Are they asking because there is a real problem (and can you tell us
what it is) or is there simply a *perceived* problem of overcrowding?
>From what I've seen, people have been pretty free to come and go as
they please from IC. Has anyone actually had any problems leaving?
>What I'd really like to do is offer some alternate routes out of
>the IC, such as one-way and/or one-use teleporation portals from
>the IC to other cities elsewhere on the map.
Yech (see below). BTW, what is the verdict on changing resource
allocation in Safe Havens away from top-down?
>The only problem I see is that opening a newbie center in the
>backyard of a former wilderness area which a long expedition by
>players who started on turn 1 had just arrived at might not be fair.
To say the least. In Oly I, I went through all the trouble to slip
through Summerbridge only to find a hoard of new players descending
from the north since the starting city has changed to in front of me
(I'm sure the Old World explorers had similar feelings...). This only
made the crowding seem worse since you couldn't run away from other
players even if you tried. They could always jump in front of you.
Allowing players to *pick* where they jump only makes things worse.
I see this as partially a problem with people waiting for the empty
spaces to come to them instead of simply MOVEing off their back-sides
to a place where there are less people. Have there really been
problems with newbies being jumped? If so, or if it will help the
perception problem, I'd suggest you implement a "protection for 5
turns" scheme where a faction cannot be attacked until (A) for 5 turns
or (B) it attacks *any* other unit. This should be simple to
implement and provide more than enough "range" for people who want to
get out of IC. If they don't want to move in 5 turns, that is their
problem. IC and the surrounding forest can remains a Safe Haven (for
backwards compatibility) but don't complain that you can't leave
safely after 5 turns. Everything in the game cannot be risk free or
easy (and the most interesting things are when players DO take risks
or engage in difficult enterprises).
>I suppose I could do some sort of survey of the area before I create
>a port into the city, but any cities I choose will have this problem
>to one degree or another.
Yes. I think you can find a better solution. I see the "gate" or
multiple starting city solutions as benefitting new players for doing
nothing while punishing those who have spent time and effort,
sometimes at great risk or game-expense, to move away from IC. Is
that what you really want to do?
My suggestions for newbies? Take some risks. If that isn't your
style, join a big alliance that can protect you or sit out the game in
IC where you can't get hurt. You can even drop all your peasants
since no one can attack you and you can hoard your starting gold...
PS - If I sound bitter, I'm a bit annoyed at the attitude that things
should be "easy" or that there should be "sure things". The most
intersting things that have happened in the Oly games I've been in
(Oly I and this one) were due to players taking risks and not doing
the obvious thing. Dr. Pain died in Oly I roleplaying out his quest
for power. It energized the game. Likewise, the events on Mt.
Olympus and on the frontiers are driven by players taking risks (on
all sides, no matter who you cheer on). Keep the risks and let the
players learn to live with them. I'm all for giving newbies a helping
hand in the very beginning but there comes a time when you have to let
go and let things fall where they may.