Personal opinion on Post-Queen game state

    • Personal opinion on Post-Queen game state

      Hi guys, it’s been some time since my last post and almost a year since this one where I commented on topics related to alliances, content and game development future trying to make a positive impact on the roadmap to make the game a better product.

      Overall, I am very very satisfied with the progress SBI made over the last year in areas of performance, game balance and new content development. Population is higher than ever and I am happy that developers are finally reviewing old existing content and trying to bring it back to life. Yet the number one topic discussed between players are unofficial NAPs. While fighting mega alliances is on spot and the game benefits a lot with many smaller hostile entities being pvp enabled, today NAPs feel too strong, are used to abuse limitations.

      With this said I believe the need and benefits to cooperate as unofficial NAP are little bit over present and while we must have mechanics in place to limit mega alliances we cannot simply provide too much elasticity to create unofficial alliances that we cannot limit or control at all. With this post, I hope to help developers understand few things and present little bit different point of view, proposal of few changes that implemented together could replace today’s solutions that many see as negative, even though those mechanics are meant to fix very important problems which were covered in previous posts and year long discussions between players and developers.

      In the past months I did play all the possible scales and types of open world PvP, from solo ganking, through small scale as lonely 15 players guild facing mega alliances domination and ending up in 500 men NAP dominating other smaller guilds and running a war which forced us to fight in zone lock wars. Thanks to this varied experience I believe I’ve seen myself few different points of view and how the game plays out after Queen patch.


      In few words, based on my personal experience and observations, the current game state is as below:


      1. Best Guilds abuse alliance limitations (hard caps, season points sharing)
      2. Best Guilds abuse zerg debuff
      3. Cluster queue destroys zvz experience and composition, in the end making ZvZ much less fun than it was before
      4. Smaller, but quality armies struggle to defeat bigger armies and it is much easier to win by numbers or by regearing in nearby outpost and continue to flood regardless of K:D
      5. Unofficial NAPs are too easy to create, they can act as regular alliances only because you can easily set access to your hideouts and establish too many regear bases in the outlands which increases NAPs power projection

      Unfortunately this means we are still not yet in a place where players are satisfied with the state of ZvZ and it requires further adjustments, tests or changes, especially that we replaced GvG system with ZvZ, which means it is more important than ever to keep it fun and fair for everyone, both new smaller guilds and the best guilds competing for crystal rank.


      Now important remark:
      Below is only my personal opinion on how ZvZ has changed over time and how I felt playing it before Queen and how it plays out now. Remember that these are only observations and personal experience of a single person, but I always try listen to my guildmates, also I am active redditor that follows hot topics everyday and been actively participating in the game development discussions since the release. As always I did my best to write something in a very detailed way as in my eyes it is only possibility to provide a constructive feedback and express my thoughts/ideas. I always try to describe the problems and suggest solutions that would benefit everyone’s gameplay not my guild or myself. This post is meant to be read by developers and be a field of discussion when planning further changes/roadmap.

      Pre-Queen game state:

      Before we had all the new map, cluster queue, zerg disarray there were two major problems with zvz:

      1. Easy power projection which basically armies to travel and dominate the whole game
      2. Zerg N+1 Problem


      Besides that, there was also minor balance issue - one shooting meta, which was nerfed with HP buff and later disarray. Of course there’s more to talk about but it doesn’t really matter so we can just basically stop at naming those two major problems that were supposed to be fixed with Queen patch.


      After Queen game state:
      After the new map has been implemented things changed, as there were multiple changes at once it is hard to determine which helped to diminish old problems and which created new problems. Even though it's hard to separate all of the changes and assess their impact, I will try to do so, this is going to be split into 4 chapters where I gave my feedback and suggested possible solution to shown problems:
      1. Dmg vs HP pool vs Heal balance
      2. Zerg disarray
      3. Smart cluster queue
      4. Hideout permission system

      The post was edited 3 times, last by glokz ().

