Node Design And Why I Am Seriously Concerned

WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
The current design of the game gives a lot of competitiveness at the start of the game to become a level 6 node as fast as possible. Who wouldn’t want to have access to the best of the best and be able to say they are part of the first level 6 node on their server? Fast forward five to six months after launch… We have our five level 6 nodes ruling over all.

Well you my friend didn’t make it to that level 6 node first, second, third, fourth, or fifth. You got stuck at level 5 and are now a vassal node to that level 6. They have enslaved you to follow their government, alliances, and wars they wish to rage. Ah but that is not the worst part, they tax you as well, because you fall within their zone of extraordinary influence.

As time goes on you grow tired of their tyrannical rule and think your level 5 node could do a better job of ruling over all the other nodes that fall under that node 6’s command. You gather resources, siege supplies, money, and most importantly allies. One of your allies is a level 4 node that resides in your zone of influence. He agrees with your reasoning and also wishes to fight because he has a strong possibility of having his node reach level 5 if you can make your node the next level 6.

The time has finally come to start the quest to be able to siege… Or so you thought.

Due to the current design of the game you can never go against that level 6 node. No matter how much you might not like them, no matter how much you are taxed without proper representation, you and all the other nodes in it’s zone of influence can not siege against them. The only way to do it would be to completely abandon your node, lands, and freehold. You’d have to completely renounce your citizenship.

You join the game with friends and find a node at level 3 with a great community. You all decide down the line you want to expand… Nope you can not. You are stuck at your level 3 node.

Currently besides renouncing your citizenship to fight a node the only other way to have that “master” node that enslaved you destroyed in a siege is to hire or convenience a completely unaffiliated node to attack.

Node sieges are a large draw to many people for this game. Understandably so… It is an awesome mechanic! But let's look at the reasons to attack a node in the current way the game is being designed (ignoring renouncing citizenship, and mercenary nodes).

For a group of people to siege a node they would want its valuables that are potentially dropped on winning, fame/notoriety, destabilize that area of Verra, or the chance to start building up a node in that area. Those first few options make sense and are great ones. But that last one I have listed… To start building again… From the ashes perhaps? Well if they do build from the ashes they are once again stopped from growing once their level 3 nodes runs into that pesky level 4 nearby that was able to level up because of the consequent node destruction they caused.
See every time a node is destroyed another node will come fill in its place. So that cycle of stunted growth is repeated.

“But what is the problem with that Wiplasher? Why does it matter that we can’t attack parent nodes but they can attack their vassal nodes?” Simply put it makes gameplay stagnant and it encourages bad behavior. The higher level node seemingly can bully you into following its agenda. Realistically we will also be seeing less sieges in this design implementation I would hazard to guess as well. Reason being because what I would garner to be the most valuable resource isn’t up for grabs… That being land.

My idea of the design change would make the parent nodes have a good relationship with their vassal nodes or else they risk facing an uprising. Alliances between those nodes will be tighter and symbiotic. This would benefit artisan classes and pvpers alike. More resources would be required because of an increase in sieges and obviously pvpers would love to participate in them more. The difficulty of starting the siege would also be higher however because the cost would most likely go up because of the greater demand for the resources required. I believe many other people want to grow nodes and level them as well.

No one wants to be told oh sorry you're stuck at level 3 unless some other node comes and wipes out your parent node at level 4. Hell I’d wager that the majority of people would want the enemy to win in that situation. Furthermore what is going to keep people at these level 3 nodes if they know there is a small chance of further development of their node while being stuck under rule of another node they do not like? I would think everyone would just try and go to the level 6 node and take full advantage of all its perks.

So what do you say? Do you want to be part of uprisings and rise from the ashes of tyrannical rulers or do you wish to bend the knee?

tl;dr
Vassel nodes are stuck for the most part in possible advancement and should be able to rise up against their parent node if they are not happy.
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Comments

  • XenantayaXenantaya Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited July 30
    I made basically the same point a few months ago, that the current node system locked out stage 5 nodes within a stage 6 node's zone of influence from attacking that stage 6 node, even though they have the most incentive. What Jahlon (a very knowledgeable content creator) said is that while a stage 5 vassal node cannot declare a "Node War" on its parent metropolis, the citizens of that stage 5 node can still conduct a siege against the parent metropolis node. Not sure if that's still current information, but I agree there should be some way for a stage 5 (or lower) node to rebel against a stage 6 node. Otherwise, the nodes likely will become stagnant several months after launch.

