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UTC 12 : 10 Jun 20, 2024
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Node War Systems Feedback & Reflections
May 29, 2024, 22:45 (UTC)
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1 2
Last Edit : Jun 7, 2024, 12:28 (UTC)
# 1

Family Name: Fear

Region: EU

Comments:

Preamble

Few people requested that I write up a post reflecting on the Node War systems, new and old, as they felt I could convey some of their points with my wall of text. I will be honest after my past experiences offering feedback I was resistant to the idea, but I also want to continue creating and leading content in this game for a while longer yet so I might as well throw my two cents in the mix.

For those who do not know me and consider me a random numpty. I am the guild lead of Unpredictable, an EU PvP guild with a focus on Node War & Siege. I have actively participated in Node War since 2017 with only a couple of extended breaks, experiencing the highs and lows of pretty much every system we have ever had.

The intention of this post is to highlight some broad issues, offer some insight and suggestions, and provide some commentary on some fundamentals. I will not be covering every issue or tangent to my points - you can just consider this me wanting to open a discussion in the right place and see if anyone appropriate responds.

New System

- Number of neutral forts

On uncapped gear wars especially the number of available forts has been too many due to the presence of "snipe" guilds. The ratio of 2:1 is ideal when applied to guilds that are competitive on the tier, but that is not reflective of all the guilds that participate. I need to be clear that when I say "snipe", I use it as a recognisable term but it can also be applied to smaller guilds that genuinely want to take part in uncapped gear content but are often unable to contest forts depending on the distribution of top-end guilds.

I will be honest I have no clear solution to this. Every 'participation requirement' I have seen suggested could inadvertently be a barrier to entry for guilds wanting to genuinely participate and that misses the point.

- Fort capture last hits

The nature of the winner being decided by who holds the node when it times out trivialises the majority of node war, especially given the durability of forts and lack of need to break down anything to take the objective. Only the last few minutes matter to dictate the outcome and it usually comes down to bodythrow fiesta or cheese plays, removing most need for strategy or any sense of progress. 

Possibly a system where the time holding a fort accumulates until either a guild has filled the fort quota or whoever held it the longest at the end of the hour. This approach would make every moment of the war count at least when competing for nodes. 

Eg. NodeA times out after 20minutes. GuildA holds the node-fort for 12minutes before GuildB takes it from them. GuildA then takes the node-fort back from GuildB and holds it for a further 8minutes, GuildA wins that node. 

- Battle format at different scales

Even if other objective issues were resolved, the quality of raid fights encouraged by this battle format becomes worse the larger the scale. The space for coordination and structure is diminished, the server performance is extremely poor and the sense of purpose to larger raid fights is lost.

This format could see value at smaller scales, as seen by some of the fights on Balenos/Serendia capped wars, where multiple smaller raids can have rag tag battles around a fort and still have space to function as intended. It would also resolve the issue on previous simplified T1 where a guild could still have lost their fort early. I have not experienced this directly so it would be better for a guild specialising in that to offer insight, it's just my thought that this system could be used nicely for entry level, lower cap wars.

- Queue system

Once the custom role permissions are introduced, I think the queue system can be a healthy element to node wars regardless of the type of battle system. There are issues such as which forts are enabled for different node areas and fights, but the actual principle of the queue system rather than pre-placement system is something that could be healthily adapted to cut down on many pre-war squabbles and unenjoyable elements of war brought about from certain fort spots available in the game

Old System

- Frequency of node rotation

The previous format is heavily dictated by the node war areas available for your desired number and gear cap. It naturally cannot be perfect all the time, but that stresses an importance on rotating nodes to keep the gameplay fresh and varied.

I believe rotating roughly once every 3months would be enough to keep it fresh without too frequently having to action a reset.

- Distribution of node war tiers and caps

Improving the number of options based on desired gear caps, numbers and participation on a given day of the week would go a long way. My suggestions below are just hypothetical based on my own experiences and recognise they could be altered based on different player experiences or even the composition of guilds on different regions.

Simplify to three gear caps (as has been done on new system). T1 would be lowest cap and could fit into using the new 'capture' system as suggested previously. T2 would be a capped gear level (roughly based on old T4 stats) that uses the old 'base-vs-base' system. T3 would be uncapped gear. This would already open up more options to distribute nodes better between T2/T3. Further to that, distribute them in relation to popular war days per region (eg. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday on EU). Something like a T3:75, T3:50, T2:60, T2:40 on a Tuesday/Thursday would allow options of both uncapped/capped at varied scales (I do believe 75cap as an upper limit for node wars is a positive, while maintaining 100cap for Siege and WoR if it returns).

Fundamentals

- Constant tweaking update approach

PvP balancing will never be perfect but constant, smaller balance tweaks every 2-4wks would be a far healthier approach to any system. It would make players feel better acknowledged and their PvP system better loved. Extended neglect into larger revamps causes frustration 

- Acknowledge the difference in battle systems

The only thing both systems share is their name. The new system is a capture-the-hill styled mode, the old is base-vs-base. While we have had many node systems over the years, they have always been base-vs-base wars and that element is core to what players loved. If you are going to replace that rather than add something alongside it, then you need to put the effort in to acknowledge why people loved playing the old format for so long without cheapening the years of investment they made into this part of the game.

