New Server Rulesets?

October 12, 2008

Mark posted an interesting poll over on VN Boards: what type of hypothetical servers would you be willing to play on?

The options are:

  • No scenarios whatsoever
  • Diminishing numbers of scenarios as Tiers increase
  • Scenarios only for Tier 1
  • No more server types, I like what you have!

His main question revolved around scenarios, and their impact or limitations on WAR’s gameplay. It’s pretty easy to see what he’s jabbing at, the perception that scenarios are (a) the fastest and most efficient way to both level ranks AND renown ranks, (b) scenarios break immersion by yanking you out of the game world over and over again, and (c) that scenarios are a major detractor for open world RvR, which is meant to be the cornerstone of PvP in this game, not a side attraction to scenarios. So if a new server type opened up that actively diminished the importance of scenarios (and thereby heightened the importance of open world PvE and PvP), would players prefer that?

Hm. Possibly. I’m always of the opinion that players don’t like to have content taken away from them, but then again, some people have flocked to the Open RvR servers where lower-tier content is diminished for them as they level. I think an easier solution would be to tweak scenario xp (perhaps diminishing rewards for how many scenarios you play in a day, or just lesser xp/renown overall), increase open world RvR rewards (as they’ve done with the boost to RvR lakes’ XP), or offer incentive for players to play both — perhaps a repeatable quest that requires you to play one of each of that tier’s scenarios PLUS capture two BOs and a keep in open world RvR.

What say you?  Is this the path they should be exploring to de-emphasize scenarios and popularize open world combat, or is there another way?



  1. Im all for some way for players to get out of the scenario mindframe. Im not sure creating a new server type is the right answer though. I find it frustrating when your realm is trying to take a keep and half of them leave in the middle of it due to their scenario popping up. It should really be the other way around and you should drop the scenario to help your realm defend its keep.

  2. Personally I think that scenarios will almost always be the preferred route of EXP gain for the simple fact that they are consistent and predictable. You can gauge how much EXP you will get in a set amount of time very accurately with scenarios (especially on servers like Phoenix Throne where queues pop consistently), whereas even with the 50% exp bonus in ORVR there is still the huge issue of uncertainty.

    Am I going to find anyone to fight, and, if I do find someone, can I beat them?

    Even when you do find that magical battle with roughly even sides and get into the good old back and forth we all know and love from DaoC another problem quickly presents itself, and is perhaps the biggest obstacle to exp/renown gain in ORVR at the moment in my opinion, and that is Diminishing Returns.

    In even a smallish group the exp/renown gain when split goes down pretty fast, although the exp portion is definitely somewhat better now, but those numbers tank to near-zero very quickly in open rvr once diminishing returns kick in. Personally I would like to see the number of kills against an enemy before DR kicks in raised to 4-5 instead of the 1 it currently is.

    Also, to get the most out of ORVR we need better chat and better ways to see where the action is. Having the hotspot markers show up on every map, not just the map of the zone you are currently in, would go a long way. If that’s not technically feasible perhaps having NPC’s in every warcamp that you can speak to to get a quick message about where there is activity would be both useful and fun in a thematic way.

    Finally, Keep Siege contribution and rewards are totally borked at the moment, it seems to be totally random who gets the +500 or similar scores, as tested by many members of my guild trying many different approaches to gaining contribution. If there were a more guaranteed chance at loot in keep sieges, or best of all in keep DEFENSES, I think more people would flock to those areas.

    Whoa this comment got long, sorry. Great blog though Syp, from a fellow engineer I say thanks for the great work.

  3. No, really, please don’t nerf scenarios. Imo the xp is just right, and I doubt that nerfing them will bring about more open-rvr, it will just detract from the game experience in general.

  4. The assumption seems to be that scenarios are cutting into open world RvR, so we will see more action out there if you cut scenarios. I expect that losing scenarios would turn most of Warhammer into a 90+% PvE game during all but peak hours. Scenarios let us bring together the dozen-ish people on each side who want PvP during those off hours; having them wander six zones in hope of finding one another seems less fun.

