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Developer Spotlight: National Competition – a note from the team

CATANdominikCATANdominik Administrator, Community Manager Posts: 142 Community Manager, Global
edited April 8 in News & Announcements

We are excited to announce that the upcoming Season 13 will feature significantly expanded local regions. During Season 13, Bears, Wolves, and Eagles will compete to score Victory Points against the rest of their home country. We hope this temporary seasonal theme will make the game even more fun for some of our players who live in remote areas, while also upping the stakes (and the glory) for players in more densely populated areas.

Play with friends

First and foremost, we want CATAN – World Explorers to be not just fun, but also a fulfilling experience. That's why we have prioritized real world, social play as a foundation of the game. Meeting new friends, exploring the world, and sharing great times with others are the defining moments of the game, and we are constantly looking for ways to create more of those special experiences. Naturally, we were troubled to find that so many local regions during beta contain just a few Explorers: over half our regions contain 10 or fewer explorers, and 30% of settlements have just a single Explorer visit them in the course of an entire season. Without other players in the region, local chat rooms are less lively, settlements grow very slowly, and local competition is often non-existent. It goes without saying that this does not live up to our vision.

Compete for the glory of your faction

We know that for many Explorers, the best part of CATAN – World Explorers is scoring Victory Points and leading their faction to victory. We wanted to focus on the excitement of scoring by making regions even more special: what if scoring happened not just within a region defined by the development team, but by a region defined by the people? What if you could compete to win a town, city, or even country for your team? I know I would jump at the chance to turn San Francisco Blue (Go Bears!).

National Competition

That got us thinking: how can we improve the experience of rural players, city slickers, and everyone in between? That’s why this season, we are trying National Competition. Victory Points will now be counted towards the country where you have placed your Personal Settlement. The means of scoring VP remain the same, and global scoring will still work as it did previously. The winners of each National Competition will receive Development Cards, Explorer Points, Resource Cards, and experience as usual.

Please try out the new scoring regions in Season 13 and let us know what you think in the community forums! We will continue to try to fine tune game systems to make CATAN – World Explorers the best experience possible!


Will and the CATAN – World Explorers Team

Post edited by CATANFiona on


  • AjanHukkaAjanHukka Member Posts: 443 ✭✭✭
    edited March 16

    Hmmm...many of these things are because there are just so few players, not because of region size. And that’s mainly because you are like intentionally hiding with the game. There’s very little advertisement or anything.

    Generally one could say that basically nobody even knows about this game as they have either not heard about it or waiting for launch and fixing of bugs even on beta regions. Current playerbase probably doesn’t tell very much about how it could be in the future.

    This was discussed earlier but basically this national scoring will just become other version of global scoring with the team with most players winning. But if course you’ll see it in practice soon. 🙂

  • SoylentGrienSoylentGrien Member Posts: 35 ✭✭

    Many of us told you why national scoring was a really stupid idea. Did you actually take ANY of this on board? I will be sitting this season out and if national scoring becomes permanent I will be deleting the app.

  • WindWind Member Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 16

    Ok sitting this upcoming season out as in going for a minimalist approach as going back to ingress full time for the next few weeks

    brimg eagles is hard lol

  • M42M42 Member Posts: 47 ✭✭✭

    I can see why you are doing this, at first I wasn't keen, but as I'm one of those players that seems to be the only one in my area I'm prepared to give it a good go. Will be interesting actually.

    Does this mean the chat rooms will be working nationally and I might have someone to chat with in there?

  • CATANdominikCATANdominik Administrator, Community Manager Posts: 142 Community Manager, Global

    @M42 The development team worked on the chat rooms, so they would work on a national level. Fixing this was actually one of the things that kept us from making this change earlier. So chatrooms should work accordingly. If you encounter any issues, we would appreciate it, if you would report it in the forum.

  • CATANdominikCATANdominik Administrator, Community Manager Posts: 142 Community Manager, Global

    @AjanHukka Advertising the game with a large PR/advertising campaign sadly is not an option during the soft launch. As the game is only live in very few countries, we would disappoint a lot of players who would be reached by such a campaign, who then couldn't actually play. My personal opinion is that creating interest with such players again would be harder than reaching them and encouraging them to download the game the first time. But you can rest assured that we (including me) have been planning many cool things for the moment when the game actually goes live all around the world.

  • AjanHukkaAjanHukka Member Posts: 443 ✭✭✭
    edited March 16

    Yes, @CATANdominik that’s true. But it also means that you see very small numbers of players. The numbers in real game will be bigger so perhaps there will be more competition even in smaller areas.

    Just saying than drawing too many conclusions from player numbers during beta and making them affect game design may lead to wrong direction sometimes.

    But again, it goes very well as a test. 👍

  • ZinkyZonkZinkyZonk Member Posts: 91 ✭✭✭

    Originally i was like regions are a the best for competion ..... but i have changed my view.

    National is fine.

    Love Catan

  • WindWind Member Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭

    @CATANdominik Did you guys actually read all the comments voiced by the community - many are against the feeling of national - might be ok for smaller countries like those 4 but Australia,would be best split up into 4 large regions and i am sure would be same for USAand Canada.

  • CATANEirCATANEir Developer Posts: 38 Game Developer

    From behind the scenes, I will say that it's very important to do things like this to increase the number of tools in our kit.

    Yesterday: Region was a few blocks in side. Today: a nation. The future: maybe somewhere in between or altogether different. At minimum we need to make sure we're able to do so safely and highlight now any problems faced and overcome.

