How to solve mega-alliance problem in three simple steps

    • How to solve mega-alliance problem in three simple steps

      Hello Community, SBI,


      Content of this post is basically summary of what i've already said in many topics/reddit comments. I've been forum fighting Alliances since August 2018 and this is one of the last bullets I have to help make the game a better product. As always this post will be long so make yourself a tea or something.

      Background:


      Going back in the time, when the Pre-Queen roadmap was published, I was stating that changing the map is unnecessary to solve current problems linked to mega alliances/power projection. While it's nice to have something fresh, the effort and possible complications(horse riding simulator) compared to alternative cost of development would be a big NO to me if I was a game director. However devs wanted to follow that path to see if I am right or wrong. Maybe this whole post is bullshit and there are no problems, but the only real problem is stupid people in the forum not understanding how to have fun with the game. If you think so, don't bother reading this post. But if you believe Post-Queen game does not feels like it should, please spend 10 minutes to read below.

      Overall, I am glad about the direction SBI took in the past year, although the specific solutions delivered with Queen, do not solve named problems and seeing community-wide surveys asking what would people like to see to solve current situation, makes me think SBI had no backup plan when Queen wouldn't work as they promised. So that was background motivation behind this post. I am not a party of any alliance, I play in a guild that peaks with 8 players and I do not have any ambitions to play albion at highest competitive level again.

      So the Queen goal was to diminish power of 5 people to control everything. However after the Queen this is achieved in a very similar matter by a single entity(alliance) but by having more numbers (The #1 argument that gvg players used to defend their eliteness and they were right). So small guilds that owned gvg teams lost possibility to stay underdogs as they used to be before, because numbers mean everything now so that's a negative effect of switching from gvg to zvz. And the best guilds that owned the best gvg players, now still remain at the top, concentrating just enough players around them.

      Conclusion: The biggest problem with Pre-Queen seasons was that one guild/ally could own everything, with Queen this hasn't changed much. Due to the map size/power projection limitations there's only a little bit more space to share so few more mega alliances could emerge while small guilds lost everything, even though most of the gvg-less guilds haven't had anything before. So instead small guilds that refused to join mega alliances would have their home in Post-Queen game - they only have more 'banners' to chose while the idea and conditions remained the same. I know some small guilds that actually tried to establish hideouts and fight for territories outside of mega alliances and they failed hard. Now I don't want to talk anymore about the past, let's focus only on the current situation and the future.

      1. What's the current situation

      We can see, that the most of players join one of the 6 biggest alliances trying to fight for its own place. Many more exist but it's only a start of the Post-Queen season and as they already don't own much, few days after the territory reset - it's unlikely they will get something mid-season and IMO with the time they will possible merge into top6 or remain irrelevant to the season ranking, which is pretty bad.

      In my view, this situation happens because of few simple reasons, that devs have very low impact on:

      1. Joining mega ally makes hardcore MMO rpg game easy(maximum profit, minimum risk)
      2. Possibility to take part in massive battles that overheat both servers and players PCs. Such large battles can be only succesfully shotcalled by few players in the world.
      3. If one mega ally exists - there is no other way but to try to fight it with another mega ally, this snowballs to the ultimate Red vs Blue model, which due to developers actions is now around 5-6 parties(map size), but it used to be 3-6 in the past seasons. In other words - if a guild wants to achieve something, it needs to join one of six pretending alliances, if one mega alliance can't fight another it needs to relocate to another place and dominate what it can or stop existing and merge into existing alliance.
      4. Some of the players prefer joining the biggest/strongest alliances just to feel strong/brag about it's wins, even that their impact on this is close to 0 as such army was already leader/strong pretender before they joined. So that would be least important reason to join mega ally by individuals, but many people do so having no other options and very small will to keep tryharding.


      Besides above, there is currently no difference between Solo guild / mega alliance gameplay, except for one more thing - if majority follows above, all the other guilds who deny it, must satisfy themselves with leftovers, crumbs, no chance to compete for anything, even T5 terri. There is no small guild vs small guild content, because sharks swim in every sea and threat everyone without exception. More means bette. As players in alliances don't have much content outside of CTA's, whenever they see opportunity to bully someone for free - they will act like starving jaguars chasing every single person or a small blob (t1-t2) like mad mans, at the same time avoiding other mega alliances whenever they don't have proper numbers, shot caller etc. I have seen 30-40 people chasing one guy for couple maps failing to kill him instead of finding another group of 30-40 to have a proper fight. REALLY POE YOU DO THAT.

      So playing in a guild outside of top6 alliances wanting a territory, hidehout, fame farm, try small scale pvp or gather is tremendously hard, fairly to say it's tryharding the game. This can last for some time but sooner or later it won't work in a longer run. What do I mean by tryharding? Playing the game against the meta, not in a way that everyone else do, just to prove you can still succeed. Very often people only have motiviation to tryhard for a limited time (RIP KFC), after which they join mega ally or quit the game.

