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Angelmar

The End of Nightcapping--Congrats ACE

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Posted (edited)

Six months from Blazzen's article and the guild leader round table at the end of January and we finally have a real fix for nightcapping. @jtoddcoleman

We've been through one full campaign and into a second with the new siege scheduling mechanics and can now confirm night capping is dead and burnout is greatly decreased.  The reduced keep siege schedule is also giving folks a very welcome break from grind of night after night keep sieges for months on end.

We are also seeing "player funneling" during the fort windows--where fort fights didn't exist before because of night capping, forts are now getting contested.  For the off-hours folks there is at least one fort always open, where they can try to get a fight started if there are people around. 

Essentially, ACE has finally taken another stab at solving the PvP Coordination problem: Known location at a known time to compete for a limited or scarce reward or resource.   The new schedule finally gives the known time and location. 

ACE's successes with the new schedule:

  1. Night Capping is dead (capping off hours and whoever stays up latest wins)
  2. Back capping is dead (capping objectives behind each other groups, while avoiding any fights)
  3. Reduced burnout from daily siege
  4. Reduced circle standing time/reduction in outpost count
    1. Outpost time to capture much reduced
  5. Respawn Outposts are sometimes contested.

Some suggested further improvements:

  1. Fort capture circles and outpost circles are apparently the same thing.  So forts, even when contested, can be flipped in about 30s.  This often decides the fights.  Fort circles need to be their own thing with their own timer that is much slower so the defenders get more of the benefit of guards.

Bottom line: ACE doesn't often get credit for their improvements.  This focused improvement round on siege/fort mechanics was a very big and long needed success. Congrats ACE. 

Edited by Angelmar

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I've stood in my fair share of circles throughout the trials and I can say these past two trials have been a breath of fresh air. The reduction in the number of outposts and the reduced time to cap means I spend far less times standing in circles and far more time fighting over them. The death of back capping and night capping has also been a welcome change. Thanks ACE!

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We've had some great fort fights pretty much every night since this change went live. Some of that can be attributed to guilds on both sides being more active the last couple campaigns but the schedule has played a significant part. Great change, and I'm glad our feedback has been taken and improved upon.

At first I thought that the short cap time on forts was bad but I'm on the fence now. While it does for sure benefit the larger force being able to just flip it out from under a smaller defending team, it also makes holding the wall a lot more important. The fort being utilized as a defensive structure has been missing from the POI dynamic since it's introduction and having it flip sides so fast gives more urgency to keeping enemies out instead of just piling everyone on the circle and trying to push the opposition off. It can still be a problem if there is a rise in population, mostly because the walls will just disintegrate if a siege sized force shows up and start hitting them. For now though this change has provided a lot of fun, and adapting new tactics to deal with the circle flipping so fast has been a welcome challenge.

The next step is to get win conditions where holding forts is more than just a tally on a scoreboard, I think we would get a lot more people interested in playing if there was a end game more tangible than points to fight over. I'm not alone in wanting PVP to be driven by something worthwhile, points on a scoreboard was presented to us as a placeholder back when we first got win conditions and we are still waiting for the payoff.

 

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The keep being up twice on Saturday is dumb. Especially at the time the first one goes live. It’s really my only compliant. It has low participation of NA players almost every time. 

And I would say nothing been solved. Participation in capping objectives is way down. And it continues to dwindle. 

Rez outposts have reduced the value of forts. Making the setup for a successful siege having a group go take it real quick. Not the pre planning it was before. During siege windows the rez outposts should not be able to be used. 

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+1 

It's good to stop and recognize positive improvements to the game. So often we're focused on missing features or bugs that we forget how far we've come. It's also important to recognize the developers who gave up their weekends and/or sleep to squeeze some of these improvements into the latest build. 

4 hours ago, Angelmar said:

Some suggested further improvements:

  1. Fort capture circles and outpost circles are apparently the same thing.  So forts, even when contested, can be flipped in about 30s.  This often decides the fights.  Fort circles need to be their own thing with their own timer that is much slower so the defenders get more of the benefit of guards.

That's correct - forts and outposts are tied to the same "timer". Until they're able to separate forts and outposts into separate "timers" to scale them independently I think forts that cap too fast is preferable to 20 minute solo outpost capture times.

3 minutes ago, oneply said:

The keep being up twice on Saturday is dumb. Especially at the time the first one goes live. It’s really my only compliant. It has low participation of NA players almost every time. 

I agree - this is one thing that I find kind of wonky on the schedule. 

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Posted (edited)

To me this system just means the zergs know when and where to zerg. It also only has people logging in to do these fights. This leaves the game rather empty in-between. I've seen systems like this in the past in other games. Fight time comes up population booms, game is a ghost town afterwards. Not sure how many of those games I would count as successful. Not sure this is the path that should be followed.

Edited by Darksun_

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1 hour ago, oneply said:

The keep being up twice on Saturday is dumb. Especially at the time the first one goes live. It’s really my only compliant. It has low participation of NA players almost every time. 

I agree with this part. It would be nice if there was some sort of incentive for the double siege, like increased holding points for the space between or a capture bonus modifier increase on the second siege or something. Right now it's just two chances, and if you flip a keep on the first siege but fail to defend it during the second you ultimately end up with just whatever the capture bonus was instead of capture bonus + holding points.

