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rvr remodeling

April 14, 2009
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I posted yesterday detailing how I felt WAR’s lack of focus was hurting the game along with some ideas of how to save it. After reading through it early this morning I really felt like I didn’t put out how exactly I wanted things changed, so I’m going to make this more concise. First here are my goals for improving RVR:

  • Remove PVE.
  • Limit zergging.
  • Encourage PVP.
  • Make RVR lakes fun.
  • Allow war camps to be destroyed.

Here are my steps to fixing RVR:

  1. Remove the ability to form warbands within RVR lakes.
  2. Remove all Hero and Champion mobs from RVR lakes.
  3. Remove EXP/Renown/Influence gain from BO captures.
  4. Implement a buff which grants massive Renown/Influence gains to the party which captures a BO as well as anyone defending them.
  5. Remove all lockout timers.
  6. Change the Keep system into a scenario system (24v24 — no NPCs).
  7. Replace high rank mobs from War Camps and chapter hubs with similar defenders to BO’s and keeps.
  8. Turn rally masters into PQ bosses with the same rewards as current keep captures.
  9. Introduce ‘kill collector’ and other PVP-only objective quests to gain PVP gear sets.
  10. Add true objectives (steal/plant flags, run bombs, murder-ball) to RVR lakes.
  11. Replace zone dominance with realm morale.

The idea is to first remove the zerg, then to remove PVE entirely within RVR zones. Next is to allow war camps and chapter hubs to be attacked and destroyed. No more groups of 4-8 Heros and rank 55 Champions. The war camp rally masters replace keep lords as PQ objectives — a necessary PVE evil, but one properly set outside of RVR lakes.

Next we have to replace the vegas loot system with an attainable reward system. Kill playersto collect ears, fingers, etc. These are then rewarded with PVP gear. If you don’t actually perform PVP you do not get gear.

Then we spice up RVR a little. Add capture-the-flag, bombing run and other ‘fun’ objectives. Take the murder-ball and your group gets double renown, but the carrier takes constant damage. Take a flag and cover it in blood, then plant it for a large chunk of renown. No matter what, there should be no reward if PVP has not taken place. Carrying the ball does not grant renown, only a renown bonus. Planting a flag does nothing unless you’ve killed an acceptable number of players while your group is carrying it.

The last one is actually very simple: Your faction gains morale for taking objectives and killing players. High morale gives a boost to renown gain, but it also makes players worth more renown themselves. Low morale does not reduce renown gain, but makes players worth much less renown. These would not be directly linked — both sides can have maximum morale simultaneously as long as they are both killing one another. This is purely to promote competitive battles. Farming players would yeild very low renown, while fighting back would give large rewards to the losing side.

Because of the implications of this new PVP focus classes could no longer be balanced by the ludicrous idea of paper-rock-scissors. It is not and never has been a successful balancing model in an MMO. Using it as an excuse for poor balance is unacceptable and if RVR was changed in this way it could not persist. A good Sorceress should beat a mediocre Witch Hunter. A good Archmage should beat a poorly played Choppa.

That’s my solution. That’s how I would remodel RVR. I’m tired of having PVE raids hidden inside a supposed PVP area. I’m sick of the lack of skill. I guess unlike Frank I actually am grumpy… and I certainly feel old. Get off my lawn.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. Brendan permalink
    April 14, 2009 1:51 pm

    I really like some of those ideas, but a few of them could use some refinement. I love the idea of wiping out the warcamp. That is a severe punishment for failure to defend (It could be predicated on locking the zone) and might get people out in the lakes. Reducing the strength of the champion mobs and other PvE elements is also very intriguing to me.

    I don’t know what you can really do about zerging though. One side or the other will always try to bring more people to the table, simply because there’s advantage in numbers. The only way I can see is to diminish returns (or effectiveness) as you add more people to the battle.

  2. April 14, 2009 2:10 pm

    Honestly, ill agree, this would be fun for pvp, right now, ive 7 guys, from 11-21 (slayer being the 21) and i dont see a need to even bother with pvp. Unless your a healer/tank keeps and forts are right out the window. (I love the dps types, and melee over ranged, which are so easily borked in larger scale pvp. I often get massively force fired once people started seeing me taking down 2-3 tanks that kept the healers guarded from the rest of the group.) If i want pvp, i play a scenario. I love the idea of pick up and play pvp, win, or lose, as long as you are rewarded for trying your best (though the winners get more overall.) It seems reasonable, and well worth trying again.

  3. pancakez permalink*
    April 14, 2009 2:48 pm

    @Brendan: By removing the ability to form war bands it means that the mindless zerg occurring would not be possible. This is coupled with the rewarding of small groups and the spreading out of PVP. It is very possible that large coordinated groups would work together, but that is not what zergging is about. I have no problem with extremely large battles taking place, especially under these conditions where to make it work it would be absolutely essential to have good organization.