      Conclusion: After Queen release - instead of 5 men owning everything, one ally owns everything in their area of influence and the only content is chosing one of mega alliances and help them grow endlesly and control everything they can (even t5 territories). There is no limit to the size or limit to what a single alliance can own - and this is currently #1 problem that kills the game. I apologize all the dictators that this post aims to take their effortless machines down.


      2. What are the DEVS afraid of ?

      So basically, what always stopped devs from solving alliance-related problems? It's simple - they are afraid, that strongest players will abuse any possible alliance limitations and still get what they have now, however not letting smaller guilds to be able to find their own piece of content.

      In other words, using examples - CIR would have a NAP with Scoiataels, they would not attack each other, cooperate to control what they can and dealing with all the tryharders together. So many smaller guilds wouldn't be able to NAP and cooperate with each other and they would have to satisfy with leftovers and crumbs. So in other words - hard capping alliances downside is current reality, isn't that crazy? They are afraid of David vs Goliath model, while it's already happening!

      Also it's like, they tried to balance the META based on lowest players tier existing (bronze8 in league of legends). Is that a good way to ensure both top tiers like challenger and medium tiers like gold have fun and good time by playing the game ?
      If the game doesn't work in challenger, people won't bother to go through the elo hell, mid tiers to get into challenger themselves one day. This is not how player progerssion works.

      We need to ensure late-game balance is fine and ask everyone else to adapt and try to get there, regardless of how hard it's in the beginning. When game is too easy or loses it's shine - they will get bored and quit, I can bet that. SBI can't be afraid to balance the late-game and force early-game players to adapt. They will manage to do it, this is hardcore mmorpg genre, people who play it will adapt to whatever the conditions are, it's like every other game - if yuo survive elo hell there's heaven above. Want to go back to elo hell to tryhard the game? Make a smurf acc..


      Conclusion: Don't hesitate to put hard limits to clear the situation of the top tier guilds, be determined to make late-game satisfying and fair while giving a space for newcomers/pretenders. All the other tiers will adapt and pursue to get into that tier sooner or later. Don't look at the small fishes in the sea, as long as sharks are busy fighting each other everyone else will be just fine!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by glokz ().

    • 3. How to resolve all the mega-alliances dillemas in three easy steps?

      It's simple, we need to look at the best competitive games in the game market and understand what made them so successful. As a person who spent 10 consecutive years playing competitive online games, I believe a good game needs to have at least three of below characteristics:

      1. Have fun mechanics to inspire lot of players to play it (create a player base) - Albion is fun, that's not the case, new players join first months are super FUN, everyone says that
      2. Have tiers, so the new players compete against new players, best players compete against best players, in other words SKILL TIERS - it's not the case with Albion, new players must become slaves and serve for the best players or tryhard(definition above), nothing stops the best from dominating lower tiers. For contrast - imagine League of Legends matchmaking system putting Diamond and Silver players together, how is this supposed to work?
      3. A way to progress, so there must be something that allows players to see their effort rewards them with more and more, usually it's rank - in Albion we have season points, but that does not respect skill of players but previously GvG team skill tier and now it's also alliance size + organization skills(possibility to own as much as possible with as little effort as possible, season points split, crystal gvg)
      So to achieve above, we need to simply hard limit what the best players (Now alliances) by volume not by quality, so the tiers are clearly visible and limited so top players need to compete for it having no other choice. So we break the model where having more means better. The only viable model in competitive gaming is quality over quantity.

      Ok, sounds great, easy to say, however how to achieve that in mmo-rpg game like Albion?

      1. Limit maximum number of territories / hideouts possible to own by a single alliance.

      Limits: 6 territories per alliance, 3 hideouts per alliance, 1 hideout per single zone.

      Let alliances be a thing, let small guilds NAP with each other at ease using Alliance mechanics, but limit what AN ALLIANCE or solo guild(1-guild alliance is also an alliance, so I will only use name alliance from now on that will refer to solo guilds as well) can have. Make those limits SMALL. Make the difference between zone tiers BIG.

      We have 300 maps, let every alliance own 6 territories. That leaves us with 50 alliances at minimum. Wouldn't that be perfect to see a soup of 50 different hostile armies fighting for their ranking, their own brand, having many-sides fights? Possibly there would be unclaimed territories (T5), so people who just got into the game could get them without any effort, but as they want to get something more valuable they would need to fight for it. Guilds wouldn't upkeep the territories they don't need on alt accounts, because territories cost silver and need maintaining.

      Very simple, very quick change, it solves most problems related with alliances, however it comes with one critical problem - 'punishment for winning'. Why a successful machine, that is able to control 60 territories should satisfy with only 6? How is this going to make them win the season? What stops them from owning alt-guilds and make NAP-spaghetti?

      This is why we need two additional changes, tiers and map distributed both geographically and in different time zones.

