Wednesday 9 June 2010

What WAR needs from DAoC - What should and might happen

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Time to bring this series of posts to a close and consider which of Dark Age of Camelot’s features Mythic MIGHT actually bring to WAR.

First off here are a couple of things I’ve not mentioned before, because to be honest they’re not hugely important to me right now and I didn’t think about them much, but I think they will be a big deal for others and I fully expect will get introduced to WAR.

Alternative Progression – Mastery and Champion levels
You’ll often see people saying they want the renown cap increased, they’ve hit 80, got fully geared and need new incentives to play WAR. A fair comment, but I don’t think Mythic will increase the renown rank cap, instead we’ll get something similar to DAoC’s Mastery and Champion levels. Basically they are an alternative levelling system, each with their own XP bar, levels and associated benefits. I doubt Mythic will do a carbon copy of the existing system, but for reference here’s roughly how they work

Mastery levels
There are 10 mastery levels, each one requiring the player to achieve a range of PvE challenges. These challenges vary dramatically in scale, from things you could solo to others requiring almost realm wide co-operation. The challenges themselves are extremely varied, with exploration, puzzles, bosses and huge dungeons. Once you’ve completed that mastery level’s challenge you get access to new special abilities or bonuses and can then earn mastery XP for the next level. These abilities and bonuses are also rather varied, with players choosing from different paths available to their class. There are all sorts of things, from damage increases, to group buffs and travel abilities. Important to note the XP can be earned in both PvE and PvP, so this isn’t purely PvE.

Champion levels
Similar to Mastery Levels, but more based around quest lines that could be PvE or PvP related. However there are no mastery style challenges to complete and as you again earn Champion XP from PvP and PvE, the method you choose to gain it is up to you. As you progress through the Champion levels you get to choose abilities, including things that are not normally available to your class.

Between these two systems you gain a massive amount of individual customisation for your characters, so you really can make your character different to anyone else. It also allows Mythic to introduce new carrots for people to work towards without increasing the existing level caps, which in theory can prevent decimating any chances a newly dinged 40 has. I’ve not heard anything from Mythic on this, but I fully expect to see a variant of it in WAR.

Update for clarification – I’m not suggesting they should add these alternative systems based around PvE, I’m just explaining how they work in DAoC and that I expect a version of them to appear in WAR. Ideally Mythic would make them more PvP orientated.

Zone locking removed
The campaign is too fast, too restrictive and promotes massive zergs that the servers and game engine cannot handle. Everyone knows this, including Mythic if they choose to admit it. DAoC’s open campaign system is proven to work. Make control of a percentage of keeps across all zones the defining factor towards city sieges starting. Do this and it WILL spread players out, reducing lag and promoting group-warband scale play, it WILL massively increase WAR’s sense of scale and it WILL just bloody work. Also making the campaign require effort and increasing the relevance and importance of keeps (and therefore guilds holding them) will be an injection of life in to WAR’s almost extinct realm pride.

Prior to 1.3.5 I wouldn’t have thought Mythic would do it, I thought they’d be reluctant to admit how bad an idea zone locking has proven to be, despite the fact that this and the 2 factions thing are the biggest errors in all of WAR’s development. However, then 1.3.5 arrived and Mythic demonstrated with Carrie at the helm (I presume this is what has changed things) they can and will completely revolutionise the crap features. With the cities Mythic made a bold move and delivered something just plain better. Next step is the campaign.

If Mythic had doubts about this… which they bloody well shouldn’t, because as history has demonstrated they should trust my sodding judgement… Uhm sorry for the EGO!!! moment… So yeah if they have doubts but were really clever, they’d do a live event week… The Age of Chaos, where the system is demonstrated on live servers. Though I think they might just go for it, after all really it’s a no-brainer and would revolutionise the game in a brilliant way.

Relic Raids
We know the fortresses are coming back, we don’t know how. The obvious suggestion is relic raids. Relics provide a realm wide buff and the goal is capturing enemy relics from their fortress, marching it back through it’s (now unlocked) racial pairing and securing it in your fortress. No need to go into much more detail, many people have discussed this before and whilst Mythic may do something totally off the wall with Fortresses, I think this is the safest and most sensible option.

There’s a lot of other things from my previous posts that I would have liked to say I think Mythic will do, but alas I’m not that confident.  The alternative levelling systems I think are a way off, probably with the first proper expansion if and when that arrives. I know a lot of people have huge doubts of Mythic and EA investing much into WAR, which of late my confident stance has lessened a touch and I’m a bit more on the fence regarding. However the beauty of those last 2 changes, is they don’t require huge new resources, instead they use knowledge from their classic and still excellent DAoC MMO and use WAR’s existing game-world to make it work better.

A key phrase for Mythic’s attention I think is simply “Make it work better”.


  1. Your suggestion for zone locking and relic raids makes sense.

    But I completely disagree with adding more PVE to the game (master/champ levels). All PVE does is separate those who have tons of time and those who do not. Warhammer has an advantage in being the best RVR game out there. If you add more PVE to the mix, people will wonder why they play this game for PVE when other games are far superior in that aspect. I played DAOC for a few years, and I can say that the Master/Champ levels was not a welcome change by me or my guild.

  2. I'd say wait until the fortresses are back in the game and see how they affect the time line for city captures.

    The no.1 question you should ask and maybe since it's your post, set up a poll. Ask how many city seiges should there be on a day/week basis. Only then with those numbers can you decide on the new design goals.

