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    Your Elvenar Team

Neighbors

Genefer

Member
Neighbors perform the critical functions of acquisition of non-boosted goods and the Culture Bonus. In fact, neighbors are the driving factor in both the growth of my city and the level of enjoyment I have while playing Elvenar. My observations of the myriad and powerfully effective influence of neighborly help and the Boosted Goods production relic bonus demonstrates Elvenar has developed the game to rely on neighbors, because city efficiency is best achieved with the cultivation of Trade & Neighborly Help relationships, as well as Fellowship activities & Events.

Fellowships are of high importance, but it is also fostered with trading with neighbors. However, unless the Fellowship is rigidly developed relative to the composition of each member’s boosted goods, resource production, and Chapter level the member’s neighbors are critical in filling the Fellowship’s goods deficiencies, as well as boosted coins, supplies, and in later chapters Mana production for players to afford to participate in the Spire, Tournament, and in the last Fellowship Adventure the coin badge.

In essence, neighbors are essential, and that is why it costs so much to acquire them. Costs - I pay for my neighbors - resources, troops, and scout time, which of course I pay for with my time. What I do not understand is why the developers have built the game with the clear intent of reliance on neighbors, which we pay for, yet does not ensure we have viable neighbors allowing players to work toward achieving maximum benefits from our neighbors.

For months I have had gold mines beginning with a few and growing to my current 69. I have new neighbors, but the vast majority are below chapter 6 and/or inactive. I estimate 3/4s of the 300 I have paid for - are inactive, below chapter 6, and include 69 Gold Mines. This deficiency of viable neighbors robs me of both trading partners, and not only because of the gold mines & inactive players, but also because most of the active players have city’s that cannot trade in quantities I need for my city, and most carry the same boosted goods.
I have taken great effort to build my city to leverage the Culture Bonus. Though many players do not find the value worth the effort - for me the culture bonus is critical to the growth of my city. I am not talking about a 200% culture Bonus. It is rare that my Culture bonus dips below 300% and my record high is 474%, but I have only reached that high twice. However, I would achieve a far higher Culture Bonus if the majority of my neighbors were not composed of inactive players & 69 gold mines.

Again, I have paid and worked to acquire neighbors, which given the game of Elvenar was clearly developed to encourage interaction and dependency on neighbors, I should have neighbors that are active and viable for both the Trader & the Culture Bonus.

Elvenar is not providing the goods & services purchased, and it is intentional. They know which players are inactive and choose to leave the dead cities on the map, they know which boosted goods are deficient due to inactive players, they know when a chapter 15 city is surrounded by cities that are active but too small to trade in quantities a Chapter 15 city requires, and they know when a player has had gold mines for months in ever increasing numbers. This theft is deliberate and everyday my frustration increases and my enjoyment decreases.

I am only one player, but I am not the only player frustrated by the number of inactive neighbors and gold mines they receive for their time and effort. I wonder how many players have quite due to inactive neighbors, because again the game is clearly developed to encourage neighbor reliance. When active viable neighbors are not provided the game becomes frustrating and discouraging.

After all, a 300%+ culture bonus is not achieved simply by having some culture buildings it requires a lot of time deciding on understanding the culture bonus - how it works and how to increase the value, which requires methodical analysis of the best buildings I can acquire, which requires aggressive effort in Events, and diligent cultivation of neighbor relationships for reciprocal neighborly help. I need active neighbors, because 20 million coins is great, but nothing compared to the value of the Culture Bonus.

I think Elvenar should consider the impact of this deliberate theft and then rewrite the program to provide the neighbors player's purchase.
 

Alpha Lyrae

Well-Known Member
Inno regularly moves innactive accounts "outward" and moves active players "inward" toward more active towns. I tend to play for months/years at a time and then go inactive for many months. I recently returned to the game after a long hiatus. I had been moved to no-mans land of inactive players and gold mines. Within 24 hours I was moved to a more active spot on the map in 3 different worlds (Arendyll, Winyandor and Khelonaar). So, I'm very surprised to hear you aren't in an active zone. But there is hope! I'm positive Inno makes the best effort to group active players together.
 

