Attack-Free Planet Passing

Related Discussion:

We should allow empires to transfer ownership of their planets to smaller family members, without requiring any attacks or travel time.

One Way Passing: Big to Small

The original discussion above was regarding passing planets between any 2 family members. This new idea, however, is specifically only for larger empires to give planets to smaller empires.

This is an important difference because there is a lot of potential for abuse if smaller empires can pass upward, specifically:

  • exploiting high construction bonuses to build out the entire family’s infra
  • attackers raiding and passing in order to keep morale costs low for attacks

With that in mind, we could allow players to give their planets to any eligible family members without requiring the clumsy faux-attacking situation we currently have.

  • Existing buildings would be preserved
  • Stationed units would be sent back to the original owner’s main fleet
  • Can not transfer to players in protection mode

Expected Impact on Activity Advantage

A big change here is that this would curb the advantage that highly-active families have in that it makes it easier for less active families to attain similar success. In theory, this makes the game harder for those who already do well, and easier for those who don’t.

I think that is actually a very good thing, given that right now new and casual players have an extremely hard time competing with our vets. This not only effects their own interest, but it is also reduces general competitiveness and therefore makes the game more boring for experienced players as well.

This change would also allow oldbies to enjoy the game without having to commit as much time as they used to. The commitment requirement is a huge deterrent for many old players who come back to the community but decide that they still don’t want to play. This change could help lower that requirement, and therefore capture more returning players.

Not everybody agrees with this general reasoning, but I explained before as such:

If we can allow families the means to be productive without requiring hyper-activity, we level the playing field. All families would then have more competition and would require more than just being active to stay competitive. If activity matters less, strategy matters more.

No Time Delay

We previously discussed whether or not a delay was necessary. I see value in both approaches, but for now I believe we have more to gain by allowing instant ownership transfers, as it will allow us to ramp up our new family members as soon as we see them. This would increase interest for new users and reduce the risk of inactivity. This is very significant.

Combined with redistributing planets upon deletion, if a new player does go inactive, the planets would be be easily reclaimable.

Feedback Welcome

As always, feedback is welcome. If you like this idea, you can click the “Vote” button on the top of this thread to help us determine development priorities.

If you don’t like this idea, I’m interested in hearing your reasoning.


I think it’s worth a try.

I’d limit the # of planets passed somehow (10 per 72 ticks?) to avoid large attackers to becoming thin again through passing planets.

I would also limit size of recipients, say, can’t receive a planet if already > 25 in size?

By the time a player is size 25 he has engaged with family - which can aid him to get up his feet - and has learned a few tricks in the game too, enabling faster learning, ncier game play.

I like the idea.
But keeping portals i’m not so sure about.

I see cunning players using this to their advantage too. It is strategy of course, but I do not think it would promote enjoyment of the game.

This is what would probably happen (more often as it has happened with current rules too):
Big, active and exp family would have one smaller (late arrival usually) family member stay small to keep planets from enemy. Big attackers of the fam would attack enemy targets and force enemy to jump their active ppl bigger for defense and attack. Then planets would be transferred to smaller guy and if enemy retakes, they will blow up planets. Preventing retakes like this is really frustrating. Later when it is more peaceful, those planets could be transferred to ressies and bankers, possibly even keeping infra intact if small guy can temporarily gain some NW or pass them to medium-sized fam member.

It can be done now already, if smaller guy has portal nearby or fleets sent in advance, but if it is instant, fleet-free, infra is intact and all nice features, then active small guy in the fam would not even need spread or fleet to be of great use. This feature in fact would make this strategy more easily available, so in fact it would require less strategy and just more activity from the family.

You also said that:
"This is an important difference because there is a lot of potential for abuse if smaller empires can pass upward, specifically:

  • exploiting high construction bonuses to build out the entire family’s infra
  • attackers raiding and passing in order to keep morale costs low for attacks"

And IMHO passing downwards helps at least halfway in the first option, because it is then easy to pass planets to small builder guy and when he has jumped infra he is bigger and can pass planets back traditionally or even with this instant rule if he is that big.

This new feature also makes second totally plausible, because attackers usually have smaller fam members anyway (because they want to be big on fleet) and I would pass extra planets happily to smaller fam members, because then I could make enemy blow up retakes and that would kill enemy will to fight.

If both sides would use this strategy, then there either would not be any retaking, small members would retake only or both fams would lose a lot of planets by blowing them up. Maybe wars between active big families would be too dangerous and we would have only wars against easy targets. Best economy would win, yet again.

