[Implementation Feedback] RvR design

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Azarael
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[Implementation Feedback] RvR design

Post#1 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:21 pm

This topic will now serve as the hub for all feedback and discussion of RvR design iterations. It is for supported analysis of the flow and design issues with the RvR system as it is refined.

The gameplay and balance forum rules are in full effect here. This topic will thus be devoid of the following:

- Restating of debunked points
- Unsupported opinion
- Requests to rollback (will be deleted on sight)

Simply put - I want to know what isn't working, why it isn't working (with a complete and solid analysis) and what can be done to rectify it.

Changelog topics are no longer appropriate for discussion of RvR.

A natural first point to handle in this discussion is the effect on zerging. I have had contrasting feedback - some have claimed that the zerging is worse, while others have stated that their forces have been spread too thinly by the system to be able to take a keep. I would like to know which of these viewpoints is true, and why, before making another move.

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dur3al
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Re: RvR design

Post#2 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:28 pm

I'm quoting myself from Changelog 02/11 thread, where I've explained why these new systems will still not work:
dur3al wrote:
Azarael wrote:The cannon changes should be taken only as one half of the whole. They were intended to be a fallback for any failure on my part, mechanics-wise, to split players up through BOs and supply returning. I've adjusted the lock timer mechanics further to this end.
Currently I think no matter how much you try, you'll not be able to completely disperse players throughout BOs and, in a manner of speaking, break the zerg.

Because its not about game mechanics. People will follow other people and try to use them as meat-shields/diversion - no matter which open oRvR game or mechanic is in place. Its about effectiveness in being able to succeed in killing someone.. so unless you roll a fully solo build, or very good risk/reward class, such as a range dps (currently), or stealth-er burst class, you will follow a zerg in order to be able to kill something and fulfill your role.

If I had to suggest something to help into breaking this, the only thing that comes to mind is if you needed to capture & hold an amount of BOs simultaneously in order to give big rewards - forcing group of players to split up to achieve an objective.

So in an example lets say you've 4 BOs and you need to capture and hold all of them in a window of 2 minutes (estimate, to give some window for reinforcements to arrive), and you've 4 warbands worth of players in one side, and 2 warbands on the other side.

For the high population side, ideally they'd put 1 warband to capture/hold each one BO.
- The counter-play for the less populated side is that they can send their 2 warbands to one of the BOs - and prevent that being captured/held by effectively outnumbering their opponent.
- The counter-counter-play for the high population side is splitting their numbers even more by having half-warband defending each BO, while the rest will roam between in order to try and assist the BO being attacked as quickly as possible, failure in doing so, will see that BO's defenders wiped and the BO lost/locked, now having to wait a certain time until they can do so again - also giving the less populated side more opportunities to repeat their strategy in another BO all the while benefiting from AAO.
- The counter-counter-counter-play for the low population side is splitting their warbands in 2, attacking 2 BOs at the same time increasing their odds for success, or making half a warband attack somewhere as a diversion (or having their best players in it) while the rest effectively attack the unsuspected BO.
- Etc.

This way I think you'd be satisfying everyone:
- The people who enjoy rolling in organized guild warbands, since they'll more often find fights with equal guilds.
- To the guys who enjoy playing solo and rolling with a pug organized warband still feeling very important in accomplishing the objective while communicating with the other warbands and will most likely meet equal opposition.
- There will be plenty opportunities for ganking in a 6 man or less (& solo) as I explained above the higher population side requires to split up quite a lot in order to succeed. While the gankers and 6 man groups from the zerging side can be on the roaming duty effectively killing off the low population side once they hit an BO.
- A kite group (pretty much 9 out of 10 premades out here) will be useful since they're the perfect decoy in attracting attention while some other group is pushing for a BO, they'll feel like they're not only farming kills but participating into the oRvR to their faction, if the opposition defending the BO gets to thin by sending people to another BO, they could actually wipe them and take the BO themselves being even more effective to their realm and reaping the rewards from the BO itself.