    My prior thread with Jahlon's response is here: https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/44085/vassalage-with-5-metropolises#latest
  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately that is not correct and why I am concerned.

    "So for example, if you have a node that has fallen under your vassal state and you're a citizen of the parent node, then you could participate in a siege against the vassal node but if you're a citizen of the vassal node you could not participate as an attacker against the parent node; so there's a hierarchy, unless you were to renounce your citizenship." - Steven from an interview on May 11 2018.
  • Yeah, but surely it would also be in the best interest of the other tier 6 nodes to help the tier 5 node take out the parent node. Why would the other tier 6 nodes help? Because there will be a lot of resources up for grab in a tier 6 node.

    So the only case I see, where it could potentially not be viable to take down tier 6 node. Would be if all the tier 6 nodes banded together, and they all rallied to each other's defense. But even then, there is probably a way around that, like fake declaring war on all of them and only attack one place with ya army but obviously that would be like 100x harder than it would be otherwise.

    I feel like with this sort of system, you won't know what's going to happen until it's finally out there and people use it.
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  • XenantayaXenantaya Member, Braver of Worlds
    Fair enough. As I said before, I agree with you that vassal nodes need some way to be able to rebel against parent nodes -- obviously, in actual history, vassal states regularly rebelled to break away from their parents, and like you I think that option is necessary for dynamic gameplay in Ashes.

    If some content creator or someone else with access to Steven / Jeffrey / etc. sees this question, hopefully they will ask Intrepid for clarification. Alternatively, if next month's livestream has a post for questions, I'll try to remember to ask this one.
  • NaxxazNaxxaz Member
    There should be ways for the vassals to punish or help their rulers, but never attack them.
    Should you let vassals attack their rulers, then as their ruler you'd always want your vassals to be dirt poor and helpless to keep them in place.

    Let's not forget that it's alpha, and have faith that they will get this sorted in alpha 1 or 2, but yeah there will be a few things they need to iron out with the node system.
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  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Yeah, but surely it would also be in the best interest of the other tier 6 nodes to help the tier 5 node take out the parent node. Why would the other tier 6 nodes help? Because there will be a lot of resources up for grab in a tier 6 node.

    So the only case I see, where it could potentially not be viable to take down tier 6 node. Would be if all the tier 6 nodes banded together, and they all rallied to each other's defense. But even then, there is probably a way around that, like fake declaring war on all of them and only attack one place with ya army but obviously that would be like 100x harder than it would be otherwise.

    I feel like with this sort of system, you won't know what's going to happen until it's finally out there and people use it.

    Not necessarily the case but that is 100% a possibility. As a tier 6 node you would want to have strong connections with the tier 5 nodes to make there they will support you. How do you do this? By supporting them when tier 4 citizens want to fight against the tier 5. Strong allies will be key.
    Xenantaya wrote: »
    Fair enough. As I said before, I agree with you that vassal nodes need some way to be able to rebel against parent nodes -- obviously, in actual history, vassal states regularly rebelled to break away from their parents, and like you I think that option is necessary for dynamic gameplay in Ashes.

    If some content creator or someone else with access to Steven / Jeffrey / etc. sees this question, hopefully they will ask Intrepid for clarification. Alternatively, if next month's livestream has a post for questions, I'll try to remember to ask this one.

    I'll be bringing it up in PI if I get permissions, if any of my friends with access doesn't bring it up, or someone on the forum doesn't.

  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Naxxaz wrote: »
    There should be ways for the vassals to punish or help their rulers, but never attack them.
    Should you let vassals attack their rulers, then as their ruler you'd always want your vassals to be dirt poor and helpless to keep them in place.

