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Dev Discussion #64 - War / Siege Systems

VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
edited June 4 in General Discussion
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Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

Dev Discussion - War / Siege Systems

What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike? What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game? Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?

If you have specific feedback for the Node War seen during the May Development Update Livestream Showcase, Here is the correct thread for that: https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/59519/feedback-request-alpha-two-node-wars-preview-shown-in-may-livestream/p1
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    edited June 4
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?

    Proper environmental design that allows for tactical troop movements, baits, ambushes, etc. Tight corridors and small rooms are a must as well.

    Good zoom out on the camera, so that leaders and shotcallers can see more of the battlefield.

    A variety of aoe effects, designed with both - static and scaling effects. Imo dmg should always be static (because the ability already hits several people at the same time), while different effects (i.e. debuffs) should scale based on the amount of people effected.

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?

    Pretty much anything from "I just wanted to" to "there's a super complex diplomatic reason, that will have long-lasting consequences for the entire server".

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?

    I already mentioned tight spaces (chokepoints).

    We'll already have tasks for smaller groups of players to do during the sieges, so that's a must-have that's already in.

    Good positioning and anti-positioning abilities. The tank wall from the last showcase is one of the best/biggest examples of that. Loved that one.

    Huge synergistic abilities that require several characters of the same archetype to work in unison to pull off. We supposedly already have those planned for the game as well, so that's great.

    And probably the most important thing imo - ways for uninvolved people to watch the siege. Sieges will be a rare thing (relatively speaking), so casual players who'll never have the ability to participate should at least be able to witness it and watch it live. In the most ideal situation the viewing spots would get added according to the progress of the siege, so that initial battle tactics don't get uncovered as easily by either side.

    So spectator "cameras" might start at initial spawn points of the attackers and overseeing the courtyard of the castle/node (overlooking both sides of the walls). Then, if the attackers break through the outer walls, the cameras from the inside the courtyard would get added, to better see the action. Then internal cameras, then the throne/casting room cameras.

    Watching sieges was a very nice pastime back in L2, and with AoC's sieges being instanced (potentially even the node ones) - the only way to see the siege would be these "cameras". And while streamers will obviously show the siege from their pov, I'd assume that'll be on a delay and would obviously be limited to only a single pov, which defeats the point of the spectacle of the event. And with sieges being one of the peak pvp events in the game, I think that drawing people in with "bread and circuses" would be a good way to keep the game in people's minds.

    Those cameras would also allow some streamers to commentate the sieges that they're not part of, which would also be a nice ad for the game :)
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    SonicXplosionSonicXplosion Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 5
    For both Wars and Sieges, I think its vital to the game from both a gameplay and a social level that players are not bound by the vassal system.

    There are very important quotes on the wiki from Steven regarding faction based games, where you end up hating the people in your faction moreso than the enemies. I believe this forced peace with vassals and parents is following the path that Steven said he was against.

    For Wars, (territory wars in particular at least) if you are unable to declare war on those in your vassal network, then you will likely be put into a non-insignificant disadvantage due to the travel time needed to reach the territory where the war is being fought. Additionally, while being able to siphon xp from a node is great, it is not as meaningful if you cant siphon from your vassal competitors, or when at a maxed out world state where your node is locked out by your parent.

    For Sieges, the only way for a locked out city to become a metro is for a force outside of the vassal network to siege the metro. Intrepids current stance is that its a good thing to be a vassal, since the node benefits are supposed to "trickle down", such as the Scientific nodes fast travel benefit being available to the entire vassal network, in addition to the nodes own benefits. Many people are already aware of this, but still disagree with the idea that they should remain obedient to the parent thats locking them out.

    My suggestion for both Wars and Sieges is to allow them to occur within the vassal network, as well as against parents, however, the cost for doing so should be steep, the penalties for failing should be severe, and the requirements to engage in this action should be nearly unanimous (in the case of a node war, since that is fought by node members, however sieges are not declared by nodes).
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    LevithorLevithor Member
    edited June 4
    Not going to be a popular opinion, but maybe respawning should not be allowed during a siege or war battleground?
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    It was pretty nice! What i thought is that the objective should be more clear...like it feels like theres an abundant amount of words for the quest. Maybe just because it was a lot to take in for someone new, but once we get to that point we have already been playing for months, so it might not be a problem.
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    AzhreiAzhrei Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Thinking outside the box here...., but is there a way to have a ballista/catapult that launches people? 90% mortality rate for the "package" because the whole success falls on the operator of the engine to thread the needle for their payload.

    Just saw some old 40K ork footage and the idea has burrowed in and won't let go.
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    DirtyRottenScallywagDirtyRottenScallywag Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    .
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    NorththemageNorththemage Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 4
    As far as Mass PvP goes I think combat that makes working effectively as a group obviously rewarding is important- if we have to execute on correct status condition combos in large scale pvp in a way that feels rewarding it'll be a huge win in my book.

