To begin with, I want to thank @dumpster for bumping this up. I also thought about doing something of this irk but couldn’t come up with a way that suits all of the plans I have regarding this forum, so great that the issue was solved. Now, allow me to proceed to my growing tendency of doing a small diploma paper kind of post on the topic above.
I see multiple issues the current system has, especially as a new player who made his way from the bottom of the… well, something that meant to be called a ladder. First of all, as dumpster mentioned above, it is the matchmaking. For every single war except two for the past five months, my team had the following war MM composition: A very weak team, us, a moderately weak/perfectly matched team and a very freaking strong team. Now, the results you may predict: we either have been completely demolished from one side and had to advance on whoever happened to be on the other or have been ganked by the two remaining teams. Cause why would you fight someone having extra 30 members and 140k trophies more than you are? With this kind of scenario, there are numerous other issues we naturally encounter along the way, some of which are readily translocated to the other teams, lower or higher regarding ranking.
With the narrative hopefully being laid, here’s what my suggestions would be:
In compliance with the dumpsters suggestion, give us leagues. People called for it long before the rant about allies was raging, and I concur with that now - quantize the experience! Make sure there is no longer this huge swamp at around 54-64 torches due to this weird MM “balancer.” I disagree entirely with_ reducing rewards for the lower leagues though; this would be precisely what ruins the game as it would technically rob away what many of us are used to, forcing players like my general, I or many of my allies to leave merely because our team is unable to keep up. Instead, why don’t you add _ something on top of regular rewards for high leagues? Reduced building times, for instance, something many would entirely go for. Extra hero xp, higher production caps… Immunity to heroes being sent to Mt Olympus, there are plenty of rewards that can make being at the top desirable and meaningful. And yes, please use something other than torches to find opponents.Torches are as easily manipulated as trophies are and don’t really reflect a wing about an alliance until it is the top 75 and even then the allied backdoor diplomacy takes its toll.
Make it easier for the officers to manage stuff. Being a general/officer in OR pretty much means having: no sleep, no life on weekends or an unhealthy combination of both, given that you care to win. This is a significant problem indeed, and I cannot get why is it even a thing, to be honest. A simple suggestion here would be to allow us to store strikes, let’s say, up to three. This would ultimately remove the kind of scenarios when we have to be present at 3 am, 4 am, 5 am… you get the idea, while also allowing us to execute highly tactical maneuvers. The sheer versatility and unprecedented ubiquity we would thus achieve is enough to brighten the otherwise dull and easily predictable war we have at the moment. Also, please do follow @Kortizons’ advice on adding an island marker and someones (maybe mine, although unlikely) idea of having a box with server time somewhere on the war screen, as this would significantly enhance our ability to coordinate strikes. Furthermore, it would be convenient if you can make a live score for attacked islands, so that I don’t have to refresh it every few seconds during ambushes and some sort of indication when the island in question is attacked by enemies or allies (make alliances icons flash or something). All for the very same purpose of ambush/defense coordination.
How about something to make participation meaningful? This has been suggested a couple of times before by @Hellslord as far as I remember and I want to bring it up again. Please, give us a way to reward players that have done exceptionally well during wars. At the moment, we have to come up with all sorts of intra-alliance ratings to promote healthy competition and the best kind of prize we can give is choosing the alliance icon or merely giving an honorable mention in chat… isn’t this pure, and please excuse my french here, bullshit though? I understand that anything gem or reward-related can be abused and this was the primary concern back then, but what if it was framed differently. What if every alliance was getting specific buffs based on their place in wars (1 for last and 4 for first?) that would decrease building time, increase resource income, increase hero xp gained or reduce ambrosia costs for things. The strength of the said buffs can depend on the number of torches to discourage low-level diving, and the distribution should be up to the officers/general of the alliance. Overall, this would encourage participation and diversify the teams. Some would have a dkp system for those, others will be boosting lower members to catch up with the majority of the team members and in many places there would simply be a rotation and there are many more ways to distribute those. Furthermore, there wont really be a way to abuse those, as one would have to have enormous amount of alts or slaves willing to be playing for someone to get all the boosts (highly unlikely).
The current war format is very dull and predictable indeed. Except for minor fluctuations, I know exactly what is going to happen and when since the first few hours, be it Campaign or Skirmish (thanks for no Clash, love!!! it!!!), which kind of takes all the fun out and only makes it a grind. Why don’t we get something new to ameliorate the process? For instance, we can have a format where the alliance builds a single defensive pattern with each member buffing a tower or unit of his choice for the parameter of his decision. To equalize alliances with lower member count to the higher ones, the buff strength should be divided among the members, allowing for higher customization for alliances with more members. This pattern then would be the only thing other alliance can fight, and the ultimate goal can be to destroy the gate as an alliance, with progress done by every attacker being saved and used by other attackers. This would be the quintessence of team play and coordination and I would be enormously interested in the things other alliances would come up with. And this is a single example! Things like alliance base (of which I have a post already) would also aide the process. The goal here is to maybe have something in the pattern Campaign-Skirmish-No War, ideally turning it into just the Campaign-Something-Campaign if the said “something” doesn’t require our attention for entire weekends. Do that and its a win for those who want more free time AND those who want more action.
Each of my suggestion hedge-off-text has something minor and easily implementable and something major, which may be too hard to implement at the given point. Nevertheless, I do believe every suggestion to be capable of influencing the format for the better independently of the others being worked into the update or not. I also believe many issues OR currently has interlinked. For instance, there are not many options to communicate, which in my honest opinion should be a viable improvement area to deal with the “allied alliances” formed through backdoor communication methodologies, instead of in-game “on spot” deals and policies - something that probably was in mind while the current system was designed. And this is yet again only one out of many examples we can find. With this said, I do not expect a single update to spit out a perfect system miraculously, but firmly believe in setting the things up for a productive third year of many fixes, improvements and implementations to indeed make this a great game for as many kinds of players as humanly possible.
Thanks for hacking through this volume of words and ideas. I know it is not crystal clear and I will probably end up rewriting this at some point, yet for now, it should give an idea of my vision of better war system. Sorry for a headache!