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Greeks: The Bonus That Nobody Understands

Exiliado

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The Greeks have this bonus: "Instantly finish upgrades and General recovery under 15 minutes for Free, plus 5 minutes per age".

Now, if you have spent any time at all reading the online comments about this feature, you will discover the following: that everybody - or almost everybody - that has ever expressed an opinion will say that this bonus is lousy, it's terrible, it's a time reduction that doesn't scale with the ages, it requires meticulous attention to make use of, it's a trick for the unwary to get players to spend crowns to switch nations, and it should have been a percentage time reduction. It gets worse: because of this bonus, the Greeks have been unfortunately tagged as a "starter nation" and a "poor choice".

But wait. Haven't we gotten off on the wrong foot? Before drawing any conclusions it's worth noting one observation and then asking two questions.

The observation is this: many bonuses in this game are similar to other bonuses in the game. For example, the French training time reduction is similar to the Training Blessing, the German Teutonic Fury is similar to the Weapons Blessing. And so on.

The first question is: is there another bonus in the game that is like the Greek's instant finish bonus?

The answer to that question is yes. There is a little, rarely-mentioned feature that is very much like the Greek bonus. You can find it on the loading screen. It is: "Buildings and upgrades with less than 5 minutes to go can be finished for free."

Before getting into the Greek bonus, let's ask a second question: what good is five minutes when an upgrade takes any time at all? In a word, flexibility. No one would ever call this five-minute flex a time reduction. But it may help someone, if only a little, to be able to end an upgrade a little sooner than otherwise allowed. Maybe it's not a particularly convenient moment and the player is in a hurry or is getting impatient and just doesn't want to wait. On top of that, a little flex allows the player to push the finish time of an upgrade backwards a little bit, or at least keep it from slipping forwards, so that when upgrades take a day, or two, or twelve to complete, the darned things don't slip into some ungodly hour of the night or impractical time of day when the player is not available (due to work and life and stuff). It helps people with schedules (or the need to sleep, which means, everyone) stay on the top of upgrades without suffering undue inconvenience. In short, it is a "quality of life" benefit.

We see something similar with certain daily bonuses and wonders. They have a cooldown period of 23 hours instead of 24. Their flex is built-in. You never have to wait a full 24 hours, you never have to worry about it slipping forwards, and if it does, you have ample opportunity to push it backwards again.

Which brings us back to the Greek bonus. A five-minute flex isn't totally useless, but it's nothing to write home about either. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a bonus in the game that expanded those five minutes to something more substantial? If you had to make the game fit your life, if you had to put the kids in bed at eight o'clock, do your upgrades and turn the lights out yourself by ten, or if you wanted to do all of your upgrades on the subway ride home at six, wouldn't it help to have a bonus that allowed you to do that, easily and with greater flexibility than what the standard five-minute flex allows?

Well, I think you know what my answer to that question is. Of course it would be useful, and to many players it might even make the difference between continuing to play the game, or not.

At a recent Reddit Q&A, the devs openly stated that the nations were designed to cater to "individual play styles and preferences". They know that they are trying to appeal to a wide audience. But at the same time, it's reasonable that in choosing a nation, an individual has a choice to make: what is most important to me? Is it a bigger army or faster rally? Is it faster training for more compact raiding sessions? Is it greater flexibility in when I choose to do upgrades?

So the Greek instant finish bonus was born, not as a time reduction, but as a flexibly timed finish that expands the standard five-minute flex for players whose chief concern is making their play time fit their hectic lives. It is a reflection of their "individual play styles and preferences".

But to repeat, it is fundamentally not a time reduction. Because no matter your nation, the only way to substantially reduce upgrade times is to spend crowns. So. Since the Greek bonus is not a time reduction, it follows that it is also not a time reduction that: doesn't scale with the ages; requires meticulous attention to make use of; is a trick for the unwary to get players to switch nations; should have been a percentage time reduction instead. We can reject the follow-on conclusions that the Greeks are a "starter nation" or "poor choice".

We can also finally untangle the issue of growing upgrade times since that issue, whatever its merits, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Greeks.

Then we can draw different conclusions: that pretty much everything that's ever been said about the Greek instant finish bonus has been wrong, that it is a very useful feature to have, and that the Greek nation can be a good choice for many people not despite this bonus, but because of it.

In another post I will expand on other ways that this feature can benefit active players. Stay tuned.
 

