In my kingdom this past weekend as part of the event there were the following bonuses:
- +2 rally slots
- +50k rally size
- +10k march size vs. Seats of Power
As with most things there were some positives and negatives. On the positive it was one of the most active PvP events in a while. A lot of people were very active, attacking and defending major targets not just hunting down small players. There were also some 3 and 3.5 star Seats taken by force and event some close calls on Paramounts.
So let's take a look at the negative part of it. The biggest one stems from the fact that successfully defending relied on putting as many T10s as defenders as possible. In fact, many of the Seats that were captured were essentially taken in one shot. The combination of the dragon upgrades and increased marches made any other troops able to be swept aside comparatively easily. This has the following negative consequences: it puts even more pressure for people to consolidate, it reduces the utility of these Seats of Power and it takes away another thing from people with T8s.
The first one is pretty obvious. With the need for people with larger rally sizes to accommodate those 8 people and to stack as many T10s as possible in Seats it makes it much more effective to have as many of these people inside of one banner. While you can come up with solutions that involve jumping banners that adds friction. This means that smaller people will be pushed out of the allegiances further concentrating allegiance gifts to the people who are already spending. For a lot of people that's the only mechanism to effectively play the game, so pushing smaller players to the periphery of the game likely means losing them.
If Seats of Power can be taken in one or, at most, two hits when fully reinforced it makes it less useful to bother defending them. And if you can't count on keeping them then there is no reason to invest time and energy in them and they would become like the 2 star and lower are now. To me that takes away a lot of the interest in these Seats of Power. Should places like The Twins or the The Dreadfort be captured every other week or multiple times within a single weekend?
T8s are already last choice for rallies because they don't have the march size to compete with the person limit or the attack density to compete with the troop limits. Previously they had the ability to at least defend a Seat of Power, filling in and providing an initial wall until bigger players are able to mobilize. With the ability to take it in one shot without an all-in defense there is no point in putting T8s in since they will basically get destroyed and cost people -- the ones that will have fewer resources to heal -- for no benefit. So they are last choice for attack -- and likely have limited advanced teleports -- and now not needed for defense which feeds into the first point.
But this is all due to the attempts to correct some of these balance issues by simply increasing numbers. At the moment combat is basically whether you can reach some arbitrary threshold. Can you get enough people, enough power, enough dragons. If so you can take a Seat, often easily. If no then you cannot, regardless of how long you beat on it. That makes the combat system seem very hollow. Yes, titles do matter as does gear, but they are marginal compared with getting enough bodies with enough T10s and adult dragons. It feels like there needs to be something other than just that. Chasing the numbers just brings the same problems to different levels. I saw a suggestion on the previous forums about making it so you had to have a certain number or percentage of stars in a region to effectively control the major Seats. That was intriguing. Because at the moment the game can be boiled down to "spend more money and recruit people who spend more money."
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