    Resources for crafting and xp farms with nearby rival nodes would motivate me to go to war- I worry that the main nodes will have too little an incentive for war and that most / all wars after the initial vassal networks form will be conducted in vassal states that border other vassal networks or nodes: perhaps that' not all a bad thing, will have to see it in practice if there's enough motivation for high level nodes conducting war from afar or if they can participate enough in the border conflicts of their vassals.

    Maybe not a must-have, but I think it could be cool in sieges to include stealth / wall scaling options for the rogue archetype: I think rogue should probably be on the weaker side when it comes to mass group pvp and having that option will feel super immersive and fun to have rogues trying to gank inside the walls of a siege.
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    ElixorElixor Member
    edited June 4

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?

    Context: I'm considering Node Siege here where a node is destroyed (not the node war we saw which is in my view is already a great direction)

    Nowadays and in too many games (survivals in general, New World as well in a way) the way to "win" is to make the enemies leave the game. To do so it to not only destroy what they have built but also doing in sometimes what appears to be unfair.

    For me the must-haves in a sieges would be a slightly different questions I would love to dig into with the community/dev, when someone lose a siege (which is a big deal), how to we make sure they can see this defeat as a new beginning, a way to restart, a new challenge. But not being "humiliated" by the defeat to a point that the only thing is to start looking for a new game.
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    VoxtriumVoxtrium Member
    I would like the impact of kills to be more significant, running doesn't feel great so perhaps a longer respawn timer. I would however like to watch my team from their perspective while dead if there is a long respawn timer however.
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    Gaul_Gaul_ Member
    I would like to see alternate objectives where a siege attacker who fails to destroy a node can still accomplish smaller, partial victories. For example, an attacking group may siege a node and threaten to destroy it, but instead loot the reliquary to steal relics whole and then withdraw. Perhaps the defenders anticipate this and commit to defending the reliquary but at the cost of losing the overall battle. More objectives create more possibilities in strategy besides just figuring out which of 3 gates the attackers are focusing on. That's a lot less interesting.
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    SunnysideSunnyside Member
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?

    Commanders and consequences. I love it when a commander is important and can have impact as displayed in the showcase but I also like there to be some benefit for a team killing a commander or detrement for the team that loses their commander. Perhaps the leadership based abilities go on a cooldown if the leader dies or a team wide buff to the team that manages to kill a leader.

    Hopefully this would lead to unique "leadership" gameplay involving assassinations and catching leaders out of position. This would hopefully lead to counters in gameplay and prevent stalemates as a "push" can more easily occur once an opposing leader has been killed.

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?

    Generally over resources or another material benefit that would be sufficiently valuable to war over. If a rare resource is available and the way to control it would be via a war that would be very motivating.

    Or I got ganked 1 time while farming a rare resource and now I'm going way too far for revenge... I can be very petty...

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?

    "Backdoor" gameplay. I really enjoy the individual or small scale skirmish scenarios where a base is breached or hindered by a sneak attack of sorts. This should obviously be very counterable with good scouting but the "will they or won't they notice it" aspect I find very exciting.
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    GoalidGoalid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?

    I made a couple posts on this years ago, but essentially for sieges I want the siege equipment to be incredibly important. Trebuchets, ballistas, siege towers, battering rams, siege ladders, etc. are incredibly important to making a siege feel epic and something different than just standard open world PvP. Don't make it so that we can just zerg the city gate and break it down with spells, make us break the gates down with a battering ram. Don't let us just glide into the city, make the ballistas able to knock us down and cancel our glide; make us have to use siege towers to get close enough to jump over the walls.

    I want the walls to matter, let me destroy every part of the wall as an attacker and not just focus on 3 gates like in alpha one. Open up the strategy as a whole and don't just make it about going through one pre-determined chokepoint. Let the attacker work hard to bring down a section of wall, and then that will be one other chokepoint to fight over along with the gates.

    Intrepid has mentioned in the past having instanced battles to help determine the outcome of a siege. An idea I had in the past was about sapping underneath the walls to bring down a section of wall, creating another choke point to fight over. And whether that sapping attempt is successful or not, can be an 8v8 death match in an "underground" cavern instance. That specific example doesn't have to be true, but it illustrates what I want. The instance having a dramatic impact on the battle, but not necessarily determining the winner.
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    DirtyRottenScallywagDirtyRottenScallywag Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?

    Some sort of Logistics system for funding the war effort could be a real boon for involving people who would otherwise not be interested in participating in mass pvp. I think a game like foxhole is a great example of this. Dedicated logistics that do the resource gathering, defense building and tech unlocking. While not translating exactly 1:1 to an mmorpg there are still good lessons to learn from a game/system like that.
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    SOVERElGNSOVERElGN Member
    I would love to see Battle Pings in the game, the raid leader and Cpt can mark targets for the raid and place down waypoints. flank- attack- defend- retreat-scout. Not everyone will be in a voice call and I feel this could help.

    I enjoyed the PVP showcase it was the best one yet. I would like to see us able to battle on mounts dragon and horse, even if it fundamental attacks

    I feel like the dragon the riad leader has in the video should have more skills than dive I am sure you will add dragon breath later and maybe self-buffs.