Saruman the White

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I totally disagree, check why here:

https://forum.nexonm.com/forum/nexo...50-nation-buffs-balances-changes-greek-for-me

I have explained with numbers why the Greeks and the Chinese need a serious buff to reach the competitiveness of other nations (the +1 mercenary the Chinese got was a step in the right direction).

The other solution is to have these two nations eliminated from the game if they regretted including them, but it's obvious that both nations can't match the others.
 

Persia

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The only appeal Chinese even have to me is that I would be able to have 20 citizens and start more of the important upgrades simultaneously. But I'm wiser with my crowns now, and I don't feel like switching from British (even to French/Germans) would be worth it for me at all. I actually played Greeks first, and I loved their unique units - tanks are some of my favourite troops in the game. But I've played as Koreans, British and Greeks in this game, and I really do agree with those saying that Greeks are not a balanced nation. I like the art style (and I'd rather switch to Romans if I'm not using a shooter UU), I think the unique unit is great, etc., but at this point any benefits seem outweighed by the more useful perks. I mean, 15% more loot is extremely helpful, another war tactic is nice, Teutonic Fury is insane, but 45 minutes is just useless (that's for IA, I think) when the upgrades are several days.
 

MSS-Gaming

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Exiliado , you succeed with this post to prove that the Greek nation is better than nothing. The problem is that there are seven other options to choose from, some of which are vastly more superior to the Greeks. Nations with special Riflemen, because they are a staple in almost every army composition. Nations with heavy infantry, because of the emergence in popularity of the APC in the late ages. The specific attack bonus of the Germans, the loot bonus of the British, and the training time of the French are all far more superior than the meager reduction in build time of the Greeks. The longest build time I've come across so far (aside from forest clearing) is 15 days for the CWA mortar, that is 360 hours that will be boosted by 70 minutes from the Greek nation. That is 70min/21600min boost or 0.324% boost. Less than ONE percent. You can't honestly be arguing about the merits of this. Early April fools?
 

melheor

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The argument that saving this minuscule amount of time when you got other chores is a Quality of Life improvement holds no water because you can always crown that last hour relatively cheaply. I do it all the time and it's far better use of crowns than buying crap from Macro Polo.
 

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Exiliado , I hope you can convince others of your reasoning, I really do. It's clear you believe in the perks and benefit from it.
I disagree with your comment that it doesn't require meticulous attention, but everyone has to find what works for them.
If you can plan your life around your upgrades, good on you. :D
 

Exiliado

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MSS-Gaming - I am arguing that the Greek bonus is not a time discount at all but rather a flexible finish (or "flex"), starting with the standard 5-minute flex as the basis for comparison because it is the in-game feature that is most similar to the Greek bonus. I am differentiating between two types of speed ups that benefit players differently.

A time discount reduces time substantially over a long term. It would, for example, help new players progress much faster through the game. The benefit to the player grows in proportion to the length of each individual upgrade. That is not what the Greek bonus is.

A flex accommodates the player’s needs during the final hour. With a flex, the benefit to the player is immediate. It is the same whether an upgrade took one day, five days, or 15 days to complete. That is what the Greek bonus is.

As melheor acknowledges, there is value in bypassing the final minutes of an upgrade. A flex can be a valuable instrument. Yet the Greek bonus is typically judged against total upgrade time as though it were a time discount — a standard that is not appropriate to its purpose or function. That judgment is not fair.

Weighing the value of the Greek benefits as a whole or the balance of nations (I appreciate your thoughtful, in-depth remarks on that subject) can happen only after understanding what this benefit actually is. Without such understanding, opinions about this benefit will not be balanced; that is the “balance” issue I seek to address here.


melheor - Whether one buys it or gets it for free, as you acknowledge it is useful. Spending crowns may not be desirable if a player is saving them for a missile silo, airstrip upgrade, or any number of other worthwhile items. The point of choosing these sorts of enduring benefits is that the player gets what is most valuable to them for free so that they can save their crowns for other things. If in doubt just ask the French.


Manifesto - I hope that this post will be useful to someone. This game has a valuable benefit whose lasting impression is so horrible that many players forever regard it as an insult. It colors every discussion of the nations in general and the Greeks in particular. Maybe a few players will read this post and get the right idea.
 