  4. Brendan permalink
    April 14, 2009 3:21 pm

    I see your point – with my healer, I have an easy time tossing heals to an entire warband (though not necessarily keeping everyone up). If I’m down to having 5 other people on my HUD, I’ll probably be far more effective with those 6 people (and having more fun), and there will be a few other groups out there having a much tougher time because they don’t have a healer.

    Great post – keep up the good work. I think you’ve outpaced Phleus on Gorfang, but you’ll be catching up to my lv 30 blorc “Daugh Jibblykicka” soon.

  5. SarGara permalink
    April 15, 2009 6:29 am

    Some nice ideas but i must disagree with the following points:

    Eliminating this feature will not prevent zergs happening. 5 people fighting in the same vacinity will not fight 5 solo battles but will join up and target the same objective. The same applies to 10, 15, 20 players and before you know it the zerg is back. All it would do is punish guilds who try to organise for ninja objective takes or keep flagging distractions.

    Making it a seperate instance will only push the problem to one side rather than address it. 3 BWs + 1 healer will always be able to deffend vs 24. At present the only way to take a keep is to either get there before the deffenders or vastley out number them. I have hope for the upcoming 1.2.1 keep upgrade system addressing the issue.

    The proposed changes to remove NPCs and add a PQ will only further punish the under dogs. Imagine trying to fly in to help in an RvR zone only to be instant killed and find your warcamp over-run and camped by the oposition due to the PQ. Players would just not bother in the face of such oposition and move to other areas.

    But on the whole i agree with most of the other changes so very nice post!

  6. mroessing permalink
    April 15, 2009 8:42 am

    1. Remove the ability to form warbands within RVR lakes.

    As stated above, removing warbands will not remove the “zerg”, but will simply punish people who want to try to organize themselves larger than 6 people.

    2. Remove all Hero and Champion mobs from RVR lakes.

    I don’t think this is necessary at all. However, I do believe the Keep Lords should be modified so that they are not a deciding factor at all in keep sieges. If attackers are sieging a keep and there are no defenders, the Keep Lord should be tough to take down insofar as he has a huge health pool (perhaps triple his current), but is not able to do much damage. If there are defenders, this means that the battle in the Lord Room can concentrate on the PvP aspect and the Lord becomes a non-issue until the battle between players is decided.

    3. Remove EXP/Renown/Influence gain from BO captures.
    4. Implement a buff which grants massive Renown/Influence gains to the party which captures a BO as well as anyone defending them.

    These two points go hand in hand and I agree with them. Much like you received a large experience bonus in DAoC when hunting near keeps that your realm owned, the closer you are to a BO that your side owns, the better the bonus for fighting other players.

    5. Remove all lockout timers.

    Not sure how I feel about this because I kind of like the Zone Domination system, which wouldn’t work as well without the timers. However, it would require active defense at all times. I’m on the fence.

    6. Change the Keep system into a scenario system (24v24 — no NPCs).

    Disagree with completely. This game needs less instancing.

    7. Replace high rank mobs from War Camps and chapter hubs with similar defenders to BO’s and keeps.
    8. Turn rally masters into PQ bosses with the same rewards as current keep captures.

    Are you talking about turning Warcamps into RvR objectives? This may be a good idea, and if captured it means that your realm is forced to travel from farther away to rally a defense. A form of punishment for not defending, although not overly harsh. This could be quite good.

    9. Introduce ‘kill collector’ and other PVP-only objective quests to gain PVP gear sets.

    The RvR influence system already takes care of this, I think this could be just another unnecessary system.

    10. Add true objectives (steal/plant flags, run bombs, murder-ball) to RVR lakes.

    This could be fun, but that’s what the scenarios are for.

    11. Replace zone dominance with realm morale.

    Not sure if this would work at all, as it may require a complete overhaul of the end-game campaign. Plus we don’t know 100% how the Land of the Dead RvR dungeon will fit in with the current system (presumably you will need to dominate the campaign to have access).

    My wife posted her opinion on the current situation of RvR in WAR on our blog, to which I replied with my opinion and ideas. Quite honestly, I believe most of the problem with RvR has to do with the current player mindset and their desire to go down what they perceive to be the path of least resistance. Now, that’s not to say that Mythic can’t make changes to direct players down a more desired path (actually killing other players instead of RvE mobs) but players see taking empty keeps and BO’s as the easiest way to gain their rewards, even if it’s not 100% true. There is also the issue of lack of realm pride, which is mostly a player mindset problem, but also the way the entire campaign is laid out. However, fixes in the game to promote realm pride may require a complete overhaul of how the RvR lakes are laid out (take a good hard look at how they are set up in WAR compared to DAoC and you will understand what I’m talking about).

