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=AQW= Design Notes June 21, 2017: War: What is it Good For?

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6/21/2017 13:31:00   


June 21, 2017
War: What is it Good For?
Destroying all your Enemies! HOOOOO!
In AQWorlds, we fight wars for a few reasons -- usually because there's a conflict and the choices you make determine the outcome one way or the other. Sometimes, like with the Darkblood Civil War, we use wars to replace the regular quests, and have a pretty good idea of what the end result will be.

We have had some insanely successful wars (like the Future Dage War earlier this year) and less engaging wars. Whether a war is "successful" or not is due to a number of variables, but mainly:
  • your enthusiasm
  • the plot
  • the reward gear
  • how you get war tokens
  • mid-war incentives
  • and the war meter total
Building Better Wars
Reens, Memet, the team and I have spent a great deal of time this week reviewing your feedback on this war and previous, successful wars. We'll be modifying our war formula after this war to remove some options we've used previously, and to focus on the things that have made previous wars more successful.

Based on your feedback, this is what we're seeing you ask for in wars:
  • Drop War medals from quests, not monsters
  • Avoid "quest replacement" wars, focus on wars that DECIDE plot direction
  • Add in more war challenges and mid-war incentives
Do you agree with that list? Want to add to it? If so, tweet to @Memet_AE, @Reens_AE, and @Alina_AE to share your thoughts, or post on this forum thread.

For the Darkblood Civil War, though, we want to help you all reach the 100% goal that will advance the story. To that end...

*Madra casts Primarch's Defense, renewing the strength and energy of her allies and making her enemies weaker -- Battle on my friends!*

(The war quest turn-in requirements have been reduced to help you reach your goal!)

Tags: Alina,

Tagged, thanks for the formatting! ~Sol
Edit: Updated design notes with a link to... this thread.

< Message edited by ShatteredReality -- 6/21/2017 16:58:44 >
AQW  Post #: 1
6/21/2017 13:32:18   

For those of you just reading, Alina is right about the Wars in Artix Entertainment.

The Darkblood Civil War's War Meter is at 44%.
AQ  Post #: 2
6/21/2017 13:51:58   

Another thing is, in my opinion, that we should get a personal wave tracker that will track the amount of waves we've fought in the specific wars, that'd also show on our character pages. Like how DragonFable and Adventure Quest does. That'd at least motivate me for example, to fight.

Another thing is, that war enemies should NOT be too strong. They should be tad a bit weaker than story enemies, like in DragonFable. Not everyone has good classes for example that'd take down enemies with 3,000 - 4,000 HP fast.

Third thing would also be, that wars needs to be available for EVERYONE. They should NOT be locked behind a specific storyline, not before the war is over. There are players who doesn't perhaps do the stories, or aren't caught up to it yet, but still would want to attend a war.

Most importantly, when all of mentioned parts would be accounted for, Wars should be made to last for 1 week at least. With challenges of course like said in the DN's, but the wars should be timed - and should come with consequences if the war isn't won in the mentioned time. This would make it also a bit more important plot-wise to attend to the in-game wars. We've seen this in DragonFable and boy, it was done perfectly there. If AQWorlds would do something similar (ex. Serenity before the Storm in DF was good example), it'd make wars something to remember.

Also of course there are people who wants nice items from the war as well. That is something that should be noted as well. The current war is sadly in my opinion a example of a not-so-good war for items. The best successful example was Dage vs. Nulgath on this one. Oh boy, that was something I still remember, and always will.

I am certain that the Staff will be able to improve the AQWorlds Wars. I've got faith in them. I hope we'll be heard.
Post #: 3
6/21/2017 13:54:07   

Set punishments if we lose one-sided wars as well.
Wars are also a quest where heroes defend Lore against Evil Forces, not just an event with rare loot that you can finish in a couple hours.

Another way to increase participation in wars would be simply rewarding players for completing a slightly grindy quest in that war, e.g., turn in 500~1000 Badge Medals, which have a 50%~70% drop rate, since many players like collecting badges and bragging about them.

And the amount of medals on plot-related wars should be adjusted, mainly taking into account that a rather decent deal of your players are Brazilians who, mostly, don't know English, so most of us (I'm a Brazilian too) couldn't care less about plot.

