Archive for February 2011
While waiting for the servers to come back online I just took a look at the credits..and to giggle a bit, e.g. guess who’s CEO of Mythic?
The german credits are here.. take a look for yourself
A cookie for the one who explains my title.
In the discussion about the PTS notes on WAAAGH.de (german) Wothor said something interesting:
Der Sinn von SCs sollte darin bestehen, sie zu gewinnen, und das möglichst schnell, nicht möglichst langsam.
I’ll translate it ;) “The purpose of a scenario should be to win it as a fast as possible, not as slow as possible.”
He’s 100% right. At the moment most of the scenarios..well..all.. are played as slow as possible. This leads to ignoring the objectives and spawn camping ..or getting spawn camped. The reason is quiet simple. You gain more points this way and those pixel hunters are happy this way. Of course there are also those grinding folks who don’t participate in a scenario if it can’t be won and Mythic is struggling at how they can bring those people to fighting.
So..let’s do a little gedankenexperiment (I love this word, not only because it’s german, but because I like german words in english sentences ;) ).
What would happen if there would be no renown and points awarded for killing players in a scenario, but a timer would count down and the faster you finish the scenario, the more renown and token you gain. Additional to that there are still points there to be reached and for more points your side gains, you get more renown. So the renown and token output is solely based on the scenario objectives. If you just want to mindlessly beat someone, there is still the RvR lake.
What should be the result? There is an incentive to finish the scenario fast, because those renown wh**** don’t want to camp at the spawn when there is nothing to be won other than just some officer medaillons or Annihilator gear (I always laugh, when a RR85+ enemy drops Annihilator ;) ). If it’s a close race, both sides are still rewarded for giving a good fight.
Would such a system work?
You may already read the proposed patch notes for patch 1.4.1 so I can focus on just a short comment.
The notes are nothing spectacular, but I had to laugh a bit when I read the changes to armor sets. It is ok to lessen the rr-requirements and costs for <sov-gear, even though it will change nothing concerning the way too powerfull rr80+ gear (and the hidden ranks, etc..). I don’t want to comment too much on this change and it’s implications..but I want to tell you why I had to laugh. It’s because in one of my last grumblings in Mumble I told my guild mates that Sovereign is the new Annihilator gear and this changes just emphasize this. ;)
The next thing I want to comment shortly on are obviously the scenario list changes. I think that there are some fun scenarios in the list, but I think that most of them won’t be suitable for T4, e.g. Gates of Ekrund. Maybe a change to a 6vs6 for this one might make it fun for T4, but most of the scenarios are imo too melee-friendly. But hey..the whole game is melee-friendly.
The next thing to watch when this patch comes live is if anything in the mechanic of the scenarios has changed. After all they have been taken out of the list, because they didn’t work as planned and (freely quoted) weren’t fun. ;)
Oh..one last remark.. why some of the listed stuff wasn’t easy fixable to be put into a hotfix will remain Mythic’s secret, e.g. last-stand stuff. The long time this “patch” needed has done some severe damage to the game which is not easily fixable now. Such a low profile patch isn’t making it any better.
Just to make it clear: This is not the ultimate guide for anyone on how to balance a game. In fact, I believe that 100% balance can and will never be achieved in a game, i.e. MMO. It’s my point of view on how and why a PvE focused games will have difficulties to balance PvE and PvP and why I think that the balancing in a PvP-game is easier..concerning the combination with PvE and some more general stuff.
One of my strongest believes in game design is that it’s possible to make a PvP-game and add some good PvE to it. The other way around will fail most of the time for several reasons, i.e make a PvE-game and add good PvP to it.
Why is it so? In PvE you build the careers around scripted events which should be a challenge. In a PvP-oriented-game the first thing you will do is try to balance the factions/sides against each other and then you start to think about the PvE content. With this, the focus and action of certain skills will just work different from they would do in a PvE game, e.g. a script doesn’t care if it’s polymorphed for 30s.. a player might get.. a bit upset ;)
PvE based games/encounters are always about a dps-race, because there has to be something pushing you to your limits. So bosses get enrage timers, stupid jump-stuff to do, positioning at certain times, because otherwise there will be the ultimate cloud of doom…and so forth. So as any PvE component has to get more difficult so do things get less roleplay and more action oriented with damage numbers getting bigger and bigger with every addition of content.
Focusing on PvP will reduce the damage numbers, because the enemy there will have in general not that much hitpoints you would give an NPC and..normally.. make the time to kill longer, so increasing defense and changing the way crowd control works. To add a NPC/Script that can be killed with this numbers is quiet easy as it’s only a scaling of the NPC-health. The other way around is way more trickier. The only way for a PvE based game to fulfill both stuff is to either increase the health of the characters (which makes the PvE-content easier) or change the way some stuff works for PvE and PvP. For some unknown reason I didn’t find a PvE based game where the PvP component just felt right…. As much as I’m ranting, I think that WAR was able to deliver both, even though Mythic waved PvE goodbye since release of lotd (for a number of reasons where I don’t want to guess what they all might be).
