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Suggestion: Introducing Caravan Mechanics to Address Zerg Issues

Among other reasons why the concept of Zerg in real life is not realistic: In real life, resources such as food, water, tools, ammo, armaments, and other resources are finite, especially when in a foreign region far away from the origin of the departure. Unlike in MMORPGs, where players do not need to worry about resource constraints, real-life armies and populations have to consider the availability of resources and plan the logistics of moving a massive army. Maintaining a massive army or population without adequate resources would lead to famine, disease, and other issues.

I wanted to bring up a gameplay mechanic suggestion that could help address the potential "Zerg" issues in the game, following some aspects of the resource and logistics requirement above. We all know that zerging can sometimes take away from the strategic depth and enjoyment of large-scale battles, zergs often cause more grief on the defending side than the attacking side (but this is open to debate), so I'd like to propose a system that encourages more thoughtful coordination and strategy, especially on the aggressor side.

Introducing the Caravan Mechanic:

One of the unique features of Ashes of Creation is its minimal teleportation system, which makes logistics a significant concern. Additionally, the game already includes a caravan mechanic where players can transport resources. Leveraging these mechanics, I suggest introducing a new requirement for player raids when they venture outside their zone of origin (of the raid leaders; therefore, a raid is either an ally to the zone or not an ally).

Caravan Requirement: When a raid group decides to venture into enemy territory or outside their zone of origin for a raid, they must have a caravan accompany them. This caravan would serve as the primary source of supplies (armaments, reagents, food, water, etc) for the raid and perhaps even provide additional unique buffs to the raid based on the rarity of the resources stored in the caravan.

Vulnerability: The caravan, while crucial, would be vulnerable to attacks by opposing players. This adds an element of risk and strategic depth to the raid. If the opposing players manage to destroy the caravan, the raid group will face severe penalties that gradually get worse.

Proximity Matters: To sustain their default HP and energy, raid group members would need to remain close to the caravan. If they stray too far or the caravan is destroyed, they would accumulate penalties. These penalties could impact their combat effectiveness, speed, or other vital stats. If the caravan is destroyed and the players decide to leave the raid, they will lose the ability to track one another and see each other's health bars, etc.

Exemption for Node Citizens: Players who are citizens of a node (and therefore enjoy the protection of their node's defenses) may not need a caravan when participating in a raid within their node. This allows for a distinction between "home turf" and raids that take players into hostile territories for raiding or sieges. This exemption is up for debate as I can see how this exemption may award an unfair advantage to the defending players/raids, after all, the defending side may also resort to Zerg tactics themselves. An alternative suggestion/compromise could be that players of a raid while in their allied node still get penalties if their caravan is destroyed but the penalties would be less severe compared to the raids of other nodes of origin.

Why This Mechanic Helps:

Encourages Strategy: This system encourages raid groups to plan their attacks more strategically, considering logistics, protection of the caravan, and proximity to it during combat.

Reduces Zerging: By introducing these limitations, the game discourages the mindless Zerg rush tactic, promoting a more balanced and calculated approach to raids.

Adds Depth: It adds depth to raiding and caravan gameplay, making Ashes of Creation more engaging and immersive while utilizing two of its unique game features.

I believe that implementing such a system would enhance the overall experience in Ashes of Creation by fostering more dynamic and strategic gameplay. Of course, the specifics would need to be balanced carefully, but I think this idea has the potential to create exciting and memorable moments in the game.

What do you all think? Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions on this proposed mechanic, and let's discuss how it might improve the game!
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Comments

  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    As a method of solving one of the core problems of PvP MMORPGs, it isn't bad except that I wouldn't expect the playerbase to want that core problem to be 'solved' in the first place.

    These games are usually a fantasy. Even when they aren't a simplified power fantasy, the meta usually revolves around simplifying them.

    Since there's no way to make a 'raid group' have a specific 'point of origin', it won't work. Team Shooters benefit from the 'Payload' system because of that control over the 'point of origin', as soon as the players have any way to control it, the system falls apart.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • GalaturcGalaturc Member
    edited December 2023
    The point of origin of a raid (as I mentioned in the OP) is the citizenship of the player who creates the raid - a tag/label on the caravan (even when destroyed) could inform others of its origin. Unlike other games, in AoC, each player can only have one citizenship, this is uniquely helpful for this suggested feature. We can even rule out the option of creating a raid if a player hasn't received any citizenship status yet.

    Regardless of the fantasy element, AOC has caravan mechanics and minimal teleportation, so it's not far-fetched to implement a caravan requirement to raids that add extra bonuses if protected but also penalties if destroyed. If you are allowed to organize in such large masses, that organization should carry rewards and risks regardless of the fantastic aspect of the game.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Galaturc wrote: »
    The point of origin of a raid (as I mentioned in the OP) is the citizenship of the player who creates the raid - a tag/label on the caravan (even when destroyed) could inform others of its origin. Unlike other games, in AoC, each player can only have one citizenship, this is uniquely helpful for this suggested feature. We can even rule out the option of creating a raid if a player hasn't received any citizenship status yet.

    Regardless of the fantasy element, AOC has caravan mechanics and minimal teleportation, so it's not far-fetched to implement a caravan requirement to raids that add extra bonuses if protected but also penalties if destroyed. If you are allowed to organize in such large masses, that organization should carry rewards and risks regardless of the fantastic aspect of the game.

