Altdorf Falls, Players Freak, Mark Responds, Trolls AboundOctober 13, 2008
An actual, successful city capture is not something I really wanted to tackle first thing this week — it’s Monday morning, I’ve yet to down a single cup of coffee, and my workload is ramping up. But since it’ll look kind of weird if I don’t talk about what everyone else is buzzing about… here goes nothing!
So yesterday (Sunday) a large group of Destructoids got together (I’ve heard anything from 300-700 players) to take the two fortresses and then besiege Altdorf on the Averheim server (US). You can read a pretty good writeup at Stunty Stomper here. Unlike the faux-siege of a week or so prior, this appears to be completely legit without any exploits, and took around 7 hours to complete.
From what I can tell, the player base seems divided on this news. On the “cool!” side, people admire the effort it took, the coordination, the timing and the world (game) first. Seven hours doesn’t make this a “pushover” event, and players who participated (against virtually no defenders) had an incredibly tough go of it. The king did not fall, as the players lacked the gear to get in there and get the job done.
On the “bogus!” side, however, the feeling is that this major centerpiece of the RvR system in WAR came far too soon, did not offer much of a chance for Order players to respond at those early hours, and represents a failing on Mythic’s part. There’s been many discussions over the past year how long it would take for the first city siege to happen, and now I guess we know the answer. The more extreme voices on the forums are crying that it’s the end of the game as we know it, and everything from here on out will just be reheated grilled cheese sandwiches.
Mark responded, and I’ll repost his entire reply here:
*Assuming* that no exploits were used and that destruction didn’t take advantage of any of the things that will be fixed/tweaked in the next patch, then they deserve congratulations for the first taking of a city. I’ll get the full scoop on this this week.
Now, as to the whole 2AM thing, well, if you want to play an RvR game, there will be times where one side will have a numbers advantage and they will use that advantage. The fact that this is the only city that has been taken out of our 55 servers means that the system is certainly not broken, borked or really messed up. If this had already happened on just our high pop servers, well, then maybe we’d be a little worried but we are 3 weeks since the game’s launch and a city has been taken on only one server. From what I’ve heard, destruction got real organized and did what a large organized force would do against a non-organized (not disorganized since there is no inherent overall organization unless the players make it so) force, they defeated that force. We will look at all the data, look at what’s going in 1.0.3 and if we need to make some new tweaks, we certainly will do so but again, a city has only been taken on one server so far in 3 weeks.
What amuses me about some of the stuff people have been saying is that on one hand, people say “Gimme more open RvR!” but on the other hand *some* people are saying “But it’s not fair, they had more people than us!” and at the same time some people are saying “We hate scenarios!” If you want a true open RvR game then you should not complain about numerical or time-of-day advantages in terms of “Mythic FIX!” This is why it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy all the different needs/wants of the players. We can’t make sure that all realms have the exact same population no matter what we do even if we were draconian in our efforts. No MMORPG of this type (DAoC, WoW, etc.) has ever had an exact 50/50 split and I doubt any will. We can’t force the players to all log on to the game at the same time. If we were to say that city sieges could only happen during a certain time then we would still have people complaining, saying “It’s our time Mythic, let us attack it when we damn well want to!!!” or “Our alliance can’t get things going until late at night and Mythic is stopping us from attacking!!!!” and if we buffed up the defenses like crazy, people would say “OMG, now nobody has to defend the city, this isn’t fair. This isn’t an RvR game!” etc. People have been saying “Where’s the war in WAR Mythic????” and now that a very organized group has taken a city without exploiting (apparently), now some people are saying “OMG, you mean we could lose because they were more organized and willing to fight? That sucks!”
Again, I’m not saying that the taking of Altdorf was perfect, done beautifully, working as intended, etc. since I don’t have all that data yet. I’m also not saying that after looking at the data we aren’t going to tweak things. However, I will say that if destruction did everything they needed to do lead up to the siege *properly* and then took it over a 7 hour period, that was a pretty special event. And in the coming weeks as we add more rewards and incentives for defending a city as well as the disincentives, I hope that people will more readily leap to the defense of their cities if they come under siege.
As to the whole “But we didn’t know about city being under siege thing” well, I’ll talk to the team this week and make sure that the notification systems that are in the game currently are working as they should be and even if they are, I’ll do a review and see if they need to be buffed up some more. However, if people don’t want to leave what they are currently doing in order to defend their cities, that is their choice not ours. We’ll provide the incentives/disincentives for participating in the defense of a city but it is, as always, up to the players to make their own choices about this aspect of the game.
Perhaps it’s because I lack a cup of coffee in me yet, but I’m just not in a tizzy about all this as some folks are. If this was a legit capture, then I say “kudos” to the players who did it, and I’ll go back to playing the game happily later on today. The fact that the city was captured doesn’t spell the end of anything; city captures were going to happen — the game is built for that. It doesn’t offer the players a permanent impact on the world, but it does make for a tremendous event, dole out special rewards, and reshape the battlefield. Eventually, the pieces will reset and the game begin anew. If anyone has a problem with this in WAR then they have a problem with pretty much all MMOs except for a small handful — there is no permanence in these games, it’s all an illusion to buy into to have fun and play something on a grand scale.
However, the valid concern that most people have here is that this just seems too soon for a game that hasn’t yet reached its launch-plus-one-month mark. I’m amazed there’s that many rank 40 players (or at least upper-T4), although I have no idea what their gear looks like or what RR they’ve attained. I have no doubt that Mythic will be examining this event very carefully to see if they’ve overlooked any gaping holes in their RvR pyramid, or if everything came together for these players like a perfect storm and allowed them to take over a city legitimately yet with minimum opposition.
Coffee. Coffee now!