Round 14

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Round 14
Winner 🥇
Player: Sarmis
Dominion: Your Troops Become Me (#4)
Race: Spirit
Second 🥈
Name: Kongb
Dominion: Whatever (#4)
Race: Firewalker
Third 🥉
Name: Ed
Dominion: Popcorn (#12)
Race: Troll
General
Changes: Round 14/Changes
Valhalla: Link

Round 14 began on August 15th 2019 and ended on October 5th 2019. It had originally been scheduled to end on October 4th, but was delayed by one day due to server downtime. Lycanthrope, Merfolk, Nox, Spirit, Undead, and Wood Elf were introduced as playable races for the first time. This round began with a realm placement bug in which filled packs were isolated and prospective teammates instead went to advantaged realms.

Round 14 was the first in OpenDominion to be won by an attacker and marked Ed's third consecutive 3rd-place finish. New features in this round included theft operations, mixed alignments, increased prestige, and a new land generation formula. Spy losses were increased for this round, a decision that was reverted for info ops the following round.

The round was also notable for the controversial use of automated networth tracking software by the winning Realm #4, among others.

Round Win Story

Mris dragged me into a round of Orkfia a few months back, where we played with Gabbe, Kong, and some others. We had a fun time and dominated the game – but Orkfia was stupid and they made it stupider. However, this made me itch for dominion again. At the time OD was all exploring, so I wasn’t interested. When packs went from 3 to 4, Mris, Gabbe, and Kong asked me to come and play Dominion, clearly because they hated the thought of me sleeping or working at my job.


We had a lot of thoughts ahead of time. I desperately tried to make Gnome work, but I couldn’t find any way to make it relevant before 3k acres. The success – or complete lack thereof – of everyone who tried to attack with Gnome early made this decision seem correct. But the changes to converts on SPUD seemed too powerful. Mris made a spreadsheet and did the math, and getting 3-4% converts on 60% hits was just insanely good. After a lot of heavy simming, I was able to do a 600 acre sim with 130 DM that let me have 2200 spectres trained 24 hours OOP. My thought on playing SPUD was simple: go heavy DM, push as many spectres as possible, and the 50% land generation on attacks meant that getting hit didn’t really set me back much at all. In fact, early, I needed to get hit enough to keep the convert train rolling.


This fit in with our realm strategy – go with big attackers early, and systematically target any other big attackers, then force everyone else to train defense. Gabbe went Lizard and Kong’s FW numbers he was simming were simply insane. Mris fell in love with an all adept OOP, which worked very well right OOP but turned out to fall completely off a cliff later – we didn’t do enough math on the follow up on that one.

We got lucky and had two useful randoms land in the realm. The exploring Icekin (all hail Lord Bunny) popped into our discord and was very good at sweeping all the other attackers to scout out what they had, and got ops on hard to get attackers/targets. Twish we gave a good sim, and he executed it fantastically, playing Desperate Housewives.

Early round everything worked really well. We absolutely smashed the Lyc in 2 OOP, and while he played a really good round to remain relevant for a few weeks, he was never really a threat after that. I slipped under the radar, just training mass spectres, only specs for defense when I absolutely had to, and getting as many DM and homes as possible. All of my focus was on getting my spectre count as high as possible, hitting every 12 hours, and getting converts. The efficiency math on this was insanely good, and no one else seemed to think I was a threat or try to keep me down, despite me running borderline low defense. I got hit four times in the early game, including back to back by one of the crazy sylvans in #1 (It shot him to #1 attacker in land – and the next time he attacked days later I was 1000 acres bigger than him. I had no idea what they were doing).

Meanwhile, Kong, Twish, and Gabbe continually took turns pumping top OP and hunting down any attackers. Some of the OP numbers that Kong was pumping out the first weeks were insane, and we kept popping big explorers too. Their offense pumps completely controlled the first two weeks of attacking, and let me run with less defense than the rest of the game and focus on pumping those spectres.

Around 2k acres I stopped rezoning and started building GT and GN on hills and mountains. This was about the time that I was revealed as a big threat, as the rest of the game started to completely stagnate and I just kept on hitting every 12 hours, training spectres and def specs and converting as many ghosts as possible. With so many other threatening attackers in our realm, it appeared that on several occasions people just didn’t scout me at this time, even though I actually had top OP on multiple occasions. Two days in a row I woke up for my morning attack to find that a big attacker had sent without enough DP for me – including one completely baffling hit by Srsly when he was just about to become a real threat. After I hit him, a crazy gnome (Thermo! You crazy!) sent 1200 rockapults and a ton of SS and hit me, getting hit three times back. This didn’t really slow down me at all – only cost me about 3-4 hours of income that I had used to build those acres. (We had scouted the gnome, but never thought he would be crazy enough to send 1200 rockas). This was the first time I think the game noticed that I had insanely high OP full of spectres, a ton of diamond mines, and just kept on hitting.

I made several more 60-70% hits after that, as the game started to scout what I had. At this point SeanPaul had been continuously bottomfeeding and getting good acres, and I smacked him (Collectively we hit him four times in one day, getting tons of acres). This gave me my first real significant land lead of the round, and I ended up having to sit for 16 hours – the first time my troops were home all round – to consolidate, build my acres, and then resume pumping OP. My troops attacked every 12 hours from OOP until the middle of day 16, which was critical.


After that Mris found me back to back halflings with Frenzy down. This gave me converts which let me keep pumping Spectres. Clyde started a very silly convert and somehow didn’t watch my OP and I hit him – at the time the #2 land as an explorer halfer – and this gave me a 3315 acres, a 700 acre lead over #2 (WE explorer), only two people in my EG range (if I was in it) – both WE explorers in #1 – and an 1100 acre lead over the next biggest attacker not in my realm (There were a few in the low 2200’s).