    So, for my clarity, the raid only needs to be created by a player with citizenship in the nearby node?

    If that player then disconnects from the server when the raid reaches their destination, what happens?
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • GalaturcGalaturc Member
    edited December 2023
    Once created, a raid would carry the same tag of origin regardless of who the new leader is. A raid is always friendly to its node of origin (and its allies).
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    edited December 2023
    The very first thing that came to mind as a counter to this system is simply "my entire group simply directly attacks the caravan instead of the players and pretty much disables the whole raid in the process".

    Instead of having a huge zerg of people that enemies need to attack and move around and interact with, you give those enemies a singular target to destroy, which will then give them a huge benefit.

    And as Azherae about to point out, a simple distribution of your players will completely remove the "in the foreign lands" part of your suggestion. And guilds will do precisely that as soon as they have their preferred bosses.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Galaturc wrote: »
    Once created, a raid would carry the same tag of origin regardless of who the new leader is. A raid is always friendly to its node of origin (and its allies).

    Got it, thanks for the clarification. I don't think I have any other questions.

    I can't see it having any real effect other than to frustrate people, but if the discussion hashes out any ways to prevent easy bypasses, I feel it might be a somewhat good fit for Ashes based on what I imagine Ashes to be like.

    My imagined idea of how Ashes works isn't very reasonable for less organized groups, though, so you shouldn't take my 'agreement/support' as a good thing...
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • GalaturcGalaturc Member
    edited December 2023
    NiKr wrote: »
    The very first thing that came to mind as a counter to this system is simply "my entire group simply directly attacks the caravan instead of the players and pretty much disables the whole raid in the process".
    Good, the raid has no more buffs, now they are paying a penalty (how severe is to be balanced) for being in a raid in another node without their caravan. That's the selling point, the strategy aspect, and risk and reward...
    How do you think it worked in any battle that ever took place? Take the supply lines first...then, play the attrition game with the massive army.
    Instead of having a huge zerg of people that enemies need to attack and move around and interact with, you give those enemies a singular target to destroy, which will then give them a huge benefit.
    Again, benefits if you can protect the supply caravan, and penalties if you can't. Massive army? Massive responsibility!
    And as Azherae about to point out, a simple distribution of your players will completely remove the "in the foreign lands" part of your suggestion. And guilds will do precisely that as soon as they have their preferred bosses.

    As I responded to Azherae earlier, the citizenship of the player (which is unique) who forms the raid determines the node of origin of the raid.

  • Galaturc wrote: »
    Good, the raid has no more buffs, now they are paying a penalty (how severe is to be balanced) for being in a raid in another node without their caravan. That's the selling point, the strategy aspect, and risk and reward...
    How do you think it worked in any battle that ever took place? Take the supply lines first...then, play the attrition game with the massive army.
    Hitting supply lines irl is not as easy as removing a singular target though.
    Galaturc wrote: »
    As I responded to Azherae earlier, the citizenship of the player (which is unique) who forms the raid determines the node of origin of the raid.
    So any semi-prepared will just have members at the nodes with bosses. Especially the zergy guilds. Kinda defeats the point of that particular mechanic.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Galaturc wrote: »
    Good, the raid has no more buffs, now they are paying a penalty (how severe is to be balanced) for being in a raid in another node without their caravan. That's the selling point, the strategy aspect, and risk and reward...
    How do you think it worked in any battle that ever took place? Take the supply lines first...then, play the attrition game with the massive army.
    Hitting supply lines irl is not as easy as removing a singular target though.
    Galaturc wrote: »
    As I responded to Azherae earlier, the citizenship of the player (which is unique) who forms the raid determines the node of origin of the raid.
    So any semi-prepared will just have members at the nodes with bosses. Especially the zergy guilds. Kinda defeats the point of that particular mechanic.

    Bear in mind that while some people use the word 'zerg' to mean any large group that relies primarily on numbers, the entire reason the Zerg (in their original game) are a legit strategy are BECAUSE it's supposed to be valid when they're commanded well enough.

    Basically, there's a subset of people out there, me somewhat included, who don't care about the 'overpowering numbers' part of 'zerging' and only care about the skill requirement being roughly equal. Having so many 'commanders' spread out and coordinated enough to 'control your Zerglings' is also valid therefore.

    So, 'destroying the caravan' or 'having the Zerg group have to work without buffs' is still entirely valid.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Galaturc wrote: »
    Among other reasons why the concept of Zerg in real life is not realistic: In real life, resources such as food, water, tools, ammo, armaments, and other resources are finite, especially when in a foreign region far away from the origin of the departure. Unlike in MMORPGs, where players do not need to worry about resource constraints, real-life armies and populations have to consider the availability of resources and plan the logistics of moving a massive army. Maintaining a massive army or population without adequate resources would lead to famine, disease, and other issues.

    I wanted to bring up a gameplay mechanic suggestion that could help address the potential "Zerg" issues in the game, following some aspects of the resource and logistics requirement above. We all know that zerging can sometimes take away from the strategic depth and enjoyment of large-scale battles, zergs often cause more grief on the defending side than the attacking side (but this is open to debate), so I'd like to propose a system that encourages more thoughtful coordination and strategy, especially on the aggressor side.

