More meaningful goals built on top PPT
Better Time management and Windows of Opportunity
Improving Outposts, Forts, and Other Structures
Strategy and Tactics
The current goals within the war are to obtain and hold onto a high point per tick (PPT). I personally feel this is a solid base, but by itself it is no different than many other games, like GW2 for example. My suggestions are to look into ways of providing higher incentive for Owning and Defending something. Create a struggle between what is worth holding onto and what is worth dropping. Create more unique ways of assaulting and capturing. I will provide examples throughout the rest of the post. In my mind, the most powerful components from this system will be the ones that direct player traffic to similar areas so that conflict can occur.
Owning a keep gives you access to all crafting stations (already implemented) and provides a special portal to a dungeon parcel that provides special materials, this is only accessible to the faction (or guild) owning the keep.
Owning a Fort gives you access to specific crafting stations and increases production, harvesting, etc in it’s area of influence or adjacent parcels
As an example, if a Fort is located in the Lumber Mill area of a forest it will have a woodworking and leatherworking tables to coincide with its surrounding resources. It provides a bonus pip in its area of influence meaning that holding this Fort in Fall/Winter is very beneficial. This also helps generate more activity in the area.
Alternate: Forts remain as strategic locations on the map but special outposts are now situated in the above examples.
Owning an outpost provides resupply stations inside the outpost. Bandage, food, etc. Finding someway to connect the outposts to the nearby forts and POIs would be best.
I believe that the incoming changes such as objects being worth more the longer they are held will help with targeting/incentive but that will still be towards PPT alone. With something similar to the above there are several intrinsic value systems that can be implemented to help create more conflict and incentive over certain areas. It would be an interesting observation for sure.
Another suggestion I would like to make revolves around time management and the overall respect on the players time spent in the game. We want as many players playing as much as possible but that time should be respectful of the fact that not everyone will have the time to play 24/7. Even so, the game shouldn’t just be catered to a certain time, but it should respect and make sure that the player is having as much fun during their time spent. Be that 1 hour or 10 hours. I would like to breakdown one example, and an example that I feel disrespects the time of the players. Outposts.
Capturing a fully captured outpost solo to full cap takes ~16 minutes
Capturing a fully captured outpost solo to capture state ~10 minutes
With an avg 39 outposts on a map this means 10.4 hours to full cap and 6.5 hours to just cap outposts that have been full capped.
This is an insane amount of time to be standing around. If the 10-15 minutes was fun or interesting this would be great! I would assume that the future warclans are going to assist in providing more interesting interactions at outposts but As Is this is very brutal to a players’ time. Even with the addition of more interesting mechanics I would suggest a few things to capturing in general.
Capping anything with a capture ring should have a standardized time disregarding the number of players within the ring (perhaps ~30 seconds, could be based on movement speed times)
Two contesting players (or NPC) within a ring should cause it to maintain its current status disregarding number of players within the ring
A standard cap time disregarding the number of players (promotes solo to small team roaming, shuns zerging)
Bake capture time into the act of pre-capture (the wall breaking, fighting guards, etc)
This can create more windows of opportunity to defend and it sets a standard for capturing. The above is primarily for forts and outposts but keeps are orthogonal to these. Currently a siege window begins at 9:30 ET. The capture goal (Tree of Life) is vulnerable for the duration of the siege. 15 minutes into the the siege safeguard objective (Bane Trees) appear and the defending team can eliminate these to stop the siege. This overall seems to work but the current issues are the length of the sieges. The HP of both of these objects are too low, and that seems to be understood based on the recent live stream. It also creates a very odd siege where the outcome of the siege can literally be 15 minutes. Sieges also suffer from a similar issue of respecting time as they are every night and the call to action is strong and very unsatisfying if a group of people log in to then log off 15 minutes later.
Potentially make Keep sieges Monday, Wed, Friday
Potentially rotate through keeps, Keep A on Monday, Keep B on Wednesday, Keep C on Friday
When a keep is taken a siege does not end
After a keep is taken it can be retaken until the siege timer has ended
Make attackers have to spawn Bane Trees, and all 3 are REQUIRED to deal damage to the life tree. Without the Bane Trees the Life Tree is safe
What this should do is make clear the objectives of a siege, provide layers of defense that must be protected and broken through, creating more consistent fights among players on the objectives. Provide chances for a comeback DURING the siege. This also helps with eliminating dominant strategies and 1 tricks. It creates a consistent schedules and it respects the time of the players allowing a breather between sieges, remember all of the forts and outposts are up 24/7.
second to last, but not least and the most difficult aspect is the positioning of parcels and forts/outposts. The procgen is great but there needs to be a more hand crafted ruleset for the procgen to follow. I know this is not easy, but it is still manageable.
Reduce outposts down to ~19 keeping it an odd number
Move forts into locations that foster confrontation
Incorporate forts into the special resource zones (lumber camp, mining camp, etc)
Set rules that only spawn outposts every X amount of parcels apart
Focus more outposts in locations where you want to generate traffic
Forts should be several parcels away from gates
The above image illustrates some potential relocation. The most important are the Forts. In this example the forts are too cluttered, especially with the Keep. The Western portion of the map is effectively pointless. IN THIS EXAMPLE, if the forts were moved to the new locations indicated by the blue lines there would be a bottleneck in how players can approach the fort. This leads to more traffic and that is not a bad thing. Some forts should be in more open areas. As a side note, the X refers to an outpost that would be removed, a O is an outpost that would remain or be moved.
Political Pressure Mechanic
Allow for the amount of "captures" a faction or guild controls to influence NPC prices/access in the Free City. This is a huge reason to maintain control over keeps and forts. A faction/guild that can control all three forts may get access to something special in the free city, maybe they are celebrated as the Leaders of the free city. The reward doesn't need to be intrinsic, it can be extrinsic.
Lastly, in an attempt to create fairness and less cheese, perhaps make logging out/death return you to the nearest Runegate ONLY. If you need narrative sell it that a vessels and crow can destabilize and it draws them to the gates.
Two Victory Conditions
Use the Current system of Victory Points using Outposts, Keeps, Forts, and Kills to calculate VP
Use a Sacrifice System that accumulates Sacrifice Points (SP)
Players Sacrifice Skulls, Rare Mob Drops, and Rare Harvest Item (these items are not used for anything other than sacrifice).
This merely provides multiple win conditions. A Faction/Guild could win both with VP taking priority.
I hope this is insightful and sparks a lot of thought! Feel free to tear it apart, add in your own suggestion. Pass on to Artcraft, etc. Would love to see some more ways to make the sieges and overall campaigns have more moment to moment action and provide various strategies thorough all the seasons.
TL;DR - Create goals by placing forts/outposts in better locations, give them benefits to those locations. Respect player time by putting a standard on capture times, make capturing more interesting, space siege times for keeps and provide more incentive to want to hold onto them. Provide better ways of defending and attacking keeps. Add in some extra intrinsic and extrinsic systems.
Look to adding in Points Per Kill (PPK) to the system to allow additional points from factions (or guilds) that are winning conflict but may not be capping forts constantly. I don't recommend that it overtake capturing, just accents.