    Let's not forget that it's alpha, and have faith that they will get this sorted in alpha 1 or 2, but yeah there will be a few things they need to iron out with the node system.

    That is the exact kind of thinking that has brought down countries and colonies. If you keep people fat and happy there is less conflict in the world.
  • DaRougarouxDaRougaroux Member
    edited July 30
    Ya know what's cool about this discussion? That this game has that much freaking depth that we are even discussing this.
  • SolonSolon Member
    I think the idea of a zoi rebellion is cool. I think it would be something interesting to at least test out if possible.

    Lets say a city node controls 12 total nodes and has a vassal population of 500 citizens i think if 1/2 of the vassal population declares rebellion via their mayors aligning themselves against their master node they should be able to enter into a state of quasi independence / war against the master node.

    I dont believe the rebellious nodes should have to win a siege against the master node to achieve victory and i dont think the rebellion war should be a method to destroy the master node either. It should simply be a tool to break the vassal - master relationship.

    I think during the rebellion period (multiple weeks?) the master node will be required to defeat the vassal nodes in some sort of combat / economic starvation mechanic or bribe them back into submission. Once 2/3 of the rebellious population has been subdued the rebellion ends.

    After the rebellion ends the master node is able to levy punishing penalties on any of the rebellious nodes at the master mayors discretion. Maybe a rebellious vassal node turned on the other rebellious nodes and helped the master so the master mayor decides to not penalize that node as much as a node that spends tons of gold hiring mercenaries to take down the master node. Also after the rebellion fails all rebellious nodes are barred from rebelling for 6 months.

    Master of master nodes can also get involved with the rebellion on either side of the conflict and so can the regional king.

    If a rebellion war is successful the now independent nodes (they may still be under the same zoi of a metropolis as their previous city master) will have the ability to declare a siege on their previous master node. If they declare the siege all of that master nodes vassals can fight against the master node.

    I dont know if its a system worth putting time into and building but i think it could potentially add to the game.

    I also think any time a master node has a siege declared against it any of its vassal node mayors should be able to declare rebellion and fight in the siege against it. If the master node wins the siege the master mayor should be able to penalize the rebellious nodes severely. introducing this type of mechanic would probably be the easiest form of node rebellion. It seems much mess complicated than my first idea.
  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Solon wrote: »
    I also think any time a master node has a siege declared against it any of its vassal node mayors should be able to declare rebellion and fight in the siege against it. If the master node wins the siege the master mayor should be able to penalize the rebellious nodes severely. introducing this type of mechanic would probably be the easiest form of node rebellion. It seems much mess complicated than my first idea.

    Your first idea is cool but I think it has way to many moving parts to consider implementing at this state. However I have discussed your last idea with people in the past and it should definitely have some place in the game.

    Rebellion and losing that rebellion should be punishable. The easiest method is the master node should be able to siege the vassal node without having to do the quest. A counter option should be implemented, or something along these lines.
  • NaxxazNaxxaz Member
    wiplasher4 wrote: »
    That is the exact kind of thinking that has brought down countries and colonies. If you keep people fat and happy there is less conflict in the world.

    Let's not forget that the Chinese emperors basically ruled with an iron fist for a thousand years after the three kingdoms war, so it's a proven viable option if you just want stability (stagnant gameplay).
    And before this sounds like i'm a god damn communist, i'm just judging what would work best, by what mechanics i can see in-game.
    There are SO many other reasons for less conflict today other than people being "fat and happy", i'm not saying there should not be conflict between ZOI, but i'm glad they keep that part low for now atleast, cause there will be plenty of war for high stage nodes.
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  • AardvarkAardvark Member
    Plus it can only happen every 55 days which is way too long. As fun as they are claiming these will be I want them once a week
  • NaxxazNaxxaz Member
    Aardvark wrote: »
    Plus it can only happen every 55 days which is way too long. As fun as they are claiming these will be I want them once a week

    You can participate in multiple sieges as attacking is an open invite, but you can only defend yours every X amount of days depending on how large your node is.
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  • vmangmanvmangman Member, Founder
    I completely agree with you. I really hope that Intrepid addresses this issue.
  • ninfoshoninfosho Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited July 30
    I think it won't be much of a problem because there's gonna be more incentives for others to destroy a metropolis for example the quest line

