Albion Online Announces Adjustment To Alliance Cap Test
Last week we announced a test we wanted to run on limiting Alliance size on February 26th. Then, on Friday, information leaked regarding changes to this test we were considering.
We deeply regret our approach to the communication and handling of this matter. We should have taken more time to evaluate the expected outcome of this test before making an announcement. For this, we would like to apologize.
The reason we’re now announcing an adjustment to the test is that a hard cap on alliances size would trigger a “purge” of a lot of players from their existing guilds and alliances, cutting them off from their in-game friends and destroying their daily gameplay routines. A cap of 300 would not only have hit the top 4 power blocks, but also a very large number of more casual guilds and alliances. The resulting purge would have affected gatherers, traders and more casual players the most and would have done permanent damage to the game.
At the same time, we cannot allow large groups of players to dominate the gameplay experience of many others. Many players feel they have to join a large Alliance to be successful in Albion Online, and that there are too few opportunities for smaller groups to participate in meaningful gameplay outside of the influence of these large Alliances.
We have evaluated all of your feedback and we have developed an alternative approach to limiting the dominance of large Alliances. Instead of limiting the numbers of players per Alliance, we’re now planning to introduce a number of measures which aim at decreasing the effectiveness and attractiveness of being a member of a large Alliance:
- Introduce an Upkeep on Territory control based on the number of territories held by the Alliance*
- This upkeep will be paid in siphoned energy
- It will begin to apply when an alliance holds more than 10 territories (excluding Castles and Castle Outposts)
- The amount of upkeep per territory will increase the more territories are held by your alliance
- If upkeep cannot be paid at the region time, your guild will drop the territory and receive no season points for the territory ownership that day
- The upkeep will be paid as a percentage of the territories’ expected Energy Output (including tower levels) and increases by 5% for each territory above 10
- In this balancing, adding any territories beyond 20 actually reduces your global energy output (so the 21st territory adds less than it costs)
- The upkeep can exceed 100% of the production (which would occur if an Alliance holds 31+ territories).
- Our expectation would be that this causes alliances to focus on quality of territories and defense of mages over quantity, breaking the largest Alliances down into multiple groups who each hold 10-20 territories at most (and cannot effectively support each other in combat)
- (*) These penalties apply to guilds outside an Alliance as well, if they hold more than 10 Territories
- Introduce an income penalty to players in Alliances* based on the number of territories held
- All players within an Alliance will suffer from reduced silver & fame income if the Alliance holds more than 10 Territories (excluding Castles and Castle Outposts)
- This penalty applies to all fame gained from gathering and PvE, as well as silver income from silver bags and mobs
- This penalty starts at 1% and increases by 1% per additional Territory in the Alliance
- With this balancing, this penalty reaches about 10% for players in an Alliance with 20 Territories. You can think of this debuff as the opposite of the Faction Warfare benefit: you’re gaining additional safety for playing as a member of a successful Alliance, but you’re paying for it with decreased efficiency.
- (*) These penalties apply to outside an Alliance as well, if they hold more than 10 Territories
- Improve the power of Disarray to have an increased impact in medium scale engagements
- Our goal would be that players can already feel the impact of Disarray in fights of 25 vs 50, and 50 vs 100 would become significantly more even that way
- Introduce a Cooldown of 7 days to re-joining the same guild after leaving your current guild to prevent guild-drop exploitation of Disarray.
- Introduce a Cooldown of 7 days to re-joining the same alliance after leaving your current alliance to prevent alliance-drop exploitation of Disarray.
- Lower the impact of high quality gear in the Smart Cluster Queue
We’re still planning to roll most of these changes around February 26th, in time for the next Invasion day, though this timeframe is ambitious and subject to change if necessary.
The goal of these measures is to create more natural reasons for Alliances to reduce in size. On their own, these measures will not suffice. We will need to take an additional look at Alliances living in cities, especially the situation around portals, and into introducing more opportunities for small scale groups to succeed in Albion. We do hope, however, to already be able to measure a significant impact of these limitations during the next Invasion day.
Once we see what happens with these changes, we will then continue to work towards our ideal Albion experience: open to players of all skill levels and full of opportunity for players in any size group.
In the meantime, we’ve already begun planning the next update and will soon be ready to talk about our updated roadmap for Albion, which will put a strong emphasis on small scale gameplay.
Robin ‘Eltharyon’ Henkys
PS.: Given that we’re not putting a cap on Alliance size at this time we’re of course not removing the Alliance point sharing either.