Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two things I would fix in WAR

Heartless_ wrote the three things that need to happen to keep him playing WAR:

1. Magus/Engineer "magnet" abilities removed from the game completely or limited to a single target only.

2. Open-world RvR zones populated with PvE content such as PQs and normal quest hubs.

3. Experience and renown gain reworked in scenarios. Scenarios should reward based on wins and losses ONLY, not upon how much damage or how many kills a player nets. Scenarios are fun, but due to how rewards are doled out, only the fastest-played and most-kills scenarios get played. This has to change.

I personally don’t know about the Magus’ Chaotic Rift or Engineer’s Electromagnet. I’m generally against nerfs and would rather see other classes buffed to compensate for perceived imbalances.

It might be a better fix to simply increase the chance to resist these spells. I actually find the Zealot’s Breath of Tzeentch and Rune Priest’s Rune of Sundering more annoying. It basically amounts to a knockback that disrupts everything but instant cast spells.

I mainly wanted to comment on #2 and #3.

PvE content in RvR Lakes
One thing that has bugged me since beta is the lack of NPCs in the RvR Lakes. It just seems odd to be running around this world full of monsters and then suddenly – nothing. Just huge empty terrain areas with 3 to 4 small populated areas (the objectives). You don’t exactly feel like you are immersed in a WAR. In fact, Chapter 1 feels more like a WAR than the empty RvR Lakes.

There should be some static WAR fronts in RvR Lakes that have an RvR PQ or some type of activity. When I say “front” I am talking about things similar to what we already see in the game, like the shared Destro/Order PQs. A good example of this is the PQ in Barak Var between Dwarves/Greenskins.

I’m not saying that the entire RvR areas should have NPCs, just some areas around roads to make it feel a bit more populated and like there is an actual WAR going on besides just the battlefield objectives. These areas can also act as a bit of a haven for a player caught slightly outnumbered in RvR.

I’d also like to see the occasional monster in the woods and such. Easily avoided and much more sparse than in a PvE area, but at least SOMETHING to make it seem less empty. If I only saw one bear while running through a patch of woods, at least it wouldn’t feel so bloody barren.

Fixing Scenarios
As you know if you have been reading my blog: I am strongly against nerfing Scenarios so that you gain less XP/Renown. I continue to maintain that the fix to the larger RvR problem is to create more incentive to play in the RvR Lakes. My “fixes” are only intended to even out contribution and make some of the less played Scenarios more desirable.

I wouldn’t make the change that Heartless_ is suggesting, but I do think some changes need to be made in order to make every scenario popular based on how fun it is and not just the most rewarding. I believe the XP and Renown for kills is fine actually. My experience is that with a few exceptions, most matches net similar numbers of kills for the time played in the scenario.

No – the change I would make is to not award scenario points for kills. Every Scenario is a race to 500. A kill earns you points and the oddball/murderball matches that double-point for kills go the fastest. If kills weren’t worth points – only the objective – it would even the playing field considerably about which matches are “fast” and which are “slow”. You might need to tune the amount of points earned for the other scenario objectives, but this should be done in about ½ the scenarios anyway.

I distinctly recall the first few matches as my Archmage in Mourkain Temple. We got the artifact right away and I worked my ass off to keep that guy alive the entire match. I did and we never once lost control of the artifact. We lost something like 100-500. That’s just insane to me. We held onto the objective the entire game and lost. That’s when I really realized there was something wrong with the scoring system.

The best strategy in the Capture the Flag matches isn’t to cap the flag – it’s to hold onto the flag at your flag and force the enemy to try and take both objectives. Being closer to your spawn point than they are to theirs gives your team a decided advantage that leads to a huge victory as they trickle in and get trounced.

The only real benefit I can even see in that scoring system is that it prevents a much better team from XP/Renown farming for longer than it takes to kill 500 points worth of players. However, considering that they all have a 15 minute time limit and any player can easily leave the scenario, I don’t really see how that’s much of an advantage.

The other really important change is that XP/Renown should be awarded more evenly throughout the all scenario groups. A Bright Wizard sitting alone in a group shouldn’t be awarded two times the XP of the guy healing him simply because the BW got all the kills in a solo group.

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