Katwick

Cartographer
City movement is based on location on the map, available matching boost locations, and activity (logging in) only.

Elvenar should consider the impact of this deliberate theft and then rewrite the program to provide the neighbors player's purchase.
They can"t steal something that you don't own, any more than you can't eat an apple that you don't have. That said, I do agree that an "Isolation Metric" should be considered, as I've suggested at: https://us.forum.elvenar.com/index.php?threads/map-related-issues.31475/post-263212
 

Lady Dastardly

Well-Known Member
I certainly wouldn't call this "deliberate theft." I think it's more that the auto move tool is a blunt instrument that does the best it can with limited information/parameters. A manual move tool would function more like a scalpel, and allow for more nuanced movement, but it doesn't exist at this point. I apologize in advance @Genefer if I am incorrect about which of your cities you are complaining about, but I play in 2 of your worlds so I looked your cities up. In Sinya, which I assume is the city in question, you are on the edge of the active map, just as I am. I too have 78 goldmines (which is a third of my total discovered neighbors) and many small cities that are either inactive or too small to help in any way. I know it gets thrown out a lot, but some players have to be on the edge of the active map. Would it be nice if there were a way to prioritize moving larger active cities to healthier neighborhoods? Sure. Will I do a happy dance when the sweeper finally comes for me. Absolutely! I can understand why I doesn't work that way though. While being on the edge isn't ideal for me, my FS does make it bearable. It's arguably much worse for the newer players in this situation, most of whom will inadvertently find themselves in inactive or dead FS's that will be no help to them. Having nothing but new players on the edges, or clustered together, would be terrible for player retention.
 

Genefer

Member
They can"t steal something that you don't own, any more than you can't eat an apple that you don't have.

I paid the scouting, I paid the scout duration, and I paid for my troops & resources to complete provinces that are adjacent to the cities of other players making them neighbors. The benefit of the map is to acquire neighbors and expansions, otherwise the neighbors would not be a part of the map or the game at all. The game creates a reliance on neighbors and paying to complete provinces carries the promise of receiving. neighbors. That I am not benefiting from neighboring cities that are active and also having 69 gold mines equates to paying and not receiving, which is theft. You may not consider your time producing troops & resources and waiting for scout completion as valuable, but for me it is.
 

Genefer

Member
you are on the edge of the active map

How long should a player assume the loss of being on the edge of the map? I have carried the burden for months now, and not a few losses - it is now 69 - that is huge.

Recall the new "neighbors" I have acquired are relatively small and most inactive. Have they programmed the game to push back inactive players slowly through the map and these players are on the way to the outskirts? There is no longer an option to keep your city stationary, which should allow for cities to share the fringe burden easier, yet it has been months.

The Auto-tool has been developed and if it is blunt, it is either deliberate or negligence - either way not a show of good faith. The Auto-tool is written by the Inno programmers it is not a generic tool, so it can be refined to account for far more than active and inactive.
 

Henroo

Oh Wise One
My Khelonaar city sat on the edge of the active map for over a year before being moved about 3 weeks ago. Before the move, the gold mines kept getting more and more numerous. I had about 150 gold mines towards the end. But that is for a ch 18 city with over 500 map provinces cleared.
 

Genefer

Member
I have completed 537 provinces, and 69 mines progressively for months is extreme. A year on the fringe resulting in 150 gold mines is outrageous. I would have quit
 

Henroo

Oh Wise One
I have completed 537 provinces, and 69 mines progressively for months is extreme. A year on the fringe resulting in 150 gold mines is outrageous. I would have quit
It was not that bad. I have a good FS and I still had some active neighbors to trade with outside of my FS. The massive amount of gold mines came in handy if I ever did an expensive upgrade which took a lot of gold or if I unlocked a tech advance which took a lot of gold. I could quickly hit all of them up to refill the treasury. ;)
 

Lelanya

Scroll-Keeper, Keys to the Gems
Genefer I like your fresh perspective. You are absolutely correct, you  have developed the resources needed in order to expand. I don't know as I would call it 'theft', that you are not rewarded in one of your realms, with polishes and trading partners. But maybe folks out on the rim ought to be gifted some diamonds here and there.

