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What are we fighting for?

October 24, 2008

I am a little concerned about how the zone control mechanism works. Whenever I am doing something in game I keep an eye on the zone control and try to ascertain how my efforts are affecting it, however I don’t seem to get consistent feedback. Some times I have completed the same PQ a couple of times in succession and noticed the bar progress towards Destruction control and other times I have done the same thing only to see it not budge at all. I put this down to the fact that Order were probably doing the same thing and therefore my efforts were counter by theirs, but to be honest I am no longer sure about that …

In a recent discussion on my guild forums, one of the guys who is running around T4 talked about how Destruction totally owned all objectives in the Praag zone for several hours over the weekend yet there didn’t seem to be any impact on zone control. So then they went off to complete a whole bunch of PQs to see if that had an impact but no, limited impact there as well. They were queued for the zone scenarios the whole time but scenarios weren’t popping, so what were Order doing to prevent Destruction from gaining control? Without scenarios popping and with Destruction controlling all the RvR objectives and keeps as well as completing PQs in the zone for 6-8 hours why didn’t zone control change? What needed to happen to get control of the zone? Could Order, just by not queuing for the scenarios prevent Destruction from gaining control?

XP and RP aside, one of the reasons to strive for wins in scenarios is to assist your Realm in gaining control of the associated zone. However, we see little emphasis on this as there is no measure at the end of the match as to how much impact that win had on zone control. This has lead to the feeling that scenarios are not tied in to the rest of the game.

What I think Mythic should look into is providing some more detailed feedback on what impact your activities have on zone control. I do like the bar indicator for a quick overview of the situation, but it would be nice to have a bit more detail on hover. Then, when you complete a quest, scenario or PQ, give some sort of indication as to the impact. If completing the scenario nets you say 50 points towards control but the bar only moves 10 you know that Order have done something to offset you other 40 points.

I think giving some information on the weighting of each activity towards zone control would help as well. Then, when some activities are ignored such as PQs, increase there weighting to encourage more people to participate in those activities. Give points over time for control of each of the objectives and keeps so that there is some incentive for people to come in and take back that objective or keep. You could even average out the points over the number of people of that side in the zone to counter any major population imbalance issues.

Back to Tier 4: I know that zone control in there shouldn’t change too quickly so it might not be noticeable over a 6 hour period if it is expected to take 24 hours to flip a zone, but with some more detailed information on how zone control is being affected by activities, players will be less likely to just give up trying because they can’t see the impact they are having. This will reduce frustration and encourage players to get together and focus on activities over a longer period so that they can take control of a zone and have a chance at a city siege. I know a lot of MMOs work on the random reward incentive but when you don’t even know if you are receiving that random reward, it will not be long before players stop trying …

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