Faction Playtest Feedback

    • Faction Warfare

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    • Faction Playtest Feedback

      Hello! My ign is Ferellia and I have participated in both of the faction playtests (I was top 20 for bridgewatch in the first playtest, and I believe I was the top point earner if the names were sequential. This playtest went much worse for me personally, but I think I still managed to scrape top 10 for lymhurst this time). After playing both playtests I have to say that I've been generally enjoying the new faction rework but I have a lot of feedback on certain parts of it.

      For both playtests I primarily played with a small scale group in the red zones, occasionally dipping in the yellow zones for some brief cluster queue fun.

      I have 3 primary issues with the current state of things: capping availability, faction balance, and point clarity.

      The first one I believe is just a couple of bugs that need to be ironed out. There seem to be frequent times where either a zone does not get "backline" icon on the map that indicates it is uncappable (not really a huge deal since it's relatively easy to view the adjacencies by yourself). The bigger issue however is that occasionally at random zones adjacent to captured zones give the "not adjacent to captured zone" message when you try to cap them. There was a lot of confusion centered around this in my party as well as a bit in faction chat today. Some people thought that you couldn't capture a zone that had 0 stars, some people thought you needed to capture the outposts in a specific order, and some people thought there was some sort of internal cooldown on zone/outpost captures that wasn't being surfaced to players. It was either the same or different bug but during the playtest today Highbole Glen was 3 capped by Bridgewatch, owned by Fort Sterling, and the bar wouldn't finish filling for Bridgewatch. During that time Lymhurst tried to capture an outpost and was given the message that we couldn't capture that outpost (despite owning Hornbeam Wood the entire playtest). If there are additional capture requirements it's important that they're clear to players. If this is a bug I'm hopeful that it's sorted out by live release because it's highly disruptive to capture strategy when outposts/zones are seemingly randomly immune to capture.

      I didn't notice the faction balance issue the first playtest because there were no cheat stones and people didn't have the new Elite Faction mounts. But the new elite faction mounts are wildly imbalanced. I've attached a screenshot with all of the faction W abilities, ignoring Q and stats for now since the Ws are the only thing that are genuinely faction exclusive. Currently I think anyone that played around with the Lymhurst elite boar will recognize: the Lymhurst boar W is the worst faction dismount ability by a long shot. It is not just useless, it can actively harm your group. My big issue right now with the faction Ws is that they are inconsistent in their durations. Thetford + BW get an 8s long buff. Martlock and Caerleon get a buff if they stay in the area for UP TO 15s. Fort Sterling gets a 1.5s buff within a 15s window. And Lymhurst gets a heal for 0-15s AND gives healing sickness to all of your allies (I personally never saw the lymhurst boar do anything but give people healing sickness, as in combat it was useless, and out of combat it wasn't needed at all). I'm not sure if the design team is heavily committed to only allowing 1 faction mount W per faction, but obviously letting everyone use all of the Ws would solve the balancing issue. If that's not going to happen these abilities *need* to be balanced against each other. At the very least, the lymhurst boar should be in line with the fort sterling bear and give the healing for 1.5s after the player takes damage. (personally I think it would also be cool if you could use the abilities of your neighbors mounts, but that might be too confusing). As it stands I will either flag for a city that isn't Lym (which would make me sad) or never use the new boar and tell my groups that they're not allowed to bring the elite boar (which would also make me sad).

      The point clarity is a huge issue. As far as I've been able to tell you can score points for 5 different things
      1. kills/assists
      2. sitting on an outpost when it is captured
      3. sitting in a zone when it is captured (this seems to have been enabled for the first playtest but disabled for the second playtest, so I'm extremely unclear if this is intended or not)
      4. point scoring at the end of bandit event (this seemed to trigger in the second playtest but not the first playtest? Although I wasn't specifically looking for the point scoring so I might have just not noticed it)
      5. point ticks that seem to happen approximately 5-10 minutes?