    • Dmg vs HP pool vs Heal balance


      Nimue Patch 7, AKA the Nimue Balance Patch, is here. While the patch includes a broad range of updates and fixes to weapons and armor, the most noteworthy changes are those to overall Hitpoints, Energy, and Movement Speed:
      • The Hitpoint pool has been increased by 20% across the board to increase the time needed to kill an enemy. Along with other adjustments, this should prevent one-shot builds.
      • To complement the higher Hitpoint pool, the overall Energy pool has also been raised by 20%.
      Movement speed has also been increased, which will make combat more fluid. It will also allow faster travel across zones, improving the overall game feel


      I remember playing zvz before this change and after, before we had zerg disarray. After implementing zerg disarray the game dynamic does not feel right and overall zvz experience suffers from this change to the point where it actually supports forming of larger armies in form of unofficial nap.

      This change failed to diminish bomb squad roles in ZvZ as it is still possible when your bomb squad runs outside of your alliance or you use smaller guild to play as bomb squad flank.

      It’s major impact however is to SUPPORTS mega alliance model. The higher HP pool is, there is the lesser possibility to quickly punish enemy zerg/flank for bad positioning denies SPARTAN-like victories where smaller zerg could successfully defend the choke and defend themselves if played really well.

      Additionally it negatively impacts heal capacity vs HP pool balance which is now bigger problem than ever with disarray changes.
      The need for healers is greater than ever, the game lacks proper alternatives to build ZvZ composition and somehow most people don't enjoy playing healers, which is overall lowering ZvZ QoL/satisfaction from playing the game that way. In other words, we need more healers than ever while it was always a problem to get a decent number of healers in your zerg.

      As the overall weapon balance is developed based on this change, I doubt it can be easily changed but it is required to remember about this one when we talk about disarray.

      Things that require insight:

      If zerg disarray is decided to stay in the game, overall HP pool should be lowered back allowing punishing enemy for mistakes and not allowing much larger armies to brainlessly flooding their enemy. The attack disarray combined with huge HP pool means flooding enemy is easier than ever. Battles like This with 1:2 ratio are no longer possible even with zerg disarray as you can't quickly catch enemies off guard and wipe their stack as smaller army and give yourself a chance. Reason behind it simple, the debuff difference between 50 and 100 players is way way too low and as the kills don’t come easy, bigger army has much more time to find a way to flood enemy as they can’t punish them without being counter attacked.

      If HP is lowered we go back into one hit wombo combo, solution to that would be lowering maximum DMG multiplier. Which means items like royal hood, sandals or arcane buff shouldn't be allowed together. It would be fine if it was for royal hood + royal sandals OR arcane. With lower HP or disarray removal it would be still possible to punish enemies for bad positioning and nuking them with meteor or galatine pair, but it would not neglect non-buffed dps, so something we call ‘main zerg’ to easily wipe stacks and add little bit more dynamic to the zvz experience making it feels better or actually, making it feel as it used to be before that change.

      So to sum up this change together with zerg disarray caused us to three issues:
      • Bomb squads deal too much dmg due to maximum dmg multiplier
      • Larger armies have now easier times flooding outnumbered enemy
      • Healers are not scaling accordingly with the size of battle playing too important role vs the satisfaction that comes out of playing healer
      If zerg disarray is removed, flank guilds that run outside of main ally wouldn’t be able to abuse it and both heal and attack penalty would be removed making ZvZ experience closer to what we had before Nimue change. The only thing left to do would be lower the multiplier to ensure zergs aren’t wiped too easily by 3-5 men but it should be possible to punish enemies for bad position with main zerg push (so when shotcaller calls the whole zerg usually without arcane buffs)

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

    • Zerg disarray

      With the upcoming standalone season, we will introduce Disarray, a Zerg Debuff mechanic. The idea here is to create a trade-off for bringing massive amounts of players. This way we want to encourage players to have more fights with smaller and better organized groups, instead of over-emphasising the sheer amount of players alone.

      Debuff Thresholds

      The strength of the debuff depends on the number of allies you have, starting at a very low value, and growing stronger the more allies there are.
      • The Debuff starts at 25 players
      • every 5 additional players the bonus defense vs players is reduced by 1%, while also reducing the bonus damage by the same effective value
      • So, if two zergs of the same size fight each other, the damage and defense reduction should cancel each other out.
      While we know that this system can be circumvented by breaking alliance / guild, this tradeoff makes the system act as a disincentive to simply mindlessly bringing more players and forces guild commanders to think about the effectiveness of their army. But if you split your forces like this to avoid the effect, you’ll have to deal with the organisational overhead and friendly fire between the fighting groups.


