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Elephant in the Room -- Server Longevity

First time poster, I did some cursory investigation to see if anyone else has talked about this, but forgive me if I'm not the first to discuss this.

To start, I love the node system, and player driven gameplay ideas in general. I feel like this adds a lot to the end-game, which is where most players really feel like the game truly begins. The natural conflicts that arise due to the artificial scarcity introduced by the devs is nothing short of brilliant, and I'm confident that, if implemented correctly, this game will be wholly unique.

With that being said, I do have a concern. I'm sure people are familiar with Crowfall and their argument against persistent worlds, but if they aren't, it boils down to this: eventually, inevitably, someone will pull ahead. Snowballing happens all the time in games like this. Examples being GW2's WvW feature, DAOC, Shadowbane, etc. Eventually, it just becomes frustrating to try to play against the monolithic organizations/servers that absolutely destroy everyone else. I'm worried that, if not carefully planned, this game could easily fall into that trap, as well.

There are many ways to address these kinds of things, but in my opinion, one that fits this game the best would be to just create new servers relatively often, and allow for transfer between servers with the same characters. Obviously, this would have to be gated in some way, but a lot of the fun of this game seems to be at the early stages of when you're building a new node for the first time from nothing. I think that some players may prefer that kind of gameplay, and would want to swap to new servers relatively often. I also think there's some merit in new players being able to experience the game as it was at launch, instead of stepping into an already told story.

Another potential solution is to have some worlds "reset" after awhile, and allow people to rebuild everything from scratch (with the same characters). I don't think this kind of thing would work on every server, but it'd be nice to have some servers that are dedicated to the experience of the whole game, not just the end of it.

Either way, I'm sure the devs have thought about this more than I have, but I figured it'd be nice to open up some discussion on it. If anyone wants to weigh in with their thoughts, I'd love to hear it.

Comments

  • I sorta like your ideas. It also allows players who start the game a year or two after it's released to experience some of the best features of the game. MMOs have a problem in recruiting new players who missed launch by a year or more, and if you try to engineer a way to deal with that, it would be good for the game and the community.
  • I understand where you are coming from....but AoC already has measures in place to deal with this.

    The harder the players push.....the harder the world pushes back.
    This is the balancing system that ensures the game can flip from fully developed to destroyed.
    The status quo among all that turmoil should be a medium state between fully developed and wiped off the map.
    With the world permanently fluctuating between the two extremes.

    So you state new players would enter a fully developed world.....and yet...
    ...they could just as likely enter into a world... that just been levelled.
    No doubt, every zone will have their highs and lows, where even long time vets will have to start from relative scratch and/or relocate.
  • AHHHHHHHH, I NEED THIS GAAAMMMEEE!
  • i like the concept of:

    guilds infighting for a longtime then having to band together to fight a greater global threat that can wipe everything if not defeated
  • [quote quote=11713]i like the concept of:

    guilds infighting for a longtime then having to band together to fight a greater global threat that can wipe everything if not defeated

    [/quote]
  • Yes.. Personally that concept is one of the most appealing things to me about this game (besides the node system of course)

    (sorry I wrote that with my quote above I think the forum system or chrome just freaked out)
  • Hi Paralda,

    thanks for pointing this out. I absolutely agree that it can be frustrating when certain player guilds become dominant on a server. Same goes for pacts and alliances between strongest player guilds which leads to a stagnation and makes it almost impossible for new arriving players to make a change.

    I think there actually exists a game that perfectly shows how to counter or let's say relativizes this issue - EVE Online. If you were to define this game you could say that it is an open world MMO with sandbox elements and a strong focus on player driven content and systems, including economy and politics. While certain guilds (corporations) and alliances dominate in certain areas of the games universe, players still have a more or less safe place to start or to reorganize. The so called high-sec space. The system is pretty simple.

    Every single star system in the universe of EVE Online is labeled with a security status ranging from 1.0 - 0.5 for high-security space, to 0.1 - 0.4 for low-security space, to finally 0.0 for zero-security space.