    Introducing the Caravan Mechanic:

    One of the unique features of Ashes of Creation is its minimal teleportation system, which makes logistics a significant concern. Additionally, the game already includes a caravan mechanic where players can transport resources. Leveraging these mechanics, I suggest introducing a new requirement for player raids when they venture outside their zone of origin (of the raid leaders; therefore, a raid is either an ally to the zone or not an ally).

    Caravan Requirement: When a raid group decides to venture into enemy territory or outside their zone of origin for a raid, they must have a caravan accompany them. This caravan would serve as the primary source of supplies (armaments, reagents, food, water, etc) for the raid and perhaps even provide additional unique buffs to the raid based on the rarity of the resources stored in the caravan.

    Vulnerability: The caravan, while crucial, would be vulnerable to attacks by opposing players. This adds an element of risk and strategic depth to the raid. If the opposing players manage to destroy the caravan, the raid group will face severe penalties that gradually get worse.

    Proximity Matters: To sustain their default HP and energy, raid group members would need to remain close to the caravan. If they stray too far or the caravan is destroyed, they would accumulate penalties. These penalties could impact their combat effectiveness, speed, or other vital stats. If the caravan is destroyed and the players decide to leave the raid, they will lose the ability to track one another and see each other's health bars, etc.

    Exemption for Node Citizens: Players who are citizens of a node (and therefore enjoy the protection of their node's defenses) may not need a caravan when participating in a raid within their node. This allows for a distinction between "home turf" and raids that take players into hostile territories for raiding or sieges. This exemption is up for debate as I can see how this exemption may award an unfair advantage to the defending players/raids, after all, the defending side may also resort to Zerg tactics themselves. An alternative suggestion/compromise could be that players of a raid while in their allied node still get penalties if their caravan is destroyed but the penalties would be less severe compared to the raids of other nodes of origin.

    Why This Mechanic Helps:

    Encourages Strategy: This system encourages raid groups to plan their attacks more strategically, considering logistics, protection of the caravan, and proximity to it during combat.

    Reduces Zerging: By introducing these limitations, the game discourages the mindless Zerg rush tactic, promoting a more balanced and calculated approach to raids.

    Adds Depth: It adds depth to raiding and caravan gameplay, making Ashes of Creation more engaging and immersive while utilizing two of its unique game features.

    I believe that implementing such a system would enhance the overall experience in Ashes of Creation by fostering more dynamic and strategic gameplay. Of course, the specifics would need to be balanced carefully, but I think this idea has the potential to create exciting and memorable moments in the game.

    What do you all think? Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions on this proposed mechanic, and let's discuss how it might improve the game!

    this makes no sense. if im commanding 1000 players, im still commanding 1000 players. it wont mitigate the numbers. i just have a caravan. do you think a few enemy players will get near that caravan to destroy it? no!

    now we just cant go out without this system...

    also, defenders already have an advantage, why give them more?
  • Azherae wrote: »
    Basically, there's a subset of people out there, me somewhat included, who don't care about the 'overpowering numbers' part of 'zerging' and only care about the skill requirement being roughly equal. Having so many 'commanders' spread out and coordinated enough to 'control your Zerglings' is also valid therefore.
    Oh, I am one of those people as well. Zerg gotta be controlled well to work well.
    Azherae wrote: »
    So, 'destroying the caravan' or 'having the Zerg group have to work without buffs' is still entirely valid.
    I just find that mechanic too easy to counter. Or it would then require some other rebalances of the caravan itself to make it harder to just assist-kill it in seconds with your own group. Maybe that's already planned to be the case, but we haven't seen that yet (afaik).

    And OP states that "home turf" wouldn't even need a caravan, so, as you were getting at - people will just go around the whole caravan part of this feature all the time. Especially if transferring the raid leader role is super easy/cheap.

    At which point anyone who can't/doesn't do that trick loses, because they're always under a debuff (cause killing the caravan is easy for their enemies), while zerg wins by simply being a zerg. And that kinda defeats the whole point of this suggestion, doesn't it.
  • Azherae wrote: »
    Galaturc wrote: »
    Once created, a raid would carry the same tag of origin regardless of who the new leader is. A raid is always friendly to its node of origin (and its allies).

    Got it, thanks for the clarification. I don't think I have any other questions.

    I can't see it having any real effect other than to frustrate people, but if the discussion hashes out any ways to prevent easy bypasses, I feel it might be a somewhat good fit for Ashes based on what I imagine Ashes to be like.

    My imagined idea of how Ashes works isn't very reasonable for less organized groups, though, so you shouldn't take my 'agreement/support' as a good thing...

    Noted, thanks. I'm sure there can be several iterations until a sweet spot is achieved during alpha 2 or beta. The best part is, that this implementation almost requires no design of new systems, almost exclusively piggybacking on the previous ones while having the potential to resolve one of the biggest challenges of MMORPGs. I believe it's an easy-to-test feature and not a lot of time/resource investment is needed.
  • BeOwningUBeOwningU Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Did you ever play wow? remember escort quests? Forcing a raid to stay close to a caravan sounds like a chaperone on a second date, drain all the fun away. I think if implemented properly the alliance system would I’ll take care of the Zerg issue already. Max guild sizes will be 50 members.
    kzlop9coy4kh.png
  • BeOwningU wrote: »
    Max guild sizes will be 50 members.
    Do you mean this in the context of "most guilds will go for better guild skills, rather than going for member slots"? Cause, just to make sure, 50 will not be max potential size of guilds.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    Basically, there's a subset of people out there, me somewhat included, who don't care about the 'overpowering numbers' part of 'zerging' and only care about the skill requirement being roughly equal. Having so many 'commanders' spread out and coordinated enough to 'control your Zerglings' is also valid therefore.
    Oh, I am one of those people as well. Zerg gotta be controlled well to work well.
    Azherae wrote: »
    So, 'destroying the caravan' or 'having the Zerg group have to work without buffs' is still entirely valid.
    I just find that mechanic too easy to counter. Or it would then require some other rebalances of the caravan itself to make it harder to just assist-kill it in seconds with your own group. Maybe that's already planned to be the case, but we haven't seen that yet (afaik).