      2. Implement tiers.

      We have around 300 maps, let's assume there are 25 tier 8 maps. Each of those maps would allow guild to play crystal GvG's. So owning 6xT8 territory which would remain at highest possible crystal gvg at all times, securing most-valuable castles in the region and outposts would grant an alliance Season rank #1. This would basically match current balance - so 6 alliances owning most of the content, but would leave all the rest for the remaining players. The only difference is what's the ultimate road to victory? Crystal success? Castle success? Territory owning? Mixture of all?

      As it would be a tremendous effort for one guild to own so much T8 territories that have different time zones, are far from each other, this might be impossible, so alliances would look for combination of T6,T7,T8 maps leaving space for others to optimize their 'points machine'. Or maybe it would be better to run an ally of two guilds and split the points? So we have twice much people to care about the same amount of territories making everyone's life easier and both guilds could reach rank #1 and #2 by working together to control territories/hideouts/castles while playing crystals gvg on their own?

      Just split the points earned for territories/castles and keep 100% points earned in CGVG. This is very important, because we can play crystal gvg without a territory earning season points, why would we have to split those across alliance that we need to control outland territories. GvG guilds could still get high in the rankings, but without presence in the open-world/owning castles it should be forbidden to win a season - e.g. by having 60 cgvg teams, so maybe limit how many cGvG a one guild can play in a single day (territories+non-territories cgvg). So don't make a single win condition, let guilds adapt to their own gamestyle and let them try to be succesful however they want it. Maybe a guild that only plays cgvg shouldn't reach crystal rank, but gold?

      That comes with another problem, what stops me from having NAP with few other 'enemy' alliances and having free win while tryharding on 'alt'(smurf accounts in other multiplayer games) and fighting there with weaker players?

      3. Map distribtuion (geography*time) to ensure people won't run multiple alt guilds to achieve multiple top tiers or abuse above system in any reasonable way.

      Adjust the world map, so the different zones in close area can't be captured at the same time. What do I mean?

      Imagine we have two map clusters close to the Avalon (middle of the map) made of: T8 map, next to two T7 maps and one T6. So we have:

      Cluster 1(closer to green lock): T8-1, T7-1, T7-1, T6-1
      Cluster 2(closer to white lock): T8-2, T7-2, T7-2, T6-2

      So we have Two time zones: 18utc 19utc

      At 18UTC claimable territories: T8-1, T7-2, T6-1
      At 19UTC claimable territories: T8-2, T7-1, T6-2

      This is just an example to picture the complex task behind it - ensure that people are not allowed to cluster around one zone and take the season win with a single clustered army. Make them travel a lot and ensure forces are managed strategically both in geographical and time aspect.

      If your T8-1 and T7-2 territories are attacked. You need to decide if you are able to defend both T7 and T8 territory or maybe it's better to secure T7 territory with higher crystal tower? The difference between T8 and T7 tiers in season points should be HUGE, so people trying to get #1 rank do anything to control as many T8's as possible. It should be endless-effort so players come out with different strategies to win the season.

      It's hard to tell how current map and time zones / points reflect this idea, I assume it's wrongly designed because few alliances control everything in the single geographical area, so PoE controls green lock, SQUAK white lock etc. etc.
      It should be that most valuable territories are closer to the map center, so it's logisticly possible and fair to fight for all the maximum 6-T8 terries by a single alliance with requirement to cover few different time zones (e.g 16utc-24utc). The requirement to travel would be there, but not too much horse riding - e.g. to outskirts. No more clustered areas where one alliance is safe in the WHOLE CLUSTER with the only enemy far away in another cluster. Current design failed to achieve expectations.


      So as this is a very complex problem to solve, let me try use different wording:

      1. Make valuable territories closer each other but not next to each other, so minimum travel is required yet it's not possible to capture T8+T7+T6 territories in the same cluster with one army located in a single zone as those are claimable in different time zones.
      2. Split all the valuable zones into multiple time zones, so perhaps it's not possible to own 6 T8 zones with only EU prime time players, maybe a best alliance would be half-EU half-NA? Maybe the best alliance would dominate single time zone (eu) by dominating both territory zvz, cgvg and castle fights? Multiple ways to victory!


      This is a challenge that I can't precisely propose because of it's complexity. This would be the only task to work over time for SBI to make everyone in the world happy(yes Asians and Australians - you too) and be able to compete on a global server.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by glokz ().

    • 4. What is the impact of such changes?

      Well, having in mind cluster-queue, disarray, alliance points sharing, available tiers, clear alliance-progression path the game would feel much better, easier for newer/smaller alliances while much harder for late-game alliances. Maybe the gap between early game and late game would become huge - but isn't it in league of legends? How many players achieve Diamond1/Challenger rank? 1%? That does not make gold-players unhappy! That makes them DREAM about reaching it one day.

      1. Impact on small alliances (solo guilds, few small guilds alliances):

      • They can finally own something, perhaps in blue lock but still, compete against other small alliances in their area, with growth moving to a better lock(brown?), competing with tier higher alliances and so on.
      • Alliances made of many-small guilds like arch which would like to remain in 5k groups, would have to live in 6 territories splitting points accross 50 guilds all ending up in BRONZE 8 tier while missing out normal progression path and maybe ending up in bronze 1, but still it would be earned bronze 1, next season maybe silver5?
      • Small guild players would have possibility to play with their friends, while not having to compete against the best players in the world, they could finally establish their own home built purely by their own hands.



