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nimeralos

Faction imbalance

Faction imbalance  

  1. 1. In your opinion, what is/what are the better way(s) to prevent faction imbalance?

    • Bonuses to Alliance
      77
    • Obstacles to Horde
      12
    • Racial custom redesign
      32


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nimeralos    43

The very important decision for Sunwell admins to make before release is - how to prevent horrible faction imbalance that is threatening every TBC server.

Reasons: Horde is considered better - better racials, better paladin seal.

Solutions:

  • Bonuses to Alliance - XP boost (permanent or eventual), free mount(s), free skills, rep/honor boost, etc.
  • Obstacles to Horde - faction-based queue, character creation lock, etc.
  • Racials custom redesign - nerf WotF, nerf Seal of Blood, add something analogous to Alliance, etc.

Answer the poll, comment, discuss.

 

Edited by nimeralos
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Nadiir    107

This is definitely something for us to think about. Thank you for the post.

 

I’d encourage others to comment with your own possible solutions. The more the better.

 

Name reservations for Alliance characters.

 

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shamoo    4

In my opinion, faction queue and character creation lock can significantly harm pre-made guilds which are the backbone of any server. Bonuses to alliance has worked well on other servers. Take hellfire 2 as an example which had great balance, they offered free epic ground mounts to alliance. A slight in game advantage but nothing that offers a lasting advantage and is therefore game-breaking. 

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shamoo    4

In addition, racial redesign will turn many off as it's a blatant "non-Blizzlike" change so in my opinion should be avoided at all costs. 

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nimeralos    43
13 minutes ago, shamoo said:

In addition, racial redesign will turn many off as it's a blatant "non-Blizzlike" change so in my opinion should be avoided at all costs. 

I tend to agree, it's very risky and may scare too many purists away.

 

16 minutes ago, Nadiir said:

Name reservations for Alliance characters.

IMO it's a nice bonus : ) But of course needs to be combined with something more significant.

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Bamsen    1

Reduce spell cost to train for alliance players and/or free level 40 mount. Both things would help them from getting ganked by horde players which is usually what turns people away from the smaller faction.

Faction queue will just lower the total amount of people playing on the server, not really proven that this will make people reroll alliance instead of horde.

Edited by Bamsen
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Miek    2

Obstacles to horde = people will just play on an other server if they don't have the patience to wait = we're losing people.
racial custom redesign : no way. The only racial redesign I may agree with is having seal of blood for ret paladin alliance.

So bonuses for alliance or nothing. But if you don't give them a huge bonus people will still go horde.
 

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Griffith    0

Is basically just the top option, adding like x3-x4 xp the first month of launch seems reasonable and also giving free mounts, the rest would unbalance stuff a bit more, since for example i would roll 10 toons on alliance just because free skills rep and honor lol

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nimeralos    43

Out of bonuses, I'd suggest XP bonus for like a month after launch. Like x2.5 to 58, and x1.5 afterwards. If it's advertised, many people who are normally on the fence will roll Alliance.

Downside: server first lvl 70 racers are doomed to play Alli. But these are literally a dozen of players on the whole server, I don't think they should be catered to.

A larger downside: server first T4 racers are almost doomed to play Alli. Or maybe there's a chance Sunwell is gating stuff on 60 for a couple of weeks?

The safest bonus is free skills/mounts, but maaybe also minor endgame boost, like 1.2 honor/rep? So people know that the reasons to play Alli don't end on lvl 60.

Edited by nimeralos
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Souka    4

I believe PvP bonuses help imbalance as some people prefer to play the underplayed faction to get faster BG Qs/more wPvP.

Also giving SoB/SoV to both factions gives every ret the chance to roll alliance.

About nerfing racials I don't know. People talk about blizzlike a lot, however a lot of changes are blizzlike in the sense Blizzard made them at some point (IE: wotf sharing 30s trinket cd, dual spec: see below)

Population/ally pop shouldn't be much of a problem at the start of the server, however, as servers progress there are fewer tanks/healers (specially in underplayed factions) as entry content gets obsolete and geared players ignore it. I believe Dual spec is the thing that helps this the most, people will play healer/tank more often even if it's offspecs.

I guess that if faction imbalance was obvious at the start of the server (anything over 70-30) the underplayed faction could get some xp bonus as the players would have to avoid some zones not to get outnumbered and killed (you can't avoid every cluster of players the very first days of a server).

Edited by Souka
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Bezawit    1

I really dislike giving an xp bonus to Alliance players. Other servers (Hellfire2 specifically) gave free level 30 mounts (dont remember if they gave bags too) and it was enough to ensure an even split. 