    I also like to see objectives pop up in the text when you are in the zone close to it. and pop up on other people's screens with a small text. that would help people not get lost in the PVP and still try and win the mini-games in PVP.

    Last thing I love to see and I am sure there already is some reward for this. but when we are pvping I love to have a winning and a losing reward. black desert online does not do this right and giving rewards to players for trying is a must. Iver in EXP or Gold.

    I really enjoyed this pvp video and I am happy with the progress the Intrepid Studios team has made in the last year alone. <3
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    MatrimOGMatrimOG Member
    edited June 4
    To preface, my experience here comes largely from EvE Online wars and Ark Survival Evolved Megaserver sieges.

    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?
    - Preperation pre-war, attrition and strategic deployment of assets and resources has always been in the forefront for me. Moving players effectively and individual skill should have a certain amount of impact, but under preparing needs to be heavily punished for both sides.
    - Drawing from my Ark experience, Defense is often a protracted state where you are simply burning resources until the attacker runs out of what they prepared. If the Defenders had a reason to leave their walls and hold certain outside objectives such as Water Supplies, Harbor/River Access or key resource nodes in order to keep sustaining themselves would introduce a lot of dynamic for both sides and increase the impact of a leader's decision making (or needing a leader in the first place).

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?
    - War sounds super fun as teased in the Node Wars showcase, and seems like something I'd like to see happening on the regular as a form of "farming wealth off of your neighbor" and as such should be pretty easy to declare (so long as your citizens approve ofc)
    - Personally I would only want to declare a Siege on someone in order to actually take their lands over, a siege should be a massive undertaking both in time and than what you would financially get out of it, with the sole benefit being hurting the other node beyond recovery at least for a certain amount of time, or taking the land over completely and boosting income of your own citizens or something along those lines. Seiges should hurt whoever loses, but the winning leadership should also be weakened temporarily.

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?
    - I love small group movement and communication up the ladder. i.e. Field Commanders being in charge of strike teams claiming/holding/supplying certain objectives or spying on enemy movement.
    - Somewhat unrelated, server performance is king and will, I think, be one of the deciding factors whether people will be excited for wars or not. I would rather have a siege with less intricate systems, if it means I can move and PvP without any sacrifices in performance
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    OtrOtr Member
    Vaknar wrote: »
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?
    Castle sieges I would like to be more PvP focused.
    Node sieges be have strategy elements and different combat feeling depending on node types involved.
    Vaknar wrote: »
    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?
    Fun.
    Ability to kill their stuffertons and take their skins.
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?
    I want node types to give guilds specific siege progressions.

    The ZoI type where guilds build their guild halls should unlock siege specific guild skill tree and progression:
    - military nodes should allow pushing toward a more PvP confrontation and advantages
    - divine nodes should allow pushing toward a more PvE confrontation and advantages (like training and using siege creatures)
    - economic nodes should be able to use money to enhance their attack in a way or another and depending how well they perform, if they manage to reach certain objectives during the battle, to recover some of the money invested into the siege, even if they do not take the node.
    - academic nodes should be able to get special drops when defeating defensive NPCs or breaking into key buildings. These drops would be the blueprints to some technologies, equipment, enhancements which are specific to the enemy node type. After sieges they would reverse engineer these blueprints by doing specific quests.

    This kind of guild progression and siege preparation should be stored in a physical form in the guild halls and should be part of guild war objectives too. So it could be temporarily disabled through guild wars or even destroyed, depending on type of progression.
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    J3FFJ3FF Member
    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?

    I think wars should be waged over things of lasting value, primarily world/map based resources or locations. This could be anything from having a rare resource spawn within your control and being able to control its trade value across the server, to having the best access to dungeons or even close water access for ports. These indirect rewards for winning a war should be relevant to the individuals of the winning side and not just the mayor or overall wellbeing of a group, I want to be able to notice the benefits and how they actually affect me.

    Another reason for war could be to weaken the opponent instead of seeking benefits for yourself. This might look like a large entity waging war with a smaller one with the goal of draining their resources during the fighting so that next week/month when some event takes place, that smaller group wont be as efficient or effective.
    Perhaps a group owns multiple cities in an area and your group wages war on the outermost cities first so that trade routes and resources are closer at hand for when you wage war on the central cities. Long term goals like this would be very nice to see be prevalent in wars.

    The goals and results behind wars should in my opinion be long lasting and carry actual weight and relevance among the involved parties but also the other guilds and members of the server. If Guild A and B are the participants in the war, then it should be important enough that Guilds C,D,E and F are forced to consider which side they might prefer to win and control that area. These tertiary guilds should also be able to then support, whether it means joining the war directly, or donating supplies, etc.

