Tuesday 15 June 2010

Changing Tier 4 zones from OK to awesome

A common topic for my ramblings is the small size of the oRvR lakes and how so much of the tier 4 zones are completely wasted, empty and utterly devoid of life. Admittedly I originally wanted to play on a full PvP server, but there was a lot of scaremongering about the chicken system and we decided not to risk it being a disaster. To be honest the difference turned out to negligible, since even on full PvP servers the oRvR lake is no bigger and Land of the Dead emptied the PvE quest areas anyway. Today I think that regardless of my old bias WAR desperately needs to expand it's Tier 4 oRVR lakes.

 Well it’s all good and well saying that and go on about how they could be better, even bashing Mythic for it, but I figured I should also post to demonstrate this more clearly and give some examples of how I think they could be improved. As I’ve said before, I think the Tier 4 zones should become fully oRvR active, it would give us a lot more to fight over and there is absolutely nobody using the zones for PvE anyway, since levelling in Land of the Dead (a fully oRvR zone) is a much more efficient way to get XP. While thinking and preparing for this article I scouted various Tier 4 zones to make sure this is not just my assumption. On my travels scouting multiple zones in detail and at a range of difference times and days, I have seen ONE Choppa in the PvE areas. This is on Karak Norn which is a very busy server. So I can say with confidence that there is barely anyone doing any Tier 4 zone PvE or their PQs (Public Quests).

I decided I’d use Kadrin Valley for this example.

It’s a great looking and very well themed zone with some mark out moments for the Warhammer lore whore in me, but it’s oRvR lake is somewhat flawed. I've highlighted it below:

Basically it’s a big circle and that’s about it. There are a wide range of ways you can travel through the zone as a whole, yet it's only the yellow roads below that are RvR enabled.

You can take alternative routes through the PvE areas, but it is rare anybody bothers. I think this is because they are PvE; people don’t bother learning their way around in the first place, there is no sense of threat when in them, there are no RvR objectives in the PvE area annnnnnnd as alternative routes... they just don’t work very well. You can sneak across to get behind the enemy, but with all the objectives on the big circle oRvR lake, the enemy will just zerg around to you in no time anyway.

So what would happen to our possible paths of travel if we made the entire zone oRvR enabled?

Bloody hell! That's suddenly become a much more complex zone, with a massive array of places to go, but as of yet no reason to do so. It still leaves all the oRvR objectives around the circle and the other routes are still of no use. So what we need to do is add a few more objectives (in a general sense of the word) to what was once the PvE area. I'm just going to add 4 for now, though I think we'd want to add more to the left side of the zone.

You will notice I've used the keep symbol. The reason being is the zone already has loads of keeps and fortified buildings in it. They're PQs mainly, empty of course, but with more character than the ones in the oRvR lake. It's actually a bit of a travesty that they're not being used and that so many players probably never even see them.

1) Tucked away in the south east is this castle with a classic dwarven style keep and other buildings. It doesn't have to work exactly as the old keeps, perhaps it would have multiple keep Lords spread around that need to die within a certain amount of time between each other. Or something...

2) Here we have yet another keep, but with a different awesome look and interestingly it's at one of the highest points in the entire zone, which is a loooong way up. I really like the giant statues and clouds that drift around.

3) The Slayer Keep. A massive fortress, which should be so awesome, but is just another empty PQ. It's gagging for something cool, not just another keep or fortress. Perhaps it could be turned into some kind of RvR enabled PQ, inspired by the City Sieges? A big RvR PQ of some kind...

4) A dwarven brewery... Stunties take their drink very, very seriously. As such these places are heavily fortified. Perhaps it could just be like one of the normal battle objectives or could be turned into something more akin to a Dark Age of Camelot tower?

I found loads of other things I could have used here. And I mean LOADS.

By adding these (and more) extra objectives, using the existing excellent terrain, we now have reasons to fight all over the zone and not just zerg round a bloody great circle all day. There's room for zergs, warband and small group play, all with choices in what to do. I’m sure whoever designed the PQs may have a tang of sorrow at my suggestion to remove them, but sorry chaps, they simply do not get played. You’ve given us really cool looking stuff, but the system that uses them does not give us any motivation to go there. Change them from PvE to PvP and not only do you give reason to your high quality graphics, but you also reinvigorate an entire zone and oRvR itself.