    High-security space is controlled by NPC governments which secure the space with police units and defensive systems at travelling points and player hubs (stations). If a player decides to attack another player, he will be pursued by police units and shot by defensive structures.

    In low-security space, only minor defensive structures are guarding travelling points and player hubs.

    In zero-security systems, no one will come to help you if you are in distress. However, zero security space may be claimed and controlled by player guilds and alliances.

    I found this system working very well.
  • [quote quote=11273]I understand where you are coming from….but AoC already has measures in place to deal with this.

    The harder the players push…..the harder the world pushes back.
    This is the balancing system that ensures the game can flip from fully developed to destroyed.
    The status quo among all that turmoil should be a medium state between fully developed and wiped off the map.
    With the world permanently fluctuating between the two extremes.

    So you state new players would enter a fully developed world…..and yet…
    …they could just as likely enter into a world… that just been levelled.
    No doubt, every zone will have their highs and lows, where even long time vets will have to start from relative scratch and/or relocate.

    [/quote]

    I think it would be great to have a God like Titan type character come into the game and destroy the world periodically like once every 6 months or once every year and ALL the players on the server have to band together to destroy the "World Eater" or whatever you want to call it. It could be a new godlike boss every year with different mechanics.

    This god character has the potential do destroy gear, destroy houses destroy cities etc, the whole nine yards.

    This god like character will destroy the world for 1 day or perhaps a weekend OR until the players kill this boss (which is extremely unlikely and should be difficult enough where the vast majority of the world would be destroyed). Guilds would be smashed and destroyed as many powerful players that died in the conflict would lose their top tier gear etc.

    BUT as a reward each time this Boss is killed it drops unique items which master craftsman can use to create new Best in Slot gear (over time... say like you have to place the materials in special kilns or furnaces that take months to melt down the object into a useable crafting ore so while veteran players are crafting this gear regular/new players are gearing up as well. )

    The new legendary BiS boss gear would be ever so slightly better than the regular gear or have some unique property about it that sets it apart but not making it overpowered compared to other normal crafted BiS gear. BUT it should look unique and amazing.

    Heck another fun option that would make it more community driven would be to make it so that the "BOSSES" are the Devs/community managers of the game coming down in giant godlike form to destroy the world. That way they can guage just how much of the world is destroyed and can adjust things on the fly. Basically "the gods descend from above to destroy the world!" There could be a competition amongst the devs and community managers to see who gets to be one of these god like world bosses at the end of the year.

    Archeage Beta did this something similar to this and it was a tremendously fun event for the entire community.
  • [quote quote=12460]This god like character will destroy the world for 1 day or perhaps a weekend OR until the players kill this boss (which is extremely unlikely and should be difficult enough where the vast majority of the world would be destroyed). Guilds would be smashed and destroyed as many powerful players that died in the conflict would lose their top tier gear etc.[/quote]

    While in theory, this sounds fun and interesting. I think people who have worked so hard to attain their items wouldn't be too keen on having them randomly destroyed, even if given a reward in exchange.

    Some interesting ideas in this thread though. Arch enemies having to band together to defeat a common threat.
  • I think that overall the game will provide enough balance just in sheer number that no one or even two factions would be able to control the whole map. Simply by limiting the number of citizens allowed in a city and keeping that to a relative ratio where even if two cities got maxed out they couldn't band together and outnumber the rest. (Example: lets say a city has a limit of 1000 citizens. As long as there are 5000 total on the server, then they will not be able to rule over the remaining 3000). I'm spit-balling on the numbers there, but the principle is the same.