      2. Impact on big alliances

      • Auto-NAPS between top guilds as we have now would be disabled, which means it's no longer single click to establish warmachine like PoE or SQUAK. The complexcity of the game and achieving #1 rank would be so huge, establishing multi-alliance naps would only make it harder. All the drama it can cause, friendly fire, who owns what, are we paid mercenaries to help someone become #1 or we do help out another alliance for our own benefits? Diplomacy is legitimate way to victory now, but there can be only one winner, would you cooperate with another alliance to become #2? All rules are allowed, center of the map is purely a STRATEGIC NIGHTMARE where there can be only one WINNER.
      • Guilds that currently are well established, with prime time online above 50 would probably be better off themselves somewhere far from the map center, not slaving for mega alliances but running on their own or making alliance with another small guild to get the best possible rank they can.
      • All the alliances that would like to control highest possible territory levels, would need to split them geographically, which means there are no longer safe clusters made of couple maps next to each other around their hideouts. Hideouts would have been used to optimize logistics, while the transportation/travel would be insane risk to meet another ally/group.


      3. Impact on SBI

      Well it's simple, way more players would be interested in playing the game and competing in seasons, ganking wouldn't be the only thing to do outside of playing in mega alliance, all the whininig on the forums would have ended and they could finally work to fix all the left-out content like PvE and different ways to get the season points. We don't limit alliance sizes, people would do that themselves to get higher in the ranking, if they want to flood maps, let them flood they are still doing that now, but they will be bronze 8 ranking that will discourage them to do it, especially that alternative models of gameplay would exist which is currently not a thing. Ranking achieved in such hardcore mode would need to grant some more benefits, so players have would be motivated to compete for the season ranking and nothing else would matter.


      5. Possible downsides


      The only negative thing about above changes, is that win is no longer granted for mega alliances or 5men gvg players. Game would become insanely hard to master, especially at guild-leadership level to maintain diplomacy and build strategy (very deep late game). Maybe it would feel like a full-time job for the best guilds, but after some time when everyone realizes it's not possible to maintain highest performance in all the time zones, all the guilds would seek for more convenient strategies rather than maximizing points. So game/life balance that would decrease the 'effort ceiling'. Work smart not hard.

      And that's it, I don't know what else could happen beside the world would be a pure hell where everyone fights each other and everyone has its own place in the outlands as was promised with the Queen patch.

      Community - You guys are there to find loopholes in this system so together we find tweaks to make it happen. Those changes are possible to implement in few weeks, with good winds it could be the last season when we see mega alliances reaching crystal with NO EFFORT. Please let me know if you understood those solutions, I am happy to discuss and I hope the goals that I wanted to achieve with my proposals would be achieved this way or another. The faster the better.

      Thanks!
    • I can agree with some maybe not all of your post, But I will say SOMETHING need to change, The game has been about the largest numbers in zvz for the longest time and its becoming even more so, Like lastnight we had 350+ reds from all different guilds but 1 alllaince and we could only pull 100 because our alliance is EU (The 100 was all 1 guild ours takecare yes), This is not fun content and basicly BA's alliance can rule all of NA because of the numbers they can pull during that time. The large 300+ zergs need to stop, It needs to change to 3 100 man groups so other guilds can get content by fighting 1 of the 3 100 man zergs in another zone not just all 300+ in 1 zone vs 1 other guild or alliance. We need a way to make large zergs have to split down there large zergs into smaller zergs and spread across different zones, So like POE could fight 1 100 man zerg in zone A while 1942 alliance fights another 100 man zerg in zone B and ERROR404 fights the last 100 man zerg in zone C. This would create more content for everyone and make the game more healthy over all.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Neef ().

    • I like a lot of your ideas. Building on what Neef just said, I wonder if the smart cluster queue could be used to help limit the number of members from an alliance in a zone. I have also read some ideas where the limits could be different for different tier zones.

      For example,
      tier 5: 50 max per alliance in the zone
      tier 6: 75 max per zone
      tier 7: 100 max per zone
      tier 8: no limit

      I am just throwing some numbers out there, no idea what they should be. I would also think that the portal zones could get some type of special treatment as well.
    • Hey there and thanks for the excellent and detailed posts!

      Before entering into a deeper discussion, there is one critical assumption that you make that sits at the core of the entire "alliance feature" discussion.

      It's this:

      glokz wrote:

      We have 300 maps, let every alliance own 6 territories. That leaves us with 50 alliances at minimum. Wouldn't that be perfect to see a soup of 50 different hostile armies fighting for their ranking, their own brand, having many-sides fights?

      Our view here is that there is an absolute key difference between the "alliance feature" as it is currently in the game and the "de facto alliances" that players in sandbox MMORPGs tend to form.

