An alternative to hideouts in the black zone

    • An alternative to hideouts in the black zone

      There have been a lot about of talk recently about the current state of the black zones and hideouts, and how it has evolved into a kind of red vs blue with two large sides and huge wars.

      I think one thing that attracts people to this behavior is just basic risk aversion. The more you invest into living in the black zone, the less likely it will be that you are willing to risk losing what you have. Allying up with everyone around you and “handholding” in just a way to make sure that you keep what you have. If you have lived many seasons in the black zones, you likely have billions in assets there.

      Another thing most people seem to agree on is that territories doesn’t really matter. They give season points but there is no real big point in owning them.

      Further, many agree that the black zones are way too safe with hideout everywhere.

      So, what could be an alternative to this?

      I present to you; Avalonian ruins. Hear me out here. :)

      An avalonian ruin would be a zone containing ruins of an old avalonian city that has been destroyed. It does not contain any type of gathering resources, pvp entrances or anything like that.

      What it does contain, however, is one central portal and building plots.

      All guilds could own one avalonian ruin zone and all zones are identical. They could be compared to guild islands.

      The building plots could be used to contruct a guild bank, a marketplace, houses, crafting stations and so on. Basically anything you would normally have in a hideout.

      The portal in the center of the ruins would not be a random portal like the other avalonian portals and it would not have charges. This portal would be connected to a new avalonian mage that could be present inside blackzone territories. To have this mage keep the portal open you need to “feed” the mage. Maybe with actual food, maybe with siphon, maybe with avalonian energy or even a combination of them all, much like the upkeep cost we currently have with hideouts.

      These portals would ONLY be useable by members of the guild that owns the territory and can only connect the avalonian ruin of that guild. A guild can only own one avalonian ruin and connect to it from one territory.

      But what would happen if you lose the territory?

      Well… You would lose the portal to your avalonian ruins.

      This is where the rests in the black zones come in.

      In each of the rests there would also be a new avalonian mage. This mage does, however, work more like a travelling planner. Any guild can pay this mage to keep a connection to their guilds avalonian rest open.

      When a guild loses a territory, the portal could automatically be moved to the closest rests avalonian mage. There, it would be put on a cooldown (of a week?) until it can be moved again, to another territory.

      Losing a territory would hurt. On the other hand, it wouldn’t hurt nearly as much as losing a hideout can, with the current system. You would go out again, from the rest, and keep fighting, and reclaim what you deem is yours, and move the connection out into a black zone territory again.

      This would also make it much easier to give up on a territory to move to another part of the blackzone, take a territory there and connect it to your avalonian ruin.

      I think this system could make us see less mega-alliances and more variation in the black zone.

      I also think it would be much easier for smaller guilds to start making the black zone their home. Any guild can move out to the rests and have their actual home there, via a portal. A home that they don’t share with anyone, even if they share the place where the connection is from. The guild can then go out and fight and try to take territories and establish themselves in the the blackzone.

      This system relies heavily on guilds owning territories to live, and have a precense, in the black zone. Because of this, we might see a steep decline in renting in the blackzone. To rent out, you would have to give up the territories. With this system, only one guild can live in each zone. Just squeezing dozens of small guilds into an alliance would also be kinda pointless as all guilds would need to own their own territories.

      Because of the above, and the fact that game is growing the way it is, increasing the size of guilds could be viable. I think a new limit of 500 could be a good starting point.

      Should territories be changed in some other ways?

      I’m happy you asked. :)

      With this system, defending territories will be much more important and so will leveling them up be.

      I think, lower level territories degrade way too fast with the current system. That needs to be changed.

      A territory should have a level system where levels are gained by playing crystal matches from the territory, just like the current system.

      If you win a match, the amount of points in the territory increases. Reach x season points and the tower increases to level 1. Increase to y points and it will level to level 3.

      A level 8 match will reward you many points and could level a territory multiple levels at once. A low level match would still be worth to do from a territory though as every point helps. Even a new team can help level up territories by playing lower level matches, if they are consistent. Even it if doesn’t increase the level of the territory, it will help to offset some of the degrading.

      With this system, owning territories is much more important. Defending your home territory becomes the top priority. With the current system, no one really cares that much about losing their home territory. They just re-take them the day after.

      In addition to this, the system with shields that the hideouts currently have, could be moved to the territories and be connected to the territorys levels.

      In additions to leveling your tower to defend it, here is another idea to help with defending territories; defensive, mannable, buildings.

      Imagine if you could build an immobile “battle mount building” that could be entered and used to defend the territory.

      There could be several different buildings you could choose from. What about one with big solo target damage that is telegraphed like a 1h crossbow or one with a big aoe damage? Maybe some supportive buildings instead that heals or silences or slows in an aoe? Some of these buildings could allow firing projectiles outsides the point of view, like an artilley gun. This would require you to have a scout informing you on where to fire your shots.

      What about the current hideouts then?

      This system doesn’t have to change the way hideouts work in the roads, they can stay the way they are.

      The hideouts in the black zone would be completely removed.

      Replacing the hideouts could be a new type of building; a war camp.

      A war camp would be a MUCH more fragile building, compared to a hideout. It could be built anywhere in the black zone, you don’t need to own the territory. It doesn’t have shields and can be launched on by anyone.

      The purpose of the war camps would be to serve as a deploy point for wars and as a safe place. They would only contain a travel planner, where you could set home and a guild bank. They would only be accessible by the guild that built them.

