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LightlyFried

Burn It To The Ground - A Solution to 'Uncle Bob'

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Posted (edited)

Hey all,

Let me preface this by saying I've not got to group PvP in the last few campaigns, so if anything is out-of-date here I apologise.

In any case, here's a quick idea to solve the slippery slope 'Uncle Bob' problem; instead of, or in addition to, the bonus pool mechanic in the most recent article:

When a fort or keep is captured, present the capturing faction (or guild for dregs games) with the choice of either capturing or razing the structure. Capturing does what it does now - claims the structure for your faction and starts accruing victory points, but razing the structure instead temporarily burns the structure to the ground, both denying anyone else the victory points for a time but also removing a one-off chunk of victory points of the previous owning faction. After a set time the razed structure is automatically rebuilt and becomes neutral again, able to be captured by anyone. The risk of razing is, of course, that your team might not be there to recapture the structure once it's rebuilt.

This would do, in my opinion, two important things: It would de-incentivise overextending, as a faction would be punished for going and taking non-strategic structures, and secondly it would help prevent one team from getting too far ahead of the others - in theory the faction with the most points would have the most structures captured, so the losing teams could raze the enemy's structures to try and close the gap. Of course this doesn't prevent the other team from just taking the structures back once they rebuild.

With this mechanic, like with all others, the balancing would be the hard part. You'd want it tuned so that the length of time the structure stays destroyed or uncapturable to be reasonable, but also the value of points razing the structure removes from the previous owners to be more than capturing would give over that time, otherwise the act would be worthless. For example, if razing a structure took it out of the game for 3 hours and removed 100 points from the previous team, but capturing that structure for 3 hours would give the capturing team 300 points, razing the structure would have no value.

I don't think neutral structures should be able to be razed only to prevent other factions taking them, it's kinda bm to just roll around with scorched earth tactics. I also think it should be reserved for bigger structures only - Keeps and Forts, but not outposts or war banners - it would be too easy for new players to accidentally lose their faction points by wandering around capturing smaller points with a group from an opposing faction following behind and razing everything they take.

 

Now, it it's current form, my suggestion has flaws: The first issue with this suggestion is how to present the choice of whether to capture the structure or raze it, and the second is who to present the choice to; i.e Present it via a UI box? Possibly intrusive in battle. A chat /slash command? Easily missable. And to whom? To all the players in the faction? It would be hard to wrangle everyone to agreement on a strategy. Just the caputing player? Why trust them such a big decision for the whole campaign?

It may not be a perfect idea right now, but I think it's at least a good starting point for some strategic play.

P.S: Sorry if this has already been suggested elsewhere; I looked through the forum and couldn't find mention of the idea.

 

EDIT: One thing to mention, razing a faction's structures should never take their score below 0. This would making razing a losing team's structures worth less strategically. For more details and a really long winded example with numbers, see here.

Edited by LightlyFried
Added details about minimum scores

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Posted (edited)

I like the idea of taking points off other factions as a way of catching up 👍🏻

Edited by Synns
Grammatical error

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Seems like the stronger faction could use it to further increase their lead.  I could gain points from assets and then burn down key poorly made socks to deny you what points you do have.  How would you implement this in dregs?  How would you prevent abuse?

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Just now, mandalore said:

Seems like the stronger faction could use it to further increase their lead.  I could gain points from assets and then burn down key poorly made socks to deny you what points you do have.  How would you implement this in dregs?  How would you prevent abuse?

All valid points. My bet is, in an example with two teams, it would be easier for Team A with 3 forts to keep their 3 than for Team B with 10 forts to keep all 10. Team A razing one or two of Team B's forts should keep them from falling too far behind in points. In a situation where Team B can steamroll Team A in any encounter, Team A is pretty screwed anyway no matter what mechanics are implemented. However if points can't go below 0 (something I didn't mention in the original post but I think I'll edit in for clarity) we de-incentivise the winning team from razing too many of the losing team's forts intstead of capturing them, as the point hit would be wasted. It also provides an alternate strategy for a team who has enough manpower to take a fort, but not enough to keep it, to instead deny points to their enemies. A long winded example below...

To throw some numbers at it, lets say again Team A has 3 forts and Team B has 10. To make the math easy, we'll say each fort gives one point per hour, and the initial score is 0 for both teams. So Team A is gonna be getting 3 ponts per hour and Team B will be getting 10. After 5 hours (if nothing changes) Team A will have 15 points and Team B will have 50, so the difference will be 35. If instead Team A takes a fort from Team B 2 hours in, but team B takes it back immediately, their victory isn't really worth anything because Team B will keep getting points for it. However if they take and raze it, Team B loses, lets say 3 points, and can't capture it back for another 3 hours. That makes the capture worth an effective 6 points (3 for the direct hit, and three for the loss of potential points) so at the end of this senario Team A still has 15 points but Team B instead has 44 points, making the difference 29 points.

