By Espark on Sun 25 Apr, 2021.
April 25th, 2021
“The only literate tribe deserves the best in information and entertainment”
On April 20th, a significant update called Balance Pass 1 was released to Polytopia. This update is expected to be the first balance update aimed to make the tribes more equal.
To make the game more fair we are making some changes to balance the game:
- Whales no longer spawn next to cities or other whales
- Clear Forest moved from Forestry to Free Spirit
- Clear Forest reward changed to 1 star -Luxidoor capital is level 2 instead of 3 on game start
Other improvements: * Make it possible to play while receiving stars * Show a popup and a badge when you have new friend requests * Fixed a bunch of small bugs
Reactions to the balance update were mixed.
Eisthefifthletter, a long time player and wiki contributor, said, “Personally, I am lamenting the loss of Clear Forest as a widely used mechanic. It's always sad when a game mechanic is basically tossed in the dustbin. (1 star really isn't enough to be worth anything.) However, I understand how BLK were so much more powerful than the other tribes (or at least Kickoo was when it had spawns with whales) that it made sense to nerf them. I'm still bitter about the double nerf to Clear Forest, though.”
7796 said,“So I feel as if Luxidoor got hit hardest by this nerf...and they still cost four dollars. At this point you are better off just getting a T0 tribe instead of wasting an extra $3 dollars on a tribe that is basically a T0 tribe. It isn't like you earn stars T0. So...is Luxidoor going to get buffed back up, are they going to get a lower price, or are they just never going to be played competitively again? I guess the fact you get resources on their capital might help a small bit, but not really.”
Front DoorMatt, a mod in PolyChamps and in the main discord server, said “[The update] is pain and suffering and torture and sadness... I don’t think Hoodrick is decent at all. Sawmill spots and chopping were the only things it had going for it.”
MCompany, an admin in the main server, said, “Personally, I think the idea of these changes are definitely in the right direction. Chopping on Free Spirit on paper should've freed up more avenues to play the game that might feel ridiculously OP, but still unique. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the fears of that change made chopping 1 star useless. It makes [chopping] entirely useless beyond making room for something else, [for example] to clear up sawmill spots.”
by Krab King
Artopan, a PolyChamps member of the Mallards, said, “Nerfing Lux, Bard and Kick is definitely the right route to go down right now. Low risk in my opinion, but it probably will have the biggest payoff in the future when they decide to make more changes because it needs to be based solely off the skills of the largest tribes and everything should be shaped around that. Overall, good update.”
To those who did not like changes to the game, Krab King said, “Deal with it or play hexonia. It's not being changed.”
Zoy’s Voice Chat
Combined reports from Trilobytes, Nox, Artemis, and Krab King
On April 20, Zoythrus held a voice chat session to answer questions about the recent update and about the game developers’ future plans.
According to several people who were present, Zoy spent a lot of time reassuring players about the changes to the game and explaining the reasoning behind the balancing update.
Zoy gave a couple main reasons for the balancing update. One goal of the update was to lessen the dependence on certain techs to win. For example, forestry was considered a "must have" tech. The devs are adjusting the game's fundamentals to make no tech OP.
Another goal of the update was to even out the power differential between tribes. The M-team had followed tribe win/loss rates. BLK was top so those tribes got nerfed. Midji doesn't want games to boil down to BLK. The devs want every tech tree and every tribe to be a viable way to win in their own way.
Zoy has said several times, in VC and in various channels, that this balancing update is only the first step in more game updates. All of Polytopia is going to change. For example, they want Quetzali to be good and Zoy said that Diplomacy will make Quetzali better. Overall, the game developers are breaking and remending Polytopia. "We are breaking things so we can rebuild them, okay, and it will be different." Polytopia is meant to be simple and fun. Although the M-Team will break things people love, overall that will make the game better.
"As [Midjiwan's] PR guy, it's my job to come into PolyChampions and tell everyone it's going to be okay.”
Zoy also mentioned these possible future directions:
- Elyrion might need a buff
- A unique update for Cymanti as the bug tribe wasn't meant to be OP. Cymanti is "most likely" getting changes.
- Navy adjustments with no spamming battleships. Naval tech may be less linear.
- A new map size
- Mutually beneficial to be in a treaty with rewards for being in a treaty. Also, if diplomacy is lackluster more updates will improve
- New resources
- Possible in-game ELO
- Explorer buff In diplomacy so that the explorer unit won’t chase its tail. Explorers won’t suck anymore.
- In-game combat calculator
Zoy's main message was, “Don't be afraid. It will be okay.”
Elyrion tribe week
Although each regular tribe gets a full month, special tribes get one week in the spotlight. This week is Elyrion tribe week. In a discount on merch and a song release, Midjiwan will the planting of a real tree for each ∑∫ỹriȱŋ Tribe that is purchased during this week.
