Trophy Stripping

Everyone Knew This Topic Was Coming, So I Might As Well Get It Started.  ^_^

 

For those who aren’t familiar, “Trophy Stripping” is the act of manipulating one’s position on the leaderboard to attack and receive - or “strip” - a large amount of trophies from a higher-ranked player.  

 

Stripping can take several forms:

 

  1. Gold stripping: when a player attacks a base they are fairly (or more than fairly) matched against from a very low level in order to loot gold.  The player attacked cannot retaliate to recover some portion of its gold because the loot algorithm offers the much higher-ranked attacking player no gold. Players at the same level as the gold stripper may seen lots of gold, but any attempts to attack are suicidal because the stripper’s defense is befits a rank hundreds (or thousands) of trophies higher.

 

2)  Trophy Stripping with Gems:  when a player attacks a base they are less-than-fairly matched against from a lower level in order to loot trophies, using at multiple scrolls during the raid.  I have attached an example of this, in which my base was stripped of -43 trophies, but received +18 gems.  These raids result in attacking player stripping many trophies, but not without forfeiting many gems to the much stronger defense.  

 

3)  Trophy Stripping without Gems:  when a player attacks a base they are fairly matched against from a much lower level in order to loot trophies, using 1 or no scrolls during the raid.  

 

Stripping Is a Pattern of Behavior.  Being looted once for lots of gold or trophies, or many times for very small amounts of gold or trophies can be annoying; but this is a basic mechanic of the game.  Sometimes our base is the bug (splat); and sometimes it is the windshield.   :slight_smile:

 

  • Stripping is a repetitive behavior, in which the stripper attacks the same base multiple times
  • Strippers accumulate trophies, but routinely “dump” them elsewhere - often on to a second (or third) base or an ally’s base - to maintain the lower rank that allows them to strip effectively. 
  • Strippers attack multiple players, harvesting trophies from each (especially now with the 3 attack/hour limitation).
  • Strippers often “dump” their trophies on specific accounts to elevate their rank or support them if they’re being attacked.

Stripping Is Unfair and an Exploit.  As a player, Royal Revolt 2’s matchmaking engine presents you with random opponents within a band around your trophy level. Not always, but in most cases these players have bases of comparable difficulty to your own.  Their trophy, gold and medal awards are not always attractive, but they are usually consistent.  The Favorites list does what the matchmaking engine doesn’t - it let’s you track and curate the bases that offer you the best loot for your effort.   

 

Stripping contradicts all this.  It goes outside the bounds of the matchmaking engine when the Stripper intentionally loses to other players to shed hundreds of trophies.  Because Royal Revolt 2’s trophy algorithm mostly or entirely ignores Hero level and items, a very strong Hero can loot far more trophies by reducing their leaderboard rank - something the trophy algorithm weights highly.  

 

Consider this example:

 

A level 85 hero X is ranked #60 on the leaderboard with 3890 trophies. X has 10k leadership, 12k health, and 1150 damage.  A level 90 hero Y is ranked #34 with 4100 trophies. on the leaderboard.  Y has 13k leadership, 14.5k health and 1350 damage.  When Y attacks X, a 100% victory yields 5 trophies.  Y then dumps 700 trophies in 10 different raids against several low level players in his tournament, losing -70 each time and thereby reducing his trophies to 3400, ranking #195.  Player Y now attacks X and receives 34 trophies for a full victory, using no scrolls.  After hit the 3 attack/1 hour limit - receiving 34, 30, and 28 trophies, or fewer and fewer as his rank increases by accumulating them - Player Y then dumps the 92 trophies earned in the manner described above, and is then free to strip trophies from a Player Z of his choosing, or wait until the full hour has elapsed to attack Player X again.

 

Stripping Is a Major Problem: Especially At the Top of the Leaderboard.  Stripping isn’t just about top players - it can be done at any level - but it affects them most severely.  A player ranked #5 on the global leaderboard has a very narrow range of players who they can attack for more than 2 trophies, earning up to 7-8 trophies maximum on the hardest bases in the game…  The risk of failing in these bases is immense.  

 

All of this is perfectly appropriate for this elite level of play. However, the trophy stripper who takes 40-60 trophies is effectively taking the equivalent of 5-12 flawless raids from this top player in a single raid (for which a 100% victory - or even bringing down the castle gate is not necessary). To regain their position, the targeted player now has to spend thousands of food and many raids just to compensate for the stripper’s raid before they can think about advancing.  