    And OP states that "home turf" wouldn't even need a caravan, so, as you were getting at - people will just go around the whole caravan part of this feature all the time. Especially if transferring the raid leader role is super easy/cheap.

    At which point anyone who can't/doesn't do that trick loses, because they're always under a debuff (cause killing the caravan is easy for their enemies), while zerg wins by simply being a zerg. And that kinda defeats the whole point of this suggestion, doesn't it.

    I'm saying you might be reading too much into Galaturc's 'intended level of effectiveness of the solution'.

    This would definitely help to stop 'spontaneous zerglike responses' to particular situations. "A bunch of players hear about something cool going on at a Node and want a part of the action without helping the home Node".

    Without any logistical requirement other than 'them all arriving at the same time and converging on the same target point', the home Node can't fight them off as easily.

    IDK about Galaturc, but if it were me making such a suggestion, it wouldn't be even slightly intended to stop zerg guilds. Just by the nature of being a guild at all, they're allowed to be exempt. Anyone reading could focus on this section to decide how they feel about the rest of it:
    Galaturc wrote: »
    Exemption for Node Citizens: Players who are citizens of a node (and therefore enjoy the protection of their node's defenses) may not need a caravan when participating in a raid within their node. This allows for a distinction between "home turf" and raids that take players into hostile territories for raiding or sieges. This exemption is up for debate as I can see how this exemption may award an unfair advantage to the defending players/raids, after all, the defending side may also resort to Zerg tactics themselves. An alternative suggestion/compromise could be that players of a raid while in their allied node still get penalties if their caravan is destroyed but the penalties would be less severe compared to the raids of other nodes of origin.

    This could be particularly helpful for Node Sieges because technically one can make it so that a Raid with an Origin Point of "Winstead" can't actually join the 'attacking side' in the Node Siege against Winstead. So they would still HAVE to bring the caravan, y'know?
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Azherae wrote: »
    This would definitely help to stop 'spontaneous zerglike responses' to particular situations. "A bunch of players hear about something cool going on at a Node and want a part of the action without helping the home Node".

    Without any logistical requirement other than 'them all arriving at the same time and converging on the same target point', the home Node can't fight them off as easily.
    Yeah, this is just my L2 bias once again. I'm too used to a game that's based on party play and not as much solo play. Even on easier servers, where one might play solo for way longer, majority of "zergs" were always guilds in parties controlled by a single person.

    I don't think I remember a single encounter where people would just randomly come together from different places w/o any relation between them. I guess there was a single mechanic in L2 that could lead to that kind of thing happening, but even that was usually overtaken by guild parties :D
  • GalaturcGalaturc Member
    edited December 2023
    To address a few points made:

    1) Let me remind you that the traditional raids in other MMORPGs already offer additional organizational benefits to the existing advantage of having a large number of players on one side, such as the ability to track your raid members on the map, monitor their health bars, being able to auto-target their opponents, etc. These organizational "rewards" come with "no risk", however, and that's often the source of the problem with Zergs.

    This suggestion post aims to add a layer of logistical strategy benefiting the prepared raids while punishing the raids if they are not prepared. Currently, this is not the case in any MMORPG out there; it's all gain, no pain with raids not accounting for the challenge of maintaining a big army. There may certainly be other ideas as to how you can add risks to the traditional raids, but AoC already offers a few very useful tools, and the caravan system certainly is one of them to utilize.

    2) As Azherae points out, this suggestion would penalize the spontaneously formed raids without the needed preparation and logistics to buff or at least maintain the raid with protected caravans. I am a proponent of forming raids anywhere by anyone, but with a caveat, if the players are not forming this raid in their home nodes with a supply caravan, players will suffer penalties reflecting on their inability to maintain the logistics of the massive numbers in their group. If the players are well prepared, however, they instead benefit from the caravan's bonuses as long as they can protect it.

    3) Again, I think it is a valid alternative (and I am now favoring this even more since I posted this suggestion) that ANY raid should suffer penalties if they can't protect their caravan regardless if they're in their home node or not. There would still be a "home turf" advantage such as reforming a new raid with a caravan quickly and continuing their fight while the aggressor raid will not be able to reform as quickly. However, if the aggressors organize a "supply line" of caravans waiting to replace the destroyed ones by forming additional caravans in a neighboring allied node they may be able to maintain their advantage. This adds additional strategy and resources as these other caravans in the "supply line" would need to be protected as well.