      By implementing this mechanic largest alliances did not even hesitate to divide into few instances and still act as one cooperating mega alliance with the only difference of friendly fire, but completely abusing the territory limitations and points sharing.

      It is simply the way to go for those who dominate and those small guilds who completely don’t stand a chance to find content in their tier level, so in fact, this mechanic completely does not help contenders, and smaller guilds.
      While with every update of zerg array matrix, it makes more sense to stay in one alliance but still it hasn’t resolved Zerg N+1 problem. Numbers are still everything, within one alliance or within a NAP, it simply does not matter.

      However, guilds that stay in large alliances and comply with alliance limitations (territory limit, season points sharing) are on losing side against those who run with <25 men bomb squads that do not have any attack debuff and can wipe stacks as it was in pre-queen state of the game while abusing territory limits and owning too much portion of world's area. Small guilds have no choice but to join NAP or mega alliances although the overall entry floor has been lowered a LOT compared to pre-queen state which ensures this is the right direction and only needs further adjustments.

      As quoted in the first announcement of Zerg Disarray, we completely lost the reason behind it. We lost dynamic of the ZvZ battles as the zerg debuff does not cancel each out, the defense has been removed from equation which means the more numbers both sides have, the lesser dynamic of ZvZ is and in the end - supporting larger armies as they can take time to find their way to flood enemy and wait until they run out of heal.


      In short words Zerg disarray failed to achieve its major roles:
      1. Enable smaller zergs to compete for objectives
      2. Solve Zerg N+1 problem
      3. Reward quality(skill*zerg avg IP) vs numbers


      Things that require insight:

      As a person who spent a lot of time lobbying against mega alliances and have been a regular ZvZ player for over two years now, I believe zerg disarray harms ZvZ experience even though it is supposed to limit mega alliances and diminish zerg N+1 problem. I was always against it and after weeks of testing I still believe it should be simply removed. Albion never needed any gameplay mechanic changes to limit mega alliances and I’ve always seen it as wrong way to go. ZvZ was much more exciting before, even though we had much smaller pvp population and overall there was less action!

      Removing zerg debuff would completely destroy the need to divide large alliances to fight with friendly fire, so encourage people to create smaller alliances again. We would still have the problem of zerg N+1, but this should be solved by soft territory cap that is described in cluster queue chapter of this post. The possibility to remove Zerg Debuff is now possible as the power projection was quite heavily limited thanks to the months of development and the new map, something that could never be done before Queen.

      If zerg disarray is here to stay, numbers must be reviewed, overall zerg damage vs bomb squad dmg vs HP pool vs heal capacity must be balanced.

      Couple alternative solutions to the linear zerg debuff:

      Averaged disarray: once two or more alliances enable disarray - every other player/party/guild in the map should have averaged disarray value. Which means your disarray equals to YOUR disarray + Avg disarray on the map / 2. Which means if you have 0 and there are two parties with 20 and 40% , you have 15% disarray even with having only 1-25 people. That would ensure small bomb squads can’t simply wipe everyone else and abuse those who COMPLY with limitations. This is better than current system as it benefits regular alliances that are not overexpanding the continent giving the space for smaller guilds.

      Another alternative would be much much harder to implement, because disarray would have to be calculated on the fly, which means your disarray is compared with enemy disarray and then the calculations are fired to calculate dmg/heal dealt. It would have to be elastic which means it does not solely base on the size of YOUR army, but on the difference between your army and other players in the zone, so that would match the original purpose of this mechanic. There should be huge difference if 20 people attack 40 and if 40 attacks 60 and if 40 attacks 120. That would enable some smaller guilds to compete against bigger ones for objectives like outposts, but let’s be honest - it will end up being only abused by the best bomb squad guilds and nobody else will benefit from it over current model.

      Thus, in my opinion the only possibility to solve current problems is to remove disarray completely or implement some more sophisticated ‘averaging’ solutions that are not fixed but depend on the situation, benefiting those who comply with alliance regulations which then can be used to limit alliance sizes and how they can expand. It’s like with drugs, if you keep it illegal and you deny the problem - you have no way to make the situation better. For this reason I believe territory limitations and points sharing is enough mechanic to destroy mega alliances and let everyone else use alliance system that is now regulated.