      The main thing that the "alliance feature" does is to give players a shared alliance color and turn of friendly fire.

      That's is pretty much it. Would you believe that if we removed those two aspects from the game that players would stop playing together in large groups, i.e. would not still form de facto alliances?

      We think it's absolutely certain that they still would. Hence, we could remove the entire alliance system from the game and it would not change much with regards the power blocks. Alliances would still exist outside of the in-game alliance feature. In fact, they might become even more powerful due to the fact that more casual guilds will be less effective at creating alliances out of the game than the more hardcore guilds are.

      In our view, the correct way to tackle the alliance situation is through a multitude of features, such as:
      • the new Outland map, offering lots of space that the top power blocks are simply not interested in
      • the fact that territories are hard to defend against mage raids / ninja gathering
      • the circular layout of the Outlands, meaning that if you occupy the center, you are susceptible to attacks from all sides
      • the fact that taking out hideouts is a lot of effort
      • the disarray debuff (which will see another balance revamp soon)
      • our other anti-zerg mechanics (focus fire protection, aoe excalation)
      • we might also reconsider the layout of the central part of the Outlands, such that it's less connected than right now
      Please also keep in mind that the new season has just started. It's too early to say how it will play out. It remains to be seen how the alliance that currently dominates the center is going to fare. We'll also closely watch how gameplay in the out regions of the Outlands plays out.

      Based on all of that, we'll constantly make improvements and adjustments as required.
    • the new Outland map, offering lots of space that the top power blocks are simply not interested in

      Am, I am sorry but that is .. hard..

      What can be zerged will be zerged.. these people are bored and have no content.. especially the medium mega alliance.. if not BA or POE is interested then it is another mega alliance..

      I am completely sorry but the basics work different..

      Not interested.. is not gonna work..

      Disadvantage is the key..If they own too many T5 ..they have disadvantage xyz that hurts..

      "The main thing that the "alliance feature" does is to give players a shared alliance color and turn of friendly fire.

      That's is pretty much it. "

      That is so wrong - you just think in ZvZ. The power of mega Alliance comes from commercial advantage. Resources energy silver gear ... Making terries agro to their gatherer, making their gatherer as vulnerable to ganks as normal players is, what stop the snowball.. and the effect that all people want to join it ..because they want their giantic safe zone..

      Why u think I love your "rests".. I love it for the chest and the safe spot..

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Hollywoodi ().

    • Thanks for the reply @Korn

      I hope the disarray buff is significant to really discourage large zergs.

      Korn wrote:

      the new Outland map, offering lots of space that the top power blocks are simply not interested in
      I wanted to build on this a bit more. So, the center of the map is obviously where you guys want the mega alliances to be. Currently, the portals are very close to the edge of the map. Any thoughts on moving the portals a few zones towards the middle of the map? The idea would be that the zones going away from the center and the proposed new portal locations would be of little interest to the big alliances as they will be low value/tier and in the opposite direction of the center.
    • Disarray doesn't discourage large blobs... it just encourages them to leave a zone.

      Group A is T2 blob and looks at map and sees Group B blob is a bigger T3 blob... we engage.

      Group A is T3 blob and looks at map and sees Group B blob is a smaller T2 blob... we leave.

      This is the current zvz meta. Zone into a map... check blob sizes... 1 side will run due to the debuff.


      This does nothing to discourage blobs. It discourages content.

      The best thing you can do as it's been stated a hundred times is limit territory control and limit alliances. Or remove alliances.

      Will we have NAP... yes. Will we have lots of friendly fire and people screwing up and attacking against Nap and ganking nap targets creating conflict. Absolutely.
    • Korn wrote:

      Our view here is that there is an absolute key difference between the "alliance feature" as it is currently in the game and the "de facto alliances" that players in sandbox MMORPGs tend to form.

      The main thing that the "alliance feature" does is to give players a shared alliance color and turn of friendly fire.

      That's is pretty much it. Would you believe that if we removed those two aspects from the game that players would stop playing together in large groups, i.e. would not still form de facto alliances?

      We think it's absolutely certain that they still would. Hence, we could remove the entire alliance system from the game and it would not change much with regards the power blocks. Alliances would still exist outside of the in-game alliance feature. In fact, they might become even more powerful due to the fact that more casual guilds will be less effective at creating alliances out of the game than the more hardcore guilds are.

      I think that you will never get rid of pacts between guilds/alliances etc. But at least making it harder for them is better than what's happening now.

      We're not asking for a miracle but maybe some effort to try to make it harder. Alliance cap + friendly fire enabled for allies.

      Those people in 3k alliances will only play so long with that mundane play style and by the time they're bored you risk losing your core players due to the current meta of 3k+ mega alliances.

