City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

A place for Immortals of the game to post changes in policy or other relevant announcements for the game.
Post Reply
Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:58 pm

We've noticed that the locking mechanism can sometimes work to the benefit of the aggressors. The city head can’t get any help because the mobol locks the group inside and this leads to either groups being able to spam the door closed and walk out, or in some cases, sit stuck in doors where there is no opposition waiting to be let out when the defenders are no longer alive.

In some of these areas that locking mechanism combined with the ability to gate out has led to a situation where defenders are not given a chance to defense without clan affiliation and secret entrances. This will allow for more opportunities for people to defend city heads. It also means that city heads are no longer auto-locking safety nets that people will not hit you at it. You should be aware of that when you chose these areas because of their guarantee of safety.

Please post logs if you feel that there are unintended consequences from this so that we can adjust if necessary.

As a note, this thread will consist of on-going adjustments as we evaluate for difficulties and create a more consistent and adjusted reward. A lot of these places have been ramped up in difficulty to respond to things that are no longer an issue. This has left a disproportionate number of them powerful, while others still remain push-overs. We want them to be hit-able, but not so difficult that a group is needed so large that it can go unchallenged. We also want some to be very hard and very rewarding.

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:35 pm

First change has been to make all cityheads narrate consistently. They will only narrate once, but they will narrate early.

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Tue Mar 08, 2022 12:56 pm

Jafar Seanchan mob loads have been adjusted, a trolloc patrol has been added on the isle (with incentives to clear it), and Zuret's difficulty has been ramped up. His load has not been shifted, but killing him will provide 20 TPs to all in the room. All channeling restrictions in the room have been removed, but two damane have been added.

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Tue Mar 08, 2022 8:45 pm

Tanchico cityhead:

A bridge now connects the Maseta to the Verana outside the south exit of the palace.

The Panarch will be harder and take more time to kill (hopefully) but she now is worth 20 turn points.

A trolloc patrol has been added to the western zone of the city. Two dark rooms were removed.

The sul’dam as well as the old seanchan master mob patrol was removed from the west side.

A wandering LS patrol was added to the bridge area on par with the wandering LS patrol in the Seanchan zone.

The rooms that were flagged as Road sectors have been changed to Field sectors because mobs treat road rooms like water rooms, this will mean more mobs wandering into different areas of the zone. Every divergent path in the city can be tracked at which should make chasing in the city with track an effective option that costs varying degrees of moves depending on the choices you or your opponent make.

Several doors were removed throughout the area.

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Fri Mar 18, 2022 3:31 pm

Adjusted some things in Zuret specifically related to his hits, not to his loads yet.

Silvak now has a chance to load some rares on top of the jcuff, and the smob should overall be a little bit more difficult, but easier for a group of tanks. It will now award 18 turn points.

Suroth should now be considered incredibly difficult. It loads two rares and a few surprises during the duration of the fight should likely keep you on your toes. It will now award 35 turn points.

Tested Panarch, it looks to be working as intended and her load was updated.

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Tue May 24, 2022 10:15 am

Update to Throne Room locking mechanism: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=16436

This means Andor will be the Gawyn kill and the Morgase hit separately. They won't stack in the same room.

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Fri Jul 15, 2022 7:00 pm

Most cityheads will require a full clear before they reward turn points. This will become all cityheads. Once this is completed we will process the channeling restrictions on those rooms in particular. We will also plan to include methods which warn the dark side of hits on the seanchan cityheads.

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Sat Sep 03, 2022 1:36 pm

Our main goal for a while has been giving casual players ways to engage with the content, join in and catch up. A mechanic we used to do this has been TPs from PVE. We imagined that this would give people the opportunity to have a past time activity for progression while they were looking for ways to engage other players.

The problem that we’ve seen over time is that it is more efficient to group with friends and clear cityheads or smobs in groups that are not competitive in the current environment. We have systems in place that are designed with the assumption that there can be an equal response, which is not realistic, and it won’t be realistic if we continue to allow the most efficient way to grind and progress your character be to all stack on one side to generate turn points and quest points from chunks and mob kills. These rewards have been too much, and they are crowding out other paths for advancement.

We will address this by starting with a complete removal of TPs from PVE including the chunk mechanics through taxidermists. Our hopes with cityheads were that if a side had too many players, they would have something to do. It was not that most players would choose to do this on one side. Some of the outcomes that we’d like to avoid that happen in real time are:

1. The outnumbered side goes quiet as each cityhead progressively narrates that they are being killed and then the defending side, rather than attempt opposition, begins to protest the activity by commenting on balance or targeting specific players with toxic language.
2. The outnumbered side spends the duration complaining about the actions of the hitting side while being unable to competitively engage it because of the numbers involved as well as the basic layout of most of these cityhead areas and the distance between them.
3. If the outnumbered becomes competitive, it is because of a large group which is sometimes generated by OOC means and that reinforces a toxic underpinning of player assumptions about each other.

This is a consequence of player choices. If you are raiding with 14 people and wondering where all the other players are, there are 13 potentially in your room. The only competition that can be generated against such a group is OOC, using Discord to rally enough people to generate an opposition. Those actions reinforce the fractionality of players. If you want to log on with 14 friends and fight against mobs with limited effective opposition then you can do this—but it will not be the optimal way to progress your character.

