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A Vision For Competitive Gameplay In The Eternal Kingdoms

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Statement of Problem:

 

An analogy that JTC has repeatedly used is that if the Campaigns are soccer matches, the Eternal Kingdom is the soccer season.  Keeping with comparison – What about the season standings?  The playoffs?  The Championship match?  The Hall of Fame?  The reason the individual soccer games are played is to answer these questions! 

 

The closest we have to addressing the question of playoff or championships is from the Campaign and Kingdom FAQ:

 

 

 

We are working on a design that allows Kingdoms to War with each other.

 

This idea is still very rough, and we consider this a secondary system to the Campaigns – meaning that, even when engaged in a Kingdom War, players will still be reliant on Campaign participation in order to secure materials and rare reagents.

 

The basic outline of the Kingdom War system is:

 

The Monarch of one Kingdom challenges the Monarch of another. They must agree on the duration or victory condition (i.e. how do we determine a winner?) They must both ante up a prize (in materials, items or coin) that will be placed “in escrow”, meaning they can’t touch it unless they win.

 

Once the War starts, Vassals can travel between the two Kingdoms, and there is open PvP in both Worlds (i.e. no safe zones.) The siege mechanics are enabled on those Worlds, and the buildings are destructible. The War ends either when the pre-determined condition is met by one side, or when one Monarch surrenders. The winner gets the rewards that were set aside at the beginning.

 

NOTE: the details of this system are still being worked out. If this sounds interesting to you, we invite you to jump on the forums and join the discussion.

 

 

 

Over the past two months as the clock ticked down and information was dribbled out, I was building a vision in my mind about the role of the Eternal Kingdoms.  I have to admit that the current information that we have on EK does not align with where I thought the conversation was headed.  So in the spirit of the above invitation, here is my vision for a competitive EK.

 

Design Objectives:

  • Within the PvP-flag and persistent structures of the EK, create a competitive macro game.
  • Risk versus Reward to entice (not force) participation.
  • Overarching struggle in the EK fed by resources from the Campaigns.
  • Virtual Scoreboard for Crowfall as a whole (not just campaigns).
  • There will be Winners and Losers.

diaMNdP.jpg

 

Lore:

  • When the All Father of the Heavens ripped the Wyrm Eternal asunder, his spine fell from the skies and formed a massive circle.
  • To contain the hunger, the Builders constructed a mighty structure upon the Wyrm’s spine that now gives shape to the Eternal Kingdoms.

 

1GZvybk.jpg

 

 

Construct:

  • Personal kingdoms are modules that aggregate to create the overall EK (in keeping with current implications from FAQ)
  • Competitive game focused on the spinal “Ring Road” within the EK.
  • Personal kingdoms can elect to participate in the struggle to become a “Grand Kingdom” by securing one of a limited number of places along this Ring Road.
  • Ring Road offers prime location for real estate (See Economic Incentive below).
  • Limited seats of power to create “King of Kings” struggle (See Status Incentive below).

ANIUQQn.jpg

 

Economic Incentive:

  • Risk / Reward incentive to participate.
  • Grand Kingdoms will be at the top of any list of travel options within the EK
  • In lieu of automated Auction House, center of trade in the Grand Kingdoms will have high visibility and therefore be frequently visited, creating the defacto first tier market place.
  • Ring Road provides commerce network for trade of resources and finished goods through movement of caravans.

Status Incentive:

  • Scoreboard on Crowfall website will list current Grand Kingdom Monarchs in descending order of longevity.
  • Scoreboard on Crowfall website will list total time spent on a Grand Kingdom throne (even if not currently seated) in descending order of longevity.
  • Custom in-game titles and cosmetic rewards (armor, crowns, weapons) for Grand Kingdom Monarchs.

7uIlqPo.jpg

 

Game Mechanic:

  • Limited “Anchors” along Ring Road provide means of advancing a Kingdom World to a Grand Kingdom.
  • All Grand Kingdoms are automatically set to +Public and +PvP.
  • Buildings in the Anchor zone can only be constructed with resources imported from the Campaigns (No EK Kickstart structures allowed).
  • All buildings in the Anchor zone are destructible, but are invulnerable until a siege is declared.
  • Limited space within the Anchor Zone will force decisions balancing military needs (walls, guards) versus economic enhancements (speed buffs for caravans, increased tax bonuses, crafting stations, etc).  This is more risk versus reward gameplay.

lURQrnM.jpg

 

Siege Mechanic:

  • Siege Declarations can be made by use of an object crafted from very rare resources obtained within Campaigns and as part of victory rewards.  Defender picks time within predefined window.
  • Anchor zone (and only the anchor zone) becomes vulnerable during siege window and structures can be destroyed.
  • Siege ends once time expires, or by capture of the Anchor itself.
  • Victorious attacker can elect to sever the connection of the defeated Grand Kingdom from the Anchor, and replace with another Kingdom World.

