Thursday, November 6, 2008

Black Fire Basin needs help

Black Fire Basin is a scenario in Tier 3. I know, I know, Tor Anroc is supposed to be the only T3 scenario but it is true. It features a classic Capture the Flag (CTF) mechanic with two flags. Usually CTF is pretty fun, but not here.

Last night I only had about 20 minutes to play, so I queued up. To my surprise Black Fire Basin came up. Sometimes it can be pretty fun, but that is pretty rare. So I hop in. When the match starts, a few of us Order head off to make a run at their flag. What do we find? The entire Destruction team at their base. We actually manage to grab the flag for about 15 seconds before we were all killed.

So we regroup and try again. the entire Destruction team is still turtling at their flag. In fact, I don't think any of them left the base for the entire match. Since we were aggressive, we had died more, giving them a score lead. They ended up winning due to the time limit. It was pretty awful.

This scenario should reward aggression, not the turtle tactic. Here are some ideas on how to improve it:

  • Move Spawn points to opposite sides in the middle of the map. Right now, if a defender dies, they will easily be back in the action (without a rez) before the fight is over. This just makes turtling easier.
  • The map is big, maybe a little too big. It takes a couple minutes to ride over to the enemy flag, which also supports turtling since the attacker has to come so far.
  • Maybe the flag should cause damage, as other objects do in scenarios. This might help the situation when each side has the others flag and are turtling. Map size may also help here.
This is one of the scenarios Mythic needs to look at and improve. Hopefully they will in the coming months. The real sad part is that it was still enjoyable since it was not Tor Anroc.


I agree with you that Mythic has to do something with this scenario.
This scenario turns into pain most of the time i play it. Therefore I'm currently avoiding it. Though there are three routes to the flag it's in the end too narrow .. It's just no fun to play this scenario even though I like the art and the general layout. Could be more fun with some tweaking.

Every scenario in WAR other than the capture points with an odd number of nodes(Nordenwatch, etc)and Murderball/relic capture ones, heavily favors turtling. Even in murderball style scenarios the best tactic is to grab it then fall back to your spawn/gy and turtle.

The main problem is that kills rewards points towards the 500, sometimes a significant amount, and many of the actual map objectives provide a less than impressive amount of points considering the coordination and time they take to complete in games that aren't a total mismatch. For example capping a flag in Phoenix Gate (T2 version) only rewards 75 points yet can take 5 min or more if the sides are fairly balanced. People will quickly realize winning by completing the map objective in the 15 min time limit isn't possible and will then revert to turtle/kill farm mode and try to win by attrition. If this happens enough on a particular map people just stop attempting the objective at all every time because they know its not worth it. I've seen it happen on every CTF map as well as maps like Khaine's Embrace.

@anon: You raise some good points.

Most of those scenarios, it seems we end up pressing the attack more than turtling. I have seen cases of turtling in all those scenarios, but not as often as you would think.

I wonder why they settled on points being the goal of every scenario? I guess it does make all pk'ing contribute to the end, as opposed to Warsong Gulch. Interesting.

I would have to agree that removing points for killing would be a good move. Only award points on objective completions. There would still be plenty of fighting to accomplish/prevent objectives but turtling to win would no longer be valid. So what if you killed more if you failed to complete your objectives...right now though...the killing is more important.

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