Posts by /Mihai


    I don't know if this pop-up was in the game for some time or if it was added recently, but I for one noticed it just now and I have to say it's an amazing idea. Why?


    1. Because it's a triggered event.

    2. Because you have to dismiss it.

    3. Because it's in your face, literally.


    Rail Nation should expand on this idea and introduce these sort of pop-ups for other stuff, not only payment related (which I really don't mind). This is an excellent way of forcing new players understand the basics of the game and the general consensus of playing it (hauling, majorities, associations, city competition, end game, etc).


    These events are way better than the tutorial, which needs a bit of rework (as others have stated already).


    Cheers.

    I don't know how you manage that, naike, I always have a lot of lag when using my laptop instead of desktop, and it's not bloated with apps or something. Guess you're lucky in that regard since my laptop has almost the same specifications but still has issues.

    Are you sure? Wait until you connect to 25 cities and build an expanded railway network around at least 3, you should see a severe decrease in performance when it comes to scrolling around the map.


    And while the game DOES work well in a powerful desktop PC, when it comes to a medium level laptop it still under-performs.


    For example for a laptop with a 7th generation i5, 8 GB RAM and SSD, the game still lags as hell and this is simply baffling as the laptop runs Civilization VI better than Rail Nation, yeah...

    Hey Bonfire, nice to see you again.


    While an algorithm able to determine what everyone WOULD have achieved sounds great, the least Rail Nation could do is start small and do offer something like 100g for these downtimes (which by the way, happened during end games as well and no apology was issued).


    In the past I've opened a support ticket asking for compensation for a worker we've lost because we've waited to snipe for him in the last minute but couldn't because Facebook login suddenly stopped working and we weren't able to login.


    Suffice to say that no compensation was given.


    And to reinforce this expected idea of compensation, most of the games out there DO offer some sort of compensation when bugs, downtimes or even exploits happen (all of which in Rail Nation have happened).

    I don't think we're going to get an explanation and it's sad because I have never seen a game with such loose game rules or left to player's interpretation. To give you bad cases of game rules interpretation:


    - some multi accounts get banned, others do not;

    - some players that invest for prestige get warned/sanctioned, some do not;

    - some players that threaten other players get banned, some do not;

    - some players that insult other players get warned/sanctioned, some do not;

    - some players that deliberately disrupt the game of others do not get sanctioned.


    This really is my last post regarding game rules, the objectivity here is too low for my standards and I've gotten tired of trying to reason and provide feedback.

    I think it's time the players understand what the 3.5 section of the Game Rules mean, which states:


    Quote


    The Rail Nation team reserves the right to protect the healthy and fair state of gameplay for its players at all times, especially in situations where the evaluation and investigation of the potential harmful situation or action strongly indicates that harm is being incurred against gameplay and/or one or more players in the game. In such situations, the Rail Nation team has the full right to take necessary actions even if the specific situation as such is not covered in the current game rules.


    We joked around this to be subjective, asked on the forum if breaking a majority or sabotaging the end game is considered harmful, or even had players misinterpreting the rule and getting banned for. Can we please get an explanation of what Rail Nation considers to be harmful in the game? To me it's clear that this applies to in-game actions, ergo how a player plays the game.


    And please try to elaborate about and don't say something like: "players need to stop beeing jerks" because that really doesn't mean anything.


    Thank you.

    Yes, I agree with you 100%. Just like with written warnings, bans should always come with a private message telling of the reasons behind a punishment. That is unless the situation needs more communication and the player is required to contact support in order to lift a ban. But this requirement should also be delivered to the player via a private message.


    There are zero good reasons to punish a player and not tell why that happened, communication is key. This is why it is part of our very basic responsibilities to let the player know of a ban decision and the reasons behind it. If you've experienced a situation where no one from the team sent you a private notification or a message via the in-game message systems, then I apologize for this. It is not how we do things.