    4) If the conflict is not happening on either of the sides' home nodes, then there are all sorts of strategies that both sides can use against each other. The point is, that the closer a raid is to your home node, the more advantage you have. This is logistics and resource management 101, observing the most foundational tenant of AoC - Risk and Reward.
  • MissionCreepMissionCreep Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    When there is a raid in Ashes, what are the raiders' risk v rewards and what are the defenders'?

    (This is not rhetorical.)

    Are they greatly in favor of the raiders?
    Or is this a solution in search of a problem? (Again, not rhetorical!)

    The defenders are already wasting their time (opportunity costs versus other gameplay rewards) because they have to travel. Is that possibly enough? I don't know.

    If you introduced a Caravan this would greatly increase the time spent--or wasted in the case of a failed raid.
    If you want to increase that time penalty then say the Caravan need only reach the enemy node (or whatever) and then it can be abandoned.
    Meaning that it imposes a limitation on travel speed for the raid, but means that the raiders need only defend it for a short time, and that the Caravan does not become the focus of the raid.

    I guess in part we can only answer these questions definitively if we know what the success rate of a raid is.

    Likely they will try to at most favor the defenders or at least shoot for no worse than 50/50. They don't want nodes (etc) being destroyed constantly. My guess is they want something closer to 90/10.

    Not even getting into the fact that players would give up on investing in nodes (a fundamental element of the game) if raids were easy and losing those resources were commonplace.

    Even from an immersive story-telling standpoint it's not even interesting to have the raiders constantly losing. It would be much more interesting if it were rare and truly news when it happened. Rather than having the server tell us hourly about a node being lost.
  • Honestly I think people are just too scared about PVP... Even ''zergs'' are part of the game, I think people should be allowed to do whatever they want and if you are too scared to run a trade route just call your guild, get some mercenaries and so on.. Or literally just don't be part of Pvp content, just go farm :)
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Trickster wrote: »
    Honestly I think people are just too scared about PVP... Even ''zergs'' are part of the game, I think people should be allowed to do whatever they want and if you are too scared to run a trade route just call your guild, get some mercenaries and so on.. Or literally just don't be part of Pvp content, just go farm :)

    People end up 'scared' because, in Ashes, that last sentence might sometimes not be possible at all.

    And because of the way Ashes is designed, if 6 people decided to kill you when you 'just go farm' with just you and your one friend, it's possible that only 1 or 2 of those people will experience any immediate consequences for doing it.

    Basically, you don't get to avoid PvP content.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • StalwartStalwart Member
    edited December 2023
    This seems awkward to me. I think I get the point, create an objective that can break up large groups. That might be an okay concept, I'm not sure. Creating and defending a caravan so we can group up to clear a dungeon is too much for me though. We might as well just go ungrouped.

    I guess one way I could see it is if you need to haul the loot in a caravan after you clear it. So after clearing a dungeon your raid summons and waits for a caravan to escort the loot home. Feels a bit punishing but more in flow with the game. Don't know if that still achieves your original goal though.
  • Galaturc wrote: »
    To address a few points made:

    1) Let me remind you that the traditional raids in other MMORPGs already offer additional organizational benefits to the existing advantage of having a large number of players on one side, such as the ability to track your raid members on the map, monitor their health bars, being able to auto-target their opponents, etc. These organizational "rewards" come with "no risk", however, and that's often the source of the problem with Zergs.

    This suggestion post aims to add a layer of logistical strategy benefiting the prepared raids while punishing the raids if they are not prepared. Currently, this is not the case in any MMORPG out there; it's all gain, no pain with raids not accounting for the challenge of maintaining a big army. There may certainly be other ideas as to how you can add risks to the traditional raids, but AoC already offers a few very useful tools, and the caravan system certainly is one of them to utilize.

    2) As Azherae points out, this suggestion would penalize the spontaneously formed raids without the needed preparation and logistics to buff or at least maintain the raid with protected caravans. I am a proponent of forming raids anywhere by anyone, but with a caveat, if the players are not forming this raid in their home nodes with a supply caravan, players will suffer penalties reflecting on their inability to maintain the logistics of the massive numbers in their group. If the players are well prepared, however, they instead benefit from the caravan's bonuses as long as they can protect it.

    3) Again, I think it is a valid alternative (and I am now favoring this even more since I posted this suggestion) that ANY raid should suffer penalties if they can't protect their caravan regardless if they're in their home node or not. There would still be a "home turf" advantage such as reforming a new raid with a caravan quickly and continuing their fight while the aggressor raid will not be able to reform as quickly. However, if the aggressors organize a "supply line" of caravans waiting to replace the destroyed ones by forming additional caravans in a neighboring allied node they may be able to maintain their advantage. This adds additional strategy and resources as these other caravans in the "supply line" would need to be protected as well.

    4) If the conflict is not happening on either of the sides' home nodes, then there are all sorts of strategies that both sides can use against each other. The point is, that the closer a raid is to your home node, the more advantage you have. This is logistics and resource management 101, observing the most foundational tenant of AoC - Risk and Reward.

    you know the smallest raid in aoc is a 16 people group right? basically 2 parties. so anything from 16 people (actually 9, you dont even need both parties to be full) will need to move in slow motion every time they wanna go somewhere. so the big guild will be slowed down to get to any place, but the small guilds will also be slowed down.

    a big guild could simply not form a raid group and go out in parties of 8 (maybe statics) and fight like that without the need to form a raid. why? because you cant already hit people in your guild. node wars are the same, you cant hit people in your node.

    your suggestion only hurts players who casually group up to do something...ashes wants people to group up so u cant put these hurdles if they want to do so.
  • In essence, these ideas seem more like chores that excessively restrict gameplay. they are roadblocks instead of being engaging.

