Greetings, everyone. I'm the second lead planner for the Territory War system. Today I would like to talk to you about our Battle Line system.
Battle Lines and How They Work
The Battle Line system is one that existed early on during Territory War's development. In the early stages of design, the Battle Line system was used to add multiple ways of attacking a fief. It helped to resolve the issues of individual battles having a single objective and a hard player limit.
When a large fief is attacked, it will feature multiple lines upon which players can do battle. The attacking team can launch offensives on any battle line. When the attacking team seizes victory on any battle line, the fief will be conquered and will enter a recovery period. The Honour between the different battle lines is combined so that final ownership of the fief will belong to the House that contributed the most.
The Battle Line system is one step in the long-term plan for the Territory War mode. Currently, the Battle Line system is in its preliminary stages. It effectively allows more people to participate in the core battles of a Territory War and raises the strategic dimension of conquest. At the same time, large guilds will need to invest more manpower in order to defend cities on multiple fronts, giving some room to small Houses. Battle lines are also a double-edged sword: They have sometimes rendered smaller Houses unable to defend their fiefs and fortresses.
We have received feedback from the community and are actively considering different solutions. Because we want to improve Territory War and incorporate valuable feedback from the community, we will be implementing iterations on the gameplay mode in future seasons, with our eye on making Territory War as strategically deep as it can be.
The Battle Line System and the Game Environment
Small and Large Houses
We have received a large amount of feedback indicating that small Houses have no means of fighting back against large Houses. There are also concerns about how servers with low populations can support multiple battle lines.
When it comes to the issue of small Houses fighting larger Houses, we must look at both the offensive and defensive aspects. In a battle with a single battle line, if you want to defend a fief you only need 20-30 people. From this point of view, if a small House has occupied a fief, it can withstand the pressure of defending it. Regardless of the number of enemies one is up against, the manpower required for a solid defense is the same. This prevents large houses from having too great an advantage when it comes to numerical superiority. Therefore, widening the breadth of the Territory War is our primary consideration.
On the attacking side, when a large House attacks a fief, they only need 20-30 people. They can also split up their troops and attack other locations. This poses a major threat to Houses that cannot muster 20-30 effective players. This ultimately results in a situation where large Houses occupy a large number of territories and attack the fiefs of smaller Houses one by one. As for smaller Houses that have lost a fief, it becomes difficult to join a fief siege when so many other Houses are contesting the same one. When there is more than one battle line, the manpower investment required for large Houses increases significantly. At the same time, competition between large Houses is also increased, which expands the breadth of the overall battlefield and provides opportunities for smaller Houses to launch their own attacks.
Server Population Issues
As for the issue with server population, after a long period observing Territory Wars, we can see that gameplay moves through three stages: First is the chaotic stage, then the stage in which strategy comes together, and finally the stage of strategic confrontation. Competition in the first stage is fierce. Once the distribution of power consolidates, the second stage begins and the battles are concentrated on the fiefs bordering the larger alliances. On servers with smaller player populations, the chaotic stage will resolve itself quickly and move on to the second stage. On servers with larger player populations, the first stage lasts longer.
In the second stage, fighting on alliance borders will be especially fierce, and the border will move back and forth often. In the third stage, border conflicts will still happen, but will be less serious. A new chaotic stage may begin when a new power rises, or a large alliance breaks up into factions.
Accordingly, the Battle Line system can draw player attention on large servers and get players focused on taking fiefs. On smaller servers, conflicts will be focused on fiefs. As a result, the Battle Line system overall isn't affected negatively by the number of players on a server.
The Future of the Battle Line System
As mentioned, we will perform adjustments and iterations to the Battle Line system in future seasons.
Our focus is on finding ways to vary the battle lines to create different experiences. For example, on some battle lines, the maximum number of attackers and defenders might be unequal. This would apply different pressures on the defensive teams and give attackers a chance to launch surprise attacks to change the focus of the battle. We may also differentiate between the main and secondary battle lines. The events on the main battle line would determine who owns a fief, while secondary battle lines would influence events on the main one.
Meanwhile, we will continue to consider the constructive suggestions and ideas the community has provided and implement them where appropriate. We are very grateful for everyone's enthusiastic feedback. Thank you!