Tree of Savior Forum

At least now there's something to do

The first night was fun. The biggest problems were lag and the balance between attacking and defending. Since everyone’s talking about lag, I’ll start with the latter. In game modes like this, it’s important to let players who don’t have big teams feel like they can have a worthwhile time. If the game is perceived as a guaranteed win for the established defending guild every time, players will drop out. The safety zone dance helped with this since it gave isolated players a way to fight without dying constantly, but format changes will be needed to let the little guys go after the main objective, so I recommend a guild alliance system.

Due to new information becoming available in the rest of the testing period, some of the stuff below will be revised. Updates to follow in a reply later.

Guild Alliances
Allow guilds to group up for a territory wars battle and function like one guild within that battle. Many guilds don’t want to merge permanently because they want to have different guild policies, but in territory wars, you need to be big to compete.

  • Only allow attackers to have alliances. The winning alliance’s host guild will have to defend alone next time, ensuring the top guilds can’t just group up to monopolize the map forever.
  • Limit the number of players in an alliance to the number of players one guild can have. Only count players who join the territory war so guilds won’t have to remove inactive players.
  • Automatically divide rewards evenly. The icon on the map will belong to the host guild that organizes the alliance.

Defender Bonuses
The format of the wars, with special bonuses for defenders, favors defense so much that it’s likely the first guild to secure the spot will just hold onto it forever. To prevent this, give the defender bonuses diminishing and eventually negative returns so a guild that has held a map for many weeks will suffer bigger and bigger combat debuffs until they’re eventually overthrown.

The map was full of very narrow chokepoints, which make it impossible for players to maneuver around. When a hallway is being blocked by an organized guild, it becomes totally impassable, favoring the defending guild too much. Maps with wide open spaces would be more balanced.

Safety Dance
I feared spawn camping would make it impossible to even zone in, but the safety zone system did a great job of letting players enter the map. Another benefit is it allows isolated players and small groups to stay alive and launch attacks from safety, so they can participate without just dying constantly. They become a course hazard that competing guilds have to avoid.

The only problem is those competing guilds can’t do anything about being cc’d and aoe’d the moment they leave the safety zone, so balance it by having the safety zone buff last an extra 3-5 seconds after you leave the zone. The exact time will need testing to prevent hasted cataphracts from attacking the capture point while they’re still safety buffed. Templar member summoning should remove the buff. Let safety buffed players walk through obstacles like ice walls the way they walk through them in town, too. This will let people get away from the safety zone when they want to, but still allow weak players to use the safety zone to participate.

The golem bosses were able to get the safety buff and become invincible, as pictured here. Maybe they wanted to prevent players from using the safety zone to slaughter bosses while invincible, but this makes bosses unkillable, so maybe they should run back to their rooms after getting the buff.

Consider adding a capturable respawn objective so you don’t always have to go back to town. To make it strategic, instead of a simple unlockable spawn point, have a goddess statue than can be controlled by either all attackers collectively or the defenders. If the attackers have it, they can respawn at a random safety zone. If the defenders have it, then nobody can respawn within the map, so it’ll be hard for them to hold the statue. This will give the defenders a reason to leave the capture point, add a good side objective, and still leave an important role for squire tents.

The points UI didn’t appear for me at all. I couldn’t see the green lines around the safety zone, either. In the final screen at the end, which had untranslated Korean text, the winning guild’s icon cycled through several other guilds’ icons for no apparent reason. TBL rules didn’t seem to apply, which is mostly fine since TBL rules are for nerds, but something has to be done about invincibility skill uptimes.

The game crashed multiple times. Other players were pointing out that Gevura crashes the game, and sure enough, it did. The other crash happened at 0.35 FPS, so that was probably the reason for it, but the Gevura one was at 9.62 FPS.

On the bright side, I only failed to load into the map once. Before the optimization patch, trying to load into a map with so many players fighting would’ve caused crashes 100% of the time. Here I could enter right in the middle of a battle, and crashes are less frequent than before, so I can spend a lot more time playing than I could in the old GBL.

Lag and Low Framerates
Low slideshow framerates happened a bunch of times. However, framerates were possibly up to 3 times higher than where they were before the optimizations.

