AvA: Camps, Actions, and VP Balance

Hey folks, this is Maxmillion, a Game Designer on GoTA. I’m excited to present the newest batch of detailed information about updated AvA! The design team has been hard at work on balancing all the different AvA systems with the goal of making AvA the most exciting it’s ever been. As discussed in previous posts, dynamic new systems like the Silver Pool have been added, and less interesting complexities like inter-camp bonuses have been removed.

The major topics of this blog post will be Camps and Actions with all their specific values, including VP. We’ll hopefully answer a lot of the remaining questions about AvA balance.

Here’s a brief Table of Contents:

  1. Camp Values
  2. Action Effects
  3. Action VP
  4. A Few Extra Notes

As a general note: one thing we have been very careful about while implementing New AvA is making sure all the numbers are quickly changeable by the team. We’ll be watching what happens in AvA very carefully and can easily make all sorts of adjustments.

Camp Values

Let’s jump right in with the table of values for an “unspecialized” camp. While there are no unspecialized camps in-game, this will give the basic values that a Specialization modifies. The Specializations determine which of Battle/Trade/Intrigue is the Primary, and each Specialization changes another of the columns in this table. I’ll address those more below.

Camp Values

Okay! Let’s start on the left with Upgrade Time. This is amount of time that it takes to upgrade a camp to this level. For instance, it will take 15 seconds to upgrade a camp to Level 1, then 20 minutes to upgrade a camp to Level 2. Upgrades of a camp can also be queued so that they will run one-after-the-other (but not concurrently). As soon as your alliance has contributed all the requirements for an upgrade, the upgrade begins and you can immediately start contributing for the next level. As soon as an in-progress upgrade completes, any queued upgrades automatically begin. There’s no limit to the number of levels that can be queued like this. If every level was queued together, it would take around 18 hours 20 minutes to reach level 10. Reaching level 20 would take a total of around 96 hours 20 minutes, or about 4 days. Unlike old AvA, Bribe does not quicken upgrades.

Next up is “Good Loot” Chance. On a successful attack, you have a chance to get a reward from a “Good Loot” set. These include Spoils and, depending on the camp level, additional items from uncommon resources to boons to more desirable items like Sacrifices and Weirwood. These percentages as well as the loot sets are unchanged from old AvA.

Garrison Size is the number of Sworn Swords that can be garrisoned in the camp at one time.

The Stat Bonuses are the base Battle, Trade, and Intrigue boosts added to all attacks and defenses of Sworn Swords garrisoned in the camp. The stat matching a Camp’s specialization is the Primary stat, and the other two stats are Secondary.  For instance, a Level 10 Battle Camp would have 700 Battle, 420 Trade, 420 Intrigue. The listed stat values are for when the camp’s Silver Pool is at the Silver Pool Base Threshold number. See the Silver Pool paragraph below for more explanation.

Health is the maximum number of Health Points for the camp. Certain attacks against this camp (or failed outgoing attacks) will cause fixed amounts of Health loss. As a camp’s Health increases with Level, the camp can withstand more damage. A camp’s Health determines its Hourly VP. For instance, if Health is at 50% of its maximum when Hourly VP is rewarded, the Hourly VP gain is also reduced to 50%. Battle Specialization Camps have an additional 30% Health making them more resistant to damage.

Silver Pool Maximum is the limit of how much Silver can be in the camp’s Silver Pool, while Silver Pool Base Threshold is the amount at which attacks & defenses get the listed Stat Bonuses. Let’s take the example of a Battle Camp at level 10:

  • If the Silver Pool is at 504,000, then the stats are at the Base Values of 700/420/420.
  • If the Silver Pool is at the maximum of 1,008,000, then the stats are at 200%, or 1400/840/840.
  • If the Silver Pool is at 252,000, then the stats are at 50%, or 350/210/210.
  • If the Silver Pool is 0, then the stats are at at 0%, or 0/0/0.

Trade Specialization Camps have a 20% lower Base Threshold, while retaining the same Maximum. Therefore it takes less silver to reach the same Stat Bonuses as Battle or Intrigue camps. As an additional result of the lowered Base Threshold, a Trade Camp at the Maximum would have 250% base stats instead of 200%.

Upgrade VP Worth is the fixed amount of VP granted for upgrading to that level. This amount is not modified by Health.

Each hour, a camp grants its Hourly VP as modified by its Health. The modification from Health is in direct proportion, so if Health is at 30% of its maximum when Hourly VP is rewarded, the Hourly VP gain is also reduced down to 30%. The exact time at which Hourly VP is collected each hour will vary between camps. Intrigue Specialization Camps will generate 30% higher Hourly VP.

Action Effects

Next I’d like to walk through the 9 different actions and their specific values. One element of the effects to note is that all effects are constant values based on the actions. For instance damage from a successful Fight is always the same value, though it could be modified by certain damage-specific stats. This means that as a camp level increases, resulting in higher maximum health, the camp can withstand a higher number of Fight actions. The attacker will want to keep increasing their Fight power in order to win more attacks. VP is a little different in that the “Base Value” is modified by a few other factors which I will explain below.

