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



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    OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Everything looked good. I do have questions and concerns about how the caravan system is all going to work out, but that's for testing. For now, functionally it looks good and you're on the right track.
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    One other note about raiders, they shouldn't be able to walk the caravan back to the previous node it just came from.
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    - I think their group should have to collect materials to build a new caravan or to convert the caravan to a raft.
    - A lot going on with spell effects in PVP, Maybe a slider so you can turn them down.
    - I would like to see the raid have to pick up the boxes and place them in the caravan instead of auto pick up from the driver. This will give part of the raid something to do instead of waiting.
    - I would like to see the black markets at the freehold taverns. Have city guards check the contents if they are stolen good go to jail and receive a fine. Or you have to sneak them in at a certain time of day etc.
    - Players were swimming too fast that might have just been for the video or maxed swimming stat.
    I would like to see a chance for the wheel to break and your team will have to fix it while on the road ect.

    The game is looking amazing and thanks for allowing us to put in our input.

    Thank you, Can't wait to get in and help,

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    - I think their group should have to collect materials to build a new caravan or to convert the caravan to a raft.
    - A lot going on with spell effects in PVP, Maybe a slider so you can turn them down.
    - I would like to see the raid have to pick up the boxes and place them in the caravan instead of auto pick up from the driver. This will give part of the raid something to do instead of waiting.
    - I would like to see the black markets at the freehold taverns. Have city guards check the contents if they are stolen good go to jail and receive a fine. Or you have to sneak them in at a certain time of day etc.
    - Players were swimming too fast that might have just been for the video or maxed swimming stat.
    I would like to see a chance for the wheel to break and your team will have to fix it while on the road ect.

    The game is looking amazing and thanks for allowing us to put in our input.

    Thank you, Can't wait to get in and help,


    This is straight from asmongolds video lol
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    Arthus DawnbreakerArthus Dawnbreaker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The waiting for another caravan to spawn is not a fun mechanic Instead you should have all the players gather wood to build a caravan that way the players are not standing around waiting. Give us something fun to do.
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    SengardenSengarden Member
    edited February 5
    How do you feel about the Caravan PvP Preview?

    Overall, I liked what I saw! Always room for improvement, and I do have some serious disagreements with how certain elements of this gameplay loop are being handled that I'll go into later, but overall, everything seems to be on a good track. I'm surprised by how much feedback I have for this system, but it's one that I care about a lot, so I hope you can bear with me. I'll try to keep it as organized as possible.

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

    I love how involved the economic systems in the game are, as well as how traversable the land/waterways are. The action of engaging with the economy in most MMOs feels very "game-y" (without actually being fun, somehow) and immersion-breaking. Walking around gathering from the same nodes on repeat for ages, then going to any old town to craft some stuff and sell it on an auction house or in trade chat. I'm looking forward to having gathering, processing, crafting, and transporting feel more realistic, as well as something you see happening in the world around you on a frequent basis. It'll feel so fun to be sitting on a dinghy fishing in the river and seeing a trade caravan raft or larger ship pass by every now and then. Sitting on the docks of a port city and seeing ships rolling in throughout the day bringing back ocean fish or trade goods. To feel the world bustling with activity in different ways and in numerous areas rather than the usual "designated pathway" to making money.

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

    I'll just give my reactions in chronological order along with the events in the showcase. Some of the following suggestions are going to include a bit more work on the players' parts, but I think it will end up being more immersive and rewarding for the effort.


    - AoE spell effects may need to be adjusted so that enemy and ally spells are more easily differentiated. There was so much ball lightning going on, I feel like I wouldn't have been able to tell whose was whose if I was in that scenario.


    - It's fun looking when the caravan essentially blows up and lies sitting on the side of the road in flames after it's destroyed, but I think it might be more immersive if it doesn't just explode like a big, firey, loot pinata.

    I think there should be a few thresholds, maybe at each 25% health reduction, where the animation, model, and functionality of the caravan change. At 75% health, some of the doors/windows swing open and a couple spokes on the wheels bust. At 50% health, the animation starts getting a little rickety, a couple more spokes bust, a window or two bust out completely, and you get a 25% reduction to movement speed. At 25% health, one of the wheels completely busts off, the remaining doors/windows are flapping around, the whole frame is leaning back and forth as it lumbers onward, and you get a 50% reduction to movement speed.

    The caravan can be repaired by any friendlies with tools if they aren't being interrupted by combat, but it takes a decent amount of time to make a full recovery from <25%, maybe a few minutes. This can be accompanied by a simple hammering animation. There can be a total of four people helping repair the caravan at a time, reducing the total repair time by a quarter for each additional repair person.

    If a caravan is destroyed, then rather than having it blow up into a flaming heap, launching 50-pound crates of goods and materials every which way, you instead get some sort of wood/steel-splintering / dust / collapsing cloud instead of a fireball, and the carcass of the caravan lies on the ground waiting for you to loot the contents from inside of it. When you click to loot it, it shows the grid with all the goods inside like it does for your own caravan. From there, without revealing to the player what the actual contents of the crates are, just their type, they can choose which crates to forfeit and open right there in the open, and which to save for transport.

    If they choose to transfer the crates to a new caravan, then this is how I think that system should change:

    - Get rid of the whole "call an entire caravan to spawn right next to me out of nowhere after standing around for five minutes" thing. I have to be perfectly honest and say that it's horribly, terribly immersion breaking, boring, and lazy. Is there a bit of a thrill in knowing you could be attacked again while waiting for it to show up? Eh, sort of, but odds are, the people you attacked won't really regroup and strike again until your new caravan arrives. Anything beats just standing around doing nothing in a video game for minutes on end during a period of time that's supposed to be an adrenaline-rush.

