Mythic’s Epic Fail

You can pack that blogline in your feedburner and smoke it!  You won’t see too much Mythic hate coming from me in the the next few months I’d imagine, but their most recent decision regarding server rules, is just too grotesque to ignore.

Core vs. Open RvR Ruleset is nothing new.   I first remember the choice back in Everquest, and on my server, Rallos Zek, the nature of the Open PvP game created a community and a faction war that even the faux war in World of Warcraft has been hard-pressed to re-create.

For all you old-timers who remember the old sandbox PvP, you had your PKs and your Antis.   You were either a Player Killer, the evil, no-good, rotten murderers who would hunt the poor citizens of Brittania or Norrath.   In opposition, the Anti-PKers arose in combat these foul denizens.

So after the lawlessness and utter debauchery of old-school UO, we finally got options in Everquest.  PvE Servers and PvP Servers.   If you wanted the thrill of the old sandbox PvP you rolled on a PvP server.   Just because you rolled there didn’t mean you were a ganker or griefer, but rather that you wanted the open rule-set to kill or not, sans artificial restriction.   If you hated that in UO, you had Core rule servers to go on.  I chose PvP, many more chose PvE.

Enter Mythic…  they claim to have Open RvR servers, but in reality they have pandered to PvP server lovers, in a fashion that has most of us long-time PvP players scratching our heads and considering for the first time in over a decade, rolling on Core.

In Warhammer Online, Open servers restrict content.   I don’t mean the ability to corpse camp T1 players at R40, but really restrict whole sections of the world.  If you enter any Tier that is more than one below your current Tier, you are turned into a chicken and effectively unable to travel or explore the many hidden places of the map.

More than that, the nature of the T-1 mechanic not only won’t prevent Griefing, it will effectivly ruin the RvR game in a Tier specific fashion.   The best of the best will compete and dominate in Tier 4, routinly destroying less organized or less skilled T4 guilds.   In an effort to stay competetive, these guilds will migrate to T3 and dominate those T3 players who are competeting at their selective Tier.  This will trickle down to T1 where R21 players will be slaughtering and controlling the Open T1 BOs.

If you are going to balance an Open Ruleset, there can be no restrictions.   Let the players decide if they can live with ganking and griefing, can find ways to combat it, and if all else fails, higher level players will come to the aid of the lowbies.

Mythic has made an extrodinary number of good design choices, but on this one they have failed in an epic fashion.  

~Cyndre

25 thoughts on “Mythic’s Epic Fail”

  1. Problem with most MMO’s is that the open PvP ruleset is always created as an afterthought and as such never works out perfectly as devs squish a square pvp ruleset block into a circle engine hole. War was designed for RvR gameplay – not open PvP (unfortunately) Most MMO’s don’t function well in an open pvp environment as they weren’t designed to work that way. Would love to see a MMO built from the ground up for open pvp.

  2. Here here.

    Totally agree.

    There were a number of alternative solutions that would have been better than the current.

  3. Hmmm…I thought Mythic’s last communication was that people could travel 2 tiers below without getting chickened.

    I’m probably going to a Core server to prevent the lower tiers getting rolled by high level players. It’s so much fun when a roaming band of high levels ganks you while you are trying to do some PQs. Some people are masochists, but I like to pretend that I’m not one of them.

  4. uh, yeah. You can travel two tiers back with no chickening. If you think not being able to travel to tier 1 at 32 is a big deal, theres no use me even ranting at you. Eight levels in the whole game you can’t be in tier one, and other than that the whole chicken mechanic is unused.

  5. @ Biggdawg98: No I’m not advocating no-rules PvP. I’m simply stating that to have a ruleset as they have created it simply breaks the game. If you think people arent going to down-tier to beat up on lowbies you are mistaken. I think that perhaphs restricting PvP in down-tier zones is the most viable solution, but the chicken mechanic is downright content restriction. People should be able to travel there to quest, assist their friends etc.

    @Sinnach: You sir, are either misunderstanding me or misunderstanding Mythic. Basically, one tier below your current tier is allowable with no Chicken. It is NOT two tiers. Thus at Rank 12 you can go anywhere. At R22 You can go anywhere, at R32 You are chickened in T1. This means you will at elder server have the R40 RvR zone to be basically T3 and T4, which will force all T3 players into T2 and so on.

    Pulled from the offical [url=http://herald.warhammeronline.com/warherald/NewsArticle.war?id=266]press release:[/url]

    [i] – Players are always RvR flagged from the moment they log in
    – Chapter 1 hubs and capital cities are safe
    – There is no bolster buff in RvR lakes
    – Players will be chickened when entering an area that is two tiers below their level (ex. A Tier 3 player entering a Tier 1 area.)[/i]

    Once again, it either needs to be open pvp, as in EQ and WoW, or simply un-flag any over tier player so that they can still travel in the zones but can not grief or gank lowbies, if that is the motivation for the rules. All they accomplish with the current changes was to break the RvR game for anyone who is not R40.

