Monday, 27 October 2008

Be carefull what you wish for (how players told mythic to kill RvR)

RvR & how to re-invigorate it has been the weekends big hot topic. With Mythics announcement last week that they would be introducing RvR influence lakes many people took this as a admission of guilt on mythic part are so the great debate as to how we should set this right began.
Lots of people have made some interesting posts hardcore casual, Jobildo,WallofText & Potshot have some interesting things to stay & the hubbub even waken the mighty Tobold.
My favorite post on the subject was by Keen and Graev who have written a excellent article on open RvR stuttering attempts to take off, asking the question 'is it the players' fault this time?'
The cut & thrust of the argument is should players be prepared to forgo instant gratification offered by scenarios or should it be considered their fault that they are not prepared to show some patience in order to get open RvR rolling. Keen seems very impassioned & makes allot of good points the problem is i think i blaming the players hes wrong(well Partially). I personally trace the current RvR problems all back to one decision by Mythic, which although it did come at the request of players is ultimately Mythics fault.

Scenario Sickness

The Diagnosis:
back in the day you could only que for the scenarios of the zone you were in, this combined with some bugs & a player base divided unevenly between the zones & factions, meant scenario launches were less than frequent.
Its a valid question to ask if this problem would have occurred if all the factions had all their classes, & if mythic had sold the concept of the order races as strongly as they did the destruction ones. But those changes aren't something Mythic could fix overnight & the forums & the WaR blogsphere were beginning to resound to the clamor of aggrieved players.
I think just about everyone in the WaR community was unhappy about the early ques, and so Mythic desperate to have as a successful launch as possible responded.

The Treatment:
Cross Pairing Queuing
"Your feedback is very important to us and it’s always our goal to make your play experience an even more enjoyable one.
In response to popular demand, you’ll now be able to queue for all of the scenarios available in your current tier, across all three pairings. For instance, if you’re in Nordland, you can queue for the Nordenwatch scenario as usual. You can also queue up for Khaine’s Embrace (the Tier 1 scenario in the High Elf vs. Dark Elf pairing) and the Gates of Ekrund (the Tier 1 scenario on the Dwarf vs. Greenskin pairing), all without leaving Nordland. No travel is required at all; just click the WAR symbol on your interface as you normally would, and use the arrows at the top of the window to scroll through the different scenarios.
We know many have been waiting for this feature and we have a lot more great additions coming on the horizon. We look forward to your continued feedback as we work to take WAR to the next level…WAAAGH!!!"

Click to read about the side affects of the treatment & the radical surgery needed to really fix the problem

The Unforeseen Side Affects:
This is the point that RvR died, no-one noticed yet. The gamers were to busy trying out the new scenarios & leveling up, Mythic were to busy trying to fix everything else to notice what they had done.
No one noticed until now when the dust had settled & the population had settled and when its too late, far too late to do anything about it.
"So what is this problem exactly?" i here u say"your being pretty vauge so far, we know its something to do with scenarios just go ahead & spit it out!"The problem isn't scenarios themselves or even players desire to max min.The problem is that mythic in trying to fix part of the system split it into two systems. At release although buggy WaR's RvR system was in place & ready to go. Scenarios were part of that system, they could only be qued in the zone a player was in. The quest for the scenarios could only be obtained from warcamps in turn were situated right next to the RvR pools. The warcamps even had quest which encouraged players to go into the RvR areas to scout them.
Everything was connected , the system was so good in fact that if Sir Elton John had seen it he would have been tempted to re-write Circle of Life as Circle of War.
But because of the imbalances brought about in the short term by class, faction, & leveling speed differences, it seemed as if it wasn't working. We will never know if left as it was how it would have turned out, but what is clear now is that when you remove what interconnected the two aspects of the game people are always going to pick one aspect over another.

RvR autopsy
RvR died at 00:13:41 EST on 30th September 2008

It is thought that the subject injected the victim with a lethal overdoes of the highly addictive drug S.C.E.A.R.I.O
It is thought that the injection was carried out by mythic entertainment at the request of RvR's lover the
WaR community

So how the hell do we get out of this mess.

Short Version:
Reconnect RvR & Scenarios so one affects the other & people are encouraged to do BOTH.

Long Version:
Patch 1.04
1.Cooldown on recapping Battle Objectives reduced to 10minutes.
2.The Amount of Victory Points require to capture a Zone has been reduced slightly.
3.Keeps & Battle Objectives capture Victory Points have been increased & they will contribute a constant stream of victory points while controlled.
4.RvR actions within the immediate vicinity of keeps & BO's now contribute towards influence pools available at quartermasters in keeps.
5.T4 Scenarios Victory bonus will increase for attackers by 10% & decrease for defenders by 10% depending on the proximity of the contested zone to a fortress.
ie: If Reikland is contested victory for destruction will ofter almost 20% more to renown to destruction than it will to order.

So what have we done here
1.BO's are now more vulnerable controlling a zone now requires a active watch on the RvR area.
2&3. Zone change over has been made quicker, no more 'all keeps are locked down, there no more RvR to do I'm logging for the night' this is counteracted by the greater vulnerability of BO's.
4.Influence pools give a good reason to take part in RvR even if your on the loosing side.
5.Scenario players now have a genuine reason to want to advance the RvR endgame, currently this doesn't matter to a scenario player, whatever he ques for returns the same XP/Renown return by reconecting indivdual succes to collective succes they immediately have a reason for people to take part in RvR.

im not saying this is perfect but i think it would take changes like this to create a truely active & rewarding RvR experience where battles eb & flow & there is as much a reason to defend as there is to attack.