      That leaves us with Zerg N+1 problem which should be slightly diminished by “dumb cluster queue”.
    • Smart cluster queue replaced with soft zone lock, the dumb queue


      Smart Cluster Queue

      When a yellow, red, or black zone is overcrowded, players now queue to enter. This queue assesses guild, alliance, and strength, and lets in players from various teams as evenly as possible to prevent zone-locking and ensure fair fights. Guilds can assign preferred access to certain members via the Guild Rights Management interface.

      Cluster queue is a single worst mechanic in the game, hated by hundreds if not thousands of players. Actually I have never heard anything positive about the queue, so I will not be afraid to call it being a cancer mechanic. Myself, after my previous guild was disbanded I decided to join 7 players guild instead of following my colleagues who decided to fight at highest competitive level just because of simple reason - to avoid zone lock wars and stay out of mega NAPs. Still as the game did not offer any satisfying content, we had to find our own nap, but we hoped to keep it relatively small (<500 players), however the zone lock war came to me anyway and I had to experience this cancerous mechanic myself.

      The only reason behind smart cluster queue was to solve zerg N+1 problem, but it failed hard. I don’t see any possibility to fix cluster queue. We could spend hours to discuss how this could be better, but this is heading a wrong way anyway.

      Zone locking is a problem, it needs to be diminished, it is already diminished by lowering power projection and size of alliances and these mechanics are successful of further diminishing it’s meaning. Smart cluster queue usually steals time from players, in the end allowing big fights to happen, but those are very low quality, people are unhappy, much time is wasted on waiting, there’s one big chaos happening and it is not as satisfying as anyone imagined it would. As ex-KFC player I died hundreds times being flooded, zone locked and I had more fun back then than now having to struggle with the queue mechanics. You should either blue ball or fight, simple.

      Things that require insight:

      If cluster queue is removed, nothing would stop mega alliances like ARCH to zone lock the map with >50% zone capacity or even >90% zone capacity and get objectives for free, this is true and smart cluster queue can’t be simply removed without being replaced by something that is little bit less effective but much simpler and this way easier.

      Solution to that would be previously proposed simple soft cap on zones. Together with existing alliance limitations, soft zone cap should not allow single allied entity to cap more than 50% of the zone which would diminish zerg N+1 problem to minimum. If alliances are split too much to abuse that, we can simply make the number higher - 60%, 70%.

      It is a mechanic that enables us to balance between unofficial NAPs with friendly fire vs official alliances that comply with regulations. Whenever one feels too powerful, the soft cap can be altered to be higher or lower. If you want to limit mega alliances impact, lower the cap. If you believe unofficial NAPs are too powerful vs regular alliances - let them grow little bigger and pump up the numbers. This must come together with zerg debuff removal or it simply won’t make a difference.

      This is not a perfect solution but it’s been almost a year since I proposed that for the first time and I still haven’t been proved that there is single better solution to that. We can’t make the game balance that would let 50 players easily beat 200, but implementing mechanics that still fail to do so and being cancer for everyone else is much much worse solution.

      Please prove me wrong or provide better solution. If unofficial NAPS do not react to that change and still abuse alliance limitations - number could be up to 60%, 70% until it is completely pointless to want friendly fire over official alliance that complies with limitations. Objective is to ensure there is SKILL TIER in the game and newer, weaker guilds can find content, not having to always fight biggest and best beta players armies in the game, nothing more, nothing less. Blue ball is always an option while cluster queue leaves hope to find a fair fight, but at cost of LOTS OF TIME per CTA, making it harder for everyone to attend twice a day.

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

    • Hideout access

      It is also topic that I tried to spread across the community and I can see few people had the same idea or followed up on that.

      Basically what made NAPs so strong is the ability to flood the world map with hideouts and have starting base that gives you advantage over your enemy, while abusing zerg disarray, cluster queue hideout and territory limitations.

      Hideouts should be limited per alliance, per guild, per map. Access to hideouts should 0/1. Either it’s public giving access to everyone or private which means your alliance only.

      This setting should have cooldown to disable abuse, let’s say you could change it only once per week. This way we would still support beautiful idea of ‘tesco’ shops in the outlands, which I believe Bogul tried to create. This way we would diminish power projection of unofficial NAPs hard. If regular alliances are overgrown too much, we could lower limit of available hideouts. I believe alliance balance should make sense anywhere below 1k-1.5k players in terms of current population.

