The nail in the head of Warhammer

Despite all the praises about the gameplay and design choices, there are still those glaring flaws that I and others pointed out… years ago.

In this case I quote someone else, as a good summary:

There are 7 public quests (that I know of) in the first Chaos zone alone. That means you’d need 42 to 70 people in that zone working on public quests to do them all at once. I even ran into one completely empty PQ over the weekend even though almost every Chaos player was in that zone.

Will there ever be that many people working on PQs in the same low level zone after the first week or two after launch? Probably not.

I suspected that they would dynamically scale public quests based on the number of players currently participating. When I found a PQ that nobody else was doing, I worked my butt off and completed the first stage alone. Then Champion mobs spawned in stage 2, and I was screwed. So, it looks like they aren’t doing any sort of scaling.

Unfortunately, even though public quests are extremely fun, I fear they won’t even be doable throughout the majority of the game for those of us who will get behind the curve. As soon as I fall behind the pack, which inevitably I will, I’ll be unable to do any PQs until the end game.

I was able to have a similar experience in the second chaos zone, even with 2500 players logged in. Not exactly during an off-peak. And not even weeks or months or years after a server launch.

There’s a way to sum it up in an even more significant way:
– Too many parts of Warhammer’s core design are strictly dependent on keeping a fine balance on the number of players participating, and so vulnerable. It’s not about PQs only. It’s about PQs, faction balance in open RvR, issues of overcrowding and depopulation in all the parts of the game. The *fun* strictly depends on that fine balance, to keep all the options viable at all times, and to keep the single option fun without suffering overcrowding or depopulation.

Right now Mythic does absolutely nothing to preserve that fine balance, and down the road I only expect XP, renown bonuses/disadvantages for a faction or the other that won’t really move anything in any significant way.

There are certain workarounds that may help, some of which I also suggested (de-levelling, multiple scenarios queues, adaptable objectives for PQs). But to me it’s very clear that this game required to be built different at its core.

– Dynamic server structure with a mix of persistence and instancing. Server(zone) created dynamically depending on the number of players. Something like a creative use of Guild Wars system.

Certain design schemes need their specific systems to work. Or they just remain pretty ideas that do not work in practice.

The scheme Mythic’s adopting here will have its flaws hidden or sweetened for a while, but it will hurt them hard in the long term.

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