To start off, here is a full table of the values. It should be noted that the way “Effects” are listed in this table is not how they are literally implemented, but I wanted to be as clear as possible about WHAT happens to WHO. The defending camp is the “Target,” while “Self” refers to the camp where the attacking Sworn Sword is garrisoned.

AvA Action Table

Battle Actions

Battle actions are focused on doing damage and reducing a camp’s VP gain. By damaging a camp, you reduce its Hourly VP gain. With Hourly VP raised significantly compared to old AvA, keeping your rival’s Health low will be an important strategy.

Fight does a large amount of damage (300) to the target camp on victory, but contains significant risk on loss (150 damage to your camp). The losing Sworn Sword takes a wound.

Harass does a medium amount of damage (150) to the target camp on victory, and is lower risk than Fight with a low amount of damage (60) to your camp on loss. The losing Sworn Sword takes a wound.

Aid repairs a larger amount of damage for the winner (150), and a lower amount of damage for the loser (60). What this means is that every action is helpful to both yourself and your target, and there’s always an advantage to keeping your Aid high. No Sworn Swords are wounded in Aid.

Trade Actions

Trade actions are focused on adding and removing silver from camps. With silver going into a silver pool, and that pool affecting the stats of your camps, players would be wise to use Trade actions to help their friends and hinder foes. Trade actions aren’t without risk; you may find your own silver pool depleted if you’re not careful.

Keep in mind that all the silver values in AvA actions affect the Camp’s Silver Pool, not the player’s personal silver.

Barter gives a larger amount of silver to the winner (300), and a lower amount of silver to the loser (120). No Sworn Swords are wounded in Barter.

Swindle takes a moderate amount of silver (600) from the target camp for your camp on victory, and the enemy takes a smaller amount of silver (320) from your camp to the target camp if you lose. The losing Sworn Sword takes a wound.

Bribe costs a small amount of silver (200) from your camp to start. If you win, your target loses a large amount of silver (1000). If you lose, your target gains the 200 silver that you lost. The losing Sworn Sword takes a wound. Unlike old AvA, Bribe does not affect the Upgrade Timer.

Intrigue Actions

With Intrigue actions, you can play it secret and safe, hitting a larger enemy without any risk. Intrigue actions have a variety of effects, not limited to a single area like Battle or Trade.

Spy contributes to your “spy points” on a target camp. The information you can see about a target camp is based on your number of “spy points” against that camp over the last hour. Winning a Spy attack does not wound the defender, but losing a Spy attack does wound the attacking Sworn Sword. For more details, see the full explanation from our Design Review blog post: https://www.disruptorbeam.com/blog/entry/ava-summer-revamp-design-review

Sabotage does low damage (80) and removes low silver (300) from an enemy camp, with no negative effects for failure. The losing Sworn Sword takes a wound.

Steal takes low silver (300) from your target and adds it to your camp, with no negative effects for failure. The losing Sworn Sword takes a wound.

Action VP

Every successful attack earns VP for your Alliance, and adds to your personal total. Each action has a Base VP value that is then modified based on your Alliance’s rank compared to the Target’s rank, and the state of the target camp.

The first step is to determine to the Rank effect, in the form of the equation: 

VP = [BaseValue] * (1.3 ^ ((YourRank - TargetRank)/10)))

For example, if you’re rank 20 and you send a Fight against an opponent at rank 10, the equation looks like this:

VP = [100] * (1.3 ^ ((20 - 10)/10))) = [100] * (1.3 ^ 1) = 130

There are also Minimums and Maximums in place, so that VP stops decreasing beyond 40 ranks below yours, and VP stops increasing beyond 30 ranks higher than yours. You can always attack Alliances outside of that range, it’s just the VP curve stops increasing/decreasing past these thresholds.

The overall curve looks like this:

VP Curve

An additional factor that affects VP is the state of the Target Camp’s Health and Silver Pool. While there’s a lot of advantage to repeated attacks on a Target, lowering their Health or Silver Pool as much as possible, once a Camp has been essentially “destroyed” it is worth less VP. At that point, it’s best (in terms of VP) to target a different camp or alliance.

Fight and Harass will have 80% reduced VP if the target camp has less than 1% Health.

Swindle, Bribe, and Steal will have 80% reduced VP if the target camp has less than 1% of its maximum Silver Pool.

Spy and Sabotage will have 40% reduced VP if the target camp has less than 1% Health OR Silver Pool, and 80% reduced VP if the target camp has less than 1% Health AND Silver Pool.

Aid and Barter do not see reduced VP based on Health or Silver Pool.

A Few Extra Notes and Elaborations

I wanted to call out a few of areas for further explanation.

Stat Bonuses and the Silver Pool

One thing you’ll see is that the Stat Bonuses are much higher than in old AvA. Keeping your Silver Pool loaded up will provide a very significant benefit to your camp, and reducing your opponent’s Silver Pool will put a large dent in their ability to both attack and defend. We’re looking forward to a lot of interesting strategies forming around when and how much to target your opponent’s Health or Silver Pool.

