AGS needs to prepare for a future of low-pop servers

The territory system of New World is core to its economy and content. However, it is fundamentally flawed in its design.

Low-pop servers struggle to fill 50v50 wars and companies operate settlements at a loss due to the fact that upkeep and rebuilding costs for stations is fixed.

High-pop servers meanwhile have the opposite problem: Some people never get to fight in a single war because the strongest companies are maintaining monopolies on taxes by recruiting the 50 strongest PVP players that they can find and using their insurmountable revenue advantage to gear them. On some servers, these companies are actually profiting off of their monopolies through RMT, which is exacerbating problems.

Some of the changes on the March PTR, such as allowing people to sell their houses for 50%, are promising. But Amazon needs to future-proof their systems by scaling wars and invasions with territories. It is very likely that we are headed into a future where every server is low-pop except maybe one or two per region. And although a lot of the damage has been done already, AGS should at least stop the bleeding and prepare for the future.

1. Revenue should be capped per upkeep period based on settlement tier. Hamlets at 50k, Villages at 100k, Towns at 150k, Cities at 300k, Capitals at 500k. Futhermore, the upkeep curve needs to be smoothed out so that there is no “profitability cliff” at 30 upgrades.

By capping the revenue that settlements can earn, we can mostly avoid the problem of concentration of wealth and encourage people to spread out across multiple Towns and Cities rather than concentrating in the two Capitals (we all know which territories I am talking about).

And yes, these caps are sufficient for the maintenance of a company. I’ve managed the books for territories on both a medium-pop and a low-pop server.

2. Wars should increase in size based on settlement tier at time of declaration. Hamlets 20v20, Villages 25v25, Towns 30v30, Cities 40v40, Capitals 50v50.

Pretty straightforward. It is true that this will make most wars 30v30 or 40v40, but I actually think the game cannot really handle 50v50 wars anyway.

3. Invasions should also scale based on settlement tier. Hamlets 6 waves, 7 waves, Towns 8 waves, Cities 9 waves, Capitals 10 waves.

Alternatively, we could also decrease the time until an invasion occurs as a settlement is upgraded. Right now though, the biggest obstacle to sustainable settlements is the positive feedback loop of losing an invasion, which causes loss of revenues, which hinders recovery, etc.

The difficulty and variability of the waves should also be increased; on my server, we actually reverse engineered the spawn algorithm, which made losing an invasion pretty uncommon.

Other nice-to-haves:
A. Ability to selectively downgrade the settlement by one upgrade per upkeep period
B. Making the Town Board’s Upkeep category reduce upkeep costs or provide some bonus to the town.
C. Getting rid of the proposed property tax duplication. Giving territory owners more money is pouring gas on the fire.
D. Making Outpost Rush into a server vs. server feature. Finding 16 players on your server is a lot easier to do than 32.

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Server im on now pulls about 350-400 players peak time… Early in the morning barely will get close to 100 players.

If revenue is capped at your suggestions property tax duplication should be kept in place so that low pop servers can continue to function. Or costs could be scaled off of revenue to allow functionality across the population spectrum.

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How about just merge servers?

Merging due to low populations is never-ending pothole. Why not just let players transfer servers every few weeks.

Servers? I admire you to be so optimistic, I believe in a very near future, NW will have only 1 server capped on 4K players. Prepare for that, because that’s what development is showing.

Or you can just fix tax rates. The tax holiday thing is just not a good idea. Even in its mildest effect, it basically allows a company to duplicate money.

I agree with the sentiment. There are some specifics I would like to see handled a bit differently, but Suzutai nailed it with

The idea of mergers as a solution is absolutely terrible. No offense to those who want to see merges happen, but that’s not going to fix the problems, only treat a symptom. The initial merges that took place were actually detrimental to the game as a whole. While I don’t have any hard data to support that, I haven’t spoken to anyone who still plays who thinks the merges went well or actually fixed any problems. Furthermore, several people I played with who quit specifically cited the merge as a reason they left. If AGS merges the remaining low pop servers, I’m all but certain that the newly merged server will die shortly thereafter.

I’m not totally against the idea of capped income, but there are some issues with it. Most notably, it will lead to a rapid money bleed server-wide. Any tax generated beyond the cap would essentially be deleted form the server. AGS has already had issues balancing the overall gold levels in the game, and I am not sure this would fix the issue of the concentration of resources without creating a new problem.

