Big world, small world, open RvR, scenarios

Scenarios have been one of the most wildly successful parts of Warhammer Online since the game went live. I love them too. I love that I can queue for a Scenario from anywhere in the game world and have 15 minute soundbites of PvP fun to break up my exploring and questing. It’s an absolutely brilliant mechanic. It’s also perfect for players who simply don’t have hours of time to play at a stretch, may have to afk from time to time (as long as it isn’t in a scenario), or like to get straight into a guaranteed skirmish with no muss or fuss. And it is still, and always will be, brilliant that you can queue for scenarios as soon as you create your character.

And yet, in so many of the developer comments, we see signs that they would like to prod people out of their scenarios and get them into open world RvR.

I enjoy both. But I have noticed something strange recently with my ventures into Tier 4 lands. In Tiers 2 and 3, Open World RvR is quite active on Burlok. Keeps often change hands. There are often people on alliance channels or the custom ‘Order’ channel recruiting for Tier 2/3 raids. They did this before there was any extra xp involved at all. They’re still doing it. I ran weekly raids myself.  But in Tier 4 …. silence. And since Order owns all the keeps and has done for days (yes we are bizarro server), I’m not sure there’s much point in me scheduling anything right now either. Guild nature ramble through Tier 4 Open RvR areas just doesn’t sound as enticing as an actual fight.

So far, Mythic have been offering increasing xp bonuses for fighting in Open RvR, but will it work? Well, to know that, we need to think about why it’s been so quiet. Some of this may be server specific — we have one pretty hardcore guild on Order side so maybe Destruction on our server is … nervous? Waiting for more people to get to 40? I think they still outnumber us but it’s hard to know by how much.

I think a lot of this comes down to the painful levelling curve in Tier 4. If you thought Tier 3 xp was slow, it gets worse. My experience with leading is that people love Open RvR but don’t look to it for levelling. It’s fun, but more of a fun diversion than an xp fest. It’s the nature of the beast that you can never predict where the enemy will be, or in what numbers. It will never be as predictable as Scenarios or PvE for offering xp opportunities.

However, for the game to really rock, Open RvR needs to be active most nights. At least during prime time. I don’t think the xp bonus will hurt but I also don’t think it will get people out of Scenarios right now while they’re so focussed on levelling. It intrigues me that they didn’t offer increased renown for Open RvR, which I suspect may need to happen also. They may be concerned about how quickly people could get to max renown, which is a reasonable concern but renown is the best way to get level 40s out there.

What I think Mythic needs to do is increase non-scenario xp across the board. Boost xp from Public Quests in particular. Once people are happier with their levelling speed, they’ll be more interested in Tier 4 PvP. This sounds non-intuitive but I’m convinced that the main reason Tier 4 is stuck in scenario grind is because everyone just wants to get all their talent points and abilities by reaching rank 40 and … it’s so slow otherwise. It isn’t because people hate Open RvR.

They also need to look at ways to entice the losing side into the Open RvR areas to retake objectives and keeps — better rewards for keep capture would keep (sic) them moving. In addition, better rewards for a guild that is claiming a T4 keep would encourage more guilds to go and do it. The keeps are expensive to hold, so a good but temporary guild bonus would work fine.

For small group RvR to flourish, there needs to be small group PvE content in the RvR zones. Mobs which have an increased drop rate on desirable items would encourage brave soloers into the RvR areas too. Praag already has Public Quests, and that’s my personal next plan for an open RvR raid, as at least if Destruction doesn’t turn up we can kill mobs.

But at the end of the day, it takes players to organise raids. I see a lot of bored level 40s complaining that there’s never any action but I don’t see them organising stuff or helping anyone else to level. So they’ll just have to wait till we’re done. Sorry guys, we just were having too much fun taking keeps in Tier 3 to hurry along. But we’ll get there.

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7 Responses

  1. Theres always lairs as well and the high level PvE content that could be investigated (I don’t even know the name of it), I mean i’ve only done 3 or the sewers in altdorf and the east wing of Gunbad and i’m rank 33.