< Message edited by iDreadnaut -- 6/21/2017 14:08:54 >
AQW  Post #: 4
6/21/2017 14:01:04   
orc orc orc

I am grateful that our feedback is being considered, but after a good number of lackluster wars where the same questionqble decisions are repeated it's quite frustrating and alarming to think of the future of wars in AQW. Even the future Dage war, while hugely successful, lacked direct incentives such as rewards from the medal quest. Sure, it had popular loot, but gear alone doesn't ensure a successful war, and I think the Darkblood war is an example of this. Given the disappointment with the recent war, this DNs post does shed a glimmer of hope and I am looking forward to improvements in the subsequent wars.
Post #: 5
6/21/2017 14:05:21   

I think the question is why they decided to make the medals drops in the first place.
AQW Epic  Post #: 6
6/21/2017 14:19:37   
Aura Knight

I think merge shops and having merge items drop from war monsters are what hurts war progress the most. If it's obvious players fight just to get items, only make those items available when the war has some decent progress. Don't give all items at the start. Have the merge shops unlocked when the meter is at least 75% in a war. That way people will actually fight and help move the meter instead of fighting for a few hours on day one, getting everything from the shops and/or any potential monster drops then /afking in random rooms until others to the work to finish the war.

What frustrates me most is that we were asked what we like about certain wars, yet almost none of those aspects were repeated in any war after that question was asked. I hope that changes and with what was said about future wars that may happen, but I'll only believe it when I see it.

< Message edited by Aura Knight -- 6/21/2017 14:20:46 >
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 7
6/21/2017 15:33:01   
Beshin Adin

War Medals dropping from monsters is just fine
AQ AQW  Post #: 8
6/21/2017 16:57:29   

I know this is about war decline, but can you please make the temporary medal quest drops stack-able? That way I can farm up and turn it in all at once? It really makes me unmotivated, and inconvenienced to war farm when medals aren't even stack-able so I can't even use boosts to buff my rewards all at once. I mean during the Chaos war against Drakath, medals stacked so I don't know why they don't stack now.

I also have a problem with quest pacing, I know the monsters HP are relatively around 3k-4k, but having to kill them over and over again gets quite tedious, maybe have some monsters drop more than 1 medal will make wars go by faster like 1~5 or so medals. That way turn-ins are much faster and wars can end next Fridays updates. Also implementing War rares, that will never come back might motivate some players to tune-into farming the wars, than whatever they are doing.

Anyhow thanks for reading if you do.

P.S I literally had to make a forum account just to complain, really shows where I'm headed in life. Guess I've got a lot of pent-up aggression.
P.P.S: Some people say the community is dying, maybe have a in-game event that's like a call to heroes to send something to their emails like to say, "Adventure Quest Worlds Needs You" or something lol. Maybe even a hyped expansion. OK that's all folks, till next time I'm on the forums xD.
Post #: 9
6/21/2017 18:15:50   

I can't say I've ever been a fan of wars in this game. I've always felt that they are very repetitive, take too long, and the amount of time spent fighting in them is not worth the rewards. I also never enjoyed the wars in the middle of the Chaos Saga story lines, there was not that much for rewards and the wars could have just been replace with quests (glad to see this will be happening from now on). I think the worst war I've ever been a part of in this game was the Turkey War. There were way too many waves, not enough rewards, and none of the players seemed to care about a bunch of turkeys attacking Battleon.

There have been some wars I've enjoyed though. The Dage vs. Nulgath war was very good because the reward shop items were awesome, plus we were told that there would be different outcomes depending on which side won, a similar thing could be said for the recent Dage vs Future Dage war. I also enjoyed the mini wars that were in the game several years ago. These mini wars could be won in a few hours and the rewards were nice enough that you would want to spend some time trying to get them before the war ended. The chaos finale war and AQW Zombie wars were alright. The plot was what mainly got me interested in them but I eventually stopped participating as I felt it was taking too long for war meter reach 100%.

To sum up what I said above here's a list of things (in my opinion only) that I feel make a good war and a bad war.

Good War:

- Can be completed in a reasonable amount of time
- Has rewards that are worth farming for
- The outcome of the war permanently affects the game in some way

Bad War:

- Large amount of waves
- Lack of war rewards
- Lack of AC tagged items
- The war is literally there for no reason (e.g. Turkey War)
- Doing a series of quests would be more fun than participating in the war
- The war map or boss disappears when the war is completed (e.g. Mount Frost War, Dwarfhold war)

With that said I'm glad to see that the AQW team has been looking at player feedback in regards to wars. Hopefully they will be greatly improved in the future and more players, including myself will feel the need to participate in them.