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Manifesto

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You might be the most staunch advocate of this flexibility but even you would have to agree that the scale of the bonus could be more generous on the part of Nexon.
An extra 5 mins per age is hardly worth it when an upgrade in a new age increases by 2 days. The extra 5 mins is 0.25% of 2 days. Even 20mins, which is a nice round number, is less than 1%!
Surely even you would agree that's paltry, and a slap in the face to Greek players.
25mins or 30mins or 35mins is great at Classical or Medieval ages, I don't know why the increase-per-age doesn't scale exponentially as the player progresses.
 
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Exiliado

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But Manifesto, with a flex, the length of the upgrade is irrelevant. As I said, the benefit to the player is immediate and the same whether the upgrade took one day, five days, or 15 days to complete. Judging the flex according to the length of the upgrade fundamentally misconceives the nature of the benefit. It is about accommodating the player's circumstances at the time of finishing only.

I may have the root of the problem in view though. Since upgrade times are a cost (and a source of deep and enduring frustration to many players), some may see highway robbery of a million pounds sterling with the upgrade times and a grudging rebate of a few pence coming from the horse's back end with the flex. But a rebate on time is not what the benefit is about. If it were a time rebate, then I would agree that it was a slap in the face to Greek players, but it isn't a time rebate.

That the benefit starts at 15 minutes and improves 5 minutes with each age is not unreasonable. Like other benefits it rewards players who advance in the game. And to go beyond 5 minutes per age ultimately would begin to change the nature of the benefit. With a flex, the final 15-60 minutes of an upgrade are exponentially more important than any time that precedes them. By the time a player reaches Atomic age, they are getting a full 50 minutes of flexibility. It's actually more than many players would frequently need. In any case, I see nothing wrong with where Nexon drew the line.
 

KniferX

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It simply isn't enough. To make use of that flexibility you would have to time each and every upgrade to the exact hour and visit the game then and there.

Additionally, it doesn't even function for uni upgrades (which are actually great tools for non-Greek players to break the ''time slip' as you name it, since they often have uneven upgrades)
 

Exiliado

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KniferX - a lot of points to unpack there. In the first place, the goal is not to make use of the flexibility, the goal is to make use of citizens (and Armory, and Library) in a manner that more easily fits a player's lifestyle. A non-Greek player with those same lifestyle concerns would need to visit the game within five minutes of the exact time an upgrade finishes. The Greek bonus enables a player to be less exacting rather than requiring them to be more exacting, and to make upgrades finish at times that are known to be convenient and of a player's own choosing. That is the definition of flexibility, and why the Greek bonus is a valuable benefit.

As far as Uni goes, the irregular finish times are undoubtedly an inconvenience to many players. But since the length of Uni researches varies uncontrollably anyway, the inapplicability of the Greek bonus is hardly the biggest problem. With Uni researches finishing at all hours of the day and night, the Uni is simply a pain for everyone. But that is a problem with Uni, not the Greeks. Luckily, since upgrades for buildings, Armory and Library researches remain both vital and principal methods of advancing in the game, and generally do not suffer from the same time irregularities that Uni researches do, the Greek bonus retains its value despite the issues with Uni.
 

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LOL - you really are an advocate of this bonus, aren't you? :D
I think most of us can see your point about the flexibility aspect but you have to admit that there's still a lot of planning involved to make sure the flexibility arrives at a time convenient to you. That means a lot of working backwards (or forwards?) to the point where you start the upgrade.
Personally, I don't have the inclination, even if I had the time, to do that sort of planning. Whether a game finishes at X time or 'X-45mins' time is of no consequence to me. I log in when I log in, if the upgrade can be finished early so be it. If I'm late and it's already finished, so be it.
But I commend your attention to detail and I can appreciate the logistics involved in making this flexibility work for you.
Happy gaming! :D

PS: any player who adapts his life to suit the times in this game needs to be given a medal. Nexon should build a monument to your dedication!
You might even be a bigger hero to the Greeks than Perseus himself! :D
 
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Exiliado

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Manifesto - but the opposite is true! The Greek bonus enables players to make the game fit their lives, not their lives fit the game. Part of this depends, of course, on the salient fact that most building upgrades, Armory and Library researches consume predictable multiples, usually of 24 hours (occasionally you may see a 12-hour-based one, but those tend to be outliers by the time a player reaches Enlightenment age if not sooner). That means that a player can start their upgrades at whatever time of day they would normally play. From that point forward the upgrades will finish at that same time in a few days and the process repeats. If you slip (because life), the Greek bonus lets you un-slip. If you want to adjust the time, the Greek bonus helps you adjust the time. It requires no logistical effort at all and couldn't be any easier. The flex functions invisibly, because your focus is not on "making use of the flex", it's on playing the game and doing your upgrades at your regular, convenient play time.

