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[Feedback Request] Alpha Two Caravan PvP Preview Shown in January Livestream

VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
edited February 29 in General Discussion
Hello glorious community,

We’d like your feedback on the Caravan PvP Preview shown during the January 2024 Development Update Livestream.

To help guide this conversation, here are a few thought starters you can choose from:
  • How do you feel about the Caravan PvP Preview?
  • What excites you about playing and interacting with other players and the Caravan System?
  • Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Caravan PvP Preview?
  • Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!
Please don’t feel limited by the thought starters above. Feel free to share anything you’d like about Ashes of Creation’s Alpha Two Caravan PvP Preview shown during the January Development Update

We’ll be compiling a report for the design team on Friday, February 23, 2024, so please try to get your feedback into this thread by then!

Everyone here at Intrepid Studios looks forward to reading all the feedback you have to share!


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    NiKrNiKr Member
    edited January 31
    Considering that it was a small scale pvp, it looked fine. Names were visible, players were fairly trackable. Of course numbers were on the side of attackers at first, so they overwhelmed the caravan.

    Summoned caravan definitely came a bit too fast. And if you do decide to let it be fast, then I'd definitely prefer if loading crates took longer. In other words, let the defenders respawn and come back before the attacker's caravan can already outpace them.

    Transfer to water and narrow rivers with attack points looked nice.

    Unless I missed it, I don't think it was mentioned if the ruins of a caravan are still considered a pvp zone. Would definitely hope that it is.

    Would also definitely hope there's several ways to stop (or at least significantly slow down) the caravan through player means, cause it feels almost impossible to stop it unless you can just completely run over the players around it. Maybe I missed the stream mentioning whether the drive can be sniped (and if he can, then I hope only he can drive the caravan).

    Also, I'll rewatch it to check, but if it wasn't mentioned, do the initial defenders automatically become attackers for the attacker caravan with stolen good, or do they need to register to that. Would definitely like if it's automatic. Rewatched it. Attackers obviously will become defenders seamlessly, because their leader just gains a caravan, but

    Oh, and I guess this would relate to pvp feedback. PLS NO VISUAL HP VALUES ON ENEMIES.

    Seeing fractions will not stop abuse, it will encourage harassment, which will simply overwhelm GMs and lead to a ton of arguments between Intrepid and players about what exactly "harassment" is.

    Also, TTK definitely seems a bit short, be it because of absence of good heals/defensive buffs or dmg/hp ratios. HP ranged from 1k to ~1.7k, with hits going as high as 300 on massive crits and at ~15-20 on super fast hits. Usual skills seemed to hit for around 100. And considering the speed of combat it definitely feel like these ratios are a bit skewed towards fast ttk. Would definitely like if it took longer to kill people (especially in party situations with tanks and healers).
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    edited January 31
    1. Horse sound walking/galloping could use a tweak. Doesn’t sound like a horse walking/galloping. It has a dun-dun-dun sound when it should have a clack-clack-clack sound.

    2. One player mage at one point activated their shield. But was able to step outside of his/her shield. Bug?

    3. What mechanics do you have planned to stop a zerg from taking a caravan. Would like to see some defense mechanics for smaller groups trying to protect a caravan so it's not just the number of players that matters.

    4. I can’t say it enough. Environment looks incredible!
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    Gaul_Gaul_ Member
    edited February 9
    Great stream. I can't wait to see the water traversal physics and visual effects continue to improve.
    I'd just like to take a minute to push back on a few who have expressed their sentiment that caravan attackers are going to be overly advantaged.

    In EVE online, your cargo ship can be intercepted by waiting attackers who (arguably) aren't directly risking much. If you have insufficient protection for your cargo, then you lose it and that's just the way it is. And that system works just fine, because the game has a real market with real incentives to successfully move goods. You have to take responsibility for your own security when transporting, and everyone in the EVE community knows it. There's a classic EVE adage, "Never fly what you can't afford to lose." I anticipate this to be very similar to how caravans will work.

    Ashes is open world, and as a result there are a large number of variables to consider. It is a big mental adjustment for players who haven't played anything similar. You are not supposed to be able to haphazardly run large amounts of materials and expect the game to just hand you a decent success rate. You will need good tactics and strategy. You will need to adapt to a changing open world. This differs from other games with PvP systems that enforce fairness with a queue, an evenly matched instanced area, and a matchmaking system based on player skill rating.