Maybe I’m wrong with this all and it all just boils down to the question of horizontal and vertical expansion, as in any PvE based game I know of the vertical way is done. For most of the people gear is the carrot they are chasing after..and new gear will be offered at new bosses which should be more difficult than the old bosses. The easiest way is by increasing the NPC’s health, so that they still be a bit of challenge when you have obtained the new gear..and this goes on until no one wants to pay for the game anymore.
And that’s the problem WAR is facing right now. The RvR pack didn’t do anything to RvR…other than introducing a grind for bigger and better gear (aka. vertical expansion. Mythic dev’s tried to not call it an expansion..for a lot of good reasons.., but people perceived it still that way). It didn’t do anything horizontal..except the way the campaign works and this is the most boring stuff I know of in the game when looking at RvR (Thanquol’s incursion is filed under PvE for me ;) ). The dev’s at Mythic are realizing the problem of gear/rr-disparity, but I don’t think that they can handle it appropriately ..i.e. making the right changes at the right times. Of course it’s the easiest and fastest way to “make new content”..and it’s the cheapest way in terms of investment in programmers and such.
The low investment on side of Mythic is apparent if you look at the scenario weapons and the rr90 and rr100 gear. It’s almost identical, the only thing that changes are the numbers with increased item level. The effect of new content wears off, when people realize what has to be done for this gear..are getting caught by the gear-grind-treadmill …. That is another problem WAR is facing right now..the fresh smell of the RvR packs has gone before you could say “what the..?”.
That’s the problem with a shallow vertical way of adding content..
As always I drifted away..sorry for that.. ;)
That’s how I feel about how the imbalances in WAR where shown right after some of the folks of Carroburg came to Drakenwald (the server I’m playing on).
The situation.. Carroburg had a severe population problem (number wise and afaik also realm balance wise), which resulted in the free character transfer. So this server had for quiet some time a renown bonus and an easy way for destruction to get rr90 and rr100 gear (well..that’s easy anyways..but combined with renown+ and constant easy city renown it’s quiet harsh).
Did all people transfer from Carroburg? No.. a little village..wait..wrong text.. but still the answer is no.
Afaik some high RR premades (fully equipped) transfered and are now farming sc-tokens, because sc’s didn’t pop up on Carroburg. So they can complete their farmed sets ..and that at a quiet easy way, because the RR90 and RR100 sets are so badly overpowered that they can literally one-hit rr80 sov-geared enemies. It wasn’t as bad before the transfer, because destruction had the advantage of a higher mean value for renown rank, but all in all it was quiet balanced. You got kiled..but had the chance to fight back and the enemy had to use at least a rotation for killing you. Now with the higher number of RR90+ premades things derail..Yesterday our slayer (RR7x) hit a choppa for impressive 15 damage…constantly. Didn’t get better when he tried to hit a DoK or sorceress. To balance that, the enemy could hit really hard. Well that is fun. Right now the balance (pop and average renown rank) is imo quiet ill.
This gets enhanced as some order folks took the oppurtinity and didn’t transfer right now, but stay at Carroburg and farm empty cities for easy renown and gear.
Can’t blame any player from Carroburg (neither Destruction or Order) for doing the things that they do..but right now, the game is dead for me. I have no clue if the new hard hitting destruction groups are good..or are just strong because of the totally overpowered gear. Maybe both..but we won’t find that out in the near future.
I didn’t like the tiny RvR lakes when the new player weren’t there..but now it’s a constant rush hour and you can’t turn around without facing a warband. There’s no room for anything else beside that zerg stuff. And that is quiet boring.
Boring.. well.. that’s the only thing that comes up to my mind when I think about the “RvR campaign” system. Fighting for a keep is static..especially when this is the only thing you do as a objective in every f***** tier, map.
So ..what options do I have? Play on a different server? I’m still having some Destruction toons on Badlands and now some on Gorfang.. Start again as Order .. or quit the game altogether, because Mythic can’t handle the game?
Don’t come with Rift.. I took a look at the last beta event and underwhelming is all I can say, but that might be a bit too harsh, because I only played to level12. It was enough that I just didn’t want to further look at it. I’m not saying that it’s a bad game, that’s just my personal taste and it says, that Rift is nothing for me.
Looks like I will wait how things evolve.. and if things don’t change in the next few weeks I’ll just quit and wave WAR goodbye. It just looks like it’s just getting more that it’s only the gear and RR that matters in RvR and you have no way of equalizing the battleground by personal skill. It’s ok for higher RR-ranked players to have an advantage over lower ranked players, but the advantage shouldn’t be that high that it is now. But that’s not the point of WAR.. getting renown doesn’t need any form of skill..you could level up by just running with the zerg…you can get the equipment by running with the zerg or farming empty instances.. you can get sc-weapons by being idle.. WAR is not about fighting right now.. it’s WAG..Warhammer: Age of Grinding.