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What if you had a WAR and no one showed up?

16 Oct

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.

Communication
Coordination
Convenience
Cooperation
Competition

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.

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13 Comments

Posted by on October 16, 2008 in Warhammer Online

 

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13 responses to “What if you had a WAR and no one showed up?

  1. JoBildo

    October 16, 2008 at 6:29 am

    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.

    Herein lies the truthiest truth of truths.

    I am inclined to believe that Mythic agrees, and is working on it. T4 doesn’t seem to be an issue, yet. But as folks strive to GET TO T4, they do whatever gets them there the fastest, by that default desire to progress.

    So far, nothing works as well as scenarios in that respect. PQs are too hard to complete in smaller groups the higher you get, they take longer, require more coordination and offer fewer rewards in terms of XP and gear unless you stay through the whole way, which players are NOT doing because they’d rather solo and get influence boosts for doing so.

    PQs are just another area that seems sluggish in comparison to scenarios, and it’s another aspect of the game that needs boosting to get people out of the scenario queues and into the actual game-world.

    Just an addtional thought. :)

     
  2. Shmeep

    October 16, 2008 at 7:24 am

    I don’t really understand the “solo public quest for max gain”-philosophy. If I run through an empty PQ, I might kill a mob or two, but then I’m bored. As a Tiet2 Gobbo Shaman I can’t solo mobs fast enough to complete it, and when I don’t get the bonus influence from completing PQ-stages it just seems like an endless grind. Sure, I get 100 influence per mob, but on the influence meter that counts for little.

    However, if I pass a PQ with a group (or potential) and join, I usually end up running the PQ several times. I get to see all the stages of the PQ, I feel like I get A LOT more influence (for completing all the stages), and it all seems to go a lot faster than soloing mobs in an empty PQ would? Am I just losing track of time?

     
  3. Thallian

    October 16, 2008 at 7:52 am

    @Shmeep You just have too much common sense and not enough lust for gear.

     
  4. Thallian

    October 16, 2008 at 7:53 am

    p.s. great points btw potshot, it seems like the blogging community is on fire with ideas about scenarios in the past two days.

     
  5. Yeebo

    October 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    There needs to be a rally point next to every single flight path. Utterly stupid that there is not.

     
  6. Melf_Himself

    October 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I had an idea to solve many of those problems. If you combined it with a mini PQ system for all the RvR objectives like you mentioned, I think Mythic’s open RvR problems would be solved.

    http://word-of-shadow.blogspot.com/2008/10/let-us-find-each-other.html

     
  7. yunk

    October 22, 2008 at 6:59 am

    All those things are what make scenarios so much easier and more convenient for players than real world objectives. Some people have made suggestions like auto-grouping when entering an rvr zone, etc. Disregarding the incentives, it’s just so much easier to do scenarios.

    I’ve been thinking lately that the biggest problem is even worse: scenarios reward you for fighting, while open world rvr rewards you for avoiding the fight. Besides rewards for defending, maybe rewards for attacking need to be increased if there were defenders. (of course I’m sure it’s not easy to code that, and try to find ways to stop people from gaming the system by having the opposing side sit in the keep but not defend)

     
  8. Convert

    October 23, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Why has no blog yet hit on the problem behind scenarios in and of themselves?

    Yes, people prefer scenarios to World PvP, but they dont even prefer correctly participating in said scenario. Why? Because instead of capping the flag to net everyone 10,000 bonus xp, I could just kill, netting nearly 20,000 in kill xp, and just cross my fingers that someone else will take the xp loss and run the objective. YES, the objective is ALMOST ALWAYS an xp loss for the one performing it. I’m sure everyone wants it done, for the 10k PLUS your kill xp, but nobody wants to be ‘that guy’.

    So, with the often stated selfish playstyles of pretty much every MMO’er (I’m not criticising in any way), it never gets done. And so we have spawn-camping zerg scenarios where people just get kills.

    THE SOLUTIONS:

    1) Boost xp for objectives? No, this will only RAISE the total average xp for scenarios, further complicating the world RvR issue.

    2) give the performer his own bonus? No, this discourages teamwork and makes the scenario a zerg race even though I may be say, a sorceress 8 levels lower, completley unsuited to run a flag.

    3) Cut kill experience in HALF. Ouch. The dreaded nerf bat that mythic avoids at all costs (with reason). Sorry Mythic, but sometimes it is just necessary. Want to make people PLAY your scenarios and not just slaughter, without taking the focus even MORE off of scenarios? you’ll need a nerf, or huge buffs to BOTH rvr and scenarios.

    Thats right, you cant necessarily BOOST xp for carrying the objective. All the more reason to not world RVR, and destroys the entire concept behind double kill xp in world RVR. You CAN however, make it farm more efficient for a farmer to roll the opposing team in 3 minutes, than to stop the game from being played as intended to allow your team of decked 40s to get max kills on the pug of level 33’s.

    Why did the top ‘farmers’ in Warcraft Battlegrounds actually ATTEMPT the objectives (before mark farming)? Because it gave far more honor than attempting to slaughter the opposing team for 15 minutes straight. The OBJECTIVE gave the biggest reward, not delaying the objective to farm for kills. (Though some preferred griefing to reward, but that is the player’s choice)

    The answer is oh so simple. Dont make farming kills more profitable than completing objectives. Cut kill xp in half. Or diminish XP after 2-3 kills on a given player. Who cares? The game shouldnt end at 100-20 after 15 minutes.

     
  9. emoboy

    October 24, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    hi, i’ve got pictures of my new emo hair
    at http://xrl.us/ouog4

     
  10. p@tsh@t

    October 24, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I would ordinarily delete the last comment as spam, but I just don’t know what to say…

     

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