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Posted by Eltharyon 3 years ago (Source)

Hi all,

Our test to restrict the power of alliances has been running for a little over a month now, and it's time to give you an update on our findings and next steps.

Test Summary

In order to restrict the power of top-end alliances, we introduced a set of measures (LINK) on 26th of February.

These measures have been effective in the sense that they caused the top-end alliances to split into multiple smaller groups & lone guilds. The impact on top-end alliances was similar to the impact we would expect a hard cap to have, whereas for more casual alliances, the impact was much smaller.

However, while the top-end groups have formally split, many of them are now cooperating (“hand holding”) without the benefit of a formal alliance. Effectively, we’ve made playing in large groups more challenging, as it requires dealing with friendly fire - but we’d still like to see more conflict amongst these groups.

Hence, the key question going forward is:

Can we adjust and modify the alliance restrictions in such a way that they remain effective while at the same time providing a strong incentive for the top-end groups to wage war against each other? Can we reduce or stop the “hand-holding”?

Encouraging Conflict

Here is our idea to encourage more conflict between top-end guilds and alliances:

Over the course of a 30-day reset cycle, territory towers will accumulate an energy and season points storage pool.

The storage pool is fed through the points that a tower generates each day. The higher the quality of the zone (proximity to the Outland center) in which the tower is located, the higher the percentage of daily points and energy that goes into the storage pool. Towers in lower-end zones will not build up a storage pool at all.

The storage pool percentage is applied to the daily maximum points that the tower could generate. Whatever goes into the storage pool does not get credited to the guild who owns the tower at that time.

Instead, 100% of the storage pool is credited to the guild who owns the tower right before Invasion Day starts.

This system will make sure that top-end guilds and alliances have a strong incentive to fight each other. The incentive will become stronger the closer we get to Invasion Day.

As we do not want to create an incentive for top-end groups to go after more casual players, the storage pool in lower-end zones is going to be 0% or very close to it.

Expected Dynamics

With this system, the closer we get to the next Invasion Day, the bigger the storage pools will become, especially in high-end zones. The incentives for backstabbing and going to war are going to be massive, as capturing a territory in that time means massive potential point gains.

Hence, we expect that while guilds and alliances will stay close to the current soft cap of 9 territories initially, they are encouraged to become more aggressive - and fight each other - the closer we get to Invasion Day. For this to work, we’ll need to adjust our current soft caps on territories held, as they currently are so strong that they act almost like a hard cap.

On Invasion Day itself, however, the incentive to grab as many towers as you can is drastically reduced as all storage pools will have been reset to 0. This is a nice equalizer - even if your tower gets taken right before Invasion Day, you have a very good shot at getting it back. And for low-end zones, as the storage pool is 0, this whole dynamic does not apply in any event.

Next Steps

We plan to roll this system out with the start of Season 9. In addition to the above changes, we are also looking into some other changes for the upcoming season. We’ll make the rewards for the top spots more competitive, adjust the balancing of Crystal League, and introduce a number of “bank spots” to the Outlands, to ensure solo players and guilds without a Hideout in the Outlands still have a few safe retreat points for Outland play. Finally, we’re hoping to boost rewards of static dungeons and add some season point rewards to them to return open-world dungeon PvP to Albion.

Stay tuned for more details about Season 9 to emerge when Season 8 concludes!

Looking forward to your thoughts and feedback,

Robin ‘Eltharyon’ Henkys
Game Director

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