The most common form of PK I’ve seen during these hits has been a smob group gobbling up a player who would be considered a casual. Who would have trouble living versus two and getting away, and instead is killed off in an unplayable situation which just reminds them about how far they are from enjoying themselves. I write this with a player in mind who has quit this game because of a late-night situation where this occurred, and they felt they would never be competitive in the game and it’s not worth trying when even if they were competitive, they would have to be better than triple or quadruple their numbers.

It is rarely that these PVE activities with large groups, lead to more than toxicity on discord and in game, though because the sides can’t hear the same communications, that toxicity isn’t obvious. (Think about how DS felt about the Jafar hits or how LS feels about cityhead trains) We know that this toxicity happened in the past during the Light Side drive to farm cityheads and we should have acted sooner on that because it was a generally toxic experience with lots of out of character responses that crowded out most of the productive in-game experiences.

An additional complication is that with DS/SS having so many more targets to hit than LS and the distance between them, it exacerbates the problem. And, as we’ve seen, channelers are harder to address directly than a bashing warder in no-channel areas. We want channelers to feel powerful and impactful, but they are insanely difficult to balance around without making the player experience feel awful and targeted. The thing that was most balancing for warders, incidentally, was making WvD self-cast only and coding a long-term solution is not always a quick fix.

These mechanics will be replaced, and we’ve run the numbers on the replacement to ensure that we’re only hitting the turn points and the quest points will remain roughly similar, especially for low-ranking characters. We are tackling that first. We will focus on a variety of reasons to hit cityheads. Some for equipment and others for quest points.

We’ll focus on those until we have a larger plan out for generating progression for solo or group players that doesn’t feel like it completely crowds out other alternatives and leads to diminished activity (aka sometimes you might just want to log off if this is happening). We know that you all would like more options of things to do that directly tie into your character progression, but ultimately, we would like to see more character progression tied in with roleplay or PK.

Unfortunately, it is often easier to notice problems. Rather than putting in a solution that generates unintended consequences we have been more active at removing problems in their entirety without overpromising on replacements. While we do have intentions and ideas, we generally avoid making them public which may or may not be an issue. But input can often lead to disappointment on time delays or bitterness over rejection.

We do have something on the horizon that will be built out with the specific intent of helping players (both LS, DS, and SS) have more agency over what happens in the world through roleplay and questing.

This will be done in phases. Today we will remove the mechanics that award TPs to any PVE in the game including the chunking mechanic. The next phase will be reintroducing rewards and explaining them.

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:10 pm

We've started the process of adjusting cityhead awards by merging more of the chunking system into the actual room while removing the turn points. We've moved this to the room: a group will now get the reward from being in the room, but the rewards will be limited to once a day and it will be slow like Baerlon.

If you have over 1000 quest points, you'll have a lower chance of getting full rewards. If you are in, what we consider classes to make these activities safer and easier, (Gaidin, Wolfbrother, Dreadlord, Myrddraal, Damane) you will have a higher chance of not being rewarded at all for these activities.

We've also limited the number of cityheads that do reward quest points and we'll shift some cityheads to equipment loads over character advancement. Especially those that are outliers (mostly on Light Side) and will likely not lead to rallying characters unless the numbers change.
Making mobs and smobs harder does not make them more fun. It makes them require more players, generally, or different strategies, which are solved through either mobol or roomflags. Neither of which makes for a more engaging player experience, and both reinforce the idea that we will make it harder for you to do what you want.

If we deleted doors, then we make cityheads less defensible for individuals looking to make dramatic last stands. This complication impacts the game more regularly than city hits. We may look at palace doors, but we will not be attacking cityhead doors in specific. We will likely not add key sequencings, but it is a possibility, and we will update this post with a reply if we do.

While we'd like these activities to take longer, so that rallying can be an option, often the number disparity means that even if it takes more time, the defense will not come. The limited number of times a mob narrates is for the times when nothing can be done, not to disable player response. We may adjust it so cityheads yell frequently each time the engagement changes, but they will not narrate more than once.

We do not add these rewards to give an avenue for optimized ranking without player killing or roleplay. If this continues to be routed and chosen as an activity only for these rewards with large groups that are too big to fail, then we will remove the rewards completely because the health of the game is not worth the incremental gains of the players.

The middle ground can only exist if moderation exists. Choosing this activity over all others with regularity would not be seen as moderation. This is to provide something to do while giving the other side time and reasons to rally. It is not to provide a compelling reason to build a group large enough to prevent competition.

If you log on and head out with a large group intent on these cityheads, we do not consider that looking for PK and not finding it. We see the intent of those beginnings like calls for smobbing. If this leads to side stacking, we will reduce the awards from multiple cityheads to a rotating award for one cityhead a day.

LS Cityheads that award:
  • Morgase
    Agelmar
    Roedran
    Siuan
    Tenobia
    Galldrian
DS Cityheads that award:
  • Erorar
    Shaidar Haran
    Akkad
    Blarg
    Maeltor
    H'Kkreth
Seanchan Cityheads that award:
  • the Empress
    Silvak

Feneon
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: City Heads: Ongoing Adjustments

Post by Feneon » Mon Sep 19, 2022 4:29 pm

Flipping the city of Baerlon now awards QPs instead of TPs. We will also be making minor adjustments to Baerlon in order to see if the CTF concept works as a way to generate group PK.

The point of Baerlon was never to be a daily activity to alt around and hit, it was meant to create an active opportunity to announce the possibility of PK along with a timer for engagement. We will be adjusting the doors and mob narrates to put that concept to the test.

Post Reply