Siege feature is too punitive and should be a multi-stage siege
Some feedback I gather/wrote in different formats, which I wanted to capture on the forum to avoid it being lost.
The context here is to come back to the siege feature that has multiple stages.
We want towns to be something that is hard to acquire, manage and maintain. This is not something that should be easy for sure and in my view, sieging a town should be proportionally harder (or as hard) as building a town.
For context purpose here is my experience so far:
- You need to get 20 people to form a settler's group
- You have to raise 50k gold (2,500 gold per person, it's not that much when you know the game)
- You have to build the town's basic structure (this is a few hours only)
- Then you need to organize your citizen as you want to ensure new citizens are not destroying the farms as they settle (but here people are not clear about citizen vs resident to be fair)
- You have to level up the town to get access to better knowledge to attract residents to sustain the growth of your town
- You aim for stage 5 minimum within 7 days, to build the wooden walls at least before being attacked
- Attackers need to start a siege for 50k, 100k, 200k depending on the type of town (money seems to not be a problem for big towns according to ingame feedback)
- <here I do not know the steps after that as I believe you have to put a siege tent and flags> (might all be automatic?)
- You break the wall of the town as part of the raid event and capture the flag (destroying it)
- You now own the town
The reason I wanted to share a multi-stage siege solution is to:
- All people who have built the town can all be involved in its defense at some point (i.e: you cannot play on a specific day or not part of the 30 people selected or are simply not all PvP players)
- You see it coming and can adapt your strategy/relationship/manpower/geopolitics in the area to counter the attack
- Only have the attacker to battle on one front and not able to multi-siege unless they spread themselves thin and take the risk of not winning
A multi-stage siege solution could take this format (can easily be changed/adapted of course)
Stage 1 - Preparing the attack to be allowed to siege a town
- Attacker needs to destroy 3 flags outside of the town in 3 separate events/raids. Raids can only be once every X day with advance notice. This could include some roaming PvP and some PvE too.
- Flags can be "respawned" every Y days (longer than the X days from attackers) by the defenders with PvE/Farming for example
- When a town is attacking another town they would have to concentrate all their effort against this town but they can attack multiple towns at the same time if they have the army to do so
- Residents may have a role here to help out as they may not want to risk having a new owner that changes the tax from low to extreme. Although the new owner may promise lower tax, meaning the residents may actually take the side of helping the attackers with resources.
Stage 2 - Siege
- Once the flags are down the town can enter the siege phase at a specific time/event as it is now. (the same concept as now potentially, catapult to break the wall, etc... That could keep the current format arguably but maybe multiple flags to down at different places within the town to spread the fight a bit)
Stage 3 - Raidback or potentially the "moving out" phase
- Now the new owner needs to keep the town, right after phase 2 the defender has a last chance to take the town back but instead they could have an opportunity over a few days to reclaim their town. Again the resident can play a role here (not sure how but this would force the new owner to actually have to take care of their newly acquired town).
- This could also be a phase instead where they have lost but they have a number of days to re-settle somewhere, make new friends and come back stronger (or just leave and accept defeat).
I'd love to know if this is something that would work for both attackers and defenders
Its very well thought out. I would only add that town under a certain level cannot be sieged. Possibly a countdown after the walls are researched and built to make it a fair fight
This would be abusable. You can make it not siegeable for a set period of time, but consider that keeping low level cities for farming all around your nation to be invincible would become a very viable tactic.
Perhaps.. but low level cities will absolutely 100% be steamrolled and you know it. People have already quit because of this. Which way is the better option? Keeping player count entertained and engaged, or losing them entirely?
Walls are a rank 5 tech. Any city gets it very quickly. If you give 7 days of no raids to new cities, and 14 days of no conquering, they are sure to be able to make walls. If they didn't, they made their choice.
didnt realize it was rank 5 as i'm not involved in that. I think as long as they have walls then its fine. THAT should be the trigger point. Without walls a siege is not a real siege
@spoletta Palisades are a rank 5 tech, though, not stone walls. Last I checked, stone walls were behind the Town level.
I proposed some quick fixes for the time being but it is obvious the entire siege system needs a full revamp, not only to make it more enjoyable for both parties but to limit what a conquest can do. As it is currently the main end-game vector, they need to be given a lot more love. They should definitely be a multi-stage event, with more involvement required.
Some food for thought:
A good, arguably very niche game, who had a great "siege" system was Pirates of the Burning Sea. As few people probably played the game, I'll just describe it in short. It was also aimed at smaller (24vs24) battles so I think it could be apt to take inspiration.
There were three ways to put "contention points" on a port belonging to another faction. First, attackers of a given faction could kill enemy NPCs belonging to the port's faction within its vicinity. Second, a fully PvP flagged enemy group (groups were composed of six players) could patrol the waters near the port. Third, once per hour, the enemy could get into the port and seek out a "Saboteur NPC" and give it money and materials (you had to physically bring the mats as packages, which meant possible losses at sea if somebody intercepted you).
Adversely, the defenders could reduce points in three ways. First, defenders of the port's faction could kill enemy NPCs belonging to the attacking faction within the port's vicinity. Second, they could flag up and patrol the waters near the port. Third, once per hour, the governor (a player) of the port could give it money to "reinforce security" and remove a certain amount of contention points.