 

Thoughts?  How does this compare with your vision for the Eternal Kingdoms?


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I can see many of the mechanics and ideas listed being in the game, but the positioning of the kingdoms I'm not sure about.  I do look forward to a system the promotes the top guilds either on the website or in game.  Listing these guilds by longevity may not work if in fact you have to go to war first so as to siege a kingdom.  This means that guilds can just sit around and never advance, but were in place first thereby making them on top of the leader boards.  Maybe a system of conquests would be better suited to represent which guilds should be revered.  As for receiving unique cosmetic pieces I feel that would be a great addition if the items were actually rewarded by the system I suggested and not just by being here the longest.  Really good layout though and the whole battle system is why I am so excited for Crowfall!

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This is a really well thought out idea. I like the Ring Road aspect since it is a circle, there are no positional advantages. I would like this system + invasion of grand kingdoms. Maybe the goal can be to sever the connection but invaders can do something inside the grand kingdom to help achieve that?

Edit: I was not happy to read that we would each get our own personal instance and that would be our kingdom. This idea makes more of a realised "world".

Edited by Walpurgisnacht

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Listing these guilds by longevity may not work if in fact you have to go to war first so as to siege a kingdom.  This means that guilds can just sit around and never advance, but were in place first thereby making them on top of the leader boards.  Maybe a system of conquests would be better suited to represent which guilds should be revered. 

 

My initial thinking is that being on the top of a very public and very official list would make you a target.  If people want to care about a claim that their enemy makes, then go ahead and do something about it directly, instead of monkeying around with scoring points.  Don't underestimate the power of ego and bragging rights - it has motivated the MMO / PvP community for a couple decades now.

 

 

Really good layout though and the whole battle system is why I am so excited for Crowfall!

 

Thanks!


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No scoreboard, no stats.

 

Planetside 2 showed what happens when you take a strategic game and add extensive stat tracking (like K/D, accuracy percentage, etc.). All notions of strategy, teamwork, and objective control fly out the window as everyone focuses instead on farming and padding their ratings.

Edited by recatek

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No scoreboard, no stats.

 

Planetside 2 showed what happens when you take a strategic game and add extensive stat tracking (like K/D, accuracy percentage, etc.). All notions of strategy, teamwork, and objective control fly out the window as everyone focuses instead on farming and padding their ratings.

 

I believe you misunderstand what would be tracked on the scoreboard. At the moment, Ren has only suggested things like a Grand Kingdoms duration be made visible.

 

As for you post Ren, I really love it. As Nefastus said it's a great concept. My only current gripe with it is how difficult it would be to balance how your real estate is used. Any Kingdom that decided to be more economic would be the one that would always get attacked no matter what due to its slightly weaker defenses. I'm currently unsure of how to fix this, but perhaps making there be tiered Grand Kingdoms (IE: A grand Kingdom and a grander kingdom maybe?), that way if you control two you would put the economic kingdom behind the defensive kingdom.

 

I've also added this thread to my slowly growing list of well thought out posts for Crowfall that's in my signature. If you'd like me to remove it feel free to ask me to.

 

Edit: I forgot to add, I really like your inclusion of what we know so far of the lore in your idea. This game already has such great synergy with its lore-to-gameplay that any idea that continues that trend is already really cool.

Edited by Immerse

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Someone should start a kickstarter going for Ren ( the OP) to get him hired by Crowfall and pay his salary!

Well thought out ideas for the game!

 

Good job Ren!


dulpoa76627.png

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My only current gripe with it is how difficult it would be to balance how your real estate is used. Any Kingdom that decided to be more economic would be the one that would always get attacked no matter what due to its slightly weaker defenses. I'm currently unsure of how to fix this, but perhaps making there be tiered Grand Kingdoms (IE: A grand Kingdom and a grander kingdom maybe?), that way if you control two you would put the economic kingdom behind the defensive kingdom.

 

That is what alliances are for!  I would imagine that a Grand Kingdom is not going to go heavy on the economic infrastructure side unless they feel pretty comfortable, and are able to draw upon a highly skilled defensive force to represent their interests in any potential siege.  On the other hand, a Grand Kingdom that wants to top the leader board and stay there as long as possible might go fully military with multiple rings of defensive walls.

 

Interesting stuff to contemplate!