If anything i'd leave Keeps out of the equation as a sort of super difficult objective, which is the spawn for everyone in the zone (and can probably have a sort-of portal where all the players from the low population side can go to to defend) which is not involved in the zone locking/rewarding system but if the high populated side still wants to give it a go for some other reason (rewarding very high amount of rp/inf/medallions/titles/cosmetics) they're free to do it at their own peril facing risky cannon/pve odds.
This to me also adds a different flavor to oRvR, imagine back in the day in World of Warcraft that you had your huge cities but you couldn't attack it (off PvP), but in this case you have this super difficult place that if you are strong enough (zergy enough) you can actually take it, but not being part of the general zone locking system reward etc.
So now you can actually boost the defenders ability to defend by a lot, giving the underdog side the help they require when facing higher odds, without being afraid to lock the oRvR into that single spot while also not punishing and keeping the higher population side from their rewards.

So now you've tackled a couple oRvR issues:
- Range being a monster in keep fights.
- Funneling doors.
- Zerg.
- Making BOs meaningful and effectively force oRvR to be about the zone, not about the keep.
- During low population times, people will still be able to lock zones (even if there is no fighting to be had) - these people shouldn't be punished and should still find a way to progress, even if less due low contribution from kills for e.g..
- Promote communication (promote friendship and encourage people to talk with each other), as I showed in the example above, communication will be key in taking a zone, people will even go in as scouts to see enemy movement (promoting splitting).
- Promote realm pride.
- People will make use of the entirety of the terrain to their advantage, groups will even more often use PvE routes to reach BOs unsuspected.
- Fighting all around, as WAR should be, all the while having niche play-styles such as certain groups preferring to fight/defend certain BOs that its terrain friendly with their play style.
- In my opinion, you'll also address cross-realm in a sense, let me explain:
Its about trying to create a 50/50% fight scenario, even if the populations are 150/50, while having good rewards in taking/defending BOs instead of only in the final zone capture.
While the less populated side in this system will hardly ever be able to lock a zone, they'll still get their reward from attacking BOs, and if they frustrate the high population long enough, what will happen (what always happens in RoR) is that people will start changing sides, but as in the example, high population don't bring that huge advantage, and when population shifts, the impact won't be so big as it is now.
- No snowballing with higher numbers into the objectives.

Of course this is an example and I haven't thought about many side effects that i'd be happy to think over if people indulged me, but yeah.. that's how I would like to see oRvR.
Tl;dr is if you have a system where you can snow-ball zerg into a final objective the problem remains and will always remain, especially when Keep fights are so hard to balance around (funnels/rangedps/artillery/engis/magus/etc..).

If anything that promote group play is the old VP system where you must have good groups winning scenarios while also having warbands fighting in oRvR to accumulate points. That, if you ask me, was the best system you had and built a lot of realm pride.

-/-

If I could suggest also how I would envision oRvR for this game, I'll do something like this:
- Remove PQs from T4 zones, make the whole map an oRvR zone;
- Transform some PQs into BOs, and have champ guards and so on to defend them on your side;
- Force all the fights in one map (as currently is);
- To lock a zone you'd need x amount of BOs, or randomly picked BOs (some more difficult, some medium & easy) each time a map is open;
- Keeps are some sort of fort which is not necessary for taking a zone, a spawn point for your faction or something;

You've made oRvR awesome again and fixed quite a lot of complains about the system:
- Posterns close to warcamps
- Warcamp spawning
- Keep fights
- Zerging
- Spreading Zerg
- Making use of awesome build pve details
- Promote spreading, organization and communication

Etc
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Theseus
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Re: RvR design

Post#3 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:00 pm

To the point of zerging or the numbers are being to low:
I think the main problem is, when does the player who say so play? I play mostly on primetime and there are a lot of people. If you are solo and try to get to your wb, you can almost guarantee that you get ganked by a enemy wb. Zerging is, also due to the one zone rule, very massive on the well populated times. ( I see where you coming from with that one zone rule, and support it by the way). But I also played at times of one ort two am servertime. At these low populated times, it is very hard to find enough players to guard bos and the resource carriers and attack a keep at the same time. That is due to the fact, that the attackers need much more players to uphold ther zone dominance and and to get the supplies to hold the keep on a ramm sustaining rank as the defender needs to interrupt these operations. That much can a 6 man group do. And if the attacker takes off men from the keep to hunt them, other organized groups can whipe the rest before the keep and the ram. Or in short, you made a system which is quite realistic, where you need twice the attackers than defenders to take a keep, and it seems that the less populated timezones cant support it.

