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Alliances, Why We Need and When We'll Get Them

Vallun.2071Vallun.2071 Member ✭✭✭

Full script of the linked video:
With the new guild wars 2 Canthan expansion on the horizon, one of the features many suspect will arrive is Alliances. Alliances were in the original guild wars factions expansion which took place in cantha, so it seems natural they would finally bring them at this time. Alliances have been long announced for WvW, but it feels like they have been delayed indefinitely. The first real posts detailing how alliances and world restructuring would work were in november 2018. Yea we're in 2020 now. It's been a while, and I think most people have lost sight or no longer understand the purpose or function of alliances.

So what exactly are alliances and world restructuring?

It's important to understand is that there are two parts to this feature: World Restructuring, and Alliances. Alliances are a group of guilds that decide they want to be on the same server, and the game will put that alliance into the appropriate matchup. Alliances will have a maximum numbers of players and guilds for balance reasons, which means server communities will become smaller. Before alliances come out, players may identify with their server which will have a long standing identity. They most certainly can identify with their guild first, but the guild exists on a server.

However, existing servers such as Maguuma, Fort Ranik, Desolation, or Stormbluff Isles will no longer exist because of world restructuring. This is a huge issue as many players find that their community is a place to call home, and a lot of the identity players have built up will be gone. They will be able to find new communities through alliances, and stay with their community if they wish, but that will be limited to a lower alliance cap rather than server cap. But not all players wish to stay with their same server. In fact, I believe many players feel that the game is not as alive as it really is because of how stagnant servers can be. Meeting new people can be a lot of fun and what the MMO experience is all about, and currently WvWers don't get that as much unless they pay a costly transfer fee.

This is basically World restructuring, or the deciding of who participates in each world. As this image shows, there will be a number of guilds who opt into alliances, there will be guilds not in alliances, and there will be players not opted into guilds. There will be WvW seasons that people are locked into their servers for, but players will essentially be able to transfer servers for free at the end of each season by opting into another guild. Transfers will also be available in the middle of seasons, but they will cost gems and have many more restrictions.
Essentially every season which lasts maybe 8 weeks there will be a reshuffling of players, guilds, and alliances into new worlds which should create a more lively environment rather than having the same teammates all the time.

But In a way, alliances and world restructuring are already here in a lesser form. Word linking currently places two or more servers together such as Anvil Rock and Borlis Pass on the same team. These are calculated by population and performance, and attempt to create the same feeling as an alliance. The balance may be better once alliances and worlds are restructured, but for the most part we have the organization here. That is an issue as well though, how does ArenaNet balance something so imbalanced to be as fair as possible. Because world v world is a 24/7 game mode, coverage and time zones are important. Anet has already attempted to remedy this with the skirmish system. This can be thought of as similar to the USA presidential election system which is a republic. Instead of counting every vote, states have their own votes, and depending on which candidate gets the most votes, that state will cast their whole representative vote for that candidate. Skirmishes are a bit different. There are three parties in each WvW matchup and a skirmish lasts 2 hours. During a skirmish the team with the most score gains 5 victory points, the 2nd highest team gains 4 points, and the third gets 3 points, these victory points decide who wins in the end, not the war score. So no matter how hard a server is crushing the other at any point in time, they wont gain more than a 5 to 3 point differential. But also, no matter how close the matchup may be, servers that never gain a point lead over another server will gain much fewer victory points. This gives more come back potential to servers with large gaps in their time zone coverage, and allows World vs World to be an ever persisting game while being slightly more balanced.

Skirmishes along with server relinkings are all changes that came in since the start of development on alliances and world restructuring. If you think about it, in their post they mention specifically they are "working on a live game, and so there are always a lot of moving parts." To me this means they are implementing these features into the game to prepare for alliances. So when the switch is finally flipped, not much will change.

So if thats the case, why do we still need alliances and world restructuring? Thats because the main issue with WvW is not guilds, or how fun the game mode is. It's the motivation to win. I always found WvW a nice place to chill and play the way you want to, as opposed to PvP which is much more structured and has very clear win conditions. So how do we motivate players to win while also allowing them to play the way they want to? Obviously giving players rewards that are meaningful and based on their performance is good, but its difficult to calculate how much a single player affects the bigger picture of their world. The pip system currently allows players to play how they want and receive comparable rewards, but in the end, the most profitable playstyle is to zerg. Now theres nothing wrong with zerging and i think that every world should have a zerg force that provides the main map presence, but when that is the ONLY presence on the map because everyone has an incentive to do that, then it gets too large, too much strain on the servers, becomes laggy, and unfun.