  5. Although some may not like it I think the best idea would be to remove the instant queing of scenarios and make it so that you have to physically go to the entrance which are all located in the RvR lakes (similar to the way WoW battlegrounds were when first released.) This would encourage people to go to the RvR lakes and stay there if they wanted to play scenarios. In turn it would mean a lot more people in the open RvR areas fighting while they wait for their scenario.

  6. I think that people are freaking out because of scenarios too much. They think that scenarios take away from Open World RvR, but I disagree. I think that scenarios are a gateway to more intense PvP, and by making them more hard to access, you make it less likely that a casual, or a PvE oriented player will PvP at all. Lets face it, PvP is just as, if not more intimidating than hardcore raiding, and if people aren’t babied into it with “no consequence” PvP from scenarios, they a lot of players won’t participate at all. The best way to make Open World RvR more popular is to make it more appealing, rather than to make scenarios less appealing. Tempt the PvP newbies into Open World RvR, rather than making it hard for them to play in scenarios.

  7. I think it’s fine currently. Most of the players are probably 20ish rank about now, and the extremely casual/alt friendly players probably mid teens. The only time keep control and open world rvr heavily comes into play is in tier 4, aka rank 40, where you NEED to take those out to even get access to cities. Most players are half way there, so this is too soon to ask, imo. Hit rank 40, *then* you’ll have options. Do I want to do scenarios, get no xp and hopefully some renown (nothing like getting steamrolled for a whopping 50 renown a pop), or defend/attack a keep where you KNOW the enemy is going to show up eventually if they ever plan on sacking your city. Keep an eye on the maps, see what’s contested etc.

  8. Interesting idea Visage. Don’t know how popular that would be and how well that would work thou.

  9. I’ve expanded my idea a little more. I’m a pretty casual player myself playing only about 1-2 hours every couple nights during weekdays. The open rvr areas are dead on my server unless some guild coordinated a keep raid on the forums. It really dissapoints me as this is what I was looking forward to most. Some say it’ll be better in tier 4, but I honestly don’t think so since there are 10 scenarios there. The only way I’ll see it on my server is when all the rank 40’s hit renown 80.

    Any way, here’s some more ideas to expand on my original concept. You could make it that when entering a physical entrance it’ll let you queue for any scenario or all scenarios, this would discourage everyone only being in one area such as the entire tier 3 population camping the entrance of Tor Anroc. You could also possibly change the current queue button to instantly transport you to the nearest warcamp. Although not a perfect solution, it would encourage open RvR and not nerf scenarios and allow casual players a chance to get into the action fast.

    I’m just throwing out some ideas since the general consensus out there is to nerf scenario xp/rewards.

  10. I’m unashamed to admit that I’m loving the Scenarios.

    Even though I’m very much aware that Scenario popularity and convenience is harming the MMORPG parts of the game. In fact, despite a large population on the servers, the questing areas feel very sparse, PQs are outright abandoned and Warbands break apart as players queue even as they’re about to engage Keep Lords.

    I don’t think new server types will help, in fact they’d just spell the death of RvR on the existing servers. So I don’t like that as a possible solution at all.

    The answer IMHO is to re-balance PQs and RvR to make them more attractive:

    For PQs there are far too many mobs required in almost all T2+ for Stage 1, it’s tedious.

    For RvR I think they just miscalculated. RvR for every tier while leveling up sounded great and I’m sure worked fine as a novelty in beta, but in practice not too many players are interested in any RvR prior to T4.

    So I think with RvR the answer is that lower tiers are a wash, just accept that. Tier 4 will gain interest over time, wait for it, it’s a bit early to call its deathknell.

  11. This game has a real problem with immersion. Outside PQ’s, the PVE in it pales in comarison to EQ2 or WOW or LOTRO. They at least need some more immersive music to add. I just don’t quest in this game, it sucks! Just does not feel like a world to me, it’s a war as designed.

    In T2 nothing seems to happen in RVR lakes very often; get some PQ’s and high XP repeatable quests in there to get the population in there.

    And being somewhat casual, it’s always nice to jump in a scenario and gain some XP quickly. it would nerf the entire game for mne IMHO if they nerfed scenarios in any way shape or form.

