Fleshing Out a Concept

I am going to make a post today, damn it.

Even though I no longer play Warhammer Online, I still check out the IGN Warhammer discussion forum. Specifically, I like to see if Mark Jacobs has anything interesting to say. He is after all the one who is in charge of Ultima Online and is not the typical MMO guy in that he posts a lot. But that seems to have died down a bit now that Warhammer isn’t the hit people were hoping for. He has stopped posting on the F13 forum from what I can see and has slowed down greatly on IGN. Before I stray too far, I think part of the reason he wants his own Warhammer Forum is so he can have much greater control.

Anyway, on IGN I saw this topic linked to on the Warhammer Alliance forum. From what I gather, most people on IGN think down about Warhammer Alliance, so this is a bit of a surprise and peaks my interest. Inside is a suggestion about how Mythic could fix the Open Realm vs Realm situation. While brief, it outlines perfectly one method that could be used. More importantly it makes perfect sense. So much so that there has been 472 replies and over 15,000 views in just 10 days. The response is overwhelmingly positive.

The design talks about how Mythic is on the wrong track. At every step, the rewards go to the individual person instead of progressing to encompass more people. The first level is killing another player. You get rewarded specifically for that instead of the current design which allows you to gain points through other means. If you can only gain credit for killing players to progress, then there is no way around it. This makes a lot of sense.

Then it moves on to Keeps. Once again Mythic only rewards ~5 players with elite loot no matter how many people took part. The author suggests changing it around completely. Make it so a guild can only level up by owning a Keep. At the moment a guild can level up through many other means and it is automatic. If you can only level by Keep ownership then players are going to want to defend those. Guilds will feel pride and be respected for their high level and accomplishments.

The next stage up is controlling entire areas. There is really no reward for this at the moment. Instead, owning certain areas could reward the controllers. You could have access to special dungeons or quests. The faction that controls them reaps the rewards. It would encourage players to struggle for the zones rather than plow through them for hopes of attacking the other capital city. A much more natural and balanced process.

Finally there is the capital city, which once again focuses on individual rewards as Keeps do. As he put it, “Sieging a Capitol. Just like Zone Control, this should not reward the individual, it should reward your Realm. Having best loot from City Sieges == epic fail.”

Sometimes you can’t just pick out one thing and try to fix it when the entire concept is flawed. It is quite apparent that major changes need to be made to the oRvR system in Warhammer to make it more engaging and rewarding for players. Mythic has intertwined too many non-PVP aspects into the equation and players are not embarcing it. World of Warcraft started making the same mistake when they added a bunch of boss objectives for Battlegrounds. Players began focusing on the PvM instead of the PvP.

The Faction system in UO had it right when the entire faction was rewarded with war horses and town guards. Unfortunately this became rather insignificant over time, especially after the Age of Shadows expansion. While the recent changes have helped give Factions new life, there needs to be greater incentives for players to want to capture and defend cities.

There is going to be a post tomorrow too.

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