Constructing an omega blob and rushing from 1 place to the next isn't fun and it certainly isn't the best method to win. Rotating around and splitting up will definitely be better if there are enough competent groups, but there is no incentive to win if it takes that much effort. I think many more players would prefer to engage in smaller scale combat if it provided them and their team more. The blood lust on borderlands should be worth war score and give more rewards to the specific players who capture and hold them as this mechanic is already good for splitting up teams because they need to contest 6 different spots. These ruins are also great for varied gameplay because of the dynamic terrain unlike most other places which are just flat ground. It's a shame they dont get visited as often currently because this is where roamers should go to face smaller scale fights.

Fights inside keeps and towers are fun, but they can often be gated by... gates literally. Siege and supply are an integral part of the strategy of WvW, but they also slow it down. Often this promotes brute forcing to get through gates and walls that are being defended by players. If smaller to medium sized groups are running around split up, there will be less siege stand offs and more fights that require map rotation and awareness. How can we keep the strategy while making it more interactive? A few changes should be made.

Righteous Indignation was initially introduced to prevent trading objectives with the enemy for reward abuse, because it makes the objective lord invulnerable and deal more damage it helps to finish off fights after a team has taken hold of the obective, but why do fights need to be that decisive? The current 5 minute duration can be reduced to 2.5 mins so that groups can split up and threaten to cap more.

Siege play can be very interactive, but often most players have no idea how to use it or would rather not spend their resources on it. This often makes people depend on a commander to deploy siege properly or even at all. Siege should reworked completely and removed from the economy. Players should obtain siege from events or supply camps. The siege they obtain there will be limited and only last a few hours before it disappears, so theyll need to make decisions on which siege to use when. The siege should also be accessible through the WVW UI which can be triggered by the special action keybind rather than through inventory.

Mounts are nice, but they should be mainly a convenience addition to the game mode. They offer a good stomp utility but otherwise should be less powerful. Their mount engage should do way less damage and there should be a longer cast time to get on the mount to make you more vulnerable if youre trying to escape or chase after leaving combat.
With these changes I feel WvW will be much more meaningful and along with alliances and seasons, there can be a truly meaningful reward given to worlds based on their performance. For example all players who earned a certain number of pips during that season will get exclusive skins with better appearances depending on their worlds placement in the season. Or give players specific titles based on what role they played the most, so if you had a high kda then you can get a title of ganker, or if you captured more objectives you can get a tactician title.
Are there better changes to create more meaningful interactions in world vs world? are alliances what we really need or is it something else?

Comments

  • enkidu.5937enkidu.5937 Member ✭✭✭

    @Vallun.2071 said:
    Righteous Indignation was initially introduced to prevent trading objectives with the enemy for reward abuse, because it makes the objective lord invulnerable and deal more damage it helps to finish off fights after a team has taken hold of the obective, but why do fights need to be that decisive? The current 5 minute duration can be reduced to 2.5 mins so that groups can split up and threaten to cap more.

    I wouldnt do that in general, but as a fine-adjusting tool dependent on the day time and the current balance of forces. E. g. at midnight, RI could be increased to have a higher chance that enemies meet each other at the same objective, because many other objectives still have RI.

    Or you could increase RI as part of the outnumbered buff. So, you finally could get the same result as with ruins: the dominant team has to split, generating fights with equal numbers.

    E. g. green team is totally dominant in numbers at a specific time. Blue and red objectives get flipped frequently. If you increase the RI of blue and red objectives, it is more likely that blue and red will both attack green (blue and red cant attack each other because RI is still up). Green has to split their superior numbers, because they have lower RI and consequently much more objectives that are flipable for red and blue.

  • subversiontwo.7501subversiontwo.7501 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 16, 2020

    Welcome to the WvW forums Vallun, not a day too late to give us some partner spotlight (we have no representation to speak of, even if I get that whatever the partner program is worth these days, comes without responsibility and limited advocacy :3 ).

    Some of the stuff that you bring up as questions/challenges have been answered by this community over the past 8 years.

    These include the usual suspects of "how content, balance and incentive to win interacts" and "how to balance population and timezones".

    One
    While rewards and other incentives to win are important they are also meaningless without balance to give it value That's why people hark on about population balance because WvW already has a reward that could be eternally coveted: It has a ladder. It's just that the ladder does not reflect who plays the best, it reflects who has the most players or most coverage. That's why no one has cared about it since the 2014 leagues.

    Two
    Population balance is also easy to solve with- or without Alliances (as per my signature), you can simply take server score out when one server is outnumbered and only apply server score when the servers (or whatever grouping) are relatively balanced. It means you don't have to worry about timezones, transfers or anything else. Score is only attributed when things are balanced, at any time for any amount of time. Prime time won't matter, off hours won't matter. Scale won't matter.

