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War Mode: A Mega Raid Concept

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:51 pm
by PaulM
A. Introduction

In this post, I propose a new style of raiding that I will tentatively name "War Mode". The purpose of this new mode is to provide alternative raiding mechanics that hope to achieve the following.

1) Reduce the difficulty of coordinating raid times among guild members
2) Promote strategizing
3) Add a bit of spice to the raiding activity
4) Maximize guild participation

The next sections will detail how each of the above goals may be addressed.


B. War Mode in a Nutshell

War Mode is similar to raiding. To win, guild members have to fight battles and bring down bosses. The elements of War Mode that differentiate it from a raid are summarized below.

- War Mode is similar to multiple raids launched simultaneously. Therefore, when playing War Mode, a guild would have to concern itself with not just one but multiple areas. Each active raid area during war mode can be called a battlefront.
- Unlike a raid, War Mode does not impose a hard time limit. Of course, if a battlefront does not receive the attention it needs, the guild will eventually lose that battlefront. More on this in section C.
- To maximize participation in War Mode, there will be no might requirements. The removal of might restrictions doesn't mean that members should just rush into any battle, though. More on this in section D.
- Having to fight in multiple battlefronts aims to promote strategizing and teamwork. The guild master, the officers and the veterans can provide leadership and know-how so that each battlefront can be handled well. More on this in section E.
- Because having to fight in multiple battlefronts in War Mode can be more challenging, it is only fitting for War Mode to be more rewarding compared to a regular raid. More on this in section F.

Here are a some more general details for War Mode.

Number of Battlefronts: minimum of 2, maximum of 5
Which Battlefronts: any raid area already unlocked by the guild qualifies as a battlefront


C. Battle Lines Instead of Time Limits

Each battlefront in War Mode will not impose a hard time limit. Instead, the concept of battle lines will be used to determine success or failure in a battlefront.

At the start of War Mode a guild's battle line will be in a neutral position relative to the enemy. As the guild fights and wins battles, the guild is able to advance its battle line and push back the enemy. Once the guild advances far enough, the battlefront will be considered won. On the other hand, if the guild neglects the battlefront or loses many battles, the enemy will advance its battle line and push the guild back. If the enemy advances far enough, the battlefront will be considered lost.

Let's use some sample numbers to illustrate the concept of battle lines. Note that these numbers are just examples. They're not meant to be an official proposal for battle count.

Example 1: Battlefront vs Lockbolt and his Bandits
Number of Battles to Win: 500
Battle Count Increase Per Hour: 20
Defeat When Battle Count Exceeds: 1000

In example 1, if the guild ignores Lockbolt and his Bandits for 3 hours, the guild doesn't lose. Instead, Lockbolt and his crew advances towards Glenfort. At that point, the guild will need to win 560 battles to defeat Lockbolt. Based on the sample numbers in example 1, the guild has about 25 hours to act on the battlefront. If the guild neglects the battlefront for more than 25 hours, it loses the battlefront.

Example 2: Battlefront vs the Overseer and his Undead Army
Number of Battles: 700
Battle Count Increase Per Hour: 10
Defeat When Battle Count Exceeds: 1200

Example 2 above just shows that the numbers can be tweaked to give each battlefront unique characteristics. While it is true that compared to Lockbolt, Overseer will take more effort to bring down (maybe his undead army is larger than Lockbolt's bandit posse), the guild has more time to do it (perhaps because the undead don't run as fast as the bandits do so they advance their battle lines slower). In example 2, it is recommended that the guild not neglect the battlefront against the undead for more than 50 hours (a little over 2 days).

The use of the battle lines concept instead of hard time limits hopes to make War Mode more friendly in terms of coordination among the guild members (goal #1 in the introduction: easier coordination). At times when only a few members can play, they can choose to hold the lines and delay the advance of the enemy. Once more members get on board, the guild can start pushing back the invaders.


D. No Might Requirements

The problem with some of the more advanced raids stems from the might requirements. If a good number of guild members can't meet the required might for a particular raid, their non-participation in the raid is pretty much assured.

War Mode hopes to maximize participation among guild members by not imposing any might requirements. Any member will be able to participate in any battlefront at any time (goal #4 in the introduction: maximum participation).

This does not mean that a member should just charge into battle, though. Guild members are encouraged to pick their battles and fight wisely. Each time a member falls in battle, the battle count will be increased by 3 (or some other number). So, if a member keeps joining the fray in a particularly difficult battle and keeps losing, he/she is not doing his/her guild any favor. In fact, repeatedly falling in combat will only make things harder for the guild.

The upside of having no might requirements means that a member can have low might and still be able to fight in the earlier phases of battle. And if the member trained for the right skills/spells, has enough potions and has the appropriate runes, he/she might even be able to beat up on the enemy boss (goal #2 in the introduction: promoting strategy).


E. Need for Strategy

Having to fight in 2 to 5 battlefronts in War Mode requires the guild to apply some sort of strategy (goal #2 in the introduction: promoting strategy). After all, it's not like 1 raid where all willing and able members go in and pour energy into defeating the enemy.

