We had a vision. Another “blitz” AvA phase with exciting and experimental changes and additions. This phase was to be called Oracle, and at last it is here!
Oracle is meant to be a change from the ordinary and provide an opportunity to test experimental settings and new functionality. It will run from Wednesday, November 1st at 11am ET (15:00 UTC) to Friday, November 3rd at 11am ET (15:00 UTC). Those Bannermen who participated in the Rogue Phase in May will recognize a number of similar elements in Oracle, but will also see significant new changes as well.
This blog will provide a basic overview of Oracle, and explain in general terms how it differs from normal AvA phases, and from Rogue as well. For full details, please subscribe to our changelog and FAQs forum thread, which can be found here: https://forum.disruptorbeam.com/gota/discussion/1163/oracle-phase-changelog-faqs
Another Experiment in Gameplay
Oracle is an experiment, full of changed settings and new functionality. While we have worked hard to test every aspect of Oracle, it is important to keep in mind that some changes likely will be more successful than others. Remember, this is not your normal AvA: Oracle is best suited for Alliances looking for a different kind of AvA full of adventure and more than a few surprises.
Low Risk and Low Cost
Like our last blitz AvA phase, Oracle will require little in the way of silver or consumables for you to play. Also, there will be no cost to replace Sworn Swords throughout the phase, and camp contributions have been disabled, both to increase the importance of actions and to help level the playing field for all Oracle players.
Your Efforts Will Be Rewarded
Like any other AvA phase, Oracle will include First and Second Rank Regional Titles, as well as Threshold rewards. But in addition to those, we are pleased to announce that Oracle will also offer something new and unique: Superlative Titles. These in-game Titles, listed below, will be awarded to the participating members of any Alliance who win the Superlative in each region (along with the Westeros-wide, Domination Superlative). And, in case you are wondering, if successful, we will carry Superlative Titles forward to subsequent AvA phases—though with updated names, of course.
Experience Points (XP)
Already announced, we’ll just remind Bannermen that Oracle will also include the ability for Players to earn Character XP by sending actions in AvA. For more details on how this will work, please read our earlier blog: https://www.disruptorbeam.com/blog/2017/10/17/gota-character-experience-in-ava
We have also updated the XP mouseover to include the amount of XP needed by players to gain each level.
Proximity of Attacks
As any sellsword or knight might tell you, the closer your enemy, the more rewarding the fight. So why not in AvA? Introducing, for Oracle, something we call “Proximity of Attack”. Put simply, with this change, attacking enemy Alliances who are closer to your leaderboard rank—whether above or below your Alliance—will mean greater reward for you when that attack is successful. The further away the target Alliance is in either direction, the less VP you will gain by a successful attack. This only will apply to harmful actions; helpful actions will provide a static VP amount to allow you more flexibility. The changelog will have more specifics on this change, if you are looking for them.
To help you make the best use of this change, the Leaderboard will center on your Alliance, regardless of your rank, and display the fifty Alliances above and below you.
The purpose of this addition to Oracle, aside from more closely mirroring the Game of Thrones world, is to provide incentive for Alliances to attack more than just the highest-ranking among you. This, we believe, will make for a more dynamic and interesting phase.
Time, Time, Time
Another change from our previous blitz phase, Rogue, is the increased frequency of the Passive VP (Victory Point) timer from once per hour to every 15 minutes. Effectively, this means that Passive VP will be updated for each Alliance four times an hour, and the leaderboard updated accordingly.
The purpose of this change is to provide Alliances with a more up-to-date reflection of their Passive VP earnings so their Leaders can make more accurate strategic decisions. Of course, we know this will disrupt the usual patterns and habits of play, making the usual “by the clock” strategies more difficult, but that is what blitz phases are for.
All About Balance
In the Rogue phase, many Bannermen felt that the balance of Passive to Active VP generation was off, and we certainly agreed with that (see the Rogue Post-Phase Analysis to read more: https://www.disruptorbeam.com/blog/2017/5/18/post-ava-rogue-phase-analysis). So, for the Oracle Phase, we have rebalanced the two VPs to give Active VP a stronger impact and have diminished the role of Passive VP.
Still on the topic of balance, for Oracle, we have also rebalanced the impact of the action types. Our aim is to provide you with greater tactical choice, by differentiating the impact of the various actions more.
Everything in One List
While the changelog will provide you the specific details, here is a summary of changes for Oracle to help you as you prepare.
Sworn Swords can be Replaced at no cost, and with a reduced replace timer, to allow players to easily replace those fallen in battle.
Personal VP thresholds adjusted for 48 hour phase duration to make sure that all rewards are attainable.
Rebalanced Impact of Actions, to provide greater tactical choice.
Rebalanced ratio of Passive versus Active VP from the Rogue Phase, so that Active VP plays a more significant role in your overall VP standing.
Introduction of Character XP, earned from Actions sent.
Garrison Points (GP) set to flat amount and lower the GP per player limit to provide a more level playing field for all players and open up participation.
Reduced cooldown for sending waves to allow players to maximize the amount of actions they can send within the short phase.
Action cooldown from gear will be counted towards this event, unlike what was done in Rogue.
Increased Frequency of Passive VP Timer, from hourly to every 15 minutes.
Low camp resource requirements, to lower risk/cost for participating .
No specialization Bonuses on camps, to avoid possible camp imbalances. Primary camp stat bonus is still in effect.
Lower GP required to Spy, to allow players to better use the lower GP levels in Oracle.
GP-related fealty talents not counted towards this event, to provide a more level playing field through uniform availability of Sworn Sword.
Camps restricted to a single level (with large Silver and Health pools), to keep focus on actions instead of camp maintenance.
Players cannot directly replenish Camp Health and Silver Pool with silver, but will have to replenish them through actions, to increase active gameplay.
Impact values of actions increased, to further empower actions.
Superlative Titles, to be awarded.
We wish all the Alliances planning to participate in this event the best of luck and encourage all of you to follow the changelog and FAQs in the Forums for more details https://forum.disruptorbeam.com/gota/discussion/1163/oracle-phase-changelog-faqs. As a true Oracle might say, we know this is going to be exciting.