      We must ensure, the crystal rank is fought for not granted because of territory split like mafia is splitting their territories to maximize profit without unnecessary wars. Map is huge, largest alliances took their own time zones and control over territories and do not seem to follow up on the conflicts. Today, the leader of one of the largest MEGA NAPS, announced that once the former dominant guild is destroyed, he does not intend to fight with other guilds for the center of Avalon, they want to kill the content once again by expanding their NAP across few separate alliances (remember times when PoE napped with MG and there was almost 0 gvgs played per day?). This is happening again, but now it’s ZvZ that gives you the power, income and control. Once you are too powerful, you get all the rewards for free without a single fight. Perfect potato farm - make income without any effort.

      This said, hideouts system makes it possible to run 2k+ players Mega NAPS which is harmful to the game and to the competitiveness at the highest levels but also lower levels. Just to clarify - my own NAP is also abusing this mechanic but there is currently no other way to play the game. We are forced to play the cards we are given, but in my opinion we could live without it, having much harder times to defend and control our zones but with more effort we could still do it or form together a small regular alliance and comply with limitations, so the way as it should be.
    • Summary
      What else can be done? As above changes would again make people officially form mega alliances I believe limiting the reach and in the end 'what you can own' is the way to go. It create tiers, leaves space for new players, weaker guilds and makes the game much better. The new changes making map giving more season points as you are closer in the middle of avalon which is great idea to boost competitiveness in the game, but itself isnt enough to disable possibilities for potato farms which might destroy season 9 experience.

      So whenever mega alliances emerge, just lower the CAP of owned territories, castles etc. If they divide to abuse limitations and act as friendly fire group, without cluster queue and friendly fire on, reviewed HP pool vs Zerg DMG(and dmg multiplier nerf) - they will struggle to flood enemies if divided. At least ZvZ experience would be back to feel much better than it is today, rewarding skilled players not numbers, increasing number of overall conflicts and ensuring there’s space for everyone.

      Thanks anyone who went through this wall of text, those who are supporting such initiatives and others who provide constructive criticism which I am always opened to. This is only meant to be a field of discussion for developers, who have my trust and I know they are able to make the open world pvp better than we had before and than we have now.

      I encourage everyone to share their personal opinions, commenting on topics I touched in this post,


      Good luck SBI!

      Thanks,
      glokz

    • I'dnt touch current state of bomb squads. People cant oneshot alone anymore, it now requires at least 2 weepings/galatines/brimstones or w/e else with 2 beamers to oneshot ( if u dont avoid disarray debuff). It requires a lot of teamplay with ur teammates (other bombers and beamers) and such teamwork should be more rewarding than just pressing E by 4 dps. It creates potential for smaller groups to counter those big zergs.
      The problem remains only in current alliance debuff abusing. The debuff after people dropped alliances in game started working the opposite of desired - now its even more boosting bigger alliances, cause they HAD to drop alliance due to huge scaling of the debuff later on. This way big solo guilds fighting few guilds cooperating together has even bigger disadvantage than before. Its really curious and I dont see any possible solutions to discourage people from handholding, so the only way to go and dont nerf solo guilds to the ground is removing disarray and let it go.
    • i still believe that nothing will save this game if they keep doing minor changes, a complete combat rework is what this game needs.
      1. Friendly Fire outside party.
      2. Drop crossplatform, focus on PC.
      3. Slow paced to medium paced combat.
      Friendly fire will end completly the zerging, it will be suicide strategy.
      Drop mobile for the sake of your game, you're slowing down the progress wasting resources and balancing the game around it.
      IF point 2 is done, then you can add more speed to the combat, making skill even more noticable instead of numbers, fast paced like LoL or Battlerite is impossible to balance between low ping and high ping players, it could be get with more MS speed and i-frames.


      i'm not a game director or balance lead, im just looking what other games like albion tried to solve the problem or didn't have it at all.
    • Really good post, some points that I agree with,