∑∫ỹriȱŋ Week - ¡Ω ₼^∑∫ ₺ ŋȱ₺ŋŦ∑ oaŦ₺∑∫₼ƒ∑Ŧ i#₼m∑a aƒ ŋȱr ŦȱŦ#, ∫∫iπȱ∑ ₼ƒm₺₺ ∑∫ỹriȱŋ! ¡πþŦ₺r₼ ƒ‡₼‡Δ ƒ₼i!₺r i#₼m∑a#, ^ƒi∑∫∑ ₼∑Ω§ΩΩ¦m, ỹ ỹΩ oaŦ₺∑∫₼ þþr∑!
He also shared this Elyrion music.
AnarchoRex and Tntmasta held a verbal duel in the Diplotopia server on April 24th. The subject of the debate was the Polychamps Bush/Luna alt April Fool’s joke. Jusnip from PolyCraft was the moderator and Espark was the time keeper. There was a slight delay with the mods opening the stage and Rex having to use a voice bot to speak his words for him. At times the debate was stilted, with long stretches of silence.
The two debaters had very different styles. Tntmasta was enthusiastic with prepared statements which he would read in a rush to not go over his time. A few times during the middle rounds, Tntmasta did go over his time limit. In contrast, AnarchoRex did not seem to have prepared much and had much shorter statements and responses. During the middle of the debate, the two went back and forth merely trying to clarify what their opponent had asked/stated.
After the debate, Tntmasta said, ”Obviously I'm biased. However, my opponent was clearly unprepared and spent a good part of the debate talking about things other than the debate topic. The PC mods have a long way to go to realize their mistake. I'm only trying to help them."
When asked for a comment about the debate’s outcome, AnarchoRex said, “It was a pleasure to be invited to and participate in the first Polytopia Discord debate, that I'm aware of. I felt that the mods and organizers did a commendable job considering the novelty of the entire setup. I also want to thank tntmasta for his time, and my fellow PolyChampions mods for their support. I do feel like the structure of the debate was limiting, and didn't give us a chance to really explore the issue in depth. Competitive debate uses formats like this in competitions where one team is supposed to crush the other in six minutes or less, they're not really conducive to substantial debates over more philosophical concerns like ethics and duty. I hope more events like this happen in the future, but I would recommend more freewheeling structures be considered, perhaps a round table or panel discussion would've been more appropriate in this case.
As to the controversy which generated this debate, I thought I made myself clear but I'll restate that frankly I believe any idea that this simple prank might somehow strike at the foundation of trust that makes PolyChampions work, to be just silly. The league is far from perfect, and we're always working to improve, but wasting energy and attention on non-issue a like this only distracts from real changes that could help.”
Although 7 people were present in the VC during the event, 27 gave a verdict on the winner
A long time ago, a group of kickoo soldiers found a rainforest with magical wood and started making totems and masks, but after that they were banned from the Kickoo society who didn't see this as a good thing. So they went back to the rainforest with more people and formed the tikatan empire swearing revenge - by viera903
Yadakk moment by 141
The following is an excerpt from the Polytopian Interviewer, a weekly podcast with occasional bonus content. You can read the full transcript or listen to the podcast through the RSS feed.
Tntmasta: Welcome to the polytopian interviewer, where I interview people on their experiences and views on the polytopia discord community. I have Ramano with me today. How are you?
Ramano: Hey, good afternoon. Yeah, I'm good. Thank you.
Tntmasta: So first question. How did you first get into polytopia and find out about the communities on Discord?
Ramano: I live in Europe in the Netherlands. In the summer of 2019, I was backpacking through Japan with my family. They were looking for a game to sort of pass and play when we were in a train or traveling for an entire day or something. So then my daughter found this game and we enjoyed it during the holiday. I was looking to find some online players to compete with when we got home. Went to Reddit. But then yeah, it was a bit anonymous there. I found Discord. And I think that's a great way to meet nice opponents.
Tntmasta: What's the tiny tourney in polychamps?
Ramano: That was a tournament that we started in December 2019. It’s already quite a while ago and we thought let's do a quick tournament on a tiny map. It's quick games. Two versus two. But in the end, it took ‘til I think August or September before we really played the final games. It was in total 12 rounds. It was funny in the end that we plan to do a quick tournament which took like eight months. But in the end, I was very happy with how it all went, and the format which I designed works very well. It was a triple elimination, so you could still lose two games and you would still be in the tournament. And once a team lost their third game then they were knocked out. In the end, it took 12 rounds to get all the teams accepted to kicked out and then we played the final best of three.
Tntmasta: So it's not really similar to the bullet tournament then? Just tiny map is the same?
Ramano: Yeah, actually really like that, but the bullet tournament is knockout so soon as you lose one game, you're out. This one yet also on tiny map same as bullet, but then you do get 24 hours to play your turn. We did tiny tournament with two versus two. So it was also team.
Tntmasta: What is the ligarex champion roll about?
