My First Fortress Attempt

A prominent Order guild on my server made the call for our forces to march on Caledor and push to the fortress. It’s exciting to see all these guilds come together and really push a singular goal. The anticipation is exhilarating, and much of the reason I wanted to play MMOs in the first place. This wasn’t my first fortress push, but it was the first that I was able to see it to the end… or so I thought.

When we reached the fortress, it was relatively easy to make our way through the outer and inner doors. What first struck me is the scale of the structure. It’s massive compared to the keeps I’ve been sacking. However, I was disappointed to see that while huge, the layout is relatively the same. In fact, know that I think about it, all the keeps layouts are the same! Did the armies of Warhammer only use pre-manufactured keeps from Germany or something? Next it will be Ikea interiors!

Anyway, after blasting through the doors we made our way up the first flight of stairs. We assembled at the base of the final single staircase as we faced with “The Infamous Tankwall of Doom!” For those of you unfamiliar, defenders of keeps generally form a “U” or actually more like a lazy “J” at the top of the staircase. Then their healers and range dps sit back rain death on the attackers and love bolts to the tankwall. Because of line of sight issues, it is very difficult for the attackers to heal their front line while also attacking the defending tankwall. Tankwalls often lead to stalemates, and I find them very frustrating. While attackers shouldn’t be able to just steamroll over defenders, these situations just aren’t very fun for a video game. Mythic seems to agree and has said they are planning to add additional staircases to keeps and fortresses. However, I’m disappointed to see this most welcome change missing from the 1.2 patch notes.

Finally, the call came, “PUSH!” As I made my way toward the staircase my computer was wheezing like an old man after playing the All Priests Over 75 Indoor Five-a-Side Football Match. There were probably about 100 or so players involved in this fortress battle, but it’s pretty bad still to have 3.3Ghz Core2Duo with 4GB of RAM and a kajillion other leet hardware brought to it’s knees while on the lowest graphical settings! As I stuttered my way over to the staircase without warning something got me, and I was deaded. Unfortunately that was the end of my fortress experience.

There are many negative things I’ve read about fortresses on the forums, and I have always taken that negativity with a grain of salt up until now. Mythic really does need to do something about the performance of their game. They keep saying they are improving it, but something in their engine altogether needs to be striped out and replaced. They need to add more ways for attackers to assault keeps and fortresses. We need destructible walls, ladders, and other siege equipment to make the experience more dynamic. And the biggest issue for me, they need to make these keeps and fortresses more varied. I think they have done an excellent job making each zone varied from one another, but the keeps have fallen short of this. What if keep lords where in a basement instead of the top? What if the structure wasn’t a keep at all, but maybe a holy shrine or a den of vicious beast?

There needs to be more variety in open RvR keeps and fortresses, it must perform well on the average gamer’s computer, and their needs to be more options in battle so that gameplay doesn’t become a repetitive tankwall versus zerg. Otherwise, I think the Warhammer end-game will become boring and stale all too soon for some.

5 Responses

  1. Congrats on getting in a Fortress for the first time!

    I agree with all your points. I’ve never understood when the outside of the Keeps and the placing of posterns etc are soo different, whey the Lord rooms and their rampy ramps are always exactly the same; they must’ve been designed to be so, which seems ludicrous to me. Pick lock working for WE, WH and WL (and Marauders?) will help a little bit, but there needs to be other ways to gain entry (and defend) a Keep.

    Fortress lag can be horrendous, but from what little I have seen, the issue has been improved again in 1.2; the PTS is much smoother, and I remember when taking a Keep caused as much lag as taking a fully defended Fort now so they are improving, but s-l-o-w-l-y.

    Oh, and more kudos for fitting an “All Priests Over 75 Indoor Five-a-Side Football Match” similie into a post. These are fake hands!

  2. Can’t do anything but agree, tank wall is mucho boringness, especially seeing as I’m melee dps and get to sit on the side lines for most of the keep and fort seiges, mind you even when I played my healer it was just a case of spamming group heals.

  3. Ironically enough, I was in the tankwall that you guys beat yourselves bloody against.

    All I can say is that I sympathise. For us, most of the defence involves packing into a tight block with healers watching us and waiting while we get Rain of Fire and other nastiness thrown at us from out of line of sight.

    Being a Chosen, I’m the tank class fortunate enough to be able to actually do something about it, and so at least I can twist auras and run bane shield and feel useful. For my Black Orc and Black Guard counterparts, they just stand there soaking up damage and waiting for the charge. Get knocked back. Charge back in again. Reform wall. Get knocked back, etc.

    Unfortunately, there aren’t really any other tactics or places in either Keeps or Fortresses to host truly effective defences against the inevitable zerg rush. As such, it all boils down to the tank wall in the Lord’s Room. Once that changes, it should all be a lot more fun.

  4. […] crash halted the attempt on a second fortress that might have lead to the Inevitable City. The Infamous Tank Wall of Doom takes a heck of a beating, especially when backed up with a fortress lord and The Chaos Gods of […]

  5. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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