 

  • Stripping demoralizes players.
  • Stripping is an exploit that provides players with the ability to harass other players.
  • Stripping is worst against those players for whom the things stripped - trophies - are most valued and the primary or sole objective they have for playing the game, at all. 
  • Stripping rewards those who play dishonorably or with the intent of harassing others. Left unchecked, these players feel free to continue this behavior and may feel Flaregames tacitly endorses it.  

Stripping a huge concern for high level players.  Nearly everyone in the Top 10 currently and many other have commented on frustration over it and that it is objectively unfair.  It does not impact lower level players, and rarely mid-level players and so it is not a broad problem.  But as more players level, upgrade their base the number over 3500 and even 4000 trophies continues to climb. As a result, trophy stripping will become a more widely encompassing problem.  

 

Whatever the complexities of fixing it, trophy stripping is a major issue that needs to be discussed openly with the short-term goal of limiting or eliminating it in mind.

 

If you made it down here: thanks for reading this book (and if you skipped all the way down here - still, thanks for reading). :grinning:

 

Looking forward to hearing from each of you on your perspectives regarding this…

 

Sn1kt

Well said sn1kt…this is a key problem that flare should address to allow fair play in the game. Having played the game now for many months, I have seen many great players get frustrated and quit due to this problem that has yet to be addressed. Particularly for high level players, where medal bonus is all that us left to strive for / upgrade. These players are your biggest fans flare, and your biggest investors. When is it time for them to get a fair shake ? And for new players striving to grow in the game, what of them. This important issue must be addressed before other problems are addressed. You have many experienced players here that want the game to be successful and can provide experience and support to flare to make the game better and fair for all. I encourage you all to provide your support here in snikts thread for the betterment and enjoyment of the game , and flare please take a sincere look at this problem and use your talented staff to come up with a solution.

Sincerely,

MasterE

I am on my way home, so not too much time to write a long reply. As you mentioned Sn1kt the trophy stripping is the result of calculating the loot based on trophy number instead of relative power. The assumption here is a faulty one, that players higher on leaderboard are necessary the strongest players in the game. Again, not having discussed the issue from a technical perspective, it looks like lazy programming. Instead of considering trophies heavily, why not create an algorithm that considers the attack rating as the strongest factor? I assume you already compute a number of factors in this, but the trophies seem to have a disproportionate weight in the calculation.

The same problem appears in the automatic matching process. I wonder if you also consider base defense rating in calculating someone’s attack rating.

If I wanted to I could spend my money , level up my hero and challenge for the top 10 spot but then its not rewarding and with the trophy stripping theres more reason to stay low and progress slowly.Spent my money on Asphalt 8 instead now so yeah trophy stripping is a problem Flare need to overcome.

 

If its impossible with the current leaderboard thing then its time for new ranking system , probably one that only rewards trophies to winning players without defeated base losing any trophies (that way its an endless trophy war with no limit !)

 

This way , low level king can’t strip trophies and they’ll go high up the leaderboard constantly until they’re in their trophy range where the trophy reward will be less and equal to those around them.The only way to drop down is to stop playing for a few days hoping someone will overtake them and this will only slow down their progress.

 

I haven’t thought of the negative side though , haha

I totally agree, I have been getting very frustrated lately. I work my ass off to get to the top 10 then log off just for a few minutes just to come back to 100-200 trophies stripped by players who are only get 20-30% of my base completed.

this is exactly why i keep my distance from the top10. it is much more peaceful staying in rank 40-50 where there is minimal trophy stripping going on and you still get to go up against pretty tough players

Right eric0001…another reason why flare should fix this key problem…people shouldn’t avoid the top levels because of stripping

Hi guys how many top 10-15 players have a secondary strong account they use for trophy stripping from other players and trophy dumping to their main base? I have heard about a couple chatting on fb but I was wondering if there were actually more.