    In lieu of this system, I think marauders should have to bring their own form of transportation for stolen goods. If they want to transfer it all straight into a new caravan, they'll need to have their buddy drive a caravan over from the nearby village for them, or have it hiding behind the hill they all pour out from when they launch their attack. Alternatively, they could bring along a few hand-carts that can hold up to a few crates each, but move a little bit slower for each crate they're holding, or some beasts of burden that can carry crates over their backs like paniers. From there, players will have to go the rest of the way to their selling destination on foot, or just make for the nearest town that has a friendly caravan in it if they don't have a full one with them, and then launch it as their own after the fact. While traveling, multiple carriers in one raid will just show up as multiple targets on the opposing team's minimaps. If the raid decides to go the beast of burden / handcart route instead of a single caravan, the raid leader can just designate all the stolen crates to be placed in their personal storage, no matter who delivers them, or at whatever town they end up in. Splitting up at this point could be a useful, but risky strategy if securing all the goods seems unlikely.

    - Overall, there's just way too much convenience infused into this system right now, and before it's even been called for by players. With a system like this, that's conceptually based on realistic player engagement in an economic system and emergent gameplay, I think it really needs to lean into those aspects and make players do a bit of heavy-lifting - literally.

    When transferring crates from the broken caravan to the handcarts, beasts of burden, or new caravan, make the players pick up the crates from the broken caravan themselves and lug them at walking speed over to their new transport. We don't need mass-auto-loot in player vehicles. It barely takes any effort from the player to do this sort of thing, but that little bit of required engagement adds a sense of involvement, realism, and makes them feel like they're directly serving a purpose by being there.

    - Similar to my previous comments, I think other party members can serve a better purpose when a caravan is converting to a raft. Simply make the scaffolding accessible if it isn't already and allow players to interact with the deconstructing caravan, lift a randomly generated piece of it from the model, and walk it up the steps to the raft. Each time a player completes the walk, it adds another few percentage points towards completion (again, go to percentages, not exact timers, it adds suspense). Same thing can be done in reverse when reassembling the caravan.

    - Hopefully you can understand why I feel so strongly about this. While it's true that too many obstacles in a game can be pointless and annoying, I genuinely think these adjustments would make the system more meaningful, immersive, and rewarding for the player from moment to moment. Right now, the caravan as an object in the world feels little more than a PvP target. The caravan and its contents, as objects in the world, should feel more like objects and systems that you're able to visibly and meaningfully influence and need to physically interact with in order to accomplish your goals. Obstacles are good when they make players strategize, cooperate, and pitch in together to solve problems. Right now, none of that is happening. It's just a zergfest on top of a conveniently moving, valuable target.


    - As for the raft showcase, I loved the visuals, it all looks great, but I have a few critiques / future suggestions.

    I think all watercraft should have a much longer transition from not moving to moving at full speed and from moving at full speed to stopping. It's a huge floating object, it should take a few seconds for it to seem like it's moving at all from a standstill, and taking your finger off the W key shouldn't just make it stop dead in its tracks. It shouldn't even be using tank controls, honestly, but more on that later.

    I sincerely hope there can be a wind direction system in this game to be paired with the water current system. Any vessel with a sail needs to be influenced by wind direction, and virtually every vessel should have oars onboard in case you're sailing against the wind. Having a sail be full of wind no matter which direction it's facing these days just looks a bit silly, honestly.

    Each oar, each sail, and the rudder, unless in a row boat where you can reach it all from one sitting position, should need a player to operate it. Players can switch back and forth between multiple parts, but unless they're close enough together, they cannot be manned simultaneously. This can be a way to upgrade your setup depending on the size of the group you typically roll with. Do you have two oar posts on your raft, or four? If you choose four, it adds more weight to your caravan, but can give you better speed on the water if you have enough people to man them all. Using the oars can also be used in tandem with the sail if you're sailing with the wind for an added speed bonus. Players using the oars operate them on their own, separate from the person using the rudder, giving a directionally appropriate speed boost while the interaction/animation is active. They'll have to pay attention, have a plan, and communicate in order to pilot the vessel effectively.

    Additionally, when using a vessel with a sail, the system shouldn't be using tank controls. You should need to walk over to the sail (raised upon launch), interact with it to lower it, and depending on wind direction, your facing direction, and the current. the boat starts to move (or doesn't). Having the sail down when sailing against the wind is a net decrease to paddling speed. If you are using wind power and you want to slow down or stop, you need to have someone there to raise or lower it, or step away from the paddle / oar you're currently manning to raise the sail / lower it again appropriately. A half-mast option would be awesome as well, if you're trying to slow down a bit but not stop completely, like when Stephen was trying to make a U-turn while getting attacked by his vengeful victims. Lastly, whoever's operating the rudder doesn't actually give the vessel any speed at all. They simply apply a bias to the direction of propulsion from any source, paddle or sail.

    This level of interaction and realism is possible, and should at least be attempted with our modern technology. If Ashes launches and water vessel play is just tank controls with no individual player interactions to operate ship parts and set-speeds only adjusted by water currents, I'll be quite disappointed. That sort of gameplay, apart from the water currents perhaps, which isn't all that revolutionary on its own, was available ages ago. This is an opportunity to really make a stellar foundation for water-vessel gameplay in the MMO space.

    For reference, Valheim has some of the best video game sailing I've ever experienced. I know it's not an MMO, but it was developed in Unity by less than a dozen people. I think y'all could get something at least as good going in Unreal, even on a scale this large. It would be so incredibly epic. I bet that transition would be as impressive and crowd-drawing as the combat re-work all over again.


    - Lastly, I want to touch on an issue that I think will almost certainly come up once the game goes live: Loot distribution in an open-join public system. How will loot be properly distributed in a random "click here to join" caravan raid? Who gets to call their caravan to pick up all the stuff? Who's to stop random strangers you don't know from ninja looting the low-tier rewards from all the crates on the ground before anyone's caravan arrives? Do you really expect random strangers on the internet without guaranteed voice communication to figure this out during the fight before all the crates hit the floor?

