The sounds of battle have quieted and, as keeps across Westeros rebuild and resupply, we are happy to reveal the results of the Herald Phase.
Regional Champions of the Herald Phase:
First in the North - Kong’s Landing
First in the Westerlands - Baratheon’s Bastards
First in the Crownlands - Dead Rabbits
First in the Iron Islands - Shagga Likes Axes
First in the Stormlands - Kong’s Landing
First in the Reach - Kong’s Landing
First in the Riverlands - Shagga Likes Axes
First in Dorne - Shenanigans
First in The Vale - Ghosts of Wynterfell
As a reminder, the First-place Alliance in a region is not eligible for that region’s superlative, though they have the opportunity to win superlatives in other regions as well as the Domination superlative. The winner of the Domination superlative is ineligible to win other Superlatives.
Domination: Highest Total VP earned by an Alliance across all regions.
First Place: Kong’s Landing
Second Place: Shagga Likes Axes
Third Place: Fury Unchained
A Bloody Battle: Soves waged A Bloody Battle and inflicted more wounds in the North per participant than any other alliance to bring home this superlative.
No Moot like a Kingsmoot: Euron Greyjoy may have plans for the Iron Islands but he better watch out for Otter Delights. This alliance had the most Sabotage in Iron Islands per participant and proved that there is No Moot like a Kingsmoot.
Rich as a Lannister: Heaux Heaux Heaux had the Most successful Swindle attacks per participant by an Alliance (with at least 5 participants) in the Westerlands filling their coffers and so we name them Rich as a Lannister.
No Crown for the Beggar King: Exiles and Outlaws may not sit on the throne but they did send the most bribes in the Crownlands per participant earning the No Crown for the Beggar King superlative for this Phase.
He Knew Nothing: Jon Snow knew nothing, least of all what Mostly Unheard Mutterings was up to, but they knew all and heard all, sending out the most spy attacks in the Stormlands.
Den of Vipers: The Lancers was able to strike like a serpent and send the most Fight attacks in Dorne proving that their alliance is a Den of Vipers.
War on all Fronts: Worf’s Riders kept their cavalry busy and had the most actions in The Reach per participant, winning a War on all Fronts.
A River Runs Red: House of Baphomet unleashed a crimson tide with the most hurtful wins in the Riverlands.
The Knights of the Vale Ride Forth - The Russians proved to be a force to reckon with, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and inflicting the most camp damage per participant in the Vale, by an Alliance with a minimum of 5 participants.
Post Herald AvA Analysis Blog-Blurb
Thank you all for your participation in the Herald AvA phase! We made some experimental changes with this phase that we thought our players would like some more detail about. Especially the results of those experiments.
In summation we saw the following things:
-Overall levels of participation and engagement were unchanged.
-Spread of overall VP narrowed for rank 25-100 Alliances, indicating that the phase was more competitive for these middle Alliances.
-The level of actions per participant in rank 1-25 Alliances nearly doubled, indicating an increase in engagement for top Alliances that cannot be simply a result of scripting. We believe that the winners were more active, which is what we wanted (again, notwithstanding that scripting is a factor here). We will likely maintain the lowered Hourly VP in the next phase.
-Having regional differences in rewards had no effect on Alliances regional focus. As a result we are unlikely to re-run this aspect of the iteration.
Continue reading for a more in-depth discussion of the points made above.
Hourly VP Growth and Competitiveness
A key aim in changing the rate of Hourly VP in the Herald phase, was to make the phase more competitive for Alliances overall. We believed that by decreasing the amount of hourly VP Alliances would earn at higher levels, we could create opportunities for lesser ranked Alliances to possibly catch and pass higher ranked Alliances.
While there remain Alliances that dominate overall, when VP growth for the Herald Phase is plotted, the average gap between Alliances was reduced from 16 million to 10 million VP among the top 10 Alliances. This narrowing of results can be seen more clearly using a statistical tool called a box plot.
If you're unfamiliar with box plots, they convey overall spread of results in terms of Median, Minimum, Maximum and Quartiles (see, Wiki article for more details on quartiles).
Using such plot boxes, analysis of the Herald Phase shows that the spread of VP for the top ranks (1-25) of Alliances fluctuated over the past three phases, but that no trend can be clearly seen.
For Alliances in the 25-100 range, however, the difference between the minimum and maximum values, as well as the middle 50% of players in these ranks, has narrowed considerably. That is, Alliance competitiveness—as defined by the possibility that Alliances have the chance to catch-up and overtake Alliances above them—has increased overall.
Now, when we factor in activity level, things get even more interesting. While we don’t see any significant changes in the overall levels of participation or engagement in the Herald Phase as compared to previous phases, the level of actions by players in the top 25 ranked Alliances increased dramatically.
To be specific, during the Specter and Assassin Phases, all Alliances were clustered between ~1000 and ~1800 actions per player. During the Herald Phase, however, actions per players more than doubled in the top 25 ranked Alliances. While the illegal use of scripts clearly are a factor, the magnitude of this increase must also speak to changes made for this phase. For example, it could be that players in these Alliances reacted to the lowering of the Hourly VP rate by strategically increasing their level of actions.
In future phases, we will explore taking advantage of this increased competitiveness and per-player activity, through adjusting the relative balances among the AvA actions themselves (e.g., fight, swindle, spy). In doing this, combined with our increasing efforts to remove scripting from the game, we believe we can make AvA more fair, competitive and fun.
Regional Reward Differences
As was done in the previous two phases, two of the AvA regions—the North and Iron Islands—boasted rewards that were considered more valuable than those in the other regions (Swift Seal of Subversive Warfare and Ramsay Insignia Seal for The North, and Peerless Bandit's Seal of Warfare and Yara Insignia Seal for the Iron Islands). Our aim in creating this imbalance was to draw the largest and/or most powerful Alliances into these regions and effectively open up competitiveness to smaller Alliances in the remaining regions.
Contrary to our expectations, however, we did not see significant regional differences in the ranks of Alliances.
Where we thought we would see the top-ranked Alliances overall focus on taking The North and the Iron Islands, we saw top Alliance's battle it out more or less equally across all regions. This could be because the rewards on offer in these two regions were simply not perceived by Alliances as valuable enough to make the potential competition against other large Alliances worth the effort. Nevertheless, in consideration of these results, we will review and change this approach to rewards for the Dawn AvA Phase in January.