Monday, 24 August 2009

Does WAR need more PVE instances?

Lately I’ve seen a few people say it does. At first this puzzled me greatly, I mean come on, this is meant to be an RvR game, surely it needs more RvR? But after pondering on it a bit, I think I see where they’re coming from. Let’s say you’ve cleared Lost Vale earlier this week, when you log in and for whatever reason there’s no decent RvR going on. The problem you now face is that there’s not that much else to do.

There is Tomb of the Vulture Lord (and LotD Lairs), but that’s not a dungeon you can always get in and it has the odd issue that is putting some people off going regularly (including me), but that’s a topic for another post. For now I’ll “just” say that access to Land of the Dead isn’t always available, the main dungeon itself is tricky enough to not be somewhere you can easily take random groups to, the scorpion boss fight is ridiculously badly implemented and the place has a certain burning irritation…

Out in the rest of Tier 4 unless you’re grinding XP, you’ll only do each PQ once if at all, for the sake of seeing them perhaps. There are the lower dungeons for taking alts and new people through, but there’s nothing relevant to most of our main characters. In the modern MMO we don’t do dungeons just for fun, we do them for fun AND loot. EQ/WoW turned us into materialistic bastards, whilst we still want to have fun; the desire for shinies is often the driving factor. If you’ve cleared a dungeon or PQ once, unless there’s loot to be had, why bother going again? You’ve already met the challenge and beaten it to death with it’s own shoe. MMO PvE just isn’t that much fun on its own. To have any interest in doing something more than once, for us to want to farm it, then it needs to have incentives, be they XP, cash or loot.

Anyways, back on topic and now apologies for another Warcraft comparison, but it’s easy to do so meh :P If you compare WAR’s end game dungeons with WoW’s vanilla dungeons (prior to The Burning Crusade expansion) it looks like this:

WAR (6)
Bastion Stair
Bloodwrought Enclave
Bilerot Burrow
Lost Vale (3 wings)
LotD Lairs (think its fair to group these as one)
Tomb of the Vulture Lord

WoW (12)
Blackrock Depths
Dire Maul (3 wings)
Lower Blackrock Spire 10-man raid
Upper Blackrock Spire 10-man raid
Molten Core 40-man raid
Onyxia 40-man raid
Blackwing Lair 40-man raid
Zul Gurub 20-man raid
Ahn Quiarajthingy 20-man raid
Other Ahn Quiarajthingy 40-man raid

Obviously within those dungeons there are paths of progression, but in WoW there are a lot more options for your progression. It doesn’t matter that you were locked out of Molten Core; you could still do Onyxia or Zul Gurub, etc instead. In WAR there are other things like the King fights or the instances in city sieges, but they’re not things you can just arrange to do on any given night, where as with WoW you free to do stuff anytime. Clearly then, at present WAR doesn’t have anywhere near this PvE luxury, which is understandable as an RvR focused game, but if people are asking for more PvE how can this be addressed?

There are 2 basic solutions:

1). Add more instanced dungeons. For me the danger here is it makes a comparison between WoW and WAR’s PvE more relevant. Unless something dramatic happens with Mythic’s bug squashing, this comparison is one that WAR will lose every time.

2). Give us new and improved RvR options. Make tier 4 zones fully RvR, give us more objectives, open field scenarios, RvR PQs, non-instanced RvR enabled dungeons, open-RvR scenarios, fortresses that don’t suck, better (and actually relevant) influence rewards, more siege weapons and destructible walls. Get the game to a point where there’s so much awesome RvR going on that people don’t have time or a care for PvE.

For me it’s option 2 all the way. I like RvR in WAR now, despite the odd (heh) problem its PvP is still miles ahead of most MMOs, but we all know it could be so much more. Mythic are moving in the right direction here with the changes to city sieges and fortresses (whatever they’re doing with fortresses must be better than the current rubbish), so there’s potential.


  1. Need more small-scale PvE to do in the lakes. I'd suggest

    1. Contested PQs like in dwarf/greenskin lands, within interesting mechanics building on the PQs people liked in LotD.

    2. Invadeable instanced 6-man minidungeons. Let them take about 30 minutes to beat, but have 1-2 subbosses and 1 boss, traps etc.

    Tie them in to BOs and/or keeps, and have them drop crafting materials for new, high-RvR relevant weapons/armor/talismans/potions etc. and siege weapons (also gets them to add new crafting professions)

  2. RvR PQ's in Dwarf v Greenskin zones were the best. More of those would be great.

  3. I am not sure if the number comparsion is correct, but I don't do PvE so whatever.

    One of the fundemental problem with WAR is that there really isn't anything for someone to do in the RvR lakes if you are not with a zerg, and I do agree that a RvR PQ might be what is needed - back in 1.2.

    Or better yet, a RvR PQ that is revalent to the overall campaign. For example, upon completing it the PQ portion of VP is maxxed in the complete realm's favour. Or Make BO/Keep guards disappear for a while. Or Drop powerful siege weapons. Or Open up a portal for rapid teleportation from your warcamp. Or Gives a buff to whoever finished it. Or unleash a horde of mobs throughout the zone.

    I know for a fact that the Taiwanese WAR servers have a population limit for RvR lakes due to network problems, and Mythic has a system of dynamic adjustment of renown bonus on automatically (but not used). A PQ whose objective scale based on RvR population difference shouldn't be harder than those.

  4. Did it from memory, but I think the instance list is pretty accurate. That list of WoW instances does include the numerous patched in dungeons added prior to TBC, it's not what was live at launch. However since WAR has also patched in dungeons since launch, I think the ratio would remain similar if we compared WoW and WAR on launch day.

    RvR PQs... yeah surely this is the natural path for WAR's PQ concept to follow?

  5. It's briefly touched but not expanded enough like many of features of WAR.

    DvG areas, at least in the lower tiers, are full of opposing PQs.
    They even tried RvR PQs in the Night of Murder Live event.
    I think Mythic's view on RvR being "zerg and zerg more" affected their decision in not putting any permanant RvR PQs, since they will divert population from favourite zerg spots like keeps, BOs and forts.


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