I know I’m pretty late to the party with the Open RvR announcements that Mark made last week — blame a great week away from it all in the sunny lands of Washington D.C. (lookit me, I’m palling around with Lincoln!) — but I’m back, and it’s time to tackle the leftovers of this news story.
As I said previous, Mythic’s newly stated priority on oRvR signifies a big shift in the game’s focus, putting a bulk of their chips into the hat they think will bring them the most fame, glory and subscriber numbers. Time will tell on this — right now, my oRvR experience has been limited to joining roving bands of renown seekers who bounce from Keep to BO to BO to Keep, taking any that are undefended and avoiding actual conflict with enemy players. That’s Boring and Pointless in my book, and I’ve shied away from oRvR until something changes. Perhaps this will be the lure back into the RvR lakes of legend.
RvR Influence System – We’re getting this with 1.1, and while there are no specifics to it past a comparison to the PQ Influence system (so let’s assume an INF bar and tiered rewards), it does give us a measurable goal to shoot for while we dither around in PvP combat. I’m interested in just how many tiers there will be, how many rewards, will the rewards rotate, will you max out a bar and be done with the tier, etc. Lots of questions, but a really good addition.
Increased oRvR Visibility and Traveling – This is a catch-all for a number of features to get players aware of the oRvR conflict and get them there pronto: a second bind point, campaign HUD, and tier-wide messaging. None of this is “sexy”, per se, but necessary — kind of more bricks and mortar to the foundation of the RvR program. My only concern: does more increased travel equal an increasingly devalued sense of the world’s scope? We’re already bouncing around the place with binds and scenarios and near-instant flight-points between zones — will we forever lose the sense of the world of Warhammer as an actual place with size versus a series of instanced maps?
RvR Incentives – Past the influence system, there will be a number of other goodies. Daily RvR quests – definitely. People like to be rewarded for what they’re doing already, kind of a two birds with one stone thing. Keep Quests have me wondering if they’re going to go beyond “today’s quest is to take [named] Keep” that everyone will be gunning for — are they going to introduce scripted or variable elements to keep taking?
Keep Ownership Incentives – This is a no-brainer from how often we’ve been hearing about it — people need incentive to not only take keeps, but try to hold and defend them. Giving guilds goodies… that’s a very positive thing.
Fame System – Another item that, y’know, sounds good, but I need more details or hands-on experience before making any sort of judgment. But it does sound like Mythic’s going to be expanding the amount of player-set goals they can shoot for, and that might make folks actively look for combat instead of shy away from it.
This quote is the most catching, however:
It’s really as simple as this, oRvR should be a major focus for leveling, item gain, etc. in WAR. Some of the systems are already in place and in Tier 4, oRvR is alive and well. On other Tiers, however, oRvR is not being engaged in as often as we had hoped when we launched WAR. Our goal is to ensure that oRvR is the place where players can level the fastest, get the best items and overall, have a great time while doing it. It is supposed to be riskier, more challenging but ultimately, more rewarding than any other place within WAR.
People love to quote Mark Jacobs because he likes to say huge and sweeping things like this, that may or may not come back to bite him, or may or may not be a huge success. This is Mythic drawing a line in the sand and saying, “PQs? PvE Quests? Scenarios? All well and good, but oRvR is where you should be playing. It’s the place that’ll be the most rewarding in all ways, and it’s where we want to funnel the bulk of our player base into.” Perhaps some gamers might balk at this, viewing it as a deliberate limiting of their game time options (while they can do whatever they like in a game, players invariably head toward the most rewarding experience for the least effort/time involved). But this is the most dynamic, variable element of WAR — player-versus-player combat — and I can’t fault them for wanting this to be the crown jewel that sparkles more than the rest.