After I built the new coinage and trade engine recently, some of us got to talking about how the import system prefers empires that are higher on the empire list. The problem was that the list was sorted, but it wasn’t really ranked. So now we’ve begun to rank empires by several criteria, and the result is a set of scores you can see.
The ranking formula is still in its infancy and will continue to be tweaked throughout alpha and beta (like everything). My goal is to make it reasonably easy for an empire to compete in a few of the scored categories and reach a mid-range score, while hitting a higher score takes much more work, planning, and cooperation.
Right now there are 10 scores for each empire, with a possible total point value of 100. A 5 means your empire meets the average in that category. Right now, a 10 means you are at least 16x over the average! In fact, all the scores are based on the average. As some empires rise in score, others will start to fall. As the averages go up, the higher points become harder to obtain. In this way, I hope the ranking system will grow with the game.
We aren’t ranking empires at all if they aren’t active. I used the same 2-week timeout period that stops workforce, stops empire mobs from spawning, stops guard towers from shooting, and generally considers the empire to have started to idle. When an empire score drops to 0 after 2 weeks, that empire is no longer figured into the averages for computing scores. Plus, players can easily identify a 0 on the empire list and know that they’ve found an inactive empire.
Let’s talk about the individual categories:
Wealth: Determined by amount of treasure and coin in the empire’s vault.
Territory: This is based on how much land your empire has earned (not just how much it has currently claimed). To me, this is an iffy category that double-dips strongly with Wealth (which is the main source of territory for larger empires). In the future, we may look closer at diminishing returns for territory-from-wealth.
Members: The number of actual players (not alts) in the empire. Right now, since most empires are so small, having 1 member gets you 4 points in this category. This means “just below average”.
Techs: The number of technologies the empire has unlocked. Since many empires have most technologies, having them all currently only gets you a 7 in this category. Some categories can’t hit 10 with the current empires.
Inventory: This is based on the size of an empire’s einv. People who have spent a lot of time gathering, mining, smelting, and chopping will have more resources on-hand and earn a higher score here. There’s a trade-off if you do a lot of exporting, though: export-heavy empires are likely to shift some of their score from Inventory to Wealth points.
Greatness: This is derived from the total Greatness of the empire, which is based on the Greatness of members. Right now, Greatness and members are tightly linked because most members have low Greatness. When we debut the adventure zones, it should be more realistic to have high Greatness scores on many of your characters.
Diplomacy: Currently, this is based only on number of trade relationships — not on alliances or wars.
Fame: An empire’s fame comes from the monuments it constructs, but in alpha we’ve never had any limits on it, so it’s possible to spend all of your claimed territory on fame-giving buildings, and score quite highly in this category.
Military: This is based on another number that hasn’t seen much use in alpha: the empire’s military score, which (like fame) is based solely on buildings. I included this to have 10 categories for the score, but I feel that it won’t have much meaning until the new war system is done.
Playtime: By player request, I included playtime as the final category for score. This rewards empires with a higher total play time. Like member count and Greatness score, only the character on your account with the highest playtime is added to the empire’s playtime score. That means to compete on this number, you either need more members who play often, or you have to be online non-stop. We may change this to use “average playtime per day”, although that’s a number that can be hard to keep up in the long-term and can be “gamed” by making a new alt and playing it nonstop from time to time.