The producer of MMORPG Throne and Liberty spoke about the current problems of the game and changes in PvP content
Producer of MMORPG Throne and Liberty Jongok Ahn (안종옥, Jongok Ahn) spoke about the current problems of the project related to the content in the game, and shared plans for changes in PvP. We have prepared a translation of the developer’s letter especially for our readers.
The first siege ended successfully. There were fierce battles on all 10 servers: on three servers they managed to defend the castle, but on seven servers the besiegers side won, and the castle passed into their hands. We look forward to hearing what everyone who took part has to say about it. We were very worried, waiting for what would happen after everything that happened.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on your experience at Siege of Throne and Liberty. We will not ignore criticism and use it as a springboard to create new great content.
Today I’d like to talk to you about the new PvP content coming after sieges and where we’re heading with it. Since our last letter, in which we talked about our direction for developing PvE content, we have carefully considered your comments. First of all, as you might have guessed, the direction of future content in Throne and Liberty will change a lot, but we promise it won’t be PvE-only. Before we talk about PvP in the future, we need to talk about how we created the content we have today and how we’re going to fix it.
The problem of PvE and PvP
Previously, PvE and PvP were implemented using the same content and locations. This was possible thanks to Throne and Liberty’s unique rotation system, which allows the nature of territories and content to change over time. We felt that giving users the option to participate or not participate in PvP while maintaining the unique characteristics of each area was a way to maintain the open world feel of the game.
However, it appears that this division of content between PvE and PvP resulted in users ending up in an unintended gray area, with PvP players feeling very constrained by competition and PvE players reporting unwanted competitive stress. In some cases, the difference in rewards between high-level regional events and bosses forced them to choose between unwanted content. To compensate for each other’s shortcomings, we’re pivoting and designing future content to differentiate between content and users who play differently. If character development through PvE content is necessary, then it is important that PvP content remains solely the choice of players and guilds.
That’s why we’re working on a number of improvements to our PvE content that I mentioned in my previous letter. You can check out the new PvE content we’re creating with no competitive elements. Now let’s see what this similar content split will mean for PvP in Throne and Liberty in the future.
Variety in PvP: alliances, guilds, groups, solo players
One of the biggest problems with modern PvP content is the power of alliances. Even guild- and group-oriented PvP content is becoming increasingly like war between giant alliances. This means that wins and losses in PvP depend on the “political” realities of the server, regardless of other variables. Guilds that are part of an alliance but do not have much influence usually die before they have time to accumulate enough resources to develop, and guilds that are not part of an alliance face high barriers to entry into PvP content.
Of course, we recognize that organizing guilds into alliances is part of the appeal of PvP in Throne and Liberty. We will continue to focus on supporting and developing large-scale PvP content, such as castle sieges and tax delivery, that require diplomacy and guild teaming. However, if we continue to see the current situation where all PvP content is reduced to giant alliances, we may miss a golden opportunity to revitalize the content. So we decided to quickly make changes.
Fair competition, confrontation between guilds
We’re planning a major change to guild rivalries, focusing on capturing Rifstone and Boonstone. The main change is that there will be restrictions on the number of guilds participating: one defending and one attacking. Previously, anyone could take part in capturing the stone. Therefore, the more guilds in the alliance, the better, since you can gain an advantage due to the numerical alliance. However, with the new “Declare Capture” mechanic, the battle will take place between the guild that owns the stone and the guild that declared the capture. Success or failure directly depends on the guild and without the support of the alliance.
Under the new method, guilds that do not own the stone will be able to select up to three stones (the exact number is currently being discussed) to attack when submitting bids for capture. If multiple guilds apply at the same time, priority will be given to the guild with the higher guild rating. Since this is a one-on-one competition between guilds fighting in the same conditions, we hope to see more innovative and varied strategies than we currently have.
Of course, we still have to finalize the detailed rules. We are exploring all possibilities to ensure that the rules are fair so that alliances cannot interfere in battles by any means. For example, block or collude to maintain ownership without fighting each other, or to prevent one guild from having a monopoly on one stone. We will be sure to make additional announcements regarding the final Takeover Announcement rules.