    Steven mentioned in a Livestream a few years ago that upon destruction, the area around the busted caravan will become a FFA "hungry-hungry-hippos" situation where people will fight each other over what just hit the floor, but that's absolutely not the picture he was painting during the livestream last week. I'll assume, for the sake of my concerns here, that we don't want to encourage a chaotic, hungry-hungry-hippos, "bust open the crates as fast as possible and destroy any chance of a coordinated delivery" caravan-assault meta.

    Let's be realistic, reputation only controls people's actions to a certain extent, and when you're all randoms from potentially all over a huge server with thousands of players online at any given time, who's going to really care whether Jon and Jane Doe ninja'd all the crates off the ground during that one random caravan raid the other day while five other randoms were arguing in chat over who should call their caravan to pick everything up?

    - One might think the solution could be to remove the ability for crates to be opened in the field. They drop from the caravan, and they must be returned to a node somewhere, or forfeited after a period of time has passed. This way, you at least know that no random people will join your coordinated group of 20 and steal all the stuff from the crates out from under you after you beat the defenders. However, this still leaves the question of, "Who in this group of strangers gets to call their caravan to make the delivery and hopefully pay a bunch of random people out for their time and effort without lying about how much the delivery paid out?"

    As for guaranteeing a fair share of the payout, it's impossible to enforce without dumbing down the cargo system. You'd have to program a bunch of qualifiers and scan the whole defending group upon delivery in order to see who actually deserves to get paid out and at what percentage rate, force the delivering player to sell all the cargo ASAP so that they aren't shorting anyone, and have the game automatically distribute the funds via a mail service or PO box at the caravansary. None of it could be optional either, because as the system is right now, it's just one big random group against one big random group. There needs to be some kind of a guarantee in place for anyone who's actually serious about engaging with the system on a higher level in order for them to take it seriously and make the time investment.

    Now, even with all that effort into making an automated system for payouts, let's say a group of random people try to form some consensus mid- or post-battle, decide (for some reason) to trust each other not to bust open the crates on the ground, and the majority agree that attacker 1 should call their caravan since they have the strongest one, even though it's a few minutes further away than attacker 2's. What's to stop attacker 2 from calling their crummy low level caravan sooner because it's in a closer town, scooping up all the crates, and dooming the shipment to destruction by the returning defenders? There are just too many unknown variables when the system relies on a mass-invite pug group format for anyone to enjoy it on a level higher than "smash it all to bits and take the scraps".

    - Why are these issues such a big deal? When a player sets out with a caravan, they're taking a huge risk and making a major investment. When you encourage smash and grab behavior from your assault teams, they barely have to make any time investment to completely ruin the merchant's day. All they need to do is win one zergfest and run away with a few crumbs. The level of risk/reward that's being unintentionally fostered here is totally imbalanced. Even if there are a few players in the random group who want to deliver the crates on a fresh caravan, they'll likely be too scared of missing out on the hungry-hungry-hippos frenzy while they try to organize a pickup.

    - Now, time for what I think the actual solution could be. Remove the system that mass-invites anyone nearby to attack the caravan as one big group. If you want to attack the caravan, then you need to form a party and go attack it. Within the caravan PvP zone, all individual entrants into the battle are their own team. That means individuals, single parties, and raids. On each player's screen, anyone currently in the fray who's not on your team will have a red symbol next to their name-plate. You can still use the sword and shield to signal attacker and defender, but color should be used as well to signify friend or foe. I've been playing a new FPS called The Finals recently, and the dynamic of having 3-4 small teams pitted against each other at the same time instead of just 2 big ones is wonderfully dynamic and refreshing, and I think it should be implemented in more game types.

    In order to avoid too many people attacking the one defending group, you can just implement a soft-cap on registered attackers. Let's say the current system only allows one raid group of 40 people to attack at a time. In the new system, if there are spaces left below the soft cap of 40, you can go up to five over with your group, but if the soft cap is reached or exceeded by any group, then you'll be rejected. So the max number of people you'll ever be attacked by will be 45 or less. Any other group too big to join will be rejected with a message telling them the number of spots left below the max cap if they want to try and join with fewer members.

    At the end of the day, I think the act of making assaults on player-driven caravans needs to be a pre-organized affair only, with multiple opposing teams allowed to go at it at once, so that every involved party agrees on who's allowed in their group, who's going to be the caravan driver if the assault is successful, where they're going to be delivering to, and that they trust the delivery person to pay them their fair share. I just can't think of any way to keep payouts fair for a bunch of random people hopping into the fray at different times, some contributing more while others contribute less, and with no voice chat or defined leader, without completely dumbing down the system.

    - Now, with all that being said, I think Ashes can still provide mass-invite, random-group caravan content for casual / solo players in the form of NPC caravans that either only call for defense from NPC enemies in exchange for an automated reward upon completion (GW2 had a lot of dynamic events like this; they were a bit dull because the fights were always way too easy, but y'all could do a better job), or that call for players to either attack or defend, and fight off the other team until the caravan either makes it to its destination or is destroyed by the attacking players. This is where you could implement your programmed qualifiers to see who deserves what and just pay it out through the caravansary for defenders and via automatically divided loot from a single click point on the caravan wreckage for attackers.

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

    Not too experienced with other games that have caravan systems, but Valheim is the best example of small-to-medium sized vessel sailing I've played before, and could certainly be improved upon in Unreal 5 with a team of your size and experience.

    Thanks again for all your hard work. See you next month!
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    Some thoughts about what I think should be improved: (and I know most of this is WIP)

    Caravan related:
    A lot of the caravan systems should be more interactive. I didn't like how attackers summoned their caravan and it just kinda popped there after a timer finished. I think attackers should have several options how they want to get their own caravan there to pick up the dropped crates. Summoning one from a node is fine, but the caravan should be visible and destroyable as it gets from node to it's destination. Attackers could also have their own caravan with them from the start. One could also be crafted at the spot, you could have the mats on you already or you could gather the mats after the defenders' caravan is destroyed. Maybe you also could use resources to repair the destroyed caravan and use that. Crafting and repairing should take several minutes.

