The End of most Sandbox PVP Games-The losing side.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    We see it in all sandbox pvp games. The first one I remember is.
    ShadowBane-Amazing game. But eventually 1-2 factions gobble up all the smaller ones and then eventually one faction takes the lead and the server/gameplay stagnates.

    The most recent example. Atlas. Open world PVP Pirate game.

    Started off extremely fun. But then the medium guilds took out the small guilds and then the large guilds took all the medium guilds. Then all the super/mega guilds took all the large guilds. And the game went from survival PVP pirate game that was fun to being surrounded by allies and having to travel/prep for hours if you want to PVP because everyone within an hour or so radius is an ally.

    This is always the case in sandbox PVP games I play. I don't know if Fractured has a way to handle one side ending up dominating the server by just absorbing all other players/guilds.

    I know Crowfall plans on finally beating this problem by reseting the game once a guild "wins". I don't feel like that is the way to do it though. There has to be a better way.

    I recommend that each time a guild takes over an enemy city they either get a debuff per city they have taken, or their enemies get a buff per city that has been taken. This will do a few things. It stops one or two guilds from just dominating every single city/resource in the game. And more importantly it makes it so the best guilds don't just dominate low member guilds over and over before deciding to try and look at each other. It will make those elite guilds think, "We better attack our rivals before the debuff/buff stacks too high"

    I brought up this topic a year ago but it is the Achilles hill of Sandbox PVP games. It is something if not looked at gives us an awesome PVP game that dies after a year or so as the game eats itself.

    TL:DR PVP Sandbox Games tend to have one/two guilds who absorb/dominate the others and it ruins the game. How can we fix this?


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    Strenght in number is the most logical way to get a dominant position and keep it. You cannot avoid it, expecially in a sandbox game like Fractured.
    A bigger guild will provide protection, access to multiple resources, large safe areas where travel and many cities where you can trade and so on. It's the obvious choice to join it unless you want to go rogue.

    The only, cluncky, way I can think to avoid this scenario is to put a limit to the PvP invasion: instead of an open world event, you have an istanced fight with a cap to how many people per faction can join. That way you will reduce the impact of having a massive guild by limiting their influence only on the nodes' control (resource gathering), while spreading the control of different cities among smaller groups.

    But I don't know if such system may work in the end.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @Lightspoon said in The End of most Sandbox PVP Games-The losing side.:

    Strenght in number is the most logical way to get a dominant position and keep it. You cannot avoid it, expecially in a sandbox game like Fractured.
    A bigger guild will provide protection, access to multiple resources, large safe areas where travel and many cities where you can trade and so on. It's the obvious choice to join it unless you want to go rogue.

    The only, cluncky, way I can think to avoid this scenario is to put a limit to the PvP invasion: instead of an open world event, you have an istanced fight with a cap to how many people per faction can join. That way you will reduce the impact of having a massive guild by limiting their influence on the open world node control for resource gathering, while having the control of each city will be spread also on smaller group.

    But I don't know if such system may work in the end.

    And it shouldn't be that way. It doesn't make for a fun game. It doesn't make for fun PVP, and it is why I am here to discuss ways to mitigate it. Because it can be avoided.

    A bigger guild should provide protection, access to multiple resources, large safe areas, and so on-But it should do so at a cost. Otherwise there is no reason to be in any other guild. And once there is only a few large guilds left, and the table tips in one direction the game is pretty much done at that point.

    I suggest debuffs the larger a guild gets, or buffs for people attacking the larger guilds or being attacked by them. These can offset the number difference. Especially if we make it stack per time it happens.

    With this system larger guilds will still have the advantage but the game won't come down to, "Who has the most members? Well they win and the game is done because no one will ever be able to combat them".


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    In perfect situation control of lands would divide between many guilds and alliances. This is unfortunately not usually the case and only few will rule. In Albion there was now and then somehow good or at least tolerable situation. However, I do not know anything about the current situation.

    If some actions are needed, then I would start with these few things:

    • City/town/object conquers are limited for certain number of players. This number can ofc scale a lot depending size and importance of the object.

    • Effective anti-zerg mechanics for open world.

    • Making upkeep of several objects hard. Not impossible, but more you own, more effort you need to upkeep the control.


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    If the issue is just the sheer numbers and the advantage of having a massive guild controlling almost everything, than just put a cap on how many members each group may have.
    That should be pretty low, like 20 or 30 or 40.

