WAR-oboros, take two

I wanted to return to the concept of WAR-oboros because I saw the concept evolve, if only in my own perception, the other night.  The early play was glorious.  I signed on and saw some Tier 3 alliance activity for defending the Keep in Talabecland, Passwatch Castle.  I took it as a sign and flew there immediately while a hearty band of Destruction refused to let the overbearing Order through the second door.  Our vengeance was swift was we pushed the enemy players that refused to flee from the RvR lake all the way back to the other Keep, Stoneclaw Castle.  We decided to sweep all the objectives, and while on our way to the distant Hallenfurt Manor Battlefield Objective a message came up that Stoneclaw Castle was falling.  Over ventrilo I heard Aliens-esque battle cries of my comrades-in-arms dying.  “There must have been 70 Order in there.  My screen was just red text.”  We knew the Order-zerg would be heading to Passwatch Castle for their revenge, and so they did.  There were so many that the second Keep door fell within nearly 1 minute of the outer Keep door breaking open.

While my warband did its best to slow down the horde of Order, another Destruction warband remained in the orclands.  They refused to heed our multiple calls for help; the leader booting one of my guildmates for suggesting that they go fight Order where Order seemed to be.  The leader pronounced with his boot mid-swing that they just wanted to take Keeps.  Vanilla War-oboros mentality.

Bitter from the lack of help from the stupid Greenskins and licking our wounds at Hellfang Ridge Warcamp, the warband started discussing the best way to take on the Order zerg.  It was decided that the best we could do is attack an undefended Keep in the hopes of either being ignored or splitting their zerg into people that wanted to keep attacking and those that wanted to defend their newly claimed treasures.  We could only attack the tail.  It would take a strong leadership to reverse the course of nearly 3 warbands of Order players.  So we retook Passwatch Castle, undefended.  It seemed that Order’s hydra-headed snake would not be easily split.

11 thoughts on “WAR-oboros, take two”

  1. Undefended Keeps should be worth no renown or experience. You can still capture them and loot the lord but negative on the other stuff. That would help a bit against this retarded “Oh I want RvR..but only if I can take stuff without, you know, actually fighting people”

  2. Good call RP.

    Yeah, Rav sounds like you had an awesome experience. It’s great to see the game really deliver that pulse-pounding experience of, y’know, WAR! :D

  3. This post and the previous post were both really good reads. I’d like to point out though that the WAR-oboros link has war-oboros twice and does not work.

    I find it amusing that Mythic wants people to PvP and everyone still wants to just PvE.

  4. Thanks, bonedead. And link fixed. I do honestly think that a lot more carrots are going to be added in 1.10 for people to want to ORvR. We’ll see, and I’ll update post 1.10.

  5. Maybe I’m missing something. Is it so wrong to attack the tail?

    “All warfare is based on deception…Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him…If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”

    Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    Going up against a 70-man Order zerg with an ideal of 2 full warbands (48 people?) just seems like you’ll end up pasted against the walls of the keep instead. Perhaps defending with the keep lords in play would have evened the numbers issue, perhaps not.

    The other warband sweeping up keeps where Order wasn’t would have been rebalancing the overall scheme of contested zones – so Order wins in Empire/Chaos tonight, Orc/Dwarf would have swapped to Destruction.

    It’s always going to be a numbers game. The superior number entity can swamp the side with fewer numbers. If it evens out, then you get an amusing back and forth battle for the night, but no clear victory for either.

    An active warband going out and retaking BOs in the same lake, plus one defending a keep would have probably been more effective than 2 huddled in defence.

    Had a recent night where Sun Tzu was in full play. Destruction outnumbered Order slightly, 20 vs 15ish, but we feigned panicked retreat back to our keep several times to keep baiting them into coming forward piecemeal and getting slaughtered. Eventually Order caught on, and started avoiding us to retake battle objectives. We now had to fight on their terms and go to them. We held a few, lost a few.

    Then they started pounding a keep where we weren’t there. A few panicked members of the warband started screaming for keep defence, there were only oh 3-4 defenders at the time. Knowing that 15 of them wouldn’t destroy two gates and kill a keep lord that fast, with a couple defenders in play, our warband swept up the BO, waited for the defence renown bonus and for Order to crack open the first gate.

    Then we came in from behind and sandwiched them between us and the still-closed second gate. Beautiful mass slaughter.

    Nothing wrong with the tail. Mighty tasty.