 

Also, just an idea, would it ever be possible to let everyone know the ing of these players? Don’t know if this would break any rule of the game, but it would be nice to know if, for example, mister X is number 3# mainly because he does this practice through his second (or 3rd 4th…) account Y, Z, W

 

This way the unfair players would be unfolded and may probably be much less proud of their rank and perhaps consider stopping or reduce this practice.

i personally raid a few people in the top 10 tho hardly making it over 30% but this is mostly to guage myself to their bases and develop tactics to compete. as it stands alot of players will always attack the top 10 because just that. you are the “elite” and the trophy system doesnt seem so broke to me as when i strait based to derank at about 2k trophy masterE’s base only offered me 10… so they have fixed it to some degree now its just getting the game to recognize when i person loses a raid intentionally compared to honestly be overpowered. not sure if my case helps but please let me know

Right killemog, thanks for input…it seems flare has made correct adjustment for players in the 2000 trophy band range, with limits of 10 trophies, but for players in the sweet spot of 3-4000 trophies or so , they can strip 60.per battle from me… Imagine if you worked to get 180 trophies at my level and spent many gem and pearl and battled 30 times (over two hours of play) just to get say 180 trophy for medal bonus, and all that work and investment is stripped in just 3 battles in ten minutes by someone hiding in 3-4000 trophy band that strips the 180 trophy in just 10 minutes (3 battles), imagine how frustrated you would be…this is what is happening flare…completely unjust…an easy fix might be just to limit trophy gained per battle to 15, across the board…flare, please respond, JONA? Again there are many other problems we can offer to fix /provide input on and help this game to be better and fair for all, but this problem MUST be fixed first

These sound like rich man problems, I don’t even have enough bread to feed my troops, I have three slaves working 24/7 cant afford more and cant compete for gems with no bread. Also the business model is basically “pay for victory” anyway.

actually masterE i do like your idea of a cap to the whole thing but the game needs to recognize people losing to derank. that would be the most helpful in my mind

Hello everyone,

 

we followed the discussion and wanted to check up on a few things before answering.

 

First of let me say that we already did implement mechanics to try and prevent lower level players gauging trophies and medals from top players (as MasterE rightfully noted). The reason why this not so easy to fix for the so called “sweet spot” is that there are players in this region of the leaderboard that are legitimately able to beat the top players. Either through good play or special strategies.

 

Capping trophies and medals for these players would be unjust and create a new problem by solving the old one.

 

Players that are “hiding out” in this region are obviously exploiting game mechanics but they are doing so in a way that makes it difficult for us to do anything against it without severely punishing honest players as well.

 

Hence we are taking a different approach to solve the issue with the coming updates. Instead of punishing those who are low on the leaderboards, we want to reward the players that are highly placed.

 

We took a first step into this direction by implementing a medal bonus for higher ranked players with the last update. The next updates will take this concept even further with the introduction of a guild mechanic that lets players band together and gain boni to their resource generation. This bonus will be linked how much trophies the individual players have.

 

We hope that this achieves two things:

  1. Give players a valid motivation to climb the leaderboards besides bragging rights
  2. Make trophy acquisition easier for top players

As a side effect this should soften the blow of having trophies occasionally taken from you.

 

We think that this is a good direction to move the game into.

 

We also hope that this explains why the issue is so complex.

 

Regards and looking forward to your feedback,

 

Jona

Hi guys, thanks Sn1kt for bringing this up.

 

Stripping is a real issue for any player in the top 30, not just the top 10, I am sure many of those just breaking into the top 10 will have received this treatment. For those that have yet to reach those heights you may well think oh well its a top 10 problem, which to a point it is, but if you wish to get yourself high on the leaderboard it is an issue that will effect you too, eventually.  It is also an issue of moral and ethics, no its not against the rules, as there are no rules, yet.

 

Sn1kt is quire correct in the description he describing what the strippers do to top 10 players, MasterE is also correct in saying that some players have given up because of it, to be honest I know of at least three more who are at that crossroads, myself included. I respect SOME of the top 10 players as they are there on merit, they have built strong kingdoms, developed a strong king and have great skills in battle. However not all of them fall into this category, one or two are they because they effectively a cheat the system, they have weak kings/skills and are pretty much useless in battle relying on many many scrolls to part complete a kingdom. In fact one in particular is a bit of a standing joke amongst other kings with his antics.

 

The problem is at a higher level a part completion pays few if any trophies, the top 10 players rarely see more than 8 from another top 10 opponent more often 5 or less, so if said king can’t beat a base 100% he is likely to see little or no return on an attack. The solution to this is for him to create a second, proxy account, he keeps this at a lower level, just nicely in what is termed the ‘sweet spot’ where he can attack top 10 players for maximum trophy gains, but is worth nothing in retaliation (for those that don’t know top 10 rarely see any trophies or medals from a player outside the top 30, the gold is normally limited to 10k also). Oh and the 'sweet spot is actually quite high level 3600-4000 is favourite it appears.