    Based on that last point, I think wars should NOT be frequent. They should require long prep times, and commitment to see through. Not something that's started on a whim because you're salty at getting killed.
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    McWabbitzMcWabbitz Member
    One thing that i would love to see implemented for war/Siege that might be a Decent idea is instead of respawning normally during these times, that we have to get a summoner of some sort to summon us back to the fight (revive us at the backlines) and the more summoners the faster the respawn but capped at a certain speed like 30sec - 90sec and max of like 5 summoners and they can only bring back a certain amount of fallen comrades.
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    arsnnarsnn Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
    edited June 6
    What id like to see

    Sieges and large scale PvP for me were always enjoyable, when there is a lot of avenues and objectives to progess!
    -> not just a 250v250 zerg that keeps on deathballing and respawning

    So.... what id like to see in sieges are stages, that are self contained game experiences in the larger context.
    Utilize game modes like "pushing the cart", "capture points", "destroy objectives/walls" in a staggered manner. Build entire stages around them, with several strategic objectives to achieve within each of them.
    For example a stage 1 could be about the logistic aquiring resources, building and pushing the siege weaponry, while the deffenders try gank the resource caravans and scorch the earth, all while preventing the weaponry from reaching the next stage.
    Make the teams progress and degress through those stages.

    References

    Closest references are the games Chivalry 2, Conquerers blade and Planetside 2 to some extend.
    Also the sieges in the A1 already were somewhat build around stages, although the experience was rather losely defined. Edit: I just realized the node wars also had stages. I think they had the same issue, as they were too losely defined and hardly a strategic component.
    Thats why i want to emphasize, dont be afraid to implement some more "on rail" elements into sieges. If the gameplay elements become too losely defined and too sandboxy, they often fail to become a strategic element that actually catch on.

    Few days ago already mentioned something similar in the [Feedback Request] Alpha Two Node Wars Preview Shown in May Livestream Thread. I will copy paste that part.

    Chivalry does a really good job at building phases with transitions and clear goals and objectives in each of them. (Though it´s a bit too straight forward and linear, due the round based nature of that game).
    I think wars and also sieges could benefit from connecting the more open and sandboxy fights, with more linear and on-rail elements inbetween them. This could help giving players clear goals and directions.

    What does chiv 2 maps make fun? Maps have several stages and dont become stale.
    In each of stage attackers have different objectives, like capturing, pushing sieges vehicles, destroying gates, plundering towns, stealing stuff and so on.
    Each phase the deffenders have to prevent the attackers from achieving their goals, within in a certain time frame.
    The map always moves forward after a stage has been cleared, the timer resets and the spawn points are readjusted.
    It is a well defined experience. For both teams it is clear what to do, the transitions are well done, there are objects to interact with and strategic elements to counter the opposing team in each stage.

    An example for the lionspire map:
    https://chivalry2.fandom.com/wiki/Lionspire
    An example for the siege of rudhelm in video form:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OuROqfhMtA

    Unfortunately the gameplay devolves into die, respawn and rush loop, because every just tunnels towards the same part of the map and you rarely have to move around. Hopefully is there a way to negate that.


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    XoltannXoltann Member
    edited June 4
    I've played Conqueror's blade, a siege battle game.
    What i've really love about it is, first the limited ressources: you have budget, with this bugdet you can bring differents units, when one unit died it did not respawn for the rest of the battle, This gives values on what you does, cause if you play well, enemies can run out of units and it's so much easier to win if you have good units still alive.

    Secondly, the fact that you have various way to attack. In this game to get inside a castle, you can either:
    - Break the gate (with battle ram, units, canons)
    - Climb the wall (ladders, siege engines)
    - Break the wall (siege engines)
    - Open the door (sneaking inside and switch the door's lever)

    (You also have a special ability to use trebuchet and it's fun)

    I've also played Foxhole wich have interesting mechanics for war, depending on tools/uniforms/weapons/vics you take you can play many roles to help the war (logistician, builder, medic, tanker, infantry ...)
    To use some weapons, like a tank or artillery you need to cooporate with other players, something randoms player.
    You have base/city to capture and you can build base anywhere, you can chose to defend a chokepoint, defend your logi road, encircle a city etc..
    There is an intesting logistical aspect, all items/almost all building, all vehicles, items for respawn etc.. are made by player, they need to collect mats, then use building to refine, then craft, and then bring to the front so player of the faction can fight, these players can actually play without doing any PvP.
    But people can actually steal vehicles/weapons, destroy enemies facilities, or make a blockade to avoid logi to bring things to a base under siege, so they run out of respawn/weapons/mats to build/repair etc..

    So, basically i would find interesting to have an objective, with maybe sub-objecives wich are optionnal but they will help a lot if you do them, with enough ways to achieve them so you can actually make differents strategies: sneak inside, encircle, block ressources, charge the main door.. and with actions wich really matters, like not a score bar to fill, the action help to get the objective by the nature of the action (I capture an outpost -> enemy players can't respawn anymore there and i can respawn closer to the main objective).

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?

    Depend on the context but generally i will not declare a war if i don't need to it's less fun if there is no reason to.
    So i would like to have conflicts of interest, to force people either to cooporate, either to fight: differents nodes need the same ressources spot / You want to do commerce but they need to pass by the neighbor node port and it would be stupid to not take some taxes on it etc...
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    arkileoarkileo Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    edited June 14
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?
    I dislike over-focus on zerg combat. I think it's an important and necessary component of mass PvP, but it tends to exclude certain classes that aren't good at it. I'd like to see objectives and roles other than in the zerg.

