That’s right, we toned down the number of AOs going on. Why did we increase them in the first place? Because people wanted to do their own thing. They did it, they got bored, and they slowly drifted away anyway.
The rest of us were left asking “Hey, where’s the fight?”.
But one of the game’s selling points for many people has always been the sandbox element. With small numbers of AOs, we are catering to the broader audience of people who actually want to spend their time in combat with the enemy over the people who want to win through bigger-picture machinations. At least those who want to do it on a short term scale, which covers things like “soft caps” and “sneak attacks”.
I’ve been having a lot more fun playing (on my seekrit toon) during the concentrated AO times – the people playing are largely people who want to see action, and aren’t afraid to stick it out, so the less aggressive doling out of AOs is a real boon.
That leaves a group of people who are instead saying “but I don’t want to go there”.
This is a yoyo-issue. When we satisfy the itch-feet syndrome, we give everyone athletes foot: You and your squad go to Tienen and depart to St. Truiden instead if an enemy tank spawns at Tienen.
That’s why we give someone other than you control over the AOs.
You are entering Conjectureville. Population: 3.
This is not an official CRS post. This is a post by me as a WWIIOL enthusiast and should be viewed with the same ‘whatever’ as you might apply to Yello1 or Zeebbee :)
What I’d like to see is a system that says: The AOs tell you where the “we just want to fight” community and the “we have a campaign to win” community have congregated to fight WWII Online instead of to a WWII engagement; but if you really don’t want to be there, and want to attack Tienen, and you’re willing to stick around and fight it out with enemies who decide to fend you off, we’ll introduce this mechanism for granting you a fight.
Maybe when we add the “Companies” concept to brigades, we’ll have it so that Alpha Company is the brigade. You join a brigade, you join Alpha Company, with no “Company Selection” hassle.
If you want to go off and do something else, you have to open one of the remaining companies, with a limit of say 3-4 companies per brigade. “Open” means someone has to say “I’ll be running this company for the time being”.
Opening a company costs X squad tokens and we’ll need to introduce a mechanism for squads to earn tokens.
It also needs to cost some kind of side points so that an overpop side can’t just open 50 companies and go all over the map – that undoes the purpose of AOs.
Then you need X many people to join the company before it becomes active and can be used for spawning.
Now you can spawn in and go wherever you like. You can attack Willemstad while the AOs are down at Metz.
But what do you get by attacking it?
Scenario 1: You go to Willemstad and no enemy appear.
Unless you can capture, it seems like a total waste of time, and I promise you now – you are not going to capture.
So how do we move past this item? We have to find something you can do that doesn’t let you crush the enemy just because (speaking from his perspective) he is being a team player.
* You MUST be in a non-default company for this to take effect.
– After capture.squadPersistTime minutes, you earn some squad tokens (thank you for sticking around), but not a full refund.
– After capture.squadUnchallengedNeutralize minutes, any enemy brigades in the town are pushed out and a new flag is placed on the town that prevents any brigade moving in for capture.neutralTime minutes — although that includes units of your side too.
– If you pull out early by going too long without people at the objective after starting the timer at the objective, you pay an extra penalty that keeps your squad from starting a new objective, and prevents your squad members from joining someone else’s objective (limiting you to regular companies and AO-oriented companies).
Ok — So now attacking undefended, unAOed towns has a purpose that can actually work with the guys who want to shoot at each other. Sound good?
Unfortunately for you, we really want the enemy to show up though.
Getting a brigade kicked is a bit of a nuisance, so some folks will want to turn up and defend. We need to keep this fairly light though, we do not want to make it a fresh bunker-duty burden on people.
Scenario 2: The enemy cometh.
So in #1 we’ve added a dependency: no enemy turn up.
If they do, you may as well leave. That’s going to get exploited 30 minutes after it goes live by some guys second account spawning in, finding a building to clip into and needing a GM to come figure out where he is and a terrain/client fix to seal up that hole. And then it’s going to happen again 30 minutes later.
So the enemy is going to have to make his presence felt. He’s going to have to shoot at you. Even if all he does is fire a pistol at your tanks every minute or so. If he’s clipping, you can move and he’s screwed.
And the whole thing should operate like a capture timer – modifying the new city-level progress bar. It will have to be slow, because the last thing we want is to encourage vaporactions. Kill scores contributing to it, maybe.
There is a flaw in this design, though: the enemy shouldn’t need to join/activate a company to defend against you. But that’s OK. As long as you stick around for capture.squadPersistTime, you’re getting points back.
Scenario 3: With great fury and vengeance.
The enemy doesn’t like you threatening their foothold in Willemstad, and an enemy squad decides to counter you. They activate a company and spawn in and begin trading shots with you.
Option 1: You make like oldschool and bugger off. Per #1, that’s OK, but your penance is to have to fight at AOs.
Option 2: You stick around and make a fight of it with them. Good on you. A reward needs to be devised for this scenario + option.
How about … whichever of you pushes the progress bar to 100% gets your tokens back: all of them, and extra points for all squad members. Heck, I think the system should even award a number of points which are spent globally on supply tickets. That’s right – make you team players even though you didn’t want to be ;)
We still need more, though. If you’re going to stick around and some of the enemy are willing to invest points, we need to allow for escalation.
For a start: this fight needs to start showing up – at the very least – on HC maps; The auto-AO system needs to consider this place a candidate for the next automatic AO.
And if it becomes an AO, everyone who participated at their own expense needs to get their tokens back plus some.
If SquadX wants to join your company, it should cost them at least one token. Not in a squad? Well the AO is on Reims: enjoy. Spying? Points can’t be spent by squad recruits, and if you aren’t actively playing for the side, you won’t have tokens to spend.
They’ll want to be careful about joining, too, because they may lose an extra token if your side fizzles. Don’t join engagements started by people you know don’t play nice. If they stick around and your side loses, they get their token back. If they stick around and your side wins, they gain an extra token.
How do you earn squad tokens? That’ll have to be AO based, perhaps with some RDP/bombing and other components for other branches.
Ok – now it’s time to confess. This is pretty much a raw brain dump. I have been making this one up as I went. Which means it is going to be riddled with flaws and icks. I think there’s something good at the bottom of this, but now it’s time for me to go post this to the producers and see what they think. In the meantime…
Have at :)