Integrate Scenarios and ORvR?
May 8, 2009 2 Comments
Is there a way this can be done?
I got to mulling it over after reading a post from The Greenskin.
The community seems to be split into a few factions on how much emphasis should be placed upon ORvR and Scenarios. By my accounts, there are the anti-Scenario-ers, the Scenario-fatics, and the Scenario-ambivalent. The most vocal tend to be the first and second group, and the third tends to only give their opinion on threat of water-boarding (I call them hippies, make a decision hippie!).
The anti-Scenario-ers advocate a complete downplay of scenarios – make it a secondary, non-impacting, side aspect of the game. These haters want this game to be all about the ORvR. Consequential combat, advancing of regiments down the field, clashing with the enemy in unpredictible and ever-changing ways. Objectives can be seen and taken, and battlements manned. Daring commanders can lead groups to success, and an unexpected influx of the enemy from over the hills can be certain disaster. Scenarios are the antithesis of what this game is supposed to be to them. Predictability gets stale, and scenarios are tightly defined arenas. The arenas may be bigger than you find in WoW, and with a few more people, but the concept behind, and the results are the same.
Scenario-fatic’s pants get tight every time they hear someone on vent say “Pop”. They want to grasp tight to the scenarios with every fiber of their being. Why play in the RvR lakes? It’s just silly, lemmings are running all over the place, devouring opposition like a swarm of locusts. Keep sieges were fun, the first 200 times, but wow, did that get old real fast. If you’ve seen one keep, you’ve seen them all. Beat a door, run up the ramp, kill the lord. Wow, RvE is sooooo fun guys! Oh, and if we do this well, we can go do it, only there’s more ramps to run up to another floor before having to run up the last ramp! YES! They find fun from even matches, competition they know will be on a fair ground, more or less. They see no way to derive enjoyment from something that has the possibility of being so astronomically skewed as to deny any possibility of success. The ultra-casual tend to fall into this category as well. The ability to hop on the game for an hour and play three scenarios or so is a huge boon to them. They can have a good time, and advance their character, and maybe see a little return on it in some aspects with very little investment. These players hold tightly to the one aspect of the game that seems tailored for them, and they should.
Lastly we have the Scenario-ambivalent. Like I said above, it’s only by threat of torture that you can make any of these indecisive slack-abouts make any firm statements of opinion on the topic at hand. No, these people tend to be fairly happy with the way things are, and just want to go about with the status quo. Some people might call them “the contented”, or “the patient”, or “the rational”, but not I. No, I will stick to my assertion that these individuals are just too small minded to take a real stance on an issue, the waffling majority I say.
In what way can we bring these three groups into some sort of cohesive whole? Should we even try to do this? People seem to immediately presume that, yes, we should try to make everyone happy. Make a PvP game with fun PvE content! Let all play-styles be accepted! Large scale and small scale battles everywhere! Casual rewarded similar to hardcore obsessiveness! Monty-haul for all!
Honestly, what is the advantage of bringing together these seemingly vastly two types of gameplay? To have any hope of satisfying both groups of players seems to be impossible based on the preferences of the player involved in each aspect. One side wants random, unpredictable, large-scale, long-term warfare; the other wants predetermined rule sets, with greater individual impact, and small time-allotments. These appear to be diametric opposites at first glance. That doesn’t mean it’s a complete failure to try to mesh the two though.
Let’s take a fortress attack as an example. Fortress are still pretty big turnout-wise on my server, and are still significant battlefield advancements. However, it’s currently limited in players because of the population caps they put on both sides. If you get there too late, tough shit, say hello to the far-distant warcamp. It also is one type of gameplay that has been transformed into the other, and done so poorly. It’s an ORvR fight, that got changed to limited numbers, making it closer in concept to a scenario. There are caps to how many of each side will be there, and there is a limited time within which to complete a task. There will be no surprise reinforcements after a certain point, and the locations of all the opponents are more-or-less known. The number of players involved is the only thing that reflects the typical ORvR outing, which removes the individual impact. Essentially what was done, is take the crap parts from each of the two style, and mesh them together. Little individual impact plus tightly structured paths to success.
This is a piss poor compilation.
What SHOULD have been done is something more along the lines of taking the GOOD parts of each, and putting them together. Tough concept, I know. Let the masses storm a fortress. Let the whole damn server come out and play if they want. However, they needed to have instances tied to each fortress, much like they do for the city, with a significant difference. There can only be one of each instance, and the instance won’t be the make or break of the success of the fortress take.
- Instead, make an instance that pits the attacker versus the defender in a small scenario to break down supply line, and this will limit the number of defenders that can get into the fortress, or vise versa.
- Create another scenario that has the attackers trying to destroy some of the battlements, success can mean that the doors will have less hit-points, or that the posterns will be open to attackers for a set amount of time.
- Another scenario will defend a patrol of NPCs that are en route to the Fortress as reserves, or as an extra line of defense. Success can mean more/less NPCs to deal with.
That’s just three ideas I came up with off the top of my head, and I’m just some amateur, know-nothing dipshit on the interwebs. All the while that these side-scenarios are going on, the main force will be attacking the newly revamped fortress, you know, the one with destructible walls, more siege weaponry options (placement, power, and mobility), multiple attack points for all targets, and objectives to be taken and held for benefits to whichever side holds them.
The designers of the game seemed to want to focus the fight to one spot so much, that they achieved just that. The fight needs to get spread out a bit. If you want to give everyone a choice in what type of gameplay they have, do it, but let them still contribute. If I’m a scenario-fatic, and I want to have a hand in a fortress capture, I have to be there for the Lord kill, and the taking down the doors, and all that huba-ba-loo. If I’m an anti-scenario-er, I have a lot of great, dynamic types of PvP to partake in presented to me, and I can pick and choose if I want to roll with the main force and try to take out the Lord, or run small and try to hold objectives and give a benefit to the main fighting force. Ideas like this help to split up the battle, and give more diversity to the fight, which can only be a good thing.
Note: These Fortress ideas can basically be applied to the re-work of the city captures in most instances that I can see.