      1 and 2 seem to be working fine and I have no issues with these. They're intuitive and it's easy enough to see how many points you're earning for your actions.
      3 I need clarification on as it was in the first playtest but not the second. It would also be extremely helpful if there was a message that popped up saying that the points you're scoring are connected to the zone capture, as I was initially confused and had to figure out how it worked in playtest 1 through trial and error. This also seems to be tied to the star system. The stars appear to be stored points of some sort, but I'm unsure how exactly these are scored, how much these are worth, etc.
      4 similarly seemed a little inconsistent and it would be nice to have a message that says "You scored X amount of points for your contributions in the bandit event". There may have already been a message related to this that I didn't see but I'm not sure.
      5 is the biggest issue. In faction chat there is a message that says "you scored X points for defending your homelands" or something along those lines, but it is EXTREMELY unclear as to what exactly earned you those points. Coming from a player who used to play a lot of GW2 WvW (which uses an extremely similar system), a screen on the faction warfare tab that says "You will earn X amount of points for the next point tick which triggers in Y minutes" followed by a breakdown that says where exactly those points are coming from. I am aware that this is a non-negligible amount of work, and I think in the meantime a more detailed message in faction chat that breaks down where your point scores came from would go a long way to helping players figure out what they're supposed to be doing.

      The big issue with the lack of point clarity is it means PLAYERS DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY SHOULD BE DOING TO HELP THEIR TEAM. The faction point system is set up in a way that incentivizes playing objectives, but if that info isn't surfaced to players they're just gonna run around searching for content in the yellow zone until they get bored (which is what they've been doing and why it's been so easy for my group to compete on faction points in these playtests)

      Overall I think faction is in an enjoyable state. Obviously there are a lot of issues and patterns we'll probably see surface on live that we didn't get to interact with in the playtests (I have a lot of questions about Caerleon faction still, and how exactly people are going to use the red/yellow zones when there is real gear loss to consider). I'm really hoping some of these issues get fixed before or shortly after we get the live launch, and really appreciate how interactive the devs have been with us for these playtests relating to faction and HG content!
      Images
      • factionmounts.png

        788.01 kB, 2,163×469, viewed 96 times
    • Piraterer wrote:

      Because SBI cant see where you make your Points. So Cheaters win these "Contests" :)
      If you take a look at Mytherceria's announcement post here [February 26th] Faction Warfare Playtest Challenge - Rewards Inside! under "Earn Points in these Clusters" you can see that red zones were eligible for scoring. You can also look at the map right above that which has everything outside of the steppe and highlands biomes crossed out but ALL of the steppe and highlands clusters not crossed out, red zones included.

      Not really sure where the misinformation that it was a yellow zone only playtest came from, because I read the post myself and had to correct my own party as well.
    • If you was online during first event you could cleary see a lot of zones outside were taken by Martlock or Bridgewatch. Im pretty sure some Rats won too.
      Also i know two guys who was on 30 minutes and reached top 20 :D Im pretty sure SBI has some problems with this "scoring".
      Small Scaler, Meuchelmörder & Notfall-Nature-Healer
      Proscriptus
      Ruhm und Ehre erwarten euch nur auf dem Schlachtfeld!
    • There's definitely some confusion about what earned points. I personally had the list of available point scoring zones up during the first playtest to make sure I wasn't going into zones that were considered ineligible. Based on what I heard from some other groups, you might be able to earn points while afk in city in a party if that party is earning points?

      But if you were focusing on red zone objectives during the bandit invasion, I'm pretty sure you scored top 20 even if you didn't do anything else, because I don't think I even saw 20 people in the red zone at all. The point difference between red and yellow zones seems to be very very large, which I feel is appropriate.

      I would like the point scoring various objectives to be plainly laid out similarly to the season point breakdowns, so that we can better understand and give feedback relating to these objectives and reward values. My only comment is that I do think a 5 star yellow zone should probably be worth more than a 0 star red zone when it's not bandit invasion. I'm not sure if it currently is as I never scored in a 5 star yellow zone (and the point clarity isn't granular enough that I would have been able to tell the difference anyways).
    • I think we are going off topic here and its my fault so I apologise. I didn't know there was red zones available to points in the first play test, that was my bad.
      But also, I am pretty sure that I read somewhere in the forum about the first play test beeing in yellow zones only.