    I have experienced this, yes! In 30 minutes from a player reporting me, I was already getting banned ^^

    5. Why Petertown and Oxbury failed (leading megacities).


    So let's start with Petertown, the city that lead the other cities almost the entire round and started first during the end game, arguably the favorites. I don't even want to say that I tried reasoning with them, asking to stop leveling, hell I've even let them surpass us at some point just to make them feel comfortable. They just WOULD NOT STOP leveling. And this showed me how little understanding of the game they had. I think of them in terms of robots (no offense), sure they have impecable dedication and vitality but they lack the human cunning. They had no strategy, just hauled the entire game and hoped that this somehow will provide them the win. I have no doubt that even without active players manipulation (more on that later), we would have won. We were surpassing them just 2 hours from the start of the end game, to give you an idea.


    Onto Oxbury, who started the round weak, at first, but showed real strength towards the round's end. Despite them having almost the same mentality as Petertown had, in regards to city leveling, they showed some cunning during the city competitions, and was preemptively recognized by Hugston as the main competitor during the end game, but they badly failed the tactics tests during it. Their understanding of what was going on with Hugston, in the first set, was so low that in their attempt to replicate our strategy they managed to waste 90 minutes for nothing, which ultimately served as their downfall. To bad. They were out of the battle right after the 1st set, much like Petertown.


    6. Why Eight Springs was a nice surprise.


    While arguably most of the experienced players went for a coastal city, Eight Springs went for an inland position, one that could have attracted a lot of traffic because of the connect-through pathway. I am not sure if this was intended or achieved by luck, but they've managed to stay less populated and reach the end game with a small level handicap, hence to their starting position as well, that's all. What separated them from the other cities was their discipline, and let me say this outright, they were the most disciplined megacity, their only weakness was that they lacked another strong association in town, all the more proving that small cities DO NOT have an advantage in this server.


    7. Why Hugston won.


    And this brings us to Hugston, which won the server, quite easily I might add. Hugston had discipline, I will give you that, but not that many, plus we carried A LOT of dead weight in the form of free haulers who simply did not followed the calls (this actually being the reason for my ban, threatening players with reports). With the help of another player, Hear Me Roar, we devised a plan (now commonly refered to as the Mihai maneuver, lol), which practically manipulates the active players during the end game. How do we achieve this? They key lies in how the tonnage quota gets calculated for each set, judging on how many active players did the city had when it closed THE LAST GOOD of the previous set.


    Knowing this, and knowing the full strenght of the teams in Hugston, I asked everybody to park their trains in the city while only my strongest assets nuked the last industry. This is something that Oxbury failed to understand. Then right before recalculation hit, even the players who nuked the last industry would park their trains and everybody was on break for 60 minutes (until the second recalculation hit and the industries cooled down). Now, the last good wasn't something chosen by chance, I specifically orchestrated all so that the last good would have two sites, which will be used by my strongest assets so that each would have majority when hauling.


    Once recalculation hit only two strongest association would close the last good, each hauling from their owned site. This again is something that Oxbury failed to understand, but Eight Springs on the other hand did since they had players present in the city and witnessed everything. This allowed Hugston to decrease its active players from 230 to 150. Again, like I said, we carried A LOT of dead weight and we had to carry all those ungrateful players who simply wouldn't follow the calls. We managed to reduce our tonnage quota from what would have been something around 407k to only 303k for the second set.


    Now, I am an extremely pragmatic caller and careful planner, so I always make sure to be connected to my competition to see what's what. Therefore I can safely tell you that Petertown DIDN'T EVEN HAD A CLUE about what was going on, while Oxbury was trying to poorly replicate my maneuver, which for all intents and purposes was experimental. And I had to battle not only with the system, but with the players' own convictions and the paranoia regarding as to why we have to park trains for two hours during the end game, or why only two teams are allowed to finish a good, and so on.


    But we adapted to a context creation by Rail Nation and to a mess created by Petertown and their misinterpretation of how the server was supposed to be played. It's also worth mentioning that Hugston won every city competition, courtesy of the quality of the players I had at my disposal. One last thing to add was that I obtained the support of the top team, which was a free hauling team by the name of Reavers, which I know of being a strong group. The support wasn't given, but earned, keep that in mind.