    Even your idea could be explioted by significant numbers. Last night on our/your server Order had enough warbands where we could have put one in each keep, say 6 out of 9 gives zone control. They would have stopped you from taking any keep to stop the zone flipping. Even with your numbers, they would have had reinforcements before the door had barely taken a scratch. At least with BO's as part of the zone flip mechansim, it forces last nights superior numbers out of the keep.

    Last night I played for 3 hours merely to get to the IC and that doesn't include the work that happened before I logged on at 7.30pm. Yet I had to log due to time restrictions. So the whole process took from taking the keeps and playing the IC about 5+ hours (in primetime). Now in my eyes that a pretty reasonable time. I'd hate to be in the situation, where we had one city capture a week and Im never on for it. You see, I couldn't give a crap about the cities before. Now they are significantly better, I do want to be on.

    Remember it's may be your goal to slow things down a bit, but you need to have a solution that allows for city captures to happen.

    Like I said, lets see how the fortresses slip back in.

  3. Oh I completely agree, I just think Mythic will take that route for new progression. Hopefully they will make it more pvp based if do.

  4. Good commnts Skar, will reply properly asap.

  5. Skar - OK regarding numbers being able to dominante. Well I'm talking about having all the zones open all the time, no zone locking at all. which actually means a total of 18 keeps active at once. If to get to IC it required control of 12 out of the 18, that's probably enough to put things down to both numbers and strategic play, as in Camelot, rather than WAR's pure numbers. Keep in mind this suggestion is in place and working in DAoC right now, so it is proven to work. Obviously refinement is required for it to fit WAR.

    As for how often city sieges are. Hmmm I hadn't considered anyone would want to go every night, it's not something any of the people I talk with have suggested, quite the opposite. However I see where you're coming from, the new city IS a lot of fun, but I just worry we'll burn out from over-playing it and it will lose the magic. I want a campaign that actually reflects the word "campaign", not that there's anything wrong with relatively quick-hit game play, its just not what I expect from a game inspired by DAoC's Realm v Realm.

    I guess it depends what people want from their campaign and game. If MMO campaigns were single player games, then at present WAR is like Battlefield Bad Company and DAoC is Empire Total WAR. If that makes sense...

  6. Forgot to add... If one day the missing cities were in, then the DAoC system would mean each racial pairing's keeps could be used to determine which city could be attacked at any one time. So the 6 keeps in the Elf Tier 4 only impact on Ulthuan's city (cant remember which one they've used) and the Black Ark.

    Oh and you're quite correct, doing the forts first would be a good idea, though I would say either the forts or remove zone locking first, one of the two. ;)

  7. I like the DaoC alternative leveling, although I have never played it, it sounds like something that could be implemented without *that* much work. And it could take advantage of some of the current less used PvE (beef up the lair bosses and move them into RvR lakes, boss respawns every week or so, slaughter unfolds).

    I have to say I don't see how relic raids could work. You are forgetting that WAR has a limitation DaoC prolly didn't have, it's engine. The main reason forts kicked the bucket was performance problem afaik, the same thing would occur in relic raids. Dunno how to circumvent this problem though.

    I agree that the city sieges are awesome now, but even awesome gets boring if you have to do it 3 times a day. Let's limit them to something like 2 or 3 times a week max.

    The removing of zone locks sounds good, but the problem I see is tying the underdog to this. Maybe something Testpig suggested. But I agree that locking down RvR to 3 zones at a time is stupid, we need to spread the population.

    Good post. :)

  8. Zewar - That's a very good point, fortress used to be the laggiest things in WAR. What ever happens Mythic need to avoid that again.

  9. Something has to be done for the rr80 people, they quit! I hate to see the most dedicated people I have in my guild just loose interest/focus in the game once they hit the cap... rolling alts changing realm ect...

  10. Bootae,

    What concerns me, is yes 12 / 18 keeps for control is a lot of keeps to hold. I'd have a real fear that that they'd never get all taken. Lets be honest, at the moment the only reason we can fight in a particular zone, is that the previous zone is locked away. I'd have to say that even taking the elf tier on it's own, it would be very hard to lock out the 6 keeps if they were all attackable at the same time.

    It's worth considering that DAOC never really had a level beyond the keeps, yes they had relics but they weren't anywhere the importance of the city seige, especially considering the gearing.

    We then have to consider the crests. The cost of items would have to go down and there would be the real possibly that some people would never have the opportunity to advice their gear via city seiges. So you'd now have a problem where people realm ranks were increasing without the opportunity to acquire new gear.

    This would then start to undermine what must be one of the main reasons of the city seiges draw ... gearing.

    I look at my characters now and I'd have to hit the PvE to gear up.

    I agree that 2/3 city seiges is silly, but it's really bloody hard to come up with a mechanism that enforces the 2/3 times a week, which isn't an inbuilt timer. Then you have the problem that is what do you do if the timer is enforced.

    2/3 times a week is very hard on those people who don't play alot or do unsocial hours.

    Lets hold fire until after the fortresses function is revealed.

  11. I agree that 2/3 city seiges a day is silly.... That's what I meant :)

  12. Relic-Raids. A great Idea :)


  13. Why don't you just play DAOC? Some of us don't want the game to be a clone of DAOC. It would make me unsub in a heartbeat.


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