 

If I knew it could be done correctly, I would vote racial redesign. Give Horde/Alliance Paladins SoV/SoB. Potentially give Fear Ward only to Alliance- only Dwarves and Draenei had fear ward during retail TBC until 2.3. Potentially make Stoneform usable on Blind like it was until 2.2

 

If a guild min/maxes Draenei Auras, PvE is relatively balanced between the factions (aside from Paladin seals). PvP is the reason people go Horde in TBC- find a way to incentivize pvpers to go Alliance.

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KimmoKM    36
1 hour ago, nimeralos said:

Or maybe there's a chance Sunwell is gating stuff on 60 for a couple of weeks?

That would nullify any prior Alliance advantage in terms of XP, seeing as that Outland funnels players to fewer number of zones where you'll certainly be outnumbered (whereas on Azeroth you can at least gain local superiority by leveling in a group, or by coasting on the advantage provided by leveling on less contested 1-20 zones), and you will be, because you don't need to be super-hardcore to get to 60 in "a couple of weeks" with 2x rates and there will be plenty of Horde players.

-

Other servers apparently have used free riding skill to successfully balance the server and from the suggestions I've come across, that category of solutions seems the most reasonable. For starters, we know from experience it's a strategy that can be successful. Secondly, it definitely doesn't provide a permanent advantage: the advantage is a specific constant amount of gold, and a few hour's investment from any Horde player will cause this advantage to dissipate. Thirdly, it has reduced impact in influencing the race for T4 firsts: gold farmed by the guild's first 70s can be traded to slower levelers, enabling them to purchase flying mount and start working on their Karazhan attunement as soon as they hit 70 (time from level 1 to Karazhan is more or less constant), while solutions such as higher XP rates unquestionably increase the speed of guild's progression.

Personally, I think reduced training cost would be the preferable option in this category. It essentially amounts to the same overall effect in the long term (each Alliance player effectively receives a small stash of gold), but the effects of more convenient leveling are felt as soon as you save up enough silver to buy a 6-slotter bag, and in some sense it's a change that can be thought of as correction to an unblizzlike 2x experience rates ("you make half the gold by spending half the time performing acts that grant you gold -> halve the costs -> your purchasing power at any given level is normalized to Blizzlike levels"), rather than being a new category of unblizzlikeness. If you follow this line of reasoning further, halving training costs prior to level 55/60 arguably makes the most sense, although in that case you might also want to halve 60% riding skill cost so as to maintain sufficient level of incentive, or just discard my outlined logic and reduce costs till the end.

Edited by KimmoKM

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KimmoKM    36

By the way, while I'm in agreement that something should be done, there's one major omission in the poll: "No changes are needed".

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Souka    4
22 minutes ago, Bezawit said:

I really dislike giving an xp bonus to Alliance players. Other servers (Hellfire2 specifically) gave free level 30 mounts (dont remember if they gave bags too) and it was enough to ensure an even split. 

 

If I knew it could be done correctly, I would vote racial redesign. Give Horde/Alliance Paladins SoV/SoB. Potentially give Fear Ward only to Alliance- only Dwarves and Draenei had fear ward during retail TBC until 2.3. Potentially make Stoneform usable on Blind like it was until 2.2

 

If a guild min/maxes Draenei Auras, PvE is relatively balanced between the factions (aside from Paladin seals). PvP is the reason people go Horde in TBC- find a way to incentivize pvpers to go Alliance.

Keep in mind it's Blind that changed from Poison to Physical in 2.3 and not Stoneform. Such a change would change every rogue's gameplay (and some other classes: rdruid/sham abolish/remove poison/cleansing totem, pallies cleansing instead of BoPing...)

Alliance only Fear Ward is something I can see tho, or even non-UD only.

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Tristan    0

In my opinion, giving some bonuses (tbd) + Seal of Blood to Alliance is the best way to go.

Speaking from my perspective as a paladin, SoB gives a huge advantage for horde dps paladins PvE-wise. Giving it to alliance is not really a "gamebreaking" feature, since almost the only scenarios where it is useful are PvE related so it won't affect PvP, and it will end up encouraging a healthier PvE competition.


So I vote for options 1 and 3 (but 3 only for SoB, absolutely nothing else).

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Mithrie    0

I Think the hellfire team did a Good job when they where around. Think the server stayed like 55-45 atleast. Free mountS and waay faster rep. 

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Jeansapin    0
3 hours ago, Miek said:

The only racial redesign I may agree with is having seal of blood for ret paladin alliance.

So bonuses for alliance or nothing. But if you don't give them a huge bonus people will still go horde.
 