Hourly VP and Defending vs Attacking

Hourly VP is also significantly higher in New AvA. There should be good reason to defend your camp well, and react to your rivals’ actions. While defense will be more important than old AvA where victory was based almost entirely on sheer number of attacks sent, we also want to avoid too much pure “turtling” behavior, of an Alliance exclusively defending. That’s one of the reasons there is no VP for winning a defense. Attacks should be the focus of AvA, they’re the most fun and the most active. But we also want there to good reasons to have a portion of your garrison defending. We’ll be ready to adjust various values like Hourly VP if we see too much imbalance towards no attacking or no defending.

Action Effect Balance

Regarding the balance of the 9 action, our primary goal has been to give each action a meaningful and distinct role, without over-complicating AvA. That’s why every action affects either Health or the Silver Pool, with the exception of Spy. Each action has its strengths and weaknesses, and situations where they excel.

For example, take Fight and Harass. The strategic choice between these actions will depend on both the situation and your personal preference. Fight deals higher damage, but is also higher risk. If you think you have a low win chance, Harass may be the safer option. But if your Silver Pool is full and your target’s Silver Pool is nearly empty, Fight could the best option.

Or let’s consider Swindle, Bribe, and Steal. Do you want to hurt your target or also boost your own Silver Pool? If you think you’re at a disadvantage and want to build up your Pool, maybe Steal is the best option. It’s a lower gain but also has no risk of decreasing your own silver. Are you at more of an advantage? Well then the added risk from Swindle may not be a big deal, and you’ll take a larger amount of silver per win. Or maybe your Alliance has a ton of awesome Barter specialists and your own Silver pool is in great shape. In that case the silver cost of Bribe is easily overcome and you have the potential of majorly draining your Target’s pool.

Action VP Balance

With all these different factors at play, we wanted the camp effects to a major driver of choice between actions. That’s why we balanced it so every hostile action returns the same amount VP. The choice between Fight and Harass shouldn’t be based on the VP return, but based on what is the best strategic option for the situation, and what you individually have put time into strengthening. Additionally this puts actions on equal footing when it comes your personal VP Threshold rewards. That said, Barter and Aid do have lower Base VP because, as purely helpful actions, there is no risk involved. There’s no downside on loss to these actions and no retaliation, so it should require a bit more work to earn the same VP. Spy is in the middle of these, sort of a semi-hostile action. There’s risk in your SS becoming wounded on loss, but it also doesn’t directly hurt your opponent.

Epic Battle

VP Scaling with Rank

As a last point, I'd like to expand a bit on what we expect with the VP scaling. One major goal is to reward Alliances for attacking “upwards”, and to discourage attacking “downwards.” You should always want to take on the most powerful alliances instead of just pounding away at easier opponents.

An important question we tackled was “Should Camp Level affect VP?” In old AvA there was a complicated table of possible VP rewards depending on the attacking Camp’s level and the defending Camp’s level. Not only was it more difficult to understand, but it resulted in some non-ideal gameplay patterns. For instance, since a higher level camp gave opponents more VP, it actually gave alliances a reason NOT to upgrade. Instead of making your Alliance more powerful, you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage. It should always be desirable to improve your camps and become more powerful!

Another important factor in this decision (and many others) is Clarity. Having understandable mechanics, even amidst complexity, is very important to the overall experience. This lets newer players get into the competition and lets experienced players focus on more interesting areas. There’s a very clear relationship between Rank and VP. Attack higher Alliances, get more VP. Attack lower Alliances, get less VP. If we were to add in Camp Level as a factor, suddenly there’s two different scales affecting each other and it’s getting way too complex.

Now, some interesting dynamics will definitely rise out of VP scaling by rank. The higher rank you are, the more of a target you become. This is especially true for the #1 Ranked Alliance.

While you may be subject to less attacks as #2 compared to #1, that still means the #1 Alliance has more VP than you. So you will have to carefully manage that distance if you want to pull ahead at the end. But #3 might be a little better off than #2. #4 might be a little better off than #3. And so on and so on. How far down do you want to risk going? Plus a lot depends on how good the top alliances are at defending.

Let’s say you’re rank #20. If an Alliance is #1, they’re probably pretty powerful and while each win against #1 might be worth slightly more than against #5, maybe you can actually win more attacks against #5. Also there’s retaliation potential. You’re #20 and attacked #1? Maybe they will accept the lower VP and just smash your camps. Maybe they’re coordinating with allies who will also retaliate against you. Also what happens if you’re #3? Well, if you only attack #1 you might be freeing up #2 to stay ahead of you. Maybe you want to first work with other Alliances to bring #2 down, before pushing past them and taking on #1. Then if you’re #1, you probably want to make some of those relationships to maintain your lead. We hope to see a big variety of evolving strategies as AvA progresses.

Mutually beneficial partnerships? Sneaky maneuvering? Swift retaliation? Sounds like a Game of Thrones!

In Closing

Thanks for reading! There’s a lot of details in this one, and we hope it answers a lot of the remaining questions about AvA. We’ll be back soon with more information about the impressive new reward gear that once belonged to (and we’re really excited about this) famous characters from the Age of Heroes!