In a recent forum post, Mark Jacobs talked a little about what we can expect from fortresses in the future. If you didn't know, fortress battles are plagued by stability and performance issues. The first step in fixing the problem was to put a population cap on the fortress area. This has most definitely helped the above issues. This was just the first step though.
The most interesting part of his post is that he mentions they will be looking at moving the fortress to its own zone. Lets start with the possible drawbacks:
- Loading Screen. This is more of an inconvenience than anything. I would gladly take a loading screen for a fun experience.
- More Players. Yes, this is a drawback unless they change the way fortress battles work. Stuffing 100's of people in a small room is not fun.
- Bigger. Everything about the fortress area should be at least 3 times as big. This goes for the zone, the fortress and especially the inner keep and lord room. Bigger is better when you have 100's of players fighting it out.
- Objectives. I would like to think that Mark was hinting at fortress objectives in his post. Since the whole fortress area is at least 3 times as big, there is now room for objectives that can be captured. This is going to be difficult though. The purpose here is to split up the offensive and defensive zergs, what we don't want is for the whole blob to move as one to take these, and then the lord.
- Inner Keep. Since the Inner Keep could be much bigger now, there can be more that one way to get up to the fortress lords room. Again, we need to be careful that we don't just split the defenders. Choke points are the defenders advantage, so now we can have more than one and not necessarily right before the lord.
- Better Siege. DAoC has it and even WoW does, breakable walls. I don't think this is very likely anytime soon, but one can hope. In any case, siege equipment needs to be improved. My AoE should not be more effective than a siege weapon.