Limiting Alliances to Guild size - Test starting February 26th

  • Limiting Alliances to Guild size - Test starting February 26th

    Dear players,

    On January 20th, we released Queen, our biggest update to date. It has also been our most successful. Since its release, player numbers have grown by more than 40%, and for the first time since our free to play launch, we have recently surpassed 350,000 monthly active players.

    At the core of the update was the new Outlands continent alongside significant changes to territory mechanics. Guilds can now establish their own bases - called hideouts - in the Outlands and territory conquest is now decided through open world conflict as opposed to a very limited 5 vs 5 system. This in principle allows everyone to establish a presence in the Outlands and take an active role in the conflict over the land and its resources.

    There was one risk that we anticipated in changing territory conquest to an open world system. Strength in numbers would become more important. To combat that, we introduced a zerg debuff based on group size - called Disarray. This has definitely helped to close the power gap between small and large groups. On top of that, we also made sure that travel distance matters more with the Queen update in order to reduce the power projection of strong alliances. While the best groups would always be powerful in certain parts of the game world, we did not want them to easily project that power to any location that they like.

    We said prior to the Queen update that a few weeks after its launch, we would take a step back and evaluate how all of the implemented features worked out in practice. In general, we are very happy with the outcome.

    However, one thing that we are unhappy with is that large alliances are still too dominant overall. This creates a lot of pressure on smaller groups to also join a large alliance, which in turn causes the game world to split into a few very large power blocks. This raises the barrier to entry for smaller and more casual guilds, while at the same time carrying the risk of effectively “pacifying” large parts of the Outlands leading to stale gameplay.

    After extensive discussion with the community - and a very active poll in which 80% of the players voted for the removal of alliances altogether - we have decided to shake things up.

    Important: As the following is quite a drastic change with an uncertain outcome, we will conduct it as a test. This means that once it goes live, we will monitor its effects closely and actively collect your feedback. Based on that, we’ll decide on whether to keep, reverse or adapt the new system.

    Here it is:
    From February 26th onwards, the maximum number of players who can be part of an alliance will be capped to 300. This is identical to the maximum number of players allowed in a single guild right now, hence it still allows smaller casual guilds to form an alliance just as before while achieving the goal of breaking up the current power blocks.

    To encourage these more casual alliances, we will also turn off points sharing between guilds in the same alliances such that there is no longer a downside in accepting a weaker guild into your alliance if you’d like to join forces with them. To account for the fact that average zerg sizes are likely to decrease, we’ll also change the disarray debuff in such a way that it has a stronger impact for medium sized zergs.

    It is our expectation that the existing in-game alliances will adapt to the new system and continue to exist through informal non-aggression pacts. However, we hope that these informal alliances are less powerful and less stable than what we have right now, leading to more action and tension overall and allowing newer groups to have an impact.

    As stated above, for now, we see this as a test. We are consciously doing this change before the next invasion day (February 29th) to immediately observe the effects and we expect that we’ll be able to give a first assessment of the impacts about 2 weeks after the change has gone live. Based on that impact and on the community’s feedback, we will decide on whether to keep, adjust or reverse the change.


    Looking forward to your thoughts and feedback,

    Robin 'Eltharyon' Henkys
    Game Director


    PS.: In order for existing guilds and alliances to be able to prepare for this change, here’s a detailed breakdown of how we intend to implement this change.
    1. On February 26th, existing Alliances will lose all member guilds except the founding guild (which by default puts the Alliance below 300 members).
    2. No guild can be invited or accept an invitation to an Alliance if that would bring the total number of characters in the Alliance to more than 300.
    3. No player can be invited, accept an invitation or be accepted to join a guild if this would increase the total number of characters in an Alliance to over 300 players
    4. Season Points will no longer be shared within alliances.
    Please note that the details of the implementation are still in development and may change until February 26th.


    Edit:

    This announcement has been replaced with an updated announcement:

    https://forum.albiononline.com/index.php/Thread/124568-Adjustment-to-the-Alliance-Cap-Test-on-February-26th/
  • The coordination of NAPs between the top ZvZ guilds will not stop, a guild like Blue Army can pull 200 people alone into a ZvZ, people are delusional if they think this will balance the game and stop monopolization via hand-holding.

    This is a mistake. Hardcore groups are highly organized and disciplined, it's not going to be 300 normal casual/semi-hardcore players that will stand a chance on their own, it'll be easier to take them down in fact. Extremely disappointing approach from the devs on my view, but we'll see.


    Now I have to kick the new players out of my guild and the non-dedicated ZvZ players just because this will add insane pressure to optimize the ZvZ setup within this single-guild.
    How short-sighted is this SBI? This literally means that ONLY players who are dedicated to ZvZ have a decent chance of being allowed on guilds that own territories and/or good hideouts. I absolutely hate this change.

    The post was edited 9 times, last by TheBacon ().

  • @TheBacon

    dude you have a 2600 man alliance (bacons) coordinating with a 700 man alliance (Surf) AND another 700 man alliance (newby) against a 300 man guild (sun).

    I am pretty sure it will have a effect on your collaboration, and im more than sure that it has a effect for the 300 man guild that your combined forces is fighting.

    You might be right and it changes nothing, but as the one representing the solo guild (me), i am incredibly happy to at least have increased chances in fighting your giant nutcup
  • Derrick wrote:

    Not a good change. Organised entities will work around this change and those less organised alliances and guilds will be screwed.

    Imagine implementing this mid-season. Ridiculous.
    I have to agree with Derrick which kills me. Just because big streamers like lewpac and jonahveil are for it.... doing this mid season is just stupid. This isn't a minor change. This is a changing the game entirely. Absolutely moronic.
  • Sinatra.SUN wrote:

    @TheBacon

    dude you have a 2600 man alliance (bacons) coordinating with a 700 man alliance (Surf) AND another 700 man alliance (newby) against a 300 man guild (sun).

    I am pretty sure it will have a effect on your collaboration, and im more than sure that it has a effect for the 300 man guild that your combined forces is fighting.

    You might be right and it changes nothing, but as the one representing the solo guild (me), i am incredibly happy to at least have increased chances in fighting your giant nutcup
    If 2 or 3 300 player guilds coordinate against this single 300 player guild you have the SAME outcome.

    There is no real balance, this is a mistake. Hand holding will always bypass caps, as it always did, on this game, on EvE online, etc....
  • One extreme to the other extreme.

    I think the 1000 player number we always voted for was perfect.

    This change literally means you gave top ZvZ guilds the excuse to drop alliance and NAP to avoid the debuff issue, and all those newer alliances who banded together to stay alive will get punished even more.

    Just seems like you clicked the panic button after looking at a Reddit vote.
    You can't explain chess moves to Pokémon GO players