Witching Night Post-Mortem

So, Witching Night is over now, the Winds of Shyish have blown cold and all we have left to remember it by is a couple of exquisitely rendered masks and several internet whine threads.

I think it was a great success with a few caveats. The genius of the event was only having it last for a few days. That’s long enough for people to poke around and investigate, fight randomly while doing so, work out an optimum strategy that takes a lot of fun out of the event, initiate whine mode and then … presto, it’s gone again. With the bonus of playing for pure fluff (masks, cloaks and titles) and not anything that would actually affect gameplay. Business back to usual until the next one. In many ways it’s the perfect PvP game style of event – I’m excited that Mythic were able to try it out when the game’s still so new and looking forwards to seeing what they have learned from it.

The way the event ran for us (mostly going with Tier 4 because it’s what I saw myself): On the first day, there was a lot of Open World RvR around the PQ areas. People were curious and wanted to go and see what it was all about. I heard lots of comments on guild and chat about how much people were enjoying all the mass RvR. There was some chest camping by whichever side had lost the PQ which meant that the winning team couldn’t pick up their rewards. On the second day, there will still lots of Open RvR going on even when the PQ wasn’t up, plus the warbands were more active in Objective and Keep Taking also. But by this time, people had worked out the mechanics of the event in larger numbers so teams were more cautious about where they fought, and giving kills to the enemy. By the third day it was much quieter. People still occasionally checked on the PQ area but the constant mass battles were over. However it was the weekend so there was plenty of Open RvR going on in its place. By the fourth day, people were mostly bored of it.

The cauldrons were quite tough to find in PvE so I think a lot of people who would have happily ground out influence there weren’t able to do so. Having said that, we found a couple and it does reward the explorer types with some pretty fluff if they’re willing to spend a few hours grinding.

Suggested Improvements

I think the RvR PQ would work better if each side had resources to fight over (aka the Lighthouse in Nordenwatch) and got points/ influence for the longer they were able to hold it, or items to gather in the PQ area. It will never be exciting to stand around in one place wondering if anything is going to happen but if you could get some influence for doing it, there is more of an incentive.

Open RvR by its nature always favours the more populated side. There is pretty much no counter to this other than special event scenarios which are fun (and I’m very much looking forwards to the Reikland Steamtank Factory) but miss the point. However, having one of the PQs in a keep (which possibly could change randomly) would encourage people to focus on that. And keep defense is one of the places where an outnumbered side can hold their own.

More PvE cauldrons or having them more thematically placed with better clues as to where to find them (ie. in graveyards? In ruins? Just something to give the less lucky explorers some pointers) would have kept people less frustrated who really did want the cool masks.

The PQ and PvE event itself wasn’t overly-exciting, but the geek in me enjoyed seeing the influence guy in Altdorf in his full Amethyst Order regalia. More story would be nice next time.

But for now, I think the event was a qualified success. Mythic hotfixed the PQ reward chest fairly quickly (so hopefully have learned from that), we did get a lot more Open RvR while the event was running until people got very cagey about giving kills, the masks are simply gorgeous, and  I think that as long as it’s only for a short time and with fluff rewards, letting people figure out how to ‘game’ an event is not the worst thing in the world.

Mostly, I had fun and now I want to see more!

[arbitrary: event extended in Europe to 5th November but the above points still stand!]

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5 Responses

  1. Heh, great minds think alike!

  2. Changing from a kill-count to a location-based objective is exactly what this event needs to streamline it. the holiday season approaches – let’s see what else Mythic has in store for us.

  3. At first, I hated Witching Night. In the end, I only found it irritating and not very fun. First of all, the only way to get Influence was to farm Cauldrons. That was boring and tedious. I ended up playing a 2nd game at the same time as War, doing that games much more fun Halloween event while waiting for the 5 minute respawn to happen.

    Second of all, I don’t know about on other servers, but on Phoenix Throne, the Open RvR ended up being a Border Fort camping experience. That’s it. You camped the enemies border till eventually the counter hit 100 and quickly zerged the end mob. That’s it. Very uninteresting, very little influence gain, and while the rewards where nice, with over 100 players on your side alone in the zone, not very rewarding. Specially given the fact that the Scenario respawn time was Soooooooo looooooooong.

    So the event was basically about grinding and spawn farming. Yah, let’s see what the next event, Heavy Metal, looks like. I don’t have my hopes up.

  4. A location based PQ would be vastly superior. When I played it, warcamp camping was a big problem. Forcing players out into the middle of the lake to get PQ progress would be excellent.

  5. Mixed feelings about it here. True, I enjoyed the guild group we had going in tier 3 (but then I enjoy that no matter what we are doing) but the event itself seemed a damp squib.

    The level of effort involved for a bit of fluff seems quite ridiculous to me. And the stand offs involving dozens of people not willing to fight each other in case somebody died were, in the end, utterly tedious and boring.

    I logged to go and do my washing up.

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