    People who would be willing to do stuff would be too constrained.
    PvE means: A handful of coins and a bag of boredom.
  • BeOwningUBeOwningU Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    BeOwningU wrote: »
    Max guild sizes will be 50 members.
    Do you mean this in the context of "most guilds will go for better guild skills, rather than going for member slots"? Cause, just to make sure, 50 will not be max potential size of guilds.

    What do you think the max guild size will be? Why will the alliance system not be able to overcome the size you think will be implemented?
    kzlop9coy4kh.png
  • BeOwningU wrote: »
    What do you think the max guild size will be? Why will the alliance system not be able to overcome the size you think will be implemented?
    https://ashesofcreation.wiki/Guilds#Guild_size
    Guild size of 300 is currently the maximum cap that can be attained by leveling the guild and selecting the path of size as opposed to the path of guild skills.[7]

    Alliance can have 4 guilds in them, so a maximum of 1200 people.
    Once created, the leader can invite up to three other guilds to this alliance, but this is subject to change.[8][49][48]
  • GalaturcGalaturc Member
    edited December 2023
    When there is a raid in Ashes, what are the raiders' risk v rewards and what are the defenders'?
    You've raised some genuinely insightful points here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    To me, it does seem like the rewards-versus-risk balance for players in raids, whether they're on the offensive or defensive side, should be fine-tuned.

    Right now, it appears that joining a large raid group is a low-risk, high-reward endeavor. It simplifies the organization without introducing any meaningful additional challenges. This situation understandably encourages players to flock to the biggest groups, resulting in the dominance of Zerg-like tactics. Small teams, which should theoretically excel in coordination and communication, don't receive the advantages they should. This imbalance fosters the "bigger is always better" mentality, which isn't conducive to dynamic and strategic gameplay.

    To address this, I suggest introducing some organizational challenges associated with larger groups. For instance, we could consider granting more buffs to smaller parties, incentivizing the formation of tighter-knit teams. In contrast, larger raid groups might receive fewer buffs. Additionally, requiring caravans for larger raids could serve as both a logistical challenge and an opportunity for reward. Those who can effectively protect their caravan could earn unique caravan buffs, but those who lose their caravan could face penalties, perhaps in the form of debuffs or other consequences if they continue their raid without a new caravan, discouraging reckless behavior.

    Regarding defensive and offensive raids... Defensive raids often receive no tangible rewards and can only maintain their existing holdings while risking them, especially from a siege standpoint. Therefore a 10/90% or a 20/80% win ratio estimate for attacking versus defending raids makes sense to me, as well. The current system indeed needs to favor defenders, especially when they're near their node, so they can build their nodes without hesitation.

    Furthermore, it's worth noting that the time commitment and logistics of moving large raid groups across the map, while an important factor, don't seem to be proportionate to the risks involved. There's a real need for more organization and planning when amassing large numbers for a raid, and it's an aspect that should be reflected in the game mechanics. It seems to me that the "supply caravan" for a raid addresses that problem well.

    Ultimately, the issue seems to be that there's currently no real downside to having larger numbers in a guild or party. Smaller groups, meanwhile, bear more risk and aren't adequately rewarded for their efforts. This naturally pushes players toward adopting a zerging mentality, which we'd love to see balanced out for a more varied and strategic gameplay experience.
    Are they greatly in favor of the raiders?
    Yes, I think larger numbers are always favored in MMORPGs, and smaller numbers are rarely favored for the same reason, except for valid bragging rights of beating a larger group. Both larger and smaller parties receive the same benefits, which then equates to the more players you have in your group/raid/guild, the more likely you will win. This means the game is favoring more numbers... when in reality, there should be a risk and reward for larger numbers in a raid.
    Or is this a solution in search of a problem?
    The concept of Zergs in MMORPGs has always sparked a bit of cringe, but it's important to clarify that Zergs themselves aren't inherently problematic. They can serve a valid purpose in the realm of MMORPGs if only forming a Zerging guild or a raid poses some disadvantages as traditionally portrayed: disorganized and reliant on weaker units in massive numbers. Remember the original Zergs in Starcraft? If we are seeking a problem, it is not the Zergs.

    The real problem isn't the existence of Zergs but rather the lack of alternative strategies that are undervalued due to a lack of game mechanics that reward them. In many games, both small and large groups are granted similar advantages, such as the ability to track each other on the map, auto-targeting features, and more. Unfortunately, this often leads to a straightforward equation: the bigger your numbers, the stronger your team, period. However, in reality, it should always be more challenging to control, supply, and manage a larger team. Simply amassing larger numbers shouldn't automatically make your group stronger than a smaller one, irrespective of player skills. This, indeed, lies at the heart of the Zerg problem.

    To address this issue, there should be a trade-off for forming a large raid as opposed to remaining small. As it stands, the game mechanics don't adequately encourage such a trade-off. The lack of risk associated with large numbers is what renders the current situation unsustainable.