    ~Cyndre

  6. I’m not advocating no rules PvP. I’m saying that if you want to have Open servers, make them open as in EverQuest or WoW.

    The half-ass design they have put together just servers to break the RvR game from the low-level players, and does nothing to oversome the com plaints that we have been filing about restricted content.

    If Mythic wants to restrict PvP to Tier specific zones, I can respect that desition, but the chicken mechanic for all sub-tier zones was a bad choice, and then to pander part-way by opening the T -1 mechanic, now it not only continues to restrict content, but it effectivly ruins the fragile RvR balance that the entire charade was meant to protect.

    So, how is that not a god awful design desition?

  7. @ Sinnach: Only eight levels? How many hours did you put into your last MMO? /played I mean. And how many of those were at 40/50/60/70 or whatever the top rank is?

    And when you played this MMO, did you not ever, not even once, travel back to see old places?

    I’ll tell you a little story to highlight my primary issue…

    When I first leveled in WoW, I played Alliance and died about 25 times to that bastard skeleton in the Darkshire graveyard. You know the 30-something elite that wanders around? Well, when I was bored after a raid of MC, I went back there and one shotted him and then went and one shotted Stitches just to settle a score.

    By your logic, and Mythic’s, that would be impossible to do.

    Also, the point isn’t whether its ‘a big deal’ or not. The point is why even have Open servers, if you aren’t going to make then OPEN? Its about choice. People who want peace and to be able to choose where and when they PvP, have many server options under Core Rules. Those who enjoy the fear of someone killing or attacking you at any moment, and who when they see the enemy don’t want to wait for them to flag or run away, well we roll Open.

  8. Maybe I am misunderstanding you, because you seem to be quoting my entire argument back to me as some sort of response. Tier 3 starts at 32, meaning the only situation in the game you will be chickened on open servers is if a level 32-40 enters tier 1.

    If you want me to say that the chickening is a clumsy, cumbersome, ham-fisted mechanic, I’ll shout that. It is. Even on core it can be troublesome and interfere with things due to how rvr flagging works. However, it serves an important function…to eliminate pointless one sided conflicts. Gear progression isn’t as pronounced as raiding-centered games, and skill is an afterthought to the avalanche that is level superiority. If you think theres any situation where a level 11 would beat a level 40, you’re delusional.

    So yes, you’ll lose the ability to reminisce about old zones and old grudges on your max level character, but really how much time are you going to spend doing that anyway?

  9. R1 – R11 = Tier 1
    R11 – R21 = Tier 2
    R21 – R31 = Tier 3
    R31 – R40 = Tier 4

    At 32 you are in Tier 4 unless I have misunderstood how the Rank and Tier system has been lain out.

  10. @Cyndre

    Respectfully I have to point out that if you have to go back to the older zones, you need a game with more end-game. Either that or you need to play less. I NEVER go back to lower zones unless I am farming, and from the looks of this game you won’t need to farm as much as in WoW or Guild Wars. I don’t think it is gonna matter a whole hell of a lot in the long run, however I do see your point.

  11. WAR was built from the ground up with PvP in mind. There really isn’t a reason to join a server/ruleset that has “extra” opportunities for PvP. The core rules are the way the game was meant designed to be played. The open ruleset was an afterthought pure and simple – if you think otherwise you are delusional.

  12. Sifo, I couldn’t agree more. If they wanted Core to be the way of it, they should have stuck with that disition. By openening the door to Open servers, one has to compare their implimentation choices to past precedent, and with that in mind, they simply did not do a good job with this desition.

  13. @Sifo – going to expand on your comment because you are right. Open PVP actually ruins the core intented experience. What makes WAR shine is that you are actually contributing to the game/WAR effort from level 1. Other games the leveling process is just a time sink before you get to the point where you can participate in the purpose of the game – not true with WAR – you are participating from level 1.

    Area capture in lower levels rolls over into higher levels. If your side ‘owns’ a zone at Tier 1 a portion of points rolls into the WAR effort in T2, a little in T3, and even some in T4. Allowing players to go back unchickened into earlier tiers completely and utterly marginalizes the point of the game – that you can help out your realm from the minute you roll your character. This is well represented and controlled in the Core ruleset.

    In the Open ruleset, its just silly. Now, you have to send one of your R40 RR80’s solo into T2 to take and hold the Battlefield Objectives so you can work towards the city siege. It will only take 1 as the content is trivialized. Now the other side has to send 1 too. Wait, need reinforcements – better send more! This will happen in all tiers across all pairings.

    So now, your uber top levels are babysitting one-shottable mobs for the WAR effort instead of fighting with comprable characters in a truely challenging setting. Not only that, but level appropriate characters in the content can’t participate meaningfully in any sort of way. So you just ruined both the top end players game and the level appropriate players game at the same time to cater to a dillusioned principle of ‘Open PvP’.

