Crest value of a daily player who does one-at-a-time selection of Bounties to maximize Crests is about ~460. Choosing first available for all 4 is about ~400. For the sake of averages let’s say a daily player can expect to earn 425 Crests weekly (completing at minimum 4 Bounties a day). A Kingdom with 30 active players all contributing Crests weekly through Daily Play can expect to hit ~12,750, enough to reach that first Ruby Key reward. A Kingdom with somewhere between 1/3 or 1/2 of its players who are willing to spend Gems to get those extra Silver/Gold Bounties when available can likely hit the next Ruby Key reward. The Diamond Key reward is pretty much out of reach unless you have all players spending significant number of gems to to get those extra daily bounties. It’s nice, but unlikely to be achieved on a weekly basis (or at all). For contrast, a Kingdom with 20 active players doing daily bounties can typically hit the 9k Gold Key reward on a weekly basis.

    So it seems pretty clear that the amount of the benefit from being in a highly active kingdom at maximum capacity is:

    Approximately 1-2 Ruby Keys / Week

  • Titles
    Currently there are 3 Titles listed here along with their benefit:

    • Master of Coin - 5% Gold bonus to whomever spent the most in the Bazaar last week. This seems like a nice bonus to encourage people to spend resources in the Kingdom bazaar which should in theory benefit everyone. But as we all know, it is mostly now a badge of identification for who spent the most on the Food Deal (not always!). More on that later.
    • Master of Arms - 5% Honor bonus to the player with the Highest Hero & Citadel Level - As I stated in this post, this title is seemingly meaningless:
      Does Master of Arms even matter?
      Also, the title is never really a point of competition; it’s typically the same person week after week
    • Master of Crests - 5% XP bonus to the player who earned the most Kingdom Crests the prior week. Again, this seems like a nice bonus to encourage players to do Bounties and contribute Crests to the Kingdom for the aforementioned Key rewards. But the reality is a Kingdom with 30 players putting in 400+ Crests a week are going to have one winner (unless you manufacture a tie through extraordinary effort, like this!):
      Cool Screenshot Thread - #29 by Sibelios
      A Kingdom with 15 players doing barely anything are still going to have a Master of Crests

    Each of these Titles is conferred to one (or more in the case of a tie) player and is independent of the player count or activity level of the players. So it seems pretty clear that the amount of the benefit from Titles from being in a highly active kingdom at maximum capacity is:

    NONE

  • Kingdom Bazaar Deals
    There are currently 3 Kingdom Bazaar Deals so let’s look at the benefits of each one separately:

    • Food Deal
      This is arguably the worst issue for highly active kingdoms. Most players in established guilds have maxed their followers to the allowable limit until more crystals are found. Beyond levelling followers the only use whatsoever in the game for Food is the Kingdom Bazaar Food Deal. The max Food Deal (Food Deal VII) allows you to spend 600 Food to receive 35 Ruby Marks which translates to 1 Ruby Chest when using earned Marks in the Shop. To repeat: 600 Food spent = 1 x Ruby Chest. How much Food can a player earn? A player with a maxed Brie at Epic level can earn 68 Food/hour or 1,632 Food/day. A player with a maxed Brie at Legendary level can earn 88 Food/hour or 2,112 Food/day. Given that many highly active guilds have players who have follower progression higher than the current model would assume but also taking into account that Crystals are much more obtainable now since 0.36, let’s split the difference and assume that the average player in a highly active guild could be earning as much as 1,900 Food/day. That’s enough purchasing power to buy 3x Food Deal daily. Essentially, 10 players can buy out the Food Deal every day. A highly active Kingdom with maximum capacity is therefore highly disadvantaged with this deal as they must make a choice: either allow a “Lord of the Flies” first-come-first-serve approach that engenders bitterness or ask that everyone limit their purchases to allow for all to participate. This latter alternative sounds wonderful until you realize that there are no kingdom tracking tools therefore there will always be “bad actors” taking more than is agreed to which engenders bitterness amongst the kingdom members all the same. Add into all this that the time to run Dungeons has increased dramatically so the ability to earn marks has decreased dramatically making the Food Deal one of the principal ways in the game to earn Marks and thus making the allure of the Food Deal all the more attractive.