    This makes winning equally-sided fights, the #1 important thing, that means whoever plays best then and there will win and that will be the incentive to give out performance rewards or what will give the ladder some sense of value. Stacks won't matter, people can do whatever they want (stack or spread) but the system indirectly encourages spreading thin if you want to have more impact on the score. With that you can even remove queues and create overflows because outnumbered overflows will not attribute score anyway. Then people can actually play WvW for their personal rewards even in high traffic instead of watching a timer go down hours on end in LA.

    Done, problems solved :) .

  • XenesisII.1540XenesisII.1540 Member ✭✭✭✭

    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/73411/guild-wars-2-forum-the-library-wvw

    Alliances were announced with full information on Jan 31st 2018, Nov 2018 was the second follow up update post, the first one in July. Links and skirmish were introduced way before alliances was announced. Links in Apr 2016 after wvw populations went down for 6 months after Heart of thorns release for various reasons. Skirmish was added Sept 2016, skirmish rewards Jun 2017.

    If players are running with a commander they would rather they drop siege because 1. they usually carry superior, 2. they usually get donations of them, 3. commanders usually tell players not to spam drop siege as it gets confusing on what they want built. Other than that players do usually drop appropriate siege when needed.

    If you want to motivate players then give them personal goals(things like leaderboards have been asked for since day one), rewarding big groups or even servers only leads to population stacking, since players love to take the easiest road for rewards, we've seen this the past 8 years with tournaments and when the end match placements use to give chests.

    Ruins are not taken seriously because they only require like 1-2 people to cap, meanwhile camps have more importance(the siege and supply point), this is where the roamer fights happen.

    At this point in the games life alliances probably no longer needed, just switch to eotm format.

    ^ Another derailing post - Anet
    Perma stealth is needed to outrun zergs. - Thieves
    A skill overpowered? just nerf their dodge, balanced. - Anet
    No expansion money as long as Mesmers are broken. - Me

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭

    You didn't answer "why we need" alliances. Also, you should change the title to "Alliances, Why We Need and When Some Players Are Speculating To Get Them" because the current title is misleading.

  • Justine.6351Justine.6351 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Rofl ab,jq,fa will be pve maps like silverwastes.

    Anet buff me :-(
    Make me good at game!

  • Super Hayes.6890Super Hayes.6890 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Or you can just keep re-bumping the Alliances Update threads like the rest of us 😉

    The next time you get angry at someone try walking a mile in their shoes. After that, who cares! You're a mile away and you have their shoes! -Someone with more awesome quotes than me

  • ThatOtherAlt.2984ThatOtherAlt.2984 Member ✭✭
    edited June 17, 2020

    @Vallun.2071
    I agree with a lot of the points. I disagree with reducing RI time, my reasoning, zergs are by definition sluggish. It will take time to get people to actually pay attention and move optimally.
    The other concern I have is, we're allied with vT and we're both small scale/roaming guilds. I feel like it's going to take an extended amount of time for us to find a proper alliance where we all fit. There's also the role re-balancing. A lot of players will have to adjust their play style considerably to fill in the required roles for the alliance. I'm all for alliances, I think it will spruce up game play. But it does leave new players with an even steeper curve to learn the game mode and that could be a turn off for a lot of new players. I'm mostly worried that the vets are just past the point of wanting to educate and train new recruits, that being said if I'm wrong, this could be WvW's saving grace.

    All alliances really bring to the table, is that it puts the guilds back in the driver's seat. And if we've had that from the start, maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't have had the need to implement a new MMR 8 years in. I'd like to know if there'll be a limit on number of guilds per alliance, cuz if there is, a lot of the smaller guilds will be limited to either allying with Monster Guilds or disbanding to fit in. That's hardly what we need. If there's a cap it should be high enough (i'm thinking 50 guild allowance) to accommodate all the smaller guilds and allow them to get into an alliance.

  • Mechanix.9315Mechanix.9315 Member ✭✭✭

    @Super Hayes.6890 said:
    Or you can just keep re-bumping the Alliances Update threads like the rest of us 😉

    Isnt better to give it even more visibility? i mean unless you dont want to get them at all, all visibility and more people talking about it its welcome, hopefully anet reconsider it and communicate something to us about the "development"

  • Klypto.1703Klypto.1703 Member ✭✭✭

    Well I can give you an update from Anet that is easy. Well there you see there is this thing on the back end that doesn't say hello to the front end yet and we are still working on some of the diagonals that come in with the left and right sides. So once we get some of those overlapping oval rectangular overlays to stop overshadowing the triangulation we can then start the process of getting to the next phase that we had to add because of that thing that is keeping us out of work right now. Which we are working from home but not where we usually work and that so any questions? No good we can't wait to see you guys 2025 when the new expansion comes out and we should have more news after that launches about alliances!