    8. Why 400 gold compensation is an insult.


    So there was a lot of fuss regarding a bug that somehow slipped on a live server, not on a PTR server where these bugs usually get grind out. Turns out that in order to manipulate the active players, the 1st ranked city had to ask for its members to park their trains or haul elsewhere in the past 24 hours while all the other cities had to do this only in the past 1 hour, in order to have an easier 1st set. To me this hasn't significantly affected the outcome since Petertown waited 24 hours, good for you, but Hugston, Oxbury, Eight Springs and the other cities have also asked their players to wait 24 hours. It's not like we knew and waited for the last hour, no, all cities took the same precautionary measures.


    But Rail Nation compensating this by giving 400 gold it's insulting because it shows how little do they appreciate their bugs on a live server. I will personally offer myself to purchase 40000 gold just so you fix a couple of bugs that have been disrupting my game play for the last 2 years.


    9. Why I don't think Rail Nation wanted these conclusions.


    To me it's clear that the active players manipulation is not something Rail Nation wanted to be part of the game. This so called tactics causes more turmoil than coherence among the players and most likely will be taken out of the game. I also don't think that by making the leading megacity dictate the base tonnage for all the other megacities, regardless of their level, will stay like this. Like I said, it's both unfair and unstrategic. And last but not least, I have noticed something very strange with consumption, in some instances it was almost over 50% of what we hauled, and that was during set 2. In set 3 and 4 it never occured again and was always under 35%, even when Hugston was back at 230 active players. So Rail Nation might want to check that out. It's basically the reason why during 2nd set, and only then, we had to call it a night and allow all players to take an 8 hour break, otherwise we would have steam rolled this end game in 18 hours.


    10. Why Platform X is a tragic start towards a right direction.


    And finally, I think Rail Nation is trying to tackle the core mechanics of the game and it's good. Unfortunately this first experience is not the greatest and we already saw players quitting the game because of bugs and lack of strategy. Rail Nation should continue to tweak the game mechanics, especially prestige points, investments and active players, but should better prepare themselves and think ahead, instead of thinking backwards. You took feedback and tried to improve on things that have been said in the past but didn't anticipated how this would shift things in the future. Hugston was lucky to have me as a caller, and I was lucky to have Hear Me Roar as a consultant, otherwise we would still be playing an attrocious end game right now.


    Players not following the calls still posed the greatest danger during an end game.

    Players joining in era 6 proved to be troublesome and disobediant in the same time.

    Some players spent more than 400 gold on Platform X, so you best issue a formal apology in the following days.

    And an end game had to be won with its main caller being banned for something controversial.


    Maybe you should reflect on that.


    /Mihai

    Hello,


    So I was the main and arguably the sole end game caller for Hugston, the winning megacity from the Einstein Platform X server. I said arguably because midway through end game I got banned (more on that later), but I was able to relay the calls through proxies.


    So let me firstly say that I was reluctant to try this Platform X server, which was an official live server and not a test (PTR) server (and it's important to remember this distinction), mainly because I don't like express servers (2x) and you can imagine that I truly hate fast forward servers (4x). I find them to deviate from the main idea Rail Nation game is: a relaxing web based tycoon game. If you think I am wrong, ask yourself this: what is the average age of the Rail Nation player?


    So Platform X, an interesting twist aimed at incentivizing players to haul integrated, thus building industries, thus building cities. That would have been great if not for the added modifications to the game mechanics in regards to consumption, end game tonnage quota and active players, which ultimately backfired so hard that Rail Nation had to give 400 gold to all the users to alleviate the anger (which itself was an insult to the players as well).


