Monday, January 05, 2009

Shifting lines

How quickly can lines shift? How quickly can an almost complete victory shift into an almost total rout?

Apparently as long as it takes me to sleep.

Before going to bed last night, T3 Ostermark was a battle zone. We had two warbands of Order (Including Relaenas first big taste of running a warband in that tier) versus likely two of the same. Cue either Duel of Fates or the Benny Hill theme depending on the particular time of the battle.

The main shift, the focus of the "endgame" was tier 4. Before Orrekai said his goodbyes and I took myself off to sleep, Order had locked Praag, Thunder Mountain and Dragonwake. Dragonwake was especially nice to see as from my understanding of what filters down on OrderRvR its been one hell of a battle lately.
This morning, Praag remains in the righteous/bloody manling/sissy elf hands of Order. Dragonwake is contested once again.
Dwarf Versus Greenskin though has gone from a reasonably long lock on Thunder Mountain with action in Black Crag to a push all the way back to Kadrin Valley.

Only time will tell if the t4 folks will swing back just as hard. On the bright side though, being Rank 28 (rr26) I can hop up there and join in if there's a real big push going on. Not that I will be terribly useful, but I seem to make my presence felt on occasion.

Back to T3 and what went on last night.

Tactics. The most efficient win. The most bang for your buck.

When do good tactics become poor gameplay? Some people complain about being ganked when they were unprepared. Sometimes by higher characters, other times when they were in the middle of a mob. On paper though, that's entirely fair. You are at war, war won't stop for breaks or niceities. You kill the other guy when you can, as hard as you can.

Rambling related story. I wanted my pistol on Norri as previously mentioned and to begin with I was in Dwarf Chapter 6 in the Marshes of Madness. One of the Versus PQs. Who will get to stage II first? Well... the Dwarves were always going to win this one. There were three of us and none of them. Then there was one, a Squig Herder.
Me feeling playful, I flagged and taunted the squig loving Grobi. I never honestly expected him to flag back, after all I had 7 levels on him and we were no were near the lake. No bolster for the mushroom gobbler.
He waited till I was busy with some mobs and he went for it. Ganker? No. Good sense.
Did it work? Ehhh no. Unfortunately for him I was much higher as mentioned and I could take what the pve mobs were throwing, so I dealt with the greater risk. Three times.

Don't look at me like that, I never expected the fight, I was being silly. He gave it his best shot though and always looked for opportunities against me. He just happened to get beaten.

So now I got to experience something I am told is quite the topic on forums. RvDoor I think someone called it.
Warband runs up, warband fights tooth and nail to breach the first door and fights twice as hard to lay siege against the second door and then... leaves. Just like that the assaulting force packs up and legs it. A victory some think. Defense in the face of overwhelming odds, we broke their spirit etc etc.

No... they weakened the inner door and then left. And now they're doing it to another door somewhere else.

This was the start of the evening for me yesterday. Relaena, Walton of the Templars and myself went to kill a hero for my Stalker set and happened to run into goings on. We joined in. Orlun (Witch hunter) was running a band, and as previously mentioned Relaena ended up with one as well. Destruction would show up somewhere. Fight as hard as they could in the face of defense if there was any and then evaporate just before breaking through. Other times while we were busy recapturing battle objectives or locking zones they would take other keeps. Many complained.

Personally I admired. It's a clever tactic. It keeps us wrong footed and off balance. You cant defend everywhere at all times. People always want to clump up into bigger and bigger groups. Relaena told me though that once, at an ungodly hour, two people managed to duo a keep from start to finish. If half the work has already been done by weakening the doors, well that just makes it easier. Two full warbands can become four half strength ones with just enough muscle to quickly convert a few keeps all over the place.

Apparently the damage can be undone by Archmages or Warrior priests in T3 by targetting the door and the ram pad and using particular skills which boil down to "I hit you, so the door feels better". Later Tanks get a skill I am told to properly repair doors, but it will only ever come into play up in the top tier. Repairing it is tedious but leaving it that way is dangerous.

So my hats off to Destruction. From a personal point of view, playing the game and wanting to fight, it's annoying. They appear to run every time the fight gets to fever pitch. From a tactical point of view, and remember we're all in this war to win, it is genius. They can come back at any time, strike any keep and have done most of the work before.
Order claims it is above such practices, but how long until I find myself in a band where that is the modus operandi?

The late part of that evening showed me another type of shifting line. What to do in a big big bust up.
The answer is run around like a lunatic until something half baked works or until something occurs to whomever shouts loudest (apparently me at times).

Our two warbands headed for Stoneclaw Castle in High Pass to take it back. We ran into two Destruction warbands headed the other way as they stopped to take Ogrunds Tavern. Hilarity ensued.
First it was a fight to maintain our hold. Come into the tavern, dont come in. Fight in front, try and flank. Everyone rally and move together, yes we know half of you are dead. Rez me rez me rez me, oh you're dead. Well rez me anyway.
Then it was a desperate fight to take back the point in three minutes, a fight we likely wouldnt win because well... they stuffed a warband and a bit inside the tavern. Cue new objective, keep them in the tavern and slaughter them as they leave.

It was total chaos and for me at least, exhaustingly fun. So much changed so rapidly. Geography broke lines of sight and made for rdps hills. Order partially zerged on the basis that you could spit and hit the warcamp. Several times Destruction was treated to a kamikaze Rune Priest if only because it made me laugh (and Rune of Battle wasnt going to kill them but I like seeing all the pretty numbers). All in all neither side achieved much, well.. they got the tavern but we got the fight people had been complaining about being deprived, and I ended the night satisfied.

Did we retake High Pass on my late watch? No. But we fought hard at times, defended hard at others, I learned some tricks and I got a good laugh. Win or lose, it was fun.
However tonight, time to try win.

A final question though. Those of you who read this and who run or are up there in guilds. Do you think new recruits should read the Art of War? Do you think your guild should instill a sense of honour in always fighting, even if it means certain doom? Or do you play to win?
Know thy enemy or pwn thy enemy?

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