    Also - always always always are the comments shared here (and other platforms) weighed and taken into account, along with player data.

    Good luck this season and go Eagles!

  • WindWind Member Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭

    For comparisiom sake, any chance you able to group Season 12 data by tallying into national ?

    also are the small cells still exists for RC/Settlement resource spreads?

  • M42M42 Member Posts: 47 ✭✭✭

    @CATANdominik The Aussie chat room is working fine. I can see this will be great for actually touching base with local players, of all factions. That can only be good for the game's development.

    Well Done.

  • AjanHukkaAjanHukka Member Posts: 443 ✭✭✭

    @SoylentGrien they may take all the comments into account when they have seen data from this bigger region version.

    I don’t think we’ve seen the final regions yet.

  • AstonMartinDKAstonMartinDK Member Posts: 5 ✭✭

    Ok let's try this... Hope a lot of Eagles will be playing and finally win a season.

    I'm located in Denmark, and just scored 1 VP at my personal settlement. There still seem to be a region named 'AgriNord koen' and a no counting to local score:

  • WindWind Member Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭

    The national chatroom could be a hit.

    I really think 3 tiers is the way to go as i suggested from the beginning.

    Local, National or equal to large regional section & Global

  • GandalfTheWhiteGandalfTheWhite Member Posts: 95 ✭✭✭

    @Wind I agree. I think that for large countries, states or the equivalent should be used. The USA and India would be in the same boat as Australia, but with many more people.

  • TheOddByteTheOddByte Member Posts: 1 ✭✭

    Chat seems very broken to me. Sometimes only part of the message sends, sometimes none at all. And a massive delay 10 to 30 second or more before the message shows in chat, so waiting and hoping it sent.

  • CATANdominikCATANdominik Administrator, Community Manager Posts: 142 Community Manager, Global

    @TheOddByte I think there is a bug where on some devices you have to tap twice to send a message. Sorry, if this affects you. We have a fix scheduled for this.

  • GandalfTheWhiteGandalfTheWhite Member Posts: 95 ✭✭✭
    edited March 18


    It's not 'tapping twice'. I have to tap dozens of times, and sometimes it does nothing, sometimes it just brings up the text to edit. Finally it posts.

    The post button area needs to be much bigger. I just don't bother any more.

  • CATANdominikCATANdominik Administrator, Community Manager Posts: 142 Community Manager, Global

    @ZigZagWanderer Oh, sorry to hear that there are more issues in regards to this. Can you create a report with details about your experience in the "Report a Bug" section? That would really help us to look into this.

  • HedgyHedgy Member Posts: 9 ✭✭

    National scoring sucks there's no motivation to play this season now.

  • QueglarQueglar Member Posts: 38 ✭✭

    Yeah I'm sitting this one out as well - actually I had already decided to do so before national scoring came in due it being so chronically unstable for me, but removing local scoring also just removes the only thing that was actually keeping me engaged at all.

    Basically it feels like Niantic is **** bent on turning Catan into their equivalent of Candy Crush.

    I'm sure there is a small market Candy Crush players who will spend big on microtransactions to play a virtual dice rolling game, but that's not Catan players who need a lot more strategy, purpose and some kind of competing player interactions.

    Local chatrooms were poorly used last season because they were often broken, so justifying the removal of local regions on the basis non one was using local chats seems a bit... weird...

    Clearly there are a lot of systemic issues coming out of regions and the game map, but local regions was one of the few ways you could actually see any impact from your game choices, and actually interact with other players. So if local regions were sacrificed for game stability issues, then all you have successfully done is create a stable game that is not very appealing to play.

    When you *asked* us in advance to provide feedback on implementing national regions I thought that was a positive step since you were provided with a lot of good constructive feedback as to why that would not be a good idea, and some alternatives that would be better. Kinda now seems a bit pointless since you've gone and done it anyway though.

    So here is another suggestion instead. Make the raw VP numbers only count for settlements (which is already displayed). If there are 10 settlements in a region, the faction that controls the highest number of settlements is "winning" that region. There is a real-time tally for each faction of the number of regions they currently control at state/national/global levels.

    Or from a math perspective, count the number of sets, rather than the total VP. It should make the calculations be less of a drag.

    More importantly though, if the game turns into winning the *most number of regions*, rather than some abstract large number for VP score, all of a sudden you have created a whole new level of strategic play. All those regions with low VP scores suddenly become a whole lot more attractive to play in because you want to start spreading the VP around, not just concentrating it in one region. Region battles will become closer because the strategy is to stay just in front in a region, not heaps ahead. i.e. If I'm 10K ahead in one region but surrounded by 1K regions, then I've wasted that 10K on a region I've already won instead of spread it around to win multiple regions.

    The winning faction would no longer be the one with the most players, it's the faction that can most effectively spread it's vp around regions to win the most regions - we do this in democratic countries all the time to distort elections, you might as well use it for good for a change.

  • QueglarQueglar Member Posts: 38 ✭✭

    Urg - that's not a swear word above it's "****-bent"

  • QueglarQueglar Member Posts: 38 ✭✭

    dammit lol - h3ll bent

  • WindWind Member Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭

    @Queglar I personally find a 3 tier to be the best way goimg forward

    global, large geo-regional & local.

    whilemthe national level chatroom is a great hit, there is still room for improvement.....still think geotagged with a radius filter the best option

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