Alliance War thoughts from Papa Marsh

#1

Now that my temp forum ban is over, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on Alliance War. Overall, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the wars. I (and my alliance) have decided to stop caring about bounty & pvp to focus on war and that decision has resulted in arguably the most fun I’ve had with HH to date.

So here are some of my stand-out thoughts, starting with what I feel are the best parts of how AW is implemented and finishing with some suggestions and QoL improvements that would really polish off this awesome new game mode.

The Good

A strategy-based game mode is refreshing.

Despite an RTS-style mode not really making sense within the HH game format, it’s really nice having a second game mode that doesn’t exemplify the “time/money=win” structure (big shoutout to Draft Brawls with their valor-based ranking - the only other place in HH where skill > time/money). Overall, having a “big picture” game mode has been a lot of fun and allows for a more in-depth thought process than spurts of 3-minute meta-driven matches.

The graphics and design are beautiful.

Seriously. HUGE props to the design team here. The interface, the menu layout, etc are amazingly well designed. Little details like having the current shield timer show up when you zoom in fully - stuff like that shows the work that went into this.

The marker system implementation is great.

Pushing a lot of power onto officers is critical to making AW manageable and it was a very smart design decision to go that route. Being able to set markers and pull defenders from sectors means that a few people can ‘take charge’, allowing the majority of alliance members to be relatively passive with strategic decisions. Love this.

Suggestions for Improvement

Points need to be normalized to map potential.

This is the biggest one. Some maps are larger than others and some have more bonus sectors than others. When season scores rely only on an alliance’s top three wars, this is a CRITICAL balancing decision. Look at the current season; war 3 had far fewer points available on the map. If war 4 ends up being on a map similar to wars 1 and 2, then the season scores will essentially nullify the entirety of war 3. What if one alliance did really well in war 3? Too bad. Those points are completely irrelevant.

My suggestion here is to take 1/6 of every map and add up the total points available (including bonus sectors). Apply a scaling factor that brings every map to the same total points available. Anything short of this should be considered a failure in fundamental game balance.

Increase “eagle-eye” visibility.

What I mean here is that an alliance officer shouldn’t need to click through every single sector to see the status of each. There is important information that could be much more accessible and lead to much smoother interfacing with the map stats.

My suggestion is to add an indicator to sectors that currently have a bonus here. Maybe a subtle green outline? Maybe it gets brighter if the feature hero is there? Something like this would greatly improve officers’ ability to keep track of territory status and would dramatically help with issuing orders on where bonus heroes are needed.

Improve marker functionality.

We are currently limited to only 6 markers total spanning offense and defense. They are slightly different visually, but not different enough. When you are expecting an alliance to be interacting directly with two other adjacent alliances, we’re now down to three markers to use on an entire battlefront. Not enough.

Suggestion: Increase the maximum marker amount. Double it at least. Maybe 6 each for attack and defense? I don’t really care how it gets split, but the current system simply isn’t enough. Also it would be a huge QoL improvement to differentiate them further. Different color maybe? Right now, they look too similar and improving the “at-a-glance” functionality would be really helpful.

“Unmet Alliance”

This one just bugs me :slight_smile: When you see another alliance, they should stay visible for the rest of the war. There’s really no reason why an alliance that I’ve been staring at for 3 days should all of a sudden be “unknown” because I can’t see any specific sectors of theirs anymore.

Suggestion: Keep them visible and don’t revert back to Unmet Alliance for the duration of the war.

Thanks for reading

I’m having a blast with AW! Thanks to wars, I went from being in the process of quitting to enjoying the game more than ever. I may not agree with everything HHG does and I know that not everyone feels the same way about AW that I do; but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you guys a huge “Nice Work” for this one. Executed beautifully.

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#2

Thanks for writing this! I’m going to add this to my report to present to the rest of the team. Some good thoughts here.

This is the kind of feedback and presentation we like to see.

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#3

Thanks for the feedback @Papa_Marsh! We will continue making changes to Alliance Wars until we feel it is in a good spot. Many of these points you raised are already on our radar. Look for a number of balance adjustments and QOL improvements in Season 2! We will be sending out details of all the changes after Season 1 ends. Glad you chose to stick around! Hopefully we can make Alliance Wars something everyone can enjoy as much as you do!

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#4

You pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to alliance wars. I love this game mode. I’m glad I finally join a alliance that is really into it.

There was one thing you didn’t mention that I really believe, and others have said so too, should be done. That’s the cutting of supply lines. When you cut someone’s supply lines they are still getting points for those sectors. If they place a team in there that’s too powerful for anybody to beat they can hold that sector for the rest of the game. Cut the supply line to it and all they can do it’s not add new defenders. When you cut someone supply lines it would be great if it actually meant something. As in you know longer get points for that sector during the hour.

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#5

Alliance war is a much deeper game mode than the rest and have much potential in a long run. Very much appreciate to learn someone making AW a priority over bounty n PVP.

By the time I first play AW, I anticipate some new alliances will be form focusing on AW but never imagine an existing alliance would attempt making a transition to become an AW focused alliance. I fancy to be a part of such an alliance. I cannot imagine what other game mode could top AW in the deepening the quality of an alliance just in all aspects.

Salute U papaMarsh of your attempt to move to this direction and writing this post. One day if I m among your power level (nowhere in sight anytime soon) I will definitely knock on your door asking for a spot. But I wish such post of yours would serve as a catalyst for more alliance to consider such change.
Everybody have a good day. :grinning:

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#6

@Muninn & @Architech - Thanks for the responses! It makes me excited to hear that there are things in the works. I’m really looking forward to seeing where we’re headed for the future of AW!

This is actually partially true. Currently, if a supply line gets cut off, the points given to the holding team are reduced from their full value. I think that currently, this is a smart and balanced way to do it considering that otherwise, the impact from taking a single choke-point could be catastrophic, and that feels to dramatic to me.

Thanks for the kind words! Glad others are enjoying the depth of AW like I have been.

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#7

This topic is brilliant. Thank you Papa Marsh and the developers for your comments.

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