100% agreed

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mannimarco    9

I think bonuses to the alliance (for experience or lowering the cost of training) will not give the desired effect, this method was used on different servers,  for example HellGround does not help much.
If we talk about any bonuses that change the abilities of classes or specs, then this will hard named blizzlike server.
The possibility of interfractional transfer of characters would be good, but this can be deliberately abused. That is, some of the players will play characters for the fraction with the greatest online (in which it is easier to do), and then they will transfer the character to the other fraction, thereby gaining an advantage over the players who initially chose fraction with less online.
Blocking create characters "lesser of evils". Alternatively, blocking the creation of characters is based not on a specific percentage of the fraction, but in the range (+100, 300, 500 (or more) characters than in another faction), so a group of people switching to this server will have more chances to create characters before blocking, and at the same time the ratio of fractions won't be too different.

Edited by mannimarco

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I don't understand the point of a poll where people can vote to penalize themselves or give themselves bonuses. It seems pretty obvious which one is gonna win.

But if there's hard evidence those bonuses would sort things out, I guess it's fine. Especially since there are already servers taking the penalty route, if people want to deal with that. The one thing I'd say is the devs should be really careful about what sorta toys they give Alliance, because you don't wanna offer something too nice and then have to take it away.

Also, impermanent rewards are probably gonna be a pain for people joining after launch. Cause even though the overall totals would stay similar for a while, you could have a lot of people refusing to level on Alliance post-rewards, and that sucks for any new people who would prefer Alliance.

Edited by StripedStockings

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KimmoKM    36
2 hours ago, mannimarco said:

I think bonuses to the alliance (for experience or lowering the cost of training) will not give the desired effect, this method was used on different servers,  for example HellGround does not help much.

I don't recall Hellground doing anything of the sort, be it the original server (which I remember being decently balanced)  or the relaunch. Maybe Wargate did before it kicked the bucket too? However, the balance was irrecoverably screwed at that point: the server actually launched with tolerable balance (40-60 or something to that effect, it might even have been closer than that), but it started snowballing from there. After the relaunch as Wargate, the situation was already untenable: even as the sever first guild leading the competition by a few weeks, we didn't have the recruits to fill a raid, never mind Alliance having a healthy scene that could have supported more than one high-end guild, and even extreme advantages wouldn't have been enough to convince a player to join the dead faction facing an insurmountable disadvantage in world PvP.

What I'm getting at is that the current ratio of players matters as much as any incentive in a vacuum. Playing in a slightly outnumbered faction could even considered advantageous since that's enough to provide you with instant PvP queues while not affecting world PvP by a whole lot (you have .48 potential allies who might be around to each of your opponent's .52 potential allies, big deal), or by allowing you to grab all the top players from your faction while the opposing one has two would-be server first guilds competing for recruits. On the other hand, if the balance tips too match to one side or the other, life on the lesser faction becomes untenable. Large-scale coordination, like entire guilds switching factions, might help, but when you are making decisions concerning yourself, would you join a faction that doesn't have ANY respectable raiding guilds? Or that's constantly outnumbered in Skettis even if you go there in a full party? At that point the answer is no, and you're not going to have a good time even if you were given a free 70.

Edited by KimmoKM

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Silroth    1
6 hours ago, nimeralos said:

The very important decision for Sunwell admins to make before release is - how to prevent horrible faction imbalance that is threatening every TBC server.

Reasons: Horde is considered better - better racials, better paladin seal.

Solutions:

  • Bonuses to Alliance - XP boost (permanent or eventual), free mount(s), free skills, rep/honor boost, etc.
  • Obstacles to Horde - faction-based queue, character creation lock, etc.
  • Racials custom redesign - nerf WotF, nerf Seal of Blood, add something analogous to Alliance, etc.

Answer the poll, comment, discuss.

 

Horde does not have bigger population because of better racials but because of Blood Elves being more popular than the retconned race that has no backstory.

Servers like Wargate did xp boost and didnt help the faction balance at all, nerfing Horde racials is beyond stupid because in Wotlk Horde racials were nerfed and Alliance got an overpowered human racial and on Sunwell Wotlk we still see Horde still has more players which means its not a racials issue.

I have played on many TBC servers and noticed that Blood Elves are always the most popular race on Horde while Draenei are usually 4th place, if alliance whiners were correct then the races on Horde with so called "broken" racials would be most popular and not the Blood Elves, i have seen similar threads on Wargate and Ares forums and they are made by people who just want free stuff like xp boosts, free mount training etc etc

Also to point out that on Hellground/Wargate a guild named Autismus Ultimus was dominating both PvP and PvE as Horde and then on relaunch they went Alliance and were still dominating which completely debunks the whole "Horde has advantage over Alliance" myths, its all about the players and the faction balance in TBC servers is not about racials but about the races themselves because most people would prefer to pick pretty Blood Elves with rich story over retconned ugly race that has no proper lore or background.

If something is to be done it should be done with cosmetics/vanity items and should be aimed at Draenei race which is the main reason for faction balance, for example give them option of choosing some vanity item + option of picking 1 out out 3 rare ground mounts (NOT MOUNT TRAINING) when they get to lvl 70 so there is incentive for people to play draenei outside the shaman class. 

