Are Emporia no more than a PvP source?

18 Replies
The Irate Penguin
Moderator
22 February, 2017, 9:58 PM UTC

The declared role of Emporia, as I understand it, is to provide an additional source of resources, denarii and drachmas. Obviously, this must come at a price, but my impression, pretty much from day one (about a year ago) is that holding an Emporium for any meaningful duration, at least sufficient to harvest a few resources, is close to impossible.  

Even if I should decide to invest a meaningful portion of my defensive troops, chances are they wouldn't last more than 10 minutes, either because of many smaller raids or an attack by a higher level player. This happening during an "Emporium Occupation" event would be at least understandable, but IMO Emporia have been degraded to PvP slaughterhouses, their only function being to provide a place to score some points without having to attack a player's home city directly. 

Perhaps it's just me that has this issue, but I kind of doubt it, therefore I'd be interested how everyone else sees this:

Take Poll

And should you have answered "moderately" or better: how do you do it? :-)

Cheers

"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance as if no one were watching." (Satchel Paige) - https://youtu.be/dy4kaB4HmyQ
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Paroxysm
23 February, 2017, 3:40 AM UTC

"PvP slaughterhouses" ..... I laughed so hard when I read this because it's so true!


I pretty much troll the emporia constantly when I am online during any sort of pvp event. Specifically to attack whoever I can find there.


If I have expendable defensive troops I place them there hoping they get attacked and it usually only takes minutes.


I think in all that time maybe once or twice the troops survived long enough to actually return with some resources. 



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The Irate Penguin
Moderator
23 February, 2017, 5:30 AM UTC

With the number of possible protectorates limited, Emporia potentially offer an additional source of income but currently Emporia occupations show such a negative cost-benefit curve that the whole concept is in question.

  • The Gravisca upgrades help a bit but IMO do not increase the gathering speed to levels that would make Emporia occupations attractive.
     
  • The +50% gathering speed increase of the 21st Oracle upgrade helps a bit, even though, with 800 sketches, it is prohibitively expensive. 

  • +25% and +50% Emporium Gatherer boosts are much too expensive and rare to make a meaningful contribution to daily Emporia occupations. 

But even with all the necessary upgrades, gathering resources at Emporia seems a daunting task and will usually mean losing troops well in excess of any advantages gained, compared for example to the ten daily raids of 300k to 1m resources from bots or abandoned cities which dwarf any odd resources secured at Emporia. 

The question would be: how could this be changed, since it seems a pity that the concept behind Emporia has been reduced to PvP battlefield for troops with a deathwish:

Some suggestions:

  1.  Find means to increase the strength of defensive units when stationed at Emporia, perhaps with an additional Phylarch skill? Alternatively, applying part of the city defenses, especially decor values, to Emporia defense would seem generally logical; towers and walls are city defenses but the decor troops and other items could well be seen as more mobile and a way to project power. 

  2. Increase gathering speed further, so as to make shorter occupations at least as profitable as raids. Currently, the number of defensive troops does NOT increase gathering speed, which seems a bit counter-intuitive anyway; changing that algorithm might be promising, or (as above) consider introducing a further (Phylarch?) skill.  

  3. What would really be interesting, would be a scheme increasing defensive capabilities based on an Emporium's distance to the home city. Apart from being intuitive, defending a nearby Emporium should be simpler than on many miles distant, it would allow weaker players to hold neighboring Emporia and stronger players able to extend their Emporia occupations farther.  

In any case, as long as production buildings provide me with +300k res / day and raids add another 300k to 1m res / day, any small returns from Emporia, usually accompanied by meaningful unit losses, are utterly uninteresting, which seems a pity since it's a sound concept that took effort to design and code and is now roadkill lying dead by the wayside. New additions, such as the current discussion regarding Coalition Positions have merit but I would suggest fine-tuning existing options such as Emporia to make them playable again is at least as important.