    I will try to split my analysis into several topics:


    1. Why building (leveling) cities was misinterpreted.

    2. Why prestige for hauling to industries needs further balancing.

    3. Why the consumption wasn't an issue (pre-EG).

    4. Why the modification to the end-game tonnage quota is BS (yes, that reads BULLSHIT).

    5. Why Petertown and Oxbury failed (leading megacities).

    6. Why Eight Springs was a nice surprise.

    7. Why Hugston won.

    8. Why 400 gold compensation is an insult.

    9. Why I don't think Rail Nation wanted these conclusions.

    10. Why Platform X is a tragic start towards a right direction.


    1. Why building (leveling) cities was misinterpreted.


    This server was seen in the eyes of most of the players as a city hauler's dream, possibly that of an offline city hauler. Many thought that hauling integrated can no longer be contested and that it represents the HOLY way of hauling cargo. False, but I won't elaborate on this since it's not relevant. But starting with this idea and seeing how the prestige was no longer awarded each day by hauling to cities, but only when leveling them, the main point of the server quickly became: LEVELING CITIES. Which was a HUGE trap for everybody and an even bigger BIAS that I personally had to struggle with, from a city manager perspective.


    Yes, leveling industries became more important. Yes, leveling industries meant cities would have needed to level. But the logic stops here. You can level more than one city! This was the huge trap all cities fell into, at least the leading cities anyway. They all understood: LET'S LEVEL ONE CITY! So they did, tremendously. Yes, Rail Nation were somehow deceitful in turning this leveling frenzy into a race by incentivizing a city to be the leading megacity. Again, HUGE trap for everybody as this did not meant for a city to level as much as possible, but only to stay ahead, be that with level 38 or 48. If Rail Nation' intentions were to truly incentivize cities to reach higher levels, they wouldn't have made modifications to the city consumption.


    2. Why prestige for hauling to industries needs further balancing.


    This was the most intriguing aspect of Platform X, the shift in prestige points from daily reward to leveling industries and cities, but mainly industries because they're more frequent. This had an unfortunate side effect since prestige players had suddenly lost interest in hauling to cities, and industries for that matter, but gain a huge interest in investments, since investments became the most important aspect of the game. On my server we had the chance to see investments vs competitions at play, since transports were out of the question, and the players who capitalized most out of the investments game ranked higher.


    So in the end you could say that city haulers profited more from this shift, but this in turn caused other issues for them. And in the end the prestige gained from leveling industries was still too low compared to when cities leveled, and the industries without any supply (like Iron Ore, Quartz, etc) showed little interest (since they didn't rewarded prestige points upon leveling) and were inconsistent with the change Rail Nation implemented. The prestige points from industry leveling should be buffed, I would say with at least 25%.


    3. Why the consumption wasn't an issue (pre-EG).


    Players immediately noticed the high city consumption right from era 1 and if I'm to be honest, I too found it to be a bit high, but certainly not unsurmountable. I think this mostly came from the city managers and players who were fond of the 2x2 leveling technique, which was heavily impacted by consumption up to the point where it was virtually impossible to use it at high levels. Nevertheless cities managed to reach, at least on my server, level 44, which by all standards when having 200+ players is quite an impressive feat. And I had no doubt that if given more time cities would have hit the ceiling.


    4. Why the modification to the end-game tonnage quota is BS (yes, that reads BULLSHIT).


    I honestly failed to see the reasoning in this change, it ultimately served no one and was a loss-loss for all parties. Rail Nation should expand its possibilities, not limit them, and by having the leading megacity dictate the end game rules means lesser control for the runner-ups. Leveling a city to, let's stick to my scenario, level 44 was easy for the top 3 cities, they all had ~200 players that needed to be whipped into shape. But for a city with less than 100 players that becomes a burdening task, since they know beforehand that if the leading megacity is level 44 it no longer matters what level they are, in regards to the end-game base tonnage, but it heavily impacts their starting position.


    So the pressure was to keep pushing and keeping up the pace with the leading megacity since the lower their city level was, the later they would start the end game, so already a big disadvantage. On any other servers this is a key strategic decision (which level to reach, when to reach it and when to stop leveling a city) that has now been removed from the playing field, which means Rail Nation just removed an intricacy from the game. Moreover they made it so that the decision now solely relies on those with quantity and not necessarily quality. More often than not the cities that WIN the end game are not the ones most populated, or high leveled for that matter, so that if a city decides to jump of a cliff and see how they land, they will take every other city with them. And that simply is neither FAIR nor STRATEGIC, therefore BS.


