Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

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Lord Benevolent
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Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by Lord Benevolent »


An update from the devs:

We know that at this point, most of you just want to know when the game is released on iOS and Android. It’s clearly taken a bit longer than we first anticipated and we’re sorry for having made you wait for so long. The uplifting news, however, is that we’ve had some good reasons for this that will hopefully benefit all players. Or at least the honest ones. We believe it’s time to share these with you today.

Listening to your feedback in the forums, in Support requests, and even in community calls that we’ve held, one topic has always stood out: cheating. By its very nature, Stronghold Kingdoms is a highly competitive game and emotions can run high, so the thought of an opponent exploiting an unfair advantage can ignite tempers quickly. The fairness and integrity of the game are of paramount importance to our team and we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that the game and its servers have the best possible security. Yet there is one more nebulous area that has consistently sparked players’ ire and caused all of us a great deal of frustration: dummy accounts.

What is a dummy account? This is an account which exists in the game for the sole purpose of assisting a single player or group of players. This frequently manifests itself in the following type of scenario:

H1 is at war with H2 in Texas. Suddenly several low rank players spawn new villages under peacetime in Texas. These low-rank players then begin voting themselves into H1 parishes and sending weeks worth of excommunication to H1 and helpfully sending absolution and interdiction to H2. Adding further insult to injury, razing these dummy accounts will cost them massive amounts of honor.

The basic problem boils down to this: it is far too easy for a low-level player to exert massive influence in the gameplay between warring sides. Why is that? To make a very long story short, because the game allowed the abilities of monks to be unlocked too early and there was no limit on the number of faith points that could be accumulated.

The end result is that new players are immediately distrusted because the actions of a few dishonest players have created a justifiable paranoia that creates a toxic environment for new players. The veteran players around them see them not as a future ally and friend, but a snake in the grass. The new player is blissfully unaware of just how dangerous his neighbors think he is. Certain that the new player is “100% the alt of” whichever enemy is being fought at the moment no effort is made to communicate with the new player and he is razed.

That’s not a positive experience for anyone involved and it’s a problem. While we can’t change the past, we can make changes now that ensure we don’t repeat these problems in the future. Namely, for every new world coming to Stronghold Kingdoms, starting with Europe 4, which will open on March 23rd.

Before going into details on the changes let’s briefly switch gears and talk about something we all like and we all want more of: new players. This is where the mobile version of the game comes in and why we’ve done a lot more than just re-design the game’s interface. The mobile version makes Stronghold Kingdoms available to a huge new audience and presents a fantastic opportunity to bring in those new players that we all want to see.

To accommodate these new lords and ladies there will naturally be new worlds once the game launches on iOS and Android and these worlds will be the first where the changes discussed here will be implemented.

Starting with Europe 4, new worlds will not have the Age system of existing worlds. Instead, the Ages will be replaced by Eras. At their core, they function in much the same way, but their characteristics have been improved based on your feedback. While we have kept some of the gameplay-related changes such as faster units, faster Glory rounds, more honour, etc, the less popular Age-change characteristics have been removed from Eras. For example, Houses and factions are no longer reset when a world transitions between Eras and a capital will keep the bonuses of the buildings even if they are deleted.

Just to be absolutely clear again: All new worlds from this point onwards will operate with the Era system, not the Ages. Okay, but what about that dummy accounting problem? Right, in addition to the Age/Era swap, we’re implementing some major changes to the religion, voting and combat aspects of the game. Again, these changes will affect any new worlds, not the existing ones.

Religion – Currently, all religious research unlocks at rank 8, even though most of the religious abilities are of little interest to players at such an early stage of the game. If anything, it has made it too easy for dishonest players to interdict their main accounts and flip parishes. Hence, monk abilities will begin unlocking at rank 10 (Interdiction) and end with Excommunication at rank 20. Additionally, Interdiction upgrades will only unlock with each new rank and match your current rank. Example: In order to interdict a Marquis, you yourself will need to be a Marquis.

Faith Point Cap - Additionally, a rank based limit on the maximum number of faith points a player can accumulate has been implemented. A player’s faith point cap is initially 750 and increases at each full rank after 8, reaching a maximum of 200,000 for players ranked Prince and above. This means that the Thane who spawns next to you on Day 500 of an Era world will have a maximum of 1500 faith points, instead of a potential 300,000 or more like on an old world. It also means that players will have a much greater incentive to use the faith points they have.