  2. Open RvR isn’t nearly as convenient to get to as Scenarios – you have to travel back or forward a couple of chapters, only to find that the keep’s already taken or there’s no enemies around (or there’s way too many enemies around).

    Then you have to get back to where you were before…

  3. Once you get a horse, Open RVR is awesome. A handful of coordinated people can make such a huge difference in a conflict full of people fighting and moving pseudo-randomly in a general direction (objective, keep, etc). Everyone gets to be calvary. Everyone gets to be a foot soldier. Everyone gets to fire down from the walls and smash down doors. One thing I like to do with my guild is run around Open RVR zones while in queue…a queue we all drop if we find action in the field.

  4. Honestly, I think it’s the case of people not wanting to rush through content and just take it easy and enjoy the game. The majority on Ostermark are in T3, and a lot are just getting into T3.

    Also, I refuse to do scenarios anymore. The hacking and exploiting is getting quite bad.

  5. I remember back in the early days of WoW before “honor” and battlegrounds, there was constantly world PvP. About any zone with two apposing towns usually had massive battles with characters of all level ranges taking part. At this point in WoW there was no real gain. It was truly about the honor of defending your town not the “honor point” there were always people flocking to these areas to attack and defend. There was never an issue of trying to find some action. There was always something going on.

    With the introduction of honor points and battlegrounds this all changed as there was something to gain now from killing players and the fastest and easiest way was through battlegrounds. Thus the only time towns were attacked was when a few high levels started ganking low level towns while no one could be bothered to come out of battle grounds to defend.

    The same issue now exists in WAR there is something to gain from PvP and the fastest and easiest way is through Scenarios.

    Imaging for a moment that scenarios did not exist. The open RVR areas would be the place everyone would go to take part in PvP and gain RR and XP. If this was the case the areas would always be full of people and there would not be the effort of trying to find action it would always be there.

    Really Scenarios will always be the path of least resistance so that is where the masses will be. Even with the increases to xp in open RvR the players will continue to go scenario because it is easier to get to and guaranteed gain, which makes fewer people in open RvR thus making it harder to gain there so more people avoid it, on and on…

    It is really a situation created by the players themselves and the human nature to take the easiest/fastest way and mythic for providing it in the form of scenarios.

  6. “It is really a situation created by the players themselves and the human nature to take the easiest/fastest way and mythic for providing it in the form of scenarios.”

    As spinks stated, scenarios are convenient. It can take hours to get a decent sized warband together to be able to siege a keep, and then not even have the guarantee of a PvP encounter when you get there. Scenarios don’t suffer from that problem.

    I don’t recall any such “massive battles” in the early days of WoW by the way, I’m not sure what server you were playing on but it was primarily a solo gank fest where I played.

    Anyway, re: the OP, I think the problem is just that people haven’t even reached T4 yet. I’ve been playing a fair bit, but due to slow levelling I’ve only just broken into T4 yesterday (and yes it was fairly deserted). I’m sure it will change over the coming months (and I’m sure Mythic will buff open RvR further in the meantime).

  7. Melf, you are right early WoW may very well have been server specific. it was just example anyway, and fortunatly WAR Chicken rules seem to limit that sort of gank fest fairly well

    The question is when you organize the warband and nobodies there for a PvP encounter, Why?

    You could be right, not enough people to that tier yet. but really, at least on my server, open RvR is fairly empty at all tiers. Though I am not to tier four yet I am a bit disappointed to hear that it actually gets worse.

    I still think the primary reason that most people are not in open RVR is that they are in scenarios, as most agree,Scenarios are easier access and guaranteed progress/reward

    This really creates a bit of a cycle. More in Scenario less in open RvR – the fewer in open RvR the more that people go to scenarios – so again fewer in open RvR

    It seems to me it would take fairly extreme measures to overcome the ease/convenience of scenarios and to break the cycle.

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