Journey Back (Town Portal) - Additional Information and Background

    • Journey Back (Town Portal) - Additional Information and Background

      Hi all,

      following up on our recent dev talk about the upcoming Into the Fray expansion, we would like to provide you with more information about the so-called “Journey Back” Ability that will be added to mounts.

      Design Goals & Constraints

      The main reason why we are introducing this change is to combat zone camping. This is a strategy used by gank groups who camp at a static location near the portals in order to catch solo or small group players when they return from the Outlands to the Royal Continent.

      Ganking is an integral part of the Outland gameplay, but we much prefer it to happen dynamically, in the open world, and not at static camp spots. This will give rise to more encounters, encourage gankers to play in smaller groups and lead to more balanced encounters overall.

      A key design constraint is the fact that Albion’s player driven economy is local. That means that transportation between different locations - and the time investment and risk that this comes with - is a key part of the game and should not be compromised.

      Implemetation

      The easiest way to prevent people getting zone camped on the way back to the Royals is by introducing a teleport feature as it exists in almost all MMORPGs. The reason that Albion never had this in the past was that it would undermine the transport economy. You could in theory easily use it to safely transport resources and materials between hideouts and cities, for example.

      When we revisited the zone camping issue, we asked ourselves whether it’s possible to come up with a design for a teleport feature that manages to deal with zone camping while leaving the transport economy intact. We have found such a solution, and it works like this:

      • On your mount, there is a “Journey Back” ability that you can use
      • It will take you back to the last city or hideout that you have entered - nowhere else.
      • It will be disabled entirely if you pick up items from a bank chest or trade with another player


      The above restrictions mean that you absolutely cannot use the ability to transport goods from city/hideout A to city/hideout B. All the supply lines that you run you will still have to run manually, as before, and they are subject to camping just as before.

      In addition to that, it was rightfully pointed out that such an ability might have an impact on large scale zerg vs zerg fights, as it gives additional options when it comes to positioning your force. It will probably not be possible for us to stop these unintended uses of the “Journey Back” feature altogether, but we will try to restrict them as much as possible, through the following means:

      • You cannot use it if you are in a faction trading mission
      • You cannot use the Journey Back ability if you have the Outlaw debuff
      • You cannot use it if you have more than 100% load capacity
      • You cannot use it if you are in a Zerg bubble (red bubble on the minimap)
      • Depending on how the feature plays out, additional restrictions might be added to make the feature less useful in Zerg vs Zerg situations, such as: cannot use it when in a party of more than X players, cannot use it when subject to Disarray, etc.
      Finally, using the ability also has a moderate silver cost attached to it. This is not to prevent the feature from being useful, but rather as a reward for those players who decide to take the risk of going manually even if they could have used journey back instead.

      Impact on the Outlands

      Since our Lands Awakened up, our core goal has been to increase and encourage open world activity, in particular in the Outlands.

      The “Journey Back” ability makes it far more attractive for solo and small scale players, and for newer players, to venture into there. At the same time, it encourages gank groups to dynamically roam the map as opposed to camping static locations.

      To cover more ground in a roaming scenario, it makes sense for gankers to split up into smaller groups. Hence, we believe that this feature will give rise to a significant increase in Outland activity, with more PvP encounters happening overall.
    • Thanks for the explanation, I hope it will do what you hope it will do and that this will be monitored. This feature does not sound like something Albion needs to me and even takes some of the "sensation" Albion brings away.

      I think the players that this system is aimed at will try to use this for a week, and then not go in to the blackzone once again because their main issue is groups of players ganking, and this will not change.

      Also, this change will not make gank groups smaller, but bigger. If they have more ground to cover, this goes faster in bigger groups cleaning the zones going from one zone to another.
    • I understand this is a basic explanation, and we will learn more as updates come, but I cannot stress enough that a feature like this needs to be highly restrictive.


      You must include a restriction if the player looted another player's dead body

      Please, PLEASE ^^^^ Don't overlook this. Ratting is bad enough as it is.
      Gamer Dad. Old enough to know better, much too young to care.
    • I really like this proposed change and fully understand why it's being implemented. I also feel like this is going to help new players have less of a barrier of entry to get into Black Zone content as previously it has been quite high or extremely risky due to gank groups consistently controlling choke points.

      Thanks for the update Korn, excited to see this implemented.

      ~ Friendly Neighborhood Wizard
    • If you want to make the Outlands more attractive to new players, why do you allow a "Journey Back" to a hideout?

      Very few new players have access to hideouts. However, experienced players who live in a hideout in a T7- or a T8-Zone get a huge advantage with the return trip. They can collect small amounts of resources without much risk, travel back quickly, banking and start running again immediately.

      In my opinion, hideouts should not be part of the return journey function. When entering a hideout it should be disabled entirely.

      Maybe later, when we all have some experience with the new feature, you can add the hideouts. The return option changes the game so much that you should introduce it slowly and in small steps.
    • Djylvie wrote:

      If you want to make the Outlands more attractive to new players, why do you allow a "Journey Back" to a hideout?

