Saturday, March 21, 2009

Royal WAR Rumble

Both The Greenskin and Werit suggested a while back about a third faction for the game.

Snaf suggests an NPC third faction that in some fashion brings balance back to the WAR. If you're clearly kicking ass the world over, you'd suffer greater attacks from this faction (Example given : Skaven, Vampire Counts and Ogres) to the point where they could flip RvR zones.

Werit suggests a third faction as a playable race, if I understand him correctly, which is limited in what it can do and the experience in game but would allow this third faction to tip the scales one way or another during rvr.

Snaf also gives the example of Aion, in which the NPC race will become more aggressive to whomever is clearly outplaying the other creating a challenge. On paper, I think it sounds fantastic (Im signed up for the Aion beta). In execution, I remain unconvinced. Zone Domination was introduced as a means to stop defending by not defending. On paper a self correcting NPC faction could indeed spice up RvR and require more of a WAR effort from people, but in practice, could it also mean that the other side simply stops resisting so that the NPCs strike back with a strength they cannot or are unwilling to muster?
Though in defense of the idea, it would encourage people to leave rear guard groups like I have only just begun to see outside of Fortresses designed to stem reinforcements (though why we seem to always being doing it at the Maw where there is a second route we can't deal with I don't know). You would not only have to have the strength and ability to bring the fight to your enemy but have the resources and support to fight off an ever stronger other faction so you can crush your foe. If it worked, now there's some realm pride.

Werits idea, with a comparison to how it works in Pirates of the Burning Sea, has a wee limiting factor in that both sides need their pvp players. A third faction that solely pvps I think would drain the pool of talent each side has as they go off to join the Skaven or what have you so they could break the stalemate and create their own. After all for an essentially pvp only side, they'd have to go where the fighting is or what's the point? However the idea reminded me of Planetsides Black Ops. Every so often some players get selected to play Black Ops characters. They're powerful, they're not numerous and they exsist solely to disrupt the three way Smurf/Commie/Vanu war. As such everyone loves to kill 'em.
What if the Skavenidea of Werit wasn't an always available option but rather an occasional appearance of a few warbands where the lucky players tapped to be hated ratmen can engage anyone on their server, regardless of what side they came from (and ideally they'd be pulled 50/50 from Order and Destruction) whose whole purpose isnt to tip an ongoing battle, but erode the control of the other two. For extra bastard points, they could stop one side from sieging the opposite city only to take their place.
Ahhh Altdorf is safe, those Skavenscum broke their fortress lock, siege over.....why're there so many ratmen all of a sudden?*splortch*

Personally I come down in the middle on both ideas. Ahh lawyerground.
I have before (I think on this blog, maybe somewhere else) suggested the third faction of WAR being not Order or Destruction but rather Balance. Bring in Wood Elves, Lizardmen and Tomb Kings (previously I suggested Brettonnia, but who wants pansy knights?) and have their t1 to t4 zones intersect with new zones for Order and Destruction equally. That way they are by factor of geography invited to fight against both sides equally. Also it introduces replayability in that if say in tier 1, Order can only fight Balance in Lustria and Destruction can only fight in areas of Nehekhara and Balance is denied Nordland/Norsca and Ekrund/Mount Bloodhorn, to fight everywhere, must at some stage play all three sides.
Tis an idea.

And to really spice things up, while Order, Destruction and Balance go at it hammer and tongs, bring in Snafs npc Opportunity. Ogres, Vampires and hell Chaos Daemons whose sole point is to act as a wild card rather than a balance mechanism.

After all, you win some, you lose some. Though wouldn't it be fantastic to say it two two factions and an 11th hour addition of rampaging NPCs to take down your city?

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