Come on man, this is reasonable. My oldest city is serving a second term out on the rim (thanks but it's on EN1 Arendyll, I doubt I am on anyone's list since Muf-Muf went on the 2 year disabled list and left the server to a player I wouldn't have promoted past Ambassador, just saying. And don't get me started on the sidekick).
 

Genefer

Member
The gold mines do not provide any more coins than helping an actual neighbor, but of course coins are coins. However, the Culture Bonus increases the production of coins for all coin producing buildings in the city - not only residences.

Here are images of my record 474 Culture Bonus, and if I had the neighbors rather than gold mines - active neighbors - I have enough culture buildings to make this the norm.
 

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Darielle

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
I paid the scouting, I paid the scout duration, and I paid for my troops & resources to complete provinces that are adjacent to the cities of other players making them neighbors. The benefit of the map is to acquire neighbors and expansions, otherwise the neighbors would not be a part of the map or the game at all. The game creates a reliance on neighbors and paying to complete provinces carries the promise of receiving. neighbors. That I am not benefiting from neighboring cities that are active and also having 69 gold mines equates to paying and not receiving, which is theft. You may not consider your time producing troops & resources and waiting for scout completion as valuable, but for me it is.
And you received, in return, expansions for your city so that you could place more buildings. In other words, you bought land, not neighbors, and received full value of that land. If you want to keep the expansions, then you can't call it theft. You can simply call it less of a bargain than some people get.
 

Genefer

Member
hmmmm - so why are the neighbors on the map and only available with the completion of the province if completing provinces is for expansions - only expansions? Why are there 3 Ancient Wonders specifically designed to enhance the value of Neighborly Help to neighbors to increase the Culture Bonus? Why is there an Enchantment to increase the Culture Bonus? This game by its design has the neighborly help Culture Bonus and the only way to benefit from the culture Bonus is to actually have neighbors which is only achieved by completing provinces on the map, which require time, troops, and resources to complete.

Also, if I am not able to reach the full potential of my buildings on my land due to a lack of neighbors, I am in fact not receiving the full value of the land I purchased. Thank you for pointing that out it is a loss I had not considered
 

crackie

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
The game creates a reliance on neighbors
Neighbors perform the critical functions of acquisition of non-boosted goods and the Culture Bonus.
I disagree with “reliance” and “critical”. Both of my cities started out on the edge of worlds. It took over a year to get moved so I lived with gold mines for awhile. Neighbors are not as reliable or critical as a functional fellowship and also can’t help me get blueprints, Spire diamonds, or Royal Restorations. Sentient goods trading onwards are not reliant on neighbors either.

Since I mostly play on browser, I have long ignored neighborly visits since it was a train wreck of an experience. Even though they have finally fixed the UI, I still continue to ignore it for the most part because it’s not worth my time, which is more valuable. To me, culture bonus is inconsequential if my city is built sustainably. Culture bonus only nets you more coins and supplies, neither of which I have a shortage of. In fact, if I desperately need space, the first things I tear down are population and culture items. Negative pop and gloomy cloudy skies have no effect on my city in terms of meeting it’s daily production needs, even though I have high expenditures from doing a lot of Spire and tourney.

hmmmm - so why are the neighbors on the map and only available with the completion of the province if completing provinces is for expansions - only expansions? Why are there 3 Ancient Wonders specifically designed to enhance the value of Neighborly Help to neighbors to increase the Culture Bonus? Why is there an Enchantment to increase the Culture Bonus? This game by its design has the neighborly help Culture Bonus and the only way to benefit from the culture Bonus is to actually have neighbors which is only achieved by completing provinces on the map, which require time, troops, and resources to complete.
Why are there chapters if you don't have to advance? Why are there fellowships if you don't have to join one? Why is there a Spire if you don't have to participate? So many aspects of the game are just there that you can completely ignore. Those wonders you mentioned can be skipped and never built. In which case, they have no effect on the city that never built them. I have over 900+ Ensorcelled Endowment (who came up with that mouthful of a term) because I don't use them, except maybe during FAs for tiaras or if I'm suddenly short on mana for something. Nothing happens if I don't use them is why they have been stockpiling.