    Imagine there's a quest in a militaristic node that requires you to win a siege and destroy a lvl 6 metro in order to enable your node's superpower

    Or other nodes quest line will require them to complete a certain dungeon that the metropolis is blocking and only by destroying it you can unlock that dungeon in order to progress
  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    ninfosho wrote: »
    Imagine there's a quest in a militaristic node that requires you to win a siege and destroy a lvl 6 metro in order to enable your node's superpower

    Or other nodes quest line will require them to complete a certain dungeon that the metropolis is blocking and only by destroying it you can unlock that dungeon in order to progress

    I really don't think you'll need to destroy a level 6 node for a quest other than the siege quest. That would another entire level of ridiculous. A metropolis shouldn't be blocking a dungeon either. It would stop another metropolis from from forming so you could assume a dungeon isn't being spawned because of that.

    But you aren't going to get that kind of content blocking from a level 6 node. That would be nuts.
  • ninfoshoninfosho Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited July 30
    wiplasher4 wrote: »
    ninfosho wrote: »
    Imagine there's a quest in a militaristic node that requires you to win a siege and destroy a lvl 6 metro in order to enable your node's superpower

    Or other nodes quest line will require them to complete a certain dungeon that the metropolis is blocking and only by destroying it you can unlock that dungeon in order to progress

    I really don't think you'll need to destroy a level 6 node for a quest other than the siege quest. That would another entire level of ridiculous. A metropolis shouldn't be blocking a dungeon either. It would stop another metropolis from from forming so you could assume a dungeon isn't being spawned because of that.

    But you aren't going to get that kind of content blocking from a level 6 node. That would be nuts.



    Wait why not?

    That's how I understand things gonna work from how Steven explained
  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    ninfosho wrote: »
    wiplasher4 wrote: »
    ninfosho wrote: »
    Imagine there's a quest in a militaristic node that requires you to win a siege and destroy a lvl 6 metro in order to enable your node's superpower

    Or other nodes quest line will require them to complete a certain dungeon that the metropolis is blocking and only by destroying it you can unlock that dungeon in order to progress

    I really don't think you'll need to destroy a level 6 node for a quest other than the siege quest. That would another entire level of ridiculous. A metropolis shouldn't be blocking a dungeon either. It would stop another metropolis from from forming so you could assume a dungeon isn't being spawned because of that.

    But you aren't going to get that kind of content blocking from a level 6 node. That would be nuts.



    Wait why not?

    That's how I understand thing gonna work from how Steven explained

    So I don't think a node that is on the other side of the map would be blocking content from your node. When Steven is talking about content blocking I'd imagine he is talking about a level 5 node is blocking content for your node because you need to be level 5 or because something there ZOI is doing is disrupting that content in your ZOI.

    The entire thing comes back to it being called a ZOI. If it doesn't touch you it shouldn't influence you all that much when it comes to content restrictions. Other than the 5 level 6 node caps.

    @StevenSharif Maybe you could touch on this one little piece? I don't expect a response on my original post just yet haha
  • nidriksnidriks Member
    I think you are assuming a lot in stating that life as a vassal will be bad, and that there won't be benefits to being a vassal.

    I do think vassals should be able to provoke dissent against a master, but I don't see that anything is stopping the vassal's population from participating in a siege against a master node.

    We really need to see all this working before we jump to conclusions. The game is still pre-alpha and so much is yet to be cemented in to the game.

    Steven has said so many times that he wants feedback, and good constructive feedback like this is very valuable, but I think we are still missing far too many pieces of a very large puzzle for us to say for certain that vassal life in game will be stagnant.

    Who knows what plans Intrepid have to make vassal nodes valuable. I just think we need to wait and see. I have faith that Steven is open to debate.
  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    nidriks wrote: »
    I think you are assuming a lot in stating that life as a vassal will be bad, and that there won't be benefits to being a vassal.

