A new Dev blog has been released in the official forums with an update on Open World PvP, War and Territory Control. Among the major upcoming changes are the luck bonuses for being tagged as PvP, new open-world PvP targets, improvements to war stability, tax changes, and overall balance.
Hello adventurers and conquerors,
Today I wanted to present an update to PvP health, status and vision, war and territory control meta.
Before we delve into the subject, I want to apologize for all the problems we saw so far in the War and thank you for your patience as we work to resolve them. I know there have been some serious lag issues in War and a few exploits (including inviolability exploits) that have spoiled your experience. We've made an initial set of changes to fix some issues and are working on more impactful changes that require more testing. The highest priority for the team is to bring the war to a stable, productive state where the skill and coordination of the best team determine the outcome.
Let's start by repeating our vision at a high level. We want to create a game where PvE and PvP not only coexist but also support each other. We also want "wars, not ambushes" - meaning we want to support meaningful PvP in war and open world conflict between the three factions.
OPEN WORLD PvP
We believe that open world PvP is doing well, but it can be improved. The rewards for flagging while leveling are good (an extra 10% XP makes a difference) and the rewards for kills in PvP are significant. However, at the end of the game, the rewards for flagging are not good. There will be two changes in the near future that should help. First, we'll increase the happiness of players who get tagged. This should be an important and lasting benefit to flagging. Second, we're going to reduce the damage done by gear durability when it's flagged, which will reduce the risk of flagging somewhat, especially for end-game repair costs. In the medium term, we will also adjust the level 60 PvP kill rewards so that they can further improve the High Watermark (HWM) - check out our HWM 2.0k system post to learn more. In the long term, we expect a new open world activity that flagged players can participate in, which we hope will stimulate and reward some of the smaller scale fights across Aeternum.
In addition to the rewards, we understand that there are some issues with open-world PvP gameplay. Currently, it's hard to tell if players in your faction are flagged or not. This can make it difficult to determine if you have support and judge if you should get involved or not. We are aware of this issue and are working on a fix. We also understand that combat tactics can be tricky as the visual effects of all area spells are the same, so it's hard to tell if the spell comes from an ally or an enemy. Unfortunately, this is not a trivial fix, it will require a significant code update and numerous resource changes. While we agree that this is a problem, it will require considerable work and investigation and will not be resolved soon.
As mentioned above, delays and exploits in the war spoiled the impression. With the patch coming this week, most major issues should be resolved. There have been complaints that the war is being fought too often. Between Wars, there is a 24-hour cooldown, and in the case of War Windows, this means a War takes place at most every 2 days in the territory. Players can also delay this through the Influence Race, which is now much more profitable as we fixed the Influence Escalation issue. Overall we think a war every 2 days is a good rhythm, but please let us know what you think. We are seeing war weariness of the factions that drive a group of players to each war. While we love this collaboration, having multiple territories for one company (or the number of players) should be very difficult, and it's not where we are balancing the cooldowns of war.
We are also continuing our War Balance Review. Defenders win more often than attackers, which is what we want (defenders currently win about 80% of wars won). We want to reward defending companies that build their ranks and improve their forts. But we'll keep an eye on the balance as we tackle the main feats and make sure both sides have a fighting chance.
We know that communication and coordination in war is not optimal at the moment. It is difficult to know what roles the participants in the war have chosen, so it makes coordination difficult. We will start exploring ways to address these issues, but we have no plans for the near term.
Overall, we can see territories change hands with decent regularity (as mentioned above, we want to favor the defender) and we can see a good spread between factions on most servers. We have two systems to help balance the factions. We allow players to switch factions, but we do not allow them to switch dominated factions. We are also increasing the influence of weaker factions on PvP faction missions to give them a better chance of obtaining the right to declare war, but we may need to do more. We observe faction balance on all servers, and if this becomes a general problem, we have some ideas to help solve it in an interesting way.
We also realize that some territories (I'm looking at you Everfall) generate tons of tax revenue, while other cities can be much harder to maintain and upgrade. A shift is coming soon that will help distribute the main stream of tax revenues to each territory. We want to review the impact of this change before we make further changes, but there are other changes that we can make in the medium term if that's not enough.
And one last piece of good news for all the territories there, new types of PvP missions will be coming to the game soon. These changes serve two purposes - to add much-needed variety to PvP missions and to help deploy PvP action in multiple locations to spread some of the big PvP zerg we see. Let us know what you think about these changes as they go into effect soon.
Thanks for reading and please post any further questions or concerns and I will try to resolve the most important issues within a few days or a week.