Folks like Tobold and Bildo (and many others) have been discussing ways to get people out of the scenarios and into open world RvR in Warhammer Online. Even Mythic seems like its trying to put the scenario genie back in the bottle.
Nerf this, pimp that, blah blah. Performance issues aside, and that is a big aside at the moment, and assuming that “rewards” were made to be roughly equivalent in open RvR as in scenarios, I got to thinking about the things that made scenario play so much easier.
I came up with a handy list of five “C”s. Catchy, no? And yes, there’s a lot of overlap.
Even if there were a way to equalize advancement potential between them, without more, scenarios beat open world RvR on the five Cs.
Communication. To engage in open RvR, you need to know where its happening, or be able to communicate to other players to try to make it happen. The by-default-hidden objective tracker does a poor job of letting peeps know where the action is. Until the latest patch, there was no reliable region wide chat to alert folks as to where any RvR was going on. Even with, how are people who might be in another location become aware of an offensive in Zone X?
Once you find some action and travel there (more on that in a minute), there is no automatic grouping and RvR chat channel to coordinate activity. Simply not a problem in scenarios.
Coordination. More than just fighting as a team, open world RvR takes two factions to tango. People might have incentive to defend when attacked (if they heard about it), but unless you’re part of a decently large, organized, well coordinated guild its pretty hard to organize a PUG keep raid. Defense is relatively easy to join once the assault has begun, but whats the incentive to launch an attack?
Scenarios focus the objective and meter the players into it taking all the guess and hope and wait out of it. Queue up and it will pop and your opponents will be there. As I mentioned on Tobold’s blog, Mythic could foster this kind of open RvR activity by creating hot zones or meta quests where the king decides to launch an objective and calls all his loyal citizens to take up arms in Zone X, capture certain objectives and hold them for some period of time.
If I log on and see two of my buddies online, the last thing I think of is, “hey, lets see if we can get a warband or two of randoms and go launch a keep raid.” Given the relative ease of getting into the action in scenarios, that’s a laughable proposition. Nudging folks in that direction would help quite a bit.
Convenience. Oh the irony. The join queue button works world wide. Click, pop and poof! In you go. And, by and large, most scenario runners are already standing around in a warcamp requeuing to turn in the kill and scenario quests. Waiting for a queue, you can go anywhere and do anything.
While getting around is not terribly difficult in WAR, queuing acts like an instant recall to battle. For open RvR, its just the opposite but even worse. Players can only instantly recall to their rally point and by and large, rally masters are located in towns while flight paths are located in warcamps. If you were questing or doing PQs in Troll Country for example, I could instantly recall (once an hour) to Felde Castle and then have to run half way across the zone to the warcamp or all the way through the PvP lake. When the action happens, its simply no contest, convenience wise.
Not quite sure what the fix would be, but I’ll hazard a suggestion– some mechanism that is the rough equivalent of an RvR summon. Call it Writ of Mobilization or some such that would allow players to summon to the warcamp nearest an open RvR battle when the king’s battle cry goes up to defend the realm. How is that any more unbalancing that sucking people out of the world to a scenario, the win or loss of which actually contributes to the overall zone control?
Yes, that takes some of the old “element of surprise” out of it, but I’ll take epic battles over stealth capping any day. If you want to stealth cap, do it at 3am eastern, nobody will be on anyway.
Cooperation. IMHO, each open RvR objective, whether BO or Keep, needs to be treated like a PQ or a scenario. Once you enter a contested objective’s zone, you are placed in a default warband and like scenarios and PQs, XP and renown get shared and peeps get access to an objective specific chat channel to foster communication and coordination. Just like scenario chat (not that many use it).
Competition. Something for the Achiever in all of us, peeps love a leader board. Add a PQ or scenario like leader board for each objective battle. When hostilities cease for X minutes within its zone, it resets. I suspect a big reason people like the scenarios is the fact that progress and contribution is literally measured and can be examined objectively. Hard to measure your contribution to a battle (or appreciate others as well) without a stat line.
Like I’ve posted other places, easily the most fun I’ve had is in open RvR engaging in keep warfare, but as engaging as that might be, there are simply too few reliable opportunities to engage in it, and when it does happen, its not as rewarding as other activities.
I’m hoping that Mythic is listening and has a few tricks up their sleeves. The open RvR stuff is just too good to let die.