Most Tier 4 Warhammer zones are like this. The terrain is awesome, but we get forced away from so much of it and spend our game time ignorant of the amazing art and design in vast swathes of WAR's game-world. If we want XP we do land of the Dead, if at 40 we want PvE we do instances, we don't ever do PQs. WAR's existing landscape could be the most amazing RvR zones ever, they just need a little tweaking and the decision to really make WAR's Tier 4 about PvP.


  1. Great post and I agree 100%.

    The thing with PQ's is that they have so much potential but just fall short of the rope as they are all focused around PvE and are to much of a grind.

    There are some PQ's in Greenskin/Dwarf Tier 2 that are actually doable on both realms and you have to race to gather the items needed to complete the stage before the enemy realm.

    If they did more of that and also have the players become flagged for RvR and add better rewards plus renown for participating in the PQ.

    In Aion they called it PvPvE which is pretty much what the new city siege system is, and it would be awesome if they could do more like that in the open PvE/PvP zones.

  2. I agree with Biggs. You don't necessarily need to remove the PQs (like you said, many are very cool), just make them RvR enabled (like LotD by the way). The XP will be better, and you have the ability to disrupt the enemy completing theirs. This could also add another way to gain VPs, or retain the 'PvE' VP pool.

  3. Hmm do you think if the PQs were RvR enabled and had rewards on a par with LV/TotVL loot, that people would want to do them?

  4. Woooah not seen them keeps! They crap on the normal ones!

    100% agree m8. Rvr will be lots cooler if the lakes get made bigger.

  5. I think you need to keep some parts of the T4 zones PVE only to have as some minimal safe leveling zone b/c you may not always have lotd, or you might even like the lore/story aspects, and there needs to be a viable way to get to 40 without having to watch over your shoulder about getting ganked by a high renonwn enemy player/group.

    What I'd personally like to see is for the sharp PVE/RVR zone barrier to get broken down. Revamp the T4 PVE to have fewer but better, more epic quests that go between expanded rvr lakes and pve only areas. But also add some static and wandering PQs (like Ricci's raiders) and farmable mobs to the RVR lakes. The thing that bothers me about the lakes most isnt that they're small but that they're so lifeless. I want to see patrols going from BO to BO to keep to warcamp, random units engaging each other, camps of beastmen and cultists tucked away in the all the nooks and crannies that aren't used. Basically make the RVR lakes like lotd- individual mobs and camps sprinkled about, with chances to drop useful gear and AH-worthy items. I think that would bring a lot more life and interest to getting people in the lakes, and fostering the small-scale combat that seems to really be what everyone's missing from DAoC. Having more BOs and keeps makes it interesting, but also just having some places for people to farm for good crafting materials/dyes/items sets up lots of fun skirmishes.

  6. The idea is ok.. The RvR lakes should be expanded (though I leveled my Slayer through the PvE stuff and not LotD, but you are right..they are quiet empty.)..

    The position of the objectives you've posted could be a idea by Mythic-staff, because it favors Destruction..like most of the maps in this game ;)
    I like the general idea..the positioning of objectives can be discussed another time.

  7. Ah as I said it needs more objectives on the left of the map ;) I didn't go through the Order PvE for KV, when I was taking screenies anyway.

  8. Good post!

    Imagine the zerg going to take Objective #2 all the way up the mountain. I've been there and it's not a quick jaunt. Meanwhile, the opposing realm sweeps in and starts to take things down in the valley. It would add much strategy to taking objectives and trying to gain control.

    There's a lot of cool landmarks out there many players have never seen. Mythic should look to repurpose them ... your idea has merit.

  9. Best post I've seen in a long time. I've never thought of this. I'd say this is brilliant, but of course Mythic won't listen =/

  10. btw what editing system are you using

  11. I use a 10 year old version of Macromedia Fireworks. Mainly because I am too tight to pay for an upgrade.

  12. I agree 100% and this is something I brought up in beta. Mythic didn't listen and believed that all the RvR lakes didn't need any content outside of keeps/BOs. Such a waste of space and one of my top reasons for disliking the game.

  13. JackSwaggersChin20 June 2010 at 02:30

    Give this man the keys tbfh.


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