    I think players should use their characters to carry the crates to the caravan. Loading caravan through UI is pretty dull. Also the transformation from caravan to raft should be more interactive. The process should involve players similarly as described above. I think also traversing with the raft could have more player interaction. Maybe mages could use magic to get more wind behind the sails to increase the movement speed, maybe you could achieve the same thing with having players rowing or something.

    Combat related:
    As many have mentioned already, TTK as shown in this demo was too short. I don't know whether that was an accurate presentation of what you desire TTK to be, but hopefully you know. So if you think that once everything is balanced TTK will be higher than shown, good, you can roll with this to A2. But if you think this is more or less what you desire TTK to be at the moment, you should probably have some internal discussions whether this is the right path to take.

    Effects are still too flashy. I know you can tune them down from settings, but I want to see some magical flashy spells and I don't want to tune down them too much. There is just too much unnecessary visual clutter that should be tuned town by default so that those special one's can stand out. Physical classes/abilities don't really need colorful spell effects, for example at least previously they had that yellow effect with their basic attacks that is completely unnecessary. And fighter had that magic hammer ability that in my opinion doesn't fit base fighter class at all and the ability just looks really bad in general.

    Some random thoughts:
    Raft movement was really bad, but you already know it and it's just a placeholder.

    Swimming was too fast.

    I didn't like how the raft construction site just immediately popped up on the water. It should be build/transformed gradually by the players.

    I think you could incorporate some of the professions with the caravan system. Players could for example make different kinds of animals with animal husbandry that can be used to pull the caravans. Carpenters and other professions could make some kind of attachments for caravans, like weapons or something that upgrades the defences.

    Idea behind the format that was used in this demo was good, but it was just too lopsided to get a good read on your PVP. It was just a massacre and the defenders were run down too easily.

    Casual solo MMO enjoyer
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    akabearakabear Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited February 3
    How do you feel about the Caravan PvP Preview?
    • Great job, looked fun.
    • PvP appeared to have a sufficient degree of TTK, close, mid and ranged combat and a degree of complexity - good!
    • Still quite visually overwhelming with all the different effects.

    What excites you about playing and interacting with other players and the Caravan System?
    I like the idea in principle.

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Caravan PvP Preview?
    Yes, I was concerned about a few things:
    A) Destroying of Caravans
    • So the first caravan was destroyed and the goods were transferred by the riders' to their caravan, ok.
    • However, it was not discussed what would happen to the riders' caravan should that too get destroyed.
    • Would prefer not to see an endless loop of caravans goods switching hands.
    • So, can the ability to raid and destroy a caravan be limited to two only, after than the final raiders must carry on foot or by lighter means?
    B) Risk vs Reward
    • For what looked like a good many people to both escort a caravan, I would like to see a sizable reward for the effort or feel that there may be limited trade taking place.
    • I was concerned that if there are not sizable rewards for the effort then the system may not get used so much.
    • Therefore, if not already, I would like to see considerable scaling from light load / weak defense / fast travel to heavy load / high defence/ slow travel.

    Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!
    Not that I have played.
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    The showcase was nicely done and gameplay looked ok on the technical and artistic side.

    My huge problem is in the risk / reward balance, or the lack thereof.

    The defender or owner of the caravan risks:
    1. Dying (XP debt)
    2. Losing the caravan itself, including money, time, and resources that went into its upgrade
    3. Cargo, and the time invested into farming it

    The attacker risks:
    1. Dying (XP debt)
    2. Nothing else

    If the attacker successfully destroys the caravan, they will reap 100% benefits the owner would have gotten by delivering the caravan. Meanwhile, the owner gets nothing and loses the whole investment.

    The owner CAN of course pay more people or hire mercenary groups for protection. If their wages are less than the caravan's value, bigger profit can be made by attacking and looting the caravan itself. If their wages are more than the caravan's value, they don't make sense economically.

    There MUST be a risk factor in attacking the caravan, apart from bad reputation, or other intangible factors. As it stands, attackers risk virtually nothing (even if they lose) and have everything to gain if they win. That is a very scary prospect for a system that's supposed to drive the game's economy.
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    oOKingOooOKingOo Member
    edited February 3
    Lashing wrote: »
    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.

    The risk is that you lose and waste time without gaining anything from it. Now, you have to repair your gear, etc. Also, the guild whose caravan you just attacked is now killing you on sight, so you better move to a different spot.
    Also, when you've captured the caravan and decide to go for the big money, you are now the one at risk of being attacked.
    Lashing wrote: »
    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.
    If this were a solo game, I would probably agree. However, it's an MMORPG, and you'll be in organized groups like guilds, etc. Of course, people won't just go in and take the items because they will get much less money. The big money in these caravans comes from the amount of materials inside them. We have seen two Material chests, and there is a place for way more in caravans. These two Material chests gave 120 "Material" each.

    If you capture a caravan full of valuable end game materials from a big guild, for example, you can become rich overnight. However, this big guild will also now hunt you across all Verra. I doubt people invest all they have to capture that caravan just to take the instant small reward instead of the riskier but much bigger reward. Especially organized groups like guilds will have their own way of distributing loot, either in the form of money or gear or whatever, and guilds that don't distribute fairly won't prosper.
    Lashing wrote: »
    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.
    The risk of attacking the wrong caravan is significant; you will be player-killed (PKed) every single time you come across a member of a certain guild or even alliance if you piss them off too much. In social games like sandbox MMORPGs, that is about the most risky thing you can do. No artificially put-in risk would even come close to the risk of losing your social status.
    The reward for the defenders is significant as well; when they successfully fight off the attackers, they can turn in their caravan in a node and make a whole lot of money selling rare materials on their markets, etc.