- Resolution difficulty

I am not a developer so I don't know what is functionally easier to fix. I also recognise the energy put into the new system and want to push it. That said, from my own standpoint it feels the issues it has created for itself are significantly more difficult to resolve than the issues with the old system. I do think elements of the new systems that have been created could help improve the previous system.

Conclusion

I know focusing on a specific suggestion is usually better for these threads, but I don't think that's possible with the enormity of NW revamp without just type 'revert tho haHAA' and so I hope this can get some attention. I don't really mind whether an approach in line with my comments above is used or another path is taken, but there does need to be some acknowledgement of the frustration caused and communication of the intentions going forward.

Edit: Will post further observations and thoughts via new posts on this, this was just the starting point separate to other threads.

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Unseen
Last Edit : May 29, 2024, 23:09 (UTC)
# 2

W Unseen

Last Edit : May 29, 2024, 23:14 (UTC)
# 3

Big W Unseen

Last Edit : May 29, 2024, 23:45 (UTC)
# 4
On: May 29, 2024, 22:45 (UTC), Written by Unseen

- Fort capture last hits

The nature of the winner being decided by who holds the node when it times out trivialises the majority of node war, especially given the durability of forts and lack of need to break down anything to take the objective. Only the last few minutes matter to dictate the outcome and it usually comes down to bodythrow fiesta or cheese plays, removing most need for strategy or any sense of progress. 

Possibly a system where the time holding a fort accumulates until either a guild has filled the fort quota or whoever held it the longest at the end of the hour. This approach would make every moment of the war count at least when competing for nodes. 

Eg. NodeA times out after 20minutes. GuildA holds the node-fort for 12minutes before GuildB takes it from them. GuildA then takes the node-fort back from GuildB and holds it for a further 8minutes, GuildA wins that node. 

Great write up as always Unseen. Though I want to comment specifically on this suggestion as it's something I see suggested quite often, but I believe it would fall as short if not worse than the current last hit system.

It's true that currently, all the "meaningful action" is condensed into the last moments of each fort timer. But if we adopt a system where ticking control is the most important, then fort ownership could very quickly be decided halfway through a Fort's lifetime. Take a 40 minute fort on Valencia, in a far corner. Currently, guilds will often first fight for the "?" fort, and the remaining ones then move onto the longer timer fort. But with the suggested system, if a guild already held it for 20 minutes, they could essentially walk off the node, assured that the fort would always be theirs; they held it for more than 50% of it's lifetime, so no other guild can challenge them. Even if they stayed to defend, the attacking guild(s) would have no incentive to attack outside of PvP.

For that reason, I'd rather see PA make most if not all forts "?" Forts, thus ensuring that guilds must, at the very least, constantly fight for control of the forts. Yes it would be an extremely unpredictable situation, but it would "fit" the new "permanent combat" goals PA seems to have with the NW rework this time around. Maybe leaving 1-2 60min forts guaranteed at the end.

To me, the best fights in the granted very limited time we've had, have been these sorts, where guilds will all fight for the valuable and hectic "?" Sticks, and the remaining ones then move onto the remaining forts, ensuring constant combat.

As for the last hit mechanic. I'd prefer a system suggested on the podcasts, where flipping a fort makes it enter a neutral state for a short while, during which all guilds can "charge" control on it by standing within an area close to it, a true "KoTH", thus rewarding the guild with the most control of the stick, and not a lucky last hit.

Still agree with basically everything you wrote! Just sharing thoughts on this part. 

Last Edit : May 29, 2024, 23:52 (UTC)
# 5
On: May 29, 2024, 23:45 (UTC), Written by Helegnes

It's true that currently, all the "meaningful action" is condensed into the last moments of each fort timer. But if we adopt a system where ticking control is the most important, then fort ownership could very quickly be decided halfway through a Fort's lifetime. Take a 40 minute fort on Valencia, in a far corner. Currently, guilds will often first fight for the "?" fort, and the remaining ones then move onto the longer timer fort. But with the suggested system, if a guild already held it for 20 minutes, they could essentially walk off the node, assured that the fort would always be theirs; they held it for more than 50% of it's lifetime, so no other guild can challenge them. Even if they stayed to defend, the attacking guild(s) would have no incentive to attack outside of PvP.

What he meant to say is that u need to hold the fort for X minutes (20 in his example) total during the 1 hour nodewar, if nobody does then nobody gets it

Last Edit : May 29, 2024, 23:59 (UTC)
# 6

Thank you for putting so much effort in to creating this post!

Lots of good points on there, don't entirely agree with everything but here's my thoughts:

Personally I think the new system has the potential to be a lot of fun and if the problems are fixed it will be much more enjoyable than the last system. Currently, it's the worst we ever had.

Biggest issues imo are the lack of fight because a guild that has contributed literally nothing to take down a fort can just steal it with a lucky hit and it's entirely worthless how long you held a fort or how much you fought for it until the last minute.