< Message edited by Ryuyasha -- 6/22/2017 15:52:41 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 10
6/21/2017 19:09:13   
Meloette Wells


Avoid "quest replacement" wars, focus on wars that DECIDE plot direction

Huh... My inner fury have been awaken. *Cracks Knuckles*

1, There was wars with multiple sides that "claim" to change plot direction, like the Karok V. Kezeroth War, the Chaos Finale Wars, and even the infamous Evil War. All there of these examples had offer the illusion of choice but when it was all said and done, it was clear there was never a "choice" for players to make. But allow me to address these in Chornological order.

The Evil War, or more commonly known as Dage v. Nulgath, was a war that decided the fate of the new /underworld map. It was at the peak of the Dage and Nulgath art rivalry among players. As content, it gave players ALOT of neat exclusive gear from both artists, and various other AE staff, stretching their drawing muscles to give players rares to buy/farm for. But the story of the war was always focused on two things.

A) Allow Nulgath, the artist, more time to focus on his new game Oversoul, and B) Give Dage his own location outside of shadowfall.

If Dage won the war, then it would've been easy to write off Nulgath's planned defeat as an excuse for him to build up his forces in oversoul. But Dage didn't win the war... And what we got after an admittedly one-sided war on Nulgath part (due to Dage's content needing ACs to even start while Nulgath's content does not) was a reveal of Dage's hidden ability of "Hey, Your guys ARE NOW MY GUYS!" Which is kinda pretty Bloody insulting to someone following the Lore of this game. The Evil war is probably the easiest example of AQW's illusion of choice becoming a painfully obvious tool for their preconceived narrative. (Which don't get me wrong, I don't mind having a pre-planned narrative. Just don't make your "choices" for major events as "different" as the ending of Mass Effect 3)

The Chaos War is another narrative war. One where the game encouraged players to actively destroy all of Lore. (a place they been protecting for like... 5+ years up to that point, but whatever I'm just a bit Rather bias due to Not Wanting The World I been trying to save for the bulk of the game.) This war was all about giving the prep work for Lore being turned inside out for a build up to a final battle between the hero n Drakath.

Even though, besides the story maps (as long as they're not the hub town of BATTLEON!) that are stuck with their warn torn versions, the game is relatively un-scarred by the events of the finale. (Which is understandable again, cause that would be alot of content to make just for, what I'm assuming to be without Any numbers to back me up, a small amount of players that played through the whole lord saga.)

The Karok/Kezeroth war had offered the chance for players to weaken the penultimate boss/threat of either war lord. Only for the story-

I got done writing that Chaos war bit, only to return to talking about the Karok/Kezeroth war again. Which REALLY IS the point I lost all hope for caring about this game's story. It was one of those wars that people Really didn't care about, especially since it was on the heels of -


heels of the thanksgiving war, which..

like the K/K war, the staff had to give players a boost ju-

just to finish. . .

Why Am I bothering writing this? Really.

At this point, I really don't feel like giving further constructive criticism to a game company that needs to crowd-source it's development to volunteer staff for not only QA but also making new content

to a game company that, while have a surprising amount of enthusiasm for making games, increasing feels as if it spends most of it's time catering to it's CEO's impulsive whims. Whom's whims are only encouraged by a seemingly (not everyone, but alot of it mind you) echo-chamber of twitter-user yes men that wish to please their senpai of a game developer.

Honestly, I started writing this post about to list out the various wars that aqw failed to give a multiple option for, while still praising the war (the original etherstorm war that killed of Desoloth into Desolich) I feel they actually did deliver on this.

But the longer I keep typing this. The more I realize, I'm doing the job of the staff for them. A job I, at one point, thought they was capable of doing themselves.

Sure, you guys are trying to improve. You guys are actively trying to change up your Years of bad/manipulative game play design into something more enjoyable for both player n consumer.

The thing is that I just lost the will to continue trying to offer some small measure of suggestion of how to do so.

I stay by and spent years of my life playing this game, and now as an adult. I regret spending that time with this game. I regret spending time with a world, that at one point I was amazed by the story potential for, only for that potential to collapse over the years in a low n steady decline.

Eh. . .It was fun while I enjoyed it I suppose.

< Message edited by Meloette Wells -- 6/21/2017 19:21:23 >
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 11
6/21/2017 20:15:29   

Remember Dracolich war?
If the Dragon SLAYERS win the war: Any weapon with a bonus against dragons will get permanently stronger.