    Some chatter in the background uhhhh who's the CEO now? Who are we actually supposed to talk to about this kinda stuff because they might not fall for this for too much longer!

  • vier.1327vier.1327 Member ✭✭✭

    @Super Hayes.6890 said:
    Or you can just keep re-bumping the Alliances Update threads like the rest of us 😉

    Never forgotten

  • Crazy.6029Crazy.6029 Member ✭✭✭

    Alliances wont happen any time soon if at all. They are working on next expansion, which means loads of pve content and of course class changes. It may happen some where half way through the next expansion would be my guess. So, best case scenario would be probably 1.5-2.5 years, of course that puts it at a full 5 years since the announcement. When you look at like that, it's highly doubtful. Just my guess and an opinion of course.

  • Strider Pj.2193Strider Pj.2193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @vier.1327 said:

    @Super Hayes.6890 said:
    Or you can just keep re-bumping the Alliances Update threads like the rest of us 😉

    Never forgotten

    I figure the answer will come when they actually lock that thread.

    Thank You for the {MEME}

  • Threather.9354Threather.9354 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Alliances would just split existing connections between server mates apart due to periods of inactivity and such. Lot of people play the game, in both ups and downs, due to their server.

    Overall Alliances would reduce WvW population, commanders included, by my estimation about 50% and kill any timezone that isn't near primetime.

    WvW needs other kind of patches though, ones that don't make matters worse

    Ri Ba - WvW Commander, scout, innovator
    Social Experiment [sX] leader
    Desolation+Alt
    Diamond Legend

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Threather.9354 said:
    Alliances would just split existing connections between server mates apart due to periods of inactivity and such. Lot of people play the game, in both ups and downs, due to their server.

    Overall Alliances would reduce WvW population, commanders included, by my estimation about 50% and kill any timezone that isn't near primetime.

    WvW needs other kind of patches though, ones that don't make matters worse

    Except as we see over and over again, most if not all high profile commanders have no such attachments. They follow their guild - or create a new guild - and then eventually transfer (and eventually come back, only to repeat the process). Server pride is a non-issue for guilds and most random pugs wont care. Alliances as presented was just linked servers with more spread, maybe the eqvivivalent of being 6-8 linked servers to compare with todays 2-3. Your estimation is just random.

    Dont look a gift Asura in the mouth.
    No seriously, dont. Shark teeth.

  • subversiontwo.7501subversiontwo.7501 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Threather.9354 said:
    Alliances would just split existing connections between server mates apart due to periods of inactivity and such. Lot of people play the game, in both ups and downs, due to their server.

    Overall Alliances would reduce WvW population

    What makes you say that? Right now, that's just a statement without any substance. Why or how would that happen?

  • Strider Pj.2193Strider Pj.2193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Threather.9354 said:
    Alliances would just split existing connections between server mates apart due to periods of inactivity and such. Lot of people play the game, in both ups and downs, due to their server.

    Overall Alliances would reduce WvW population, commanders included, by my estimation about 50% and kill any timezone that isn't near primetime.

    WvW needs other kind of patches though, ones that don't make matters worse

    For the average TRUE pug, they will not notice a difference.

    Most other ‘pugs’ are actually guilded players who jump in with commanders they know.

    Players will gravitate towards guild alliances that include their favored places. They will select their ‘WvW guild’ out of their current guilds and be placed in that alliance, while still repping whichever guild they choose.

    When alliances was announced, several servers created ‘community guilds’ To keep the bulk of their server together.

    Some will leave if alliances come to fruition, others will come back.

    What happens 6 months later really is what is more important. Initially, population is more likely to see a bump. If the population balance doesn’t seem to be evening out, you’ll see a drop.

    Thank You for the {MEME}

  • Offair.2563Offair.2563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Deadhorse.gif

    Don't argue with idiots, they drag you down to their level and own you with experience.
    Big Babou, Ranger for life.

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Offair.2563 said:
    Deadhorse.gif

    There are no horses here.

    Dont look a gift Asura in the mouth.
    No seriously, dont. Shark teeth.

  • Ghostof Luzifer.6159Ghostof Luzifer.6159 Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 23, 2020

    @Vallun.2071 said:

    Great video! I like the ideas you have. At this point I would be happy if only 1 of them gets implemented in 'the coming months' Kapp
    Edit: Especially the roaming style gamplay around the ruins I imagine to be amazing. Smallscale unorganized brawl for the control over all points would great

  • ArchonWing.9480ArchonWing.9480 Member ✭✭✭✭

    OP I appreciate your thoughts and analysis. This game has many thoughtful and passionate individuals that it really does not deserve given its neglect of pretty much all "high end" content