  12. For whatever reason the 1st thing this started me thinking about is a ‘Pure RPG’ ruleset server. By this i mean remove all the little things which perhaps break the game from the Warhammer lore.
    The main thing would be turning the relationships of the NPCs within the order & destruction alliances from the standard ‘ain’t we all just getting along sooo well’ friendly to a more realistic neutral(apart from your own race ofc).
    imagine a small scale Orc Vs Dark Elf street fight breaking out in IC, or a bar brawl in a empire tavern between some dwarfs & a over pious empire preacher.
    I know this would be chaotic as hell but for some reason it appeals to me.

    On more serious note i think scenarios are as Zubon says a great way of bringing together people in low population brackets or at quite times of the day. But as both Syp & Visage point out they feel very disconnected from the metagame of the RvR. Scenarios are the McPvP of WaR, quick & nasty but they get the job done. RvR is allot of fun but its very difficult to know when its happening, and even if you do find out something is going on your often stuck a zone away from the nearest warcamp with no guarantee that by the time you get there it wont have fizzled out. There’s allot of ways you could try & fix this but the problem is it might unbalanced the very thing they are trying to protect by making it to easy to defend keeps.

  13. Scenarios are far and away my favorite part of the game; I can honestly say that I would cancel immediately and never come back if they took scenarios away from my server. (This isn’t directly under discussion, of course, but a mass exodus of Destruction players to world RVR-only servers would have the effect of decreasing the availability of scenarios for Order players who remain on the existing rulesets.)

    Personal feelings aside, I think these rulesets are a bad idea. Scenarios are a safety net for population imbalance – maybe there are 50 Destruction players milling around outside that keep and you only have 10, but at least those 10 guys can queue for a scenario and have something fun to do for the evening. The 40 Destruction players who don’t get into the scenario with you may THINK they’re getting a bad deal, but that’s nothing compared to what happens to the population if there’s literally nothing for the Order players to do but get squashed against overwhelming odds.

    Maybe, if Mythic opened a couple no-scenario servers, one of them would attract an alliance of enough Order guilds to have a fair fight (and probably lengthy login queues for both sides). Those players would be coming from existing servers, possibly decimating their communities, so basically everyone who plays the game loses.

  14. I like the idea of making O-RVR more attractive. Removing content is sad.

    On that note, I think that guilds are a great mechanism to get lots of players into O-RVR. Increasing the XP gained in O-RVR is nice, however what if guild contributions to O-RVR gave dramatic increases in guild abilities.

    At a certain level guilds can claim keeps. This gets their name on the map, as well as granting bonuses to the players in that realm. This rewards a single guild, what if the rewards were focused on more cooperation?

    To encourage more people to be active in the ‘RVR lakes’. What if players got a ‘+XP%/+RN%’ bonus for contributing 10 minutes of solid play. Kinda like a rested bonus – altho more like a bloodlust..

  15. I’d say the general feeling is to not take anything away from the game, just improve the Open RvR & PvEs to be more competitive. That being said, I think it needs to be a bit more than bonus exp/reknown/gold. How about having extra content in the RvR lakes, like a PQ being unlocked should a side hold all the objectives, or the possibility of finding exclusive armour sets (the shinies that players love) there?

  16. The problem with removing scenarios, isn’t that players play them too much. It is that players can’t play skillfully in OpenRvR. I’m not talking about zerging or force mismatches, although certainly it is a factor. No, I am talking about how with the number of players involved in OpenRvR particularly fortress takes the game becomes nearly unplayable, and certainly has horrendous framerate and UI lag issues.

    If you can’t play the game as its intended in the most popular form of OpenRvR… I don’t see how making progression reliant on it fixes anything.

  17. For someone like myself who has very limited time to play WAR, scenarios are absolutely ideal. Often, I will only have 40 minutes of an evening once the kids are asleep and the other half is occupied with excercising/having a bath/watching a soap, and scenarios present an opportunity to feel like I have actually achieved something in that short timeframe. I would be dissapointed if scenarios were tweaked to promote Open World RVR.

  18. I think the developers underestimate the sheer number of soloers, or groups of 2-3 people. Open Rvr is just not attractive to a soloer, simply because he cant do anything at all, so what can they do if they want to pvp? Scenarios.