    I've been baffled to read on the forums that this server somehow gives advantage to the smaller cities. What a complete and utter lack of judgement.

    Hello,


    This isn't my first rodeo regarding the Game Rules, but will most likely be my last. For those that are curious about my previous endeavours in giving back to the game and trying to improve the overall quality of life, you can check my other posts here:


    >>> Exploiting the game to gain unfair advantage

    >>> Plea to include an "unsportsmanlike" behavior in the Game Rules

    and lastly >>> With whom you can speak if the support doesn't resolve the issue?


    To sum all those 3 threads:


    Exploits are allowed as Rail Nation's tools and human resources are lackluster.

    There is no such "sportsmanlike" behavior in this game since Rail Nation condones pretty much everything (except foul language).

    And if your support ticket doesn't get resolved you can't escalate it and cannot talk to another support staff.


    And don't get me wrong about this, I'm not a simple protester, I have made more than a couple reports about multi accounts and have spent a lot of time doing Rail Nation's work without them even saying thank you. I mean it, I literally had to point this out so they can repply: "P.S. Thank you for taking the time to follow up on those 15 accounts.".


    And now the "throwing dust in the eye" part. In September, this year, Rail Nation makes an announcement: GAME RULES HAVE BEEN UPDATED. Wow, let's see. Turns out they only reordered the same rules and added a bit of an explanation to some, that's it. But wait, they've actually caused more confusion that clarification with this line:


    Quote

    3.5. Potential harmful situations or actions that strongly indicates that harm is being incurred against gameplay and/or one or more players in the game. In such situations, the Rail Nation team has the full right to take necessary actions even if the specific situation as such is not covered in the current game rules.


    Well ladies and gentlemen, why have so many lines of rules when you can only have this one and you're covered? You play the game and we decide if you're doing it right or wrong, capisci?


    But wait, there's more! Add the above, to this one:


    Quote

    3.1. The support team and administrators have the right to decide the punishment for rule violations.


    Let's not get hasty, no one is saying abuse is being done, we all signed the EULA, that pretty much seals it. And honestly this isn't my concern, nor my grudge. What upsets me is that Rail Nation gets A LOT of feedback, through forum, support tickets, e-mail questionnaires and in game chatter (since moderators are also present). So you have all that but you don't tackle the things that really are troublesome, such as: multi accounts, fake accounts, password sharing, sabotage, exploits, unbalanced game functionalities.


    Players are screaming about multi accounts and fake accounts. There was a player here who HAD A SCREENSHOT with someone literally saying in a private message towards another player, from one of his multi accounts, to delete his message from the receiver's end, so that support doesn't see it since it was a clear proof that the sender was a multi account. These multi accounts didn't get banned by the way.


    But back to the subject of creating more confusion than clarification. Players were told, through sections 3.5. and 4.1., that disrupting the gameplay of others by causing harm, or even potential harm, by questionable actions, all under the fair play idea of participants treatment, is sanctionable, not can be sanctionable, IS SANCTIONABLE (since the phrase literally reads: "will lead to in-game punishment").


    THANK YOU! I was so happy to see this because in the back of my head it meant: less sabotage and less players not following the collective action of the players during the end game. Man I was wrong. And so were you, I bet. Players did questioned about the above rule and all the explanation we've got was: "players need to stop being jerks". Wow..., nice explanation from a Product Manager, but I will take it.


    So here comes my first end-game since this Fair Play rule got clarified. Calling starts and we see players acting AGAINST the collective action of the majority of the players. And by majority I mean 99.9%, not 51%. I say ok, was to be expected, nobody reads the game rules. So I send some messages, first nicely asking players to start following the calls because they're harming us and we want to win so that everybody is happy, bla bla. Some actually responded well, mostly ignored me but one guy went straight and mocked my message and the idea of following the call.


