Basic notion & motive
As I 'witnessed' quite a number of occassions where players get easy alignment, experience orbs (for what they're worth) and loot from killing numerous low tier NPCs of their enemies in enemy lands, I pondered there appears to be a still existing fundamental flaw in the 'invasion' mechanics that simply may have been overlooked for quite some time.
- It makes no sense that Dale invades the Rhúdel, while there are no defensive raids when an enemy player or force enters Dale and starts killing off its populace. Same holds for many other faction lands where civilians roam.
- It makes no sense that Vintner Guards launch an attack on the accidental thief that hits a grapevine, while the home military forces of Dorwinion remain conspicuous by their absence when a Mordor aligned player comes slaughtering the locals gathered in the open field near a bathhouse, wine cellar or garden.
Now, apparently the mechanic is already recognised and implemented, as the Hobbit Shirriffs are able to launch defensive raids in their lands. So, my proposal is simple: make defensive raids of native forces spawn with some tbd chance of occurence whenever civilians or home miltary units are being attacked by an enemy force. That could be either a player with low enough alignment (say -100 or lower), or a player with a number of hired units.
Note that alternatively, one could think of ways to make low tier, passive NPCs act differently, or alarm military units. That would be an essentially different approach. I presented a brief overview of notions to consider for that approach in this post below.
The feature mechanic would be very much similar to the earlier proposed counter-invasions (see links below), but I figure the motive for a defensive raid is different and this may justify a different composition of the responding force. So, both trigger and resulting action will be specific. A counter-invasion will be triggered based on an invasion of an enemy NPC force, while a defensive raid is triggered by either the murderous presence of players and/or hired NPCs. The more hired NPCs accompanying a player, the higher the chances a defensive raid will spawn, and the stronger the responsive force should be. As the Hobbit Shirriffs are already enabled to perform defensive raids, I figure it shouldn't be a daunting task to implement them for more factions.
Endorsed threads with relevant related proposals:
- Counter-invasions, patrols, foragers and raiders : Check the proposal on patrols!
- Battles that spawn like invasions.
- Decrease chances of NPCs running into grinding traps
- NPC changes : Check this post especially!
- [Endorsed] On Raids and Invasions : Basically the same notion as mine, but with other concrete specifics. (Sorry, I discovered this thread only in January 2018!)
- Favors and Helping Invasions : Check my interpretation and how defensive raid spawning could be made dependent on the alignment a player acquired from performing quests for a faction.
Urgency for gameplay balance
The urgency of this improvement is quite high as far as I'm concerned, as it contributes to balancing the chances of players ability to acquire aligment in enemy lands, especially with the upcoming feature 'spheres of influence'.
Combination with spheres of influence
When combined with the introduction of that feature you could even consider to have defensive raids spawn within a 'sphere of influence' rather than just a factions home biome. As I indicated on the mods Facebook page, I believe it may be worthwhile to consider biome-dependent spheres of influence, either instead of or in addition to the geonometrical spheres. The mechanic of defensive raids could be combined with any option imo.
Edit: Added links to related endorsed threads regarding behaviour of weak NPCs.