    I like when the terrain supports tactics. A flat plain is going to quickly devolve into zerg ball vs zerg ball. I want the combat area to have verticality where ranged classes can excel. I want the combat area to have close-quarters areas where the melee will excel. When zerg play is wanted, I want to see chokepoints, along with ways to flank. TLDR; I want diverse terrain.

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?
    - I want my node to grow and they're blocking it
    - They're predatory, taking advantage of other nodes in node wars and need to be punished
    - There is an exclusive resource that requires control over to use, and the only way to gain control is via war.
    - They're meanies

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?
    I think walls should be significant obstacles. It should be difficult to destroy them, and require coordination to overcome by the attacker, whether that be through destroying the wall itself, ladders, or siege towers. It should be the defender's primary advantage.

    I think preparation should be a primary deciding factor in which side wins. If sieges are going to be monumental events, then they should follow a story structure of intro (The siege is declared)->rising action (The sides prepare)->climax (The siege happens)-> falling action (The results of the siege outcome happen). The rising action should be as important as the climax. Some potential ideas for the preparation phase:
    - Constructing siege weapons (both sides)
    - Constructing barricades (defenders)
    - Stockpiling siege weapon ammo. This would help siege weapons be powerful yet still balanced.
    - Stockpiling resources to repair defenses (defender). This could lead to pre-siege skirmishes where the defenders are trying to get caravans into their node and attackers are trying to stop them, which would be really cool.
    - Preparation commissions to organize things. Commission performance could lead to varying levels of buffs, automatic distribution of specific siege health/mana potions when the siege begins, hiring of NPC combatants, reinforcement of walls, etc.
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    NepokeNepoke Member
    edited June 4
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?
    Good features:
    • Clear goals with open ended solutions.
    • Fighting is heavily incentivized
    • Variety of terrain: Open spaces, obstructions, chokes, difficult terrain and hazards.
    • Player control over objectives and mechanisms like capturable spawn points, closable gates, destroyable bridges.

    Bad features:
    • When balling tightly and running around in an unkillable zerg is the optimal strategy.
    • Arbitrary gamification of PvP when it doesn't make sense. For example: If the objective is to capture a castle, it's okay that capture points are used to represent how far the attackers have pushed into the castle. However, if the fight is decided by a ticket system and capture points exist in random courtyards or outside of the castle, it turns the event from an epic fantasy siege back into a game. In essence, the victory conditions should try to match the underlying fantasy of what is happening.
    • Gamified locations. Similarly to the above point, I dislike when walls are designed to be bypassed and chokepoints and killzones are removed from fortifications. Removing all defender's advantages for the sake of perfectly balanced PvP both breaks the immersion and makes every location into a samey even battlefield.
    • Victory conditions that incentivize avoiding fighting the enemy.

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?
    Honestly, the biggest motivation would still be to take out nodes that block growth (such as higher level neighbors and vassalizing parents). But since this is currently not on the table, here's a list of things that would put me on the warpath:
    • Neighboring nodes from other node chains that are raiding caravans and harvesting resources from my node.
    • Helping an ally or trading partner that has the above being done to them.
    • Lucrative spoils for the winner to incentivize declaring arbitrary wars/sieges across the world.
    Anyways, I don't still see the full picture. Currently it seems that most nearby nodes are either part of your node chain or a likely trading partner, and the far away nodes don't affect your node.

    Not much to fight for here.

    I'm still doubtful that the concept of belonging to a "kingdom" can be sold to the playerbase when there is no choice or meaningful player input to the system. Buuut this has been discussed a few times before.

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?
    Must have:
    • Siege weaponry that is actually useful on both sides.
    • Actually useful defensive infrastructure.

    Bonus points:
    • Player objectives: Capturable/buildable/destroyable spawns, buff provider locations, gates, drawbridges, hurtfields that can be disabled, spell circles that enable people to shoot siege magic that can be disabled etc.
    • Variety in terrain and hazards: Moats (water, lava, spikes), buildings, towers, narrow walkways, gatehouses, traps and mines, magical fields.
    • NPCs and spawners for both defenders and attackers.
    • Strategic and tactical level spells for commanders that affect parts or the whole battlefield.
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    DragonmarDragonmar Member
    edited June 4
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?
    I really like staggered respawn waves, and not just die + timer and having that be unique for every player. I prefer a rolling timer for respawns as it allows for some very cool tactical plays like holding respawns and also helps group players together and can disincentive things like spawn camping. I love leaderboards and rankings/statistics in all my competitive PvP modes. I think its really fun to track how well you do, and can serve as a good motivator for improvement and a nice way to check for inefficiencies in your play. I think that hiding things like kills/deaths/damage/heals really doesn't serve a true purpose because those they truly wish to see what's happening will just ask for a VOD of your gameplay. With that said, I would like to see AoC's best shot at an accurate "score" system, that truly takes into account EACH role tank/dps/healer and also accounts for objective players. I'm so tired of games calculating score in the dumbest ways possible, completely ignoring the significance of heals, damage blocked, assists, captures, etc. PING SYSTEM is something I fell in love with for large scale PvP, i want my guild leader and party leads, etc to be able to ping on the map and have that area highlighted either in game or map, or both. I understand some people find this immersion breaking, but if don't tactfully i think it can be really sick and helps a TON in positioning, the last thing I want to do is struggle to regroup, etc as I don't find that to be a "skillful" part of t he game and often times more of annoyance depending on map layouts of PvP areas, etc. PLEASE NO MASS TP I really dislike anything that allows an untrackable, instant teleport across a battlefield. I absolutely despise the lack of counterplay and the incredibly dumb amount of resources you have to set aside to account for one backdoor play and even that sometimes being unbeatable. I think this totally removes unique war tactics, and really restricts large scale, slow developing plays. Party markers to be able to see your party members and maybe mark your shotcaller are really nice to have and more just a QOL thing, again I'm not super into the idea of obscuring that type of information for the sake difficulty, skill or immersion. To me, its just annoying not to have that.

