Game of Thrones Ascent: AvA Revamp

Hello Bannermen! Here’s an update on what we will be doing for AvA in the next several months.

Starting back in February 2015, we identified AvA as our next area of focus after Tales. With Tales launched, we turned our focus to AvA several weeks ago. Our design team started identifying pain points, I gathered a significant amount of feedback, and we all read (or in many cases, re-read) forum posts about AvA.

 

Revamp Areas

Every month, we ask for your feedback on game improvements. For AvA, the areas identified by our AvA players as needing the most work are:

  • Adding in performance-based rewards similar to Tales (72% agreed)
  • Providing more ways to earn VP through defensive or non-combat actions (62% agreed)
  • UI improvements (60% agreed)
  • And, of course, addressing the underlying performance issues.

(Source: March - May AvA Surveys, out of 2,160 AvA participant responses)

 

So, based on your feedback, we are focusing on four areas for improvement in AvA during this revamp:

  • Improving the UI, with a focus on giving you the information that matters, on the screens that you use the most.
  • Improving AvA performance, and fixing the root cause of a lot of AvA performance issues.
  • Changing AvA actions and camps so they have a meaningful impact at all stages of AvA. Special attention will be given to the Aid, Bribe, and Spy actions.
  • Changing AvA rewards so they reward both participation and ranking.

These areas match up closely with the areas that our AvA players have identified as needing the most improvement. They also match up with the areas we identified as needing the most work, and we’re excited to redo those parts of AvA. We began the work a few weeks ago, and we've started development on these improvements.

 

Improving the UI

The AvA UI has been unchanged for the last year and a half. With the exception of a few additions, especially AvA parties, the core AvA UI remains exactly as it was laid out in 2013. That will change this year.

Our team is working on improving the efficiency and flow of AvA itself. Those improvements are still under development, but they include better ways to find targets, surfacing the information you care about most, and streamlining the experience wherever possible. No promises, but some of the things we’re discussing are:

  • Improving target finding (including Alliance name search)
  • Streamlining the attack interface.
  • Combining the camp screen with the regional leaderboards, letting you have the information you need at your fingertips, and make attacks with fewer clicks or taps.
  • Including summary information about your Alliance and members, viewable by your leader, officers, or everyone.

As we get closer to a final design, we’ll be sharing details with the community.

 

Improving AvA Performance

This is the deepest change we’re working on for AvA. As I pointed out in this series of posts, AvA performance is poor from several deeply-rooted causes. To fix this, we will be rethinking how we process and resolve AvA actions. We’re still determining what form that will take.

 

Changing AvA Actions To Be More Meaningful

Our design team has been thinking about this for a while. We’ve known for a long time that some actions are …. less than useful in AvA. This summer, we’ll be reworking AvA actions so they’re more meaningful throughout the entire phase. Some may be tweaked, while others may be completely changed to perform different actions.

 

Changing AvA Rewards to Reward Participation

One of the parts of Tales that has been universally loved are the threshold rewards. Giving players better rewards for greater participation is something we want to bring to AvA as well. Rather than having a single seal for participants, you’ll get better rewards the more you participate in AvA.

 

AvA Changes Coming In Q3 2015

We’ll be working on these changes from June 2015 to September 2015. Like all major changes, they will take time: we need to design, build, and then release them across three platforms. For our current AvA players, after reviewing how the Terror Phase performed, we decided to pause AvA until the performance issues are resolved. AvA will start back up once we're confident in our performance changes.

What this means for our AvA players is that AvA may be paused for a significant period of time, potentially two months or more. We’re not going to reopen AvA until we’re confident the performance issues are fixed. Those fixes may take weeks, or they may take months. Until we are confident they are fixed, we will be doing a number of things to keep our AvA players busy: XP bonus weeks, seal slot sales, new Tales, new building upgrades and crafting improvements, and other new content and updates. When we’re closer to a solution for the performance issues, we’ll give a more solid date for AvA being turned back on.

Thank you for your patience with AvA as we work on these changes, and thank you for being part of the Game of Thrones Ascent community.