    To control an enormous amount of resources the players will then rely on alliance between guilds, instead of just merging into a giant one. But alliances may shift now and then during time, avoiding the staleness and creating new opportunity for every group to get a chance for claim new lands.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    It's not because games are sandbox. It's because people are looking for "the route of lowest effort", and seek the safety by joining the more powerful guilds.

    I've always been in a guild where we went us vs. the rest of the world, no matter the odds. And we always had more than enough PvP and fun.

    Solution: don't change the game, change your play style.


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    @Gothix Sorry man but what are you saying is good only on paper: you cannot force the majority of players to just avoid to group up because you think that in that way they are carebears.

    As you said, people will almost always search for the fast and easy solution and in a sandbox game being a member of a massive guild is the way.

    In the end it's in the hand of the Devs: do they want Fractured to be a game where few massive guilds fight between them or where you have tons of little group trying to gain control of local resources? Whatever choice they'll make, someone will be pleased and someone else will not so everything is just all down on what they want to game to be.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @Gothix said in The End of most Sandbox PVP Games-The losing side.:

    It's not because games are sandbox. It's because people are care bears, and seek the safety by joining the more powerful guilds.

    I've always been in a guild where we went us vs. the rest of the world, no matter the odds. And we always had more than enough PvP and fun.

    Solution: don't change the game, change your play style.

    Well regardless of the reason, we should be looking for solutions.

    I understand what you mean. I played Atlas and was part of the K4 Alliance (40ish members) and we had to fight CSTG (300+ Chinese) everyday for a month. Only for CSTG to merge with another Chinese/American guild and stomped us with 500+ member assaults.

    But smaller guilds shouldn't accept that they will lose and enjoy fun pvp for a few months and let the game die. We should strive to find ways where PVP can last for years, or indefinitely.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Whisper

    Good question! If I had to solve the problem, I'd look at the following:

    • Logistics. Make it hard to project power, and easy to defend the home/town/castle (which has the advantage of being true to RL).
    • As others have pointed out, limit guild and alliance sizes: or make them progressively more costly to maintain (again, representing a kind of logistics).

    Continuing the above thread, one inherent aspect of MMOs that's foisted on developers is instant communications across the MMO world: it's like FTL comms everywhere. 🙂 In RL medieval settings, the communication lag across massive distances would make unification far more difficult.

    Representing that by hugely increasing maintenance costs for bigger guilds/alliances seems reasonable: "bigger" meaning more members and/or more territory controlled. (You don't meet your payments, your alliance disbands!)


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Taxation based on guild size sounds fair.

    Gameplay should also be designed in a way so that guild doesn't offer too many advantages besides common chat and decorative banners.

    People can group up (raid groups) regardless if they are in the guild or not, so limiting guild size isn't the solution.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Making upkeep higher for towns will only hurt the little guilds even more. Do invading guilds have to retain control of the cities they take? If not what is to stop them from coming in and just destroying everything then leaving desolation in their wake? That is what happened in LIF when I was playing. The landscape looked like scorched earth everywhere you walked on the server.

    No matter what you do if there is pvp there are going to be those players that just want to grief. They will use every legal way of doing it and skirt every rule that stops them.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Farlander said in The End of most Sandbox PVP Games-The losing side.:

    They will use every legal way of doing it and skirt every rule that stops them.

    That is the meaning of sandbox, the lack of "dev set rules". 😉 Letting player community decide where the things will go by pure social interaction. This is why people play sandbox games.

    Players that prefer rules and safety nets more often opt for theme park games.

    You have to understand that Fractured is designed as a sandbox game, and this means that you will have to work for making life in your surroundings nice for you. No one else will do this for you.

    This is the beauty of sandbox games. Regardless of what direction things move to (even if towards chaos), player community action can always change things around, with an effort of course.

    If you prefer that rules are set by devs and that game mechanics dictate how you are supposed to play, you are looking at wrong type of MMO. Themepark MMO is where such design is found.


  • TF#7 - AMBASSADOR

    This is an opinion. Even if one guild were to take over all of Syndesia, that guild will still have to contend with Demon invasions during eclipses. I don't believe will be an easy feat to control a large area anyways due to logistics. What do I mean by logistics? Fast travel doesn't exist in Fractured. Depending on how long the siege timer lasts (I thought I recall something like this being mentioned) it will take time to move large numbers of players from one city to another. I also believe it will be even harder to move siege weapons, unless you build them on site, which requires resource gathering and time; not to mention leaves your army open and susceptible for an ambush.


