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Putzin

Alliances and Guild Collaborations

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   I think we’ve all seen Alliances and giant Zergs of Guilds working together ruin other MMOs, most MMOs. I think with the whole Campaign season system will stop this issue and potential threat to the games health will be avoided largely.

 

   I don’t mind losing campaigns etc. but if it gets to the point where a single guild or Alliance can win them all with ease then obviously the balance of the game will be lost.

 

   This is just a topic to discuss people’s looming concerns and problems we foresee as a community coming to light. Also how best smaller guilds can avoid these issues or prepare for them accordingly. 

 

   Obviously this is all up for change, do not take the content discussed here to heart, final game development will likely be different.

1. First of all, are Alliances even a thing?

2. What do losers in a campaign get? If there are Alliances, is it one guild wins all?

3. Are there any publicly known Guild Collaborations / Alliances already formed?

4. I wanted to see if people could see potential issues with larger Zerg guilds coming into play?

 

Edited by Putzin

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1 hour ago, Putzin said:

 

1. First of all, are Alliances even a thing?    -------> Don't know, but this is kind of what Factions are

2. What do losers in a campaign get? If there are Alliances, is it one guild wins all?  They get a smaller portion of their Export Escrow

3. Are there any publicly known Guild Collaborations?  looks like some Guilds are going to a certain faction, so kind of

4. I wanted to see if people could see potential issues with larger Zerg guilds coming into play?    There will always be guilds that hate other guilds, so I bet you will always see at least two large groups facing off

 

Cheers

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I think this definitely speaks to the coming months and the info that we will get from ACE regarding the completed game. This has understandably been a test period, while the skeletal infrastructure and systems of the game are being created. I do not expect polish, optimization, full graphics, effects, music, sounds, content, new player experience etc etc at this point. 

BUT....I am absolutely happy with the velocity of development, focus, communication and many other aspects of this games dev cycle. 

I think we are ready to hear about some other parts of the game, now that it's very apparent that the game loop itself is coming together nicely.
 

Continuous info, videos, streams and everything we've come to know about the regular aspects Crowfall's development should keep going, but I'd love to start talking about the game stuff very soon now :) 

Not the "when" will stuff come, but the "what" will stuff look like when it comes. 

TLDR: Let's start some discussions around what the game will look like when it is ready for soft launch later this year. We don't need guarantees or commitments, but its definitely time to start the flow of ideas and info please.  

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Alliances are a thing if you make them a thing. I don't know if the game will make them a thing, but I'm quite sure people will. I'm also quite sure people will break their alliances at opportune moments, and turn on each other.  Even (especially) the top dog alliances and guilds will have in-fighting and attrition, spies, deception, theft.   I'm not too concern about the larger zerg alliances, I think they rot from the inside over time.  It is extremely difficult (and time consuming) to manage a successful empire.

 

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Alliances will always be a thing, even if there's no official support for them. Much of what you ask is undecided or up in the air. People want to win, and zerging is a good way to do that - zerging is boring as hell, even for the people doing it, most of the time, but the desire to win often trumps our desire for fun.

Ultimately it's the devs responsibility to disincentivize zerging as much as they see fit. In my mind, a few of the ways to do this are to make whatever "campaign reward" is decided upon actually desirable, but also not scale with player count (so a victorious clan of 100 players will receive, proportionally, much more than a winning clan of 1000) and also, perhaps counterintuitively, have no hard-coded distribution mechanism (for the winner's lion's share of whatever the reward actually is) beyond "Give Winning Guild Reward". Let me explain.

People will ally up bigtime, but I think the unit of achieving victory should always be a Guild, not an Alliance. If an alliance wins a campaign, it should be the responsibility of the dominant guild of that alliance to distribute whatever exactly the spoils of winning end up being in this game to their allies and vassals. The distrust, mismanagement, and reluctance to give away whatever campaign rewards end up being will create useful friction that will discourage some amount of zerg behaviour.

The negative of course is that the lack of a programmed third party to distribute rewards fairly can be countered by merging into a single mega zerg guild instead. However, in my experience, such things work out much better in theory than in practice, and such guilds are super unstable and even more prone to total collapse.

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Putzin said:

   I think we’ve all seen Alliances and giant Zergs of Guilds working together ruin other MMOs, most MMOs.

[...] if it gets to the point where a single guild or Alliance can win them all with ease then obviously the balance of the game will be lost.