m2cw

Cheers Do
"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance as if no one were watching." (Satchel Paige) - https://youtu.be/dy4kaB4HmyQ
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Alyona Kolomiitseva
Community Manager
23 February, 2017, 9:28 AM UTC
I've heard many complaints that units at Emporia are attacked within the first 3-15 minutes. But I also know some players, who send small squads choosing the Units with the highest capacity and lowest cost. Such squads don't spend much time on Emporia, so the risk to be attacked is smaller :)
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UTC +2:00
The Irate Penguin
Moderator
23 February, 2017, 12:36 PM UTC

Alyona Kolomiitseva said:


I've heard many complaints that units at Emporia are attacked within the first 3-15 minutes. But I also know some players, who send small squads choosing the Units with the highest capacity and lowest cost. Such squads don't spend much time on Emporia, so the risk to be attacked is smaller :)

While that is true, one must remember that type and number of units is in no way related to gathering speed, only the carrying capacity; the gathering speed is dictated exclusively by the Gravisca level, the 50% Oracle bonus at level 21 and a possibly active Gatherer boost of 25% or 50%.


A very simple example:

Let us assume we have determined (as you suggested above) that a 15 min. stay is a reasonably safe time frame before someone comes along and wipes out the troops. For an average player such as myself with a Gravisca level of 13, level 20 Oracle and no active gatherer boost, this means that ....


… I would send 30 Psilos which will require 15 min. to gather 390 resource units. Now remember that sending additional units is of no value since they won't gather more resources within the same time frame:

Subjectively, from experience, I would say 15 min. is already too high a value, but since units require 5 min. to get sorted before they can even be bothered to begin gathering, there isn't much leeway here. And choosing other units, 1 Mounted Peltast for 267 res in 12 min. Or 2 Thureos for 352 res in 13 min. does not really matter much. My argument is that these short expeditions require 15 min. of the player's attention and net around 300 to 400 res, which is about what I get when clicking on a tribute cart outside the city gates. I would even claim that I would put my time to better use by visiting my 200+ friends and cash in on all the tribute carts and boats.


One might of course argue that the above example uses low values for upgrades and bonuses as parameters and that upgrading Gravisca and Oracle, and activating the Gatherer Boost changes the equation, but even with all possible upgrades and boosters active, the results are disheartening:


(Open full-screen copy of image or original spreadsheet)


With every possible boost, bonus and upgrade active, 200 Javs would bring back 2k resources in 15:00 min. (same for 100 Veles or Numidian Archers, or 10 Thorakites, or 7 Mounted Peltast). If I compare the no. of gathered resources and the high risk of units being slaughtered during their 15:00 min. stay, to sending out a bot raid which, even without scouting, will net 20k to 100k in the same 15 min., Emporia occupations seem, at least to me, not worth the effort unless the parameters are changed to make them at liest mildly attractive.


m2cw

Cheers Dio

"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance as if no one were watching." (Satchel Paige) - https://youtu.be/dy4kaB4HmyQ
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Wy San Luis
23 February, 2017, 7:11 PM UTC
Yup. I said it before and I'll say it again. Colonies are better than Emporia. Me and my team mates were very happy back then because of so many possibilities of team work, traps, etc. Now they're gone.
"Those who seek to die will live, and those who seek to live will die."
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morteeee
Moderator
23 February, 2017, 8:09 PM UTC

have to admit my guilty pleasure of hitting Emporia in PvP 


this was a couple of days ago 


History is written by the victors
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Alyona Kolomiitseva
Community Manager
24 February, 2017, 10:01 AM UTC
morteeee said:

have to admit my guilty pleasure of hitting Emporia in PvP 


this was a couple of days ago 


That guy sent too many Units there...It would take forever for them to collect whatever they collected there :)
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UTC +2:00
The Irate Penguin
Moderator
24 February, 2017, 10:21 AM UTC

morteeee said:


have to admit my guilty pleasure of hitting Emporia in PvP 


this was a couple of days ago 


No need to feel guilty about it, after discussing it here, within the coalition and elsewhere, I haven't found a single player who uses Emporia for their designed purpose, all of them wait for apposite tournaments and load an Emporium with defense to score some points. If their troops happen to (very surprisingly) survive 30 min. or more, thew might be recalled to pick up a few res, denarii or drachmas ... which is the point I'm attempting to make in this thread: sending 0.5m or 1m def to an Emporium is not uncommon around here simply because harvesting resources is not the intended reason.