    In essence, what we need are game mechanics that not only acknowledge the benefits of Zergs but also introduce a level of difficulty and risk associated with their size. This would create a more balanced and strategic gaming environment, where players are encouraged to explore a variety of approaches, rather than defaulting to mass numbers as the go-to strategy.
  • Galaturc wrote: »
    When there is a raid in Ashes, what are the raiders' risk v rewards and what are the defenders'?
    You've raised some genuinely insightful points here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    To me, it does seem like the rewards-versus-risk balance for players in raids, whether they're on the offensive or defensive side, should be fine-tuned.

    Right now, it appears that joining a large raid group is a low-risk, high-reward endeavor. It simplifies the organization without introducing any meaningful additional challenges. This situation understandably encourages players to flock to the biggest groups, resulting in the dominance of Zerg-like tactics. Small teams, which should theoretically excel in coordination and communication, don't receive the advantages they should. This imbalance fosters the "bigger is always better" mentality, which isn't conducive to dynamic and strategic gameplay.

    To address this, I suggest introducing some organizational challenges associated with larger groups. For instance, we could consider granting more buffs to smaller parties, incentivizing the formation of tighter-knit teams. In contrast, larger raid groups might receive fewer buffs. Additionally, requiring caravans for larger raids could serve as both a logistical challenge and an opportunity for reward. Those who can effectively protect their caravan could earn unique caravan buffs, but those who lose their caravan could face penalties, perhaps in the form of debuffs or other consequences if they continue their raid without a new caravan, discouraging reckless behavior.

    Regarding defensive and offensive raids... Defensive raids often receive no tangible rewards and can only maintain their existing holdings while risking them. Therefore a 10/90% or a 20/80% win ratio estimate for attacking versus defending raids makes sense to me, as well. The current system indeed needs to favor defenders, especially when they're near their node, so they can build their nodes without hesitation.

    Furthermore, it's worth noting that the time commitment and logistics of moving large raid groups across the map, while an important factor, don't seem to be proportionate to the risks involved. There's a real need for more organization and planning when amassing large numbers for a raid, and it's an aspect that should be reflected in the game mechanics. It seems to me that the "supply caravan" for a raid addresses that problem well.

    Ultimately, the issue seems to be that there's currently no real downside to having larger numbers in a guild or party. Smaller groups, meanwhile, bear more risk and aren't adequately rewarded for their efforts. This naturally pushes players toward adopting a zerging mentality, which we'd love to see balanced out for a more varied and strategic gameplay experience.
    Are they greatly in favor of the raiders?
    Yes, I think larger numbers are always favored in MMORPGs, and smaller numbers are rarely favored for the same reason, except for valid bragging rights of beating a larger group. Both larger and smaller parties receive the same benefits, which then equates to the more players you have in your group/raid/guild, the more likely you will win. This means the game is favoring more numbers... when in reality, there should be a risk and reward for larger numbers in a raid.
    Or is this a solution in search of a problem? (Again, not rhetorical!)
    The concept of Zergs in MMORPGs has always sparked a bit of cringe, but it's important to clarify that Zergs themselves aren't inherently problematic. They can serve a valid purpose in the realm of MMORPGs if only forming a Zerging guild or a raid poses some disadvantages as traditionally portrayed: disorganized and reliant on weaker units in massive numbers. Remember the original Zergs in Starcraft?

    The real problem isn't the existence of Zergs but rather the lack of alternative strategies that are undervalued due to a lack of game mechanics that reward them. In many games, both small and large groups are granted similar advantages, such as the ability to track each other on the map, auto-targeting features, and more. Unfortunately, this often leads to a straightforward equation: the bigger your numbers, the stronger your team, period. However, in reality, it should always be more challenging to control, supply, and manage a larger team. Simply amassing larger numbers shouldn't automatically make your group stronger than a smaller one, irrespective of player skills. This, indeed, lies at the heart of the Zerg problem.

    To address this issue, there should be a trade-off for forming a large raid as opposed to remaining small. As it stands, the game mechanics don't adequately encourage such a trade-off. The lack of risk associated with large numbers is what renders the current situation unsustainable.

    In essence, what we need are game mechanics that not only acknowledge the benefits of Zergs but also introduce a level of difficulty and risk associated with their size. This would create a more balanced and strategic gaming environment, where players are encouraged to explore a variety of approaches, rather than defaulting to mass numbers as the go-to strategy.

    why do you want to keep punishin gplayers for socializing and grouping? if i have 100 friends and you only have 10, why should i get punished?

    small guilds already get passives and stuff that big guilds cant get.

    if you punish a large raid, guess what? i split my 100 friends in groups of 8 or 16, no debuff no disadvantage no nothing, problem solved. we are still in the same guild and wont be able to hurt each other...

    also smaller groups arent always made of good players, they can be headless chickens too. the same instructions "go forward, go back dont chase, rotate right, roate left, kill X person" work for big and small groups as well. there is nothing inherently that makes a player better for being in a small group.
  • GalaturcGalaturc Member
    edited December 2023
    Depraved wrote: »
    why do you want to keep punishin gplayers for socializing and grouping? if i have 100 friends and you only have 10, why should i get punished?

    small guilds already get passives and stuff that big guilds cant get.
    I do not quarrel about having large guilds or having many friends... I don't know what post you are reading, but those are not my statements. However, once you are organizing a party or a raid, how many are in your group should start to matter... because, the way it currently is, the larger you are, the stronger your group becomes. That is promoting a Zerg mentality.

