Thursday, November 19, 2009

Open the Gates

When the Land of the Dead was released, it required many more resources in order to open it to your realm.  The only practical way to do it was to flip two zones.  Not too long ago, they lowered the amounts so turn-ins were more meaningful.  Now, in combination with the frequency of city sieges,  control of the zone changes hands pretty regularly.

With control of the Land of the Dead changing nearly immediately after it unlocks, I have been wondering the the gated aspect is necessary.  There are a few reasons why the zone is gated.  One is to provide incentive for realms to fight and capture zones back in the Old World.  Another is to give the weaker realm a chance to get stuff done.

There is actually a lot to do down in Zandri for all group sizes.  Solo you can go farm some mobs and get scarabs and souls.  Small groups can take on a few of the PQ's.  Full parties can do the Lairs and the Tomb of the Vulture Lord.

Of course, the Land of the Dead is also a RvR zone.  Due to its gated nature, once an enemy dies they will resurrect back in the Old World.  Some crafty groups hide out so they can catch their unsuspecting enemies off guard. The RvR here tends to die out pretty quickly though.

What would happen if the gated aspect was removed and players could go to the zone at any time?  Running the lairs and dungeon would be a bit more interesting.  At any time your enemies could enter and get the jump on you. I think it would be a lot more exciting with the constant threat.

Small group content is one area WAR needs to improve on.  There is just no reason to go into the RvR lakes solo or with a friend.  The LotD would give something for people to do if they don't want to run in larger groups.

There may be downsides to a gate-less LotD.  Underpowered realms may be effectively shut out of the zone if there is a large enough enemy presence.  If the population disparity is large enough, they may be able to hold the LotD and still advance to the city.  That would be bad.

I think removing the gated nature of the Land of the Dead is something worth exploring.  The zone still gets use, but without the gate it will likely see a lot more RvR.