    Why is it important for Intrepid to not punish caravan attackers too harshly? To illustrate the danger, if attackers are overly penalized then driving a caravan could become a low-risk endeavor. That has happened in prior games, and it is disastrous. If caravans aren't worth robbing, then we are all going to be running very boring 30min+ solo caravans as chores to maximize our gold.

    I think some people need a reminder that caravans are specifically designed to be PVP battlegrounds and thus banditry must be encouraged (not discouraged, like the corruption system for killing noncombatants). With that said, I do think new players trying to be a caravan driver for the first time will have an abysmal success rate. Perhaps Intrepid should mitigate this somehow, even just by warning the player? Plenty of people will play Ashes who haven't already learned these lessons in other games.
    Other feedback: camouflage looks great, my only concern is that it will become optimal sometimes to spam left click the environment to look for camouflaged players (especially since Steven said you can click on them at any range). This essentially makes left click into a zero-cooldown stealth check ability. Perhaps it would be better if camouflage was true stealth at very long range?
    The black-market upgrade is a great idea. I hope Intrepid adds a few more options like it. A "corrupt node" wouldn't make sense, but I like the idea of certain nodes investing in a criminal underbelly that doesn't ask too many questions.

    This opens up some strategic counter play-- for example, maybe your alliance will install a bandit mayor in a village in your adversary's vassal network and add bandit-oriented service buildings to attract more highwaymen to that area to disrupt their trade routes. This could create tension in that vassal system, making player groups want to try and re-take that node's mayorship in the next election to restore order.

    A few more node upgrades on top of the black-market could provide small benefits to highwaymen, perhaps even unlocking a node policy that offers slightly better rates for stolen goods. You wouldn't want to take this bandit node concept too far, but I think the black-market service building is a great start.
    I heard a great idea on the Voices of Verra podcast, someone suggested that the caravan defender tree should have a branch for driver-specific benefits. As someone who wants to play as a merchant, this sounds super appealing.
    Stealing the commodities should still maintain the "identity" of the commodity ("Everburn Candles") for the purpose of calculating gold value based on distance. Also, it appeared that this certificate item went in the player's normal inventory. It was not clear if this is intended, or if that player can still drop those items on death.
    Final note, the Lightning Ball should be a priority, I think. They are extremely prominent on the battlefield and are very odd looking among the other effects. It just looks like a marble. Of course, all of the visual effects are a work in progress, but I think that one in particular is worth pointing out. Thanks for reading!
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    Here are some things I noticed from the stream today that would make the visuals and gameplay much better
    1) Boat physics --- boats take longer to reach max speed --- boats take longer to come to a halt
    2) Add oar upgrades for friends to speed the boat up
    3) Boat damage when crashing into rocks
    4) Sail animation based on wind direction rather than just a stagnant sail. If there won't be wind direction mechanics, add sail animation
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    wockwock Member
    I think instead of just waiting for the caravan to finish converting, people should be building it themselves. It takes some people out of the fight, and if your squad starts getting outnumbered they might have to stop production and help out. I think it would add a great dynamic. Maybe holding a button down, or a little mini game.
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    PlandemoniumPlandemonium Member
    edited January 31
    I could write for hours about how great a job you're doing, how excellent the stream was, how well everything looks, and how the water quality is light-years ahead of the competition. However, there's no need to fix what already looks and works well. I'll focus on something that could be improved or enhanced, and only one thing caught my eye.

    Getting to the point, when attackers took over the caravan, they had to summon their own. It seems to me that a fantastic solution (immersion is key) would be if the caravan had to be assembled on the spot by an engineer. This engineer would physically stand next to it and hammer away. I'm not suggesting creating a new mechanic around it; let it stay as it is, but add the requirement of having an engineer in the party. This engineer should possess crafting skills and be capable of assembling the caravan on-site. After all, a caravan isn't a Tesla that can just come to pick us up from the city on its own :) It would be great if each profession had such additional tasks/abilities, making them even more diverse.