Voting – Currently, any player at rank 4 or above is able to vote and run in the parish elections. This has made it easy for dummy accounts to take over parishes and delete parish castles. In the Era worlds, players must be at least rank 8 to participate in any elections.

Combat – As stated before, the use of dummy accounts has caused widespread distrust of new players and causing many to abandon the game after being razed. Since we fully fathom the reasons behind the suspicions, we decided to tackle the very mechanics making this type of foul play possible, as evidenced by the changes above. Hopefully this works to defang those snakes in your grass, so that your lofty lordships may rightfully look upon them as the innocent lowly worms that they are! ;)

On that note we’ve made some changes to the PvP mechanics on the Era worlds to offer new players increased protections and confine some of the more destructive aspects of gameplay to be more exclusive to higher ranked players.

Going forward, new worlds will be operating with the following combat mechanics:

• Players below Rank 8 cannot be razed, only captured.
• Increased costs for razing lower-ranked players.
• Raze is only available to players ranked Prince or above.

Are we crazy? No. We believe that these changes will benefit all players by providing existing players with opportunities for new strategic planning and also protect honest players from the destructive behaviour of cheaters. Will these changes rid the game of multi-accounts entirely? No, but it will the use of multi-accounts a lot less attractive to the majority of those using them. And for the rest, well, together with your help we’ll keep doing our best to identify and ban them.

The fact that we’re telling you this can only mean one thing: The mobile version is extremely close to world-wide release. Stay updated for the official announcement and a proper news update regarding Eras and the new mechanics. Dev-diary over and out.

P.S. – Just to be totally clear again about this (our PR guys insist): All these changes will only be implemented on any world opening after this date, starting with Europe 4 on March 23rd. All currently existing worlds will remain using the Age system and the current gameplay mechanics.

Have a good one!

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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by meatball2k »

Sounds good although the razing at prince only seems abit silly, It takes average players a long time to hit prince which means for example it takes me 100 days to hit prince so in that time I can be razed but cannot raze anyone but only defend, It also benefits players from ai worlds who go to new worlds and get to instant cp in a day and pop chiv cards with ease to make up for the extra cost of razing.

Maybe its to late or maybe I'm wrong but razing at prince only seems like bad idea, all the other rules though are excellent.

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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by tamer123 »

greetings all


love the new changes except bing able to raze after you reach prince

this is perfect for heavy carders

time to plan for some dank videos :lol:

the comedian troll is out


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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by nimarion »

The not beeing able to raze lowranks sucks cuz enemy then just capp the low rank in your county
either make it increadebly expensive to capp a lowrank or let people raze them

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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by Laella »

Some of this I am intrigued with and I was on-board, for the most part, until the end... forcing the real players to have to create a system of having princes whose job it is to capture lowbies so their faction/alliance mates can then raze a risky village is just cumbersome and doesn't really help the real players trying to secure an area.

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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by crownick »

This is a great idea, great job developers, and a great idea working to bring in a new crowd.

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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by Bglizard »

The razing only at prince seems a bit silly. It makes the heavy carder gameplay more unbalanced (though I'd imagine you'd want that)

I also liked when houses and factions would disband at the end of the age. It would create a interesting diplomatic scenario. In the world I play on, every time an age change has happened the main house splits up and immediately goes to war, or another house tries to capitalize on the confusion and attack a different house.

It will be interesting seeing how you get around that issue when worlds hit 'age 4' with 60 player limit unless the era system has removed that mechanic.

The quicker ages and FP max cap should create for more skill based fights rather then ID * matches in which you try and out ID the enemy until they run out of FP

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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by meatball2k »

I love the fp cap though, that's brilliant idea as its totally * us over on gc1 with players with millions of fp who have farmed all server rolling in like billy big balls monking everything in sight,

I 100% disagree with the prince only being able to raze though that just sucks, I would hope that this can be changed even if they bump it down to earl or something. Also been on the wrong end of beign excommed by gentleman with max monk speed and excom recently so I like that rule change regarding not being able to excom at low rank

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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by Pueo »

I'll be honest, I just blew a loaf seeing that changes are happening. +1 for money well spent. I was wrong miracles do happen :>

P.S. prince+ for razing seems odd unless you consider the amount of money you spend getting to prince! (amirite?) I see you sly dogs! good on yah!

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Re: Dev Diary: Era Worlds & Gameplay Changes

Post by marko7 »

Lord Benevolent wrote:Raze is only available to players ranked Prince or above
WTFF??? :o :o :o

This make no sense ....

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