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    Hello everyone, it is still too early to speak about this kind of things, we didn't have cities or sieges yet! 🙂
    Anyway, it is a tough topic to discuss, and we are aware that it will be one of the main things to care about in the future. From our side, we can say that our will is to maintain a balance between guilds, we won't give too much power to the biggest ones and we will try to avoid that. For sure, there will be bigger and stronger guilds, and we won't apply any members caps. Remember that spaces for city buildings will be limited, and if a guild decides to have more members than the city could host, it will be forced to have different settlements with following problems about communication and mobility (especially for resources transports). Another thing that will make things harder is the knowledging system and the "need" for exploring and discovering. Guilds will be tempted to reach different parts of the planet to be competitive (maybe conquering a crucial geographical point or a relic); in this way, having too many cities concentrated in the same place won't draw a critical advantage.
    Last, if a guild will succeed to conquest a settlement, it will force the losers to pay taxes and ONLY if they won't be able to do that the city will pass to the winners.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Znirf said in The End of most Sandbox PVP Games-The losing side.:

    From our side, we can say that our will is to maintain a balance between guilds, we won't give too much power to the biggest ones and we will try to avoid that.

    I am glad to hear this. We do not need to know the exact tools at this point, it is far more important that your desire and goal is to keep the world domination in somehow balance. I believe that actions for this direction will add more longevity to the game. Still, even topics like this are not current, there is nothing wrong to discuss about these matters early on and maybe some ideas can be picked up for later use. We never know.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Znirf said in The End of most Sandbox PVP Games-The losing side.:

    Last, if a guild will succeed to conquest a settlement, it will force the losers to pay taxes and ONLY if they won't be able to do that the city will pass to the winners.

    Will the taxes be set by the victor (as opposed to the game itself)? If so, are there any limits?


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    While I understand that at this point nothing is settled, I think it's really good that the Devs team is aware of this "issue" and have already some idea on how manage it.

    Keep it up with the good job guys!


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    I just hope that everyone will remember that this is promoted as a sandbox MMO. 😉

    If limits will be set all around the game on various "mechanics" to prevent imbalance and other similar situations, then people that came here for sandbox will leave.

    If we wanted a theme park then we would look for MMO promoted as theme park. We want to play a game that does not impose mechanical limitations on group of people that are just "too good in organisation" while their opponents "suck" at it.


    In other words...

    If some people will "suck at playing" it should be their own problem in a sandbox game. They should learn to play instead of asking for game to be converted to a theme park with various limits that insure balance.

    Thank you for understanding. 🙂


    PS: I'm preetty sure someone will say that guild having 500 members beating a guild composed from 50 members has nothing to do with organisation skills... but it really does.

    If you cant get people to join on your side than the problem is in you... your political skills, your planning, logistics, motivation, and multiple other factors...

    Starting play field is equal for everyone, and whatever advantage other guilds will have against you (including member number) that is on you, and your lack of success in playing.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Gothix said in The End of most Sandbox PVP Games-The losing side.:

    If some people will "suck at playing" it should be their own problem in a sandbox game. They should learn to play instead of asking for game to be converted to a theme park with various limits that insure balance.

    Thank you for understanding. 🙂

    Actually, I don't understand. Even a real sandbox can't exist without rules allowing emergent gameplay:

    • A boundary (the box)
    • Sand (follows its own extremely complex rules)
    • Tools/toys (for moving sand around, or moving around on sand)
    • Possibly water (to harden sand and allow more construction types with molds, and whatnot)

    Is anyone disputing that reality?

    Rather, what we're actually talking about is sharing the sandbox with others! 🙂

    If one bully takes everyone else's toys, the ability for everyone else to use the sandbox becomes artificially limited. That's the problem. As you said:

    We want to play a game that does not limit the possibilities.

    Blaming the victims for not being good enough, well, I probably shouldn't say more, I might violate forum rules....


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @Gothix said in The End of most Sandbox PVP Games-The losing side.:

    I just hope that everyone will remember that this is promoted as a sandbox MMO. 😉

    If limits will be set all around the game on various "mechanics" to prevent imbalance and other similar situations, then people that came here for sandbox will leave.

    Game can have own rulesets and still be a sandbox game.

    I personally prefer much more sandbox games than themeparks. Still there is nothing wrong if sandbox games have somehow different rules and mechanics from each other. I do not know who will actually leave if some restrictive mechanics for huge zerg guilds will be implemented? Well I don't. Sandbox games with no rules and more place for anarchy and chaos is what pushes players away for sure.


Log in to reply
 

Copyright © 2021 Dynamight Studios Srl | Fractured