    +Converting a caravan into a raft could work identically.
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    I really enjoyed the numbers shown with damage and health, it's not absurdly huge and that's good, also the pacing , things take time, everything isn't instant, you gotta work for things, that is really good, keep up the good work \o
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    I LOVED this stream! My question is this: What is stopping 12 players using their personal inventory and mounts to travel as a “caravan”, as opposed to 1 caravan and 11 defenders? The benefit of 12 players using mounts/personal inventory is that they can’t be attacked without enemy getting corruption penalty

    Founder and Guild Leader of -Providence-
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    DisobedientDisobedient Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 31
    Stream was great! Looking forward to testing it myself. I thought the water was just 10/10, the physics and aesthetics were the best I've seen in any game so far. However, the water ripples created behind the moving raft looked odd. Normally you'll get condensed ripples that look uneven or "rougher" in the center, then cleaner ripples off to the sides of the boat. But generally, the ones on the side of the boat are running away from the boat, and the ones directly behind it are chasing it. However, to the naked eye it won't appear to be chasing until the boat's velocity has reduced to below the velocity of the wave. During the live stream, it seemed that the ripples were chasing the boat, I think that's why they looked off. I've attached a picture to reference what I mean.

    Kind of a funny question: What will happen when a fleet of large ocean-bound boats are moving around in the same area (for like an ocean boss), how will the boat currents collide with each other? Also, are currents able to impact the player's speed swim speed at all?

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    is it possible to destroy the Caravan spawn or destroy it as its changing from a boat to cart? Could you even place fake chests in your cart when you open it they blow up or get a special cart when destroyed does like a large aoe damage to anyone right close to it. and when you do the caravan spawn should be build or lock up the player to spawn it till its done same with swaping from a boat to cart and back. looked like a few clicks and set and forget kinda did it by itsself
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    Just want to say, looks amazing. Please add slow fall to those energy orbs. :)
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    wock wrote: »
    I think instead of just waiting for the caravan to finish converting, people should be building it themselves. It takes some people out of the fight, and if your squad starts getting outnumbered they might have to stop production and help out. I think it would add a great dynamic. Maybe holding a button down, or a little mini game.
    I agree with this, having people building the raft would add a nice dynamic and add more decision making, also having people actually work on it rather than it just being "built" would add to the immersion and visuals, but all in all great stream, it makes me more hyped for alpha 2!

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    wockwock Member
    edited January 31
    Ibuddha69 wrote: »
    wock wrote: »
    I think instead of just waiting for the caravan to finish converting, people should be building it themselves. It takes some people out of the fight, and if your squad starts getting outnumbered they might have to stop production and help out. I think it would add a great dynamic. Maybe holding a button down, or a little mini game.
    I agree with this, having people building the raft would add a nice dynamic and add more decision making, also having people actually work on it rather than it just being "built" would add to the immersion and visuals, but all in all great stream, it makes me more hyped for alpha 2!

    yes! immersion was the other word I was looking for. I wonder if there should be a limit on how many people can work on it? The more people working the faster it goes. I think there should be a cap so it’s not instant, but maybe 5-10, and the higher number the faster it gets built.
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    With the "not showing the enemy exact HP value". I fell like ppl will just run bots/addons that show this value for them and it will create unfair advantage. It's what happened in a different game that had similar system.
    Maybe rethink this cuz I don't really see it as a necessary feature.
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    The biggest question I had from this was what are the incentives for defenders to show up and help get a caravan from point a to b? I believe it was originally supposed to be a mercenary vs bandit scenario that both have progressing paths but we didnt see any of that here. Is this feature just not addressed yet or have we decided to remove incentives outside of the resources carried by the caravan?
    Commissioned at
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    GreatTruthGreatTruth Member
    edited January 31
    How long could this pvp event (if the numbers in favor change) go back and forth? Is there a time limit?
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    MybroViajeroMybroViajero Member
    edited February 1

    The environment has a lot of potential to be a powerful ally for future adaptable and versatile caravan contents.

    Imagine an environment being a nerf or buff to certain caravans or some area negatively or positively affecting the walkthrough or mobs, bosses, world bosses having certain buffs to help or hinder caravan content.

    There is a lot of potential that the environment could give , keep that in mind.
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    LashingLashing Member
    edited February 8
    Still have not outlined any risk at all for attacking. Even when looting the caravan the attacker got the commodities certificates went into normal inventory so it could not even be stolen back. I might be missing something about this system. It seemed to greatly favor attackers and smash and grab over everything else.

    Something like a thieves guild fee that is paid every week to use the blackmarket. This would mean if you are not actively attacking caravans you lose money. It gives a bit more leeway on attacker risk. They will have to play more risky to ensure they profit every week.

