Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Defend your Keep

One of the features Mythic is working on for the 1.4.4 patch is adding incentive for defending your realms keeps.  Prior to 1.4, players in the vicinity of the keep received defensive ticks consisting of renown and tokens.  With the arrival of the new campaign, these ticks were removed.

Getting people to defend their keep is a tricky problem.  Let's put aside the fact that the campaign rewards letting your enemy capture the city.  I'd love for that to change, but I think it is beyond the scope of this patch.  That means we really just want to motivate people to try and defend their keep.

In my experience, there are basically three modes to the RvR campaign which all depend on the time of day.  Order dominates some of the day, Destruction dominates another part of the day and then there is the time when they overlap.

If one side has a significant population advantage, defending the keep becomes a pointless activity.  You may not even be able to dent the opposing healing.  Beyond buffing siege equipment based on Against all Odds, I'm not sure there is really anything that can solve this.  Even if add importance to holding the Battlefield Objectives, it still may not overcome the population disparity.

Then there is the sweet spot when the power shift is occurring.  This is the time when the sides are much more even.  Still, one side usually has an advantage.  I think here is where some changes can be made to mobilize defenders.

Do you just come up with a way to throw rewards at the defenders?  I was thinking accomplishing certain objectives could add renown to the global pool payed out when the zone is captured.  The longer the defenders can hold out, the more renown they will get at the end.  One problem might be defenders getting rewarded more than those who captured the zone.   Also, it may encourage play in empty zones.

Another way to go about it would be to make it easier for defenders to hold the zone.  Battlefield Objectives could be made more important, forcing the attackers to always be concerned about their status.  It would also spread players around the zone encouraging smaller scale fights.  Again, this may encourage going to zones where there are no attackers.

If successful, more keep defense will mean a slower campaign and less city sieges.  That would be a huge boon for me, as I really dislike going to the city.  I'd much rather be fighting in the zones (or scenarios) all the time.  The 1.4.4 patch is due to be released in August, so hopefully we will start to hear what Mythic has planned soon.