Looking Back at Three World Events

Hello folks! I spent some time this weekend researching and writing up this blog post to help commemorate the awesome achievement of completing The Shiver World Event! This event saw huge commitment from all of our players and as a result, everyone received the highest level of reward: a Legendary Direwolf Skull!

 

 

It’s a perfect time to discuss the three World Events so far, and look at some Alliances and individuals who have excelled at sending out orders.

 

Comparing the Events

The first question we asked each other was: “What happened differently in The Shiver, that led to it being completed?” To get our answer, we looked at some key metrics like Alliance Tactic usage, Tribute usage, participation levels, average damage, and total participants. But before we dig into that, let’s compare the three World Events:

 

World Event #1: Invasion on the Narrow Sea

  • Length: 7 days
  • Contribution to unlock: 6,000,000
  • Time until unlock: 19hrs 48min
  • Stage 1 (easy) health: 500,000,000
  • Stage 2 (easy) health: 1,000,000,000
  • Stage 3 (medium) health: 1,500,000,000
  • Stage 4 (hard) health: 3,000,000,000
  • Total health: 6,000,000,000
  • Total damage done: 5,772,455,777 (96.20%)

 

World Event #2: The Sealord is Dead

  • Length: 6 days
  • Contribution to unlock: 5,000,000
  • Time until unlock: 36hrs 12min
  • Stage 1 (easy) health: 1,000,000,000
  • Stage 2 (easy) health: 1,200,000,000
  • Stage 3 (medium) health: 1,600,000,000
  • Stage 4 (hard) health: 2,200,000,000
  • Total health: 6,000,000,000
  • Total damage done: 4,863,732,404 (81.05%)

 

World Event #3: The Shiver

  • Length: 7 days
  • Contribution to unlock: 6,000,000
  • Time until unlock: 5hrs 51min
  • Stage 1 (easy) health: 1,000,000,000
  • Stage 2 (easy) health: 1,200,000,000
  • Stage 3 (medium) health: 1,600,000,000
  • Stage 4 (hard) health: 2,200,000,000
  • Total health: 6,000,000,000
  • Total damage done: 6,000,000,000 (100%)

 

And to refresh everyone, here are the changes we made between each World Event:

 

Invasion on the Narrow Sea: This was the initial deployment of World Events. Players could send out five orders with five Sworn Swords.

 

The Sealord is Dead: This was the second world event and incorporated the following changes:

  • The ability to send out a Sworn Sword on an additional order, using the new Weakness mechanic.
  • Surfacing who exploited a weakness, along with their Sworn Sword, telling others who opened up the additional order.
  • Since the Stage 3 portion was delayed a day, we made some changes to the event: We reduced the contribution requirements from 6,000,000 to 5,000,000, and increased the amount of health at easier difficulties (stages 1 and 2) and reduced the amount of health at higher difficulties (stage 4 especially).

 

The Shiver: This was the third World Event, which you all just completed:

  • The introduction of new Alliance Tactics which could increase World Event damage.
  • A peerless tribute that allowed two additional order slots.
  • Contribution items were changed from usable gear to resources.
  • We kept the health values the same from The Sealord is Dead, rather than reverting them to the Invasion on the Narrow Sea values.

 

One or two players suggested we were behind the scenes manipulating the values in real time, adjusting the event to be harder or easier based on our player’s progression. As much as we would like to claim credit for being diabolical masterminds, the contribution and health of each World Event is defined before they begin, and do not change during the event.

 

Key Differences Between Events 1and 2, and Event 3

When we first balanced the World Event, we based our estimates on hard data pulled from recent Boss Quests and Alliance Challenges. Here is how we did the initial balance for a system that had never existed before:

  • First, we split our players into several broad cohorts: Levels 5-30, levels 31-50, levels 51-100, and levels 100+.
  • We then counted, averaged, and pulled out standard deviations of total damage done during these challenges. We additionally averaged the overall character stats over several points of time across these cohorts.
  • We then established daily damage estimates of 5 orders per day (which do the same damage as Boss Quests or Alliance Challenges) with 10% player participation, 50% player participation, and 100% player participation.
  • Lastly, we looked at our daily active players who were most likely to participate in the World Event.