I would personally see more options to effectively impact the market by players. The partial refund for house purchases will be a step in the right direction for that, but ultimately not enough. Relocating is still a loss on top of having an effort requirement, which is the real reason WW and EF stay the most profitable locations despite their sub-optimal locations and town layouts. This is a harder change to implement at this point, but could be a better solution for the long-term health of the game.

As to Suzutai’s point about capping the war participation, that’s another idea that I think bears some good fruit, but I don’t think actually fixes the problems we’re encountering. Perhaps instead of basing the participation based on town level, the defending team set their preference and the attacking team sets theirs, and the number is met in the middle. (Historical precedent: Battle of the 30?)

I do completely agree that the game really can’t handle 50v50 wars anyway.

For invasions, this is certainly an issue for low pop servers. I think Oblviana’s discussion about it has some good ideas here: Invasions should be Based on Server POP, not timer

Overall, I think we have similar opinions on changes that need to happen. Hopefully AGS agrees and makes an effort to save the game!

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And even though the rabid pvp crowd loves the GA/IG slaughter. It will get boring, even with the BB on top.

Something does need to be done about invasions. Since the last update we have not even won one on Yaxche.

I like the idea of closing portals to delay invasions. I had another thought that maybe closing them could also lower the difficulty.

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this. 10/10 suggestion. more portals completed = lower difficulty.

I’m on a server that peaks at ~200 and we barely get invasions filled. Same players day after day trying to defend our top territories from downgrading :sweat_smile: operating at huge loses, not able to play any other content, it’s a nightmare just waiting for a small server merge to get use back to healthy state

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right, under a certain threshhold the game is literally unplayable. if u can’t keep up with invasions, you can’t keep up with crafting. and without crafting, what do you have? no t5 consumables, hell in some cases no t4 consumables. can’t make daily refining cd’s… like half the game becomes locked behind a nightmare scenario where your only allowed to upkeep 1-2 cities if that.

Love this concept … well done !

This game had so much potentiel for PVP games but they decided to torn apart for PVE crowds, let s hope another good PVP game will release soon !

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Lol. I wrote this in early March. Now looking at the pop list, and I see some of the free servers have literally one person on it, and even the largest servers in US West would be considered medium-pop a few months ago.

The fundamental design flaw of this game’s economy is that it doesn’t scale properly. It is inherently destabilizing to have so many features that require a certain number of players and to financially penalize people for being on a low-pop server. At the same time, on a server with sufficient population, they are rewarding people to concentrate a hyperselected group of PVPers who typically aren’t interested in the affairs of the vast majority of people who pay their taxes. It’s a dizzying contradiction.

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I like the idea of forcing people to spread out but that’s not going to happen. Sure members of the company in these territories will focus on their own territory but what incentives everyone else? There’s been some QOL improvements that make trading and crafting in your own territory easier but this is given that you have upgraded stations. Also what happens to excess revenue?

War size should not change. If anything war and invasion frequency should change but on small pops servers the larger and more active group should be represented.

I completely agreed with this point. I don’t understand how AGS can see invasions in a good light. Invasions happen like twice a week and impose a huge burden even on large pop servers. Currently its too hard for small pop servers to defend against invasions. Also there’s less incentive to do them. Players can’t exist on a server without tier 5 stations, these are required to make some much of the higher end gear.

The ability to selectively downgrade would be disastrous. That would quickly be abused especially do to how much territories flip nowadays.

Instead of taxes being based off the amount of upgrades it should be based off both amount of upgrades and current income up to current tax %.

Property tax duplication? You mean the mechanism that the whole server benefits from? Yes, unfortunately mostly the territory owners benefit this and AGS is participating in trickle down economics but this is not “duplication” or an exploit.

Here’s a better solution to half these problems: Please improve how the servers are managed.
These are often problems that AGS has created themselves. Just look at the most recent F2P servers they created. I think, at most, they’ve had 20 peak concurrent on one of those F2P servers. Why give people trying out the game such a bad experience? They completely removed the reason why launch was so fun for the first weeks.

We have the same issue on Yaxche. It takes all colors to fill the invasions and they are every night. If we don’t help yellow, then they won’t help us and vice versa. It’s getting to be like work. No time for fun stuff. The new patch made commanders almost impossible to kill and now they damage the gates.

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