For example, if a guild were involved in a 3-battlefront war against Zuur, Lockbolt and Skar, they'll have to think about how they will go about in dispatching these 3 threats. The following are some of the questions guild members can ask themselves.

- Do we focus on Zuur first to get it out of the way and then deal with Lockbolt and Skar later?
- Or do we put just enough people on Lockbolt to hold the bandits back while we push back on Zuur?
- Do we just leave Skar alone, let the Ratheen advance and just beat them back later once we have more warriors available?
- Or do we allocate members to all 3 battlefronts and see where we go from there?
- Do we focus on a battlefront and win it quickly or do we spread our forces and push the enemy back gradually?

The above are just a few sample questions that the guild might have to address to be able to come up with an appropriate strategy for winning the war. Given that there are many different ways of going about and handling the enemy, War Mode aims to provide more variety to the raiding experience (goal #3 in the introduction: add spice to raiding activity). War Mode also hopes to encourage the guild master, the officers and the veterans to take on the role of generals as the members would naturally look up to them for leadership.


F. Winning and Losing

Defeating all the enemies in a war with 2 to 5 battlefronts can be more challenging compared to the single raid experience. As such, it is only fitting that War Mode be made more rewarding.

Below is a sample reward system for War Mode.

Winning 2 battlefronts: 10% bonus on top of the rewards for each battlefront
Winning 3 battlefronts: 30% bonus on top of the rewards for each battlefront
Winning 4 battlefronts: 60% bonus on top of the rewards for each battlefront
Winning 5 battlefronts: 100% bonus on top of the rewards for each battlefront (yay! double the rewards!)

Just like the members will have to learn to choose their battles at times when the battlefront is particularly difficult, a guild will also have to learn to choose its wars (goal #2: promote strategy). It is recommended that a guild participate in wars it knows it can win.

Below is a sample penalty system for losing battlefronts in War Mode.

Losing 1 battlefront: no reward for the lost battlefront and 5% reduction on the rewards for each of the other battlefronts won
Losing 2 battlefronts in wars with 3 or more battlefronts: no reward for the lost battlefronts and 15% reduction on the rewards for each of the other battlefronts won
Losing 3 battlefronts in wars with 4 or more battlefronts: no reward for the lost battlefronts and 30% reduction on the rewards for each of the other battlefronts won
Losing 4 battlefronts in wars with 5 battlefronts: no reward for the lost battlefronts and 50% reduction on the rewards for each of the other battlefronts won
Losing all battlefronts: no rewards and possible reduction in guild power and/or guild prestige (the more battlefronts attempted, the greater the reductions)

What is the effect when the reward system and the penalty system are combined because a guild won some of the battlefronts and lost the others? Here's an example of what happens to a member's rewards when a guild wins only 2 of the 3 battlefronts in a sample war. Note that the numbers are just for illustration purposes.

Example: War Mode in 3 Battlefronts
- Battlefront 1: Lockbolt - won - base reward of 150 squire's valor and 20 hero tokens for member's contributions
- Battlefront 2: Overseer - lost - no reward
- Battlefront 3: Kraken - won - base reward of 180 soldier's valor and 50 hero tokens for member's contributions
- win bonus for 2 battlefronts (10%) minus the penalty for 1 lost battlefront (5%) = net effect (5 % bonus)
- effective rewards: 158 squire's valor and 21 hero tokens for Lockbolt, 189 soldier's valor and 53 hero tokens for Kraken
- Had the guild only held a 2-battlefront war against Lockbolt and Kraken, the effective rewards would have been 165 squire's valor and 22 hero tokens for Lockbolt, 198 soldier's valor and 55 hero tokens for Kraken (net effect of 10% bonus)

The above example shows that while being ambitious and tackling more battlefronts can be more rewarding, the best rewards are realized only if all battlefronts are won.


G. Some Elements for Making Things Even More Interesting

1. The capability for the AI to start a war with the guild
- Randomly decided by the system and initiated by Venan sending mail to all members of the guild
- It can be in the form of a declaration of war or in the form of intelligence reports describing enemy forces gathering in preparation for an invasion
- Notice period of 3 days (or some other more appropriate amount)
- Who says only the guild master and the officers should be the only ones capable of starting wars?
- The surprise element introduced here can make War Mode even more exciting
- To compensate for the added challenge of having war declared on a guild when it's not necessarily prepared, the rewards can be higher for wars not initiated by the guild

2. Alliances between guilds
- The guild master can negotiate with another guild's master to form an alliance between both guilds
- During times when a guild is faced with a major war and its available manpower is not ideal, members of the allied guild can help out
- Members who help out in an allied guild's war also get rewarded

3. Achievements for winning wars and for helping allied guilds win wars
- Just a few more perks to encourage fighting difficult wars and helping out allies


H. Feedback

The exchange of ideas is encouraged. Do you like the concept of War Mode? Are there elements you would like to add to improve it? Feel free to share your thoughts.