      Very few new players have access to hideouts. However, experienced players who live in a hideout in a T7- or a T8-Zone get a huge advantage with the return trip. They can collect small amounts of resources without much risk, travel back quickly, banking and start running again immediately.

      In my opinion, hideouts should not be part of the return journey function. When entering a hideout it should be disabled entirely.

      Maybe later, when we all have some experience with the new feature, you can add the hideouts. The return option changes the game so much that you should introduce it slowly and in small steps.
      I don't think this will be possible as the feature being discussed will mostly likely have a cool down attached to it. I am not sure what the cool down is slated to be yet, but I can assume there will be one from the original post.

      "This teleport is an ability with a significant cast time and a significant cooldown, and it is subject to certain restrictions, as follows"

      ~ Friendly Neighborhood Wizard
    • ProfessorZee wrote:

      I don't think this will be possible as the feature being discussed will mostly likely have a cool down attached to it. I am not sure what the cool down is slated to be yet, but I can assume there will be one from the original post.
      "This teleport is an ability with a significant cast time and a significant cooldown, and it is subject to certain restrictions, as follows"

      Thanks for the explanation. I had forgotten about the cooldown. But it would have to be quite large (30 minutes or more) to prevent a sequence of short gathering-trips around a hideout.
      I guess we need more details.

      I am very unhappy about the "Journey Back", but I understand that it cannot be prevented now. Therefore, I would like to see it handled carefully and introduced gradually. I would prefer if hideouts were not part of the new feature right now. I would even like to exclude the Roads of Avalon for the time being...
    • Still sounds like it will be exploited by big crafters and they'll save the risk of doing the full round trip.
      Sounds too like instead of just adding drastically more entrances to the bz which would have solved the problem the tp is the "lazier" solution path taken on since this doesn't require rethinking a little bit the balancing that caused map like R3 and Slakesands Canyon.

      It will be a mechanic more complex than the invis shrine and no "new" player seems to truly be able to use it to it's full capacity which is still an issue since it isn't explained in any tutorial until you reach to use it in bz.

      So yeah, tp won't solve anything except make people with a brain truly never die, make crafters in bz really overpowered and nuke the econ. Econ will go down since there won't be risk to bringing back loot from bz and it's 100% safe to bring back.

      I'll maintain the true best solution is to provide more entrances for every city in bz and not the tp if the issue truly is too many people gate camping. Having too many entrances/exits will solve it better.

      But adding another complex unneeded mechanic like this to hold a players hand without an actual tutorial while other solutions that might "cost" a bit more exists is ridiculous.
      Solo dungeons closing after 90sec is part of this, invis shrine too and now a tp.
    • Korn wrote:

      Hi all,

      following up on our recent dev talk about the upcoming Into the Fray expansion, we would like to provide you with more information about the so-called “Journey Back” Ability that will be added to mounts.

      Design Goals & Constraints

      The main reason why we are introducing this change is to combat zone camping. This is a strategy used by gank groups who camp at a static location near the portals in order to catch solo or small group players when they return from the Outlands to the Royal Continent.

      Ganking is an integral part of the Outland gameplay, but we much prefer it to happen dynamically, in the open world, and not at static camp spots. This will give rise to more encounters, encourage gankers to play in smaller groups and lead to more balanced encounters overall.

      A key design constraint is the fact that Albion’s player driven economy is local. That means that transportation between different locations - and the time investment and risk that this comes with - is a key part of the game and should not be compromised.

      Implemetation

      The easiest way to prevent people getting zone camped on the way back to the Royals is by introducing a teleport feature as it exists in almost all MMORPGs. The reason that Albion never had this in the past was that it would undermine the transport economy. You could in theory easily use it to safely transport resources and materials between hideouts and cities, for example.

      When we revisited the zone camping issue, we asked ourselves whether it’s possible to come up with a design for a teleport feature that manages to deal with zone camping while leaving the transport economy intact. We have found such a solution, and it works like this:

      • On your mount, there is a “Journey Back” ability that you can use
      • It will take you back to the last city or hideout that you have entered - nowhere else.
      • It will be disabled entirely if you pick up items from a bank chest or trade with another player


      The above restrictions mean that you absolutely cannot use the ability to transport goods from city/hideout A to city/hideout B. All the supply lines that you run you will still have to run manually, as before, and they are subject to camping just as before.

      In addition to that, it was rightfully pointed out that such an ability might have an impact on large scale zerg vs zerg fights, as it gives additional options when it comes to positioning your force. It will probably not be possible for us to stop these unintended uses of the “Journey Back” feature altogether, but we will try to restrict them as much as possible, through the following means:

      • You cannot use it if you are in a faction trading mission
      • You cannot use the Journey Back ability if you have the Outlaw debuff
      • You cannot use it if you have more than 100% load capacity
      • You cannot use it if you are in a Zerg bubble (red bubble on the minimap)
      • Depending on how the feature plays out, additional restrictions might be added to make the feature less useful in Zerg vs Zerg situations, such as: cannot use it when in a party of more than X players, cannot use it when subject to Disarray, etc.
      Finally, using the ability also has a moderate silver cost attached to it. This is not to prevent the feature from being useful, but rather as a reward for those players who decide to take the risk of going manually even if they could have used journey back instead.

