Conquest has improved, but I consider all the changes so far cosmetic - gameplay, features and rewards are better, but core mechanics is as broke as day 1 , due to:
A - Treaties resulting in 2v1 or 3v1.
B - Low commitment by players and lack of detailed rules in-game.
C - Complete lack of control over players actions, whom wonder the map alone, start battles they weren’t supposed to, etc.
D - Intense dedication needed which was never what the current player base sought when they started to play.
This being so, if you ever intend us to fully explore what conquest has to offer strategy wise, below are the 2 ideas I believe would fix major core mechanics issues. I see no point in having such a complex system that allows for infinite possibilities, when it is always reduced to:
- The chance of being screwed by individual players doing what they shouldn’t
- Buying your way to victory through advanced donations and research
- Older stronger players/alliances having the upper hand from scratch
- Negotiating Sim City mode whenever you can
1 - Create the strategist role, responsible for moving all the pawns in the map. Implementation can tolerate multiple setups, like this being a toggle on/off mechanic to be decided by each alliance. Also, strategist could toggle on/off free movement for individual players.
1A - The above requires notifications sent via push to players whenever they are throw in battle, so they log in and do their fights. More notification options would be nice, such as “stay alert” when a battle could be close, or a “URGENT call for battle”, when you have close calls for supreme victory.
With this, the few of us that can and want to be online the whole day, can do so without having all the effort wasted by stuff that is out of our hands. And that would actually enable the people that coordinate to be online for less time I would guess.
2 - Either design a handicap system that would substitute all the fuzz about matchmaking, or level all players’ bases to a certain tower level, thus enabling every single alliance to battle each other and fully compete for best strategy. Consider this a sort of “pro-league approach”, where you want to reward players based on a different set of skills, other than just “you’ve been playing longer and forged a tougher defense, so you auto-win” - in this case, strategy + commitment + skills when battling and designing the defensive path.
2A - This could also tolerate further setups, like having all players with even-powered bases, but allowing alliances to attribute points to decrease or further increase the handicap of individual players, thus allowing for even more strategies.
Haven’t thought these through to the details, but if you don’t address core mechanics, we will keep looking for ways to make conquest less painful to play, instead of enjoying the challenge it was meant to pose.
Consider pro-league the best resource of the game, precisely because it allows lower lvl players to battle on even conditions with the more seasoned ones - and start from there if you want to take conquest anywhere productive.
No idea on how to solve the treaties issue so far.