    I have a feeling in unscripted scenarios people are just going to instantly break open crates and leave because it is individual reward instead of giving the full reward to a new Caravan driver. We know how people typically interact with stuff like this. The Easy + Selfish scenario is going to win every time.

    There has to be risk for attacking and there has to be a way to automatically distribute rewards to people defending or there is going to be massive issues.

    As for the certificates. They seemed to go into the normal player inventory. A personal gripe I have is if something can drop on death it should go in the material bags. This way it is consistent and players can feel confident that their normal inventory is always safe.

    I think on the summoning a new caravan front, reducing the time to summon but making people manually pick up or drag crates to load them would be more active gameplay and feel nicer to experience. Instead of just standing around waiting you could move crates closer together, When loading attackers have a chance to pop up on you and you might have to leave with half the cargo still on the ground. It would be a more dynamic gameplay loop than just using a magic vacuum and summon timer. Giving players something to do while creating a dock would also be nice.

    Also time to kill was way too fast. It will lead to first attackers advantage being inflated significantly. Only someone who decided to opt out of all defense options should die instantly. I would love to see higher defense but lower healing potential. Do not lean into much lifesteal effects because they are so dangerous. Output giving defense is never balanced in any game.

    Note about the ranger skill snipe. I am not a fan of the current design. It is going to feel mandatory to use as an opener in both pvp and pve. It will be especially annoying in pve. I would rather see it be a skill that requires some kind of build up to it. Like needing stacks from a mark to use with high risk but high payoff. It will never be balanced as a large nuke skill that can be cast on a target that is not in combat.

    (Probably a big ask but I would love if you raft movement animation included raising and lowering the sails with proper momentum and acceleration. A raft should not have perfect control)
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    SnowElfSnowElf Member
    edited January 31
    How do you feel about the Caravan PvP Preview?

    I think it went great! I very much enjoyed the consistent perspective swapping to give us multiple points of view from different players as well, allowing us to really get a stronger spectator sense.

    What excites you about playing and interacting with other players and the Caravan System?

    I'm actually excited to see the dynamics which cause some guilds to specifically turn into bandit'esque type guilds who intentionally go about Verra and pillage people for their caravans! Steven also mentioned how some guilds may have spies in them and that really does add a level of gameplay to players to be sneaky about stealing goods from guilds/caravans.

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Caravan PvP Preview?

    I'm actually excited to see if there will ever be all-stealth caravan runs from some guilds, making some players think that the caravan is easy picking but end up making a deadly mistake. I am concerned about how many bugs the team may come across when it comes to converting from a caravan to a raft and they happen to be attacked at that time, but time will tell! :)

    Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!

    Not off the top of my head, this feels like some fun type of trailblazing gameplay which I'm excited to see in future installments.

    Oh, it would also be amazing to see this caravan system on large scale PVP instanced maps where the objective is to carry resources from one place to another in order to win the PVP match.
    I am obsessed with anything magic.

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    netrimosnetrimos Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    The boat launch was so cool. Boat physics/handing obviously are placeholder/need lots and lots of work, but I really liked the thought behind the systems shown.
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    TyranthraxusTyranthraxus Member
    edited January 31
    LOVED the info and insight we got, in today's stream!

    Seeing the land-to-water-and-back conversion was neat, was good to know how stolen-goods can benefit from a "reverse-caravan", versus carrying a lighter load on the party members' backs. Good to see the base-systems are functional, even if there was a bug or two that the stream came across (empty crate). Oh - and the info about potential "decoy" caravans was good insight.

    It's also a relief that the combat-ships will NOT be able to enter rivers, as to over-power river-travelling caravans.

    It did feel like there could be a better pay-out / loot-distribution system, at the end.

    Will probably make it my question for the next Q&A, BUT: Today's preview raised the question as to whether or not the caravans will be able to cross between the continents; If there are river-based caravans for traversing rivers, does this mean we'll have a specialty-caravan that can cross oceans, since Harbor-launched ships could potentially share the same waters?