[...] Also how best smaller guilds can avoid these issues or prepare for them accordingly. [...]

1. First of all, are Alliances even a thing?

2. What do losers in a campaign get? If there are Alliances, is it one guild wins all?

3. Are there any publicly known Guild Collaborations / Alliances already formed?

4. I wanted to see if people could see potential issues with larger Zerg guilds coming into play?

 

 

Let's take a look at some basics first. Conclusion at the end. 

 

World bands & risk vs. reward

The most basic concept of Crowfall is probably the risk vs. reward balance. The original plans said that we will have different world bands with different basic rulesets. Within those world bands we will have campaign worlds with ammending special rules. And we haven't heard about any changes about this plan.
 

Crowfall_WorldRules_1.jpg

The nearer a world band is to the center of the universe (from where the hunger spreads), the more risky the worlds within will be. Less possibilities to group up, more dangerous monsters, less opportunities to get resources, less to none imports and less to no gain for the looser at the end of the campaign. On the other hand the possible rewards increase. Higher resource leves, better drops, higher gain for the winner at the end of the campaign. And of course more fame.
 
 
The embargo vault

What we've heard so far: When the campaign ends, you will be able to export items from your embargo vault out of the campaign world into your account bank. How many depends on the world bands ruleset, the specific rules of the world and of course your contribution to the campaign. Above that, those exports are of course limited by the number of inventory slots of the embargo vault. The embargo vaults exist only at certain places and the stuff you want to put in there (which will be your possible gain) have to be carried physically to this place. And you won't be able to access this stuff to use it in the campaign, once you put it in. So you have to decide wether to use it to win, or to put it away to be your possible gain.
 
 
Grouping up

God's Reach with it's 3-Faction system (choose order, balance or chaos) is the easiest one to group up and allow huge forces. The Infected allows to choose between the 12 gods. The Shadows base on guilds. The dregs are all against all, with the biggest possible group most likely being a team (in the past 6-8 players), if at all. Inside your own group you can heal players and outside it players get damage if you hit them. That makes zerging more difficult, the closer your world is to the hunger. But that is where the good rewards are.
 
 
Guild system, kneeling mechanic, alliances

We don't know much more than concepts/ideas about this yet. But it is in development and we should get more informations within the next very few months. The basic idea is that a guild can have up to 300 members, either players or sub-guilds. Sub-guilds can also have sub-guilds. And this will probably be capped at the 3rd or 4th sub level. We haven't heard anything about a dedicated alliance system yet, but I'd guess the above concept suggests that alliances will probably be purely player governed, using the sub-guild system. This can obviously only happen down to The Shadows and won't be a thing in the dregs.

Then there is the kneeling mechanic (which we don't know much more about but that they want to do it somehow). It is meant to allow temporary collaborations ... and betrayal. You can more or less join another group - but you can also change you mind and loyalties.  In God's Reach and The Infected this may allow changing the faction or maybe not exist at all. In The shadows it might work some kind of temporary ammendment to the sub-guild system. And in the dregs ... who knows.

All of this may allow zergs to be easily build. But also allows for smaller groups to team up in order to become significant. Where it will lead us, we'll see. It will surely be tested and we will be able to share our feedback.
 
 
So my conclusion and answers to your questions would be:

1. Alliances and collaborations will always be a thing. Just like Betrayal. It will mostly depend on what the players decide to do. They will always find a way for both.

2. The gain of the game depends on the world band ruleset, the cw rules and the player contribution. In The Dregs (with higher resource and monster levels) you fight without a safety net and the winner takes it all. In God's Reach (with lower resource and monster levels) you fight in relative safety within large factions and the winner gets a little bit more than the looser.

3. I'd say it's not the time for alliances yet. Most guilds don't even run through the world in a structured manner. Very few do - sometimes. There's just nothing to gain yet. But people come to know each other and you could call this the early beginnings of later collaboration possibilities.

4. Personally I don't see huge problems about potential zergs. They may happen. But there will be a lot of worlds with very different rulesets. Some may foster or hinder them more than others. We will see ... and surely also take care of it. ;)

2W1ZHpA.jpg

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8 hours ago, Kraahk said:

 

Let's take a look at some basics first. Conclusion at the end. 

 

World bands & risk vs. reward

The most basic concept of Crowfall is probably the risk vs. reward balance. The original plans said that we will have different world bands with different basic rulesets. Within those world bands we will have campaign worlds with ammending special rules. And we haven't heard about any changes about this plan.
 