Using this data, we balanced the World Event damage thresholds.

For the contribution amounts, we balanced the total amount needed to open the World Event off of real game data and item quantities. We estimate, based off of unequipped quantities of items and spare spoils in the economy, how many items are available to be contributed, and then set the threshold at a portion of those items.

From a balance perspective, the key difference between Events 1 and 2 and Event 3 is that we consciously kept the damage thresholds for the event at their easier Event 2 amounts, rather than returning them to their Event 1 amounts.

Other factors that contributed to completing Event 3:

  • The contribution items for Event 3 were not gear; they little value aside from being used in the World Event or post-World Event.
  • Many Alliances chose to activate the Alliance tactic that increased World Event and Challenge damage. World Event / Challenge damage tactic spending during that event increased by 300% - 400%.
  • Some Alliances took the time to craft the peerless tribute that allowed two additional order slots to open up for six hours.

Based on this and other data, we feel confident that the primary reason The Shiver was completed was because we kept the event at the same difficulty level as The Sealord is Dead, as well as because players were faced with less personal conflict over whether to contribute items to open the World Event, or keep the items for themselves.

 

Player Questions

I asked some of our players for their questions about the World Event, so I could answer them in this blog post.

 

Is there going to be a break between future World Events?

We don’t plan on taking breaks between World Events in the future. In the past, we experimented with breaks of various lengths between AvA phases, and we tried a week break between the Iron Bank and Braavosi cycle. If we take a break, then some players get bored and stop playing. If we don’t take a break, then some players and Alliances choose to sit out a phase. The most common concern is that this doesn’t give players time to reincarnate. That isn’t born out by the data: When we take a break, players do not reincarnate significantly more often than during the cycle. We have chosen to not take breaks and embrace Alliances sitting out phases if they choose to.

 

Are there plans to add leaderboards to the World Event?

Yes, we have plans to add leaderboards to the World Event. We have discussed both Alliance and individual leaderboards for each cycle. Whether they would award any extra prizes is up for debate, as is when this would be implemented.

 

Are there greater or fewer Alliances participating in AvA / World Events over time?

It has been over a year since we introduced AvA to Game of Thrones Ascent. Even though we have massively increased the number of players in Game of Thrones Ascent, the alliances choosing to compete in AvA has remained relatively stable across phases and cycles when adjusted for increased player numbers.

 

Will the AvA VP calculations be changed up to discourage farming?

Our design team and I have discussed this at length. We have been working on revamping the VP formula, and wanted to get it in for this next cycle. We ran out of time for the Valyrian cycle, but we’re looking to modify the VP formula to factor in garrison size and camp damage in the future. How to balance the changes is a large part of why this did not make it into the Valyrian Cycle - we need to carefully think about what the consequences of these changes will be. We'll be asking for feedback in Ear of the King as we get closer to release.

 

What about AvA bribe?

We’re discussing how to change AvA bribe as well. We’re aware of how useless it can be later in the cycle! While a full refresh of AvA isn’t going to happen for a while, we do have tweaks and changes planned for future phases.

 

Does Disruptor Beam participate in the World Events?

Yes! We all play alongside you guys. I personally swap between Alliances regularly, reading Alliance chat, participating in attacks, and seeing how our changes are perceived. As a company, we are strong believers in playing the games we make.

 

Fun Numbers!

Top Attacker: Vitae Bloodbane, who has sent out 2,762 orders over the past three world events.

Top Alliance: Kong’s Landing, having done a combined 478,274,289 damage across all three World Events.

Most Wounded Sworn Sword: Wild Alys Farwynd, pledged to Chi Wildheart, has suffered over 150 wounds failing orders in the three World Events.

Most damage done per hour: 68,185,580 damage in a single hour.

Highest number of players per hour: 11,699 players sending out at least one order in an hour.

 

And early numbers on which Direwolf Skull players are going for …

  • 44% are going for the Battle Direwolf.
  • 29% are going for the Trade Direwolf.
  • 27% are going for the Intrigue Direwolf.

Until the next blog!

-Nod