Apart from that, one consideration which i'd like, is to put the mega-medals on a super-enemy with like 200k health. I don't want to stand in a super-laggy room with 4 other people, and Blaze-bind the ever-living hell out of like a million weaklings. I want to get a CDK party going against a super-enemy, and just obliterate him.
AQW  Post #: 12
6/21/2017 21:13:59   

Based on the the successful (forgot which one, but the community hit 100% before the weekend ended, so the boss wasn't unlocked), unsuccessful wars (remember the elemental war? haha), and meh ones (this current one), here are my opinions.

There has to be a reason for me to continue farming throughout the week, even sporadically. Some things I believe should happen:
- War currency should be hard to get. Having a <25% drop rate would be decent.
- Having currency drop from medal turn-ins makes me farm less. Instead, having items with a ridiculously low drop rate feels more rewarding, like in the vampire-werewolf pirate war. I remember farming that war for several days just to get all the drops from both sides.
- Release reward items incrementally at 25, 50, 75, and 100%. If everything is released at once, like in the current war, after I farm for all of them I have no incentive to farm any more. Additionally, by having additional rewards, there will be an incentive for me to help the community achieve a certain milestone.
- Less mob drops. They clog up the screen and you need to sacrifice inventory space to not see them.
- Having a super reward for the hard core farmers. A reward that can only be obtained by people who have farmed the crap out of the war, in the form of a merge/quest reward that requires multiple rare drops from different enemies. Something that screams "I was there at _____ war and kicked serious butt."

And some miscellaneous points:
- Medals should stack to... a lot. It's annoying to have to stop farming just to turn in medals, so the more I can stack the better. This was fixed midway through the war.
- Stop using wars for trivial things. Like this current war. "Blah blah fight the war to stop Aria and co." Well we know we're going to stop her eventually for the storyline to progress, so having a predetermined outcome cheapens the war. Instead, use war to determine what will happen, like the Dage vs Nulgath war or the Lycan vs Vampire war, so that the community feels like they are actively participating in making AQW history.
- But if you insist on using wars as a plot device, then reduce the number of waves needed. It's honestly no fun to see interest and progress in the war slow down, then have some NPC nuke the enemies just to forcibly increase the war meter. It just feels bad.

And as Loftyz said, having minibosses instead of all mobs would be fun. It gets boring in a room full of blaze binders tearing the mobs a new one.
Post #: 13
6/21/2017 21:15:36   

Here is an update. The War Meter is at 52%.
AQ  Post #: 14
6/21/2017 22:00:32   


*Madra casts Primarch's Defense, renewing the strength and energy of her allies and making her enemies weaker -- Battle on my friends!*

(The war quest turn-in requirements have been reduced to help you reach your goal!)

Oh hey, staff interference. Exactly what many of us here (not sure about those twitter users) Didn't want.

Maybe next time Midnight War Method. Maybe next time.
AQW  Post #: 15
6/21/2017 22:04:50   
Arcane Energy

Which war was it that someone(think Warlic) helped us and raised the meter to like 80% or 90%? Didn't they learn from that. I find it extremely funny how even when they attempt to fix wars it still fails LMAO

In my view, these wars are very lackluster. I always see these drawings that AQW artists have done and posted on twitter but never see them released maybe just put those as random rewards for reaching certain percentages. Nowadays it feels like everything in this game is dying and they are just trying to stretch it as far as they can before everyone calls it quits.

< Message edited by Arcane Energy -- 6/21/2017 22:09:08 >
Post #: 16
6/21/2017 22:22:00   

The Turkey War, oh that's a good one. Random war because of turkeys. Then Warlic helps because he ties in with turkeys.
AQW Epic  Post #: 17
6/21/2017 22:49:05   

From what I have learned from being at least somewhat apart of every war, I think there is a reasonable balance between the amount of players being active VS. the people who quit. There are some people who think wars are boring and would rather spend that time chatting in yulgar without much of a care about the story line. Then there are the newer and weaker players. They are trying to actively be a part of the war but it becomes a bit too hard. Finally there are the tryhard enthusiasts who enjoy the game of grinding and working for no reason whatsoever. These people do most of the work. Ever since the "witch hunts" on bots, AE never realize the actual effort that the players put into the game.
I have a proposal that can pretty much balance this. Have "bots" that are monitored and controlled by AE to help newer players defeat the harder enemies. These bots can be designated on specific private rooms and will help elevate the wars much easier. They will also mention the room on the design notes. This would be the weakest solution.
The other solution is to make wars a bit easier rather than super grindy. The players are impatient and want to move the storyline as fast as possible but there is a huge "war wall" that prevents it. The older veterans have become too accustomed to the old boys that were doing the war for them. The rewards currently are fine as is but there just isn't enough players.
The final and best solution would be to reintroduce server! Right now, AE is working on the server rewrite. They can't really make new servers. More servers means less lag and less overcrowded war rooms! This makes farming much easier and will allow players to farm without much worry. Usually, it's pretty much because players are getting rooms where one really high level player is clearing the rooms in a second and none of the other players are doing much.
What made wars so popular before was not because of the rewards of the merge shop but because of the reputation you can easily farm from them. Plus huge stacks on war medals. Those also help too. Most players were taking advantage of the easy rep. AE needs to balance this so that player would kill lots of enemies but also achieve the end goal of getting rank 10 rep!
Post #: 18
6/21/2017 22:51:46   
Angelic Tear