 

The gains he gets from these raids are significant, 100+ trophies in three raids is not unusual, during these three raids he will have scrolled from start to finish to maybe only make 70-80% of the base, but still this can be worth 30-40 trophies to him. Having gained these trophies and possibly a similar amount from other kings he then loses deliberately (starts and stops an attack) to his main (higher account), therefore taking the opposition down by 100 or so trophies each and promoting himself by the same or more. 

 

Some may say that this is using the system to best effect, others that it is a rich players problem. well … maybe, but if it remains as it is all players who want to be competitive will be forced to have one, two maybe three accounts, probably at several levels in order to counter their opponents accounts, they will still need gold to build their kingdom, still need other players to attack to build their XP, not all attacks will be against the top 10 as stripping them is a gem heavy process, you will all be in the middle of all this.

 

Flare are well aware of the problem and I would guess well aware of the main culprit(s), who I am not naming … yet. They say it is a hard nut to crack as the algorithm changes required may effect other elements of the game, gold, medal etc. This I understand and also understand the backlash there always seems to be if loot is in short supply, however the two points made above, linking king level to trophy gains and also restricting the amount of trophies that can be earned are I feel relatively simple, one further idea I would add is taking a percentage away from trophy (not gold) amounts earned every time a scroll is used. 10% a scroll would make the strippers gain nothing for their all scroll attacks. Finally look at the trophy calculation, no king should ever be able to take 60+ trophies from another whatever their levels. 

 

As I said earlier, this will currently effect only a few player in the game, but for anyone wanting to progress it is something you will want to see sorted out before you have to meet it face to face yourselves.

Jona, you posted as I did, thank you for your response, but the word “occasionally taking trophies” is wrong its more like daily, several times!

 

In answer to the skilled players staying lower I agree, hence the suggestion of taking 10% off trophy gains for every scroll used, the highly skilled players will of course use less if any scrolls.

JONA, thank you for responding. However, as Drum correctly states, this is not occasional stripping, this happens every night. Imagine if you worked all day and invested gems and time and pearls to make legitimate gains, to see them wiped out every morning when an exploiter attacks you only a few times. Not fair And very demoralizing. This is what is happening, every day, night, multiple times, it is not occasional. And while there are legitimate players working to climb the leader board for the bonus, many are exploiting and staying low so I cannot exact revenge. I can only get 1 or maybe 0 trophies from them yet they can routinely get 50-60 by hiding and exploiting. They should be punished. Perhaps a trophy counter can count there exploits and then if they exploit, then I should be able to seek revenge on them and get as many trophies from then as they take from me, that is all we are looking for, equitable revenge. While your ideas if the guild and additional medal bonuses are nice, they will not solve this incredibly demoralizing and frustrating problem they had caused many of your best investors to quit. This is not good business for you. You have many talented people at flare, this is evident by how fantastic the game is, surely an equitable solution, an eye for and eye, can be built into the game to adress exploiters, at least this way I could recoup trophies from the exploiters. Perhaps the trophy counter is the answer. A few extra medals is not enough incentive, equitable revenge is. Please pass on the concept to your software team, or if smother solution is there that addresses the exploiters we are all ears. Otherwise, you are allowing these exploiters to essentially ruin your business, your game.

sn1kt I appreciate this thread but, trophy is always something sensitive, balanced by the developers made ​​virtually no deviation, is only ambition was never to control behavior of each individual.

Some of top players play unfair hiding with other names …

Scrolling should remove like 10% of medals like Drum suggested. It will heavily discourage people who are doing for trophy sake or tournament winning sake. But if they are doing it for gold, then they are rewarded full gold. So PENALTY of 10% for every scroll used is very good. This will also reward the skilled players as rightfully. This also bring better balance to tournaments as people with talent will win the tournaments. I have been using scrolls only if the loot is high enough for me or will be using them in higher level of dungeons to make sure i get 100% and not to repeat the level.

 

Another suggestion I liked was not taking away trophies. This combined with the scrolling penalty should bring a much better balance to the game.

 

Jona, please discuss these 2 scenarios.

It is hard for me to evaluate the effects of the suggested changes because I myself am not a game designer. We have communicated the suggestions in this thread to the rest of the team and will look at them in detail. We know the issue is important for many of the top players and agree that changes need to be made.

 

We already took a first step by limiting the loot for lower level players that attack high ranking Kings. Since this did not seem to do the trick, we will now look into other options.

 

Thanks for all your feedback. We will continue to monitor this thread so feel free to post further suggestions.

 

Regards,

 

Jona