Ramano: Okay, that was another tournament which actually inspired me to start tiny tournament ‘cause I thought, maybe we can do better than the ligarex tournament. The interesting thing there was that it was teams of five or six players. And in total, there were 16 teams I believe competing. So we all had to play a couple of games against each other. And then Round Robin, so a lot of games needed to be played. Took forever. And a lot of teams dropped out halfway, and the organizers dropped out and new people picked it up, so it was very chaotic and actually took too long. In the end, they decided to stop playing halfway after one time playing each of the other teams, and I was very lucky to be in a very good team. I think NewPhoenix was in there as well and Voppp. And I was still a nova at the time, so I was happy that they added me to the team. We played all the 15 other teams. We ended up on top, so that was very nice.
Tntmasta: Yeah, five v five, and six v six games can take quite a while.
Ramano: They were two v two or three v three, so you have to select out of the six players of your team two or three to play against the other team.
Ramano: I think they were mostly two versus two actually. So every time it was each team at six players or three pros, and three juniors or novas as well. Then for every meetup you have to select two players to play the other team.
Tntmasta: Okay. I take it you plan a lot of tournaments then?
Ramano: Well, one of my hobbies next to polytopia is designing tournament schedule. So I'm always happy to also join and learn and see our format works or not to see if I can learn something from it and use something in the tournaments I organized myself.
Tntmasta: Okay. Yeah, I know Disco is a fan of making tournaments as well. He sometimes makes tournaments on the server friendly polytopia.
Ramano: Then maybe I'll get in touch with him. See what he thinks about the ideas we have for the tiny tournament version two. Maybe he can help out a bit.
Tntmasta: How come in your team, you're only a junior player with a total of 22 finished season games?
Ramano: Of course, I started as a junior, and then I think in season six, I played some games in the semi final and the final. But I actually prefer playing in the Junior League. As I think then it takes a bit less time for me. I have a lot of games and things going on, so playing in the pro league really takes a lot of your time to prepare every move and discuss it thoroughly. Yeah, I'm happy to play with the pups and also to teach the other juniors a couple of things. Yeah I'm always open, so if they need anybody in the pro team, I'm always happy to help out.
Tntmasta: Okay. How did you find out about the giant’s league?
Ramano: I think it was because I was asked to play a recruiting game with two guys from Canada, GuLord and MPUO, and they were actually the two people who were organizing the giant’s league on Facebook. So that's how I got in touch with them. Then I also joined the Facebook giant’s league, and even became also a moderator there. And then after that they started the giants league also on Discord. That's one of my favorite formats. I like being on pretty crowded map. So this is like eight players. I also like the format of being able to promote to a higher league or relegate to a lower league, so you end up with players of the same skill level.
Tntmasta: What are some of your tasks and responsibilities as a director in polytopia main?
Ramano: The way I got that director roll is that we organized a tournament during the summer last year. The summer skirmish it was called. So we originally got together with a group of people and thought of a new format of a tournament on main. And then Zoy also got involved from Midjiwan and he offered to make an announcement in the game in the news for the tournament that we were organizing. Then it exploded a bit. So we were thinking about 200-300 participants, but after the announcement in the game, we ended up with more than 700 people joining. So we had a very big team, I think about ten directors who were helping all the players out with questions and making sure their results were processed okay. And they got new games after they finished the game. And I think in the end, also, it was very successful as we also managed to wrap it up in like five or six weeks. So it didn't take like eight or nine months, like tiny tournament.
Tntmasta: Yeah, definitely. That's one of the biggest issues for having a Polytopia tournament. It can drag on with people not doing their turns or silence in a division.
Ramano: Yeah, so I think that's also a nice challenge to see how I can design it in a way that it is fair for everybody but doesn't take forever.
Tntmasta: I joined the summer skirmish, except I was fairly new to the community, so I had no idea how to get in contact with the people I was supposed to play with or what was going on at all. So I can say I participated, but I didn't technically play any games.
Ramano: Well, I think there were like 1100 people who signed up and then like 750 or so actually completed the games. You were not the only one who didn't manage to, but I think one of the goals for Midjiwan also was to grow the discord community to get a lot of people playing games there. I see a lot of people who are very active, even on Discord you first got in contact through the summer skirmish tournament.
Tntmasta: What's your favorite part of the Polytopia fandom as a whole?
Ramano: I think it's the fact in polychampions that everybody's helping each other and making sure people are getting better and improving. I think the way the whole communities are always out to help each other. I think that's really great to see. Tntmasta: That's all the questions I had.
Ramano: Okay. Well, thanks a lot then.
Tntmasta: Yeah, thanks to you too.
Ramano: Okay. Bye bye.
Read or listen to the rest of the interview in the Friendly Polytopia server.
Mute ban column
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|Apr 24||Tama||KRAB KING||tempmute||24 hours||crash gif|
Thanks to all our contributors - Espark, Dust, Trilobytes, Nox, Artemis, Krab King, and Tntmasta. A big thanks to Artemis for setting up a new website for the newspaper. Also, thanks to our faithful readers for encouraging the paper to continue.
If you want to submit a piece to the newspaper -- art, news article, opinion piece, puzzle, etc -- let us know in #article-suggestions.
Keep up Ai-Mo!