Some thoughts on Contribution in Keep Sieges

I wrote part of this as a reply to a discussion over at Wizards and Wenches. Folks were discussing the contribution system that is used to determine the loot at the end of a Keep siege. Currently the system decides how much you contributed, via some equation that nobody understands, and gives you a bonus number of points between 0 and 500 that is then added to a random number between 1 and 1000. There was a poll there, and most people felt that more weight should be given to the contribution, and less to the random number. Many felt the random roll should be removed altogether. I could not disagree more.

The problem is the contribution system does not work. The system is mysterious, and usually it is hard to tell whether it is working or not. Occasionally we come across a clear example that it is not based on any measure of contribution that rational beings would recognise. For instance this recent example of a chicken getting a silver medal for contribution.

Contributionwl5

Even if it was not completely broken, and I know opinions differ on whether it is or not, different actions are weighted differently. Think of all the different ways people can contribute during a Keep Siege. There are the obvious things like doing damage, healing, and tanking. But also you have the people who actually bring the rams, organise the troops, keep the enemy players off the backs of the folks fighting the Lord.

As an Engineer, for instance, I am treated harshly even by a non-bugged contribution system. I don’t heal, I certainly don’t tank, and I’m not going to be out-damaging a lot of folks. I do root, I throw our foes off the battlements, I knock the Keep Lord and Champions on their backs as often as I can, and I protect our healers with my life. These things are not really rewarded by the contribution system, and it would be very difficult to programme one that did give proper credit for all possible actions that help the goal.

I would further move that a fair contribution system is impossible to create. All you can do is take some very crude metrics. People being people, some will focus on raising their score in those metrics even if it is not actually the most useful thing they could be doing. That penalises the people who really are concentrating on doing what is right for the group.

In my opinion, the only thing you can do is assume that everyone present is doing the best job that they can, which is, if we’re honest, usually true. That being the case I would remove the current contribution mechanism. Perhaps you could instead simply give a bonus for being there from the beginning instead of turning up at the keep late, as well as removing obvious AFKers from the roll completely. That would at least be easily understandable and rational. Because our classes are, by their nature, unequal, and our roles during a siege different, the contribution system as it stands is inherently unfair and should be removed.

Were it up to me, everybody who participated in the successful Keep Siege would be given a token. These tokens could be saved up to buy the rewards that currently come out of the various bags we get from the Keep Lord chests. Maybe it is the liberal in me, but I just feel that an equal reward for participation is the way to go. When I lead a warband to take a keep I think of us as a team, and I reckon it would be a good thing if the reward system thought of us as a team too.

7 comments to Some thoughts on Contribution in Keep Sieges

  • Even in beta I couldn’t figure out the system. It would be nice if Mythic would at least explain how exactly the system works.

  • Malk aka "Gottfried", for now

    Hehe, what is the chicken was actually the main tank and contributed with 2 rams and major tankage all through the encounter only to level up out of the tier from the exp when the keep lord died? That would leave them a very deserving gold-bagged chicken.

    One thing I have noticed is (in PQs) too-high level characters seem to be hobbled in earning contribution. With my WP I can heal/tank/whatever in low-level PQs but I am never near the top in contribution even if Im doing practically 95% of the damage and 95% of the healing.

    Not saying the system is as good as it can be but they do get some things right.

  • According to the statement of the chicken (I linked to the thread), he was chickened for the entire time.

  • Fritha

    I like the token idea, but it’s similar enough in theory to the existing renown system that I doubt they’d implement it. :/

    I think the “random” factor is important — or at least, that it’s important that everyone who’s participated have a chance at getting something. Weighting time-invested too heavily woulddiscourage players from joining in late, and often if a Keep raid’s taking a while you *need* players to show up late, to replace people you’ve lost or reinforce your effort.

    What I think is a real shame is that there’s no reward for keep defenders.0

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