RvR done wrong: another unlearnt lesson from Warhammer (and WoW)

It’s so boring and unexciting when you see the mistakes coming from 100 miles away.

This is what I said:

2 October: So let me state this bluntly: the game, in particular endgame big objectives, risks to become “hide and seek” events where Destruction and Order take turns at the bag of loot. Without any incentive for defense the game risks to be more rewarding for avoiding each other than to fight.

Shortcut to victory.

15 October: Handing out a lot of points for just conquering a keep, instead, encourages the factions to just trade the objective instead of fighting for it. It teaches them to AVOID the fight to maximize the reward.

24 October: I’ve read players in Tier 4 reporting that the factions are avoiding each other in order to farm Keep Lords and have a chance at very rare drops. If Mythic executes their plan of rewarding more and more the objectives and not the fight, this problem will worsen considerably and we are looking at a future patch that will break the game even more than how it is now. That’s the next step.

That was indeed the next step (not just one case, I’ve read similar complaints on F13 as well) and I guess we aren’t even done yet.
Quick edit: more threads are starting to appear.

Mythic is doing baby steps in regard to open RvR. Baby steps that go in the wrong direction and are encouraging enemy players to avoid each other. So much for “war everywhere”.

Since I’m filled with deja-vu, I’ll be quick: PvP design should reward activity, not avoidance. This means that “the carrot” should be where the fun is: in the fight. In order to obtain this you need to provide a convergence, build a critical mass of players, and then put the carrot right there. The carrot should be proportional to the activity. No activity = no carrot.

I’ll repost my proposal adapted for Warhammer that achieves exactly that:

– Players take a Battlefield Objective (or keep) and cap it (worth nothing for now). Guilds can put a banner on the BO and stack benefits.
– For the time the BO is being actively defended (meaning there are real players in its proximity) it “blinks” on the map for all the players in the zone, for both factions. So that all players know that there’s activity there.
– All the kills (both defenders and attackers) that happen within a decently wide radius from the BO starts to be worth more points (XP, renown). A bonus that should be slightly higher for defenders, to encourage defense.
– For all the kills that defenders manage, some points go into a “bounty pool” in the BO. The more kills, the more this pool increases. I’d also make the BO generate some of these points even if no one is around, so that if left untouched for a lot of hours it actually start to be worth something anyway.
– This means that the longer it takes to conquer the BO, the biggest is going to be the reward, as it increases with the time and makes the prize progressively juicier.
– In order to “collect” these points the attackers need to conquer the objective themselves and “cash” the reward.

This has mainly three effects:
1- The BO works like a magnet, like a natural convergence since the direct kills are worth a lot more when they are closer to the objective. This makes the players know where to go and the action is focused on a smaller area (those who played Planetside know what I mean). This reduces the problem of RvR lakes being too dispersive.
2- The bounty points increase over time, so growing to a level that will likely motivate the other faction to take action. It will also move the “hot” RvR area around instead of repeating what happened with “Emain” in DAoC. It puts variety in the system.
3- It avoids exploits and disruptive behaviors. Points in this system come from direct kills. Handing out a lot of points for just conquering a keep, instead, encourages the factions to just trade the objective instead of fighting for it. It teaches them to AVOID the fight to maximize the reward (we saw some of this in WoW). My system instead focuses on the fight itself. It motivates it and makes sure it is rewarding since it promotes and rewards the activity.

That was my proposal and is still valid today. To make it work, though, there are two important prerequisites that should be patched NOW:
1- Add flight masters between ALL warcamps and ALL chapter PvE hubs. If this takes time to implement, add temporary teleports.
2- Reduce the diminishing returns in open RvR from the actual ten minutes to TWO.

What I think is that Keep Lords should NEVER drop gear. There are already renown gear vendors whose purpose is exactly that. Warhammer RvR design is already a convoluted patchwork of elements, it doesn’t need more complication.

I still wish Warhammer would be enormously successful. I still think that a lot can be done to improve it and make it great. But the reason why this *won’t* happen (and we’ve seen plenty of demonstrations of this) is because of its cockblock, and that cockblock is too egocentric to step back for the good of the game:

Tomorrow WotLK launches. I care zero and won’t play it, but if Warhammer loses players it deserves it.

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