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How Much Should It Cost To Start An Alliance?

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Poll Question: How much should it cost to start an alliance?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
9 [30.00%]
1 [3.33%]
1 [3.33%]
2 [6.67%]
4 [13.33%]
1 [3.33%]
1 [3.33%]
11 [36.67%]
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eowan the short View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eowan the short Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2018 at 15:12
I will admit that currently, the evidence I have is anecdotal. However, I will work on some stats and present my findings (though it might take a while). 

They collect considerable metrics yet it appears these metrics are rarely looked at and may be inaccessible in some cases. I tried at length to get historical market data from them to no avail despite the fact that they were willing to supply it and if they monitored these metrics closely then how come the 2 most recent major interventions from them- the RMT issue and the death defy patch- were both player reported?

With your steam team as a case study, I have no knowledge of their existence other than that they are a) little and b) from steam. I'll assume this team has 5 players and no prior knowledge of illy and that the cost of an alliance is 10mil (its what I voted for and the current median). 

So, your steam team joins illy from steam, gets the steam prestige each which is 70 mil per player in prestige value. They have enough to make an alliance easily.

OK, but what if they don't come via steam? What if they come via the browser?

Well, the first guy turns up, gives it a go, has a fun time and invites his friends to join him. He sends them the buddy referral link and he gets 400 prestige, estimated value, 140 mil. He has enough to make an alliance easily. 

OK, but what if they don't use the buddy referral system? What if they start all at the same time?

Well, I believe that the stat for the proportion of the player base that buys prestige is about 1 in 4. You have 5 guys, therefore odds are that at least 1 of them buys a prestige scrap at the very least. Estimated value, 24 mil, he has enough to make an alliance easily.

OK, but what if they aren't pres buyers? What if they want to play for free?

Well, they ask how to make gold quickly in GC because they want to make an alliance and they get told about terraforming. They terraform for 1 week and now have enough to make an alliance.

I can go on and on like this. It takes little effort for a team of players to produce 10 mil in less than a month even without all that stuff. And if they can't wait a month for to earn their 10 mil, how are they going to feel when they find out that to fully research a city takes 18 months? What about when they find out that to have a decent sized army costs hundreds of millions of gold?


This all leads me back to one of my earlier points. In a game with such long term goals as Illyriad, why is making an alliance such a short term thing? 

If they aren't primarily limited by resources and knowledge, then the amount of gold it would cost is irrelevant. If this assumption is correct then you shouldn't care which way it goes so should be entirely neutral. Yet you still respond and argue against an increase?

You assume I am a city builder in my nature and want others to be like that as well. I am not. I am simply of the belief that a solid knowledge of Illyriad helps you make decisions to best reach your goals and have fun and the best way to get said knowledge is to be in an alliance led by people with the ability to teach it.

As a final remark, you stated in a comment on your poll about leaving the game as is that 'land claiming squeezes people into other regions, which become more densely populated as a result, then shouldn't those unclaimed regions be healthier and more active as a result?'. If increasing the concentration of players is truly good for activity, then surely more concentrated alliances are equally good. 
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eowan the short View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eowan the short Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2018 at 15:15
As my past post was rather long and whilst I was typing it, the point has been reiterated I shall respond again to the idea that one of the limiting factors in the early game is not resources. 

If you truly believe that resources are not a limiting factor early on in the game then why do you think raising the cost of making an alliance is a bad thing? Surely you'd believe it would have no effect at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr. Ubiquitous Feral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2018 at 15:19
I agree with Ten Kulch. Again. Please provide the proof that your claim is true. 

If there were to be any changes, I would like to see the following...
1) whatever amount is payed to start the alliance is deposited into the alliance coffers and made available after the membership reaches a certain number.
2) a player needs 5 cities before starting an alliance.
3) more actual Training Alliances.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scottfitz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2018 at 18:09
100 Million, anyone who can't easily come up with this trivial amount of gold is not ready to run an alliance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Queen Bacet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2018 at 19:56
I personally for what its worth agree with Ten Kulch.
The amount allowed does allow smaller players to create an alliance and do the things they want to do. Maybe thats all they want from the game. Some maybe returning players that decide thats the way they want to go instead of joining an already established alliance, whose to say they haven't got a different play style to many of the other players.
As it stands the amount is raisable by most players after they have reached some understanding of the game and once the alliance is formed then in turn are around GC to chat and help other players surely with the state of GC lately this is a good thing.
Its certainly brought debate which is also a good thing but putting up the prices of creating an Alliance does nothing for the game in a posative light.

Another way of doing this is creating a teir system where the older bigger alliances pay more each year than the starting alliances and the gold payed goes to some kind of banking system where the gold can only be withdrawn when there is a map wide tournament so smaller players can buy equipment to enter the tournament both helping to encourage new players to take part and be competative. Also starting discusions on the use of equipmeant earlier in the game than prehaps before
This then does not eliminate new players from playing as they wish but encourages new players to be apart of the wider game mechanics. Hopefully holding new players to the game for longer and encouraging alliance training and interaction with their players at an earlier stage.
 Yes i do know alot of the good and big alliances already do this but it will encourage smaller Alliances to learn and understand the game mechanics better as they grow
How the Alliance pays for the steeper charges is down to the individual alliance either through tax or say some kind of kitty where the bigger players can pay more than the newer players so as not to impede the growth of the newer player
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr. Ubiquitous Feral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2018 at 21:16
I have just completed an experiment. I started a newb alliance with a friend's terra account. I joined GC and was soon told by 3 different players that it was a terrible idea. 1 of them had a one player alliance! The only reason they could give was that it would cause me to lose interest in the game because of not learning from vets, and that i would quit and leave another newb alliance abandoned in the game. No one had a reason other than it is expected for everyone to join an existing alliance.