      So we can generalize that the amount of the benefit from the Food Deal from being in a highly active kingdom at maximum capacity is:

      A LOSS of 1-2 Ruby Chests per day compared to an active kingdom of 10-20 members instead

    • Ore Deal
      This deal would appear to be ideal for a highly active kingdom. Using the same metrics for Adhakus (the Miner) that we used in the Food Deal example with Brie (the Farmer), we can assume that the average daily player in a highly active guild can earn approximately 950 Ore/day. In contrast to Food, Ore has numerous uses, but one of the best uses overall is the Ore Deal, especially given that evolutions are (in theory) more possible, therefore the need to find Greater/Major shards is greater than it’s ever been. The problem with the Ore Deal for highly active kingdoms is it’s lack of flexibility. What if the consensus is that Greater Shards are needed more than Major Shards? well then you are forced into rubber banding between a less valuable deal (Ore Deal V) and the better value Deal (Ore Deal VI). The problem there of course is that demand is high. So more likely than not, you will end up back at Ore Deal VII (20 random Major Shards for 300 Ore). Given the high demand for these shards as well, the deal will often get “stuck” at Ore Deal VII while others are waiting for have a chance at Ore Deal VI. A less active Kingdom may never even hit Ore Deal VII but that is not really an issue as that is what demand dictates. The fact is, given the structure of Ore Deal VII and the inability for kingdom leaders to direct options about the availability of Deals, it’s a constant source of irritation. I would argue that the current Ore Deal Structure is best suited to a group of about 20 highly active players who can push the deal around more ably and satisfy the overall wants of their members.

      So we can generalize that the amount of the benefit from the Ore Deal from being in a highly active kingdom at maximum capacity is:

      A tug-of-war choice that results in players waiting days to purchase the chance! (random shards being random shards) on a first-come-first-serve basis to acquire the Shard rarity they prefer

    • Honor Deal
      This is arguably the deal that benefits a highly active kingdom at maximum capacity the most. However, it is structured in such a way to be problematic as well. Honor Deals I through III are essentially a wasted cost as the following table shows:

      So first you have to agree to waste almost 1,800 Honor on keys you dont need to hit Honor Deal IV, then you have to spend another 4,200 Honor on Deals VI and V which provide the real value. However, as opposed to the Food Deal and the Ore Deal, the Honor Deal is much more difficult to maintain. The average daily player with an Epic level Gong follower can earn ~240 Honor/day assuming they participate in all 3 tourneys, play all available tokens and don’t lose any matches. That seems like more than enough to maintain the deal you say! But two factors are conspiring against the availability of Honor resources to invest in the Honor Deal: 1) PVP gameplay is much much slower than before and is bordering on tedious. Add in the increased playtime costs to do other daily content (Events, Challenges), many players are choosing to play less PVP daily to earn Honor. 2) with the significant reduction to Ore earned in 0.36 (halved from 0.35), players are now faced with considering spending Honor more often on Ore from the Shop (50 Honor buys 100 Ore). These twin pressures make it harder to maintain the Honor Deal for the benefit of the players. Perhaps you can let the Honor Deal drop for a period of time to allow players to accumulate more Honor. Then you are faced again with wasting Honor just to get back to a benefit once again

      So we can generalize that the amount of the benefit from the Honor Deal from being in a highly active kingdom at maximum capacity is:

      Ruby/Gold Keys at the expense of Ore and most likely a lessening benefit due to the time necessary to run dungeons/skirmishes to produce Ruby/Gold Chests

Conclusion

All in all, players who are in highly active kingdoms at maximum capacity essentially get the benefit of additional keys (1-2 Ruby keys/week which is somewhat lessened as a benefit by the ability to buy as many additional Gold/Ruby keys as a player wants based on the expenditure of Honor) but sacrifice 1-2 Ruby Chests / day as well as limits on spending Ore on desired Shards due to high demand. That’s it. That’s all you get. Additionally, in the current game state, Ruby Chests are actually much harder to come by then Ruby Keys. Is it worth it then to be in a maximum capacity highly active kingdom? The answer is likely no .And that should concern developers because if your highly active players decide that the game is disadvantaged against them (look at the Relic situation as well), then they are likely to abandon the game and take their money and their advocacy with them.