    I do think vassals should be able to provoke dissent against a master, but I don't see that anything is stopping the vassal's population from participating in a siege against a master node.

    We really need to see all this working before we jump to conclusions. The game is still pre-alpha and so much is yet to be cemented in to the game.

    Steven has said so many times that he wants feedback, and good constructive feedback like this is very valuable, but I think we are still missing far too many pieces of a very large puzzle for us to say for certain that vassal life in game will be stagnant.

    Who knows what plans Intrepid have to make vassal nodes valuable. I just think we need to wait and see. I have faith that Steven is open to debate.

    I kind of took that approach to make the read a bit more engaging. I just want nodes and citizens of a node to grow and overthrow if necessary or wanted. I see no reason not to allow that.

    Steven has specifically stated in the past that a vassal node's citizens will not be able to participate in the siege of a parent/master node.

    I definitely think Steven will take feedback and analyze it as it is given to him. I am just expressing my concerns and opening up a discussion on it and looking for counter arguments so people can poke holes in my worries.
  • Balrog21Balrog21 Member
    While I understand your thought about this, I dont see it as a major issue.
    1. Because as soon as another server opens up a dungeon or some other content nearby, yes, this will happen if you listened to the asmon interview, in the same location do you not think 8k plus players won't want to do the same content?
    2. I think a majority of players might even abandon the node just to get the higher level content opened up for them in one of the lower vassled nodes.

    That is the beauty of this design. It will always be changing and keeping content relevant in nodes for new players.
  • nidriksnidriks Member
    wiplasher4 wrote: »

    I kind of took that approach to make the read a bit more engaging. I just want nodes and citizens of a node to grow and overthrow if necessary or wanted. I see no reason not to allow that.

    Steven has specifically stated in the past that a vassal node's citizens will not be able to participate in the siege of a parent/master node.

    I definitely think Steven will take feedback and analyze it as it is given to him. I am just expressing my concerns and opening up a discussion on it and looking for counter arguments so people can poke holes in my worries.

    Like I said, I think it's very valuable to provide this sort of feedback. I hadn't read too much in to the depth of the node system before reading this, though I did look up the information in the wiki. Maybe I misread, but it seemed to suggest vassals could partake in the siege.

    But, yes, I do agree that vassals should be able to siege a master node, and I think that the more diplomacy is available then the better the game will be for it.

    I'd like to see members of a vassal node be able to do a number of things within the bounds of their master node, from owning property to running for mayor. Perhaps even as a mayor of a master node a vassal node citizen could allow a vassal node to advance at cost to the master.

    I look forward to seeing how things might develop.

  • vmangmanvmangman Member, Founder
    wiplasher4 wrote: »

    So I don't think a node that is on the other side of the map would be blocking content from your node. When Steven is talking about content blocking I'd imagine he is talking about a level 5 node is blocking content for your node because you need to be level 5 or because something there ZOI is doing is disrupting that content in your ZOI.

    The entire thing comes back to it being called a ZOI. If it doesn't touch you it shouldn't influence you all that much when it comes to content restrictions. Other than the 5 level 6 node caps.

    @StevenSharif Maybe you could touch on this one little piece? I don't expect a response on my original post just yet haha

    Here's how I understand it and I believe that both of you are right.

    1. If a node needs to reach level 4 to unlock a specific quest or dungeon, it can be blocked by a nearby node if that node is itself locked at level 4. Steven has also clarified that some quests and dungeons will be shared among neighboring nodes. So maybe if another node near you reaches level 4 and has a ZOI that affects your quests and dungeons, you might still be able to have access to those quests and dungeons.

    2. The cross map node blocking can also happen if there are already 5 metropolises around the world, but you want to unlock quests and dungeons in a specific ZOI and those quests and dungeons require a level 6 node nearby. Then you would have to go destroy a node far away to enable other nodes in your ZOI to reach level 6.
  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    nidriks wrote: »
    Like I said, I think it's very valuable to provide this sort of feedback. I hadn't read too much in to the depth of the node system before reading this, though I did look up the information in the wiki. Maybe I misread, but it seemed to suggest vassals could partake in the siege.