    I do like the idea of certain servers resetting, but it would have to be limited use and decided before joining the server. (Example: most MMOs have certain servers dedicated to PVP or PVE). There could be X number of servers that are dedicated to this resetting idea for those that were just joining, and they could advertise how close the reset would be so people know exactly what point of the game they would be joining). It personally wouldn't be for me, but I could definitely see the allure. I am sure that it would be rough for a new-comer to impact an already super-developed world. (that is why I intent to get in on this as early as I can, hahaha)
  • [quote quote=12460]<blockquote>
    <div class="d4p-bbt-quote-title"><a href="https://www.ashesofcreation.com/forums/topic/elephant-in-the-room-server-longevity/#post-11273" rel="nofollow">Rune_Relic wrote:</a></div>
    I understand where you are coming from….but AoC already has measures in place to deal with this.

    The harder the players push…..the harder the world pushes back.
    This is the balancing system that ensures the game can flip from fully developed to destroyed.
    The status quo among all that turmoil should be a medium state between fully developed and wiped off the map.
    With the world permanently fluctuating between the two extremes.

    So you state new players would enter a fully developed world…..and yet…
    …they could just as likely enter into a world… that just been levelled.
    No doubt, every zone will have their highs and lows, where even long time vets will have to start from relative scratch and/or relocate.

    </blockquote>
    I think it would be great to have a God like Titan type character come into the game and destroy the world periodically like once every 6 months or once every year and ALL the players on the server have to band together to destroy the “World Eater” or whatever you want to call it. It could be a new godlike boss every year with different mechanics.

    This god character has the potential do destroy gear, destroy houses destroy cities etc, the whole nine yards.

    This god like character will destroy the world for 1 day or perhaps a weekend OR until the players kill this boss (which is extremely unlikely and should be difficult enough where the vast majority of the world would be destroyed). Guilds would be smashed and destroyed as many powerful players that died in the conflict would lose their top tier gear etc.

    BUT as a reward each time this Boss is killed it drops unique items which master craftsman can use to create new Best in Slot gear (over time… say like you have to place the materials in special kilns or furnaces that take months to melt down the object into a useable crafting ore so while veteran players are crafting this gear regular/new players are gearing up as well. )

    The new legendary BiS boss gear would be ever so slightly better than the regular gear or have some unique property about it that sets it apart but not making it overpowered compared to other normal crafted BiS gear. BUT it should look unique and amazing.

    Heck another fun option that would make it more community driven would be to make it so that the “BOSSES” are the Devs/community managers of the game coming down in giant godlike form to destroy the world. That way they can guage just how much of the world is destroyed and can adjust things on the fly. Basically “the gods descend from above to destroy the world!” There could be a competition amongst the devs and community managers to see who gets to be one of these god like world bosses at the end of the year.

    Archeage Beta did this something similar to this and it was a tremendously fun event for the entire community.

    [/quote]

    I like this idea, I think there could be a great build up before the event that would be a quest of some sort. The players of the world would receive clues as to where this threat is going to appear in the world, or what it's weaknesses might be, or ultimately there may just be one way to specifically defeat it (think some sort of formation that the players must all form around the creature before their attacks take effect on it).

    If the creatures arrival location was deduced in enough time, the folks that have interests in those nodes or areas could pull up stakes, or counter to that they could spend a good deal of time reinforcing the nodes to withstand the attack.

    Terrific Ideas on this thread methinks!

    Edit: Sorry had to come back and say, it would be great to hear transplanted NPC's say something like, "I lost everything when the dragon attacked our city, if only we had been warned."
  • If the combat system is well balanced and allow for highly skilled groups to fight larger groups server zergs arent as big of a problem. One great example of that was shadowbane in which larger server zergs were successfully fought against for years by smaller guilds and done so multiple times. The problem came in that game not from the size of the zerg but from the timezone difference (large chinese guilds were the majority of the server zerg). It literally became a second job to fight them and a war of attrition and people simply just got bored of it.

    Many players do not enjoy zerg combat, there will always be a lot who want to join the winning side but I believe there are more than enough pvpers who have already been there and done that and seen how horribly boring such an event truly is. One of the benefits ashes has is that it is coming on the heels of games many pvp players have already experienced situations you describe first hand.