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As usual Sibelios, you manage to distill my feelings into a concise post detailing my exact feelings about an issue. Great post

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Another week of missed opportunities to spend Food and Ore for Kingdoms that are full with active members. Developers please advise. Did you intend the Kingdom member count to only be 15? Thanks!

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Let’s clarify that the problem is not that there is too much food. Cutting the food/ore supply in half in .36 didn’t address the core issues.

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My guild sent a support ticket about a weird name in guild that is impossible to kick. It has been over 3 weeks and still nothing done about it.

Also around 5 weeks with no update, nor update on the update.

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Figured I’d drop this Kingdom related thought in this thread.

Why not just get rid of the limit on Kingdom deal purchases all together? What is the point of limiting the deals that the Kingdom has worked to upgrade without providing some kind of control mechanism to Kingdom leaders that allows rationing? Seriously! Just drop the limit. It doesn’t make any sense. Keep the upgrade requirements. Those can grow with each level. That actually makes sense. The purchase limit doesn’t currently serve any purpose other than to sow discord in a Kingdom. Get rid of it.

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This needs to be put into a gold frame and hung in the dev offices! The limits are truly nonsensical. If they exist for some game economy reason, then put the limits on the individual PLAYERS.

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Made me chuckle :slight_smile:

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That is the exact same conclusion that I came to. If, for some reason, they want to limit how many food purchases can be made, doing so with a flat 30 per Kingdom is probably the absolute worst way it could possibly be implemented from a user experience perspective. Unless they also coupled it with Kingdom management tools that allowed purchase rationing… but at that point, you’re getting back to per person limits anyways. So just implement it that way from the start if needed. I don’t think it is needed at all though. Food purchases ARE ALREADY LIMITED by Food availability itself, which is limited both by how much is possible to earn hourly and with a maximum storage capacity.

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The Kingdom issue is mainly a byproduct of neglect. They have adjusted elements of the economy and gameplay but entirely ignored adjustments or improvements to Kingdoms along the way. Literally nothing has been done to change the structure of rewards for Kingdoms since early access launch while numerous changes have occurred to the economy and the levels of the player base.

I agree that one solution would be to take off the top cap of kingdom buys from Bazaars. The limit should exist based on the economic income (ore earned through play/miner, not arbitrary cap limits compressed against a 30-member kingdom)

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0.37 Update … Relief for kingdoms?

Nope. Nothing. Nada.

Also, now that Evolutions are even more of a possibility, the Ore Deal is in even higher demand and there’s not enough to go around for all interested members creating a situation that is even worse than before 0.37.

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Really hoping for something in the 0.38 update to improve quality of life (QoL) for active kingdoms. There is very little enthusiasm at this point amongst players about kingdom benefits due to absolute neglect. Player longevity in Gems of War and similar games owes a lot to the beneficial kingdom benefits based on total contributions by all members and a sense of camaraderie over goals like events and Guild Wars.

Maybe some positive changes are just around the corner? Let me check in on the most recent updates from our neighborhood community voices:

I did a keyword search for “kingdom”. No dice!

The design is clearly wrong when the most competitive PVP action in the game is trying to spend food in the minute past reset. If you live in a time zone where reset falls while you are asleep don’t expect to ever get a food deal in even a mildly active kingdom.

That highly active kingdoms seriously consider breaking off into small kingdoms just to be able to make use of their resources, and that has been the case for months now is really bad.

Really hoping they have some major updates for kingdoms to encourage more active play within them and do it sooner rather than later.

Nearly two months since I posted this and 30 member kingdoms with active players continue to be harmed daily due to Food Deal and Ore Deal being capped limiting availability to members. The economics are so disfavorable to full kingdoms right now it’s especially discouraging, especially since there has been virtually no acknowledgement of the issue at all.