The simple answer is always the best. Give more reason for people to farm.
-Storyline and Wars, it would be nice if things were closer to our level so that farming them was multi-purposed.
-Better rewards. The surfboard art is cool but not something I'd use nor would any of my guild. All Dage wars end up being pretty popular.
-Like it was earlier stated, let us matter. This is an MMORPG. If our decisions don't matter, we don't matter, and thus we don't care.
-Give us a miniboss or two so that the higher level more hardcore players can feel a challenge for their farming. Hordes of low level low HP monsters is boring.

A Youtuber/AQWorlds Player named Korey posted about this war and took a poll on wars. Listen to us, we're trying to help! I've played this game since beta, check my CP, we're actively trying to help because we love this game!
DF AQW  Post #: 19
6/21/2017 23:02:04   
Aura Knight

If nothing much changes even after all this feedback on how wars could be improved, I'll give up wars, only fight for items I want and let others get meters to 100. I tried in the past. But AQW wars are not enjoyable. And if they're not enjoyable, why should I or anyone else bother helping? It's one thing to say changes are coming, but another to actually make those changes happen.
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 20
6/21/2017 23:11:53   

But here's a paradox for you Aura Knight. It's not flawless, but it delivers the point.
Having another war soon would defeat the purpose of making wars unique, and not just quest-line filler.
Yet without having another war soon, you won't be able to tell if AE staff actually implemented the changes.

Edit : Or they could test the new war system by giving us small wars with 25-50K waves.

< Message edited by fxmybrute13 -- 6/21/2017 23:17:13 >
DF AQW  Post #: 21
6/21/2017 23:44:06   

I said it before, but i'm not really a fan of some of the punishments for losing wars. And I think the main reason I feel this way is still the way Safiria's death happened.

It was quite unclear what we faced if Chaos won that part of the war; some players didn't believe the staff would do anything, some wanted to 'just see what would happen', and some players went for chaos just because it was the 'Evil option' in that war. It felt a bit worse because I tried my hardest, yet it was so one-sided that it felt like i'd utterly wasted my time by playing that event.

It felt needless, and didn't explain or further the plot in any way, except causing the 'Vampire War' to choose a new leader. If there was no other way around it, or it would enhance the plot a lot, then I might not be as opposed.

Also back to the 'Evil options'. In the past I have felt absolutely no motivation in some wars as it feels that evil will always win. We could have had a potentially epic cutscene if good had won the Shadowstrike war. I would have loved to have seen it, instead of it being locked off forever as it happened.
I wonder if there's anything that could be done to perhaps even the score if we do have any more good v evil wars.
Post #: 22
6/21/2017 23:47:21   

The only way I see that good would ever win a war would be if evil was split up into so many subfactions (Shadowscythe, Dage, Nulgath, whoever else is left) that good collectively would have more players than all of the other evil subfactions.
AQW  Post #: 23
6/22/2017 1:11:37   

Personally, I would like a Warmonger Set. If adding a Personal Wave counter is not possible then having a Warmonger Set can be something of a "achievement tracker"
Similar to the Dark Defender Set in AQ3D but AQW's Warmonger Set shouldn't be able to be completed in a single war.

At the very least, they know that there's wrong with Wars in AQW.
But these changes that they want to bring should be delivered quickly, otherwise damages would be already done.

< Message edited by LouisCyphere -- 6/22/2017 1:14:20 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 24
6/22/2017 1:11:52   

After wars they should work on player retention especially among newer players.
Its almost crazy how Ill help low level people and after a while they straight tell me "I dont know what I'm doing" or "I'm not having fun" and dont play again.
AQW  Post #: 25
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