Today’s meeting with PopReach has concluded. I will outline below the progress that has been made on the league system as well as a few other topics we received updates on.
The meeting began with going through an update on the league system progress. This walked us through how the system will work in its finalised state. I can confirm that the system will work as follows:
Each world will be split into 3 leagues of “active” alliances (non-active alliances will not be split to make this less cumbersome on the servers). The strongest alliances will fit into league 1. Depending on how many alliances there are that fit into league 1, this could split into 2+ “sub-leagues”.
A sub-league is a split of the alliances in each league to ensure that competitive level stays high between a handful of alliances without expecting a league to fit all alliances over time. This also means that there will be ranked rewards for 1-N alliances, each sub league will have its own ranked rewards from 1-N.
For example, lets say that each sub-league will fit minimum of 3 alliances in it, when league 1 gets to 6 alliances it would split into 2 sub-leagues. At this point, both sub-leagues would have their own ranked 1-3 rewards being given for the alliances. This system can scale horizontally to allow many teams into league 1, 2 and 3 without the lower-end teams being stuck with low rank rewards causing them to dislike the event or their position in the league.
The alliances in each sub-league will be different each event. Meaning that week 1 alliance A, B & C may be in sub-league 1 and week 2 alliance A, D & E may be in sub-league 1 inside of league 1. This may not apply to every world, only some worlds may see enough teams in leagues 1 or 2 to split into sub-leagues.
There are some issues we know with Towers of Strength mechanics, the next part of the meeting went into some explanation on this. The amount of lag players see at the end of each round is a technical limitation with the game and how the underlying systems run. Unfortunately, the technical deep-dive into this reveals that to alter the systems to be able to completely remove this would require re-writing most of the games battle system which is a monumental task (WoN is best loved for its battle system).
In light of this the decision currently to resolve this issue and the players complaining about their inability to play the event because of their waves not landing, the following 2 changes will be made with the league system for ToS:
- The Alliance that holds the Tower of Strength for the longest period of time, during the round, wins the round.
- Round duration to be increased to 50 mins with 10 min breaks in between
These changes aim to rectify the issue with the end of round timer and waves not processing despite landing in time. As well as giving more time for players to reach the towers without having to teleport in or use speed ups all of the time.
We have highlighted the other issues with increasing round length such as that it will reduce number of rounds and as such number of end of round crates. They are aware of this and will be working on solutions, the intention is not to lower the items given in ToS but to address other issues, we should hear in the next update more on this and how it will be resolved with changes such as possibly higher quantities per crate or other potential solutions.
We then moved on to the below two topics which I think can be summed up well with the below bullet points.
- Rewards across leagues and ranks will be scaled to make matchmaking abuse non rewarding
- Players joining an Alliance after matchmaking will not be allowed to attack/defend Towers of Strength, they will see them as bubbled.
Qualification for Rewards:
- Rewards will be credited only to contributing players, players who have attacked and/or defended/reinforced a Tower of Strength
- Qualification of players will be based on contribution towards the Alliance, the player started the event with
These systems combined with the matchmaking algorithms will promote playing in your own alliance and not moving around or trying to manipulate the system, with rewards being higher to play in your own league and potential punishments for trying to move alliances for the event it should successfully eliminate abuse or any reason for it.
PopReach have released to us the following date for the League System. The system has already begun development and the latest date that we should see the system in the game is 29th March 2021.
This deadline is the latest date we should see the system in the game, although it is possible we see the system before this date if things go well and there are no issues along the way.
This brought us to the end of the Tower of Strength presentation. We had some back and forth confirming some of the points above before moving on to some other updates, which I will outline below:
The graphics team has been tasked with updating the games graphics for current generation device capabilities. This means the graphics on the map (trees, buildings, etc) would become much more detailed and the resolution will be much more upscaled. This is something that does not take any actual developer time as the graphics designers are separate and their work is separate to any other development. Over the years the game has been upscaled to fit on each new generation of device resolution, the original resolution of devices when War of Nations was released is much smaller than the newest devices on the market. So at some point in the future we will see some HD graphics coming to the game.
The customer support has been going through a lot of changes recently. The current customer satisfaction rate is quite low but has been moving upwards. This is rated by the survey sent to players after support tickets are completed. Over time support will be working to improve on this month over month to improve the customer support system.
One of the changes coming to customer support soon is new additional reps based in US timezones, this is to help cover more timezones and have better response times as well as support schedules will be changing to accommodate more days and times working towards having 24*7 support responses instead of days and hours of downtime. This should also help get through the backlog of tickets.
Overall the meeting was very positive, although there are some final steps to be made in the league system design in terms of specific ToS implementation, we should have another meeting about this when significant progress has been made. The overarching system design looks to achieve all of the original goals set out as well as some that the original moderator design did not consider. We look forward to seeing leagues in other events such as Stronghold also. Hopefully this implementation will start soon after ToS leagues are released and we can get leagues into stronghold and potentially other events that may benefit from them.