Friday, December 5, 2008

WAR is Too Massive! Part 2

In Part 1, I touched a little on Fortresses and the current problems. As far as I know, the crashing is still an issue. Mythic is currently making client and server improvements that will hopefully end the crashing. That is really just a symptom of the problem though.

Last night, I came to the defense of a keep in Dragonwake. Destruction was attacking it and I was able to scurry around to a postern door, as they had already breached the outer walls. There was only 2 of us defending, so defeat was ensured. I figured I would at least try to make it a slight pain for them.

I was very wrong. Once the door came down, the keep was theirs in less than 30 seconds. My guess at their numbers was a full warband, give or take a few. They did not even break a sweat, as they just massed on the Keep Lord and took him down almost immediately. Victory was theirs as it should have been, but should it be so easy even with no player defense? This is Tier 4, yet the keeps are pushovers. I digress, that is the subject of a different post.

The real problem is there is no deterrent for players massing together in a small amount of space. The Keep Lords room is small, add in 30-40 players and it is just a mess. Even if you could render all that movement perfectly, it would be very difficult to target anyone in particular.

AoE is usually pretty easy for healers to keep up with. Oil is a great example. Often in a balanced keep fight, the Oil is being healed enough that it is tough to take down, as are the players using it. The attackers below are easily healed too. So the oil is just a delaying factor at best. My Engineers AoE, even after the patch, is easily kept up with with HoT's. Siege weapon damage is shrugged off too.

This is a difficult problem due to the ever popular Health Bar mechanic of RPG's. In the real world, 1 cannon shot could kill or maim a lot of people if they were all standing near where it hit. No instant healing for them. Friendly fire is also a factor that limits massive amounts of troops in a small space. I don't think that is even possible to implement here and it probably wouldn't be fun.

Fortresses just magnify these issues, as most players want to come help defend. Even if they get it working technically, I just don't feel it will be as epic as it sounds. 300 vs 300 sounds great, but when they are all bunched together, it is not.

Positive Note: 1.1 looks great, article about that soon.


I would say the most fun I have had is in smaller fights, like 20 vs 20, but I gotta say it's epic when you see a bunch of troops for both sides clash.

It is epic given enough space. When everyone is in a confined area or rolling in a big blob, not as much.

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