    Best way it should have been done, is to not allow you to go back to tiers. You have to stay in your level appropriate tier, but take away the flagging mechanic to begin with. So EVERY area in t2, if you are in that area, you are flagged. You try to go to t1, you chicken. I do agree that it is silly that if you run into a PQ area you can’t fight your enemies, I’m not debating that. The fact that the Open ruleset completely undermines the objective of the way the game was designed is poor vision. Forcing characters to have to move back tiers to defend people who can’t defend themselves may be fun for the ganking crowd, but I am pretty sure even an intelligent ganker will end up getting bored of the sheer stupidity and lack of challenge of it all while upper level characters are fighting over meaningful objectives while they hit the ‘1’ key wasting their time with the lowbies.

    To each his own, I suppose.

  14. A few reasons for going to lower level areas (non-PvP related), WoW focused:
    * Farm lower-level profession mats- either for AH, power-leveling your own alt or a friend’s, etc.
    * Kill lower-level mobs for specific drops – recipes, specific (not BoP) items, trade goods (e.g. cloth).
    * Explore for fun or to unlock an achievement (“explorer”).
    * Kill lower-level mobs for faction rep related drops or for rep from the actual kills.
    * Do lower-level quests which no longer give XP but do give rep with a city faction.
    * Boost a low-level char.

    As the above reasons show, at least in WoW, there are many possible reasons for going to lower level content, that are not related to ganking. While I am sure WAR is very different and probably the exact same reasons don’t apply, it would seem to me that Cyndre has a valid point – by restricting this, Mythic will be restricting at least some of their players. Not restricting just ganking, but restricting valid activities, such as doing lower-level quests for fun (or faction rep, if that exists in WAR), farming mats for professions/AH, etc.

    It looks to me as if either: this is a poor decision on the part of Mythic, or – WAR is a much poorer game compared to WoW (AH/professions/faction-rep not as developed). I’ll say however that since I haven’t played WAR I don’t know for certain if this is true – maybe WAR simply has found clever ways to let players get what they need without going to lower level areas…

  15. yes the open ruleset doesn’t work, but also the rules Cyndre proposes won’t work either, not for WAR at least. It’s supposed to be “war is everywhere”, and you contribute right from level 1. But if lvl 40s are out there in t1 or t2 zones, then it won’t be war is everywhere, it will be “war starts at 40” since you’d have to be 40 to compete in rvr at all, which is the opposite of how the whole game is designed.

    I can only imagine that is why they left the chicken in, because otherwise it would basically break the game. It would be trivial for a bunch of 40s to go take a t2 keep. Most others wouldn’t bother to defend it and probably just stay in t4. Unless, as you point out, it’s the “non competative” guilds fighting it out with their 40s in the lower tiers.

    I don’t know, it seems to me if you want ffa or full pvp all the time you need a game that’s based on that concept. WAR is based on tiers of equal level opponents fighting, which could not be more different, even though it’s pvp.

    I actually liked the earlier version, rvr everywhere, but you can’t even go 1 level down. i was considering having an alt on an open with that rule, but not the way they made it now.

  16. Yunk, reread my comments… I am advocating Tier specific ONLY, but no chicken anywhere. Instead, just auto-unflag out-tier people and then they can’t contribute to the lower tier PvP, but they can travel to those zone.

  17. So.. you want blueshielding? My WoW realm has a history of World PvP raids ruined by having an untouchable blueshielder in the middle of the enemy raid, reporting their group makeup and every move.

  18. Cyndre, that wouldn’t work.

    Unflagged, the player from a higher tier can still indirectly PvP you. You are fighting in a keep, he strolls in, past you and your guild because you can’t attack unflagged PCs, and takes out the keep lord. There goes the keep you were trying to defend.

    Or you are trying to do a PQ, he strolls up and heals/buffs the flagged enemy players that ran up with him, while they attack you.

    Simply shutting off their ability to flag doesn’t solve the problem.

    The closest to a viable solution is a reverse bolster, drag the uptier player down to the level of the content. Remove any skills his new level doesn’t allow, downgrade his gear, etc. Even that has problems, and to be honest, is more work than Mythic should be doing to support a very small subset of the playerbase. I’d much rather have those same resources working on bug fixes and new content for the entire playerbase.

  19. I think you’re absolutely wrong,only using this term “epic fail” makes me want to slap you. Warhammer is working on the game. WoW in the start was rubbish. It didn’t have any pvp. Only quests “yay” it turns out to be a great game now. Only the pvp still sucks.
    Warhammer orvr already is 10x better .. But it’s not that easy, so that scares alot of people away, thats ignorance.

    And boehoe it’ll turn you into a chicken ? go explore when you are at that level, period.

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