Archive for the ‘RvR’ Category

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Won’t somebody please think of the tanks!

October 25, 2008

So, reading through the latest Grab Bag from Mythic and I come across this:

If you’re a healer and you want to make the most of earning Renown, heal those around you who seem to be doing the most damage. The system encourages grouping with others and/or keeping the top killers alive, so if you do so, your healing Renown will flow!

Edited to add: One word can make a difference in a statement. It’s important for healers to group, and to heal everyone in your group, not just the damage dealers. Of course we never intended to suggest ignoring everyone else!

Now that is a fair kick in the teeth for those few tanks out there that actually like playing the defensive role.

One of the things i really like about WAR is that it has a role for tanks in RvR. They can use their taunts and guard to limit the damage to others, their knock backs and knock downs to break up an enemy line and just generally make a nuisance of themselves. However, one thing they don’t do is a bucket load of damage.

Now I know the DPS are the ones who acheive most of the kills for the team, but without the tanks around reducing the incoming damage on both the DPS and healers, most of us wouldn’t survive long enough to actually get a kill. We all need the tanks just as much as we need the DPS and healers and I personally think they should be rewarded for the effort they do in defending us. I’m not quite sure if Mythic feel the same way though …

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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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Thoughts on Scenarios

October 22, 2008

The Warhammer Alliance forums have a nice thread going that is seeking feedback on how people feel about scenarios. I know there is a lot of opinion getting around the blogosphere about how scenarios can be improved (e.g. Chappo, Word of Shadow) so I encourage you to all pop over and voice your opinion there as well (if you haven’t already).

I was going to do a whole write up on my thoughts for each scenario but it was going to be way too long so here are some general comments and I will follow up later with my other thoughts on specific scenarios.

I think Mythic need to look at the points per time of all scenarios and balance them out. People favour Mourkain and Tor Anroc because someone will hit 500 around the 7 minute mark no matter how long they hold the thing. A lot of the other scenarios you will be lucky to hit 300 before the 15 minute timer is up. In some scenarios like Black Fire Basin you will be lucky to get to 100. I would like to see the situation where a balanced game has both sides in the 400-500 points range at the 15 minute mark.

I like the mechanic in Temple of Isha where you get something to increase your points gain for killing the enemy when they hold the flag. This helps balance out the match and means that you get some benefit from attacking instead of just giving up when the other side turtles. It also works like the catch up method mentioned over at Word of Shadow as it is only available to the side who doesn’t hold the flag. Doomfist Crater has a similar item in the Doomfist Ore, however it is available to both sides so if one side is totally dominating they can control both the flag and the ore which isn’t quite as balanced as the Temple of Isha mechanic.

I think Mythic need to look at how tanks get rewarded for their role in scenarios and either boost their XP/RP gains or just make them aware of how it works. I know a few tanks who feel quite cheated when they run scenarios because they see the healers and DPS getting way more XP/RP than they could ever hope for. Related to this, I think Mythic should prevent people from dropping group in order to get more XP/RP for themselves. Also, something needs to be done about the way XP/RP is split between the groups because I have seen some occasions where 3 healers and 3 tanks end up in one group and then all the DPS are in the other group and the tanks and healers get next to no XP/RP for the scenario because they are getting the kills, meanwhile the kills achieved by the DPS are only possible because of the tanks and healers.

I also don’t feel the link between scenarios and the war effort. I think Mythic need to give us better feedback on how our scenario performance is affecting zone control so there is more emphasis on its importance. Currently scenarios are a whole different world totally removed from the rest of the game aside from the fact they give you XP and RP. I think there are big issues with zone control across the board but I will leave that as a topic for another post.

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Play to Your Strengths

October 19, 2008

Sometimes I just wonder if MMO players have never played competitive anything in their lives before. I see a lot of complaining both in game and out about Destruction being to melee centric, Order having the best ranged character types, order are too defensive, destruction are too offence orientated, blah, blah, blah … you know, the usual gamer complaints about how hard done by they are and how OP the opposition is …

What we should really be doing is looking at these differences from a perspective of strengths and weaknesses with a view to enhance our strengths while playing on our enemies weakness. All the differences give us the tactical advantage provided we understand them and use them to our advantage … if everything was perfectly the same winning would just come down to a roll of the dice.

One example is that Destruction have the advantage over Order when the fight gets into melee range, so it is important for Destruction to push forward and try and lock down Order in melee. There is no point in hanging back because the Order ranged DPS will just pick us off while we have little effect at all.

Destruction tanks have the responsibily for leading the charge and getting the rest of the melee into the action. By getting the tanks out the front they can distract and dirsupt the opposition and allow the softer melee the opportunity to slip in unoticed and cause some real damage. There is noting more annoy than sitting in the back waiting to throw some heals to see our tanks hanging back becaue they are worried they might dent their shiny new armour …

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Witch Hunters – oh how I detest thee

October 10, 2008

To be honest, until last night, Witch Hunters had never really been much of an issue. Sure, they tend to pop up when you don’t expect them to, but usually I would just strafe away, pop a few heals and find the nearest friendly. In T2 I have been mainly running Mourkain’s Temple and in there they don’t really even sneak up on you due to the confined nature of the map.

So, last night, me and a few guild mates went looking for some Keeps to take. We found one in Marshes of Madness which we took back with very little resistance so we moved on to Ostland to try and take back the keep there. This one turned out to be a little more difficult. By the time we got the doors down, we had amassed nearly 18 people in the raid and we were pushing up against a group of 10-12 Order who were holed up on the 2nd floor. We pushing up onto the 2nd floor with a strong force, but due to lack of coordination, our healers ended up with most of the NPCs on them and we wiped badly.

By the time we rezzed and regrouped, the Order ranks had been reinforced to the point where we now had two groups of 24+ people going toe-to-toe out the front of the keep. We weren’t able to make too much progress and they were able to defend quite effectively. It was around this time, with our forces out in the open that I began to experience the pain of the higher level Witch Hunters. Order had a couple of them and they were pretty well coordinated. I died several times to Sudden Accusation while trying to escape their grasp and being a little slow, I just didn’t pick up on the fact that moving was what was killing me.

Thankfully, Ulfryk over at The Raven Calls has some handy tips for dealing with Witch Hunters. As a counter point, Cathbadh has written a nice little article providing advice to Witch Hunters on hunting healers which I also recommend. Getting into the head of an enemy will help you better combat their attacks.

So as the night wore on and our large group of attackers slowly dwindled as people looked for more effective means to level, I continued to run into these troublesome Witch Hunters. I learnt that to survive, I needed to stick close to the freindly DPS and keep moving so as to thwart a sneak attack. I had to stay still if they did manage to jump me, use both Chaotic Blur and Embrace the Warp to limit the incoming damage and switched to healing myself sooner. They still managed to kill me a couple more times, but I also spotted them on approach a few times and deflected the brunt of their attacks.