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?
    I think that there are 3 major motivations for declaring war or siege on others and those would be:
    1. For resources or the rewards/spoils of said war/siege
    2. For political reasons, standings, alliance, etc
    3. For purely content reasons(for fun and the enjoyment of PvP)

    Personally, I want Ashes to have some type of involvement in all 3 categories for large scale PvP content like war/siege. I want to feel like my time is valued when I invest in becoming good at PvP and there is some tangible reward for winning in a war/siege. I can see rewards that are monetary rewards being simple, but also an important motivator depending on the costs both to guilds and to individual players. IF those costs are not recouped upon winning, then I REALLY would want the benefit that comes from winning and owning that territory or land to be SIGNIFICANT. What exactly would that be, like buffs, droprates, etc, I'm not sure yet what would fit for AoC. I also feel like there should be a "prestige" for top ranking guilds, who consistently win, etc, and maybe some unique cosmetic rewards for top PvPers or guilds could be awesome as well. I'm very big in showing off power/skill. Finally, PvP will always be fun content for me and many others and at the end of the day as long as the content is fun then I'm happy with just doing it purely for the experience but this does tend to wane in satisfaction the longer you do it without significant reward.

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?
    1. Siege equipment playing a major role, and allowing for some non "pvpers" to have roles and feel like that can have meaningful contributions. I want Siege to bring together all types of players.
    2. Siege rankings for Guilds with small cosmetic rewards for Top 5(or 3, etc)
    3. Unique abilities for attackers/defenders to give special buffs/power spikes to break through tough choke points or stalemates, but with some type of counterplay as well
    4. Death being impactful I'm gonna rant about this for a moment because I feel like this is where some games have completely lost the plot. Defenders should probably have a slight advantage, but that advantage should NOT come from the ability to respawn over and over and over and throw themselves at an objective simply because of their physical closeness to an objective. Should defenders spawn closer to an objective in siege than attackers? Yes. But not at a comical spacing where I'm trying to capture something WHILE DEFENDERS RESPAWN ON TOP OF ME. I want to feel like "we just wiped 20, lets push" has some real impact, and poor positioning and clump wipes actually mean something. If i want endless waves of idiots I'll just play some zombies.
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    LashingLashing Member
    I think all siege weapons should live in the caravan system or use the same tech. You give it parts that give stats like off road movement speed, durability, defensive abilities. The more you invest in them the better they are and it gives a long term goal to build up your supply of siege weapons before an attack. You pull them into place and maneuver them with animals. You give them abilities based on what type of siege engine it is. Limited ammo or a mana resource so you have to use them strategically or run supply caravans to refuel them.

    What I do not want to see with siege weapons is people driving them around like a magical wooden tank vehicle spamming projectiles. They should be high impact and high effort.
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    PrometeuPrometeu Member
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?

    Like
    - Symbols in UI that can be used to mark friendly or enemy targets
    - Multiple choke points for the same objective
    - Class synergies


    Dislike
    - Lack of anti zerg mechanics - limiting number of targets AoE skills can hit. I understand that need from a performance perspective but at least buff the DPS with the number of targets hit.
    - 1h trip to die once and go home

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?
    - toxic behavior
    - helping friends
    - balancing the odds of a bigger fight
    - balancing the server/area pvp influence - work to take down a force that becomes too dominant


    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?
    - fun
    - enough destruction to matter, as attacker or defender, but not enough to kill the will of the players to build and fight again
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited June 4
    Developing too many systems and game loops specifically designed for group PvP (that is besides the flagging system which is there for the protection of every aspect of the game) leads to fragmentation of the games player base.

    If you create systems that provide rewards based on win conditions you end up with a section of the player base that only focuses on PvP and PvP guilds. You also have crafting guilds and pve guilds and all sorts of sects that find tangible rewards and progress by ignoring most aspects of the game and by focusing on a single activity only until they are bored and then they "want to try a bit of XYZ" which they have been ignoring until now.

    Guild points awarded upon victories are good.
    Castle control with economic benefits upon successful siege is good.

    Any other form of reward is bad, such as tokens/currencies which can be traded with npc vendors without the need for player to player economy.
    XP progress based on PvP is bad.