      I would also like to know how the points scoring system works. When I first started the second play test I managed to get 20k points out of nowhere, then 8k, 16k, where are those points coming from?
    • I'm not convinced of the boar's badness. I think the intent is for it do be deployed away from the frontline to heal allies. The ability can also be reset by walking out and back into the zone if you take damage. I'm going to mess around with the other mounts now and see what happens. (edit: boar would probably be borderline busted if the %heal was affected by healing modifier)

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

    • My findings:
      Lymhurst is probably decent as a heal for a disengaging group. I wonder if the area stacks? (attempted test, was not conclusive but the areas don't fight each other so that's probably a good sign)
      Fort Sterling is probably good for the initial push in. Sort of like a cleric robe that doesn't offer full invulnerability but is basically guaranteed to be used.
      Thetford is weird because the buff only applies in the area, but it expires after 8 seconds and you have to walk out and back into the area to reapply it. What's up with that?
      Martlock is probably decent to absorb an attack with 15% more health. The fact that you can leave the zone and return your health to normal and get the full effectiveness of heals back.
      Bridgewatch I couldn't test because someone nicked the cheat stones to spawn it, but honestly based on the thetford one's behavior I'd say that this one is likely the worst since you'll only have the move speed in that zone.

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

    • Fred_the_Barbarian wrote:

      My findings:
      Lymhurst is probably decent as a heal for a disengaging group. I wonder if the area stacks? (attempted test, was not conclusive but the areas don't fight each other so that's probably a good sign)
      Fort Sterling is probably good for the initial push in. Sort of like a cleric robe that doesn't offer full invulnerability but is basically guaranteed to be used.
      Thetford is weird because the buff only applies in the area, but it expires after 8 seconds and you have to walk out and back into the area to reapply it. What's up with that?
      Martlock is probably decent to absorb an attack with 15% more health. The fact that you can leave the zone and return your health to normal and get the full effectiveness of heals back.
      Bridgewatch I couldn't test because someone nicked the cheat stones to spawn it, but honestly based on the thetford one's behavior I'd say that this one is likely the worst since you'll only have the move speed in that zone.
      As far as I could figure (based on how I saw other using it, I didn't go through the effort to test them each myself) the Thetford and Bridgewatch effects last for 8 seconds after application, even if you walk outside of the AOE. Which makes them a lot more flexible than the others. If it's 8 seconds inside but goes away as soon as you walk out then the Thetford one is still very good but the Bridgewatch one is a lot weaker.

      The main issue with any of these mount abilities being set up as a disengage ability is that dismounting is by default an engage action. To disengage and utilize this heal you'd need to have the space to run away, mount up, and then dismount as your group is disengaging. Alternatively you'd need to have staggered groups where one group is engaging as another is disengaging (which is not generally how groups behave in Albion). What I'm seeing out of this ability is significantly higher coordination requirements for equal or lower payoff (remember that it adds healing sickness). I'd say that most of the time if a group is able to benefit from this heal, they're also able to already utilize out of combat healing, which is just as good and doesn't require a mount that I'm estimating will cost 1-3 mil.

      I'm not 100% convinced it's unusable. And there may be some relevant tactical situations I haven't thoroughly explored where it is uniquely powerful (maybe lymhurst becomes the faction that just runs bomb squads with no healers?). But it does leave me extremely concerned about balance between unique faction advantages.
    • Also an extra bit of feedback: I liked the small gold incentive for participating in the playtest. I'm sure the devs have better metrics on player engagement in this playtest vs other test server environments, but anecdotally engagement felt higher on test server than it had been.

      The community has been organizing its own 5v5 and 10v10 playtests, but having SBI hosted HG tournaments for 2s, 5s, and 10s would have been a good way to set up rewards and drive engaged testing on the new gates. Would be cool to see organized playtesting like this in the future (preferably farther out from release so there's more time to incorporate feedback) with player incentives to participate.
    • That would be a hugely positive change in my eyes. Judicator armor is 30% for 8 seconds (with an armor bonus that this doesn't give), so 10%-20% (probably 15%) for 15 seconds without the bonus armor would feel appropriately under rate. Compare to Caerleon mount ability vs demon armor at 15% for 15 seconds and 50% for 6 seconds (with an armor buff and penalty that I would describe as a net positive for skilled players), and it looks like a relatively equal relationship.

      Plus, the people who were naturally excited when they saw a healing effect on a pseudo-battlemount (healer mains) would actually be able to use and appreciate a healing received bonus.