  • 10.85 FPS standing around in a 104 player Steel Heights waiting for it to start
  • 1.13 to 3.57 FPS a short time after the start, when I tried to get out of the safety zone. This was moments before the 0.35 FPS crash picture.
  • 8.72 FPS to 15ish FPS during a fight in the middle of the war with a bunch of players around
  • 21.17 FPS in the right side golem room with about a dozen players and a boss on screen.
  • 4.13 FPS to 10.81 FPS when the left golem strayed into the safety zone.
  • 3.69 FPS to 7.92 FPS while ambushing two big guilds fighting each other.
    A year ago, most of those single digit situations would’ve crashed the game.

Here’s some ping times. Another one not pictured got just barely over 1.0 seconds. I get 21ms to the Amazon datacenter directly, and in game just now was between 0.049835 and 0.066788.
These times did not reflect the massive delays when casting skills. Frequently, I’d press a button and 2 or 3 seconds would go by before the skill cast, and then an additional long delay would happen before the skill’s effects showed up. Other players complained about not even being able to target me. I had to rely on summons, AoE’s, and auto-targeting skills to do anything. Chat worked fine the whole time, though.

Also that voice that announces when the battle starts and stops is a cute touch. I like the new character display with no names and the guild icons and HP bars on top, and the large zoom out range was really necessary.

  • CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Graphics Card: Radeon RX 560
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Internet Connection Speed: 16mb down/3mb up cable, 21ms ping time to the Amazon datacenter the servers are in
  • Team Name: Triela
  • Character Name: Vianne
  • Class Build: Cryo3/Sorc3/Sage2
  • Country/State: US
  • Comments

The way it kicks everybody back to town every time control of the capture point changes hands is a nuisance. It breaks up the flow of the game and wastes time. It can happen pretty often if the strongest guild is rotating between maps instead of just camping one the whole time - something which I didn’t expect at first, but surprisingly, guilds have been hopping from map to map since the other two maps were added.

One time it even kicked us out right after someone summoned a sorcerer cat. Those things cost two thousand whole silver now, and let me remind you the cat tax is a crime against humanity and cats should be free again.

Anyways, change it so you don’t get sent back to town when someone takes control of the capture point.

They need to add 3 NPCs on Fedimian to let players choose which map and which entrance they would like to enter. Not kicking people out would result on a constant exchange of tower ownership. It’s similar to WoE, as soon as a guild destroys an Emperium, everyone but the guild owner gets kicked out.
Adding 3 NPC’s or TW boards, call it as you will, will allow guilds to change their strategy or move as a whole to a specific entrance of their choice.
Genar Field has this constant exchange of tower ownership due to map’s structure, unlike Galeed Plateau and Inner District 8 that’s harder to penetrate. Personally i enjoy much more Genar Field than any of the other maps, it looks more balanced in general (Amplifiers, Boss and Tower location, big areas to fight).

P.S.: We need cat companions once and for all.

It’s not fun to get dumped into loading screens. If the goal is to give the capturing guild time to regroup and set up defensive structures, that could be accomplished by giving them a temporary invincibility zone around the capture point.

It would be interesting to see how well Lotus could defend Genar if they were dedicated to it (the timeline in the Lotus thread shows they were only attacking today) but Genar is a rank B map, so it’s not expected to ever be full-time camped by a top guild.

Also, 30 minutes felt a bit too short. Cat companions are a good idea, with a meow sound effect.

You’re not addressing the issue that if you don’t get warped back to Fedimian and you die, you will respawn randomly on one of the entrances. That, if you don’t want people to respawn back to Fedi.
But again, if you’re in the middle of a gvg and someone dies, they need to respawn on one of the 3+ entrances and it can’t be random cause it ruins the guild organization.
At least with a TW boards, people just have to load screens two times, rather than using a Squire camp where you need to load screens three times, And also lets guilds choose what entrance to enter.
If you have a better idea to the “respawning back to Fedi” issue, go ahead.

The capture point being captured and players dying are very different situations, so they can have separate mechanics. Dying itself removes the player from the action, but when a point gets captured, people will be in the middle of things all over the map. The latter should be allowed to continue uninterrupted.

Warp NPCs/boards would make more sense for death, where being sent to town currently serves as a penalty for dying. That raises the question of whether squire base camps should be needed for transportation, which is subjective. What if the warp board functionality were available in the TW death popup if the party had a base camp up somewhere?

It would be interesting to test that uninterruption after a guild seizes an area. I personally think it would enter a loop of tower ownership regardless of a timed invulnerability for the defending guild.
I dislike the idea of base camps being mandatory for guilds in order to continuously participate on TW. People die alot and you would need 3 camps per party on different places to try different TWM. Isn’t that just as annoying?