Another change to the ownership of stones is the introduction of “cross-server”, allowing guilds from different servers to fight. Boonstone hosts territory holding events, while Rifstone hosts boss battles.
All cross-server PvP is designed only for guilds without the participation of alliances and will alternate with the capture of stones within the server. Content will be released once a week, and we expect the first cross-server PvP to be available in March.
In addition, we plan to add cross-server PvP for alliances. The first half of the year will feature the largest cross-server sieges, which can involve up to four friendly guilds and even mercenaries collected from your server.
We believe that to prevent guild competition from stagnating, it is necessary to open up cross-server battles. We hope you’ll look forward to these new battles, as they will be a welcome change from the usual long, drawn-out intra-server battles and will bring the tension and fun of one-on-one battles.
Competitive, party and solo PvP
We’re planning a major overhaul of open world events to bring back the fun of solo PvP. The main focus of the update is the transition to factional wars.
When you join a PvP event, you will be randomly assigned to one of the factions. The faction distribution does not depend on the guild, and depending on the composition of the team, you may be opposed by users from your own guild. Names and guild names will be hidden to prevent players from identifying each other during the event. Teams will fight each other according to the rules of the open world event. The winning team will be awarded valuable rewards, which will also be based on the individual contribution of each player.
We hope this move to Faction Warfare will create more variety in events and allow weaker guilds and solo players to enjoy PvP content without stress. We still have a few details to work out, such as connections between factions and matchmaking order, but we’re working hard on it. At the rate we’re going, you’ll see a new PvP event in April.
We’re also opening up the Arena for peer-to-peer deathmatch, and we’re planning a variety of modes including 2v2, 3v3, and 6v6. We will offer Deathmatch first, but leave the door open to develop other formats. We plan for the first public release to take place in June. There’s still a long way to go, but we’re working hard to improve the underlying systems. We will provide more details as development approaches.
We plan to leave PvP bosses as they are, but will increase the chance and number of items they drop to a reasonable level. Overall, we’re going to continue the current trend of PvP being slightly more rewarding than PvE for the same content. This doesn’t mean that we encourage PvP, we just believe that it is much more complex and difficult content than PvE. However, in the interest of fairness, we are going to remove rewards that can affect character strength, such as PvP rating and death penalties, during content only available in instanced PvP zones.
Throne and Liberty plans for the first half of 2024
In these two long letters I described the direction of our development and tasks for the future. I’d love to hear how you received them and what you thought. Please leave your comments in the community, on the forum or in any other place convenient for you, and I will definitely find and read them.
Along with the directions I have outlined, I would also like to share some of my current challenges.
Throne and Libety is a project with a lot of turning points. Immediately after the closed beta test, we overhauled the game’s core systems. Of course, we were able to make quick adjustments thanks to the work we’d done earlier, but we had a lot of problems along the way. This does not mean that we have made progress. This is simply a story about my own thoughts on the process of creating a better game. We made mistakes big and small as we worked under tight deadlines, some of which you may not understand.
Moving quickly and improving is our policy and our goal. However, we have come to the conclusion that we need to find a compromise between speed and quality for your enjoyment. This does not mean that we will stop updating because we need to rest. No. We will continue to work on the fixes and content additions we’ve talked about in the last two emails to ensure you always have a fresh gaming experience. We also have longer-term development goals, which we will talk about in the near future.
However, we would like to focus on improving the core content of the game first to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated with new content, new zones, and new challenges. As a result, we are slightly pushing back the opening dates for the new regions and locations we originally announced to bring them to you this summer. I hope you’ll agree with me in my desire to not make the mistake of adding new content without defining the core fun of the game. We apologize for the unpleasant news.
We’ll continue to fill the Laslan and Stonegard regions with content you’ll love and do our best to keep Throne and Liberty growing.
Two months have passed since the launch of buhs. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who has been and continues to be a part of the Throne and Liberty journey. We hope to meet your expectations.