Albion Online wants to boost players’ ‘incentives for backstabbing and going to war’

    
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Over the last few months, Albion Online’s Sandbox Interactive has continued its push to rebalance the endgame meta – specifically, the power and potency of admittedly lopsided alliances to drive the game. This week, the studio has posted both the results of its tests and its plans for the future.

Recall that in February, the studio implemented several measured to tamp down on uber-alliances – specifically, upkeep and income penalties based on alliance territories held, more cooldowns, and boosted Disarray.

“These measures have been effective in the sense that they caused the top-end alliances to split into multiple smaller groups & lone guilds,” SI notes. “The impact on top-end alliances was similar to the impact we would expect a hard cap to have, whereas for more casual alliances, the impact was much smaller. However, while the top-end groups have formally split, many of them are now cooperating (‘hand holding’) without the benefit of a formal alliance. Effectively, we’ve made playing in large groups more challenging, as it requires dealing with friendly fire – but we’d still like to see more conflict amongst these groups.”

(If you’re shocked – shocked! – that a PvP MMO would devolve into treaties and cheese alliances among the top orgs, then you probably haven’t logged many hours in RvR-style MMOs. Tale as old as time and all that.)

Anyhow, SI means to break up the party and try to “encourage more conflict between top-end guilds and alliances.”

“Over the course of a 30-day reset cycle, territory towers will accumulate an energy and season points storage pool. The storage pool is fed through the points that a tower generates each day. The higher the quality of the zone (proximity to the Outland center) in which the tower is located, the higher the percentage of daily points and energy that goes into the storage pool. Towers in lower-end zones will not build up a storage pool at all. The storage pool percentage is applied to the daily maximum points that the tower could generate. Whatever goes into the storage pool does not get credited to the guild who owns the tower at that time. Instead, 100% of the storage pool is credited to the guild who owns the tower right before Invasion Day starts. This system will make sure that top-end guilds and alliances have a strong incentive to fight each other. The incentive will become stronger the closer we get to Invasion Day. As we do not want to create an incentive for top-end groups to go after more casual players, the storage pool in lower-end zones is going to be 0% or very close to it.”

Expect this version of the system to launch alongside season 9.

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Nathan Aldana

Its like devs of pvp focused games never realize humans are more likely to band together than act like backstabbing monsters and never account for it.

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Morgan

Didnt WoW encounter a similar problem like this with guilds way way way back? They made a change to guilds which was bad and just found everyone going to major guilds and there was no diversity so they changed it back? I mean I’ve played Albion and just have my own guild but I am in an allegiance of sorts I am honestly just in it for the PvE.

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Dug From The Earth

/facepalm

Devs these days need to step outside their arrogant boxes.

If the masses dont like something, it doesnt matter if its what you THINK is best.

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Armsbend

Why? So people become bored of it and leave like Eve?

The developers can look to games like Eve, know for a fact that people will eventually be bored of that staleness, and then leave.

Customers, the sheep that they are, really DON’T know what they want. It is an unsaid truth. They are predictable sheep – to be treated as such in backroom discussions.

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Dug From The Earth

bringing up a game that is 17 years old as a reference for “Getting bored and leaving” really doesnt hold much merit in your example.

Any game that old is going to have people leaving from being bored.

If players of your game, ones currently enjoying the game, dont like taking part in part of your games mechanics, making them feel forced to do so will drive them away even quicker than them getting bored and leaving.

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Armsbend

I disagree – this game in particular attracted many players because of the pvp pressure – pushing some of that pressure back in will give it longer term health.

There are a million games where you can clock trees in safety. This game isn’t for pure pve’ers. It is better to not consider any of their feelings about the game. They, and I mean this quite literally, do not matter in this game in particular.

If they want to click trees in relative safety – let them do that – but no decisions should be based on their ideas or feelings.

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Dug From The Earth

I love how you speak for the masses

Yet, the masses are joining together to avoid what you say they joined the game to specifically do.

And yet the devs are having to add incentives to get them to do what you say they joined the game to do.