      A scaling zone cap is another good solution. Outer ring 80 players (40v40) further in 200 (100v100) and center 300 (150v150)
    • Korn wrote:



      In our view, the correct way to tackle the alliance situation is through a multitude of features, such as:
      • the new Outland map, offering lots of space that the top power blocks are simply not interested in
      • the fact that territories are hard to defend against mage raids / ninja gathering
      • the circular layout of the Outlands, meaning that if you occupy the center, you are susceptible to attacks from all sides
      • the fact that taking out hideouts is a lot of effort
      • the disarray debuff (which will see another balance revamp soon)
      • our other anti-zerg mechanics (focus fire protection, aoe excalation)
      • we might also reconsider the layout of the central part of the Outlands, such that it's less connected than right now
      Please also keep in mind that the new season has just started. It's too early to say how it will play out. It remains to be seen how the alliance that currently dominates the center is going to fare. We'll also closely watch how gameplay in the out regions of the Outlands plays out.

      Based on all of that, we'll constantly make improvements and adjustments as required.
      There are some really interesting ideas in the OP, especially CAPPING the max ammount of terries / hideouts an alliance can have.

      If people want to NAP, let them NAP.

      It will surely add drama, a LOT of space in the map for small aliances (small guilds playing together for 6 maps) and a lot of big guilds going for themselves.



      People WILL dive NAPed allies. They WILL gank gatherers. They just don't do it now because it's not possible to hit purples.

      I really doubt big end game guilds will lose their time in outer ring or sharing 6 maps with anyone else.
    • Korn wrote:

      the new Outland map, offering lots of space that the top power blocks are simply not interested in
      This didnt happen look at 1941 taking ~45 terris from t5 portals to t8 near center they want it all why wouldnt they no one can compete if they have 6 t5 blobs running about and only 6 cluster with that primetime

      Korn wrote:

      the fact that territories are hard to defend against mage raids / ninja gathering
      why would they care at all about this?

      Korn wrote:

      the circular layout of the Outlands, meaning that if you occupy the center, you are susceptible to attacks from all sides
      So what, the timers of the center are not all the same so they only fight 2-3 fights on any timer

      Korn wrote:

      the fact that taking out hideouts is a lot of effort
      No its not, more than half hideouts placed have been destroyed now that mega alliances own the territories they are demolishing the ones that are still left including the T3s with ease.

      Korn wrote:

      the disarray debuff (which will see another balance revamp soon)
      Better be a big change right now it simply doesnt matter they are still zone locking 4 zones around the fight.

      Korn wrote:

      our other anti-zerg mechanics (focus fire protection, aoe excalation)
      Those dont even come into play... Aoe Escalation is used to fight zergs but only if you have your own zerg, no matter how good 1 camlann is and kills 20 people they just hit you with 30 of their own camlanns. or hard counter it with merc hood, locus, knight helms, the new plate helm.



      Korn wrote:

      we might also reconsider the layout of the central part of the Outlands, such that it's less connected than right now
      so what put more maps between the center zones so BA cant run circles around it anymore?




      None of these things are not in the game, none of them have helped at all.
      Mega alliances have more control than ever now that you let them use all their players instead of groups of 5. there is no more even playing field. its them vs dust as far as they are concerned. just look at the map you must do something, turn off friendly fire cap them remove them seriously look at the map 6 groups own 70% or more of the map if you toggle on the alliance view.
    • While I do agree that it is too early to tell how well Queen is managing the mega alliances with the various features, I think there's one point that most probably won't disagree on - queen IS NOT small guild friendly.

      I understand the design principle of hideouts, the tribute system, and all the other features that is part of queen was designed to help small guilds flourish. But as a member of a smaller guild who is not part of a mega alliance, I (along with many of my guildmates) have a sense helplessness against these mega alliances. Having a hideout is nice, but what's the point of having a hideout when you cannot have meaningful pvp/zvz against other similar sized guilds / alliances? The handful of mega alliances simply push their way away and prevent good quality zvz from happening between the little guys.

      You've heard it many times already, and you'll hear it again. Disarray doesn't work. It actually just punishes *anyone* who can field 25 or more. I say it again, it *punishes* them. And not by much either. A 25 man zerg will still have an exceptionally hard time fighting a 50 man zerg. If you take into account the debuff that effects both sides, the difference isn't much actually. Not enough to make a huge difference.

      Why not encourage smaller zergs to take a fight instead? Introduce an underdog buff, heroic. If your zerg is say 25 man, you'll gain a flat % buff per member difference between your zerg against bigger zergs. The disarray buff should have a strong enough effect with the heroic buff that larger zergs have to rethink fielding vastly superior numbers.

      Ex: Zerg 1 : 25 players, Zerg 2: 50 players. For the sake of argument since there is a 25 player difference, the smaller zerg will get a 1% damage/ damage reduction buff, so a total of 25% added damage/defense. Because the zerg 2 heavily outnumbers zerg 1, they also have a disarray debuff -25% damage reduction. I understand that the numbers are quite inflated, but for the sake of argument the difference now is that the smaller zerg have more of an incentive to fight. With incentives and a more impactful penalty, I can see bigger zergs thinking more strategically about their numbers.