      To make them attractive targets for attacks, they could drop parts of what is used to build them when they are destroyed or some other form of reward. Imagine if anyone could place them, anyone could attack them and they dropped loot equal to a castle on loot day…I think they could become hot spots for fights.

      Deploying them could work like this:

      * Place down a construction kit and defend it during that zones timezone.
      * The day after, defend it during that zones timezone.

      Destroying them could also work in a similar manner:

      * Declare an attack (during the zones timezone) and hold control of the area for a duration to finalize the attack to give the defenders an opportunity to quickly mass and defend.
      * The day after, during the zones timezone, hammer the war camp to destroy it.

      Warcamp should be very fragile and temporary. They should be hot spots for fights.

      In addition to all of the above, I think a channel should be added to enter a war camp and avalonian portals (both the random ones and the ones in the territories), from the black zone. A two seconds channel, that you can take while mounted, but is interrupted any time you take damage.

      This, along with the removal of hideouts, would make the blackzones a much less safe place to travel.

      A side-note about the avalonian ruins:

      This proposal completely removes public crafting hideouts in the black zone from the game. An alternative to that would be to allow specific guild (or even anyone) to access your avalonian ruin if it is “anchored” to a rest city, much in the same way you can with guild islands. That way you can have guilds that operate public crafting avalonian ruins out of the rests.

      Could the moving of avalonian ruins be abused?

      In the current system, when hideouts are destroyed, you have to pay a hefty fee for transfering what was in it to the closest royal city or rest. I think this is, in part, in place for the hideouts to not be a way to transport items from the blackzone to the royals by simply having them destroyed.

      Sure, with this system, you could do something like this:

      * Have connection to a ruin in the inner circle.
      * Drop the territory. The ruin is moved to the closest rest.
      * Wait a week.
      * Take a territory close to the portals.
      * Move the ruin there.
      * Move your items from the ruins to the royals.
      * Drop the terri again.
      * The ruin gets moved to the closest rest.
      * Wait a week.
      * Move the ruin to a territory in the inner circle.

      This would take over two weeks and possibly cost you a hefty fine (depending on what it costs to create a portal connection to a ruin).

      We already have the roads of avalon to help with logistics from the inner circle to the royals though. I don’t think this will be a big concern.

      During these two weeks you would also leave your home territory in the inner cicle vulnerable as you would have to run all the way from the portals to defend it. That would likely make it a very interesting target for enemies.

      An important not to make is that there should be no way to connect a portal to the avalonian ruin from the royal continent. The portals to the ruins should exclusively be a blackzone occurance.

      There we go. This was my little brain dump. There are many ideas in here and I assume just as many brain-farts. :)

      What do you like about this? What dont you like? Do you think this would solve anything? Would it make more guild be willing to leave the mega coalitions and would it enable new guilds to establish themselves in the blackzones?

      Thank you to everyone who made it this far in my novel... :) This became more of a wall of text than I expected...

      Disclaimer: I also posted this to reddit: reddit.com/r/albiononline/comm…ideouts_in_the_blackzone/
    • I like the idea overall. I'm not sure if it'd fix the mega coalition problem though. If the entirety of your guilds existence in the blackzone is determined by you holding on to your territory, you will hold onto it at any cost - i.e allying everyone you possibly can. Otherwise you're forced to live out of a rest for a week, which probably hurts your ability to really do anything.

      Maybe a home set in a ruin doesn't get removed when you travel through a bz portal? Alleviates the difficulty of the rest thing, and it encourages people to always have home set in their zone, and maybe defend/play out of their zone more.

      Personally I'm against the idea of anything that allows guilds to increase their power projection like these warcamps. I think in my perfect world simply owning a territory and the few around it would be enough for any alliance, as they would be valuable enough and full of enough content to do that expansion into neighbouring zones is the only option, as you wouldn't want to be far enough away from your 'home zone' that you couldn't play out of it. But as an alternative to hideouts and to fill that niche it does sound useful. I like the idea of them dropping some kind of loot when destroyed, although if you're in a war I don't think people will need more of an excuse to knock it down really.
      Arcane shill - 700/700
    • Tipx wrote:

      I like the idea overall. I'm not sure if it'd fix the mega coalition problem though. If the entirety of your guilds existence in the blackzone is determined by you holding on to your territory, you will hold onto it at any cost - i.e allying everyone you possibly can. Otherwise you're forced to live out of a rest for a week, which probably hurts your ability to really do anything.

      Maybe a home set in a ruin doesn't get removed when you travel through a bz portal? Alleviates the difficulty of the rest thing, and it encourages people to always have home set in their zone, and maybe defend/play out of their zone more.

      Personally I'm against the idea of anything that allows guilds to increase their power projection like these warcamps. I think in my perfect world simply owning a territory and the few around it would be enough for any alliance, as they would be valuable enough and full of enough content to do that expansion into neighbouring zones is the only option, as you wouldn't want to be far enough away from your 'home zone' that you couldn't play out of it. But as an alternative to hideouts and to fill that niche it does sound useful. I like the idea of them dropping some kind of loot when destroyed, although if you're in a war I don't think people will need more of an excuse to knock it down really.
      The problem is you kinda have to fight human nature to avoid handholding. :)

      Losing a territory wont be that big of a deal. You will still have access to all your stuff in the ruins from the rest. Most zones in the black zone is just a few zones away from a rest. It would hurt A LOT less than losing a HO packed with billions in assets with the current system. I think people would be a lot more inclined to risk losing their territory for content by dropping naps with this system than the current system.