Monday, 20 October 2008

Who need friends when you have enemies

At first you may feel that a keep defended by a good number of well organised and geared Order players is the last thing any Destro player want to see, but you would be wrong.

When open RvR is at its best it blows anything done before out of the water. The collision detection creates a very real feeling of a flow in battle as opposing lines of tanks push each other back & forth trying to break the others organisation & allow their melee dps to rush the healers & ranged dps.
There are plenty of incentives to attack, the game offers bonus renown & high quality loot bags for assaulting a keep. Problems however begin to occur because the game doesn't provide sufficient motivation for players to defend. So as i wonder around deserted RvR areas i find myself thinking "I wish order would get their ass into gear & take our keeps again".

Many Destro player find their RvR experience is dictated not by his own guild or friends, but by whether or not Order on his realm is well organised & determined.
Click to Read more about RvR's Achilles heel
In T3 RvR the consequences of this are clear.Most T3 scraps begin in Avalon/Saphery due to the advantage Tor Anroc gives Order on the regions influence. Knowing they are outnumbered Order commonly has to rely upon a fast decisive strike to capture one (or both) of the keep before the Destro zerg arrives. The over sensitive warning system on the zone maps doesn't help either, too many times i have rushed to a keep only to find that the game had been crying wolf & the area was deserted.

Once a keep is under seige initially a organised defense can cause havoc in attacking force with the mass use of siege weapons & well timed sorties from the keep to destroy the attackers own seige machine(attack from behind enemy lines are particularly affective at this).

This is the make or break stage for keep defense if the defenders can break the momentum of of the attackers the zerg will gradually fall apart. Even very large zergs can be broken up this way, and the defenders can earn good Xp & RR while suffering few casualties themselves. However if the attackers break through to the inner gate and still have a significant numbers advantage the lack of mass numbers of siege weapon means the the keep is pretty much lost. While it is possible to wipe a zerg on the Keep Lord the only times i have observed this working as anything more than a holding tactic it has been due to the incompetence of the offense.

Any smart group will cut their losses & run as soon as the outer gate goes down, there just isn't any incentive to defend to the last man. A typical tactic is that when a defender dies & respawns at the warcamp instead of running to try & help continue the defense they immediately use the camps flight path to move to another zone & begin to start a siege of a undefended keep. Often the warband will send the majority to one but use a few of its members to make a diversionary attack at another keep.

All this is aimed at saping the zerg of as many people & impetus as possible, and will often lead to the battle hoping from keep to keep, as a battle of attrition develops. If they are lucky the defenders can outlast the zerg & begin to counterattack & cap more keeps.

People enjoy RvR & this can produce a enjoyable RvR experience, but is that with no incentive to defend any gains the less populous faction makes on a server are inevitably wiped out. This leads to a sea of Red(or less often blue) across a tier. Total dominance is in some ways is worse for the dominated than the dominant, with nothing to attack the faction in control are left helpless to initiate RvR. Whether they get to enjoy any sort RvR is entirely in the hands of the other faction.
In almost any situation taking control away from someone will cause anger frustration & unhappiness & this is no different.

Myhtic have done their best to remedy the population imbalance aspect of these problems but the lack of incentives to defend has been left untouched as yet.

However there is hope on the horizon as part of patch 1.1 coming in December mention has been made to
“implementing an RvR-influence system to compliment the current PvE-influence system."
my personal hope is that this is used to make keep defenses more rewarding if a influence zone was created around a keep & all RvR actions (damaging enemy players, healing ect) within that led to the gaining of influence for the defenders. The would be a strong reason for anyone who was able to defend a keep under attack.

So i remain hopeful for the future but these changes need to come sooner rather than later because good enemies are hard to find.

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