    The goal is not to prevent people from attacking caravans because the reward for defending is better. The goal is to encourage people to come together and protect their caravans since there is a real risk of bandits wanting to take what you worked for.
    Lashing wrote: »
    Do not lean into much lifesteal effects because they are so dangerous. Output giving defense is never balanced in any game.
    That's just not true in any way, shape, or form. It's more like a rock-paper-scissors system. In a duel, lifesteal hard-counters consistent damage abilities and wins against pure defensive stats, but it gets hard-countered by burst. Burst counters lifesteal but gets hard-countered by pure defensiveness. With damage-over-time (DoTs), it's a 50/50 situation depending on whether the DoTs outdamage the healing or the healing outheals the DoTs. Additionally, lifesteal is hard-countered by "less received healing" debuffs. I see no reason not to let people skill into a full lifesteal build. It's all just a matter of knowing how to fight against different strategies.
    For the empyre !!!
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    I feel like the caravan should not be so easily able to just run away from the site of combat like Steven was doing, considering how much health the thing has. It would be nice if there were ways to slow or stop the caravan from progressing so the defending party are forced to stay and defend it instead of just distracting enemies long enough for the caravan to run passed.

    Though its hard to imagine any "mobile" options for this, because realistically the options you would want to give players would be in anticipation of a caravan going down a road (fell a tree or build a roadblock), but I don't think these truly address my issue.

    Here's a solution, possibly. Lets have the horses be a separate health bar. If the horses are reduced to 0 hp they are "knocked down" and can no longer move until healed to a certain threshold, I choose 30% but subject to testing. Adding a built in regeneration/healing mechanic to the horses so that there is some help for groups lacking a healer would probably be good. This allows recovery on both ends of the fight, the bandits can stop the movement of the caravan without any special gimmicks/items/interactions and defenders can recover through the use of various defensive and healing abilities.

    Commissioned at
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    A few ideas:

    - players have to interact with the caravan/raft to build/convert/deconstruct it. It adds a tactical layer, choosing to have all players focused on converting the raft leaves you vulnarable to surprise attacks while designating lookouts will slow down the converting speed. Adding minigames for players contructing the raft can add another skill factor and prevent boring wait timers
    - Add item descriptions or similar features that explain what you can do or how you can interact with things so players dont get lost (for example stolen goods telling you they can only be sold to a blackmarket)
    - make the raft interact with spells for example windmagic speeding it up. Having those „wait that actually works!“ moments made me fall in love with games like rdr2
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    Going to say I don't agree with the asmongold take about each player needing to be constructing things. Tension should be focused around pvp , and watching the area for people approaching that could be attackers. OR defending from attacks that are actually engaging.

    I feel this is a very pve mind set thinking people aren't doing anything or aren't preparing. Also if people are attacking you it makes it impossible to "build" since you are focused on fighting and not doing other things to ensure it builds faster.
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    One of the biggest things that I would like to see adjusted with the caravan system is how sensitive the caravan summoning is to its environment. At 8:57 in the video we see Steven spend 11 seconds just trying to find a place that he can summon his caravan from. I find few things more irritating than running around looking for the pixel where the geometry of the ground lines up perfectly on a hill for me to place something. BDO has an issue like this when placing tents. You run around on a flat area trying to find a spot that the game likes to finally place the tent without errors. It can take up to 30 seconds and is extremely irritating.
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    killergermelkillergermel Member
    edited February 3
    Nice showcase, I think the biggest problem is that this showcase was in "laboratory" settings, when in actuality there would usually be 2 options:
    - Defender force is much bigger than any attacker force - either no attack on caravan or small one which get squashed immediately, either way you wait 30 minutes with the caravan to get to the nearby node which will be super boring.
    - Attacker force is much bigger than defender force - attacker force squashes the defender force, and takes the crates and goes by caravan to the nearby node - another waiting game for 30 minutes.

    Majority of the time will not be this epic LOTR battle because opposing forces will never be this equal.
    Either way this system IMO will be niche because of that and the market might reflect that, but it makes me question whether this was a design choice or the developers are just romanticizing the system...

    P.S there should be some different color scheme for the spells between your parties spells and the opposing force's spells, otherwise they are indistinguishable.
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    I love it! The pay system at the end could be auto-distributed to the party though. I know there will be tweeks and reworks, but I love the simple act of having to caravan with a party from point A to point B. I can see some real game drama happening and I'm so ready for it! lol
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    My thoughts:

    We should be able to visually see the damage done to the caravans.

    Rather than summoning a caravan to the road, I think you should either have to get an empty caravan from the town and park it in the tree line, or have a friend be in the town and bring it over. Players should manually put crates into the caravan. It's more immersive for them to have to leave some crates behind if they feel like they don't have time to grab them all.

    I think players should have to work to construct the raft in some way, that or rafts should only be able to be made at inland ports that develop when a node starts to develop. I'm not sure in what way players could contribute other than by gathering wood to construct it or holding a button down to work on the construction. I just feel that it looks really out of place to have the whole dock spawn out of this air in the middle of a forest. OR players should have to purchase a kit ("raft construction materials") to add to their caravan's inventory, that will allow them to construct into the raft. That way players have to plan their routes and decide if its worth taking. I do like how the dock turns into ash and disappears when it's finished; it may not be realistic but I think it looks a lot better than if it were to fall apart.

    The sails of the raft should billow in the wind and rafts should be harder to stop - especially if going with the flow of the river.

    Mobs that run into the caravan should collide with it not go through it, and it should knock the wagon around a bit.

    There should be a mechanic that allows the party leader to divvy up profits to party members when selling the loot.
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    Caravan Feedback:
    -Defending a caravan should be easier than attacking one. Give the caravan substantial enough of abilities that, say a party of 4 could defend vs a party of 6. It's kind of hard for us to wrap our minds around how valuable it is to transport a caravan of a lot of goods so this will likely need adjustments when the game goes live. Worst case scenario is people rarely do caravans because of how hard it is to defend them.

