This is a continuation of a post I made on the Announcement section, regarding the proposed changes to the Alliance Wars.
In that post, I started by repeating Con's list of problems that they're attempting to address, and after reading through the comments, I tried to get a good understanding of what everyone thought the causes of each problem were.
Problem 1: People stop competing after about day 3 of the round, unless they're in the top 5 alliances.
- rookies losing enthusiasm for raiding
- top 5 is established fairly quickly
- no rewards for raiding unless you finish in the top 3
- lack of targets due to less active raiders after 3 days (kind of a vicious cycle there)
Problem 2: There's not enough valid targets for people to attack, mostly due to protection.
- some people like being in alliances but don't like PvP
- some targets are not viable; weapons/gear are too powerful
- not enough active raiders at certain levels (past 30, and 45+)
- active raiders enjoy up to 16 hrs of protection after being raided
- it's possible to raid for a day or two, then WF for the rest of the round
3. Benefits of War Boosts are being gained by people who aren't contributing to the War effort (Some alliances benefit from War Boosts without providing any targets.)
4. There's no real incentive for people who are outside of the "winner's circle" to continue competing
- there is no incentive to finish 4th/5th, and a huge punishment (in terms of resources invested with no ROI) to those teams which try and don't quite make it
Last, I'd like to add one more item to the list, which I think players and developers alike would consider a worthy goal: we all want to maximize the fun and enjoyment that this game brings, and see more people joining and staying, because ultimately, having more people playing would help to provide more targets, and help this game achieve greater overall success.
One of the lessons I've learned is that there is no such thing as a unique problem; whenever you're faced with something, you can always find an individual or an organization which has faced a similar problem and found a way to solve or even benefit from it.
When I think of successful MMO games involving PvP competition, Starcraft 2 stands out in my mind. They have a tiered-ranking system which keeps the game fun for players of all levels of commitment; bringing Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze leagues to the Dead Zone might be an idea worth considering.
Imagine a system where each raider has an individual rank, based upon their lifetime stats, which assigns them a league ranking. Each time they raid successfully, they score full points for their alliance for that tier, plus a reduced amount for each tier below it. So say for example, a Gold raider winning a 6 point raid would score 6 Gold, 3 Silver, and 1 Bronze point for their alliance.
The amount of raiding points you win from a successful raid would be determined not by your alliance's ranking, but by your tier level versus theirs. So, a Silver raiding a Bronze earns half points, but raiding a Gold or Platinum would earn more.
The advantage of this system is it would separate each level of raider into the level where they belong, ensuring a more fair match-up each time.
Also, this would probably please both old and new alliances.
The older, more established alliances would be happy, especially if the rewards for placing in the top 3 in the Gold or Platinum league were much higher than the rewards for placing in the top 3 in the lesser tiers. But still, there would be no chance of these alliances winning the Silver or Bronze leagues, since Bronze players always score the most in Bronze league (since they're always competing against the same level or higher), so the newer alliances would always have a chance to compete and win in the lower leagues.
I believe such a system, combined with a Rewards Incentive for an individual to score points and raid even if their alliance wasn't competitive that round, would really see raiding become very popular, and cause the number of active raiders to explode. Plus, I know introducing Alliance Wars was a great idea in terms of improving the success of the game; with 5 leagues to compete in each round, players would have 5 times the reasons to keep raiding through each round, and keeping that Fuel burning! :)
Edited by Josh_28456, 04 September 2014 - 04:15 PM.