Maybe there are changes forthcoming but in the absence of any communication whatsoever it leaves many players to question whether its worth continuing.

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0.38 UPDATE

So, no changes to kingdom structure, administration, rewards, or anything else in this update. Although I’m not surprised, it’s extremely disappointing. But that’s not even the worse part. This update now makes the Food Deal one of the most rewarding passive activities in the game and as I’ve discussed previously, full kingdoms with active players are essentially losing out on benefits enjoyed by smaller kingdoms every day because there’s simply not enough inventory for all.

Take a look at this table (using Tier X Mark Loot chance probabilities):

If a player does the Daily Siege and the Daily Dungeon with no gem spend, their expected Ruby Marks to be earned is ~60/week. If they invest in the first Dungeon cache regularly (table assumes no investment in Siege caches ever) then they can expect a weekly return of ~90; invest in the second Dungeon cache regularly, you can expect a weekly return of ~130.

Recall these facts about the Food Deal:

Obviously the translation of Marks to Chests has been negated by 0.38 but the fact remains that the progressed player (with currently maxed followers based on 5 playthroughs) can earn ~100 Ruby Marks / day from the Food Deal. Over the course of a week that is ~700 Ruby Marks, or 5x the amount of Ruby Marks they would earn by playing Events every Day and spending 400 gems every 3 days. This is highly beneficial and players would be foolish to pass it up. But that is what happens every day in full kingdoms; multiple players miss out on the opportunity to participate at all any while other players feast at the first available opportunity.

These are the worst type of incentives and engenders ill will towards the overall game design. The fact that this was completely ignored as part of 0.38 update was an egregious oversight.

P.S. please don’t ignore this post because you don’t like the title.

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Yep! I have not had the opportunity to get even one food deal, for at least two months. The month before that I think I got 2. I had to give up trying, for my sanity. It wasn’t quite as big of a deal when I could just farm marks the old fashioned way. Now, everyone who takes more than one is essentially severely screwing someone else in the kingdom. KLs have absolutely no tools to prevent that.

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It’s disappointing to see we’ve gone yet another update with nothing being done to either improve kingdoms, or do anything about food.

0.35 food production was doubled. Bazaar deal sells out fast. Requests for alternate use for food. Atleast with this update and the change to followers people had followers to feed as they levelled - but a finite food sink.

0.36 - food production halved (returned to 0.34 levels). Bazaar deals sell out rapidly as many existing players have fully fed their followers. Request for alternate use for food.

0.37 - no change to food or bazaar. Bazaar sells out in minutes while most players in active kingdoms can do nothing with food - can’t use it, can’t sell it, can’t collect any more because it’s full. Requests for alternative uses for food continue to be ignored.

0.38 - nothing has changed.

And while that focuses primarily on the food deal, Kingdoms are lacking just basic guild functions - we can’t see when a player was last online, can’t see who has contributed beyond crest count. Leaders have no controls to try and allow all members to help out or benefit from being in a kingdom that can sustain all the deals at their maximum level.

Shortly after this post, we made a decision at Throne of Odin to deal with this issue by splitting the kingdom in two:


Although it was a drastic step, I felt it was necessary so that our players weren’t penalized daily by the existing poor kingdom design. Keys are essentially pointless except to the newest players playing high daily hours, so the fact that the primary kingdom benefit lost in this decision is keys made it an easier choice. I am proud of our long-standing success as a kingdom so I hate that we will take a hit in total historical Kingdom Crests earned, but right now imo this is honestly the best result for all players involved.

Perhaps if kingdoms every get reworked (bear in mind that even if something happens in 0.39, it will have been 9 months since kingdoms have been touched at all by the developer), we can remerge and continue on.

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So in essence, this is a model in which all members get access to x2 food offers per day?
Sounds like a great “solution”
Without kingdom management tools - how is it working in practice?

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Thankfully virtually our entire roster is on Discord so it made the transition much easier. So far it’s working pretty well in practice. Ore Deal is maintained at V-VI for Greater Shards since you can buy Major Shards with the Ruby Marks. Honor Deal is essentially abandoned for the time being.

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