      1) completely remove disarray - 100% this! its a complete failure, all it has done is allow the huge mega alliances to split forces, run bomb squads out of alliance and exploit the debuff, meaning the very mechanic that was made to nerf mega alliances from bringing numbers, has actually done the opposite and made them stronger, particularly when fighting smaller guilds/alliances that are not of a size where they can effectively split into multiple alliances and exploit the game without becoming disconnected from eachother. I will use my own alliance as an example, we at very most can mass 100 on a dam good weekend day, of which 50% of that is made up of sub 10m fame new players, its not practical for us to split our alliance because we just are not big enough, and value being together for other content other than making the game revolve around ZvZ, but POE comes to fight us with 200 players almost daily, we run at a BIGGER debuff than they do, because they are split up into smaller forces exploiting the mechanic, with there bomb squads at 0% debuff. this cannot be what was intended when the debuff was made, and its a really big failure that is killing the game for those that do not want to become part of the problem and join a mega alliance, those of us that value good fights and good content over zerging everthing down and spamming bm in local chat like it was some great victory.

      2) Remove access for everyone but the owning alliance to hideouts, this would be really good, having 2 options only public, or alliance/guild. it would make it much harder for some groups to travel long distances and fight in areas that they would not normally, as they don't have hideouts and re-gears would be tough, forcing them to drop hideouts of there own, which would also force them to have CTA's all over the map to keep those hideouts safe each day. this on its own wouldn't solve much wrong with the game, but it could definitely be part of the solution combined with other mechanics.
    • Midov wrote:

      tl;dr
      We cannot push further the way how alliances/guilds fight for territory ownership, we must focus on how to limit their reach without harming experience, QoL and fun the game provides. The mechanics implemented with Queen have lost the original purpose or have been proven not to work as intended. While the map is quite good which helped a lot diminishing power projection. I have proposed changes that would make ZvZ experience better while giving ways to control how big alliances can grow in terms, what they can own not how big can they grow. If you want 300 players defending 2 territories in a minor zone, go ahead, nobody will contest that the world is big. But if top alliances own too much and are overgrown, you just use a magic handle and lower the maximum limits on territory ownership.


      Hollywoodi wrote:

      It has been proposed 100 times

      1) friendly fire outside groups
      2) no guild alliance name tag in ZvZ
      3) hideout max 5 per guild. Hideout either public or guild only
      4) season points just generate if in area activities gathering / fame farming etc feed mages
      5) hg wins give season points
      Yes it has, but as we have a new season and new content update ahead I believe it is a good time to conclude all what we've been talking about in reddit comments or many threads across the forum. I tried to put everything into one single place which creates the whole picture and is easier to take the discussion somewhere further than reddit comments.


      KickinMACHINE wrote:

      I'dnt touch current state of bomb squads. People cant oneshot alone anymore, it now requires at least 2 weepings/galatines/brimstones or w/e else with 2 beamers to oneshot ( if u dont avoid disarray debuff). It requires a lot of teamplay with ur teammates (other bombers and beamers) and such teamwork should be more rewarding than just pressing E by 4 dps. It creates potential for smaller groups to counter those big zergs.
      The problem remains only in current alliance debuff abusing. The debuff after people dropped alliances in game started working the opposite of desired - now its even more boosting bigger alliances, cause they HAD to drop alliance due to huge scaling of the debuff later on. This way big solo guilds fighting few guilds cooperating together has even bigger disadvantage than before. Its really curious and I dont see any possible solutions to discourage people from handholding, so the only way to go and dont nerf solo guilds to the ground is removing disarray and let it go.
      That was the point, game felt OK after initial HP buff, but having debuff + HP buff together is pretty bad, also I think it would be better to decrease maximum multiplier. I also believe that if we ensured multiplier is lowered and DMG to HP pool ratio would be lowered, smaller guilds could again quickly stab large zergs that are way less coordinated and have easier times fighting overnumbering enemy. Even without debuff it's pretty hard to nuke enemies, IMO harder than it used to be months ago where clumping in choke was enough mistake to get wiped. Now it's less punishable and IMO it benefits larger armies as they can make more mistakes and in the end flood when given opportunity. Not even mentioning debuff lost 'defense' from equation which means we only decrease attack from both sides and it does not cancel itself, making battles less dynamic than they should be.

