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Scenarios and You: A Primer

July 2, 2008

With all the Tome of Knowledge love, PQ affection, RvR fawning, Capturable Keeps cuddling, City Sieges nuzzling, and Richard Bartle hugging, one key component of WAR has been flying under the radar of most wanna-be players — myself included:

Scenarios.

What are scenarios? As far as I can tell, they’re either scary role-playing exercises during group therapy, or instanced PvP maps — “battlegrounds”, if you will, and I won’t — where players looking for a tad more balanced PvP can jump into a unique situation and have a blast. It’s for people who like to wage war in a more structured environment, modeled after several fun summer camp games. Scenarios are 15-20 minute matches with a point system (500 points, usually), a population cap (say, 12-vs-12) and are played in level brackets (say, levels 1-8). Reportedly, you will have a button on your UI that will let you queue up for scenarios as you play the rest of the game.

For me, Mythic’s “Scenarios 101” series that they’ve been releasing in the newsletters are among the least-read. I wanted to dive into all of them and boil them down into a nice, neat list (I like lists, if you couldn’t tell) to see what kind of offerings are on the table — and whether they’ll interest me or you.

Nordenwatch

  • 12v12 players from levels 1-12
  • Tier 1 Empire vs. Chaos
  • Three capturable positions, marked by flags (Barracks, Lighthouse, Fortress)

Gates of Ekrund

  • 12v12 players from levels 1-12
  • Tier 1 Greenskin vs. Dwarf
  • Three capture locations: Gate Switch, Ammunition Room, Supply Room.

Mourkain Temple

  • 12v12 players from levels 10-21
  • Tier 2 Greenskin vs. Dwarf
  • Murderball: grab the artifact, hold on to it as long as possible!

Stone Troll Crossing

  • 12v12 players from levels 7-23
  • Tier 2 Empire vs. Chaos
  • Team deathmatch (kill or be killed), with one twist: an NPC faction, the trolls, are attacking both sides as well.

Talabec Dam

  • 12v12 or 18v18 players from level 18-40
  • Tier 3 Empire vs. Chaos
  • Bomb run: pick up a spawned bomb, which gives you 60 seconds to run to an enemy target to blow it up (chaos sigil or windmill).

Highpass Cemetary

  • 12v12 players from levels 18-40
  • Tier 3 Empire vs. Chaos
  • Two capture locations: the Stag and the Crypt
  • You have to hold BOTH locations at the same time to be awarded points

Doomfist Crater

  • 12v12 players from levels 23-40
  • Tier 3 Greenskin vs. Dwarf
  • King of the Hill (capture center platform) combined with Murderball (hold artifacts for more points)

Black Fire Basin

  • 12v12 players from levels 23-40
  • Tier 3 Greenskin vs. Dwarf
  • Classic capture the flag in the enemy’s keep.

Battle for Praag

  • 18v18 players from levels 23-40
  • Tier 4 Empire vs. Chaos
  • Tug of War: there are five capturable locations, but only one is in play — if your side captures it, the next location moves toward your final goal (and vice versa).

Maw of Madness

  • 12v12 players from levels 23-40
  • Tier 4 Empire vs. Chaos
  • Murderball: find and hold on to the “murderball” which grants your side extra points as you hold it and kill.

Grovod Caverns

  • 12v12 players from levels 23-40
  • Tier 4 Empire vs. Chaos
  • Capture the Flag: the twist is that the battlefield deteriorates (bridges snap) after each capture, changing the routes available.

Reikland Hills

  • 18v18 players from levels 23-40
  • Tier 4 Empire vs. Chaos
  • King of the Hill: the “hill” rotates to one or two of the following locations: Broken Bridge, Mill or Factory.

After six “Scenario 101” episodes, we’ve been treated to 12 of the scenarios, all either Chaos vs. Empire or Greenskin vs. Dwarf — no Elf-on-Elf catfights yet. PC Gamer reported that in earlier stages of beta, scenarios were proving so popular as to be stripping the game away from any serious world RvR focus. Ergo, scenarios were scaled back somewhat, and world PvP beefed up.