    Castle policies enacted by the king which might affect the area of the world are bad. Too many mechanics will lead to meta policies which the whole population will aim for, the pursuit of which will be taking away from all other gameplay activities:
    Exploration
    Progress
    Economy participation
    PvP

    Keep wars and sieges simple.
    PvP in a true open world mmo is the means of a group to come together and claim superiority, leading to alliance wars which shape the history of the server.

    Sieges (besides the unique addition of tribal warfare which is the node wars) dont need re-inventing the wheel. They have a prestige award of owning a large good looking castle with a few economic benefits and the opportunity to stage battle scenarios every 2 weeks or so. Leave it at that.

    With the caravan system we get the satisfaction of stealing or prospering by tranafering crafting materials from area to area. We dont need extra rewards from Wars and Sieges.

    Too many mechanics in sieges are also a waste of developing resources. The large numbers of high lv players will win. One side will have low lv players the other side will also. It's simple.
    Spending too much time on war machines and such will be wasted because players will just want to use they characters combat abilities and show superior "skill". Aim to reduce mindless zerging by limiting AoE capabilities and let players PvP using their hotbars.


    A nice reward that doesnt affect the social aspect and gameplay of the gane in a negative way relating to wars and sieges could be costume rewards.
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    IzexIzex Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?

    The main feature I do not like in mass PvP is when an objective can be rushed super quickly by just zerging. What I do like is when you have to do multiple objectives to win instead of just one or two objectives.

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?

    If there was monetary gain then that would be a good enough reason but also if a node often antagonized us that would be as well.

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?

    I would love it if there was an upgrade for a node that allowed you to either hire mercenaries to aid you in battle or have your military aid you in battle (NPCs). Get enough resources and maybe there is a small cavalry that aids you in certain objectives.
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    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?

    I like the ability to be able to attack NPC's in mass combat, whether it be from pets or mission NPC's for helping your side of the war. I would like to see a raid content dragon in a war as a mission to "obtain" or capture it to use on the enemy. It would give another way to win the war for the PvE'ers specifically. (There are more PvE'ers than there are PvP'ers so making raid content in wars that isn't in the world would furthermore incentivize PvE'ers to join the war.) Exactly how it was in Unreal Engine 4 I believe.

    Mass war should look like just that; mass war. There should be trebuchets, ballista's, battering rams, siege towers, ladders to climb the walls, and battle field troop carriers. You can have objectives of stopping the battering rams going to the doors, destroying ladders so they cannot climb the walls, and even having a team to go dispose of trebuchets that are destroying the walls or towers of the castle. Most importantly you should destroy the troop carriers so the enemy doesn't get NPC reinforcements! These would make for great objectives in a war, whilst also fighting the enemy. There should be a system in place that only heavy machinery can take out the doors, walls, and towers. That way players have to play around the objectives as opposed to beating the walls or door with spells or sword. Ladders are a good way in, but only 1 player can fit on the ladder (wide-wise). These are more for like fighters and rouges to get in to cause havoc. The doors are major choke points and can be used as such. There should be long corridors with doors on both sides; one to take down by ballista's/trebuchets and the second should be by battering ram. During the battering ram phase, you can have doors that only the defenders can access (that way the attackers can't just skip the battering ram phase) and windows to use magic or use bows. After the attackers complete the battering ram phase they should find the Commander and have to kill him for the keys to unlock all the gates. This would allow accessibility to enter the castle from any gate. The more chaos and missions there are in a war the more you have to pick and choose which ones are most important as a General and sending players to try and complete those missions, which is more involvement for players to be apart of what helps them win, *not just damage and healing numbers.*


    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?

    Must-haves I would like to see in sieges is the heavy machinery, because it will give the game more dynamic and feel more immersive. Especially if you get a hand in using one! Also, a must have would be the raid dragon for attackers to capture that can blow down the castle walls, doors, and towers so they can easily get inside instead of having the trebuchet phase, the battering ram phase then the opening of all the doors phase.
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    Lark WyllLark Wyll Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    What systems and features in mass PvP combat do you like and dislike?