    It is boring, no I dont ever want to see it happen, and from the looks of the node system and world reactivity I believe they have a good system set to try and stem the tide so to say.
  • It's possible that they'll implement some kind of system to destroy/reset certain areas, but I'm just concerned that if Intrepid spends a significant amount of development resources on the process of building a server, it'd be a shame if only some people ever get to experience that (ie the people who play at launch).

    Obviously this becomes a non-issue if the game becomes wildly popular and they continue to roll out more servers, but I've seen the opposite happen in most new MMOs, and after a few years the servers are merged. Even big name games like Guild Wars 2 had this happen, so I really hope there's a system to allow new players to have the option to experience the fun of building a new world, since that seems to be one of the main focuses of the game.
  • The zones are all supposed to act pretty much independently.
    This only really becomes and issue when all 5 metropolis are up i would think.
    Their zone of influence has the greatest range then and will affect the most other zones.

    I guess the real question is;
    how much does zone progression effect me ?
    Does it give me vertical progression......and if so do I lose that vertical progression when the zone is destroyed ?
    Well we know you lose access to services provided by the node.
    Which would actually indicate to me that those services are a kind of progress that can be both given and taken away.
    Is your character progression heavily dependant on node progressions or independant of it ?

    I dont think we know enough at the moment to see how much node or player progress will impact each other.
  • I feel like I'm in the minority here, but I really WISH this game will have some of those "god like bosses" that will sometimes awaken and destroy a lot of stuff. People these days are too secure. I think even in a game, people MUST be able to lose things due to natural hazards and stuff.

    I might really be the only one, but I REALLY REALLY want to be able to randomly get blown to **** by some giant and lose my house and items. I want that. It would be super exciting and I would never feel too secure... Of course that is like the worst case scenario and would not happen a lot, but how great would that be?? You'd never get bored!

    I have played a MMORPG called Tibia for many years when I was young and there you dropped some equipment and your whole backpack after dying + you lost experience, so there was always a certain feeling of danger and unsecurity that made the game super awesome and it felt like your adventures to the deepest levels of a cave meant something.

    Just my opinion though, but I really feel like the game should definitely not make players have too much security. Make them fear.. MAKE THEM RUN FOR THEIR LIVES WHEN A SUPER GOD AWAKENS!! Not just spam abilities without caring if you die or not.. !!

    Cya all and sorry, I'm a bit new in this opinion/suggestion type of thing.
  • [quote quote=14707]I feel like I’m in the minority here, but I really WISH this game will have some of those “god like bosses” that will sometimes awaken and destroy a lot of stuff. People these days are too secure. I think even in a game, people MUST be able to lose things due to natural hazards and stuff.

    I might really be the only one, but I REALLY REALLY want to be able to randomly get blown to **** by some giant and lose my house and items. I want that. It would be super exciting and I would never feel too secure… Of course that is like the worst case scenario and would not happen a lot, but how great would that be?? You’d never get bored!

    I have played a MMORPG called Tibia for many years when I was young and there you dropped some equipment and your whole backpack after dying + you lost experience, so there was always a certain feeling of danger and unsecurity that made the game super awesome and it felt like your adventures to the deepest levels of a cave meant something.

    Just my opinion though, but I really feel like the game should definitely not make players have too much security. Make them fear.. MAKE THEM RUN FOR THEIR LIVES WHEN A SUPER GOD AWAKENS!! Not just spam abilities without caring if you die or not.. !!

    Cya all and sorry, I’m a bit new in this opinion/suggestion type of thing.

    [/quote]

    If I had some of the best gear in the game, and something like this was implemented, I would stay away from a boss like that and not risk it. Maybe... maybe tag him and leave for a chance at loot later, but what would likely happen is the casual or non-strategic thinking players would be the one losing things and not the top geared folks. There would need to be major incentive to get the people with gear involved in protecting the "little guy."

