My chances of doing a write up about last week’s testing events were scuppered by a clash with previously arranged real life events. However I did manage to go on to the PTS at other times and tried out for the new campaign system in a small scale roaming situation. I was part of a group and a half of Kill Frenzy playing Destruction against about the same number of Order (by their movement also guild groups), with both sides trying to get control of the battle objectives and resources. It worked very well actually, as we leapt from attack to defence and back, as Order and Destruction tried to outwit each other.
One of the things that happens at the moment on live servers is when you get into a zone you look at the map and more often than not the timers decide what you can do. Whereas on the PTS we quickly discovered we had far more options of where to go, as every single Battle Objective was attackable by someone and then there was the resource carriers to think about too. This got everyone quite stoked up in a good way and we had some awesome fighting for an hour or so before time got the better of us. I didn’t get to properly attack a keep mind you.
From reading the feedback and talking to people about the PTS events last week it seems like there’s a very mixed opinion about it all. I’m not sure how much that is due to genuine issues, different play styles or people not adapting. I suspect a mixture and/or combination of all three. If you’re someone that for whatever reason tends to follow the PuG zergs then these changes maybe a little overwhelming, as I just don’t think that play style is going to work out very well in future. Guilds and alliances that can reliably send a group there, a warband here, a guild there and so on will become dramatically more effective. The spread out barely controlled zerg will struggle to achieve much and will find itself milling around dazed and confused, as the more organised set ups take them apart and control the zone.
As an aside to this; I would certainly recommend that all guild leaders start thinking about how their guild and alliance will operate in the futur. I really do think the ORvR changes will drive people towards more organised places and it could mean some guilds suffer from members jumping ship. Just remember you don’t have to run the place like some kind of anally retentive dictator, but when you are doing RvR as a guild, do make sure your groups know their role and are moving together promptly at all times. Voice comms really do make all the difference for this. And make sure that you ARE doing ORvR as a guild... In future, far more than ever before, if people are in a guild but always have to PuG they will start to question what the point of being in that guild is.
Back on topic… From what I heard the first PTS events didn’t necessarily see that many people move independently. Many still tried to zerg, others sat queueing to try out the new toys (aerial bombers!) and it didn’t really represent a true zone lock battle on live.
Yet, a load of people from my guild went along to the EU PTS event and their feedback was mainly very positive about the overall concept. Of course they also had a range of comments and suggestions on things that need changing, but the overall feeling is good and despite the rather unrealistic situation they could see the potential. These changes suit us though, we’ve always tried (where possible) to move away from the zergs and do our own thing. So I’m not sure exactly how the PUG warbands will fare in the future, perhaps if they learn to coordinate things will work out ok for them, but certainly moving in one giant zerg is dead and buried. You’ll lose all resources and end up sat in a low rank keep being battered to buggery. That is as long as having the higher ranked keep works out as significant advantage enough, from what I’ve read and heard so far I’m not sure.
What is absolutely key to all of this though is making sure we get our feedback to Mythic. If you’ve been following the developer forums you will have seen they have already made changes based upon the PTS. So remember right now this is an evolving system and your feedback WILL be considered. Obviously not everything that everyone wants will happen, but if you don’t provide those wants to Mythic then you’re relying on someone else to say the same thing. If you’ve got a good idea, go post it on the suggestions forum or in the focussed discussion threads.
OK I just saw these awesome videos by Oberheim from the PTS event.
Now get over to his blog, there's plenty of other WAR videos there and I would highly recommend bookmarking it for future updates!
Oh and one other thing, this is funny as fook....