Of course if Team B goes in and burns down all three of Team A's forts 2 hours in, Team A will lose all their points, but as their points won't go below 0, and Team B won't be getting more points for the razed forts, at the end of the 5 hours Team A will have 0 points, but Team B will still have 50, so the point difference will be 50. If Team B captured the forts instead, at the end of the 5 hours Team A would have the 6 points they earned for the three forts in the first two hours, and Team B would have 59, making the difference 53 points. So Team A would actually benefit (a smidge) in the long run from Team B razing their forts. Of course then it's up to them to get back in the game, just like it is in the current implementation.

The above is running on a LOT of assumptions, but I think it gets the basic gist across. It also doesn't factor in the third faction in the current ruleset who will probably also be chipping away at Team B. As for the dregs, I don't think it would play out too differently, except there would be a bit less incentive to raze structures, as with more factions (i.e guilds) around there would be fewer structures for each faction, so the point difference would probably be a little less of an issue. It could just be another knob the devs can turn, so the penalty incurred for razing would be smaller in those rulesets.

Lastly, with preventing abuse, that's something I've still not really figured out in truth. Within a faction if the consensus is to capture the fort, but the dude who decides chooses to instead raze it, that would suck. If this were implemented I'd say at a stab to maybe put a poll ingame, maybe on the map screen, to put it to the whole faction to decide. Give it, I dunno, two minutes, and people can vote either way.

As I said before, the idea's not perfectly formed yet, so I'd love everybody's input with how to improve it!

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They forts are too easily flipped from faction to faction...and usually by too small of a force. Razing them is not a bad idea.

But instead maybe adding a timer to make then invulnerable for some set period of time will help keep them from flipping from faction to faction too often. Should it be 10 mins? 60 mins?

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Posted (edited)

 

I remember something similar in Company of Heroes about break the enemy's supply line, but experienced players always left some units in guard to avoid this ... There's one question you did not think about: "espionage." If someone spies on the enemy faction just to get information about an attempt (players may have more than one account), they will know that a dive is being planned and warn their allies to be able to anticipate the whole move with a ambush and even increase plus the unbalance between the faction points easily.  The faction with more players will continue to have an advantage as it may have a larger information network that prevents surprise attacks.

I think the mechanics of dives in enemy territory are very flawed and in many games they are nothing more than suicides in the kamikaze style and may seem strategic, but in fact they are very likely to cause more damage to your own faction.

Edited by hamon

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Posted (edited)

Who gets to decide to do this in factions? 

What if a spy account wants to pick "Raze" to deny the accumulation of points to the capturing team, AND build in a delay for their friends on the other team to show up and claim it back? 

Every time you give team agency to a situation, you raise the specter of someone on the team becoming a bad actor. In dregs that won't matter, because you can filter your team, but in faction campaigns your stuck with whoever clicked on your banner.

Frankly, pretty much every sort of activity that influences team score has to be one way, and only positive, and without choice, so that bad actors on your faction can't create a negative situation for "their own" team through an active choice.

If they did ever put into play a connected zone model, then this could work for any capture that happens "behind enemy lines" or not connected to your own lines. That would remove agency from the choice, other than attack/don't attack.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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10 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

If they did ever put into play a connected zone model, then this could work for any capture that happens "behind enemy lines" or not connected to your own lines. That would remove agency from the choice, other than attack/don't attack.

I actually much prefer this to my original idea, it solves all the problems player choice brings up, either malicious or ignorant.

I guess it just depends on if ACE implement any kind of zoning, which I hope they do, as it would direct the flow of war just a little.

Thanks so much for your input!

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Day 2: only the keeps remained.

Day 32: forts and outposts continue to burn as fast as they are claimed. Spies continue to claim for factions specifically to use them as VP sinks.

Day: 85: still just the keeps, all scores within 3k of each other.

Day 90: Campaign concluded. A Victor emerges based mostly on who could quickflip objectives with spy alts.

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18 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

Day 2: only the keeps remained.

Day 32: forts and outposts continue to burn as fast as they are claimed. Spies continue to claim for factions specifically to use them as VP sinks.

Day: 85: still just the keeps, all scores within 3k of each other.

Day 90: Campaign concluded. A Victor emerges based mostly on who could quickflip objectives with spy alts.

So the investors with 5+ accounts win?  I’ll take that :P

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