Funneling WAR

I am going to address something that was said on Warhammer Alliance. Lemming Jesus, in a rather pouty post, said that Warhammer Online was “neither massive nor multiplayer” because the the population was far too split up.  I agree for the mid-levels (but not to the degree of rage-quitting), and suggest a different route.

I would have had ONLY one racial pairing to begin with as the main part of the game.  Tier 1 would remain the same as it is now.  Tiers 2-3 would NOT have any Dark Elf vs. High Elf (DEvHE) or Greenskin vs. Dwarf zones (GvD).  Tiers 2-3 would all be Empire vs. Chaos (EvC) as it is now.  However, Tiers 2 and 3 would have an additional “contested” map (like Prague for Tier 4) between the two current maps.  Then Tier 4 would begin to umbrella back out to include the DEvHE and GvD zones with future released Tier 4 zones focusing on their story and conflict.  In other words, DEvHE and GvD get the shaft with initial content, but later content would go to those racial pairings.  This would kill two birds with one stone by making the mid-level areas have higher population density, and giving more end-game later on.

This is not wholly my idea, as Lord of the Rings Online nearly does the exact same thing (only they don’t umbrella back to the Shire for the end game… yet).  It allows the race to matter in terms of story, and for the player to get a feel for the race.  But, then it elegantly funnels the population together to start moving en masse to the end game.  At the end game you want lots of content, and I think Mythic made a big error in providing so much population spreading content for the slow-moving mid-levels.

For alt-oholics and what not, the three racial pairings with so many zones is fantastic, but it makes for a lot of ghost towns, empty RvR lakes, and sad and lonely public quests whose final Hero boss sits in a dark corner and cries himself to sleep while holding a shrunken dwarf head because no one will ever get to his stage.  It’s too late now, and my hindsight is not even 20/20.

9 thoughts on “Funneling WAR”

  1. I actually find the pairings refreshing. I hate getting funnelled into zones after a “starting area”. The problem is the server caps, and it is insurmountable. If they up them, eventually there will be too many people in the t4 zones making the game unplayable. If they keep them the same, there is too much spread. MAYBE when everyone is maxxed and t4 we won’t find it as much of a problem in that regard. The other problem is the “abandoned” old zones and new people solo-levelling up. Again. I know this because I am doing this now on a High/High server.

    It’s a shame and I have a bad feeling in my stomach the problem is going to be compounded even worse come WOTLK.

    I suppose in hindsight they could have done the game similar to what you suggested but use all the tiers somewhat. T1 – Starter zones as is. T2 – pick one of the four, T3, pick one of the 4, T4, pick one of the four. That way it would still be a battle accross all the “pairings” yet focused tier wise so players still get the sense it is a “world” battle, which each tier being a focus on one of the four different conflicts.

    But yeah, too late now. Seems it always is! =)

  2. That’s good lateral thinking, Chris F. I didn’t think about the inherent problem with the possible overpopulation of Tier 4 coming in a month or two. But, all the more reason for WAR to not change much except maybe speed up T3 experience acquisition.

    I would bet money that server merges are in the near future of WAR.

  3. The population issues in WAR display a surprising lack of foresight on the part of Mythic. They’re not amateurs, they’ve done this before. I’m in late T2, about to head into T3, and most evenings I rarely see more than one or two people in Ellyrion, and no open groups for 10 minutes+ in any direction. People are so dispersed over both the level range 1-40 and the mass numbers of redundant zones that the PvE world is a ghost town. Starting with a narrow focus and widening as you go on would have made more sense for the long term. The only time it would have been horrible is during the first week or two of the games release.

    Oh well.

  4. I liked Potshot’s idea, and in a way it would be taken from WoW…

    Have each week be geared towards a certain racial pairing. Make bonuses for competing in PQs, or in RvR in these zones. The King of each city could announce it periodically in Altdorf/IC to get the word out: “The battle is waging in lands of the Dwarves! Go there and fight, and ye shall be rewarde!”

    Upon entering the pairing’s zones, you’d get a significant bonus to XP, Influence, Renown, etc. It’d be a good way to herd people from pairing to pairing, the only downside would be that folks who WANT to play in another zone would be short-changed a bit.

    But eff ’em. :)

  5. Funny enough, that’s what this post was originally called “Armchair Developer #1.” And, I really like potshot’s idea too… in fact I suggested something nearly identical for Guild Wars quite a while ago (another game with over-efficient population spreading). Flurries link on the wiki

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