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Gameplay Related
What is your position on Alliances?
I'm not a fan of alliances created outside the scope of gameplay. Alliances between kingdoms within the game have a useful purpose and place. However, when players work together outside of the game as individuals rather than kingdoms, I think it hurts the game more than it helps. However, it would be almost impossible to simply ban alliances it would be unenforceable and a bad solution to the issue.

How do you intend to fight them then?
Rather than fighting alliances, we look for ways to make alliances less attractive. For example, by reducing the effectiveness of random attacks and making war declarations more important, alliances naturally become less effective. We're constantly looking for solutions of this type.

Where do you stand on reshuffling?
Reshuffles have their place in the game. However, we look at each Age individually when determining when to reshuffle. We haven't really had the need for a reshuffle recently, in our opinion. The main goal for shuffling is to give new players a chance to interact with long-time players and change up the dynamics of the game. However, with the last age's selective reshuffle, we were able to accomplish the same goal without reshuffling the players who prefer to avoid it.

What do you think of letting people choose their own kingdom ("legalize trading")?
I'm against it in Utopia. There are other games that allow it. Utopia's focus is on meeting new people and having to deal with people that don't necessarily agree with you or your ideas that's part of the social aspect. Allowing people to skip that stage gives an advantage to those with friends while making diplomacy and the ability to deal with people much less important. That's not the direction we're trying to take Utopia.

It is currently a fact that it is harder for small provinces to grow than large ones. Are you satisfied with this?
Yes and no. There has to be a balance. Good players should be larger they earned it. However, as good players, they should have to deal with more challenges. The best players will survive and end up the largest. Small players shouldn't have a direct advantage over large players, but there should be opportunities to move up and grow. We do not want to encourage a feeder's mentality where big players simply feed on small players who feed on even smaller provinces.

In your opinion, is there anything to do against the constantly rising DPA?
We can change game dynamics to make attacking both a necessity and have direct benefits. However, ultimately, it's up to the players to take risks and make the tough decisions. We believe that taking risks and sometimes losing is much more enjoyable than playing it safe, but that's up to each individual player.

You probably know that most of the communication between players in the game takes place through ICQ and other external messengers. Do you have any plans on implementing an internal "live" way to communicate?
We've considered a couple of possibilities, but there's nothing definite in place yet.

Do you have any plans to improve the current interface of the game?
We're always looking for new ways to improve gameplay and the interface. However, we're not actively looking for ways to change the interface right now. We do consider suggestions and make minor changes each round, but it has proven both functional, easy to use, and relatively fast.

Do you have any plans to rewrite the guide?
The guide does need to be rewritten, but at this point, it's still not high on our priority list. Unfortunately, we always seem to have many other things that need to be done that get priority.

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Readers' Comments

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Unregistered User
(22-Oct-2000 07:44 am)
For a "live communications" area while in game (I feel sure that it hsd been suggested) to open a discussion room with either mIRC or IRC.
That is my suggestion. Thank you!
Unregistered User
(22-Oct-2000 08:09 am)
i don&#039t want to d/l irc - an advanced notification in the game would be neat -like a sound - to tell you you&#039ve got a new message rather than waiting til you hit your menu page. it could also inform you of negative spell attempts, thieve attempts, and war attacks etc. don&#039t know how easy that would be to implement
Unregistered User
(22-Oct-2000 08:48 am)
u won&#039t have to d/l IRC
uuhm..like what Imperial Conflict is doing now..they have a chatroom option in everykingdom...it&#039s IRC-like...juz click on it n u&#039re in the chatroom
KillerSaiyan UA
Unregistered User
(22-Oct-2000 09:04 am)
Sweeeet, I am glad Mehul has nothing against Kingdom alliances.. :))
Unregistered User
(22-Oct-2000 09:55 am)
right now alliances and others are using outside provinces to do their spying when at war. any plans to curb this?
and when at war with one alliance kingdom, if other of that alliance&#039s kingdoms attack without war status, there&#039s a 50% penalty to retal. do you consider this fair? couldn&#039t war blocking be stopped in other ways?
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