    So I got pissed and I tell him again, not-so-nicely, to start following what everybody else is doing unless he wants to end being reported. Guess what, he threatens ME now with a report because, wait for it, I AM disrupting his gameplay. LOL I called him an idiot on the spot so that he has a better reason to report me, not that garbage of a reason, and then I reinforce my suggestion with a clear warning: start following the calls or get reported not only by me, but by a lot of players here since I will be asking everybody to report you. And I did of course, this player is CLEARLY and DELIBERATELY working AGAINST our city and causes harm to, I repeat, 99.9% of the players.


    Guess what happend next. (*** edited by cm ***) I am sorry Rail Nation, but in real life if I somehow think that someone is breaking the law and I THREATEN him to call the police, do I break the law? No. The threat has no substance to it, but let's not get law and technical here, no need for that. I understand my mistake, good for you for not allowing such threats to exist in the game.


    But why in the hell's name do you even stipulate a Fair Play rule when you clearly don't do anything? You had proof right there, in my messages with this player, and did not acted. I understand to not act towards the players that are offline or ignored me, I get that, you have no proof, it's hard to make a distinction between lack of experience and intent, I get that. But you had proof and you didn't acted upon. This is unheard of. Please try to explain what happened because to me it's clear that something stinks here.


    And don't try to moderate this thread since even though I've said this will be my last rodeo regarding the game rules, if you try to hide this under the rug, this all goes to Travian Central.


    Thank you.

    Yes well THIS IS JUST GREAT, change the statistics WHILE the round is ongoing, that's one.


    Also, congratulations to everybody who have interpreted the Platform X strategy to "LEVEL AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE", you are the real heroes.

    Smaller cities were at a disadvantage on Classic servers and they're even more, on Platform X. And let's not forget one important factor, which is availability. With a big city you have players from all over the world, whereas in a smaller city there's less, so when the majority of them goes to bed, it will be impossible to call and clear goods in a rapid manner, they will focus on offline goods, often seeing 2 offline goods so they can cover more.


    Whereas big cities, even without discipline, they can brute force goods. Sure it will take 2-3 hours, but with so many players any RG will bend under the weight.

    Check this table I've made: https://1drv.ms/x/s!arqyunxxuymxjwxz6_8rezm2qgos?e=mhp3pj


    Look in the first sheet, you have there a city level row and a base tonnage row. On Platform X the 1st city sets the base tonnage.


    You take that base tonnage and apply it to this formula:


    EG FINAL QUOTA = BASE TONNAGE * 2 * (ACTIVE PLAYERS/100) ^ 0.7

    Lesser populated cities, hence smaller cities, will have issues when leveling. Therefore these changes will motivate players to relocate to bigger cities.


    Yes, bigger cities will compete with other big cities for 1st spot, but smaller cities will have no chance. They will be dragged in a fight which is not theirs.

    that's the idea of it with this change. On the normal servers the tactic is to start with a low as possible level the endgame. I'm glad with the change that you need to keep leveling.

    I am baffled by how some users here, and also by players that don't visit the forum, interpret the EG changes and make judgement calls that affect the majority of players that don't really understand nor read the changelog.


    Let's take an example from the Einstein server, we have:


    1. Petertown - now ranked 1st with 203 players - who will most likely hit level 45 when entering the EG.

    2. Westhill - now ranked 6th with 111 players - who will most likely hit 39 when entering the EG.


    Because of the EG changes, Westhill's quota has shifted from 124791t, which they would have had on a Classic server, to 155989t which they forcibly have on Platform X server.


    Keep in mind that Westhill has a bit over half of Petertown's player base. Them being a smaller town HAS NOT increase their chances, but on the contrary, decrease them. And it's already difficult for them to level at the pace of Petertown.


    So no, these changes DO NOT incentivize leveling a city as much as possible, it ONLY incentivizes a city being 1st, that's all.


    This community is seriously lacking analysis.