At the moment we're experiencing a sort of stasis on K114. From seeing discussions here it appears this is not unusual. I'm going to talk about why I think this is happening and some possible solutions. So, for starters, the political situation is that there are essentially two poles of power each with a few allegiances and then most other players either loosely aligned with one of those or doing their best to stay unaligned to avoid making enemies. The allegiances within these groups coordinates to some extent and avoids conflict with each other, I'll call them alliances here.
First let's talk about attacks on Seats of Power. The current tactic is to have massed waves of rallies. That is to time 16 or 20 or 24 or more rallies to hit in a short amount of time then wait and do it again. Due to the inability to send a reinforcing march against a Seat of Power that is full even if it may not be at the time it hits has made this the preferred plan of attack. With reinforcements in a 3.5 star Seat you could probably start "winning" and doing wall damage in about 8-12 rallies, depending on the size and composition of the defenders. With 4 groups, assuming a good alignment of siege and timing, you can probably do 10% wall damage a round. I typically lose about 7-9k per hit starting off, diminishing as the number of defenders dwindles; so call it 20k per set of 4 rallies. So over 10 sets that's 200,000 troops and with my research that's 2.8M power. I'm going to do some back-of-the-envelope math here and say that 10 sets each with 4 groups each with 4 rallies makes 160 rallies to take down a 3.5 star. With 24 people that's 67M power loss in aggregate over 24 people. However, let's say we naively expand to 5 groups, that's 2.2M per person; 6 is 1.8M; etc. Now, in reality it'll be less than that. More simultaneous rallies means more siege with fewer defenders which means considerably fewer losses because there are a lot fewer sets needed.
On the flip side of this, let's look at defending. A 3.5 star Seat can hold, generally, 710k worth of defenders. Again, I'm going to go the naive route and say that this is roughly 8 people, assuming the holder isn't putting troops at risk of being killed. Using the situation above we're going to assume that on each set all defenders are killed/wounded for a total of around 7M troops for 113M or so power. Now, of course, these are likely wounded and not killed, so the resource cost is -- what? -- a third of what it would be to train them, but it still costs. So let's look at this, you have 8 people and assuming you are constrained on people each of those 8 will be losing 887k troops which works out to 120M food and 7M iron or so for T9s. With a good pack that's > $200 USD to defend unsuccessfully. Increase this number and you see commensurate decreases at an individual level.
So, what's the takeaway? More people means a greater likelihood of having overwhelming numbers of people available as well as more defenders available to reduce the costs there. On the other side of the equation having fewer people means that all aspects of PvP are going to be more painful at an individual level, which is where it's more acutely felt. This means it is a completely rational decision for folks to be in big allegiances and alliances. In fact, certainly for attack, you can scale virtually indefinitely and, assuming round numbers of people, you don't even have to worry about mucking about with changing allegiances. So from an attacking and defending point of view people are better off clustering together. On the other side if you have fewer people you are less likely to attack or defend, meaning it's a rational decision to avoid reinforcing Seats of Power. Sure, people aren't always rational but it sets the tone. In practical terms this means that smaller allegiances who can't muster, either by themselves or their allies, the 24+ people needed are going to have difficulty doing much more than solo attacking players. Some portion of these people will join the larger groups in order to be able to play the game. That means the rest of the allegiance will be under more pressure and the cycle will continue. Which means that the smaller allegiances are less likely to defend which means less for the larger groups to do and, likely, more predatory activity against lower power players.
If there is some level of equilibrium it may be sustainable but as soon as the game starts tilting towards one group it can rapidly spiral. And both sides are caught in this. The folks who for one reason or another will not join the larger groups because they face diminishing ability to do much because they don't have the numbers. And the folks that are in the larger group don't have anything to attack because no-one wants to be a pin-cushion. The practical outcome is that everyone is kind of stuck. There are a (relative) handful of Seats of Power that are reinforced primarily because it would be a bit of a blow to the ego for them to be lost -- and, yes, holding them does provide a benefit, regardless of how marginal, to the person and their banners. These are, technically, assailable but not in reality. Attacking other players is a little simpler due to the restrictions on reinforcements but the number of people in the danger zone, if you will, is a non-renewable resource. People will either train out of it or, if they aren't diligent, get attacked and likely not recover. As the pool of people available gets bigger and bigger that high-water mark of who can be attacked is going to go up but due to the diminishing returns on march size and power due to troop tier increase there's a practical limit. For example attacking a player with 18-21M power will cost somewhere around 35-50M and a 25-26M somewhere around 120-150M. So that's played out with 2-3 groups for the former and 4-6 for the latter. This goes up pretty asymptotically, so I can imagine that a 30M player would be ... 250-300M, perhaps? Based on the median power losses that I've seen be generally acceptable that's 80-100 people, which is probably a third of the total number of people with sufficient troops/power on the entire server.
So, where does that leave us? In a downward spiral towards stasis. I don't believe that the solution is to make it easier to attack other keeps since the risks are too prohibitive for the loser, in my opinion. Which means that Seats of Power are where the future of PvP is. This is where things are in tension. Simple changes on either side, i.e. to make it easier to attack them or to defend them won't really make a significant difference. Say, for example, the number of reinforcements in a Seat of Power are reduced to make it possible for smaller allegiances to take them. Okay, so now you may have something like 45M instead of 67M, maybe it needs 3 groups not 4, etc. But, at the same time, it's now easier for the larger groups so there's the continued diminishing interest in actually holding the seat. And with no-one holding those seats there's no reason to attack them. Make it easier to hold you push the numbers necessary to attack higher and now they can't be taken by smaller allegiances and we're in the same place. One possibility would be to make the costs of combat less, especially defense, combined with a lowering of the barriers to attack. Because right now the rational decision is either have overwhelming superiority, either on attack or defense or not play. I'm unlikely to want to defend a Seat of Power when the outcome, assuming that sufficient force is applied, is not in doubt and doing so runs me a bill to the tune of hundreds of dollars, US, or weeks of time gathering in resources. If the bill were less I'd be more likely to take the chance, to be a little irrational there. Alternatively you could increase the base of people who were able to join the PvP game by reducing the barriers to entry, e.g. keep level and troop counts. This would reduce the disparity between bigger and smaller allegiances to some extent. For example there are maybe 300 people in K114 that I consider able to engage in PvP; if this were, say, double or triple that I think there would be more people doing things. Though, who knows, it could just end up with bigger groups on either side still not willing to risk anything.
The TL;DR version is that there is no middle-ground in the game. There's very little room for "let's take a chance" because the costs of being wrong are draconian. All incentives are aligned with going big or going home which forms a death spiral of consolidation and stasis. Some possible solutions are to inflate the overall numbers of people involved by reducing costs to increase level and build troops or to reduce the numbers necessary to attack Seats of Power along with the costs to defend them.
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