      Throatcutter wrote:

      2) Remove access for everyone but the owning alliance to hideouts, this would be really good, having 2 options only public, or alliance/guild. it would make it much harder for some groups to travel long distances and fight in areas that they would not normally, as they don't have hideouts and re-gears would be tough, forcing them to drop hideouts of there own, which would also force them to have CTA's all over the map to keep those hideouts safe each day. this on its own wouldn't solve much wrong with the game, but it could definitely be part of the solution combined with other mechanics.
      Yeah, limiting hideouts access you basically limit power projection of NAPs, but still well planned hideout system would allow your "regular alliance" to secure many territories in your time zone or across time zones your alliance plays. Well balanced limits should ensure we don't have mega alliances again as you would have limit on how many hideouts an alliance can have, in the end fully controlling its power projection to create appropriate tiers across the zones.

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

    • Well @glokz I think we often disagreed since beta, but I think here we can agree on one thing..

      If u look in the past, even SBI proposed friendly fire, and it is plain obvious on the table ..I summarize it to delimit power projections

      But since someone decided to stop gvg there was this wheelchair called disarray.

      And someone really defends it, as it is "his" baby.

      Everyone with RT access knows whom I talk.

      For a strange reason SBI always gets brave, shouts out "we go friendly fire", we delimit alliances, whatever..and then suddenly loose confidence...

      I think you are wasting your time, they will ride this dead horses cluster queue, disarray etc..instead of do a clean cut, say it did not work for 2 years

      Now the 5 things the community keeps telling them forever..

      And you should never forget what syndic told me once - A RT seat is roughly worth 50-100 mio per day.. because for syndic everything has a numeric value..
    • One of the biggest issues imo is that a lot of the solo active guilds can be fighting 2-4x the numbers of the enemy and have the biggest debuff. This actively punishes the active guilds while once again benefiting the mega alliances once more. This patch numbers matter more than ever and individual player skill less than ever
    • I don't want to talk about RT because I don't really care and I think few decisions like removing GvG means they seem to chase their own development plan rather than following up RT suggestions, otherwise it would never ever happen.

      If it comes to solo guilds and small guilds, well this problem is complex and it might be never possible to create enough tiers so even small guilds can hold their own terri without complex NAP's be within Alliance,

      But I believe some alliances aren't aiming for top ranks (gold/crystal), but they could provide at least silver rank for their guilds and together own some piece of the world, however current mechanics and territory ownership limits fail to support this model.

      Thus territories are more split than before Queen patch and overall more alliances have been formed up, but in the end it's not enough and further actions should be taken, the ones that I proposed or others that will achieve the same ultimate goal ;)
    • glokz wrote:

      In few words, based on my personal experience and observations, the current game state is as below:


      1. Best Guilds abuse alliance limitations (hard caps, season points sharing)
      2. Best Guilds abuse zerg debuff
      3. Cluster queue destroys zvz experience and composition, in the end making ZvZ much less fun than it was before
      4. Smaller, but quality armies struggle to defeat bigger armies and it is much easier to win by numbers or by regearing in nearby outpost and continue to flood regardless of K:D
      5. Unofficial NAPs are too easy to create, they can act as regular alliances only because you can easily set access to your hideouts and establish too many regear bases in the outlands which increases NAPs power projection

      Unfortunately this means we are still not yet in a place where players are satisfied with the state of ZvZ and it requires further adjustments, tests or changes, especially that we replaced GvG system with ZvZ, which means it is more important than ever to keep it fun and fair for everyone, both new smaller guilds and the best guilds competing for crystal rank.
      Thanks for the long post(s). If by best, you mean most successful in terms of season points, territory and objective control, then yes I agree with you on 1-5.

      I think most people will agree with the above current state of the game, the challenge is how best to make ZvZ and the game in general the most fun for everyone involved.

      The problem as I see it is that there's no clear and simple way for the game to identify who is handholding or working together in an unofficial coalition. Because of that, it's hard to implement solutions mean to limit N+1 as a dominant strategy when the game can't even recognize the correct N values for each coalition.

      I think disarray makes sense if the game could correctly identify N for each coalition but currently it can't and is being abused.

      Cluster Queue in theory is a better system than the old first-come-first-serve zone caps - but the way it's currently implemented make it a really poor ZvZ experience for everyone involved. I would almost rather see it removed completely, and then if coalitions want to secure objectives by parking 300 people in a zone multiple hours in advance, they can feel free to do that. I think it's much less of an issue now that castle objectives are not the best way to earn season points and there are more ways than ever to earn season points.
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    • Grimhawke-EB wrote:

      Thanks for the long post(s). If by best, you mean most successful in terms of season points, territory and objective control, then yes I agree with you on 1-5.
      I think most people will agree with the above current state of the game, the challenge is how best to make ZvZ and the game in general the most fun for everyone involved.

