Here, for your enjoyment -- and we’re talking Ramsay Snow style enjoyment for some -- is the heat map of the top VP distribution for the Beast Phase. Or shall we call it the “Dark Horses of the Apocalypse Phase”? Because, what we thought at first might be the emergence of two dark horses at the top of the leaderboard, Army of' Darkness and Heart of Darkness, was (mostly) none other than old Alliance friends in disguise. Subterfuge, Kong’s Landing and Shagga Likes Axes? No, just a nod to reputation. But whether dark or light, it is definitely refreshing to see some new twists in Alliance membership and names--even if some familiar strategies are still in play. (Note: Highlighted cells indicate a regional winner).
Have a look at this phase’s breakdown of harmful and helpful actions below. There remains that satisfying clash of Alliances, as the dark forces at the top successfully fight off would-be king slayers. Actually, the fights for regional titles seemed even fiercer this time. But then there is that interesting pattern of helpful actions we saw in the Rebel Phase that appears to prove that just because you’re a fierce warrior doesn’t mean you can’t also be a successful farmer. After all, like Jon said, "Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle." One does have to congratulate the Army of' Darkness: winning top VP Superlative without winning a single region is a rare event (last time it happened was back in Eventide, over a year ago). Rarity is good, right? Congratulations, AOD!
Finally, as with all phases, Beast included Superlatives that including tracking the total number of Sworn Swords killed in the North (you can see the final Superlative results here). This particular Superlative caught the attention of one of our data scientists, who has an ongoing interest in the strategies and actions of the non-top ranked Alliances; that is, Alliances in the 11-20 overall ranks. After looking at the daily Sworn Sword kills in every region for the 11-20 ranked Alliances, he thought the pattern in the Vale and Riverlands was particularly dynamic and worth sharing. I’m sure every region has a story to tell. We’re curious what the stories are for these two regions.
On a different note, we want to apologize for the significant wait-times that some Alliance players experienced during the Beast phase. Unfortunately, because to the number of players joining AvA, many players had to wait longer than acceptable times while action queues were processed on the backend. To help fix this problem we have made changes that will allow us to more quickly address these issues when they arise, and to keep AvA running more smoothly for all players. We want to thank all of you for your feedback on this, and of course, for your patience.
Incidentally, we received complaints that one or two Alliances had found a secret spell during the Beast phase that would allow them to garrison more sworn swords than allowed. But after looking into the records, we found no evidence that any alliance had more sworn swords garrisoned than allowed, although incorrect numbers sometimes appeared on the map (when suspect camps were selected, the actual number was displayed). Naturally, we are working to hunt down this dark art of a bug ahead of the next AvA Phase.