The game is set up like a buffet. There are many dishes available. You can sample them all, but you don't have to keep going back to eat any one particular dish if you don't like something. You seem obsessed with a dish called Culture Bonus so you keep going back to it, but I think it tastes like spoiled milk so I stay away from it. Both of our perspectives are valid.
 

Mykan

Oh Wise One
I disagree with “reliance” and “critical”.
I agree with crackie, it is not critical.
I have completed 537 provinces, and 69 mines progressively for months is extreme. A year on the fringe resulting in 150 gold mines is outrageous. I would have quit
I can't even recall when they first allowed player movement but my US town sat in a vacuum of space from its beginning until it became an option. Well over a year from memory with no hope of it ever changing and 2 active neighbours (1 was on the outskirts of my scouted area). I can't even recall the number of gold mines precisely but from memory it was well over 60, in fact no gold mines initially, just empty spots. Gold mines were amazing, I suddenly could earn an income where there was nothing.

The point is neighbours aren't needed. Yep they are nice and there are some great wonders that help enhance that experience. But your town can survive and with patience you will hopefully get moved. You have hope it will be better, I think support can also look into things for you (they can't move you). Someone else might have some links to posts by helya on the matter.
 

Genefer

Member
No, the point is this game has designed a role for neighbors as both trade partners and as a way to increase city coin & supply production with the culture bonus which requires buildings to be polished through neighborly help. We begin the game without any neighbors and only gain them as we pay to complete provinces, which clearly demonstrates we pay for the benefit of neighbors.

Of course, my fellowship fellows provide neighborly help, and we trade with each other, but that is entirely irrelevant to the role of the neighbors acquired with the completion of provinces.

Of course, no one is required to provide neighborly help or concern themselves with the culture bonus. No one is required to do anything in this game, but if you build a factory and pay the cost of production you expect the goods. If you build the barracks and pay the training cost, you expect the troops. I paid the cost to have neighbors - again you have to complete provinces to have neighbors - yet my city map in overrun with inactive players and gold mines.

Just because other players do not find value in neighbors does not mean there is no value to be found. I find value in the culture bonus, so I need viable neighbors.

Perhaps the activity level of players making use of neighborly help should be used to determine the map arrangement.

Perhaps they should add the option of a city being included on the active portion of the map at all, because if a player does not take advantage of neighbor trades and neighborly help than being on the active portion of the map is unnecessary, and it would better serve players that actually use neighbors for trades and neighborly help if those cities lined the outskirts of the map.

Yes, I can play this game without neighbors, I can play this game without a fellowship. However, I cannot reach the full potential of the culture bonus without active neighbors. My enjoyment in this game is not met with the drone activity of build - upgrade - and rearrange. I enjoy searching for the weave of the Ancient Wonders - how they ultimately connect creating a massive chain to drive the mechanics of the entire city and put it to use. The culture Bonus is a large part of that chain and I want to make full use of it and that requires neighbors.

It does not matter if other players - probably the majority - do not value the neighbor component of this game. It is a part of this game, and I should have the resources to implement it to my maximum efforts. I did my part when I completed the 537 provinces, and I should have active neighbors as a result.
 

Deborah M

Oh Wise One
I just don’t have the same view. I have 700+ completed provinces. I can honestly say that I haven’t even paid any attention to neighbor culture boost in years. My city makes what I want/need and I help my neighbors by picking up any trades posted for my boosted and some others as long as they are 2 or 3 star same tier trades. If I want more I just use MM spells and occasionally my blue Phoenix. It really has not been a concern for years now. I personally have gotten to the point I rarely do map visits. Even with the fairly new system it is boring and time consuming and not that much value for me. The top right side of my map has tons of coin cities. I still have no real problem with trades. I will say that as the currently ranked #1 city on Elcy I would be really angry to have neighbor visits be the determining factor of where I am moved on the map.
 

