Attacking Hideouts and Objectives in the Outlands needs to be less predictable.

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    • Attacking Hideouts and Objectives in the Outlands needs to be less predictable.

      People are naturally going to do what will benefit them the most with the least amount of effort. Unfortunately, Albion has a lot of systems (or, lack of) that makes this exceptionally easy.

      The Queen update and the remake of the Outlands was meant to do two things:
      1) Give big guilds a reason to stay far, deep in the outlands and fight each other for superior resources and more season points.
      2) Give small guilds a way to exist in these zones and give more players access to safety without territories.
      3) Remove the importance of Territories as a necessary step to existing in the outlands and thus try to spread the end-game from more than a handful of GvG teams funded by thousands of other players by pushing everything towards ZvZ where both numbers and skill mattered.

      What happened is the oppose and it basically just made it easier for these massive guilds to cease and hold all power and completely crush the little guys. The problem isn't that smaller guilds don't have the power to make a difference, it's that they have basically no opportunity to without facing the full brunt of an entire alliance.

      Hideouts aren't a bad thing, but they were handled poorly. There was no limit to how many could be in one alliance, and permissions were set up the same as anywhere else. This allowed the NAPs to get worse, because you could easily give access to a specific guild or even player; so discord channels started to thrive just making deals not to attack each other and make it easier for them all to gain power.

      The first step is to eliminate the way this happens and also give back an incentive to become an official alliance: by limiting Hideout permissions to be only Alliance or Public with no in-between. This means players can still create open friendly spaces for profit if they choose, but you cannot for instance give a reason for people to set up so only certain guilds outside of your alliance can enter your hideouts and so forth. This will drastically cut down on the ability for NAPs to be upheld, and also gives back a reason for official alliances to exist again. Obviously if Alliances want to avoid Disarray (which, at the end of this whole post, might not even need to be a thing anymore), they will have to do more than just have multiple guilds that are clearly all working together as unless they are in the same alliance they will not have direct easy access to the same territories. The second step of Hideouts is to limit them per alliance and not per guild, preventing massive spamming for absolute bubble safety and bring some danger back to the overworld.

      A final addition that would help is that anybody's nameplate outside of your guild/alliance/group could be invisible so nobody knows who is who, and the only indicators being their guild's crest... which would become very confusing after a while. Even if you changed your guild's logo to look like another, you'd run into enemies doing the same and blending in until the time is right to cause chaos.

      The other suggested change is the biggest: the main reason why there's so much safety in numbers right now is because launching actual attacks on massive alliances isn't possible for small groups or even other mega alliances. The way things are set up now, territories and the hideouts within them are only vulnerable to attack during the region's Battle Time. The zones are them staggered into blocks of several hours and not only does this allow most guilds to just stagger the territories they own, but it brings massive safety when they can have the surrounding invulnerable zones as backup.

      A solution to this that solves it for basically everybody is to make all territories/castles/outposts/hideouts an Alliance controls become vulnerable at the same time. Basically if you have a hideout in a zone with a battle time between 12:00 to 16:00, and another Hideout in a zone next to it with a battle time of 16-20, both hideouts (and other attackable/capturable objectives) would be attackable from 12-20. With such a change, obviously the actual battle timer durations and the times between each zone would have to be changed, and the best way to do this is to make sure that each zone and the zones near them are all different so you can't just capture all the zones in the same battle timer and be in complete safety: you would have to travel through non-safe territory in order to get to their objectives.

      This would actually do a service to the alliances actually looking for content: they now were more vulnerable to attack more often from more angles and less predictably. There's so much more dynamic to capturing territory now and this would keep numbers and resources naturally in-check for these guilds, as if they expand too much they wouldn't be able to defend what they had; but if they kept to relative safety in smaller territories they could easily outgrow it and lead to stagnation and starvation for members looking for content/resources/fame which would lead to exodus from major guilds. This would mean that big alliances could constantly be at war, exchanging blows all of the time, winning battles through sheer numbers or resource caches they have stocked up; but also give the smaller guilds a chance to go on the offensive at the risk they open themselves up for more attacks as well. Guilds with little interest in the politics and massive war would still have just their one or two vulnerable periods, but massive guilds with thousands of members would need to actually delegate where to go and when to defend their claims. This means more content, more often, at less predictable outcomes, against all manner of opponents new and old; and would lead to massive shakeups in the political landscape.

      With these changes, there would need to be more incentive for alliances to attack each other. Season points? Sure, but I think it's time to open up another potential reason: breaking down an opponents Hideout could lead to more rewards... such as the items and resources inside. Basically, once a hideout is destroyed, a random percentage of the items inside from every player, building, and market inside of it would drop on the overworld inside the, "ruins". The percentage would hit higher thresholds depending on the size of your alliance. If it's a single guild, it's practically nothing: most items would be shipped back as per usual. A smaller alliance with multiple hideouts and a few hundred members would see bigger losses, but at a relatively obtainable ratio at some point your Alliance would reach the point where virtually all items strapped inside are dropped. When things are dropped, the items would be in one massive pool of multiple tabs (randomly, of course), and would be free game for attackers and defenders. Defenders could still potentially grab their stash and run *which should be the default and only option until their own stash is cleared), and attackers would start filling up inventories and trying to cart it back to their new home... which could be the target of a next massive attack. For the attacking party, I would imagine they would have to perform an animation to, "excavate" the ruins which would open up somebody's tab from inside for them to rummage through and then have an option to, "abandon" the rest in one click (which, in my opinion, should lead to the loot being open to everybody). The loot being only accessible by these two parties should be on a timer, that after a while would expire and become open for anybody to get into.

      Big war happening, massive clan about to lose it's hideout and everybody is talking about it? You could go out there as a lone wolf and hope to pick off somebody trying to flee with their important goods before the collapse or even a winner trying to transport their illicit gains back home. Suddenly there's a legitimate reason for big alliances to be attacking bigger alliances to obtain massive caches of resources, and busting down hideouts could lead to massive unexpected rewards. This, again, all leads into more content for everybody and potential jackpots for those looking, even if it's just a small group of people that want to take advantage of a large war to vulture and escape. With these steps, we've fundamentally solved all of the current issues in Albion in regards to the Black Zones: we've drastically cut down on hideout cheese, gave groups a reason to form back up officially, curbstomped NAPs in a multitude of ways, opened up more chances for alliances to be attacked as they grow, added all the content back to the black zones and then some, and gave large groups reasons to attack other large groups (which plenty of counter play from a variety of angles).