Obviously, both factions could kill each other's players to either add or reduce contention points. At 3000 points, a small red bubble popped around the port. That was the Pirate PvP bubble; any player could now be attacked by members of the Pirate faction (which the Pirates absolutely loved) but unflagged players from both factions couldn't attack each other. At 6000 points, the bubble doubled in size. Now, the entire port area was a full PvP zone. At 10,000 points, the port was considered "under attack" and a port battle was scheduled for three days later (there was an 8 hour window for PBs so if say we "flipped a port" at 3 am, the PB would be set 3 days later at the first "primetime window" hour, not at 3 am).
It was a good system which allowed PvErs and PvPers to contribute. PvErs often stuck around until a port got to 6k contention points, killing NPCs and delivering supplies. As the game had ship destruction, they also often sold replacement ships at low prices to defenders or attackers of their faction. PvPers, meanwhile, had a blast and faced off with the best other crews. Lastly, random pirates were often either paid to harass the enemy or came to wreck things.
On the day of the Port Battle itself, the faction organized and people were mandated to be in specific ships. Now, of course, this last part doesn't apply as here sieges are guild based. Ports were important because not only did you need a certain amount of "points" (taking a port gave your faction points) to win the "season" but also because ports had specific resources/facilities and one could deliver a tough blow to an enemy faction by seizing their key facilities, for example.
In general, the whole PB system from that game had the benefit of turning PBs into large, multi-day events, which involved not only PvPers but also PvErs and random reds (pirates) in a meaningful, fun way. Everybody got to do their part and feel like they had contributed (or ruined people's plans) in some way or another. If we are to revamp the siege system (and we should), we would do well to make sure all types of players are important.
i think the concept of the seige is fine. I do NOT agree with the defenders losing the city if they lose the siege. Imagine losing a level 15 city. Months of effort just wasted.
Then clearly you do not agree with the siege system.
Moreover, while there is no shortage of empty towns right now, there might be on launch. How, then, are upcoming guilds supposed to take a new place? Just forever be out of a town?
Not to mention, the "end game" dynamics of this game sort of gravitate around cities trading hands. I think reducing the destruction is a lot more interesting than outright removing city capture.
One could remove city capture on the PvE planet, though.
@Elixor @spoletta thanks for the feedback. Other than to fix all the bugs, we have disabled city sieges because indeed conquests are way too easy right now. The system should absolutely involve multiple steps, be it multiple sieges or other activities with a siege at the end. We are still working on the details, but we assure you it's no longer going to be a single battle
I think that making the siege progressively harder (at least slightly) during the siege steps could be needed as well. Otherwise the attackers will most likely eventually succeed and new steps just makes it take a little bit longer.
The chance to succeed must be there, or there wouldn't be city sieges in the first place.
Of course but adding just few more fights does not help much the defenders if the other side has better PvP team. Then conquere just takes some extra days but it will still happen. This is something that should be monitored unless it is a design choise just to make the process longer.
I am also interested that how is taken account that players and whole guilds continue to play after their city is conquered? It is nothing new that people quits the game at that point. Conquerable cities is of course a core feature but also a real challenge to tackle right.
Personally I would do it like this:
You can declare a siege against a city after you have successfully raided it 4 times in a row while sharing a border with it. This fills a "gauge" which then enables the siege option.
Once the siege is won, the governors and vice governors are immediately removed, but citizien are not. The conquest is fully completed 1 week later, at which point the citiziens are removed and the assaulters become the new governors. This gives 1 week time to use the city as a basis to re organize somewhere else, easing a lot the hit that a group/guild would suffer, and hopefully keeping them into the game. At the same time, removing immediately the governors prevents them from sabotaging the city before handing it to the conquerors.
In addition, to prevent excessive snowballing, there should be the following requirements:
- A nation can declare sieges only if it has no cities currently facing degradation.
- You can declare sieges from a nation border only if that border region has developed the siege technology.
This means that you have to fully occupy every city you conquer with 20 citizens in order to conquer more, and that to expand your nation you first need to develop the newly conquered cities at least to a minimum rank. The previous changes also make it so that you need 1 week from your conquest before starting to use it as yours.
This should slow down reasonably the conquering process, giving the defenders more time to reorganize and keeping the competition more dynamic.
This also should also come with durability damage on KD/Death. Waging wars should be taxing on your supplies.
Spoletta — Today at 9:02 AM
Trying to find it. I'm starting to believe I imagined it.
Oh ok no, it was the tidbit in the bug fixes area of the last patch.
"The Political Atlas menu now only shows LAUNCH CONQUEST when opened via the Guild menu, since Guilds can only launch conquests on Hamlets – no raids or nation join proposals."
ok... good stuff, thanks for sharing.
This sounds like: a group of people in a guild but without a city of their own can, through the guild politics window, declare a conquest on any hamlet in game and conquer it.
I see this as a good thing for when the map is full but not all towns are active and some have decayed to rank 5.
yes, it opens the doors to zergs, but it still protects bigger towns. The zerg would have to find some other way to raid the town to reduce its rank before attempting the conquest
-since you can only raid from a town-
the only problem arises if the guild gets outside help for their 30 man team to conquer the hamlet. So a guild of 1 runs around challanging towns and their big city allies fill the ranks of the assault team.
if a player wants to be a merc, great, but they should not be able to be a citizen of a town and fight for another town/guild/ group. if you want to fight for a group, you should have to join it and abandon your claim on the other group.... tho i guess guild hopping could still be an issue.