The problem is that they are assuming untruths. If a newb wants to explore leading an alliance, let them. It is part of the game and even in real life new organizations come and go regularly. This is a dead argument until someone can prove that the claims are true. I will probably give my newb alliance to a newb, and they can play any way they like.

I believe Eowan either had some type of profit in mind or just wanted to be heard again. 
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eowan the short View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eowan the short Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2018 at 21:40
Umm... please explain that profit motive... I can't see how I would profit at all... 

As for wanted to be heard, I posted on the forums about an issue I found interesting. Equally, you have posted on here... perhaps you just wanted to be heard.

I've been figuring out how to get the stats and it'd be a lot of work I simply can't be bothered to do. Perhaps the if the devs have been monitoring this, they could chime in with any of their findings? 

I do have some questions though that I feel that an increase in the cost of alliances would not be a good thing:

1) Why do you think that making an alliance should be a such a casual and short term goal in a game that is extremely long term?

2) How would you attempt to solve the new player retention issue in a manner that would take relatively little effort for the devs?

3) If new players do not need the support and guidance of larger and older players, why do training alliances exist?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr. Ubiquitous Feral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2018 at 21:56
You're funny, Eowan. Everything you do has a profit motive. Here are my answers...

1) I don't. Look for my previous post in this thread.

2) Its not my problem. The game is not a right fit for some and they leave.

3) They do. But a few don't want that. I like Lord Stanley, Myr, Snagglepuss, and yes, even Malek. I like TCol, which will train a player but isn't a training alliance. Notice a pattern? I like the players who are not satisfied by living in a nicely folded envelope, those who want to explore the game and try something new. Some if not most want to train newbs to be farmers and just hunt until something happens to them so they can complain about it.

I also respect your attempts to meta game. I feel that you provide a type of game play that is acceptable as long as you stay within the ToS.
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eowan the short View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eowan the short Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2018 at 22:30
Originally posted by Mr. Ubiquitous Feral Mr. Ubiquitous Feral wrote:

I agree with Ten Kulch. Again. Please provide the proof that your claim is true. 

If there were to be any changes, I would like to see the following...
1) whatever amount is payed to start the alliance is deposited into the alliance coffers and made available after the membership reaches a certain number.
2) a player needs 5 cities before starting an alliance.
3) more actual Training Alliances.


Point 1 is an interesting idea, especially if the cost were to be raised so it was more of a proof of resources test than an actual cost. 

With Point 2, surely that is a much larger barrier than anything I have suggested with cost. I do, again, see the merits of this as a way of proving capabilities but I feel it really would prevent pre-formed groups from joining the game and starting out together, such as Ten K's example with his steam group. Whether this is a good thing or not is again up for debate. 
The idea of making it a cost rather than a city requirement would be that if a group of players really did want to make their own alliance, they could pool resources to do so.

More training alliances would be nice to see but it would be hard to cause this without a dramatic increase in the number of players in large alliances causing them to need a second alliance to act as a training one.

Originally posted by Mr. Ubiquitous Feral Mr. Ubiquitous Feral wrote:

1) I don't. Look for my previous post in this thread.

2) Its not my problem. The game is not a right fit for some and they leave.

3) They do. But a few don't want that. I like Lord Stanley, Myr, Snagglepuss, and yes, even Malek. I like TCol, which will train a player but isn't a training alliance. Notice a pattern? I like the players who are not satisfied by living in a nicely folded envelope, those who want to explore the game and try something new. Some if not most want to train newbs to be farmers and just hunt until something happens to them so they can complain about it.

I also respect your attempts to meta game. I feel that you provide a type of game play that is acceptable as long as you stay within the ToS.


So, point 1 I feel is dealt with. You seem to think that a simple cost measure would not be effective enough at preventing new player alliances.

For point 2, I'd say it is everyone's problem if the number of players is falling. With fewer players, that means the revenue of the game falls leading to the game dying.

For point 3, not every training alliance encourages the peaceful farmer lifestyle. Look at what ~NS~ is pushing for to see an example of this.

I thank you for your respect but would also like to point out that I started in a training alliance. They gave me the tools and knowledge I needed to grow properly. Admittedly, I had always been interested in trade and as such had developed a working knowledge of the systems there but they told me which hubs beyond centrum were good to work in and taught me things like terraforming.

Not only that, but the training alliance gave me contacts I then was able to trade with.

Long after I had left SV, I still would regularly ping certain members of SV asking for advice and help around various issues.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ten Kulch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2018 at 03:03
Eowan, your argument continues to be that Illyriad will retain more new players if they are forced into "good" alliances from the start (according to your definition of "good") and taught how to play the "right" way (according to your definition of "right"). Your conclusion is to cut off their ability to form alliances as new players, without any evidence that 1. forming alliances as new players indeed causes lower retention, or 2. that forcing people through training and established alliances results in higher retention. I helped to run NS for a while, and I saw firsthand how many players just vanished after the first few weeks, even in a "good" alliance that taught them the "right" way to play.

Tweaks will not prevent the inevitable decline of Illyriad. All games fade eventually. The game feels like it has fallen below critical mass, both in terms of active accounts, and also in the vibrancy of the community. Technologically it is aimed at a shrinking demographic of older players. Over time, people will be lured by shiny new baubles and drift away. I don't think limiting the options of new players is going to slow that process.
Check out my blog, Warmongering in Illyriad for self-defense techniques, military city construction, and PvP strategies.
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