      The problem as I see it is that there's no clear and simple way for the game to identify who is handholding or working together in an unofficial coalition. Because of that, it's hard to implement solutions mean to limit N+1 as a dominant strategy when the game can't even recognize the correct N values for each coalition.

      I think disarray makes sense if the game could correctly identify N for each coalition but currently it can't and is being abused.

      Cluster Queue in theory is a better system than the old first-come-first-serve zone caps - but the way it's currently implemented make it a really poor ZvZ experience for everyone involved. I would almost rather see it removed completely, and then if coalitions want to secure objectives by parking 300 people in a zone multiple hours in advance, they can feel free to do that. I think it's much less of an issue now that castle objectives are not the best way to earn season points and there are more ways than ever to earn season points.
      Best guilds, means those which compete for high ranks (gold+) and territory ownership.

      My idea is to control mega alliances by what they can own giving advantage over unofficial NAPs in terms of combat, so that NAPs are unfavorable way of conquering Albion. And even solo guilds limit should be small enough that it does not ruin content for everyone.

      My original Idea was to limit territory to 6 per guild/alliance. But to do that you'd need to review the season points vs rank requirements to ensure guilds holding territories around center of the map can still get the rank etc. Quite an effort but IMO much better way than trying to complicate way how can you build empire.

      Cluster Queue? You mean it saves the time because you don't need to zone in before. Yeah, but with 'dumb cluster queue' you'd never be able to flood the zone with single ally or always be able to flood it with NAP. This is less complicated, saves time, doesn't solve the problem but it shouldn't be problem solution it should be just a mechanic that ensures one single alliance does not overgrow. If all of above would be implemented, running NAP to abuse soft cap would be much much less beneficial to NAPs as they are today with smart cluster queue, just think about it.

      So in other words, SBI mistake is that they try to make things harder but possible and everyone seems to manage to find a way anyway, which makes only very little impact instead of solving the problem.


      Hollywoodi wrote:

      There is a simple way to fix it

      1) no alliance
      2) friendly fire outside groups
      3) no name / guild tag in ZvZ
      4) hideout either public or guild only


      -done-
      1. Alliances are fine, mega alliances are harmful. Some guilds have different policies etc. but they benefit from cooperation and that's fine and easier to manage
      2. Big fights in Albion are unique in gaming industry and doing that would harm the game and it would lost population in a long run, however zone lock fights are not fun as well and we need actions
      3. I don't see how this could help
      4. Yeah, said that in January and I still think it's the way to go even though my guild benefits from this at this moment

      Anyway, you play the same game as SBI, you try to limit on HOW to get terries or HOW to alter Albion mechanics to discourage exploits. While my point is to limit on HOW MUCH you can get and still be winner of the game, leaving more space to everyone else and create as much content/skill tiers/ diversity as possible. I don't think we can really discourage people to stop massing more and more without breaking the core of the game like it's happening now.
    • I only want to comment on one thing and that is Cluster Qu system, Even though the cluster qu system is a pain in the ass to deal with it is much better then a guild zone locking the whole cluster and getting a free win, If the cluster que system is removed there will be nothing to stop guilds from zone locking for easy wins, So even though the cluster que system is a pain for lower IP players it is a much needed system to stop easy wins with pure numbers, If people believe this wouldn't happen anymore there wrong. Simply put currently there are too many fights that do cause the cluster que system to turn on so if it was removed it would go back to who ever gets the most numbers into the zone first will win everytime on top of that with hideouts being in the world now it will make zone locking much easier, Simply put cluster que might not be perfect but it is needed. Example: Zone is capped @ 200 players, Blue army brings 150 players, The guild that is attacking has 125 players but can only zone in 50 players to fight the 150 players, This will create a 50vs 150 fight and the side that can only zone in 50 will not want to fight because no way blue army backs off 100 players to fight even, Therefor this makes blue army get an easy win because the attacking guild cannot bring the numbers into the zone to fight on a somewhat fair terms. This was the problem before cluster que and will be a problem if it was removed. So again a much needed system even though its not perfect.

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