Activity of the fam would still be a factor, because on top of active ressies/bankers and especially attackers, they would need to have an active small guy too for this strategy. More active fams would again have the advantage, because smaller and less active fams could not afford to keep one smaller active guy.

Thanks for the thoughtful response @Zanharim! You raise some great points.

What’s your position if we were to limit this? If the primary goal here is to help new player ramp up, it could make sense to only allow this for up to 10 planets, for example.

That would mitigate the concerns you raise, while still achieving the primary goal of engaging new players and helping them get started. Indeed, this might be a better approach as it would force a concept of “training wheels” such that after 10, the smaller empire has to take a more active role in their own growth. No freeloaders here!

The exploits you discuss would still technically be possible, but the window in which to do them would be so small and require such specific timing as to make them practically unusable.

This feature then becomes less about downward planet passing generally and more about jumpstarting new arrivals specifically.

Either limiting it to said 10 per empire total for the round or have some long (3 day?) cooldown after those 10, would limit abusing the feature for sure. During war I would certainly blow up those 10 planets if it were used to either get small player with high constr% to portal and jump fleet or only to hold planets of the 35% NW range. 10 planets is acceptable amount to blow up.

That just brings another matter up. Morale cost to hit someone who had 1 planet and took those 10 allowed by the feature. It would cost enormous amount of morale to take him from 11 back to 1. So, could it be done, programming-wise, that attacking planets received this way would cost only 5% per attack, no matter the size differences? Until the cooldown of 3 days have passed, of course. After that, normal morale costs would apply again.

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That’s a great idea. We’re already looking at making planet-specific statuses for asset redistribution to work (protected, in that case), so the same system could also support a temporary vulnerable state in this case.

That might even be a better (or additional) way to address your concerns: making passing planets this way inherently riskier by putting them outside of morale protection entirely.

10 planet limit or not, a larger empire would be taking a risk by passing downward, which might be enough to deter abuse. We could also waive blowing up planets if they are in this state, which flips your concern here:

The opposite would then happen, where somebody trying to take advantage of this during wartime would risk benefiting their enemy with easy gains. It might still be a useful tactic in a pinch, but it’d be risky enough to deter general exploitation given the potential to backfire.

This would make it so that passing planets downward only really makes sense to do during peacetime, unless you’re willing to take that risk.

This could be a new and interesting component to how we strategize. :thinking:


Good points on both sides, my primary concern like Zanharim is that top/experienced fams would find ways to use this to their advantage during conflict.

I do agree that the mechanism for legitimate planet passing should be improved and like some of the counter-controls i.e. planet limits, morale exclusion, preventing blow-ups etc…

Personally I like the idea of keeping travel times, I think instant passes could be abused to allow a family to very quickly surround another (partially prevented with planet limit) e.g. camaar in expo phase could very quickly get a wardancer surrounding another fam - or one larger attacker could forcefully surround a fam and then instantly bring in an attacker with low planet count to benefit from low morale cost attacks.

If travel times are instant, I’d like to see some conditions about the planet that is being passed, e.g.

  • Must be under family control for at least 72 hours
  • Can’t be a planet that was taken from a family you are currently at war with
  • Can’t have more than 10% lasers on
  • Can’t be within 10 ticks of another family’s core

If the purpose is just to help out newer/less active players, then these should really just be infra assistance and not a way of gaining a strategic advantage.

Just going to throw this in here: planet passing is a thing invented by players which is entirely counterproductive to the game. It’s a part of the development inside the game by players to be more effective and to use the fact that you’re family to an advantage. It’s gotten more and more important as morale has been taken into effect.
Making it easier and easier to move planets between family members will mainly be an advantage for larger families. Smaller families will not be using this as much as they’re less coordinated. Their attackers and bankers will have less planets and will therefore not by giving away as much to each other.
In my opinion this will mainly benefit larger families who do mass coordinated jumps. Making it easier for them will definitely make the gap between top 3 and last 3 even larger.
Morale, P-mode and the blowing up planets rule were invented to make it more competitive for all families and to give smaller families an advantage in the field. Any small family could prove theirselves a very large annoyance for larger families.
I see in no way how this change would benefit any smaller families. So my vote would be against it.

I like new ideas being discussed. On one hand I see this being quite helpful for getting new players in a family up to speed quickly when they join after the round has already started. However, from a competitive standpoint I think it could be a fiasco and would unbalance the game even more from top to bottom. Unlike @Zanharim, I am not going to reveal the potential loopholes, instead keeping these hidden for my own advantage to ‘abuse’ in fhe future.