    I am starting to think you are in favor of Zergs, which is fine, as long as I know what you are proposing is to maintain the "no risk, more rewards for the Zergs" approach every other MMORPG has taken. I happen to think that this needs balancing.

    I am proposing this suggestion not to punish the socializing, or having 100 friends, but to offer a risk element to that group to account for the organizational challenges or logistics that come with it.
    if you punish a large raid, guess what? i split my 100 friends in groups of 8 or 16, no debuff no disadvantage no nothing, problem solved. we are still in the same guild and wont be able to hurt each other...
    Yes, I would not have a problem with that, at least, now, you have 6 to 12 individual parties that are supposed to function better... This way, you are not managing all of them all at once with no repercussions. Do you see how that is a little more challenging than having a massive group of 40 or 100 players all at once? Currently, there is no advantage of having 5 parties of 8 players versus a raid of 40, by default, you'd prefer a raid of 40 because it is a numbers game, Zergs win.

    The alternative is to make the following critical decision; do I get to have better functioning 5 parties of 8, with the caveat that they are all individual, or one raid of 40 but with weaker units and somewhat more challenging logistics - as it should be? Besides all that, I am proposing additional, unique caravan benefits if you can maintain the large group and protect your supplies... adding to the complexity and strategy element of this decision.
    also smaller groups arent always made of good players, they can be headless chickens too. the same instructions "go forward, go back dont chase, rotate right, roate left, kill X person" work for big and small groups as well. there is nothing inherently that makes a player better for being in a small group.
    Indeed, but this is irrelevant to the post. I never argued that smaller groups are made of good players or that raids are made out of bad players.

    All I hear from you is incoherent opposition void of necessary evidence or alternatives. I even think that you have no issue with Zergs in MMORPGs. Again, that is fine as long as I know where you stand. If this is an issue for you as well, however, feel free to add constructively to the conversation and help us devise alternative solutions.

    Also, it would help immensely to the clarity of your post if you did not quote my entire post every single time you reply to me.
  • Galaturc wrote: »
    "no risk, more rewards for the Zergs"
    I'm curious here. What are the "more rewards" you're foreseen here? Especially in the context of your presumed "random 40 dudes come to a place and make a raid together"?

    Mobs/bosses won't give their rewards to all 40 people. There's gonna only be a single small amount of loot from any given encounter. And that zerg would have to be static across MONTHS, if they all want to receive equal amount of rewards for being a zerg.

    So what exactly is the "more rewards" here?

    Galaturc wrote: »
    Yes, I would not have a problem with that, at least, now, you have 6 to 12 individual parties that are supposed to function better... This way, you are not managing all of them all at once with no repercussions. Do you see how that is a little more challenging than having a massive group of 40 or 100 players all at once? Currently, there is no advantage of having 5 parties of 8 players versus a raid of 40, by default, you'd prefer a raid of 40 because it is a numbers game, Zergs win.
    Another point of confusion. So I'll just ask a somewhat dumb question. Have you ever played a game that has the concept of "parties"?

    And if you have played such a game, have you ever played in a guild that had several such parties in their ranks, all of whom were controlled by a single person in Ventrilo/Team Speak/Discord?

    Because your rebuttal here makes literal 0 sense to anyone who has played a game with the concept of parties and guild leaders who give orders to set parties.

    5 parties of 8 are ALWAYS better than a crowd of 40 random people. Well, maybe not always. I'm sure that dumbed down soloable mmos benefit from those raids full of randos, because every damn aoe buff/heal goes to the entire fucking crowd. And god I hope this is not the case in Ashes.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Galaturc wrote: »
    "no risk, more rewards for the Zergs"
    I'm curious here. What are the "more rewards" you're foreseen here? Especially in the context of your presumed "random 40 dudes come to a place and make a raid together"?

    Mobs/bosses won't give their rewards to all 40 people. There's gonna only be a single small amount of loot from any given encounter. And that zerg would have to be static across MONTHS, if they all want to receive equal amount of rewards for being a zerg.

    So what exactly is the "more rewards" here?

    Galaturc wrote: »
    Yes, I would not have a problem with that, at least, now, you have 6 to 12 individual parties that are supposed to function better... This way, you are not managing all of them all at once with no repercussions. Do you see how that is a little more challenging than having a massive group of 40 or 100 players all at once? Currently, there is no advantage of having 5 parties of 8 players versus a raid of 40, by default, you'd prefer a raid of 40 because it is a numbers game, Zergs win.
    Another point of confusion. So I'll just ask a somewhat dumb question. Have you ever played a game that has the concept of "parties"?

    And if you have played such a game, have you ever played in a guild that had several such parties in their ranks, all of whom were controlled by a single person in Ventrilo/Team Speak/Discord?

    Because your rebuttal here makes literal 0 sense to anyone who has played a game with the concept of parties and guild leaders who give orders to set parties.

    5 parties of 8 are ALWAYS better than a crowd of 40 random people. Well, maybe not always. I'm sure that dumbed down soloable mmos benefit from those raids full of randos, because every damn aoe buff/heal goes to the entire fucking crowd. And god I hope this is not the case in Ashes.

    There are really too many inconsistencies in how MMOs apply their benefits and grouping, for this conversation to go anywhere useful, as it is now, huh?

    @Galaturc - I need the answer to this myself too. What exactly is a 'Raid' to you?
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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