The AoW3 community more active than ever! Tournaments, AoW3 Veterans, polls(Community)More than 2 years after the release of the last DLC, some might think AoW3 is dead... Far from it! There are never been so many tournaments at the same time, so many Veteran players (in terms of ranking points) and the amazing content produced by the community (including a new Race created this year and a full expansion in progress!) makes the game fresh again, even for people who played hundreds of hours!
There is a lot of activity recently on the Battlefield, our beloved community website for AoW3!
3 tournaments are currently ongoing, involving about 70 competitors in total (though many play in several tournaments in parallel). Two are PBEM tournaments: the 2017 PBEM Duel Tournament (stats of the class and races played and roster with links to the match reports) started in January and currently in its third round, and the PBEM 2vs2 Team Tournament (stats of the class and races played and roster with links to the match reports) started in October 2016 and finishing its fourth round with 8 teams left. The third tournament is a live MP one which started very recently. A fourth tournament ended recently and was won by DarkRider: it was also a live MP tournament. Videos of these tournaments are available on YouTube and another article will list the most recent ones in a few weeks. You can check out the article from last year which listed some good competitive play videos as well as the post on the official forum referencing all competitive play videos.
In recent weeks, ranked play has reached a new high for AoW3 with the accession of a third player to the rank of AoW3's Master!! This mechanically comes from the accession of a 30th player to the rank of Veteran (see the explanations of the ranks and ranking: the top 10% of Veterans are Masters and you need to reach 1000 points to become Veteran).
As of July 13rd, our 3 Masters are: gabthegab, Jean de Metz and Ezekiel! Congratulations to them! AlXStormrage also held the rank of Master for some days, before Ezekiel took it from him.
Congratulations also to all our 31 Veterans of AoW3 (including the 3 Masters), who have played a great deal of AoW3's matches and have learnt many aspects of this very rich and deep game (by alphabetical order):
A new feature has been introduced on the Battlefield recently: an estimation of the probability of victory of each player in each match. This is based on the ranking points of each player and the Elo formula used to calculate ranking points themselves (which means it is of course not really accurate for new players who haven't yet reached their "true ranking"). The idea behind this new feature is to prepare the ground for potential betting features (for fun), which may or may not be introduced in the future, time will tell. The probabilities are displayed only on games with an "Open" status (so not for Ongoing games).
Since the last article reporting the results of polls run on the Battlefield, 4 polls have been run! It is time to present and discuss their results!
First, What direction should the Balance Mod take in the coming months?
That poll was launched to help get a feeling of what priorities the community had and therefore on which topics the PBEM & Single Player balance mod should focus.
The table below shows the % of voters that are Battlefield (BF)'s registered users (who are more involved in competitive PBEM) who voted for each option, the ranking among BF users (#1 has the most votes, #17 the least), the % of general voters (BF users or not), the ranking among general voters, and then the final ranking that was made based on these results. It means that the priorities for the near future for the balance mod will be: 1/ Make all heroes and their abilities more interesting (e.g. boost Dreadnought’s late game abilities) - great progress on this was already made (see associated post on the official forum), 2/ Make currently rarely used units more useful (e.g. non-cavalry units produced at War Halls) - discussion started on the official forum too (Dwellings and other units), and then 3/ Balance Racial Governance (make all choices interesting and races more equal).
Some explanations for those interested: the steering of the balance mod works by consensus: anyone can propose a change and if at least a few other players believe the change is worth it, it is listed in a big table of proposed changes, then a core group of discussion assesses the proposed changes and if it gets a net support of 3 members (e.g. 4 "for" and 1 "against"), it moves on as a "Priority change" and is submitted to further debates through an extended group. Proposed changes that get a net support of 5 players get confirmed. It means changes which belong to one of the priority expressed in the poll are much more likely to succeed because they'll get large support.
Second, Do you think the mod that removes rapids (blocked water) from the Random Map Generator should be used for tournament games to help classes/races that cannot cross these rapids?
This poll was run specifically for a tournament and the result was not to use the mod to remove rapids as the majority was too slim to change the status quo.
The third and fourth polls were designed to help with the balancing effort, just like the first one: What are your difficulties when playing Necromancer? and How best to balance all heroes and their abilities and also make them more interesting?
The poll regarding Necro tried to investigate the difficulties of new and experienced players playing Necro, as the class was reportedly difficult. The results seem to show that most people actually do fine with Necro and the main area of concern are the economics of the class (the lack of happiness-related income bonus translates into lower income than other classes, especially in late game). As a consequence, specific attention has been paid to the economics of the class when modifying one element that made Necro relatively overpowered: the economic bonus associated to Necromancy I-VII (in the balance mod) were transferred to Necro's economic buildings and a new economic building has been designed: the Bone Furnace (see changelog of v1.22).
The fourth poll focused on one answer of the previous poll on balance's directions (the 1st poll, see above): how to balance heroes and their abilities? Discussions on changes proposed had indeed shown a lack of consensus on the topic among the community and it was necessary to "measure the temperature" and see what most people preferred.
The results indicate the options that will be pushed forward: 1/ Boost existing lackluster abilities, 2/ Create new top (and intermediate) abilities for classes lacking them, and 3/ Rework the starting items to provide equal XP opportunities for all classes and limit the interest to kill starting heroes for their weapon. Other options received less support but still got more than 40% of votes so will also be considered: 4/ Introduce sub-classes for each class (it will be a long and significant work!), 5/ Reduce the upgrade points needed to choose spells to 4 CP except for very strong spells and 6/ Reduce the upgrade points needed to choose Casting Points.
Before concluding this article, two initiatives from the community are worth mentioning, to highlight the activity of a "core community" still quite active (even if of course the total number of AoW3 players has declined significantly since the release of Eternal Lords): a full new race has been released by Eomolch, the living Archons, and a Community Expansion is under work (see link below) and will contain 1 new layer, 1 new Race, 2 new Dwellings, several new sites, new independent units and many new abilities!
To conclude this article, a few reminders in case you missed the information!
- The four players qualified for the final phase of the 2015 PBEM Duel Tournament answered questions and provided some very good insights on AoW3 and their matches, check them out:
- Published in May, the last article about the Shadow Realm Community Expansion reveals the 1st trailer of the expansion with some Shadow Elf gameplay!