    The only problem is if people are focused on avoiding any form of PvP/RvR at all and just want to fight NPCs, period. But I suspect the other warband would probably have zerged through smaller numbers of Order defenders in their quest for Keeps. If they ran from 3-4 defenders, then there’s a problem :)

  6. Now, if we had heeded the panicked cries without thinking, we would have raced toward the keep, reacting to Order’s action. Some would have made it through the postern door, some through the front, some would have died in the headlong conflict which Order would have been prepared for, and probably ended up bogged down fighting in a stairwell for the rest of the night, in a shoving match, two heads pushing back and forth.

    Instead we decisively wiped them out, and destroyed their morale, with a broken gate as the only casualty. They never made it back to take advantage of it, ended up as a back-and-forth at the BO nearest to Order respawn.

    If someone had been organizing them, they might have switched targets to another zone, and we would have to react again to them. Why did we have to react? All the keeps in T3 that night were held by D, nothing else to do but find Order if we wanted a fight.

    Conversely on the same server, T2 keeps were held entirely by Order. On RvR nights in T2, our guild + PUG warband had free pick of any keep. Fangbreaka Keep too well defended by Order? Well, we went up north and hit the other one. Order then had to react to us, or just give it up.

    Eating the tail means both sides get to feel like they had a victory and accomplished something for the night. I seriously doubt that we will ever have a point where people rush past each other and not-fight like I heard happened in Alterac Valley. Realm pride, thirst for blood, renown/xp rewards for killing the enemy, and temporary periods in which one side outnumbers the other will guarantee conflict if a red name shows up in view. But it’s also silly to rush in headlong all the time with 20 red names in view. Unless you’ve got 30-40 on your side.

    It’s just good strategy to aim for the tail and if and whenever the heads happen to collide, then the pushing and shoving part of the battle comes into play.

  7. Some good comments, Jeromai, and I agree. The other night, eating the tail was all we had at that moment. This “[t]he only problem is if people are focused on avoiding any form of PvP/RvR at all and just want to fight NPCs, period” is what I consider the problem as well, and when players get used to being rewarded best or most efficiently only when eating the tail, I feel that we edge closer to that Alterac Valley scenario you mentioned.

    However, even with the EXP adjustments that have been made, I feel that Mythic also sees and understands where to dangle new carrots to make sure that when the heads collide it is rewarding to dig in and kick some butt.

  8. I really wish they would change to the DAoC way of giving RPs for keep/objective takes. There is a small minimum reward for taking an undefended keep; however, the more people that died in the area while the keep take was going on, the larger the bonus. This part of the bonus was much larger.

    If the attacking force was actually driven off, the defenders would get the bonus instead of the attackers.

    Unfortunately, I dont think this is going to happen any time soon, I think they are trying to do what they can to drive more people into open rvr and free RPs for keeps is one way to do it.

  9. The problem is the keep taking goal makes people make decisions more as they would in real life. If you want a particular objective, it’s better to take it with minimal effort. In every strategy game and in real life your reward is greater if you take the objectives without risk. In a strategy game where everyone resets once you’ve won this can be fun.

    But for an MMO where there is no reset, it just becomes more pve bordom, and we can get pve in other games … it makes me wonder if open rvr will ever be fun. Since no matter how they try to incentivize fighting players, they’ll still take the path of least resistance because that is the smart thing to do. Is the only possible fighting only going to be in scenarios/battlegrounds, since those mimick battles already joined? Rather than having to decide for your own reasons to have a battle?

  10. (disclaimer: I do not play Warhammer, so I don’t know the details)

    How would a hardcoded path to victory work in order to avoid players taking the path of least resistance? As in, “your progression in this scenario from start to victory is to take objectives A, B, C and D in that order.”

    I understand the concept of snake heads and tails, but I find it a little naive of Mythic (or whoever designs something like this) to assume players -won’t- go for the low hanging fruit instead of putting in some effort. We should know by now that people will definitely tend to go for the easiest “thing” as long as there is a reward. So… stop rewarding the easy thing so much? Funnel people back into a more linear progression so you can more or less control head meeting head instead of head meeting tail? Stop making the tail even remotely tasty?

  11. Actually I wouldn’t be surprised if this hardcoded path of victory was in Tier 4. I’m not in T4 either, so I am just guessing at details, but it does seem like you ultimately have to capture zones in order to get at the other side’s city. And the threat of losing your city will move a lot more people to defence than one isolated keep out in the boondocks of an RvR lake. So heads may collide a lot in T4.

    Could be that T2 and T3 is just warming us up for the real conflict by dangling some easier to reach carrots.

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