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Looks very promising, I like all of the suggested changes. Just put on the testliveserver, so probably will be some changes.
From the TSW forum:
Fusang has been merged into battlegroups
While this is obviously not something you can test on Testlive it is still good news!
We have looked on the playing statistics for Fusang, and used that information to try to balance the factions as good as possible, and we ended with these 3 battlegroups:
* Group A: Cerberus, Arcadia, Leviathan
* Group B: Drac, Kobold
* Group C: Daemon, Grim, Huldra
The battlegroup system allows us to split or merge battlegroups on a per-patch basis if we need to, and we will be monitoring PvP activity in Fusang to see if further battlegroup tweaks are needed.
Much more on Fusang later, but first, lets talk about:
PvP Minigame Queuing tweaks
We have been monitoring the amount of PvP minigames being played, and we have seen that after patch 1.2 when the black mark rewards were increased for doing missions in Fusang, the activity in the minigames dropped. So we have done two things to fix this:
1: The matchmaking system has been tweaked to be a lot less fine-grained. To do this change properly we have had to wipe the games player skill ranking on each player, which means that after patch 1.4 when you start PvPing, you can be matched up against anyone. As you win and lose minigames, you build your rank, and you will get matched against players of the same rank as yourself. Also we are applying the Equal Footing buff in minigames now to alleviate this initial issue.
2: The rewards for doing minigames have been tweaked so that on average you should get the same amount of rewards for spending time doing minigames as you get from doing Fusang. With the caveat that El Dorado gives slightly more than Stonehenge and Fusang.
We are also looking into making it possible for signing up for both minigame types at the same time, and for signing up to minigames from Fusang, and for deciding your own group in Fusang. We know we want to do it, and we are currently looking into how we could do it, but we do not have an ETA yet, as this is a bigger change.
10.4 PvP Gear!
Yes. As of patch 1.4.
PvP Economy Update
We have taken a good look at this and changed the pricing of PvP items. One of the major things we have worked on is to make sure that the effort required to get a full set of 10.4 PvP gear is on par with the effort required to get the 10.4 Nightwatch gear from Nightmare dungeons.
Balancing this is of course tricky, since just getting a full group together with the right gear who can play well enough to do a Nightmare dungeon is quite a tough entry level to reach compared to PvP which you can enter very early on. On the other hand, once you get a good nightmare group going and learn the dungeons you can do them fairly quickly. So rest assured that lots of excel sheets, math, and furrowing of brows went into deciding on this balance.
This is the big one. We have done quite a few changes to Fusang. We call it Fusang 2.0 internally.
Our goals were to make sure that players are not incentivized to do facility trading, that you care about the objectives you own, and that outmatched factions in Fusang can still have fun PvPing there.
We have done 3 major changes.
1: Fusang now has a tick-based reward scheme
2: A new special mission becomes available for underdog factions
3: You will now find new PvP vendors inside Fusang that you can use to upgrade turrets and custodians belonging to your faction.
1: The tick-based reward scheme
Missions are no longer the primary source of rewards in Fusang, instead, every 3 minutes everyone in the contested area in Fusang gets rewarded based on the amount of objectives their faction currently holds as follows (values subject to change):
* 63 white marks for an outer facility
* 126 white marks for a center facility
* 7 white marks for an anima well
People outside of Fusang no longer get any white marks. Only people who are in the contested area (outside of their faction home base) in Fusang get these rewards.
Also, at any PvP vendor in the game you can now convert 100 white marks into 1 black mark, and no PvP items in the game cost white marks any more. Everything costs black marks instead.
AND: For patch 1.4 we are wiping all existing white marks in the game.
This is a big change, so it deserves a brief comment: We never felt the white marks worked well as a currency. Many players were walking around with hundreds of thousands of them, never spending them. So we felt they would be better used in this tick-based reward scheme where we needed a high granularity of rewards, given that you are rewarded every 3 minutes. So we decided to make 100 white marks convertible into 1 black mark at any PvP-vendor.
As a consequence, PvP-missions in Fusang no longer give Black or White marks of Venice as rewards, instead they only give XP.
These reward mechanics are currently on Testlive, so you can go in and try it out.
Currently on testlive you have the very first version of the UI of the PvP window to reflect these reward changes, a better version is currently being tested internally, and will make it out to patch 1.4. So for patch 1.4 you will be able to see how much each faction gets per 3 minute tick, and how long there is until the next tick, even if that functionality is not currently there on testlive.
2: The new Underdog mission
If a faction has not received a certain minimum amount of rewards within a certain period of time in Fusang, The Council of Venice will intervene and help out this faction. This means that all players of that faction get access to a new PvP mission called The Underdogs.
In this mission you must collect anima shards all over Fusang and use them on a shut down custodian near your faction HQ. These anima shards will recharge the custodian, and eventually bring it to life. Once the custodian is recharged, it will activate and help your faction against enemy players and enemy NPCs inside Fusang. This type of custodian is a much more powerful entity than the custodians you find defending the facilities. Also, it has a healing aura around it that heals the 10 nearest friendly players towards it. And it has powerful ranged and melee attacks that it uses against enemy players and NPCs.
The custodians on Testlive are currently a little bit more active than they will be in the patch, since they will normally have stationary combat. The custodians on Testlive will move during combat which the final versions in the patch wont.
Any feedback on the balance of the custodians are welcome. We have made them... very tough. Remember it is there to help a cornered faction in Fusang get an edge.
As part of the new PvP window you will be able to see whether any faction has access to do The Underdogs mission (indicated by a Council Support icon) or whether any faction has in fact managed to recharge a custodian, that is now spreading havoc in Fusang (March of the Custodian icon). The GUI is still being worked on for the patch, but the first version is on Testlive now.
3: New Fusang PvP Vendors
Inside Fusang you will now find PvP vendors inside each faction home base. At these vendors you can exchange your White Marks of Venice into Black Marks, and as something new you can buy various upgrades for turrets and custodians belonging to your faction.