Today’s meeting with PopReach has concluded. I will outline below the progress that has been made on the league system and what stage they are at, hopefully outlining this will give more of an insight into the long term plans for the game as well as the league system.
The meeting began following our last meeting, there has been lots of work (outside of the busy holiday period) on planning and designing the league system. There were some new updates that have been designed into the league system that weren’t thought of in the last meeting. These were mostly considering the long term plan and goals for the game and each world.
The added design is based around removing any limitations caused by having static rewards for each league as well as having a dynamic number of teams in each league. Based on these 2 assumptions it would be possible in the future (in the long term goals for the game) where worlds could be so active that there are too many teams in league 1, 2 or 3 and whereby the competitiveness of each league and fun in each event is taken out because of the chaotic-ness.
Following the confirmation of how this new system would work, we discussed metrics for how to allocate teams to each league. This metric has two possible avenues, but most likely takes a more holistic approach in determining the strength and competitiveness of each alliance.
We also touched on the ability to punish players for jumping between alliances especially if they join new alliances during an event, such as preventing them from participating fully in that event (like in a ToS event, being unable to defend/take towers during that event because you joined the alliance during that event).
The system is mostly fully agreed on at this point, the next steps are for the engineers to fully review the system. However before that process can be finished the metric for allocating teams needs to be fleshed out and decided on finally. What that means is the actual stats that go into ranking each team into league 1, 2 and 3.
The next steps in terms of meeting is to have one once metrics have been decided upon and then simulations created based on each existing worlds standings for the new league system, we will have a meeting where we will discuss metrics and any potential issues we see with those simulations. After this the system should be fully finalised pending engineering review to implement.
As difficult as it is to look at this and consider it “good progress” because most players just want to see changes in the game, the thought and planning that is going into this system and into the game now is only good. They have a lot of long term plans, we touched briefly on ideas such as balancing out world activity, maybe exploring moving players across worlds down the line (and alliances), rebalancing (as is going on currently with Huginn) where new players and existing players can catch up faster (and without requirement to spend money) to a level where they can compete/play.
I would love to be able to give the update that says “This system will be implemented by X date” it is clear that while we aren’t at that stage yet it is not because PR do not care or are not listening, they are putting clear and deep thought into the game and its future and where they want it to be. The thought that has gone into this system, taking the initial plan the mod team pushed long ago and having now the resources to focus on and design/implement this is very reassuring.
The new feature that they have designed into the system includes something called “Sub-leagues”, what this does is allow worlds to sustain and horizontally expand the number of teams that it can handle in events and rewards. It does it by doing this: When a world fits X amount of teams into League 1, 2 or 3, it will split the teams in that league into X amount of sub-leagues. These sub-leagues both have the same ranking rewards of the league they are in.
Here is an example:
World A has 13 teams in league 1. This would cause a lot of noise in that league and potentially could be bad for actually enjoying the event, 13 competitive teams would not work very well all fighting for the same towers. The new system would split League 1 into 2 sub-leagues (potentially), Sub-league 1 with 7 alliances, Sub-league 2 with 6 alliances. The ranking rewards for both sub-leagues would be the same, so there would be two rank 1 rewards for this league in this event, down to rank 6/7. Each time enough teams gets into League 1 to split into another sub-league the same will happen. This horizontal scaling allows worlds to sustain far more alliances at each competitive level in leagues as well as keeps the leagues small enough to be enjoyable, each sub-league would be assigned their own towers (in ToS, for example) and own leaderboard.
The teams that are in each sub-league would change each event, so week 1 you may get a sub-league with the top 5 ranked teams in a world, but on the 2nd week they may be split across sub leagues around other league 1 teams. Ideally league 1 itself will only have similar strength/competitive alliances in it so both sub leagues would always be competitive, but there may be 1 or more outlier team that is slightly stronger than the rest. The sub-leagues would change each week and not be based on any league sorting algorithm that would force them to be rank based, so each week is different.
This gives us a look in to the long term plans and hopes for the game from PR perspective, which is to sustain more alliances per world as well as more competitive fun in each event without the overcrowding of too many teams. This design addition was to tackle something that we had not really considered or thought of as a long term goal, but does solve the problem. If we don’t do this eventually if worlds grow / merge / change and become more active and competitive then events would become too difficult to play in leagues because of there being too many teams and not enough rewards to sustain top teams.
We also discussed balancing briefly regarding LTQ rebalancing and bundle stores, gold store etc. The efforts around this rebalancing is to make it easier for new and old players to get “up to speed” and lessen the huge gap between the biggest spenders and those non coiners, mid-range and those who are just trying to grow and have fun without having to spend money to get certain upgrades or progress. While this effort is the largest outside of the league system it is hopefully something we continue to see changes on over time.
Huginn will be working on a complete rewrite of LTQs from rewards to requirements trying to rebalance them towards these new goals. This process hopefully will see changes in the game ASAP but please do know he is working as hard and fast as he can while doing his due-diligence on the changes to ensure they are the right changes for the future of WoN.
Apologies if I rambled a little, it has been a busy day and I’ve put this together around a few other tasks.