Politics and territory control - suggestions

TLDR
I’ve got 320+ hours of gameplay in New World, but only recently started dabbling in pvp content and the faction politics side of the game in the last month. I have to admit, things feel a bit unbalanced, and there is a growing discontent on my server – and from what I’ve read on these forums, others are feeling it on other servers too.
There are two main problems I’ve been seeing. 1) A single large company has come to define all pvp on my server, and they are systematically taking over all territories. 2) It is a company made up of more than 50% great axe and warhammer users, and they just zerg their way through all the wars to victory. They just won another war tonight, post-nerf on the great axe.
Meanwhile, the server’s company politics are defined by those that are pro or against this one company. Even companies of my own faction bow out of helping defend against them because they are getting paid off like mercenaries. Meanwhile, cross-factional alliances have been forged to try to stop the onslaught of this one single company. It’s discouraging, all things considered.
This company has more active pvp players than the whole of the other two factions combined (needless to say, it’s a quieter server). Or rather, ‘active’ players that (seemingly) rushed to 60, got bored, and now log on exclusively for wars and pvp, then go back to sleep.

Here are my proposed solutions for balancing.

  1. Cap the number of territories that a single company can control. I would suggest a cap of 2-3 territories. With more territories under the same company than that, there are diminishing returns to levelling up and maintaining the territories properly. Instead, it becomes more akin to occupation, which then seems to lead to stagnation for players who have houses in those occupied territories. Why would a company maintain a fourth territory when they already have everything they need in the others? Or a fifth, or eleventh? I expect this would have a knock-on effect for other companies to develop their territory properly to compete for owning the best city in the game. And, it would reduce all of the tax wealth going to a single company.
    1a) Require a company to have an active roster of (at minimum) 25 players to declare a war, and also to maintain a territory under their control. This is to avoid ‘shell’ companies consisting of a handful of players from the one otherwise-dominant company masquerading as a separate one to trick the territory cap. The company UI screen already tracks how long ago each player has logged on; ‘active’ players should be defined as having logged in within a certain time threshold – 7 days, 14 days, whatever works. If the company dips below that threshold, then tax payouts should stop (except to pay upkeep) and crafting stations shouldn’t be allowed to upgrade, basically keeping the territory on life-support. Then, add a mechanism where another company of the same colour can claim the settlement for a fee, after a certain ‘inactivity’ time frame has passed. Perhaps a 7-day grace period for the original holding company to get their players active or recruit would be enough to stop the inactivity. Nobody wants inactive companies ruling territories, and the current degradation system is poorly designed. Currently, a settlement ruled by an inactive company just degrades daily until another company of an opposing faction declares war. And even then, players from the same faction from other companies may come to defend the dead territory. Why couldn’t a company of the same faction take over? (I’ve seen this happen, and my company took over a dead territory. I expect this will continue to happen, even after server merges because nobody plays one game forever.)
    1b) Put a cooldown on joining companies. 14 days, perhaps, where you can leave a company but you can’t join a new one. This would all but stop abuse of the above system. I’ve read other tales on these forums of creating and switching to ‘shell’ companies for war defence, and this could be a way to mitigate that.
  2. Continue working on re-balancing war pvp. The work of re-balancing the great axe with this new patch was a step in a good direction, but more work needs to be done. Lots of good suggestions on these forums (when you filter out the noise). For instance, I support heavy armour and heavy weapons slowing the player down compared to medium/light armour and weapons. Or coding different armour defences against certain weapons, like muskets being able to shoot through heavy armour, but have light armour with some mitigation because of ‘padding’, with bow being the opposite; fire staff having bonus damage on heavy armour because it would get too hot under all that steel, while an ice gauntlet freezes a light armour wearer for extra damage. It would make things more tactical. It’s unbelievable when I read posts by even heavy-armoured great axe players that admit that it’s a majorly overpowered build. Wars shouldn’t be decided by how many great axe/warhammer players there are on each team because of their current godlike state in big groups.
  3. Allow company-level politics. My server has devolved into a Game of Thrones style of allegiance switching among companies. There are cross-factional alliances and basically a civil war within two different factions. It would be nice to declare peace with a cross-factional ally so that, when flagged in open world pvp, you don’t take friendly fire from your ally if you’re teaming up against your common enemy. I would suggest a mechanism where only the governor could toggle the inter-company politics, and by default it’s ‘at-war’ with all companies of opposing factions, with the ability to toggle peace with individual companies. Companies of the same faction could have the same treatment, with a toggle for ‘at-war’. To avoid abuse, both companies would need to toggle for the cross-factional alliance or the ‘civil war’ hostilities to override the default settings.
  4. Implement governor elections. Other MMOs have ‘guild leader elections’ to kick an inactive or unpopular leader while otherwise retaining the integrity of the guild. With territory control in New World, this is a needed function.
    Just my two cents.

I also thought about this topic, and jotted down the text a little.

The simpler solution – and one which not only solves a lot of issues but makes overall gameplay better – is to completely remove player influence over Settlements.

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