I think I would prefer it if there was one siege on Saturday, but more fort windows.

1 hour ago, oneply said:

And I would say nothing been solved. Participation in capping objectives is way down. And it continues to dwindle. 

I completely disagree with this.

Great post @Angelmar

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38 minutes ago, Darksun_ said:

To me this system just means the zergs know when and where to zerg. It also only has people logging in to do these fights. This leaves the game rather empty in-between. I've seen systems like this in the past in other games. Fight time comes up population booms, game is a ghost town afterwards. Not sure how many of those games I would count as successful. Not sure this is the path that should be followed.

I think a lot of this gets resolved in the Dregs ruleset where we get to place our own banes and build our own bases.

The other perceived solution is that PVE activities should drive PVP activities but since the maps are pretty large and the population is pretty small it's hard to see the impact of that unless you are explicitly trying to seek that out. We often get good PVP when we cycle around enemy zones when wartribe respawn timers come up - and if we happen to not find someone we can at least take the drops.

We'll see though. ACE is pretty well aware of this being an issue and have reacted in the past to this. The fort windows themselves are a reaction to low PVP around objectives.

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1 minute ago, galvia said:

I completely disagree with this.

I can only speak from what I see on NA chaos side. A lot of the people who play at those off hours are playing other games.

There was a fair amounting of whining about nightcapping just 2 campaigns ago with the same system implemented. 

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Just now, oneply said:

There was a fair amounting of whining about nightcapping just 2 campaigns ago with the same system implemented. 

That was because the schedule still allowed for night capping. The recent tweak to the schedule is what ended night capping. 

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Just now, oneply said:

There was a fair amounting of whining about nightcapping just 2 campaigns ago with the same system implemented.

Yeah - but that was in relation to Outpost night capping and the capture bonuses, which have been tweaked. Holding Outposts is still pretty important but the night capping effect is seriously reduced when there are 1/3 of the total outposts now then there were then, that cap at 3x the speed.

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50 minutes ago, Darksun_ said:

To me this system just means the zergs know when and where to zerg. It also only has people logging in to do these fights. This leaves the game rather empty in-between. I've seen systems like this in the past in other games. Fight time comes up population booms, game is a ghost town afterwards. Not sure how many of those games I would count as successful. Not sure this is the path that should be followed.

Ideally the number of forts vulnerable matches the population trends to force the zerg to split up in order to take multiple objectives. 

The relatively small maps and low amount of forts make this more difficult to balance right now but the concept is solid and should work well moving forward. 

There's always a fort vulnerable so if the game is empty it's not because of the fort windows. 

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10 minutes ago, blazzen said:

That was because the schedule still allowed for night capping. The recent tweak to the schedule is what ended night capping. 

 

9 minutes ago, galvia said:

Yeah - but that was in relation to Outpost night capping and the capture bonuses, which have been tweaked. Holding Outposts is still pretty important but the night capping effect is seriously reduced when there are 1/3 of the total outposts now then there were then, that cap at 3x the speed.

While I don’t have the current schedule in front of me it doesn’t address the point I made. Where are the people who were doing the night capping in the first place? If they’re not here playing how do you know the “issue” has been addressed? They haven’t been here at least on chaos side since the recent wipe. 

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1 minute ago, oneply said:

Where are the people who were doing the night capping in the first place?

The people who were most heinously night capping (Applecross, for example) were Australian and as far as I know, have quit or taken a break along with the rest of uXa for this wipe.

I know the issue has been addressed because I don't wake up in the morning to see all of our holdings have been flipped without any PVP or interference from the major guilds. We don't ask our members if anybody is feeling up to doing a little bit of night capping or staying up absurdly late for the stupid circle standing game. I know it's fixed because the burnout on my guild has been HUGELY reduced because we now only have to circle stand a little bit, and usually as a part of some other activity that is actually fun.

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1 hour ago, Darksun_ said:

To me this system just means the zergs know when and where to zerg. It also only has people logging in to do these fights. This leaves the game rather empty in-between. I've seen systems like this in the past in other games. Fight time comes up population booms, game is a ghost town afterwards. Not sure how many of those games I would count as successful. Not sure this is the path that should be followed.

It is a video game. Population concurrency numbers are transient because most people have to do things like sleep or go to work or watch their kid's ribbon dancing recital.

Every game is a ghost town during off hours compared to its population during peak hours.

In addition, Crowfall as a game is literally designed around mass combat. The entire function of the game is to create zergs and make said zergs fight each other. It markets itself as a throne war simulator, not a barstool skirmish simulator.


PopeSigGIF.gif

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

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5 minutes ago, galvia said:

The people who were most heinously night capping (Applecross, for example) were Australian and as far as I know, have quit or taken a break along with the rest of uXa for this wipe.

I know the issue has been addressed because I don't wake up in the morning to see all of our holdings have been flipped without any PVP or interference from the major guilds. We don't ask our members if anybody is feeling up to doing a little bit of night capping or staying up absurdly late for the stupid circle standing game. I know it's fixed because the burnout on my guild has been HUGELY reduced because we now only have to circle stand a little bit, and usually as a part of some other activity that is actually fun.

If the “solution” is, they don’t play anymore, then yes I agree with you. Cause that’s really all that’s changed. 

And I do like that afking during capping is no longer the ideal use of time. 

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