I have been playing this latest Andro round, and have started my Christmas beak, so have had some time for thinking. An ongoing issue to me (and most people) is that IC is setup to promote a particular play style, because that is what the game rewards. Currently people get rewarded for topping the ranks at EOR, mostly as a single player. If you come top NW or Size you get a fancy icon in your player profile. If you are in the fam that comes top size everyone says you won the round (except anyone in the fam that came top in NW who might try and claim that if they feel particularly sour for some reason). This encourages play to grab as many planets as possible to “win” in size.
There is an issue with using Size or NW with determinations of winning, that being the gameplay they encourage. NW = Turtle and play Imperial Savings & Loan to the end of round then do a massive EOR jump; Size = farm everyone you can so you have the most planets. Both game plays end up being boring and not conclusive to exciting rounds (bar a few exceptions).
There have been a lot of forum posts over the past few years with thoughts on changing this, by having some sort of score as the determination of winning, something that encourages open play as well as an attacking style; but something that doesn’t encourage a play style that means a reduction in fun for other players. Most of them I agree with, and I have been playing with a few ideas to pull together a score system. I tried with a complicated option in Clan Wars, but lately I have been thinking of a simplified system using 2 scores, a “skill” score and an “honour” score. The Skill score would be basic to begin with and based on rankings (but ideally in the future with more refinement to be a better reflection of actual ability (i.e. able to beat a similarly skilled opponent). The Honour score would be a community rating, where other players would be able to add or subtract Honour from your player/empire so that there was a score that shows how popular in the playing community you are (and yes this would amount more to how many friends you have, but the more bridges you burn the less able you are to keep this score high). Ideally these two scores would be visible beside any empire so that people have more information about that player. High skill score and low honour - more likely a person to push hard, break NAPs, and take as much as they can to reach the top. Low skill and high honour - a more casual person, not worried about EOR rankings but fun to play with.
Ideally either we as a community or some game feature could use these scores to change the game meta into one where keeping high scores in both is favourable and considered “winning” (much like how having a high ELO rating in chess is desirable, even if you don’t win all the tournaments because your name isn’t Magnus).
I have tried to pull these together myself, I came across a few issues gathering info and I wanted to discuss these ideas in a bit more detail. So I am going to create 4 threads on these topics to keep things a bit more separated
- This thread - discussion of the overall idea and principles being attempted to reach
- Thread on mechanics of the Skill points (what should go into this score and how should it be calculated, and how this can be made native into IC)
- Thread on mechanics of the Honour points (what should go into this score and how should it be calculated, and how this can be made native into IC)
- Data needed from IC to make this work as a third party so can make things work without Pie building anything (may end up irrelevant if the above actually ends up easier to implement for Pie than making the data retrievable for third-party)