These are some changes I have drafted, I tried to stick to making adjustments and tweaks to existing code(s) rather than adding anything too new or any large overhauls. Ruler
Increase the random chance to become ruler with certain factors. Currently it's 1% and then some weird formula about premium accounts (which is stupid anyways).
Every 5 FS after 70fs (75, 80, 85, etc) increases 0.2% per 5 FS.
Every 20 rank after 1000 (1020, 1040, 1060, etc) increase 0.2% per 20 rank.
Every 1 month in a kingdom increases the chance by 0.1%, but caps after 6 months (0.6%)
In example then, a new player with 71 FS and 1000 rank has a 1% chance. A more seasoned player that has been playing since the start of the server (4 months), 82 FS, and 1072 rank has a chance of (1% + 0.4% + 0.4% + 0.6%) = 2.4% In my opinion, it makes sense that we up the chances to become ruler for players that fit the role - tenure, fighter, and has shown to be involved in PvP with rank. I believe that different rulers make the game more fun, they bring new life into the game, and give other players the opportunity to have their own legacy. That's why I would also consider more rules for abdication:
A mechanic that after 6 months a ruler is automatically abdicated (excluding PMKs obviously) to shake up the game a bit.
Rulers should be abdicated if they have a bad success rate. In example: The subjects of Mol Rehan have slain x appointment levels of enemy nobles. Their enemies have slain x levels of Mol Rehan nobles, which equals x% success. After one month as ruler if their success rate is less than <30%, they should be held accountable as the ruler, and auto-abdicated. This gives more purpose to a ruler, the game can then determine if a ruler was really successful or not. Perhaps a title can be given depending if the ruler choose to abdicate, was forced to abdicate, or timed out after 6 months.
Polearms and Barding Meta
Right now we're in a polearm and barded horse meta, and frankly it is extremely boring. Players that are not using a spear or halberd are at a huge disadvantage in PvP, and most other 2-handed weapons require 4+ hits to kill a barded horse. I don't like that polearms have a damage bonus against both horses and players, and the polearm damage against players works even if the other players are mounted. Watch this video of how fast someone dies against polearms because they are mounted:
There's an overwhelming amount of players using double barded horses (main horse has barding, backup horse has barding). There's so much time being spent in killing horses as opposed to actual PvP. If a player gets de-horsed, they just get swarmed in a sea of barded horse and have no chance of survival or even killing a horse.
The bonuses with polearms need to be revisited. A lot of the damage bonuses should only work if the player using the polearm is on foot. Right now it seems (and I'm not positive, I don't read the game code) it works regardless if the polearm-wielder is mounted or not. Right now PvP is a lot of just going in, swinging once, backing out, repeat. I'd like to see damage bonus from polearms only work against horses if the wielder is on foot.
Fix the bug with young horses and barded horses. This sucks, and it sucks more that so many are still abusing it, but I don't blame them. If you aren't doing it, and your enemy is, it's a major disadvantage. If you can't fix it, band-aid it by not allowing young horses to wear barding.
Barding should have a bigger impact on speed especially when horses are wounded. Decrease the speed of horses more when using barding, and heavily decrease speed when horses are hurt or wounded. Horses with chain barding at Wounded should be almost immobile (go less than 5km).
There was a time on Wild (shoutout to Nosyt) when dual wielding was crazy. Weapons had the same swing timer, but it was nerfed to a point where the offhand weapon now barely swings. The game should explore more viable options for weapon types, and playstyles. We should have players that can choose to play sword and shield, 2 two handed weapons, or two weapons. The risk of dual wielding is you can't block and it should drain stamina faster because you're swinging two weapons.
Develop a better algorithm that determines offhand swing by timer based on weapon types. In example a large axe + large axe = 4s + 8s. Large axe + small axe = 4s and 6s, Small axe + Small axe = 3s and 5s. Small axe + shortsword = 3s and 6s (same weapon category would give a small bonus as opposed to mixing and matching).
No one buys anything on Defiance unless they're crazy, and most valuable items have no worth here because the risk of dying and losing it is likely. I don't understand why we're not allowing affinities and all skills (including Fight Skill) to transfer from PvP to PvE. If someone on PvE wants to train up there, and then hop over to Defiance to take the risk and try to gain some affinities - go for it! Who cares? If they're coming over and taking the risk, killing other players, earning affinities, they deserve to keep them regardless what server they go to.
Allow FS to transfer between Defiance/PvE. Perform a one-time data job to keep highest FS based on which server its highest on.
Allow affinities to transfer between Defiance/PvE. Perform a one-time data job to merge affinities players have on both servers.
If using the portal from PvE to Defiance, all items on you transfer, but then stay on Defiance. A warning message would need to be implemented.
I'll tie in how items can be transferred over below through another mechanic, but I do agree players should be able to come to Defiance, participate in HotA and events, and profit from the rewards.
Defiance should be all about the kingdom winning, not individual players. A lot of the rewards are not scalable. They work in a small game, but if the server had 500+ players, there would be a lot of complaints over how small of a reward there is. HotA, Valrei scenarios, and the depot is they're based really around a few single players in a group winning them. Most players do not benefit from the rewards or do not value moon-metal that much, and I agree. If I was new I wouldn't care if I had a few KGs of moon metal. We need rewards that benefit the kingdom, and prompt a better kingdom-wide incentive.
Changes to HotA:
Farwalker - 10% kingdom-based increased skill gain for 3 hours (except FS) + 1 moon metal lump
Bear - +1 kingdom-based bonus to offensive combat rating for 3 hours + 1 moon metal lump
Archer - +1 kingdom-based bonus to defensive combat rating for 3 hours + 1 moon metal lump
Emerald - 10% faster favor regeneration for 3 hours + 1 moon metal lump
Dragon - 10% increased chance to make an item go rare, supreme, or fantastic for 3 hours + 1 moon metal lump
Champion - 15% decrease in hunger/thirst drain for 3 hours + 1 moon metal lump
If a kingdom does capture 4 and win HotA, the buffs then increase for 12 or 24 hours (don't want to go crazy here, whatever feels right). That way a kingdom caps let's say Emerald, Bear, Farwalker, and Champion the entire kingdom receives offensive CR, increase favor regeneration, decreased hunger/thirst drain, and skill gain. It's small, but it's more impactful to everyone and rewards everyone. Right now I think if a group of 10 or more go to HotA there isn't enough rewards to go around.
I think the same logic needs to tie into scenario events. A random winner isn't fun when there are so many participants. You can have 10,000+ scenario points and win nothing. If there's missions for the kingdom, and the entire kingdom participates, why are selecting just 3 winners? Again, if this was a larger scale game there would be a lot of complaints that the prizes are going only to 3 players. I think it's okay that 3 players win some exclusive items, but there also needs to be a reward for the kingdom with it.
I think there should be a new item in the game introduced called the Golden Ticket. It's a no-drop one time use reward item that allows a user to sail to the northern border of Defiance, and cross into Harmony. The user can only have a maximum of 99 in their inventory + body, and maximum of 99 items in the boat. This will begin to allow users to come to PvP servers, fight, pillage, raid, get rewards, and then go to a PvE server to profit. It's more incentive for players to take risks, raid, go for HotAs, kill uniques, and participate in missions. The golden ticket can be gained:
Chance it drops when killing a unique
Chance it is a reward from Valrei scenario
Chance it is a reward after a kingdom's every 10th HotA win
Just some ideas and food for thought.