      What about multiple zergs? If there are multiple zergs with the same size that is not from the same alliance, the zerg that is the owner of the territory will get the heroic buff (in the case of mutltiple zergs ganging up against one). If the the territory belongs to no one, well it is fair game.

      The current mentality in the same situation is that Zerg 1 cannot win the fight, so they will most likely retreat or get rolled over. Zerg 2 will have easy content and carry on. I think there should be a system that provides an incentive to small guilds to take these outnumber fights. I mean what better war story to tell around the camp fire then the time you won a bloody battle with 1:2 odds?
    • There is tons of valid proposals..

      I am sure you have a "can do" attitude, don't you??

      So far you are sure, nothing can be done, though you did not even try..

      Escalating food requirements, friendly fire, hard caps, max terries owned

      Even if the ZvZ fight is not directly hit, right now there is just advantages to mega Alliance..

      Are you sure you really want to solve it??



      People have to do ZvZ 3 x a day or they get kicked..this is max penalty... seriously..and they don't want to be kicked, then they loose access to contend and need play red zone..

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Hollywoodi ().

    • Korn wrote:

      Hey there and thanks for the excellent and detailed posts!

      Before entering into a deeper discussion, there is one critical assumption that you make that sits at the core of the entire "alliance feature" discussion.

      It's this:

      glokz wrote:

      We have 300 maps, let every alliance own 6 territories. That leaves us with 50 alliances at minimum. Wouldn't that be perfect to see a soup of 50 different hostile armies fighting for their ranking, their own brand, having many-sides fights?
      Our view here is that there is an absolute key difference between the "alliance feature" as it is currently in the game and the "de facto alliances" that players in sandbox MMORPGs tend to form.

      The main thing that the "alliance feature" does is to give players a shared alliance color and turn of friendly fire.

      That's is pretty much it. Would you believe that if we removed those two aspects from the game that players would stop playing together in large groups, i.e. would not still form de facto alliances?

      We think it's absolutely certain that they still would. Hence, we could remove the entire alliance system from the game and it would not change much with regards the power blocks. Alliances would still exist outside of the in-game alliance feature. In fact, they might become even more powerful due to the fact that more casual guilds will be less effective at creating alliances out of the game than the more hardcore guilds are.

      In our view, the correct way to tackle the alliance situation is through a multitude of features, such as:
      • the new Outland map, offering lots of space that the top power blocks are simply not interested in
      • the fact that territories are hard to defend against mage raids / ninja gathering
      • the circular layout of the Outlands, meaning that if you occupy the center, you are susceptible to attacks from all sides
      • the fact that taking out hideouts is a lot of effort
      • the disarray debuff (which will see another balance revamp soon)
      • our other anti-zerg mechanics (focus fire protection, aoe excalation)
      • we might also reconsider the layout of the central part of the Outlands, such that it's less connected than right now
      Please also keep in mind that the new season has just started. It's too early to say how it will play out. It remains to be seen how the alliance that currently dominates the center is going to fare. We'll also closely watch how gameplay in the out regions of the Outlands plays out.

      Based on all of that, we'll constantly make improvements and adjustments as required.
      That is all fine, If you don't want to limit alliances at least limit the amount one alliance can pack in a zone, This would fix alot of problems, For example a limit of 150 players in 1 zone/cluster would help the game a lot more then an alliance limit. We need a to fix this problem of 350+ from one alliance being packed in a zone. Do something please. @Korn The hideout comment is 100% not true did you not see my post in this thread? We had 350+ red beating down our hideout yesterday and guess what they will be there today trying again, We are down 2 shields and our alliance is EU based so we can only defend with our NA numbers in take care @ around 100 players which is already ALOT. we have to go after crazy builds to try to defend our fully built hideout because we cannot fight 350+ reds from 20 different guilds with 1 guild and only 100 players vs 350. Great game. Also you think they will stop @ our hideout I think not. And before you say we should place a hideout in EU we already have one in EU and they can pull even more numbers even if we can bring more then 100 to fight them. I'm 100% sure after they take the terri in our EU zone they will be launching on our EU hideout next. The system is broken, Your new map didn't help anything it really made it worse as the old map put A LOT more zone between red/merica and green/anglia blackzone. The current system is broken and something needs to change. A 150 player from one alliance limit in a zone is all we need. This would fix a lot of current problems as fights shouldn't be over that number anyways. Also if you wanted terri fights to be more of a whole guild thing you should have went more for a 50v50 fight over a Zerg vs Zerg fight because the numbers can't be controlled inless you cap the amount one alliance can pack in a zone. @Korn

      EDIT: Added more to this...

      The post was edited 13 times, last by Neef ().

