How To Fix Alliance War in Marvel Contest of Champions

Coming To An Alliance War Boss Node Near You


If you’ve followed me on Twitter or listened to the Contest Realm Podcast, you know I’m not a big fan of Alliance War. It was a game mode I used to enjoy, but over the last year it has steadily become more frustrating. We have seen more and more Summoners leave their Alliances because of Alliance War, or Alliances have decided to significantly scale back their commitment to AW so that their members can spend time completing end game content, and spend their valuable glory on rank-up materials instead of alliance health potions. That being said, I don’t want to just complain about Alliance War. Instead, I’m going to give my take on what the real issue is with Alliance War, and offer what I think is a reasonable fix for this game mode.

Defining The Problem
The problem with Alliance War is the difficulty, especially with the new nodes and the defensive tactics. This is compounded by the fact that the current Alliance War Season rewards are not seen as valuable enough to justify the effort, and for many players, the “prestige” of being in a Platinum Alliance is no longer there.

But it’s not just that Alliance War is too difficult for many Summoners right now. It’s that the difficulty is unavoidable.

Let’s compare Alliance Wars to what I consider to be a vastly superior game mode: Alliance Quest. The reason it’s superior is not just the rewards, it’s the ability that alliance leadership has to tailor the difficulty of the AQ series to the goals and skill level of the alliance, and to have a measure of control over when the difficulty is ramped-up, in the form of what Map is chosen and what modifiers are run. The game maintains a level of say over the difficulty that each alliance faces as higher prestige alliances will face-off against higher PI opponents, but those opponents stay consistent from week-to-week, other than when a new season of AQ is introduced.

Contrast that with Alliance War. Even if you run the same path, the defenders will change every war, and the defense tactic is chosen by the opponent. If you get on a winning streak, you’re rewarded with tougher match-ups and eventually a more difficult map, whether you want it or not.

Kabam has stated multiple times that they don’t want to see Alliances 100% completing the war map. The problem is Alliances are trained to clear the map. All that not clearing the map leads to is infighting, retirements, and player apathy. It’s not fun, and it’s not good for the life of the game.

Solving The Problem
So from my point of view, the issue with Alliance War is that the difficulty level is too heavily dependent on War Rating. Imagine if in Alliance Quest when your prestige got too high, you had to play Map 7, even if you didn’t want to? That sounds pretty terrible, right? But that’s basically what happens every day in Alliance War.

So I propose we keep the current maps intact, but allow them to be selectable on a per-war basis at an Alliance level. In doing the, the Alliance War Season multiple would get tied to the selection of the War Map instead of War Rating. When enlisting for each war, leadership would decide how many battlegroups and what War Map they will play on (unlike AQ though, all BGs will need to fight on the same map). Alliance War Rating will then be used to determine appropriate match-ups within each map for each war.

Current War Setup
Tier 1-3 – Expert – New Map 6
Tier 4-5 – Challenger – New Map 5
Tier 6-9 – Hard – New Map 4
Tier 10-12 – Intermediate – New Map 3
Tier 13-15 – Normal – New Map 2
Tier 16-22 – Easy – New Map 1

Promoting Fair Play
If we’re going to move to this system, there have to be a few measures put into place to make sure clever alliances don’t game the system.

The first is that the distance between the war multiple gap per level must be significant enough to reward playing up, and that those choosing to “play down” understand they are giving up points in the standings. A 100% 3 BG clear loss on Map 6 has to be worth more than a 100% 3 BG clear win on Map 5, for example. What we don’t want is the top dogs alternating who will play on Map 6 to avoid each other, as we used to see with the timing of the match-making windows.

Most of the accusations of improper play are of course centered on the top level rewards. To help maintain fair play, a minimum war rating (approximately the current tier 4 cutoff) and a minimum season finish of Platinum 4 in the preceding Alliance War season will be required to access Map 6 (current Expert Map). This will work to further prevent “shelling down” to artificially deflate war rating and gain easier match-ups.

Finally, the improvement to Alliance War rating that comes with winning a war would have to be scaled back, and eventually capped after reaching a certain threshold on each map. This would force alliances who are trying to get access to Map 6 to play up to gain the minimum required war rating.

What do you think? Would this be an improvement to Alliance Wars that you would like to see instituted? If not, what do you think would be a better solution? Let me know in the comments.


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