Exactly this–it is by far the most stressful part about trying to participate or develop a strategy.

Either that or a portal shop, but base camps have proven to be the most effective at fast travel, especially to maps like Galeed which are well separated from statues. Also is a reason why templar is ridiculously over the top.

Today, day 4, there was lag again. Sometimes skills failed to cast or the effect was delayed after casting. It was especially bad with targeting reticule skills like frost pillar and ultimate dimension since trying to recast them resets the reticule position and can make them appear where I’m standing instead of where I’m aiming, especially when framerates were low. (Mouse mode) The framerate issues happened upon encountering large enemy groups and having to load in all their models, so a few times I ran up to an entire enemy guild, stood there for a few seconds, and then cast a spell on myself.

It would also help to split the “show other character’s effects” graphics option up so you can show important effects (the green safety zone border, raise spells, heal tiles and ausrine circles) without having to show all effects.

Now that we’ve had a week of testing, I’ll update the feedback from the first day.

Guild Alliances

  • 3-map testing showed capture point turnover can be fast-paced, unlike the first day where one guild held it the whole time. Attacking-only alliances won’t work and guild alliances would need to function as single units for the whole hour.
  • The top guilds did well on offense without allies, especially in Genar. The first day was too overcrowded, and reducing the number of players per map allowed guilds to move and attack much more freely.
  • Small guilds might as well just give up on the objective. The weakest got slaughtered in the field too, so I worry that they’ll stop showing up if they don’t get backup.

Therefore there should be an alliance system for small guilds with a limit on the number of players so big guilds can’t ally to get bigger. Ideally the limit would match the sizes of the big guilds on the server, which would be about 20-30 here, but might need to vary depending on local conditions.

Defender Bonuses
The defender bonuses turned out to be fine in Genar, and if anything defending was hard there. The map changes were sufficient to solve the first day’s defense issue.

Safety Dance
The ability of players to get out of the safety zone depends mainly on framerates and lag, which is why it was so difficult in the first day. Once the game started running smoothly, players were able to zoom out of the safety zone quickly. Even when I tried to snipe them with instant cast spells, they’d often get out of range before being hit thanks to mounts, haste, and teleport/jump skills.

With high fps and low lag, a safety buff extension of 3-5 seconds after leaving the zone would be way too long and allow them to enter combat in the middle of the map while still safety buffed. 1 to 1.5 seconds should be enough.

The safety zone proved to be great for helping small groups and weak players avoid being bullied. I chased frightened players back into the zone and then I had to give up and go fight the big guilds again. Safety zones worked well except for how I could block them with ice walls and whack people the moment they stepped out, which could be prevented with a very brief buff extension to let them get a few steps away.

Getting kicked back to town every time anyone captures the point
Our members complained a lot about how dumb it was to get thrown into a flurry of loading screens seemingly at random. Let everyone stay in the map after a capture. You could give the capturing guild an invincibility zone around the capture point. Maybe turn their health bars gold to make it obvious.

Other stuff to fix

  • The framerate drops and lag caused by loading in groups of players when you first encounter them.
  • VGA crashes caused by Gevura.
  • Even with only a few people around today (4/24), I still got the bug where reticule-targeted spells in mouse mode don’t cast or cast on yourself instead of where you’re trying to aim.
  • The premium elixirs are overpowered and shouldn’t be usable.
  • There’s still that bug where mouseover-targeted spells like ice bolt (in mouse mode) can’t be cast on mounted targets unless you hit their heads. That makes it almost impossible to cast at them when they’re zooming around at high speed. Some TBL players used addons to make heads huge to deal with this. Fix it so the entire body and mount work for targeting.
  • Heavy gravity is bugged and prevents movement entirely.
  • If you use snow rolling and the snowball breaks in the middle of it, you get stuck in place unable to move for a few seconds instead of properly regaining control of your character after landing.
  • There’s some way for transformed druids to become untargetable. I’ll go look for video footage.
  • The points UI never appeared for me. Some people said only the guild master account could see it. It should be visible for everyone. I don’t know if there’s already a way, but the points window should be collapsable to save space.
  • The “Guild member X has defeated Y” messages don’t appear if you’re in a loading screen when the kill happens.

Overall, with some bugfixes and polish, territory wars will be a great addition to the game.