    • Korn wrote:

      In our view, the correct way to tackle the alliance situation is through a multitude of features, such as:


      the new Outland map, offering lots of space that the top power blocks are simply not interested in

      the fact that territories are hard to defend against mage raids / ninja gathering

      the circular layout of the Outlands, meaning that if you occupy the center, you are susceptible to attacks from all sides

      the fact that taking out hideouts is a lot of effort

      the disarray debuff (which will see another balance revamp soon)

      our other anti-zerg mechanics (focus fire protection, aoe excalation)

      we might also reconsider the layout of the central part of the Outlands, such that it's less connected than right now

      Hmm. Let's see:
      • The new Outlands map has quickly been devoured by a few powerful alliances. Granted, it's early, but if nothing has stopped them yet, I'm not sure what will (other than boredom :P ). In theory, more space should help, but it doesn't seem to be slowing them down.
      • Mage raids and ninja gathering are minor annoyances, at best. They do very little (if anything) to discourage owning more and more territory.
      • We'll see how the circular layout works, long-term. Right now, one alliance owns most of it.
      • Yes, taking out hideouts is a lot of effort. I'm not sure how much that's really hurting the powerful alliances, though. They're in the best position to exploit hideouts.
      • Disarray hasn't seemed to help thus far against huge alliances, and I'm not putting much hope in a revamp.
      • AoE escalation and focus fire protection work equally well for huge zergs. How do those mechanics actually diminish the power of huge alliances compared to small guilds/alliances?
      • A less-connected layout might help the center, but isn't going to do much for the rest of the Outlands.
      Again, one serious problem is that having many territories isn't much of a burden. Many games implement diminishing returns for territorial expansion, such as unrest or corruption. (I suppose the risk of that kind of mechanic is stasis.)

      Perhaps the question to ask is this: what would be the ideal geopolitical state of the Outlands? One territory per guild? One hideout per zone? No alliances? Many alliances? No zerging? Lots of zerging? (We need a State of the Outlands Address! :) )
    • 1. significantly lower guild member limit . (50 -80 max? or further study into this)


      2. make alliance member limit same as guild member limit (the only reason to keep the alliance system is to make it easier for newer/smaller guilds to work together to reach the same numbers with strong guilds)



      Almost promised u wont have a boring old mega zerg fights, even if mega alliance (NAP) still exist, it will be better zvz content than current state,friendly fire/dramas/backstab n shite. zerg coordinations will be different, NAP doesnt fkin matter its part of sandbox gameplay, shits will happen once everyone get bored of the agreement
      @Korn

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Ryl ().

    • Ryl wrote:

      its so freaking simple tho, remove alliance and significantly lower guild member limit. even if mega alliance (de facto) still exist, it will be better content than current state
      It would be better not to take away allainces because small guilds need a system to group up, There really is no reason to remove alliances if they limit how many alliance members can enter a zone, If they capped alliance members in a zone @ 150 this would fix alot of problems, Also if you were in that alliance and you leave you have to wait say 5 days to join a new alliance and during that time you still "count" as still part of the allaince you left so guilds can't just drop alliance to beat the 150 cap then just rejoin there alliance, Yes they could make 2 alliances but they would have Friendly Fire and would make taking down a castle or hideout much harder with Friendly fire. This system would fix alot of problems. @Korn

      Also there isn't really ever 150 people from the same alliance in the same zone inless there is a fight going on so it wouldn't hurt anything not related to combat, Also for massing it could be done in two different hideouts in different zones because well you couldn't bring more then 150 to the fight anyways so the other people that can't get in the 1 fight could group in another zone with a hideout(Because well each guild can have up to 6 hideouts in different zones) and find another fight to take therefor createing more content.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Neef ().

    • Neef wrote:

      Ryl wrote:

      its so freaking simple tho, remove alliance and significantly lower guild member limit. even if mega alliance (de facto) still exist, it will be better content than current state
      It would be better not to take away allainces because small guilds need a system to group up, There really is no reason to remove alliances if they limit how many alliance members can enter a zone, If they capped alliance members in a zone @ 150 this would fix alot of problems, Also if you were in that alliance and you leave you have to wait say 5 days to join a new alliance and during that time you still "count" as still part of the allaince you left so guilds can't just drop alliance to beat the 150 cap then just rejoin there alliance, Yes they could make 2 alliances but they would have Friendly Fire and would make taking down a castle or hideout much harder with Friendly fire. This system would fix alot of problems. @Korn
      took me literally 1minute to figure that out, just make alliance max member limit same as guild limit
    • Ryl wrote:

      Neef wrote:

      Ryl wrote:

      its so freaking simple tho, remove alliance and significantly lower guild member limit. even if mega alliance (de facto) still exist, it will be better content than current state
      It would be better not to take away allainces because small guilds need a system to group up, There really is no reason to remove alliances if they limit how many alliance members can enter a zone, If they capped alliance members in a zone @ 150 this would fix alot of problems, Also if you were in that alliance and you leave you have to wait say 5 days to join a new alliance and during that time you still "count" as still part of the allaince you left so guilds can't just drop alliance to beat the 150 cap then just rejoin there alliance, Yes they could make 2 alliances but they would have Friendly Fire and would make taking down a castle or hideout much harder with Friendly fire. This system would fix alot of problems. @Korn
      took me literally 1minute to figure that out, just make alliance max member limit same as guild limit
      Why though, Limiting the zone would work better overall then capping alliances