Game Settings to Prevent Mass Alliances

I’ve noticed that the difference between NP games and Conquer Club games is that you’ll have mass alliances of a majority of players in NP (3v2, 5v3, etc.) where players don’t seek to win but instead seek to be 2nd or 3rd.

This of course makes the game incredibly boring as it relies on mass alliances at the start of the game rather than actual skill.

I’d like to suggest that there be a setting where 90%-100% of stars are needed for victory. I’ve noticed the max is currently 66%. There should be lies, betrayal, ever shifting alliances, etc instead of the set in stone alliances we currently have. Thats what makes games interesting. Mass alliances drain the fun from games.

Thank you.

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Disable trading helps somewhat: Way to disable tech and cash trades in a custom game?

Dark galaxies also help because it’s harder to know where everyone is.

I do think winning should be more rewarding. Though having a high win percentage makes the game a real slog.

Not sure if making the required win % will do it honestly. Being one of those jerks who makes big alliances (usually for 64 player games) I would have no problem still helping someone else win if my chance for it fades away. I know jay has mentioned he would like to see more back stabbing as well. The problem is why would you ever ally someone who back stabs you when there is another option of someone who doesn’t. And that I do not see a solution too except what @AnnanFay has already said and preset team games (which we do a lot on the side). One thing I mentioned in the other thread to Jay was maybe making people have secrete victory objectives like in Twilight Imperium the board game. Some objectives were to get near other player homeworlds or destroy a warp gate, attack a player you have traded with or something along those lines. Then when your team is pulling ahead the game can swing fast where someone might actually think they have a chance at winning and it not being so “taboo” but more part of the game.

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On a side note I have also brought together many people I didn’t know to form a counter big alliance and those have been some of the funnest games I have played, win or lose. You might just need to work on your negotiation skills :slight_smile:

also could have public objectives like take XX star or attack someone who has a weapons advantage or whatever.

I have also recently felt some frustration about mass alliance. If you dont team up and trade tech you are done. For that reason I greatly enjoy preset team games.
I think Nick’s suggestion is interesting though. I assume other than these secret objective you could just have a certain amount of stars also equal a victory point.

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I have a game I want to make where every player has a different objective. The objectives are not secrete, because you need to know who is winning and how to try and stop them.

I was thinking the game was a fantasy game rather than NP though.

One player is trying to summon a god, another player trying to find the holy grail, another playing trying to throw a ring into a volcano. ect ect.


I like the sound of this! You make excellent games, and people like playing them. However, I believe you just said something like you won’t add these elements to NP because you were going to add them to another game. It can be in both games, it doesn’t have to be restricted to the one game :slight_smile:.

If you are concerned about adding win conditions to NP, you can always add them as settings: Individual objectives on/off, and if on, visible/secret. There would also be plenty of people willing to test for you :wink:


In reply to this, when I played on CC only the 1st place player won. And its a rating system so you win points from the losers. No one really pays attention to ratings/win rate in NP but perhaps we can make this a bit more important?

Also I think if we make it so that only one player wins in the end it will reduce but not eliminate the tendency to mass ally and increase the amount of backstabbing.

Fully anonymous games would help, at the moment you can see who people are by their badge count etc…

You cannot see badges in Extra Anonymous games.

What do you mean by “at the moment”?

I’m not sure if you are saying you want all games to be Extra Anonymous, or don’t know this is already an option for custom games. Making all games extra anonymous is a bad idea because it removes all incentives for having badges.

So…can we get a setting where 90%-100% of stars are needed for victory? Thanks :smiley:

The old game M.U.L.E. added a wampus that you could guide your settler to capture for a money prize during the development phase.

Applying to NP2,
1 Make the wampus specific to one of the technologies.
2 The wampus should also be specific to a shape / color combo to represent maximum bonus to a lagging player.
3 The wampus will randomly appear at one of the border stars held by the top player of the leaderboard for a set amount of payday cycles.
4 The designated lagging player who captures a wampus star for their shape / color gains 3 tech levels of its designated technology.
5 Captures of a wampus star by the top leaderboard player will yield nothing.
6 Any other player capturing the wampus star can gain one level of that technology up to the leading player of that particular technology.
7 Each wampus expires after capture by the designated player or about 4 payday cycles.
8 Bigger galaxies with more live players should allow for more simultaneous wampii.
9 AFK / Quit AI players should be triggered to also attack the wampus star when held by the top leaderboard player, but not the designated lagging player.

You can call the MULE wampus by a different official name title for creativity or legal reasons.
I kept it as a reference on this forum post.

By late game, 70% of stars held by a single player is enough to get every other live player to quit. Reaching 90% of stars vs AI will from there be an easy forgone conclusion.

I think an easier way from the get go is to make gifts to the top leaderboard player cost double.

Maybe even have half of the “tax” collected by the cost overhead pay cash to a lagging live player with less than 50% of the leader’s star count.

This is a bit problematic because you can be top of the leaderboard but losing the game. Say in 2v3 situations where all 5 remaining players have roughly even stars. In late game tech transfer costs generally don’t matter unless you set the cost to be high - which generally helps. A top player tax might even make alliances stronger because bigger alliances are more likely to have smaller empires and avoid the tax.

I’ve been doing several games recently with:

  • disabled trading
  • no formal alliances
  • extra anonymity
  • locked hyperspace range
  • circular map

The locked hyperspace range is interesting because it means even with allies it’s hard to send ships to team up against a player. Without formal alliances you need to take a good portion of their stars to make a path through and a circular map means no one is completely screwed.

An alternative to completely disabling trading is ‘Very Expensive Trades’ with either expensive economy or cheap science. Both further increase the relative cost of trading while still making it worth while some of the time.

I’m in favour of having finer grained control of win condition and allowing a 100% star win condition. I don’t think it will do what misher thinks it will, but I don’t see a reason not to allow players to make games like that.

The more freedom with game configuration the better IMHO.


What if there was an option for resources to degrade on captured stars as time went on? Forcing you to grab new ones to keep your economy going, this would make the leaders’ allies progressively weaker and unable to help them as much. It still wouldn’t encourage competitive play though that’s a tough one to crack without more of an overhaul to the game and people would still find a new way to run perma-alliances. An example of such an overhaul would be other players stars in your scanning or hyperspace range turning to your colour if you exerted enough “influence” on it, say twice as much economy, science and industry like the culture system in Civ.

I think @AnnanFay’s locked hyperspace idea is probably the strongest using current methods.