From looking at this list, it’s a nice spread of level ranges (notice that you can participate in your first scenario at level 1!), as well as game types. Capture points, king of the hill and murderball scenarios seem to dominate, although the bombing ones and the tug-of-war (Battle for Praag) are quite interesting to contemplate. These seem like a nice way to jump into a quick and dirty fight without having to look far for it.

My only main concern is that if you’re allowed to queue up for these scenarios at any point in the game world, it might cause problems as people abruptly leave groups or avoid a nasty PvP entanglement just to hit a scenario. Possible game-breaking immersion, is what I’m talking about.

What do you guys think about scenarios?

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11 comments

  1. Maybe there will be a mechanic in place whereby you cannot enter a scenario while in combat?

    Either way I am quite excited. Especially I think for when I am playing around with a second character and just want to throw myself in at level 1.


  2. For me, Open-world RvR would beat a scenario every time.


  3. I do not see the queue thing as an issue because if you are in world PvP and not committed to the fight in the first place there are plenty of other ways to leave besides queuing up into a scenario.


  4. i think mythic is smart enough to know that there are going to be people who will abuse the scenario button quite often. I guess they will be implementing some kind of restriction as to when you can enter the scenario for example when you’re in a world pvp match you wont be able to do the scenario until certain conditions are met (you died or won whatever) of course it all speculation at this point.


  5. Same problem I am worried about. I don’t want to be in the middle of a fight to capture a BO or Keep and all of the sudden half the players I am fighting with/against disappear into a scenario and 15 minutes later they pop back.

    I think this is going to happen for PUG Open World RvR, but hopefully guilds will get more benefit for Open World then scenarios and therefore Open World will be populated.


  6. While they may be fun and extremely entertaining, I hope they do not detract from world RvR/PvP. One of the biggest things I am looking forward to in WAR is the re-establishment of world RvR/PvP as the primary mode of player conflict. WoW failed so miserably at it initially and even in their first expansion that it pretty much does not even exist. World player encounters, to me, can be some of the most entertaining things around. You may start out being outnumbered/outgeared/outclassed, but a few /tells to your mates and the tide turns in your favor. Thirty minutes later and that can swing when your enemies friends show up, and then before you know it there is a small scale war being fought over and entire zone. And it all happened because some stuntie kicked you in the teeth while you were happily skinning the corpses of some bears you had found. To me, that is what PvP is. Battlegrounds…. Meh. While fun, they just don’t feel as alive as world encounters.


  7. I think scenarios will serve a number of important functions. First, they provide a more structured form of PvP, which is attractive to people who like to pvp, but don’t have a guild yet. Or to new players who are still wary of open-world pvp. Or to people who just enjoy that sort of thing. Second, they provide an ideal solution for the “PvPer-on-the-go.” If you only have half an hour or so, and don’t want to waste time looking for some open-world action, just hop in a couple scenarios. Finally, and most importantly to me, it allows pvp to introduce fun and creative mechanics that simply wouldn’t be feasible in a larger context.
    In regards to your concern about people ditching what they’re doing in order to do scenarios, I agree that it is a possibility. Still, that sort of behavior is something you can already find in WoW, and I’m not sure if there’s really anything you can do about it. If people want to leave, they’re going to leave, regardless of where they go. I guess the only solution is to hope your group is fun enough that people don’t want to ditch you for a scenario, eh?
    My 2cp.
    -The Time Travelling Robot from 1815


  8. I hope that the scenarios have some kind of 40’s bracket as well. It would suck to out level your favorite scenario.


  9. […] runs down all the scenarios described in monthly newsletters so […]


  10. I would have the same concern about queuing. I like the idea of the scenarios being quick 15 minutes games. Also the fact that you have so much choice is what amazes me.

    There are four scenarios at tier 3 and at tier 4 for empire and chaos. If all the other pairing are the same that’s huge … 24 level 40 scenarios. WOW only had three and I played them to death.


  11. I wonder (as I have seen to info to suggest either way), will any race be able to enter any scenario regardless of who its listed as or placed in the world?

    Will Dwarven players ever see Nordenwatch or the Greenskins get to rampage through the Maw of Madness?

    I honestly hope so as there is potentialy so much content I may not see without jumping from race to race, something I have no intention of otherwise doing.

    Habe.



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