Cheers Dio
"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance as if no one were watching." (Satchel Paige) - https://youtu.be/dy4kaB4HmyQ
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morteeee
Moderator
24 February, 2017, 1:22 PM UTC
I would agree, personaly I think that you should keep those resources you have already harvester when someone takes an emporia off you, it would bring them back into the game as a resource tool but also keep the PvP aspect 
History is written by the victors
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Qojy
24 February, 2017, 5:00 PM UTC

Emporias are all empty...

At the beginning, people tried to play them but now, nobody wastes his time with them.
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The Irate Penguin
Moderator
24 February, 2017, 5:11 PM UTC
Qojy said:

Emporias are all empty...

At the beginning, people tried to play them but now, nobody wastes his time with them.
Quite true, just checked: of 70 Emporias, one is occupied by a level 102 Player ... but I'm sure a level 103 will come along shortly and dislodge him or her. :-)
"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance as if no one were watching." (Satchel Paige) - https://youtu.be/dy4kaB4HmyQ
UTC +2:00
Paroxysm
24 February, 2017, 11:37 PM UTC

morteeee said:


I would agree, personaly I think that you should keep those resources you have already harvester when someone takes an emporia off you, it would bring them back into the game as a resource tool but also keep the PvP aspect 

That's a good point. Allow the Ox carts to return the resources gathered to the player even if their troops die.


I think that's a great idea!
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JohnMorgan
26 February, 2017, 12:58 AM UTC
Alyona Kolomiitseva said:

I've heard many complaints that units at Emporia are attacked within the first 3-15 minutes. But I also know some players, who send small squads choosing the Units with the highest capacity and lowest cost. Such squads don't spend much time on Emporia, so the risk to be attacked is smaller :)
Now that is funny...  Admit it Alyona, it is nothing more than a PVP venue.  And thanks, because I have gotten my PVP pts there many times without worrying about my city being hit.  Everyone that I have encountered there seem to treat my attacks as Emporium only skirmishes.
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JohnMorgan
26 February, 2017, 1:04 AM UTC
Diomedes said:

morteeee said:


have to admit my guilty pleasure of hitting Emporia in PvP 


this was a couple of days ago 


No need to feel guilty about it, after discussing it here, within the coalition and elsewhere, I haven't found a single player who uses Emporia for their designed purpose, all of them wait for apposite tournaments and load an Emporium with defense to score some points. If their troops happen to (very surprisingly) survive 30 min. or more, thew might be recalled to pick up a few res, denarii or drachmas ... which is the point I'm attempting to make in this thread: sending 0.5m or 1m def to an Emporium is not uncommon around here simply because harvesting resources is not the intended reason.


Cheers Dio
Very nice.  I caught one of these recently as well.  Players abandon Emporia so quickly that most times my strike forces hit nothing.  This one time, time was running out and I needed more points to score well so I just sent my entire offense with just one click.  I was shocked that I hit a goldmine of defense troops like you did.   And if I hadn't acted so impulsively my normally large offense that I send would have been wiped out.  I was then worried that my city would be hit in retaliation, but it never happened.
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ItBurnsWhenIPvP
26 February, 2017, 8:06 AM UTC
Emporias are basically useless and only serve as a coffin for soon to be dead troops.
Learn Adapt and Overcome
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sarathps04
26 February, 2017, 8:27 AM UTC

ItBurnsWhenIPvP said:


Emporias are basically useless and only serve as a coffin for soon to be dead troops.

True


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Drag-Theseus
Moderator
26 February, 2017, 9:46 AM UTC
I want old colonies back too :(
I'm just Time Lord....
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morteeee
Moderator
26 February, 2017, 10:09 AM UTC
Alyona Kolomiitseva said:



That guy sent too many Units there...It would take forever for them to collect whatever they collected there :)
oh I think he had just the right amount, for me anyway ;) 
History is written by the victors
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