Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Old Keep

On this weeks This Old Keep, we will strengthen up that rickety keep door so we can keep those unwelcome visitors out.

One surprise that the 1.2.1 patch is bringing is the Keep Upgrade system. I was under the impression that this would be in 1.3, so I was happy to hear it is coming sooner. Guilds who have claimed a keep will now be able to purchase improvements. These improvements take time to build, so they better hold onto the keep.

When I envisioned the system, I thought we would just be able to upgrade a couple things. Turns out there are 13 options, some with multiple levels. Hopefully this will provide a wide variety of different keep setups. Currently, keeps are all pretty much the same when you attack them, I hope this will make things a bit more dynamic.

The Door will be able to be strengthen via hit points, or repaired by wood purchased from a vendor. I expect these to be popular upgrades so long as they provide enough bang for the buck.

Also popular should be the guard improvement. You can hire more guards and promote them to Champion level. This should help against the smaller raid on your keep. It should also help with those pesky people sneaking in through the backdoor.

Two types of NPC's can be hired to help fight in the lower level of the inner keep. Both are AoE dealers, but one is damage and the other is healing. Combined with Champion level guards, will this encourage the fight to move to the lower level of the keep?

Powered by the skulls of your enemies, the Divine Altar Favor looks like the WAR equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction. It will take about 500 skulls to power and should do some serious damage to your would-be attackers.

One thing that does concern me is the economics involved. From the examples, we are looking at 300 gold a day to run a mid-ranked keep. I don't know what everyone's guild bank looks like, but this seems like a lot more than even large guilds bring in on a daily basis.

What does a guild really get for this high cost? AT first everyone will scramble for the keeps as a novelty. After a few days though, the cost will likely start to take it's toll. While making the keep tougher to take is good, I don't think it will provide enough incentive for a guild to fund. They need a personal stake in that keep.

One way to give accomplish this would be a purchasable game-wide buff for the guild members. For example, a 2% wounds increase, which has 5 levels up to 10%. This kind of bonus would give guilds something in return for spending large amounts of gold on that keep. Since it has levels, it would encourage the guild to want to hold it as long as possible.

I am very excited about the incoming Keep Upgrade system. I think it will make RvR more interesting, which is something WAR really needs at this point. Bring on 1.2.1!


Will some of these champion guards, be those spawned by the BOs? If they are, then wbs, will hopefully take the BOs 1st to reduce the amount of guards at the keep.

I know for a fact, that even after all these months we have just 400gp in the bank. But thats mainly down to having nothing to spend it on. We just increased out guild tax to 10%, and I used the /guildtithe 5% to add another 5% to what I contribute.

Relistically though, if we can only fund for a day or 2 and that wipes us out, then we will probably skip the whole guild keep upgrades situation.

The idea of closing down all the guilds in our alliance and just creating 1 massive guild has come up.....who knows, only time will tell..But it sounds like money will play a huge part in this..

After the initial novelty wears off, keep holding will probably end up being claimed to prevent zone captures and slow the war campaign.

The alter sounds interesting, although it will be interesting to see how it operates in practice. If it does too much damage to attackers then its arguably overpowered, if it doesn't do enough damage then its not worth purchasing and farming skulls for.

Champ guards are definitely a good buy for defenders, although if they respawn at the same rate as the normal guards they could be overpowering for smaller attack forces that don't quickly take the keep.

Overall its a step in the right direction, although I'd really like to see improvements to the siege weapon UIs and usability. Currently the Oil pots are the only siege with a decent UI.

The price doesn't sound preventative. I'm in a fairly large guild, but we also have a 60% tax rate. Honestly, I can't imagine being in a guild with less than a 40%, if I ran things, it'd be at 75%. There is no reason for personal acquiring of wealth in this game if you are in a good guild. A strong guild will have plenty of potion makers and talisman crafters to help gear you out if need be, and the money only comes from the coins you pick up directly from a corpse, NOT from your sales of items. I think our guild bank is sitting around 5k+ last I heard, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've checked it. 300 gold a day sounds fair, as long as it doesn't keep charging after we flip a zone, I'm just fine with it.

I just hope that renown, influence, and experience are increased appropriately for the warbands that lay siege to a heavily fortified keep.

I look forward to the changes, but my guild is far too small to be part of this sort of enterprise so I know the costs of such upkeep will never be a concern for us as we'll never claim a keep.

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