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    when you spawn your cart does it have an auto lock on it for the first few min i know in Archeage when you spawned it if you forgot to auto lock it people could just snake your cart?
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    QuaNiloQuaNilo Member
    edited January 31
    I really liked this livestream.
    I have two things i found that could be improved.
    1 . in the PVP, the mage's damage ball ability, it's a bit too much clutter on the screen, and blocks everyone's view if there is more than one mage present using that ability.
    Maybe reduce the opacity? or add some transparency that you can see through but distort the things on the other side?
    2. Horses! Please add the horses onto to the raft, so it doesn't break immersion when you transform back from raft to caravan.
    Other than that, exceptional showcase!
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    Really liked the quarterly hp bar, and the fact that it is in pvp but not in pve is a great choice. My only desire for pvp is that there is enough depth and complexity to be able to beat people with an significant advantage by being substantially better than the opponent. The main thing that I've been thinking about is that there should be some way to consistently be able to dodge and or mitigate tab targeted abilities.
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    HylmewHylmew Member
    edited January 31
    Note: I understand this is a game and some things can't be done and could be not fun if they were made to be too realistic, but these are my observations as a player who love cohesion and immersion:

    - The caravan was very tanky, and seeing people hit it mindlessly with swords wasn't very immersive
    ​ - Maybe only magic and tools (like maces) should be needed to be able to hit it, like sword and arrows wouldn't do any real damage
    ​ - For people who don't have the weapons/tools required to damage the caravan, maybe an option to damage hit with hands, like tear out planks or something
    - I think the caravan horses walking through every AoE undamaged and unbothered was unsettling haha
    ​ - In my opinion they should be killable (poor horses ;-;) and the caravan would hence be stuck there, but that would cause concerns with the current system
    - I'd like to have to carry crates to the caravan instead of crates being teleported to it
    - The summoned caravan was also teleported and it doesn't feel immersive
    - Stealth didn't seem very stealthy
    - The raft animation falling in the water was incredible, but its piloting wasn't very realistic, it could turn and move way too fast and abruptly
    ​ - We should have to paddle to turn that quickly
    ​ - The wind should help move fast and potentially be shown on the UI (or not, maybe just the voiles)
    - I think the caravan spells should be explained by a device in the caravan, right now they come from nowhere
    - The caravan itself having mana is weird
    - About TTK:
    ​ - I love the healthbar obfuscation. In my ideal world, there wouldn't even be a healthbar, because IRL you don't have one, but I do like the state you showed
    ​ - I think TTK was a bit long overall imo, I hope there will be squeeshy characters that can be bursted too

    Overall, banger stream and I'm really hyped
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    I loved everything I saw and i'm hype! The only question I have is about loot distribution

    1. How will the loot/materials from taking a caravan be distributed among the group that steals and/or delivers a caravan be distributed?

    2. Will the rewards be distributed among those players, the node, or both?

    3. What determines who is person who turns in the caravan to the caravan master or black market person?
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    LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    2 initial MAJOR point of feedback I'd like to share,

    Love the HP bar not being visible, that is good for PvP it adds an extra layer of complexity and it is great

    Absolutely hate the faster TTK, the original plan was 30~60s and this was a major point that I was looking forward to, its currently way too fast people get melted by 2 rangers, hope it gets balanced to a longer TTK so that we can enjoy long fights that are skilled and for mass PvP to feel good,

    will discuss this with my community and follow up with feedback,
    Recrutamento aberto - Nosso Site: Clique aqui
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    Looked awesome ! iam really happy

    I would say:

    The Caravan needs a defense mechanic. like spell/shield that neglects damage so you can defend your Caravan better.

    The Raft was too fast the movement and turnrates looked like it was sliding on ice (especially while turning)
    The Swimming was too fast the characters looked like they were skydiving through the water.

    I think many people complained about:

    The Ball Lightning looked just ridiculous in group fights maybe rework it or make it a spell with higher cd.

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    netrimosnetrimos Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Feedback on the raft caravan phase.
    - Launch into the water was awesome! Such a cool animation
    - I think the caravan should be at the mercy of the river currents, with speed depending on wind/sails/current. Current steering made it seem like it was being drawn by underwater horses.
    - Learning how to sail a river should be a skill that has feels both rewarding and satisfying. I think this will have to be done via a more realistic turning radius that gets more/less responsive depending on speed. And punishes you for going too fast around bends/narrow parts of the river. Archeage really nailed the feel of sailing.
    -anchor whipping would be cool too. Dropping anchor and basically drifting your ship around a bend would be sick.
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