    <strong>Equipment "resest":</strong>
    One thing that I love in Crowfall's development is that the best equipment is crafted, and the equipment decays. Every time you repair it, the maximum durability is lowered until it's destroyed. This keeps the crafting economy thriving. Gatherers make enough money selling goods to the crafters to afford the top gear. Crafters make money selling the gear or have access to it themselves. The "hardcore" players will mostly be able to always have a set of top gear, and the casuals will have access to it when they can afford it (or gather/craft it themselves).

    <strong>World Resets:</strong>
    While I like the idea of the node system changing the world continually, I foresee a guild (or alliance) taking over the nodes and using them to better themselves only. I don't know what sort of options the nodes will provide. I'm guessing there will be some sort of taxation system (have not seen this anywhere) that may or may not encourage the community to love or topple the governing guild.

    To counter this, I am all for win conditions. Something like when enough nodes reach a certain level (or total number of levels gained (including after being conquered and rebuilt)), a near impossible world boss spawns. After the boss is killed, allow a peace time for people to prepare for the world reset, then reset the world (not the characters or their inventory). If their housing and/or storage facilitates are located in the cities, I'd suggest some very simple instanced housing for them temporarily to access until they find a new place to set up.

    The "elite" guilds will have something to fight to attain again, the community has a chance to learn from past mistakes to prevent certain guilds from being able to take power, etc...
  • Some servers may end up being a utopia of cooperation while others may devolve into a constant state of guild / region wars never able to get a node to the Metropolis stage.

    Can you voluntary destroy a node or do you just have to let it 'atrophy' if you decide you want to change it?
  • For now, you cant destroy your own node except through atrophy.
    But world ending events will occur, and those may well be able to level your node for you if you dont stop them.
    So ironically, you may need to advance your node, to start an event, to destroy it :)
  • I think I remember reading or watching a video that talked about a node near a volcano that may eventually erupt and cause significant damage to the node. As a result the node will need attention to be rebuilt to it's former glory before another node can replace it in the world system that only allows so many nodes to exist at full capacity.

    These types of world events are impactful to the players and require consistent attention from the citizens of that node or area. Certainly other types of "natural" disasters will potentially exist as well. This will push back against the monolithic existence of the playerbase and hopefully force a sort of balance through a caused weakness in the monolith that could be exploited by the minority at key moments in the server history.

    As an example, monolith society lives in node next to said volcano. The minority playerbase is itching to remove monolith from power and is forming alliances to attempt to crush them but they just aren't there yet. Volcano erupts next to monolith causing severe damage to monolith node, enough to give minority playerbase courage to attempt the coup. Minority may or may not overthrow monolith society and server moves on, forever effected by the results of the attempted or successful coup.

    I love that this dynamic is even possible, and encouraged by the development team.
  • Yeah... Its nice that PvP may be dependant on synergising with PvE events to achieve maximum effectiveness.
    Blurring the lines between the PvE and PvP community and making them mutually dependant.
  • Sever Longevity will be best served if Leveling takes 300+ hours to do. Nodes take 4 to 5 months to level to 6. And content takes months to achieve. If they do this the servers will have longevity because the players that want to play this game will spend months doing things not days and get bored after 2 weeks and quit. We should also make it known that this is a game that will take a lot of time and it will not change no matter what new player comes to the forums from WOW and asks for a WOW Clone. If we stick to that the people that want to play Ashes will play Ashes.
  • [quote quote=14707]I feel like I’m in the minority here, but I really WISH this game will have some of those “god like bosses” that will sometimes awaken and destroy a lot of stuff. People these days are too secure. I think even in a game, people MUST be able to lose things due to natural hazards and stuff.

    I might really be the only one, but I REALLY REALLY want to be able to randomly get blown to **** by some giant and lose my house and items. I want that. It would be super exciting and I would never feel too secure… Of course that is like the worst case scenario and would not happen a lot, but how great would that be?? You’d never get bored! [/quote]

    In the Kickstarter video, it's pretty clear that player activity in a node will awaken environmental response, including world bosses. In fact, they show a dragon and a volcano spawning in response to player activity. Also, with the monster tokens, players can become world boss status. That's been shown in a couple videos as well.

