Today I want to share the upcoming changes we plan on making to the Alliance system and to Manastone Battles. Since their introduction we have determined, based on player feedback and our own observations, that these two features have been subject to exploitation by players who were not willing to compete fairly within these PvP modes.
Instead of relying on automatic matchmaking, the current structure of the Alliance War system depends on an open player-controlled system that is intended to drive fierce-- yet fair-- competitive matchmaking between Alliances. However, we have seen that select “Mega-Alliances” have chosen to take advantage of this system and trade wins with one another in order to receive the lucrative Alliance War reward buff. These “Mega-Alliances” were causing Manastone Battles to be non-competitive and creating a controlled monopoly that gave themselves control over who would be able to win the event and gain the rewards. Members of the Militia and smaller Alliances and Guilds have expressed that they feel this practice is unfair. We agree with this assessment.
Our evaluation has determined that the current system, without proper checks and balances, has led to this situation. After reviewing options for potential adjustments and tweaks that might help improve the competitive nature of the system, we came to the conclusion that a fundamental change is necessary to create an environment that is not subject to further exploitation. Based on this, we decided to move forward with some major changes to the Alliance system that will be introduced with the upcoming “Rift of the Damned” content update on September 29th. First and foremost, Alliances and Alliance Wars will be temporarily removed. With that change in place, Manastone Battles will now be a battle among individual Guilds and a potentially larger and more reinforced Militia. Further details on these changes are as follows:
- Alliance System Temporarily Removed
The original intent of the Manastone Battle event was to have a system where organized Alliances (of similar size and strength) would fiercely battle one another to achieve victory. The temporary removal of the Alliance system (and Alliance Wars) will affect how Manastone Battles will be structured and effectively bring back a more competitive environment that will be less susceptible to exploitation. With the removal of the Alliance system (and effectively, “Mega-Alliances”), Manastone Battles will now be a competition among Guilds and the Militia. This change will be temporary until we can create a fair and competitive environment that involves Alliances.
- Manastone Battles: The Militia Strikes Back
With the removal of the Alliances, the Militia will be significantly strengthened in order to provide adequate competition against the larger Guilds. Rank 3 Guilds will now be able to join the Militia and the Militia buff will be increased, helping the Militia to become more competitive despite the disadvantage of not being as organized as Guilds.
- Rental Gear for PvP Beginners
Since the introduction of Manastone Battles, Alliances that were participating in “win-trading” activities were able to acquire PvP gear faster than other Guilds and Alliances, giving them a distinct advantage against their competitors. Fully recognizing that there are Alliances that did not participate in ”win-trading” and won legitimately, we are going to introduce a controlled PvP gear rental system to allow players to participate in PvP events without feeling as though they are at a disadvantage. This gear will work as starter gear for players and provide them with an opportunity participate in PvP on a level playing field. The difference between the standard PvP gear and the rental PvP gear is that the rental gear will not allow you to tame Exarahn Badlands familiars. You will also not be able to temper or apply Seal Stones.
While these changes are unfortunate, we feel that implementing them is absolutely necessary in order to put a stop to the current exploitative behavior taking place and to provide us with an opportunity to work on a better, more long-term solution. We hope that these changes will make Manastone Battles enjoyable again to the entire Riders of Icarus community. Thank you for your support and feedback. We appreciate your patience and look forward to receiving more of your feedback as we continue to work on improving the Riders of Icarus experience during Open Beta.
Han Sol Junger
Producer – Riders of Icarus