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Klayton    1

I barely see anyone who is against ret pally seals. No reason not to add it to ally pallies regardless of what will you do about faction balance.

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KimmoKM    36
1 hour ago, Silroth said:

Horde does not have bigger population because of better racials but because of Blood Elves being more popular than the retconned race that has no backstory.

Servers like Wargate did xp boost and didnt help the faction balance at all, nerfing Horde racials is beyond stupid because in Wotlk Horde racials were nerfed and Alliance got an overpowered human racial and on Sunwell Wotlk we still see Horde still has more players which means its not a racials issue.

I have played on many TBC servers and noticed that Blood Elves are always the most popular race on Horde while Draenei are usually 4th place, if alliance whiners were correct then the races on Horde with so called "broken" racials would be most popular and not the Blood Elves, i have seen similar threads on Wargate and Ares forums and they are made by people who just want free stuff like xp boosts, free mount training etc etc

Also to point out that on Hellground/Wargate a guild named Autismus Ultimus was dominating both PvP and PvE as Horde and then on relaunch they went Alliance and were still dominating which completely debunks the whole "Horde has advantage over Alliance" myths, its all about the players and the faction balance in TBC servers is not about racials but about the races themselves because most people would prefer to pick pretty Blood Elves with rich story over retconned ugly race that has no proper lore or background.

If something is to be done it should be done with cosmetics/vanity items and should be aimed at Draenei race which is the main reason for faction balance, for example give them option of choosing some vanity item + option of picking 1 out out 3 rare ground mounts (NOT MOUNT TRAINING) when they get to lvl 70 so there is incentive for people to play draenei outside the shaman class. 

This makes sense, up to a point. I agree that most players are not min/maxers, as demonstrated by unoptimal races regularly being popular, and that typically you'd be getting faction balance close to 50-50 on grounds of the playerbase's aesthetic preferences having a roughly even split. Indeed, historically TBC servers too have maintained a rather healthy balance between the factions.

However, exemplified by the existence of this thread, a fear of Alliance side becoming a dead faction has emerged and it is now something that will factor into people's mental calculus when choosing sides. As I mentioned in my previous post, Hellground relaunch was actually pretty much fine (at first)! However, by the time server got shut down by "B" and later re-relaunched as Wargate, situation on the Alliance side became unbearable (the balance had already started tipping towards Horde, but at that point the scales broke, causing a rout of people just quitting or rerolling Horde). I don't know/remember if that was the exact point in which Alliance in TBC started becoming perceived as the low-population faction in the private server community by large, but it certainly reinforced this idea and seems to be the case now, some servers ending up being dominated by Horde or ending up even-ish despite providing perks to Alliance.

For example, we (Autismus Ultimus) decided to play Alliance for the benefit of the server, but after the re-relaunch Alliance proved to be a simply untenable environment for a high-end guild, and this fear now exists for every new project as well - by playing Horde, you can rest assured knowing it's AT WORST going to be at parity in terms of economy and pool of recruits. I was in favor of playing Alliance (for server-balancing reasons, I have no preference one side or the other beyond mechanical advantage of Horde, and in a 50-50 split server I'd unquestionably go Horde) and I have not changed my mind in that sense, but without some assurance of Alliance being a viable option, I would not play there again and I'm sure a lot of people are thinking the same thing.  This all snowballs, and at the end of the day you have lots of folks unwilling to play Alliance. This is not the whole private server population: a lot of folks would play blood elves, say, purely for aesthetic reasons, but it is a sizable slice of people more in touch with the private server communities, presumably even more so among the high-end players (the demographic already most incentivized to go Horde for the sake of better racials and seal).

As you point out, I don't think there's any innate preference to play Horde in most people's minds. But a new coordination problem has seemingly emerged, and given that you can't  just assign each player/guild to a faction with no opportunity to appeal, you have to find some way to find a way to achieve a equilibrium, providing some kind of perk to Alliance being one way to achieve that: people on the fence pick Alliance since they know the perk will also affect decisions by other people on the fence, and you'll probably end up with something close to what you'd get if this whole phenomenon didn't exist. Certainly, I wouldn't expect any reasonable advantage to overshoot the balance point and make Alliance the bigger faction (for example, Warmane has had strong boost to Alliance in various events and the current population allegedly still remains Horde-favored at 4.05k/3.45k H/A), making it a rather risk-free endeavor. Maybe a series of reasonably balanced servers will cause the idea of Alliance population disadvantage to fade into obscurity as servers can also revoke Alliance-favoring policies,ending up with people forgetting all of this was even a thing, but here and now, I think it is a realistic concern.

Edited by KimmoKM
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