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Anthrage

Politics, Strategy and Territory Control

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I think the fact that there are some players who want the EK's to impact the CW's, and some who don't, speaks highly of the system and generally suggests it is on the right track. As it happens, the systems they are putting in place suggests it will be possible to satisfy both groups of players without impacting balance or impinging upon playstyle. Rather than debating which of the two realities will be manifest come release, for the sake of discussion let us assume that the aforementioned Universal Happiness Gameplay (UGH!) will be achieved and the EK and CW connection will (for some players at least) but both strong and persistent.

 

In such a case, things get very interesting. Not just in terms of the flow from CW to EK of materials, resources, thralls, vessels and who knows what else, nor from EK to CW of higher quality vessels, weapons and in some cases, goods, but also in terms of opportunity for gameplay, in the areas of politics, influence, territory control and perhaps even access.

 

I will provide one example that should give an idea of what might be possible in a brave and robust system.

 

EK's include, in their options, not just a toggle-able PvP/destruction checkbox, but an Fully Open option. This option permanently sets an EK to be fully PvP, asset destruction and open for travel to all - think of it has D2-style Hardcore mode for your EK. Hugely risky, but with the following rewards:

 

-Resource Nodes of a tier 1-higher than the maximum that can be found in a standard EK become available

-A ruined portal is discovered which can be built up much like the ruins found in CWs, which grants travel to some or all of the CW Ringsets, but with one difference from standard travel, being one or more of the following:

 

--Bypasses travel limitations in terms of leaving or joining a campaign in progress

--No import or export restrictions (100% both ways)

--Allows no-restriction transport to other Fully Open EKs

--Other advantages I can't think of not knowing the system's full details

 

 

The CW Ring in question could even be something entirely new and hidden, or a single persistent campaign world, accessible only through Fully Open EKs. That would be something truly amazing, with EKs then becoming like SB's old Badlands idea, a domain that had to be traveled to when moving from server to server. Heck, you wouldn't even need to do that, if you restricted travel to Fully Open EKs, to that which is to and from other Fully Open EKs, and made those EKs more like CW worlds in terms of resources etc.

 

The system is fully of possibilities for this kind of gameplay, and they can apply it as narrowly or as broadly they want, insulating or involving segments of the playerbase on an opt-in basis. If you think about what could be done, it's really pretty damn amazing.

 

 " Allows no-restriction transport to other Fully Open EKs " this is ok and should be possible either way. Offcourse the other EK has to set the right rules for that.

 

with 100% import export there would be no need to try to win. Just to to the CW get as mutch loot as possible to the exit and dont care about loosing as you get 100% anyway. As it stands 100% gets only the winner and thats the way it should be.

 

Joining a CW in progress should be possible anyway i cant see why this should be restrikted. For the leaving part there needs to be a pen for leaving in progress in another thread i made the idea of having 0,28% less loot you can export per day the Campain went on without you playing on it.

 

 

from what the devs said the EKs are kinda like your safe haven for you and your guildmates. You can make it to a really big trade hub for instance but you need res to build it up and these res come from the CW.

Also the " Host " of the EK is like a God there. The host decides the rules and who comes in and who cant. Why should the rules change whats avible for the EK.

If that was possible the host could just disallow anyone to join while having these nice bonuses. Or just allow guildmates to join and even if the bonuses could only apply if everyone can join then large guilds will still rule them. Just kill anyone who joins and is not part of the Guild / aliance. And dont expect other large guilds to fight them they wont. From my 15 years of GvG exp i know that most large guilds try to avoid each other unless there is no other way or they have so many res in spare that they dont mind loosing a part of it in a fight.

 

I took it that there are no res at all in the EK. or even if there are res just the t1.


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I am hoping that months-long campaigns will be long enough to feel persistent. That exploring a world, taking territory, fighting over POIs, crafting stuff, trading stuff, building strongholds and other assets, destroying them, and even the conclusion of the campaign itself will feel immersive and meaningful.

 

Even the ostensibly permanent Shadowbane servers were similarly episodic, though on longer timescales. Servers got stale and were shut down and new ones would be launched. The first few months of each launch tended to be the most active. Judging from that, people actually seemed to like fresh starts, so I wonder to what extent the illusion of permanence is an important factor.

 

 

Hopefully there are campaigns with relaxed import rules in the harsher worlds to address that issue. J Todd Coleman once said in an AMA on Reddit:

 

To add to this,  Shadowbane servers were also episodic in other ways as well in that there were political "seasons". Empires would fall and there would be periods of peace during the power vacuum, or often times even immediate civil wars as the victors fought amongst themselves for control.

 

Lots of interesting stories and dynamics occurred through the longer persistence on Shadowbane servers. It will be interesting to see how the devs here balance the need to avoid stagnation and guilds "winning" and putting everyone under their boots with the fact that there is a lot of interesting things that come from waiting to see how those things play out (at least there was in Shadowbane).

 

This is one of the main reasons I'm thankful these guys are open-minded on the specific time-tables.  Maybe it's 6 months.  Maybe its 1 month.  Maybe it's 3. What I think would be more interesting than debating the time-table specifically, would be exploring the whys around some of these phenomena.

 

Was it permanence or the illusion of permanence?  What does permanence even mean in this case?  Is it being oppressed by the same group of guys who "rule" the server?  Is it a map so filled up with crap that it ceases to have any real political or social meaning?  Is it simply that I just like the idea of a new character and having poorly made socksty gear in the initial land rush?  A lot of the answers to these questions aren't 100% clear to me. We'll have to try it out and see.

 

My only fear from the player interaction POV, with the idea of regular campaign resets, was that a valuable part of the evolution of a servers "story" would be missed.  If we don't give that oppressive empire long enough to really put everyone under their boot.  If we don't give enough time for the rebellion to form that eventually overthrows them.  If we don't see that collective sigh as a war-weary population tries to figure out how to fill a huge power vacuum - Is there not a valuable storytelling/memory making experience that's lost there.

 

I can only speak for myself, but some of my fondest memories from Shadowbane, and consequently from my entire gaming life, are of the awe-inspiring and overwhelming weight and intensity of some of those geo-political type experiences. I still remember the names of the leaders and the alliances and how they interacted.  There is very little about games that still continues to resonate with me in that way to this day.

 

I don't even know what the hell I'm talking about anymore.  Reminiscent rant over and out.


Your milkshake lures all the fine folks to the yard. Verily, it is better than mine. Surely it is better than mine. Would you teach me, or would you levy a fee? - Integ

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