crackie

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
We begin the game without any neighbors and only gain them as we pay to complete provinces, which clearly demonstrates we pay for the benefit of neighbors.
I am not convinced the game built in such a way that we are only paying for the benefit of neighbors. Both of my cities started in the desert with very few neighbors. I didn’t even know that was not normal since that was all I know on both accounts. I paid for provinces like everyone else, but never hold it to same value as you did since most of the time, I’ve bought myself another empty plot of land and it didn’t even come with a neighbor. My provinces were not bought with intention of acquiring a neighbor because most of them didn’t come with one. My provinces were bought with the intention of gaining more relics to help my boost and obtain new provinces for tourney.
I did my part when I completed the 537 provinces, and I should have active neighbors as a result.
Not necessarily. If there were 537 total players in the game and even in an ideal scenario where they are all tightly packed together and ALL of them are active, a lot of those players will now be on the fringe and only one of them will be in the middle of the map with the most neighbors. The ones on the fringe will still disproportionately have more gold mines and are still not guaranteed active neighbors. The world is flat in Elvenar. Someone always has to be on the edge.

The only way you don’t have an edge or goldmines is if you have a set size sphere that wraps around and it’s entirely populated. If the server is not completely full, someone will get gold mines for neighbors. And over time as people stop playing, you can’t add in new players as the size is set and some existing ones will now be occupied by abandoned cities of players that may or may not come back. This would not keep the bills paid and the lights on. It would be a complete liability to guarantee players get active neighbors for all the provinces they have scouted! The map mechanics is by no means perfect, but the point is the game has built in redundancies to let you acquire same things in multiple ways. You can get coins and supplies in a myriad of ways and you can get culture in a myriad of ways.

From the Culture wiki:
Level 1 will increase your production rate from the standard 100 % to 125 %. You should definitely try to get this.

Level 2 will increase it from 125 % to 150 % and it will worth your while to reach this Bonus level on your own.

Level 3 will increase it from 150 % to 160 %, this Bonus level is intended to be reachable through Neighborly Help.

Level 4 will increase it from 160 % to 170 %, only a steady flow of Neighborly Help will ensure you can get this Bonus without having to occupy too much space with Cultural Buildings.

Hint: Once you have reached 125%, you can get additional temporary Culture Bonus levels by using Spells! Ensorcelled Endowment, allows you to enchant your cultural buildings so that, when they receive Neighborly Help, your total Culture Bonus will increase by 5% for each.

Assuming the wiki speaks more truly of game designer’s intentions, it suggests you can get to 150% on your own and then enchant. That’s only 4 buildings that need to be polished and sparkled at 5% apiece to reach max of 170%.
 

Genefer

Member
I am unaware of a maximum culture bonus, but if there is it is not 170%. Currently, my culture bonus is 394% and as I said early in the conversation it has been as high at 474%

Whether there is a maximum Culture bonus value is irrelevant to my issue. Though I am grateful you provided the wiki details, because the truth of my issue and argument is clearly stated. The culture bonus is designed to increase city production and the game has been designed with the intent of neighborly help becoming important to reach a culture bonus value as low as 150%.

Level 3 will increase it from 150 % to 160 %, this Bonus level is intended to be reachable through Neighborly Help.

Level 4 will increase it from 160 % to 170 %, only a steady flow of Neighborly Help will ensure you can get this Bonus


The significance of neighborly help for the culture bonus is also evident with the Great Bell Spire/Crystal lighthouse - which increases the duration of neighborly help & the Watchtower Ruins which increases the culture value of neighborly help

Of course, the ensorcelled endowment enchantment is specifically for increasing the culture bonus when applied to buildings that have received neighborly help.

And the Lighthouse of Good Neighborhood increases both the duration & effect of the ensorcelled endowment to increase the culture bonus

The Sanctuary/Martial Monastery, Watchtower Ruins, Thrones of the High Men, and Thermal Spring of Youth all increase the amount of Available Culture in the city - again for the Culture Bonus

Even the coin & supply earned by providing neighborly help is to encourage players to participate in that aspect of the game.

As the wiki clearly states to reach a culture value of 150% the neighbor role in the Culture Bonus gains significance, and neighbors are acquired by completing provinces on the map. Of course, a player in a Fellowship benefit from fellow members giving neighborly help, however the game does not require players join a fellowship, which is why we have neighbors on the map, and why they should be active players.

As I said above it does not matter if a player does not take advantage of this aspect of the game - it is a deliberate and legitimate component of the game.
 
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