Crowfall_WorldRules_1.jpg

The nearer a world band is to the center of the universe (from where the hunger spreads), the more risky the worlds within will be. Less possibilities to group up, more dangerous monsters, less opportunities to get resources, less to none imports and less to no gain for the looser at the end of the campaign. On the other hand the possible rewards increase. Higher resource leves, better drops, higher gain for the winner at the end of the campaign. And of course more fame.
 
 
The embargo vault

What we've heard so far: When the campaign ends, you will be able to export items from your embargo vault out of the campaign world into your account bank. How many depends on the world bands ruleset, the specific rules of the world and of course your contribution to the campaign. Above that, those exports are of course limited by the number of inventory slots of the embargo vault. The embargo vaults exist only at certain places and the stuff you want to put in there (which will be your possible gain) have to be carried physically to this place. And you won't be able to access this stuff to use it in the campaign, once you put it in. So you have to decide wether to use it to win, or to put it away to be your possible gain.
 
 
Grouping up

God's Reach with it's 3-Faction system (choose order, balance or chaos) is the easiest one to group up and allow huge forces. The Infected allows to choose between the 12 gods. The Shadows base on guilds. The dregs are all against all, with the biggest possible group most likely being a team (in the past 6-8 players), if at all. Inside your own group you can heal players and outside it players get damage if you hit them. That makes zerging more difficult, the closer your world is to the hunger. But that is where the good rewards are.
 
 
Guild system, kneeling mechanic, alliances

We don't know much more than concepts/ideas about this yet. But it is in development and we should get more informations within the next very few months. The basic idea is that a guild can have up to 300 members, either players or sub-guilds. Sub-guilds can also have sub-guilds. And this will probably be capped at the 3rd or 4th sub level. We haven't heard anything about a dedicated alliance system yet, but I'd guess the above concept suggests that alliances will probably be purely player governed, using the sub-guild system. This can obviously only happen down to The Shadows and won't be a thing in the dregs.

Then there is the kneeling mechanic (which we don't know much more about but that they want to do it somehow). It is meant to allow temporary collaborations ... and betrayal. You can more or less join another group - but you can also change you mind and loyalties.  In God's Reach and The Infected this may allow changing the faction or maybe not exist at all. In The shadows it might work some kind of temporary ammendment to the sub-guild system. And in the dregs ... who knows.

All of this may allow zergs to be easily build. But also allows for smaller groups to team up in order to become significant. Where it will lead us, we'll see. It will surely be tested and we will be able to share our feedback.
 
 
So my conclusion and answers to your questions would be:

1. Alliances and collaborations will always be a thing. Just like Betrayal. It will mostly depend on what the players decide to do. They will always find a way for both.

2. The gain of the game depends on the world band ruleset, the cw rules and the player contribution. In The Dregs (with higher resource and monster levels) you fight without a safety net and the winner takes it all. In God's Reach (with lower resource and monster levels) you fight in relative safety within large factions and the winner gets a little bit more than the looser.

3. I'd say it's not the time for alliances yet. Most guilds don't even run through the world in a structured manner. Very few do - sometimes. There's just nothing to gain yet. But people come to know each other and you could call this the early beginnings of later collaboration possibilities.

4. Personally I don't see huge problems about potential zergs. They may happen. But there will be a lot of worlds with very different rulesets. Some may foster or hinder them more than others. We will see ... and surely also take care of it. ;)

Thank you for your very detailed and informative response this was veryyy helpful 10/10.

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21 hours ago, Putzin said:

   I think we’ve all seen Alliances and giant Zergs of Guilds working together ruin other MMOs, most MMOs. I think with the whole Campaign season system will stop this issue and potential threat to the games health will be avoided largely.

 

   I don’t mind losing campaigns etc. but if it gets to the point where a single guild or Alliance can win them all with ease then obviously the balance of the game will be lost.

 

   This is just a topic to discuss people’s looming concerns and problems we foresee as a community coming to light. Also how best smaller guilds can avoid these issues or prepare for them accordingly. 

 

   Obviously this is all up for change, do not take the content discussed here to heart, final game development will likely be different.

1. First of all, are Alliances even a thing?

2. What do losers in a campaign get? If there are Alliances, is it one guild wins all?

3. Are there any publicly known Guild Collaborations / Alliances already formed?

4. I wanted to see if people could see potential issues with larger Zerg guilds coming into play?

 

This is assuming there is only one campaign to play in.  