Something doesnt add up here

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Bruno Brito

Both of you are right to an extent. Dug clearly has a point where whatever we say that Albion wants, they’re moving towards wanting more players, and the reality is: The bulk of MMO players are PvE-minded players.

That being said, Bend also makes sense: If they end up betraying everything they built with their main playerbase, just to chase the surface level players that will leave at the first sign of PvP, they’ll lose way more. Specially since the main MMO masses that move from game to game, don’t really know what they want indeed.

I get it. Every company wants to succeed, to be the next Fortnite or WoW. They should start to realize they won’t be and build games that are fun, consistent and targeted at an specific audience that will be loyal to them.

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memitim

These huge alliances aren’t driven by only wanting to PVE, they are driven by only wanting to win and stamping out or absorbing any possible competition so they can keep on winning, everybody wants to win but doing so because the competition is either easily crushed or non-existent is hollow and makes for a very boring game.

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Armsbend

Have you played this game?

hurbster
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hurbster

Seems to me people working together towards a common goal is natural.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

It is, and punishing them for doing this is just a very bad game design.

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memitim

When that common goal is easy wins though it just makes a boring game whichever side you are on, one day devs will learn the way they want you to play the game also has to be the path of least resistance…one day…

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Random MMO fan

a PvP MMO would devolve into treaties and cheese alliances

How is this “devolving”? Like others have said, this is a natural behavior, especially when the game limits you from forming a proper single alliance through artificial barriers. And developers should not be limiting people with that – in EVE large alliances are not forced to break up, and there is still plenty of PvP going on, including corporations who become bored with peaceful alliances and split from them or join other alliances, all by their own will.

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Arktouros

If you’re shocked – shocked! – that a PvP MMO would devolve into treaties and cheese alliances among the top orgs, then you probably haven’t logged many hours in RvR-style MMOs. Tale as old as time and all that.

Is it really devolve or is that just the inherent social evolution of humanity? You hear so much, so endlessly and needlessly too much, about the gank in gankboxes but you never hear about the diplomacy and social interaction that go on once you get past the ganking.

This is one of the topics that makes a PvP so compelling to me and observing how we behave in a State of Nature like environment where there is little to nothing to govern your behavior. Do you just gank your fellow man or establish treaties and bargains where both can prosper? Do you consider yourself a hero looking to avenge the abused or is that just not your problem?

These guilds are full of people playing a game solely for the purpose of competition and killing people and they’re choosing talking, peace and diplomacy so they can all prosper. It’s just endlessly fascinating when think about it.

PS: No I’m not high. Also it still doesn’t hurt to be me (:

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Ashfyn Ninegold

People coming together will naturally form society; that is, create laws, establish boundaries, recognize leaders. It doesn’t seem all that strange that players in Albion want what everyone wants, security and prosperity, and have created a society among themselves, contrary to what the developers intended, to get that.

What I find interesting is that sandboxes can never deliver the paramount driver in human behavior, protecting and caring for the family, particularly children. Most people are driven to find mates, to establish a household, have children, and work to provide a safe and predictable life for them. Attachment to family members is a huge factor and determinant in most people’s lives.

No matter what developers do to create a “real” sandbox, they will only ever be relying on the poor substitutes of acquisition, pride and jealousy as replacements for deeper motivations. And when players refuse that dynamic, well, then they have to curtail the peacemakers in order to create conflict that perhaps the players don’t really wish to engage in.

Fascinating, indeed.

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Arktouros

That’s a really good observation on the parent/child dynamic as a driving factor. While I’ve certainly taken in many noobs over the years into guilds and such I don’t think I’d ever really consider them children kinda thing.

I don’t think that the players don’t want to engage in conflict, because they clearly do, but I think it’s easy to establish a scenario where it’s more profitable to not fight. If the goal is to “win” and you can do so better and faster by not fighting then people will go that route because they are playing to win and will do anything to achieve victory even if it eliminates the competition (which is oddly winning in it’s own way).

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Nathan Aldana

yeah. that was even the miscalculation of fallout 76. The devs assumed everyonbe would wanna kill each other constantly. That people instead starting building societies and shit floored them

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TJ French

Sigh.