  7. ghaz permalink
    April 15, 2009 9:27 am

    wow awesome ideas would actually love to see them implimented and refined, 1 thing with the WC idea, would it not be cool to have it as an instance like the city seiges, when one realm has captured/ almost captured the zone then you get to charge your opponents WC if you succeed they lose their WC, realm morale drops and you get some nice loot and if you don’t then they keep it, your realm morale drops and maybe they get to move to the next zone a couple of minutes earlier than you and take up tactical positions or something as a reward, although getting to keep your WCs should be incentive enough lol

    either way i really hope someone from mythic reads your blog 😀

  8. pancakez permalink*
    April 15, 2009 1:04 pm

    @SarGara: There would be no keeps to ninja and any large grouping of parties would be completely avoidable in this system, all it would take to ‘ninja’ something is a single player. As for Keep instances, rebalancing would be required, as previously mentioned; the currect rock-paper-scissors ideal couldn’t persists, which it never should have. Finally, if you get over-run and have your war camp sacked you would have already lost even worse in the current system.

    @mroessing: I’m not sure you understood the purpose of this, I’d recommend reading my previous article, ‘little big war’ for more information on the failings of the current system and why spreading battle out would help add depth WAR’s shallow PVP system. Particularly you might want to read more into the other changes. Having a war band with the system I described would be counter productive as all of the changes center around rewarding large battles spread out across the area, not a large force in one centralized area. I read the article and reply which you posted, but I think both miss the points which are hurting RVR.

    Remember guys, in this system if a zerg persists their only reward is a war camp destruction — essentially replacing keep takes. However, they will not gain renown for repeated BO takes and PVE grinding, which is the entire point. I think some people reading may not be clear on how sweeping these changes actually are. What I’m describing is a complete overhaul of WAR’s RVR system. This would take months to test and work out, but ultimately it would be a move in the right direction — as far away from PVE and the new keep upgrades as possible.

  9. Kash permalink
    April 17, 2009 12:24 am

    I have to agree with many comments here. Removing the warband ability wont do anything. My guild would simply get around this using ventrillo and the zerg would likely just use mods or region chat to ‘zerg up’. If there is anything in the game that gives an advantage to ‘the guy who brings more’ a zerg will exist.

    That said. Adding more cool stuff like kill collectors and bombs/murderballs should be good.

  10. pancakez permalink*
    April 17, 2009 1:22 pm

    Again, you may need to take a second look at the other changes. Forming a zerg would not be of benefit in this system. Smaller groups would actually be getting higher renown than large zergs farming them, which would eventually be gaining no renown. A single player stealthing by could retake a flag from a zerg which would be unable to defend the entire RVR lake. Besides this, your entire zerg would not gain the BO buffs as they only apply to the party that captured it. Even if you were in a warband (which you couldn’t be), 3/4 of the warband would be unbuffed.

    Getting around it using ventrillo so your well organized guild could PVP together is…. a good thing. Again, that isn’t ‘the zerg’ that’s well organized groups.

    I guess ultimately this list wasn’t clear with the objections seeming to miss the entire point, or read the first step and immediately over-react. Sorry guys, but in this system there would be no point to a warband unless you split that warband into 4 groups going after 4 objectives. Otherwise you’d simply be punishing everyone by splitting renown and wasting buffs, while small groups and even single players can evade you and remove your buffs. I guess people are more afraid of war being everywhere than I originally thought.

  11. mroessing permalink
    April 17, 2009 1:27 pm

    No, I see what you’re getting at a bit better now. While I may be “avoiding” much of the rest of what you’ve said, I’m starting to agree with the “no warband” approach (or perhaps disagreeing with it less).

    It sounds like you’re looking for more of a grouping system the way DAoC worked, where your group was your group, and you worked within that group. You could still function as a larger whole using the coordinated chat channel (can’t remember what it was called) but in the end, you were “your group” so to speak. If I’m reading you right, you’re mostly looking for a system where organized play with a larger force is still encouraged, but each individual group in that whole is more important strategically through necessary diversification, and hanging around a main body of players isn’t to anyones benefit.

  12. pancakez permalink*
    April 17, 2009 1:40 pm

    Well, it’s good that someone finally got it. This isn’t about punishing anyone. It’s about a system where battle is flexible, spread out and enjoyable. The current system is centered on keeps and PVE grinds and much of the game is making PVP inflexible. Hard PVE mobs slow down ninjaing, lock-out timers shut down portions of the lake for long periods of time. Combat becomes cramped and turns into PVE trains. The new keep system just makes the zerg even more needed and centers PVP even more on PVE content.

    The whole point of these changes is to encourage PVP. Give people fun things to do, take the focus off huge groups and let people build friendships and ultimately reward skilled play over the ‘we have more people so we win’ style battles that RVR centers on now. The removal of the ability to make warbands is not to ‘punish’ large groups, but to remove the temptation of only going into RVR zones if there is already a warband taking over the area.

    In any case I’m glad someone got it… at least partially.

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