    I was in the same belief as you. Here is the link from the wiki. Read the quote from Steven. https://ashesofcreation.wiki/Citizenship#Affiliations
  • vmangmanvmangman Member, Founder
    nidriks wrote: »
    I do think vassals should be able to provoke dissent against a master, but I don't see that anything is stopping the vassal's population from participating in a siege against a master node.

    Vassal nodes cannot declare war or participate in a war against their parents node:

    "Vassals are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their parent node, and are able to receive federal aid from them.
    Vassal nodes cannot declare war on their parent node or any of their vassals.
    Citizens of vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the parent node."

    Those are quotes from the wiki.

  • WiplasherWiplasher Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Balrog21 wrote: »
    While I understand your thought about this, I dont see it as a major issue.
    1. Because as soon as another server opens up a dungeon or some other content nearby, yes, this will happen if you listened to the asmon interview, in the same location do you not think 8k plus players won't want to do the same content?
    2. I think a majority of players might even abandon the node just to get the higher level content opened up for them in one of the lower vassled nodes.

    That is the beauty of this design. It will always be changing and keeping content relevant in nodes for new players.

    1. I am not saying they won't or that they will. But I really don't see that being a big thing. Simply because that would mean all the servers would end up looking the same in a lot of regards. I doubt that will even come close to happening. Could be wrong though but I am using other games as a reference. Servers have their own communities and ideals. Each one is like a living organism doing its own thing.

    2. Yeah but your lower level nodes contribute xp to your higher level parent nodes. Deleveling a node while it will happen, it runs a risk. Another node could take advantage of this and grow their node. I also doubt most people will want to delevel there node to move to another instead of just growing their node already as I've discussed this idea before I posted this entire thing.


    I appreciate your input though. Got me thinking about it a bit more now haha.
  • zbuccaneerzbuccaneer Member
    edited July 30
    Valid point.
  • delghinndelghinn Member
    edited July 30
    vmangman wrote: »
    nidriks wrote: »
    I do think vassals should be able to provoke dissent against a master, but I don't see that anything is stopping the vassal's population from participating in a siege against a master node.

    Vassal nodes cannot declare war or participate in a war against their parents node:

    "Vassals are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their parent node, and are able to receive federal aid from them.
    Vassal nodes cannot declare war on their parent node or any of their vassals.
    Citizens of vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the parent node."

    Those are quotes from the wiki.

    wonder why the game design to restrict uprisings from vassal nodes? that essentially forces people to de-facto join the players running the metropolis.

    also the leveling experience is going to be wild with people mad dashing to support whatever node they believe may prove most successful. assume as soon as one node surges ahead there is going to be a lot of band-wagoning from people leaving nearby soon to be enslaved vassal losing node to join the future metropolis.

    the larger player guilds that are able to strategically level nodes in a city/state of sorts will likely be most successful. ie instead of each node leveled haphazard to their zoi cap they'll instead decide to level the economic node to metropolis, the nearby military and scientific nodes the next highest level capped and so on.

    also due to the overwhelming dominance of players choosing human race characters the other race architectures are going to be exceedingly rare and especially the higher tier one goes.
  • AardvarkAardvark Member
    edited July 30
    wiplasher4 wrote: »
    ninfosho wrote: »
    Imagine there's a quest in a militaristic node that requires you to win a siege and destroy a lvl 6 metro in order to enable your node's superpower

    Or other nodes quest line will require them to complete a certain dungeon that the metropolis is blocking and only by destroying it you can unlock that dungeon in order to progress

    I really don't think you'll need to destroy a level 6 node for a quest other than the siege quest. That would another entire level of ridiculous. A metropolis shouldn't be blocking a dungeon either. It would stop another metropolis from from forming so you could assume a dungeon isn't being spawned because of that.

    But you aren't going to get that kind of content blocking from a level 6 node. That would be nuts.

    Correct they already confirmed if you want the dungeon over there instead you must take down the metro here and build one over there
  • Interesting post. This will indeed be an issue, hopefully they find the right solution during the test stages.
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