Solutions:

- Make multiple forts in the region start with the same timer so guilds have to decide which one they want to fight for instead of just going for the one that's soon to expire
- Increase the timer of a fort by like 5 minutes if the owner changes, this way low timer forts aren't entirely unattractive anymore and there's more fighting in general. Also cap the maximum nodewar time to 2 hours.

- Either have all timers invisible or no questionmark forts, strongest guild on the war will always take that one for the extra rewards and interrupt the fights on other forts to have content

- Give guilds who held a fort for longer than half the timer some extra reward and make it so that your guild needs to contribute at least 10% of taking down the fort hp to be eligible as the next owner

- Remove annexes close to the fort when the owner of said fort changes, enemy flametowers should not be able to shoot at your fort...

- When there's less than 12 guilds participating for the same cap put them all in the same region instead of splitting them up, so if there's 11 guilds they're all together when there's 12 they split up into 6 per region so both regions will have at least 3 forts

- The middle cap is very unpopular even tho most guilds/alliances (in EU) would aim for 40-50 people in nodewars. The old T3 gearcap was preferred by a lot, please just change the gearcap and tankyness of buildings

- If possible add another uncapped tier with lower membercap, could be 50 for Calpheon/Kamasylvia and then add O'dyllita/Ulukita as the large scale 70+ regions (this would also separate the giga guilds from average uncapped enjoyers)

This will probably drown in copypasta but whatever wanted to note my thoughts somewhere and hope anyone who cares about it will see.

Goodnight ^^

Last Edit : May 30, 2024, 01:36 (UTC)
# 7

easy solution for now 

every fort as " ? " - and they all 30mins-60mins

and 1 timed fort always at 60mins. even if only 3 guilds particpate.

ofcourse eventually MORE changes are needed for this system i cant think of right now either 

1 5
Lv Private
IframePls
Last Edit : May 30, 2024, 05:42 (UTC)
# 8
On: May 29, 2024, 23:59 (UTC), Written by Vannie

- Remove annexes close to the fort when the owner of said fort changes, enemy flametowers should not be able to shoot at your fort...

- The middle cap is very unpopular even tho most guilds/alliances (in EU) would aim for 40-50 people in nodewars. The old T3 gearcap was preferred by a lot, please just change the gearcap and tankyness of buildings

This needs to be addressed from the start. When I first watched a video of the new NW changes in KR and noticed this happening, I asked myself, "What? Wait, this can't be!" It makes no sense for any defensive structures to remain in the vicinity of the fort once the owner changes. They need to respawn.

Additionally, although this is not an emergency change, the base or fort locations need improvement. Many of us who were involved in planning, placing, and building bases in the old NW system noticed that the fort locations are not ideal. For example, forts are placed next to large rocks, too close to the safe zone, or on hills where the elevation makes defense problematic. This is something developers should consider.

Regarding the cap, I also agree. T4 was a less popular choice for everyone, whereas T3 was always the preferred option.

Unseen, great feedback!

Lv Private
FoxyBee
This was deleted by the writer.
Last Edit : May 30, 2024, 10:05 (UTC)
# 10

Good to wake up to some constructive responses :gladge:

I won't always respond but just to the posts made already to re-iterate and clarify my main angle

On: May 29, 2024, 23:45 (UTC), Written by Helegnes

Post by Helegnes

I would argue that the dynamic of having to consider a guild's control over what is essentially a 'backup' node could make things more interesting than a pure RNG last hit fiesta over "?" node to then move onto the next. Guilds already have no incentive to leave the fort they are defending, this at least gives value to the time spent defending and forces guilds to consider taking it from them at earlier times.
That being said, I want to clarify I was just throwing out hypothetical suggestions to show constructive intent towards the new system, but my core point is that I think too many overlapping factors and the nature of the objective makes it too difficult to fix to an approachable level yet alone tweak towards being balanced. I do like your idea of a true KoTH as a separate game mode overall, however I still think the raid gameplay would be dreadful for medium-large scale Node Wars.

On: May 29, 2024, 23:59 (UTC), Written by Vannie

Post by Vannie

Absolutely some valid points, not going to bog down into too many details because I think that's how we confuse the overall message and we appear to be in disagreement as a PvP community, when first we just need the overall approach to patching PvP game modes and receiving/acknowledging feedback to be vastly improved first so it's easier to identify our hurting points

I will just clarify within my own points with what you said in reference to old T3/T4 cap - I am indifferent, the point of that part of my post was just to basically say "T1:KothCap, T2:BaseWarCap, T3:BaseWarUncap". Any finer stat balancing beyond that isn't worth digging into detail right now, though broadly speaking the old-T3 player stats with old-T4 annex stats wouldn't be a million miles off. 


Although it's only a small part of my original post, the constant tweaking updates approach would be the thing I desire above all else as it means you come across as listening to the playerbase and any mistakes are minor and easily amended again. The rest is just about getting the platform to discuss feedback with the right representatives of the community to avoid all the clutter noise I guess, which is admittedly difficult

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Unseen
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