Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Organized fun

Saturday night was my first play session in a week as I have been in the America. I was hoping to get to see the city siege but all I got was lovely open RvR. It was slightly frustrating as I wanted to see the new content but order prevented destruction locking Riekland on more than 1 occasion.

I tend to prefer oRvR to scenario’s for the sheer range of combat. You can go from a 1v1 to 100v100 and everywhere in between. The zerg might be a powerful force but it tends to run as 1 which leads to loss of keeps and battle objectives.

This happened Saturday night, as no guild war band was running I ran with an open war band. On more than a few occasions a smaller group prevented zone locks by sneaking to Schwenderhalle Manor or Frostbeard’s Quarry in Reikland. The Manor is an excellent place to defend with a small force. Destruction mainly moved as one (aka zerg) so a lot of the night was spent with most of Reikland under destruction control but reacting to smaller more organized order forces. The classic example is when the Manor is left open or only has a few scouts. They were able to take it and defend, against a greater force. Even when they wiped, the order war camp is close to the Quarry with enough time to take and lock before destruction zerg can reach them.

If most of my time was spent running in an open war band I don’t think my perception of oRvR would be as positive. But most of my time is spent in guild war bands that can turn on a dead goblin. Player’s follow orders and stay together defending or pushing as one and co-ordinating with other war bands to cover battle objectives. Maybe this is why my views on oRvR are so positive? You hear people call War, Waithammer or say its open world PvP is more PvE.
I think a lot if these views come from open war bands or the player bases focus as a whole. If your focus is renown and you just going through the mmo motions you’ll probably spending a lot of time guarding mail boxes or waiting for a objective/keep tick. If you shift your focus to fighting and tactics the style of oRvR changes and in my opinion the fun increases.

I wonder how many zone locks have been lost while the zerg waits for a keep or battle objective tick, or when the zone is under control and hordes of players wait it out in a keep or by the mail box. I have ran with a few excellent war band leaders who seem to always come up with new ways to mess with the enemy, from ambushing just at the right spot, using terrain as an advantage and being able to extract themselves from the fight to see the flow of battle and issue orders to push just at the right spot to roll the enemy.
I am not advocating oRvR is perfect there are lots to improve, but I think the core is there. How to improve it? Would siege weapons, city siege like mechanics in keeps or an alternative to zone locking help? In the end I am not so sure as I said player focus (path of least resistance) and open war bands (disorganized zerg) will always be there to detract from those improvements. It also seems there are a lot of smaller guilds out in oRvR as well. You have an open war band run by 3 people from a guild. They work together but war band chat is none existent, so the majority is left in the dark.

How do we reach this ‘organized fun’? :) I have said it once but having in game voice chat would go a long way to help organization. State of the realm, AutoBand and WARCommander make a war bands easier to lead could these be improved upon and be part of the main game. But how do we get smaller guilds together and move those who mainly PUG into organized war bands? Could guilds have incentives to be larger and participate more in oRvR. Maybe the new player experience could be extending to a tier 4 set of tutorials? Ones that highlight the extra stuff you can gain from being in a guild and ideas of what to do once you hit the level cap. Mythic produced this team play guide does it need to be updated to cover tier 4? I think stuff like this would make excellent video grab bags.

I think giving war band leader’s extra abilities might promote more organization. I would imagine the buffs would only come into use when the war band reached a certain number. You would not want lots of war band leaders of 2 or 3 created just for buffs. Buffs which only trigger when in RvR like slight buffs to speed for the war band when riding mounts or extra renown when the war band leader issues a rally call to fight on him. I am not talking game breaking abilities just little extras to give incentive to fight with the war band.



  1. Mythic seems to have catered to casual gameplay in ORvR a lot. Which is good. But as you say, now is the time to encourage random zerg players to join organised warbands.

    Give players who lead warbands some perks that distinguish them from the population, depending on how many times they've successfuly lead a warband (titles, trophies, maybe items like a color smoke bomb to mark an objective/spot).

    Give players who play as a unit some rewards. Like a renown boost when killing players (not on objectives! would just create more whoring). And the movement speed you suggested sounds great aswell.

    Maybe there could be a warband morale meter implemented, which would unlock additional warband abilities (speed, damage reduc/incr., rally,) depending on how well the warband is doing. But that would probably just widen the gap between organised and PuG warbands.

    For me a random wb has acquired this stigma, I mean they're just randoms. But I remember the times when warbands under competent leaders were just as deadly as organised warbands. We need to bring that back.

    Excellent post there!

  2. I like your idea on titles, trophies and potions as well.. small things to distinguish leaders. :)