    Non-Caravan Feedback:
    - Make aoe spells cast by enemies be red colored or highlighted red in some way. When everyone's shooting off rain of arrows or ball lightnings, it's going to be very hard to tell what to avoid and what was cast by allies if they stay the same color. Or have friendly fire.
    - I assume this was in the works, but have boats and rafts move more realistically. Starting to move should should slowly ramp up in speed until max speed. Stopping should slow the boat down gradually until a complete stop. Have boat momentum so that if you are going fast in one direction and turn, the boat will still drift in that original direction until your turning corrects it completely. These things are extremely important for immersion and that immersion was quickly broken with the way the raft worked in the video.
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    LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    sharing some additional combat feedback from comments/conversations in my community

    Communal Restoration and a few other Cleric VFXs looked a lot better during the original July cleric showcase, they had this really nice transparent shattered effect which made in interesting and unique with soft vfx and camera shake/distortion that made the skill look awesome and not flashy,


    but now it is mainly a plain yellow beam that does look like a downgrade,


    A lot of mixed feelings about the new 2H sword basic attack animations, it now feels like it is less snappy, the first iteration had some nice weapon trailing vfx with even ground decals a lot of details while the new animation is very basic and a lot slower, it does also look like a downgrade, while some players might agree the vfx are now cleaner, which could simply had been done through user settings instead of tuning it down by default, it does look like the first iteration had a more interesting animation

    It also looks like the new version lost the momentum that made you slow down between hits, it appears you can freely move while attacking which contradicts the whole point of that melee basic weap attack showcase talking about each weapon having different weight that impacted movement speed, while still allowing players to use WASD,


    While most were very excited about the new tank mobility skills and the jumping stomp also the grapple vfx, all looking awesome, that specific skill that links 2 characters with a blue line does make the scene look bad with a bunch of lines all over the battlefield, maybe tune down the opacity a bit or make it less like just a straight line that sticks out


    Very frequent negative feedback is that the Mage ball of lightning really sucks both visually and in functionality, it needs to go away,


    this scene sums up what I mean with the blue lines and the blue mage ball of lighting standing out like a sore thumb
    Recrutamento aberto - Nosso Site: Clique aqui
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    truenoirtruenoir Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I remember when the caravan was introduced the mention of using mercenaries to help defend it was talked about so curious whether that will still be a thing especially for a guild group that might be on the smaller side.

    Also having to drive into town what's to stop people from just camping right near the town of perspective nodes to loot caravans knowing that not every node has a focus on it. The way it worked in archeage every town had a merchant and it was related more to the distance traveled and the type of resources that dictated the rewards but if everyone mostly focuses on crafting or some other type of node building and there's only two nodes that focus on it everyone will know to just wait right near the town and destroy any caravans right near there. It might destroy the immersion of the game similar to the limited window of having to cast the caravan right near a town node in order to move materials out. The thing that made archeage more dynamic is that sure there where specific crafting area's for trade packs but you could summon a cart anywhere as well as move trade packs around on players.

    Another thought process that could also be interesting is having NPC run caravans as a event to kind of mix it up as well.

    I don't agree with everyones comments about having to build the caravan themselves or the raft especially since your already suffering a time penalty while it converts and are in a pvp zone throughout it you'll be defending from more than just the merchants you took it from. Other big guilds could be running around it's normal in a world setting to be hunting monsters and see something happen and get more people to run to a location to fight. But that perspective might not be easy to think of because they are seeing raid groups of like 20 people vs 10 instead i think when your talking about the potential for 300+ people showing up and your focused on building a raft with your tools you'll then think its stupid to have to focus on building the raft by hand and the risk of getting interrupted or killed and then no one else being able to work on it because it's yours.

    The placing the caravan down and finding a flat enough space for it also seems like an annoying thing. If someone takes the caravan off road like was encouraged in the first caravan stream and you can't find a proper place to summon it because the road is too narrow or there's too much collision from rocks and surrounding objects then you won't have the choice to summon the caravan which can lead to annoying situation in which you can't pick up the crates. Also I think it would be better overall for the crates to behave more like trade packs in archeage because then you could have raid members pick them up and move them to a better location if the ground isn't flat enough to summon a caravan cart that way you won't be forced to lose potential rewards by unpacking them.

    I'm also hoping that we see some physical decay as caravan's health gets low like parts breaking or potential fire so it's visibly known the caravan is taking damage I don't particularly care so much about health bars on them being a thing.

    I know some people speak on the collusion of caravans like monsters colliding with them but that's also a tricky subject if you give a caravan collusion with objects and people then you run the risk of people blocking a caravan. In archeage there was a time that tractors had collusion and my guild would block people by summoning our tractors to block the road and destroy people. While it was an interesting mechanic you can imagine how many posts of people complaining on the forums took place. Also people could use collusion like monsters to block caravans such as aggro them and pull them into caravan's so i would think about potential implications before considering that.

    Something else about risk vs reward archeage's system for trade packs still gave the base material cost value back to the owner when it was turned in so there wasn't as much of a complete loss to the crafter of the trade pack. The issue with the system for the merchants point of view is they get nothing at all out of it if it gets stolen. While you think that's a risk you take not having any compensation back to the victims will mean it's less likely people will bother with the system. So I do believe that the risk vs reward should still give some benefits to the crafter to prevent it being a complete loss just to incentivize people to keep trying even if they lose.

    I also thing we need a little more clarification about the flagging and pking system via caravans do people get auto flagged during this particular encounter and get wanted level as well as risk for loss of gear as well as inventory. And if the items are unpacked and looted that way if the merchants come back and attack them can they recover the stolen items in the inventory via the flagging system and killing them. Also with the caravan system if flagging and pking is a thing then stealing caravan should also place people on an auto bounty list which a percentage of gold lost via the stolen goods situation can be automatically allocated against attackers of a caravan and play into the bounty system.