    If there were some rewards that draw solo people to the rvr lakes, the rvr lake population would increase.

    Some ideas: around a taken hub, normal mobs of that faction also appear (not only champs and heroes). These normal mobs have a high respawn timer (5-10 mins), but always drop good loot, xp, and renown. So soloers have a reason to check these places every now and then, and while they are there, its more likely that they will join a group.

    Also heroes on the nodes should drop much better loot, and taking the objective should give more renown. Right now we cap hubs only if we are bored, for the fun. (300 renown, 40 copper, come on… Should be like 1000 renown, and a blue item.)

    Repeatable quests, like “take a node” or “take a keep” could also help.

    Some titles or tome unlocks, that advertise Open PvP should be in too. (Siege Engine – taken 10 keeps, Heroslayer: taken 10 nodes, anything)

    Generally i think scenarios are a good form of levelling and very fun, but shouldnt give renown, or at least not as much. Renown should come from open-pvp, in bigger amounts.

  19. I would like to see them put alot of PQ’s in RvR areas. Then add some nice rewards and experience for these PQ’s to draw the people here.

    Increase the exp bonus on these PQ’s by a ton, to get people to them instead of scenarios all of the time.

    Even make all of the battlefield objectives PQ’s as well, this will get the people to the open areas and spark some action. Even small PQ’s nearby the objectives (complete a PQ and a giant comes out of the woods to help your team take the battlefield objective) to aid small groups. Also they need to add a reason to hold onto things for an extended amount of time(passive bonuses etc.)

  20. Wander into RvR solo because I can’t get into scenarios, wander around and never find anyone until I run across a group and get ganked, try to remember why this is fun.

    My other half and her friend log in, the holy trinity wanders around the RvR area, ganks some solo guys, gets run over by a guild group, tries to remember why this is fun…

    Go help a keep defense, hours later have to head to bed… No loot, no real exp ‘this player has been recently killed 7 bazillion times, and we aren’t giving you exp for him, actually, we are taking exp from you and giving it to him’ messages all over the screen. Or help with a keep assault (assuming the bugs let you), CTD as the keep is overrun, and miss out on the loot… This is fun?

    My other half would unsubscribe after a few times like that. Until the damn CTDs, and other abundent bugs that show up in a big fight, are fixed, doing anything to crank back on the scenarios is a _bad_ idea.

    I’m all for open world RvR and massive keep/city fights. If there was actually any point to either, unbalanced fights and buggy client software kinda kills either right now.

  21. Oh, adding more PQs? We already have a ton of PQs that you can’t get a group for, and end up doing just the first or maybe the second stage, missing out on the loot because there isn’t a tank/healer/enough dps in the area to actually finish the PQ. Adding more PQs in the RvR area, I don’t see the point. Moving the PQs to the RvR area…horridly bad idea.

  22. Do not nerf scenarios! SC’s are great for people on a time restraint, nerfing them will make these people leave and go back to wow, where you can accomplish anything in a relatively short time. The solution would be to greatly increase rewards, quests, and XP in rvr combat.

    This will keep scenarios viable, but make rvr a lot more attractive. Buff rvr as much as possible and people will begin to flock to them.

    Increase the benefits of holding all the objectives in the rvr lakes, again making them more attractive.

  23. Ergh, Mark Jacobs has it all backwards.

    Their open RvR system is failing to attract players, so they want to make scenarios fail equally much, so that all options are composed of equal amounts of fail so that players will be spread more evenly?

    They’ve already increased the reward from open RvR, it’s decent now. But what else do scenarios have that open RvR doesn’t? Answer: a simple UI that finds other players to play with! They need something analogous for open RvR. I just wrote a blog about it if you want to see some ideas:


  24. I rolled on an open world PvP server (Eerie Downs) and I have never seen an opposing player in the open world to fight. As a matter of fact, in the past three weeks I have seen maybe 3 to 4 other players at all. I did a server switch to Praag which is supposedly a higher population server and even closing in on level 20 I have yet to see another player from either side. What is going on with Warhammer Online.

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