At this point I felt confident enough that I drafted the first part of this round win story while it was fresh in my mind. (This is also the first time I trained spies and wizards, as my realm had let me not run any to accelerate my growth).


Update: Day 31. Rise of the Wood Elves

1 Your Troops Become Me (you) Raspy Queen (#4) Spirit 5,715 -
2 Whatever Raspy Queen (#4) Firewalker 4,485 -
3 desperate housewife Raspy Queen (#4) Dwarf 3,964 -
4 White Van Man Raspy Queen (#4) Lizardfolk 3,918 -
5 Bristlecone Pine Odd Sky (#1) Wood Elf 3,814 -
6 Silverfern Small Truth (#5) Human 3,791 -
7 Good news, Everyone! Fancy Cake (#6) Human 3,685 -
8 Maiden's Wattle Odd Sky (#1) Wood Elf 3,665 -
9 Big Stiffy Ancient Recipe (#3) Wood Elf 3,615 -
10 Twilight Sparkle Fancy Mountain (#19) Wood Elf 3,516 -


The Woodelves finally converted, and made the round somewhat interesting. I spent the prior week bottomfeeding (50-100 acres gained per hit, most around 60) while everyone hid out of EG range from me. Gabbe’s Lizard had a brainfart which led to a bounce – hit – hit on him. Gabbe and Twish are still holding high OP and keeping everyone else someone in check – while Kong just hit Srsly (the gobbo) all in. (At this point the gobbo wouldn’t be able to safely send if he converted all of his peasants into shamans. Pretty dead!) The game is stagnated with our attackers, and then four WE, as the only real relevant attackers. At this point I have a 1900 acre lead. I could continue bottomfeeding, but that would keep me out of range of all attackers for probably the rest of the game, and my favorite bf targets are finally joining the RG. So I am hopping into the EG to plat stack for as long as possible, get into a super efficient build. I released all of my specs – about 26k total, my 4k spies, and my 1k wizards. We’ll see how this crazy plan works!


Day 37, hour 1: Training of 28,000 ghosts and 6,818 spectres begun at a cost of 20,491,520 platinum and 34,818 draftees. This will put me at 360k op/ 330k DP

2019-09-21 01:56:37 Victorious on the battlefield, Whatever (#4) conquered 221 land from FIVE O! (#8).
2019-09-21 01:10:23 Victorious on the battlefield, Your Troops Become Me (#4) conquered 192 land from FIVE O! (#8).
2019-09-20 13:59:39 Sadly, the forces of Your Troops Become Me (#4) were beaten back by FIVE O! (#8).

Soon as my troops came in, I was able to raze – hit 5-0, who was #7 in land, and get Kong a hit that he needed for his peasants. Actually converted 2100 elites for the first time in ages. The only people left in my 60% after this hit are Silverfern, PLA, and 5-0, plus one of the WE who dropped EG just to get ops on me – certainly too cowardly to stay out of EG when they send. It’ll be hard to help Gabbe and Twish, but all of the big attackers are in Kong’s EG so hopefully he can escort them to the finish line. Getting him a big hit was essential.


At this point the round was over. Kong and I finished 1 and 2, Gabbe clung on to 4. We were able to make a few hits for Kong with razes while everyone was defending him all round, because his FW was training every peasant and needed to grow. I traded a few hits, but no one was ever able to send in my range again without me hitting them. Twish barely stayed top 10.


A lot of thanks to my pack. Super active, always ready to crunch numbers and swap sims. Went in with a strategy to help me win the round first, which was really nice of them. My biggest regret of the round is that it worked too well and I wasn’t low enough on acres most of the round to help them back out. Gabbe played a crazy aggressive lizard, knowing it would be utter shit late game, in an effort to help the realm take the lead we needed early. His plan was to keep me safe early and get me the win first and foremost, and it worked perfectly – even though he knew his late round would be awful. He took one for the team, and then even managed to sneak in hits here and there and stay #4. A perfect realmie! Kong’s firewalker was great. He kept up really high OP all round, and made the best spreadsheets.

Mris kept going after it turned out we really overlooked a lot of stuff about DE. He convinced me to play SPUD, and helped me get ops all round.


Controversy

A few weeks into the round, some players became aware of the existence of automatic networth trackers. Manual networth tracking had always been commonplace and some players are confirmed to have used automatic trackers in Dominion Classic. Rumors of such software being used in OD had previously circulated, but were reignited when various players observed Realm #4 taking information ops on them within seconds of invasion. This confirmed the prevalence of automated tracking, since such awareness and reaction time is not otherwise humanly possible in response to all opponent actions at all times.

In response, Sparticus created his own NW tracker called the World Crier, and publicly shared it with the community via the Discord API to level the playing field. Many players, previously unaware of networth tracking, were shocked to learn that some top players had been using automation to gain an advantage. Even long-time veterans expressed disapproval, finding it disturbing to see the mechanism laid bare.

Players from realm #4 confirmed that they had sought permission from WaveHack and that the tools did not break any rules of the game. In opposition to pending changes, they insisted that hard work should be rewarded and that players at a disadvantage could learn to code and create their own tracking software.

The community agreed that this was a serious problem and much debate was had as to how to solve it. Proposed solutions included networth obfuscation, delayed updating, and simply banning the practice. Eventually the Gameplay Comittee agreed that the most equitable solution was to give all players the same access to the information. As a result, it was decided to institute a Global Town Crier for Round 15, which would function just like the regular Town Crier but inclusive of all realms.

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