My personal guess on player behavior, is going to be.

  1. New world starts and known Zerg guild joins.
  2. Players that know the Zerg reputation will bail into the next available campaign quickly.
  3. Zerg will take the time to win that world, rather quickly, but the window of opportunity to be effective in the next will have closed because the territory will already be staked out.
  4. General word will get out, to avoid any world that "Zerg" is in.  Not all new players will catch that word, but many will.
  5. Zerg will increasingly find itself in empty worlds, that close very quickly, and end up with few rewards to split amongst the masses.
  6. Zerg players will get tired of playing empty worlds, and either split off from Zerg, or create some interesting drama within the guild that will cause fragmentation.
  7. Zerg will either break up, or find a different game more suited to zerg activity.

If CF has 300k players, and each world holds about 10,000, then there will be at least 30 worlds active at any time. GIven 10 worlds per band (3), and worlds with a 3 month lifespan (See FAQ quotes below) , that will mean a new world in each band every 9 days. (Friday night new world rush day could be a thing for many small/medium sized guilds.) Worlds the Zerg enter and dominate will probably enter the end game early because of the goal of closing finished (won) worlds, and worlds that are balanced well will last longer.  Have a good weekend rush, and the guild tries to hold the world. Have a bad one, everyone drops and tries again next week. ACE has every motivation to 

  1. Monitor all active campaigns to see what ones are working.
  2. Close/shorten campaigns that are no longer fun.
  3. Keep a "fresh" world available at all times for new players to join.   How long a new world stays fresh will have to be determined from experience.

In short, Dying worlds makes it incredibly hard to Zerg, when player can just quit a zerg world and jump to a new one when they don't like the way one world is going.

Quote

Campaigns

HOW MANY CAMPAIGNS WILL BE RUNNING AT ONCE?
As many as we need to support our player base!

The universe map shows ruleset bands; at any given time, each band will host a number of Campaigns in various stages of completion. There should always be new Campaigns starting, and old Campaigns coming to an end.

We also host host Campaigns locally in various territories, including throughout Europe with our partner Travian Games.

Campaign Worlds will come with a reservation system, and each account will have a set number of Campaigns that it may subscribe to. (Zergs will have to commit to worlds en mass, or risk losing them. Individuals should be able to drop a world completely to open a new slot.)

WHY WOULD I PARTICIPATE IN A LONG CAMPAIGN? IT SEEMS LIKE I WOULD GET MORE REWARDS FROM DOING A BUNCH OF SHORTER ONES?
Rewards scale up based on the difficulty of the Campaign and the duration. (Zerg closed campaigns will have lower rewards) In effect, you can earn more rewards by making the longer-term commitment – and, of course, by winning.  It’s all about risk and reward.

As for time scale, we expect Campaigns to last anywhere from one to three months. Technically, they can be shorter or longer, so we’ll put up a handful of options, and see which are most popular. Some campaigns will be time-limited, and others will end based on a triggered event (i.e one faction or guild takes over the entire map).

ARE THERE ANY VICTORY CONDITIONS OTHER THAN THE PASSAGE OF TIME?
Eventually, yes!

Our system allows us to make any number of Worlds, and any number of rule sets. The amazing thing about this design is that it allows for a huge degree of experimentation! Most MMOs get one chance – at launch – to find a mix of rules that appeals to the players. The great thing about the Campaign architecture is that we can try dozens of

ideas in parallel, all the time. It’s like a generic algorithm for MMO design: the good ideas can be replicated (and riffed on), the bad ideas can be filtered out.

 

I personally think Zergs are going to have a really hard time having any fun at all with the design. They certainly won't be able to break the game.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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Get used to large groups of players winning things. That is literally the design of the game. You either join one organically through the course of play or join one automatically by joining a faction.

The entire campaign system is designed to stress players in to discarding or absorbing smaller actors over time for security and pooling ever more scarce resources.

Any person who plays a competitive MMO that then complains about large numbers of people winning things doesn't understand the fundamental rules of waging war in general, and war in MMOs specifically. The trick is ensuring that lopsided campaigns are won quickly, and making sure winning is useful enough and losing punishing enough nobody treats winning as optional. War games only work if everyone has stake in the war, and that means everyone has a desire and incentive to be part of one army or another.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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