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    OrymOrym Member
    It is an interesting topic for sure.

    Q: Specifically how would you describe 1 min TTK? What do you exactly mean by that? Considering all the variables there is in an mmo.

    2 sec deletion and 1 min to kill can obviously exist at the same time in an mmo with all kinds of variables.
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    TricksterTrickster Member
    edited February 4
    So I would like to give feedback about 3 things I noticed


    Caravans spawning from nowhere... This looks bad. First, because we are supposedly required to wait for a caravan to come from a specific town, and that's added to the time it takes to be spawned (something I personally dislike). It also looks very bad just by the idea of the caravan that was supposed to come from a city simply spawning from nowhere on the map. Second, another thing I dislike is that by adding this time or the idea of the caravan having to come from a specific city, I can see people, instead of going through the trouble of stealing someone in the middle of a trade run, just camping next to cities and towns to steal the goods. It's relatively easier, and you can 'spawn' a caravan from that specific city that you stole the goods from. People would abuse this. Well, I can see myself just waiting very close to the cities to steal other people's caravans instead of in the middle of the run.


    This design doesn't look immersive at all. Please have players load the caravan by taking the packs individually, one by one, on their backs and load the caravan. It looks more natural, especially since you are aiming for an 'immersive game.


    Now, about the ships... It doesn't sound reasonable to create a ship out of a caravan for a specific task. What if I see a 'caravan ship' and want to chase it in the water? How am I supposed to have a ship to catch them? Also, the ship design looks kind of bad. I've observed multiple instances where people were swinging and trying to get up on the ship, but they were unable to jump on it. The worst part was that it didn't seem like any real physics was applied to the ship. When attempting to stop the ship from sailing, it would stop immediately, and it looked very easy to control as if the water didn't have any force over the ship. It could move to any side at the same speed and stop whenever you wanted

    The animations need a huge improvement... This doesn't look like an unreal 5 game at all... The graphics look like a game made to be released a decade ago... It's always good to check the competition, check other mmorpgs made on Unreal 5 or even on Unreal 4 (Like Throne and Liberty) and please hire more game designers (even outside the country, just try some good designers thru smart working) or not be afraid to buy assets from unreal 5 store! As long it looks good no one will complain


    The warrior and Archer skills/vfx are the best so far

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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 think this summed up my views about the stream quite well.
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    VoeltzVoeltz Member
    edited February 4
    The Caravan system is starting to come together but still needs some work. Everything seems to be in a functional state. I like how the crates dropped after the caravan was destroyed and an option is given to open them or reload them onto your own wagon. I do think the crates should need to be loaded manually by players instead of just magically appearing on the caravan. I liked the idea of a black market for stolen goods and the need for a player and node to make the decision to level that up to benefit or have it available. Reminds me of Elder Scrolls games with the organizations like the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, hope that is further expanded and taken in depth with all of the social orgs having their own perks/benefits. I liked the animation for the wagon being converted into a raft, but I think it would be better if this required a small amount of players to actually work on it to move the progression bar. I also like that there's an option to convert to a raft and benefit from currents. Would like to see the currents have more effect on moving the raft downstream though. Although, at the same time I'm concerned with raft caravans being the go to method of transportation due to faster movement and what was said about boats not being able to go on rivers. Yes, there are still water mounts but will everyone have one in order to catch a raft? Seems like it will be both faster and safer than traveling by ground.

    VFX is still bright and overwhelming which was more obvious to me in these large fights. Specifically the lightning orb from the mage, projectiles and rays of light from the Cleric.

    I also see a divided health bar was added for enemies. I'm guessing this was added to counter griefing and people's ability to circumvent the corruption system? I'd rather see this addressed directly. Seeing somebody's health accurately is not a real issue, nearly EVERY game has it and it's never been a problem. It's the Combatant status that allows you to beat on someone endlessly keeping them at low health, essentially preventing them from playing the game, AND a Corruption System that only grants somebody Corruption from dealing the killing blow. That's the root of the problem you’re attempting to address I believe. Obscuring health bars only detracts from combat by taking away critical information from players. No need to show a percentage or their exact health numbers, just display the bar accurately as normal, as it is in every game.
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    How do you feel about the Caravan PvP Preview?
    Overall I felt like this was more of a water-interaction-caravan 2.0 preview than it was a PvP preview (which is totally fine! I just would've wished for more "clean" PvP content were you could actually see more of the interaction between classes and groups in large-scale combat :smile: ) But overall it was, once again, a perfect showcase into your beautiful Verra and it was great to finally see some water-action so all-in-all it was a good session!

    What excites you about playing and interacting with other players and the Caravan System?
    • The fact that you can interact with the environment and transform the caravan to a raft. I'm really hoping you're not stopping there, but perhabs doing something with snowy environments, rocky environments and so on! :smile:
    • It's really awesome that you can stand on the construction site while the raft is being build! Too many games just shut-off the building-sites as grey-areas where you can't come within x feet of the site! Nice!

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Caravan PvP Preview?
    • convern In general I'm not really a big fan of this whole idea about being able to steal materials from other players... I'm big on exploring, crafting, gathering and just really emerging myself in the world and thus I would hate to spend hours and hours doing something just get my stuff stolen. But that said... I can still see the idea and understand the appeal - I just hope it doesn't become a mandatory thing :smile:
    • convern The sound from the horses pulling the caravan is really not good. It's a little too loud and frequent - and doesn't sound that much like actual horses :smile:
    • convern The turning and steering of the raft looked waay to easy and not very naval-like! The fact that Steven could just steer it without any issues and make sharp turns was a bit "meh".
    • It seems like a bit advantage for the defenders to be on the water... it seems alot harder to actually mount a proper attack on it, and perhabs you should consider some sort of damage modifier to account for that :smile:
    • excited Really a great idea that you can choose to either just loot a caravan on the spot after destroying it for a small reward or if you want to take on the risk of deploying your own caravan, picking up the loot and trying yourself to get it to the next town!
    • excited It's mostly a positive thing that you will have limited information about enemy players such as levels and HP-info. It will create an entirely different and more cautious approach to other players! I've never tried to play a game where the HP isn't shown with dynamic decay on damage done, so that is going to be very intresting to see how that plays out!
    • excited The Ranger's camouflage looked awesome!!!

    Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!
    I mentioned this on the first caravan feedback, but the only other game I've played with a caravan system is Red Dead Redemption 2 online play, where you can engage in quests where you have to protect a caravan and in reality it is impossible to do, because other players will absolutely wreck you within minutes of starting... I fear this will become a similar thing.

    On another note, I have a few suggestions to consinder that could enhance both visuals and gameplay when interacting with the caravan system:
    • Boat physics! It should be more challenging to steer the boat (it looked very very easy and too drastic for a naval environment). And it should take longer for the boat to reach max speed and also take longer to come to a halt!
    • Add a system for other players who help defend the caravan to engage more with the raft! Being able to repair damage done to the boat, being able to pick up an oar to help speed up the raft, man a canon to fend off bandits (.. caus' we don't like bandits :wink: ) or something like that which enables other players to do more than just stand around
    • Environmental-damage to the caravan! If you hit a tree on the road, crash into rock on the water or something like that, the caravan should take damage based on the speed it was going :smile:
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    SweatycupSweatycup Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 4
    Looked ok. Only things i would say is:

    The boxes that exploded out all over after caravan destruction overlapped into each other.

    We saw in the first preview fallen or cut down trees blocking a path. Add ways for non forested areas to slow down caravans for sabotage. Like watering a desert area to create a slow or icing a frozen area to make the wagon lose control.

    The auto spawn function to transfer the goods from the stolen/attacked caravan seemed lame. To be able to just have it come to you from nowhere made no sense. Would rather see you have to run back grab another. Im honestly not too sure all i know is i disliked it much.

    Boat physics need a little work from start to stop, stop to start. A boat shouldnt just abruptly stop. I would disagree that the conversion to boat does not seem bad. It is just like in the wild west when they would convert the wagons to cross a river. However it would be advised to have materials to complete conversion to a larger mass. And by mass i mean the extra wood and pieces slapped on.
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    KrystalKittenKrystalKitten Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    what if the original defenders take back their caravan? what if a new group (say someone the original defenders called in for help attacked and took the caravan back? what if they attacked on the water? what if it changes hands multiple times? does the caravan lose cargo each time? or can it change an infinite number of times?
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    willsummonwillsummon Member
    edited February 4
    Good video.

    My only major unanswered thoughts are on the matter is if the game will be able to handle multiple wagons taking off at the same time at the same town? Either as wagon trains, or as decoy wagons.

    I can see a raid dividing up into three teams. Three wagons, three routes. Two by land and one by river.
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    GarrtokGarrtok Member
    edited February 4
    I liked everything shown alot, but my biggest complaint are still the spelleffects. Iam sorry but it looked horrible. Not because of the effects itself, but they're simply too big. A ranger is shooting arrows, not fireworks or rockets, the spelleffects don't have to have the size of multiple characters. Sometimes less is more.

    Also teleporting a caravan felt odd.

    The mechanics itself are very interesting and the world is beautiful
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    AloxigozalAloxigozal Member
    edited February 14
    Once more, congratulations to the AoC team for the fantastic work you are doing!

    How do you feel about the Caravan PvP Preview?
    I felt like there was very good ideas and it made me want to play them, said that i think there are some points that have to be polish, not talking only about in game details, also concept ones.

    What excites you about playing and interacting with other players and the Caravan System?
    Well, I love strategy. I was raid leader, battleground master, and also leaded a guild to wars and skirmishes in New World so i´m excited to face the different situations that this sistem can provide and lead a team with different strategies to defend/attack caravans. I would like to make like a mercenary guild with my friends an do lots of PvP.

    Is there anything in particular you’re excited or concerned about regarding what was shown with the Caravan PvP Preview?
    Well i´m excited about making some political moves before launching a caravan or maybe recruit more people to attack one, the lore it can create around players and guilds can be amazing. I hope it gaves me the same sensation of the New World start where we did enemies and allies then got betrayed, then a new powerfull guild appeared... it felt like we did our own history.

    About my concers:
    • Participation: I hope that players can´t know how many participants have each side of the caravana event before you choose so people don´t try to go on number adventage makin it even bigger.
    • Risk/reward: I´m not going to talk much abour risk/reward balance, because I´m aware that the team knows already how important it is and we haven´t see all de details about that so we can´t now about how it will work out. Just point out that any imbalance would lead this system to a bad spot where people will only want to attack or only to defend.
    • Some twists: I know this was just a test and they may have some other ideas to spice up this event but i felt like even if what was shown was good i think there are some "simple" things that can make it better, like some mates told in the forum, adding spots to work for the caravane to became raft would be a nice idea, it gives inmersion, less feeling of "just a system to make time to let the other team attack to us", deeper strategic insigth ( you have to select who is going to build and who is going to defend), you can even make some profesion buffs so you can give people more pve/artisan focus players, a spot in the pvp event, since you will want them to build your raft faster. Also i hope caravane speed to go down in raining/snowing days and interact with other system like animal husbandry where you can maybe get better horses to make it faster. Maybe include npc protection with money in some spots of your way if you have good influence in that node, taxes if you go for some roads that are supposed to be fasters, or more secure, etc...
    Are there similar systems you’ve seen in other games that you like or dislike? If so, please explain!
    Well the machanic of the event reminds me of a dominion system in witch the roles of the defender and attacker can swap, but havent played this kind of playstyle while you must carry the point so it would be new for me and im looking foward to make some big caravane skirmishes :D!
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