Continued from above…pt. 2.
In another alliance, not being able to count on some people being on at war reset is the most debilitating and depressing part of some wars for some alliances. This is why many of the alliances who are war-heavy in this game, have been using Discord. It is a way to ping members to be on, to consider strategies, to share images, to voice chat, to share pictures of maps, etc. It is a way to communicate on top of the game, especially if chats go down. And this is important.
When our chats go down for war, most alliances don’t have any other way to communicate strategy amongst one another to be as effective as they could be. Hence, Discord helps alleviate this, somewhat. However, it’s never going to be a full fix as the first 5-10 minutes on a Monday war day pretty much define some of the higher powered wars of the week. I feel like I’m lucky to have Discord as an option. However, in Soul Reavers, I made it mandatory as it can be an essential piece to HH, especially during those chat downages. Those who use Discord can facilitate what alliance members do what, i.e., who is a war commander, who is going to deal with ‘alliances’ or politics, who is tasked with buying various war perks, etc. Those without Discord can still use this form of strategy, but with chats being frequently down, I’ve seen and experienced: frustration, low morale moments, ‘controller throwing fits,’ etc. Thankfully I’ve been through enough wars to have various scenarios under my belt. I already know what to do depending on some situations.
The start of war for many alliances involves knowing who will be online or not knowing and facing the very real moments of not having as many players as you would like online as you expected. This is a very frustrating time for many. I’ve seen alliances collapse because of this alone. Some will leave to go to more active alliances that are more war heavy and thusly, those who have more online at war reset. Discords become mandatory. Top 5 power ranges of a certain amount became essential. The search for other players who have a strong top 20 hero roster is supreme.
The start of war also then involves perks vs. alliance setting. One person is unable to do this alone. Both are time consuming, require a vast amount of participation and teamwork, and require some planning. Perk setting is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s important to note that in early alliance wars, perks are unnecessary. At some point, Sneak Attack comes into play. But before that? It’s never used. Why is this? Alliances simply don’t have enough war coins to spend on this perk because they are still using the gear they gather to building their roster. I don’t know exactly when Sneak Attack comes into heavy play, but I can assure you that prior to 10 mil alliance wars, it is NEVER used. There’s no point. Alliances amongst enemy alliances aren’t made at these level wars either.
Alliance setting: usually a dedicated war commander or ‘war politician’ sets these up. It can involve scouting enemy bases to determine who are neighboring and distant alliances or it can involve just running into alliances and seeing who is most active. It is a battle of who can type fastest to set these up. Setting up alliances must be made early on, as these end up deciding the tide of the battle. It is both exhilarating and terrifying knowing a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to an alliance suggestion will be made in the following moments while various sectors are being grabbed. It is a game of chess…let’s see where our pieces fall and MAYBE just maybe, we will agree to your truce. But before we respond, ‘we are gonna grab these spots first to secure them. Or rather, give us some of those and we will give you some of these. Or rather, help us attack X and we will help you attack C. Here’s a path…’.
Alliance setting is essential in later wars. It is also the source of much frustration. Without having a dedicated politician, many alliances are left to simply being slaughtered against multiple alliances who decided they want more of the map. Settling for top 3? ‘Hell yeah, because I still get Serial frags!’
And this is just day one of War. So off the bat, we feel the possibilities of: anxiety, frustration, hope, dashed hopes, unpreparedness, strategy, lack of funds, lack of necessary perks, non-communication with downed chats, use/non-use of Discord, politics/alliance setting, low participation vs. high participation. And lag.
On day one. A cluster of emotions. Which pretty much defines the coming week. But there is more to come!
Because now the dust has settled. War is on! Places are being set, sectors are being grabbed, alliances are being made, the anticipatory nature of tomorrow when points begin accruing is coming!
Day 2. Probably the second most important day of war, because this is the time to advance, defend, protect, make switches, renegotiate terms, hand over sectors, rearrange teams to include bonus/feature heroes…does this sound exhausting? Well, it is. Every effective war alliance has effective strategies to maintain consistent communication even during those moments when the in-game chat goes down or lag occurs, i.e. Discord. The exhaustion doesn’t stop. For now, during the most important hours of war, the map must be opened to watch for incoming attacks and to prevent them if possible. Shuffling, reshuffling, shifting teams is difficult when you are looking at the map from a top down perspective, one sector at a time. I consistently forget where I place my top teams and which sectors have which teams. It is a constant attention to detail of other sectors, especially those on the front lines, that makes some players feel like AW is a full-time job. Having a team effort reduces the strain of this load on any war commander, but simply managing one’s own sectors is VERY time consuming, stressful, and at times, paramount to a winning war. All it takes is one sector to have been forgotten…and that becomes the Achilles heel by which you can see devastating losses when an enemy intrudes into the territory. So a watchful eye amongst many in the alliance in a concerted effort is increasingly important in higher powered wars. It is the utmost winning strategy. Yet it is rare in itself.
Communication errors. Low participation rates. Various strategies on war start. Funds. Set roles amongst alliance mates. Alliance setting. Politics throughout the week. Managing teams.
All of these scenarios above add to the constant sway of so many emotions. I will continue more after war start. I will jot some notes down of the emotions I feel at the start during a very real war start instead of a perceived one and I will edit or add when I compile some things together to add more to this discussion, if possible as the week continues.
To those who have read this far: Muninn is asking for what we are feeling during very moments of war. Don’t suggest fixes. Simply state what is going on, how you are feeling when these things are going on, and what you are seeing. You can only ever speak from your own perspective! So speak up from your own perspective! And remember guys, the developers are only human too! Be kind and respectful! They are trying their hardest to manage a game of thousands upon thousands.