Monday 11 May 2009

Land of the Dead does not replace the main campaign

Land of the Dead looks awesome.

All very exciting and it’s going to totally turn the game on its head. However what exactly it will mean for the vanilla WAR campaign is not really clear. It’s not been made redundant that’s for sure, as access to LoTD is reliant on the vanilla campaign, but will people drop it the moment LotD access is available and jump into an Airship? When one faction gains access, will the faction left behind spend their time RvEing until they too can get into LotD? Will we see attacks on undefended Fortresses and ghost town cities?

In the first few weeks I would say most definitely. We’re all going to be desperate to get in LotD and sample the wonders of the ancient world, but the novelty will wear off. When it does the big question will be; Is the vanilla campaign interesting enough to draw us back or will it become just a chore whilst waiting for LotD again?

I think potentially the answer is a positive one, but it will need some livening up to avoid feeling stale compared with LotD and it’s full on RvR. LotD is going to open people’s eyes to the joy of Darkness Falls style zones and I think going back to the segregated PvP/PvE will be a disappointment. How then, can Mythic reinvigorate the vanilla campaign?

Guess what? Bring back the missing cities! Come on, you didn’t think I wouldn’t drop this one in eh? ;) Seriously though, if the entire campaign wasn’t locked down, we’d have the option to go fight elsewhere if we can’t get into Altdorf or IC. A huge topic this and one that I’ve gone into a fair bit lately, so I’ll move on.

Aside from wanting the extra cities, the current city instances need lots of work. They’re not enjoyable enough and the queuing system we have now is annoying. It’s got to the point now where I’m sick and tired of our groups being left outnumbered in instances with the uber opponents that nobody wants to bloody fight. Even our enemies have acknowledged this happening to our guild. I have to admit over the last few sieges I got so sick of it that a few times I just changed instance myself and went to one where people were farming Invader. I hated doing that, but I couldn’t face another hour of being farmed at our spawn by 3 times our number.

There's all sorts of things that could be done here, but just sorting out the lag and how you get in to the instance would be a great start.

They need a complete revamp. They need to be separate zones entirely to the one leading to them and on different servers (or however it works) to help prevent lag./crashes. The forts themselves need major changes to improve game performance and make them more than just another keep take with a bigger wall. I’d say these should be almost like RvR enabled dungeons, with various objectives, capture points and things to spread people across the fortress. Maybe including instanced areas, scenarios or even RvR events like Altdorf or IC. Certainly it would be better than the current glorified keep with a player limit.

Whilst I’m here, a few words about the player limit teleporting people to warcamps.

It’s very frustrating to travel all the way north through Kadrin Valley, only to get ported back to the warcamp in the far south and have to repeat this journey over and over again until a spot comes up. It’s also causing problems before the fort where people refuse to guard the Battle Objectives & Keeps furthest from the Fort. This can make zone locks a pain and causes friction between guilds. On my server guilds reputations are being tarnished because some players mysteriously ALWAYS decide to guard the BO nearest the fortress… Of course if they then whinge at other people for not defending the further BO, well… it does provide some comedy in region chat when it all kicks off. :P

However putting that comedy aside, it’s the game mechanic at fault, people just want to get in the fort, but they won’t be able to if they do the decent thing and guard the more distant objectives. This is wrong. We shouldn’t be penalised for fully defending the zones. The player limit has reduced the frustration from zone crashes and it sure is better than it was, but it has brought new frustrations with it.

There’s so much that could be done with a Fortress. It doesn’t have to be just another keep with bigger walls. I would seriously consider separate zones, more objectives and instancing.

Tier 4 zones
Once you hit 40 you’re effectively stuck in Tier 4 forever, so why is half of each zone irrelevant to a level 40?

The current RvR lakes limit our movement too much, which puts emphasis on zerg mentality. More options and routes around the zone will dramatically improve small scale RvR. If you travel through the PvE areas of any tier 4 zone, you don’t see many (if any) people. So do we really need all these empty PQs? Perhaps if Mythic changed some of these PQs to have more of an RvR slant and more relevance to the campaign, they could then enable RvR over a much larger area.

Considering how fast it is to level in tier 4, keeping such large amounts of the map for safe PvE XP grinding is a poor reason to have such small RvR lakes for the main game. Yes, the PvE areas cater for people that only want to do PvE, but I’ve not seen any of these people myself. Anyone really interested in pure PvE would be playing something like Warcraft, Everquest 2 or Lord of the Rings Online. WAR’s end game zones should be totally built around the game’s focus of PvP and RvR.

I suggest Mythic should seriously consider making all tier 4 zones fully RvR enabled and adjust the PvE elements accordingly. LotD is bringing us full RvR zones; maybe WAR should embrace that concept and apply it to the rest of Tier 4.

Land of the Dead looks brilliant. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m expecting pant-wetting excitement. But it doesn’t replace the traditional WAR campaign; it’s an addition to it. We will still have to play the vanilla campaign. So if WAR is to reach its true potential (a slice of epic pie, with custard, served by a naked Kelly Brook and you’re wearing sex panther), then we need more than flashy live expansions, no matter how great their content maybe.


  1. "I suggest Mythic should seriously consider making all tier 4 zones fully RvR enabled and adjust the PvE elements accordingly."

    How about make each of the PvE camps the battlefield objectives? When you take the objective, your forces move in and set up camp, unlocking PQs and quests for the area.

    Maybe make the surrounding area contestable, so if your forces hold 2 or 3 of the camps, ones that are further behind the lines will become unable to be captured without the ones before it captured first.

  2. Ooh interesting idea. Like visibly moving battle lines within the zone itself... that could work.

  3. The same thing crossed my mind about the expansion that all the zones are going to become RvE because the whole other faction is gonna be inside LotD, and when finally the other faction collects enough resources there will be a huge battle inside, and than they will be stuck doing RvE to get back in again.


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