But having to baby the game throughout the day to keep upgrades going? That's effort. That's meticulous attention. That is what the Greek bonus can save players from, for building upgrades, for Armory, and for Library research.

While some may not care if their upgrades finish when they are not online, consider this: in the time that was wasted with their citizens, Armory, or Library sitting idle they lost much of the progress that a time discount would have given, maybe even more. By doing upgrades during their regular daily play time that problem simply disappears. Those players literally can give to themselves the faster progress that Nexon doesn't give them, just by pinning upgrades to the time when they would have been playing the game anyway, and avoiding those unfortunate slip-ups. The Greek flex helps them do that easily. Sound good? I hope so.
 

MSS-Gaming

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Exiliado I have been playing the game from the week of release until now, and I can count with my fingers how many times I have spent crowns to speed something up in the final hour. If I played as the Greek nation, over this period of time, I would have saved less than $5 worth of crowns. You use the term "flex" in a manner in which I assume that you feel empowered by this feature of the Greek nation. But in reality, you should feel cheated. I like to reiterate, speaking only to the merits of a special feature that a nation has ignores the cost of missing out on the special features of the other available nations. Even if the Greek nation allowed for instant completion of upgrades 3 hours earlier than when the upgrades were due, it would still be worse than +15% DPS, +15% Loot, or -20% troop train time to most players. Another huge problem with this flex feature is that most upgrades increase in time by increments of one or more days, which means that if you were awake/free when you started the upgrade, you are bound to be somewhat awake/free when it is finally completed. Furthermore, "slipped time" is not something most players worry about. We are talking about a game after all. Games are played for fun. It is not a factory production line in which every second adds up and counts toward a productivity rating.
 

Manifesto

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LOL - are you trying to convince me, or you? :D
Your 24 hr increments make sense, it's just common sense. I commend you on your dedication to your Dominations scheduling.
It must be nice to have regular play times, what's that like? :D
 
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Manifesto

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It sounds as if you don't place as much emphasis on the Uni as you do your base and buildings.
If that's the case you're doing yourself a disservice, Uni upgrades are a great way to boost defense and offense without boosting indivdual buildings or troops.
 

KniferX

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Exiliado The point still stands, it is not enough to give most people flexibility. The majority of players won't have access to the game every 40 minutes to time their upgrades for flexibility. Even if he/she were able to, it would be completely unhealthy to chain yourself to your mobile device like that.
Now if it were a 3-7 hour instant finish this advantage would make complete sense, right now it's simply a gimmick.

Second, I meant looking at uni as an advantage to deal with time slip pushing your upgrades deep into the night hours, since you can just place those workers on a unevenly timed uni upgrade that will finish sometime during the day and not in a strict 24 hour time interval.
 

Saruman the White

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Granting the Greeks instant bonus to university and expeditions would make perfect sense, based on history itself after all :)
 

melheor

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The difference with French is it's a time-saving bonus while you're online, so you can get more done in that hour or 2 before signing off. The bonus you're advocating is a time-saving bonus while you're NOT in the game, the only way to benefit from it is to sign on frequently or track all upgrade times in your head - both make the game more taxing than with other nations. That last hour costs less than 20 crowns anyway.
 

Exiliado

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melheor - I cover this in some detail in my reply #10 below. In short you have to look at it in reverse. You start with the assumption that the player regularly plays the game at roughly the same time(s) daily - people do that. Maybe not yourself and others, but it’s a thing people do, okay? Then, because multi-day upgrades last multiples of 24 hours, the Greek flex provides enough elasticity for those players to pin the upgrades to those times of day in a manner that is effortlessly self-correcting. It’s not something they have to try hard to take advantage of (as though that was a concern for them — it’s not), it just works. They never have to remember any upgrade times at all, much less keep a ongoing list. And small crown expenditures multiply fast. Remember this bonus applies to buildings, Armory, Library, and General recovery which can be used dozens of times a day if a general isn’t hurt too badly. Anyway I hope this provides a clearer picture.
 
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