    Plus, there was mention of <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pvfozdch7wZZNUCaTqI58ii-Mwv1W-DMyQs0sQ4eM1k/edit#heading=h.j01l103nsu6o" target="_blank">gods being active in the game,</a> so who knows exactly what that will entail.

    So it sounds like you're getting your wish. :)
  • I think events may have a part to play, but they should make it difficult to keep your stuff, not impossible. What's more relevant in my opinion is just the number of people that each node can support. I think it'd be reasonable if even apartment housing was limited, and if resources aren't finite but they can be over-harvested. Make people spread out due to population pressure, and then once they spread out to different nodes of course they're going to want <em>those</em> nodes to be the ones that are leveled up!
  • The OP talked about "snowballing" in regards to guilds getting so powerful that they can "take over" a server. Well, this calls me back to Shadowbane. I was in the most powerful guild there was. We dominated the server easily. We had two fully developed city/castles. We waged war on the entire server, never allowing any city to grow large enough to challenge our rule.

    Guess what?

    The server got tired of getting pushed around and they banded together. Their collective strength was more than we could fight. They came at us with everything they had and just before destroying our main city, the guild leader (because it was allowed) chose to destroy the cities and left the game...permanently.

    The lesson? No single guild is going to keep a server locked down indefinitely. I was sad to see our awesome cities gone and those of us that didn't quit the server spent weeks after the war being hunted everywhere we went. I was ashamed at the cowardice of the guild leader. But, I was also amazed and proud of the server for banding together to fight the tyrant that we were. That's a memory that has stuck with me all these years (like 13 years) and no game since has produced such a meaningful experience. I can't even remember the guild name....probably because guilds come and go and I've been in so many, but I sure remember the fun!

    I hope this game often allows the massive metropolis cities to fall by player hands or otherwise. I believe it will be healthy for the game to give the players something to strive for, something to work for and be proud of, and feel included in.
  • Risk vs reward.

    If you refuse to take any risks...do you deserve to keep your rewards ?
    And what are rewards other than the hoarding of posessions ?
    Can you take your house and car with you when you die ?

    The community has been far too pampered in recent history.
    It would be good to redress that balance somewhat.

    <blockquote>Every leader is ultimately bound by their economies, which are local to their region. There is no global auction house, and *****resources don’t exist in unlimited supply*****</blockquote>
  • Actually, I think the solution would be in 1) having a really large map and 2) distance travel.

    Let me explain. To keep your node in check, you will have to be relatively 'close' to your node to protect it. If you travel out too far, your node might come under siege and you will lose everything you have. Thus, a node zone of influence is proportional to the # of players they have to move away from the center. If everyone decides to conquer a node 2 weeks away by travel, they put the risk of their home node being sieged. This keeps large powerhouses in check so they cannot spread their influence across the whole world.

    Thus, it is also important to have a huge world. Places left to explore and claim by new players. There would be players that choose to play as nomads (I am one of them), and will travel the whole world without really having a place to call home. I would claim a house and a city that looks promising, but overall, I would travel far from that city and explore. I would take the risk of not being able to defend my home node, but I would gain benefits of finding rare loots and finding maybe a new home.

    There can only be 5 metropolis, and if players don't like how the metropolis is run by the current power house, they can up and leave to settle into better lands, revoking their citizen ship and depopulating the node. Thus when a world boss or siege happens, the metropolis will fall and it will open up a chance to create a new metropolis elsewhere.

    Anyways, It would be important that players keep up the maintenance of any node, and it should be players to 'vote' with their wallet so to speak. If the node is run by a dictator, the players can not pay tax and just leave the node. without funds to players to protect the node, a group of players can leave to far off lands to relive that pioneer experience.
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