 

 

I've also added this thread to my slowly growing list of well thought out posts for Crowfall that's in my signature. If you'd like me to remove it feel free to ask me to.

 

I'm flattered - of course that is fine.


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I am loving the idea as well. If it is the definite way to go, I am not entirely sure, but I think it's very close to being the best anyone have come up with in regards to working within the structure of the Eternal Kingdoms. At least this far.

 

The one thing I am a bit worried about however is how this would be balanced in regards to the 1 guild to rule them all ideal. That might not be the best choice of words. What I mean is that it seems, to me at least, that a lot of the concepts behind Crowfall are there to keep the competition going. It's trying to make every campaign challenging for everyone involved and it's trying to remove the idea that the guild, or alliance, that is on top stays on top.

 

I don't actually have a good idea on how one would balance it, but how would your system try to combat that?


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That is what alliances are for!  I would imagine that a Grand Kingdom is not going to go heavy on the economic infrastructure side unless they feel pretty comfortable, and are able to draw upon a highly skilled defensive force to represent their interests in any potential siege.  On the other hand, a Grand Kingdom that wants to top the leader board and stay there as long as possible might go fully military with multiple rings of defensive walls.

 

Interesting stuff to contemplate!

 

Oh I see I see.... you are right then, very interesting!

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The one thing I am a bit worried about however is how this would be balanced in regards to the 1 guild to rule them all ideal. That might not be the best choice of words. What I mean is that it seems, to me at least, that a lot of the concepts behind Crowfall are there to keep the competition going. It's trying to make every campaign challenging for everyone involved and it's trying to remove the idea that the guild, or alliance, that is on top stays on top.

 

I don't actually have a good idea on how one would balance it, but how would your system try to combat that?

 

The resetting campaigns are specifically designed to address the stagnation you point out.   But persistence has to be maintained in the Eternal Kingdom (I'm working within the design constraints of the existing system, KS rewards packages, etc). So how do you balance persistence versus stagnation? 

 

My thought is to have a limited number of desirable and prestigious "parking spaces" for your persistent personal Kingdom.  The build-able "anchor zone" is what creates that linkage between persistence and stagnation.  If there are say 12 or 20 or 50 of these points of interest (and therefore conflict) that would have to be a very sizable alliance to lock it down.  And there would still be the opportunity for other factions to rise up and grab one of these seats of power.

 

EVE had some very big alliances over the course of it's history, but there were still always viable forces of resistance and resulting change.

Edited by ren

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Brilliant concept, excellent presentation and absolutely viable mechanics - you even made sure it fit the lore. This should be the reference document for any discussion about how EKs can be modified with the goal of introducing politics & long-term meaning to the player's overall in-game life. Well done sir!

Edited by Anthrage

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I like it.

 

I'd like to see 2 levels of siege. The anchor cutting you mention, but the challenger can select to challenge for "Total Destruction." The city has the option to not accept this, potentially at no loss -- it's really a bragging rights thing. Should they accept and lose, the challenger destroys the city, it persists for some time as a "ruins." Should the city accept this level of siege and win -- they receive all banked resources of the challenger's nation.

 

 

City destruction would be rare. But it would be noteworthy -- kind of like when a multi-thousand dollar ship is destroyed in Eve, you see it on general gaming blogs.

Edited by fuggeroffuggington

Untitled_zpsjrvzldjp.png

Fugger of Fuggington - Shadowbane

SkippyBojangle - PS4

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I can see many of the mechanics and ideas listed being in the game, but the positioning of the kingdoms I'm not sure about. I do look forward to a system the promotes the top guilds either on the website or in game. Listing these guilds by longevity may not work if in fact you have to go to war first so as to siege a kingdom. This means that guilds can just sit around and never advance, but were in place first thereby making them on top of the leader boards. Maybe a system of conquests would be better suited to represent which guilds should be revered. As for receiving unique cosmetic pieces I feel that would be a great addition if the items were actually rewarded by the system I suggested and not just by being here the longest. Really good layout though and the whole battle system is why I am so excited for Crowfall!

If they sit around why not just declare on them and take it over. All "ladders" take a while to balance themselves out if they do not deserve to be there. So you might have an influx of guilds that initially are on the board but will soon fall when the better groups come around.

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My favorite part about this isn't just that it makes EK/Kingship mean something, but it gives us a vehicle and reason to visit other Kingdoms. I want to explore, but I like to see certain cities really become famous or infamous, and have purpose beyond looking cool.


Untitled_zpsjrvzldjp.png

Fugger of Fuggington - Shadowbane

SkippyBojangle - PS4

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