      Impact on the Outlands

      Since our Lands Awakened up, our core goal has been to increase and encourage open world activity, in particular in the Outlands.

      The “Journey Back” ability makes it far more attractive for solo and small scale players, and for newer players, to venture into there. At the same time, it encourages gank groups to dynamically roam the map as opposed to camping static locations.

      To cover more ground in a roaming scenario, it makes sense for gankers to split up into smaller groups. Hence, we believe that this feature will give rise to a significant increase in Outland activity, with more PvP encounters happening overall.

      I will say again, maybe you read or not

      - You can take itens from Siege Camp
      - You can take itens from terry
      - You can put a Morgana Chest and take itens
      - You can rat ZVZ, zone map and JOURNEY BACK (and its a problem that you dont want to look now)

      Put restriction like "if you are in a party with X players..." dont work, you only need drop party

      "if you have debuff or a zerg close to you", "if you have dissaray" your zerg can only zone map, or you can zone alone and is fixed

      AND AGAIN...

      Gankers dont camp PORTALS, they camp MAPS AROUND PORTALS

      You all really dont looking how people can exploit this...

      You only want put JOURNEY BACK and is this, but you dont stop to think right how people can use this in bad way...
    • Well, the restrictions on trading/opening bank chest do seem to prevent transporting loot from hideouts.

      The only way around I can see is killing a person and looting stuff, but then you got the trash rate, so unless the return rate are so big in hideouts and silver cost so high in city, it should stop it from being used to transport crafted good from HO to city.

      The only thing that you guys are completely wrong is that this will generate smaller gank groups. As mentioned by someoneevery nerf to ganking you guys did lately only increased the size of ganking groups. And this one as well. If ganking really goes from being static to roaming, it will increase groups again. Because you need bigger groups to scout better to find people and you need more people spread out so they are on the right spot to intercept someone running away.

      It used to be a time that me and friends would dismount to fight any gank group, cause they would never be bigger then 5-6 people (in order to be really profitable) and now you rarely find less then 10 people gank group.
    • PaladinoRR wrote:

      ...The only thing that you guys are completely wrong is that this will generate smaller gank groups. As mentioned by someoneevery nerf to ganking you guys did lately only increased the size of ganking groups. And this one as well. If ganking really goes from being static to roaming, it will increase groups again. Because you need bigger groups to scout better to find people and you need more people spread out so they are on the right spot to intercept someone running away.
      ...
      Exactly this. The mount buffs + poison nerfes reduced the number of small player groups (1-4 players) drastically. And because of the chests nowadays there are mostly large groups of 10-20+ players roaming. Now groups are usually parties optimized for doing the open world chests. There are less varied party compositions.
      The black zone feels generally less varied now than it was a few seasons ago.

      I feel that the town portal change will exacerbate this even more.
    • Korn wrote:

      Since our Lands Awakened up, our core goal has been to increase and encourage open world activity, in particular in the Outlands.

      The “Journey Back” ability makes it far more attractive for solo and small scale players, and for newer players,
      I think this teleport will not affect the status QUO that BZ have because the guilds domination, so a better IDEA was to create a new BZ continent with "NO HO.s Allowed" on this areas, and this can be much more atractive for solo/ small scale players.
    • Start playing the game and work on combat balance aka stunlock online these are the real problems that prevent "new" players from playing in outlands.

      finally add assists trashrate, add warmode and balance zvz with it...

      I see the feedback you get is probably from yellowzone players who have no idea about PVP and the game, in the end they will still die and still complain, you added cleanse,bubble area, invis shrines, HO,HQ and now you add teleport... what will be next ? I feel like those players who complain so much will always find a way to complain...

      Apart from those solo players etc. did you take into account that alliance power projection will dominate the map even more?
      You talk about small scale and solo players and you admit that you won't be able to balance this mechanic for zerg... so the problem you created gets a buff... no questions what you do...

      Instead of teleport, give us more warcamps, warcamps have the same role as teleport, bank loot/gear and / suicide boom teleport.
      risk = reward, ideal synergy with roads, stable point which allows you to stay longer and play without limits on weight.

      add more warcamps!

      :thumbdown: :thumbdown:
    • Korn wrote:

      Finally, using the ability also has a moderate silver cost attached to it. This is not to prevent the feature from being useful, but rather as a reward for those players who decide to take the risk of going manually even if they could have used journey back instead.
      This is where we need some form of numbers before we can judge whether this is good enough or not, and how this is calculated. Is this going to be a higher cost the further you travel? If I run from Martlock portal to 1 zone out of FS portal and hit "journey back" will that cost a significant chunk of change more than if I'm 1 zone out? How will this be calculated for the roads? What if I take a roads shortcut that brings me out 20zones away, will the travel back calculation take the roads shortcut into consideration? Will the value of the travel back be calculated based on raw weight and not % full, i.e if I'm on a T8 ox at 100% weight I'll be CONSIDERABLY more than a Swifty at 100% weight?

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