    Likes:
    • New World's War mode. 30 minutes of high intensity content. It's great.
    • Map layouts that and combat design that revolves around running around an open-world map looking for a choke for both sides to agree on fighting in/through (Mainly experienced from Albion Online).
    • Combat design for mass pvp that revolves around balling up and spamming AoE on top of your cluster of players and moving around like a high density bee swarm. It's boring and looks silly. Removes all individual player agency. It's fun for the shot-caller and boring as hell for most others.
    • I dislike mass pvp combat design where a shot-caller plays everyone's role for them and there is a lack of individual agency to act, use abilities, make plays, be independent.
    • Combat design that forces groups to have one specific role (Healer) or else they will lose nearly every pvp encounter of equal skill (New World) when not in full groups of whatever size the game defaults to as its standard group size.
    • I'm a little irked by how much overall game development is going into Mayor's and Mayoral powers. Is the game going to be engaging for the average player or are we going down a slippery slope where Mayor's (0.0000001%) of the player base is going to enjoy a robust game while the rest enjoy a very vanilla experience? Make the game engaging, robust, interesting systems for all that we get to experience, not just Streamer Johnny or guild leaders. Everyone wants to experience what the game has to offer. Too much exclusivity will make people depart if what they do have access to isn't engaging (Flying Mounts for the 0.0001%, Mayoral systems and powers in every content type for the 0.00001%, Freehold exclusivity with connected limitations on the processing/crafting profession ranks limiting players access).
    • One issue with New World's War mode is it does not engage or seem accessible to the average player. AoC's open access design for Node Sieges is a better system in that it promotes all to participate. This mentality should be carried over to all aspects of the game. I dislike that players want to bar others from being end game master crafters so they can feel special. That's a lame attitude. If someone wants to put in the work to be an end game crafter they should be allowed to achieve it, not barred by a unrelated choke point system (Freehold access). Move all of the Processing and Crafting to towns if Freeholds need to be limited to the Node's and I think that would be fine.

    What would motivate you to declare a siege or war on others in-game?
    A: A lot of factors. Depends on the rewards put in place. For fun if the content is good like New World's wars, for the individual rewards, for allied node's benefit, for our guild's benefit, for some discord drama, to help an ally guild rise to power after destroying the enemy node, etc. I'd like the ability to declare node siege warfare on parent nodes rather than having no choice to defy the parent nodes other than to depart citizenry from the smaller node you have set as your home.

    Are there any must-haves that you would like to see in sieges?
    • High intensity, fun re-playable content that players look forward to doing over and over and are big events that guilds and node communities are excited to participate in.
    • Accessibility for the average player that wants to participate and is a citizen of the attack/defense
    • Some basic pvp class/weapon balancing
    • An epic experience
    • Extremely limited PVE objectives during the actual Siege event other than the pre-war prep phase and during the war for launching siege weaponry, scaling ladders if that's a thing, or repairing gates. I don't want to see the A1 pve dragons in actual Node Siege mass pvp events. Or if there is some form of that maybe the sides get to summon some in-game mighty lore PVE monster/NPC that pushes seeks out to wreak havoc. That way the PVE'rs have something to do while pvp minded players skip that and focus on the larger objective of defending/attacking the castle, etc.
    • Maybe the siege weaponry could be magical based and not actual wood/steel projectiles.
    • Fun terrain to do combat in especially if it could vary depending on the node and not be cookie cutter. Hills and forests, and swamps, etc.
    • Maybe a win condition for the defense other than hiding behind their walls for the duration so both sides have something to attack and defend. Maybe the attacking node kidnaps the mayor and the defender's have to go save them, and the attackers are trying to get into the castle to win an objective.
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    LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 5
    As a Guild and Community leader, I have many strong opinions to share, gathered over years of discussions and experiences from other MMOs. I apologize if I sound too harsh; I'm just trying to get straight to the point..

    A major point of feedback I have to share from my community is that Castle Sieges should specifically be Guild content, limited to 250 vs. 250 battles, with the maximum guild capacity set at 300.

    Making it 500 vs. 500 would be a big mistake. It would turn the sieges into alliance vs. alliance events, leaving guilds with no meaningful endgame content to strive for. Even though the technology might support larger battles, those should be reserved for Node Sieges, not Castle Sieges.

    Node Sieges and Node Wars should be the "everyone can participate" large-scale PvP content with no or very high participant caps. In contrast, Castle Sieges and Guild Wars should be highly competitive, more controlled, and organized Guild content. While alliances should be necessary for preparation events, the siege itself should be limited to allow a single guild participating, without requiring alliances.

    Do not, I repeat: Do not implement spectate mode or camera mode in Castle Sieges or Guild Wars. If you want to include those features, do it for Node Sieges and Node Wars since they are "everyone can participate" content and not as competitive. Please keep Castle Sieges and Guild Wars competitive.

    There should absolutely be NO way for non-participants to influence or interact during the sieges. A barrier or warning followed by a death mist should be implemented to ensure there can't be zerg interference, especially during Castle Sieges. This will keep things competitive for Guilds.

    Having controlled instanced matches, like an 8 vs. 8 event mid-siege/war, is an amazing idea that should be used across node/guild war events and node/castle sieges. I love this idea. There should be at least two of these, granting two major buffs for the winning side during the siege/war. (Keep PVE or Raid bosses out of Sieges.)

    Make maps large enough! The zone shown during the node war was designed for maybe 100 players. If there are 300 participants, it will feel cluttered. Ensure the zones are large enough to accommodate all participants.

    Long respawn cooldowns are essential. Please avoid turning sieges and wars into a zombie-respawning fest. Make respawning during these events a real punishment — not through the usual death penalties, but by significantly increasing the time it takes to get back into action. What was shown during the Node War stream is not good. People were back in action in less than a minute. There need to be consequences for dying; otherwise, players will just kamikaze all the time.

    Finally, if default character appearances are used for optimization purposes, allow guild leaders to customize at least two colors for their members' appearance so we can preserve some level of visual identity.
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