That is in my point of view, why you get so different information.They are both true under differen conditions.

But I dont have a really good idea how to fix it, only kind of a dynamic system, that makes it easier to get rams the less people the attacking realm has. But I dont think thats a good solution, only the single one I can think of right of the bag.
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Azarael
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Re: RvR design

Post#4 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:47 pm

@dur3al: Your system has two major flaws:

1) You present the example of 2 warbands versus 4. This is all well and good, but a system has to be designed around balanced numbers. In the case of 4 warbands versus 4, you will never, ever accomplish that objective, because my side will zerg one of the points to spite you, and suddenly the game has resolved to zerg versus zerg again.

2) One complaint about the earliest iterations of the RvR system, in which you lost a keep to as few as 4 cannons because of failure to context the map, was that the fun in keep sieges was gone. From what I'm reading here, your proposition mostly dispenses with the idea of a keep siege. That will not be well-received as they are a major part of the system.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Regarding the current RvR system: I think I made a serious error in the way I nerfed the cannons and artillery.

The basic principles of the RvR system were simple: a zerg would be able to contest one point efficiently while ceding the rest of the map, in which case the side which was splitting would return resources to have a rank advantage and use cannons and artillery to destroy the zerg.

dur3al and others have made the point (which I disagree with) that it is not possible to stop zerg. It is possible to stop zerg. The reason people zerg is because, as dur3al said, it is a dominant strategy: safety in numbers. The only way to break that strategy is to present a counter strategy which makes massing unviable, and that was what artillery and cannons did. It was exactly the same thing on real-life battlefields, which is where the idea came from.

The problems with my initial versions of that approach were:

- Too many cannons. The caps were way too high and so the battlefield was flooded with them - Cannonhammer.

- Punished all players instead of just zerg. The cannons and artillery were modelled on the likes of Dawn of War's Whirlwind and Company of Heroes' machine guns and artillery. They were supposed to be utterly, utterly unfair and disruptive against zerg, so that two or three groups with an artillery piece each could blow holes in any realm that decided to zerg while denying that zerg the ability to even fight - and they were. The problem was that the check wasn't isolated to zerg, and the cannons were just as effective against warbands and even groups if the players were clustered enough, which leads to the next point...

- Helped the zerg, even against a realm with AAO. The zerg used cannons to destroy smaller warbands and groups, which led to map control, which led to more cannons, which led to the kind of positive feedback loop that destroys a design.

- Not linked to rank. Massed cannons and artillery at the keep would continue to be effective regardless of how many ranks the keep lost.

1) and 4) were solved. 2) and 3) were solved at the cost of ruining the cannons' viability and ruthless destruction of zergs. Now we see the hole in the design. It was expected that artillery and cannons would be carried, not with the intent of being dominant weapons, but as a check against being zerged. Now, no one cares about them outside of a keep and they don't do enough damage (800) against a zerg to fulfil their design intent.

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Tesq
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Re: RvR design

Post#5 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:13 pm

-there is another problem which i made surf in other rvr balance thread in the past, there are some zone due the map have all flags close to each other.
You can split the zerg here because they need to stay in the middle and they have fast acces to 3/4 flag like TM/DW.

-there are a series of numberous problem which do not relate to the supply system x se but more around the zerg interation with the system

the outnumbered side cannot dictate the flow of the rvr becuase once the zerg is at the keep every chance to reach the keep is **** by the zerg so you cant drop supply for exemple in most keep. when the siege is started you are screw that's why some ppl feel the need again of the flag rule be introduced again, that kept in check the zerg by split it force fully between keep and flag.

-another problem is linked that the supply system is linked only to sieges, that's make the system incomplete-> it need to be linked directly to the balance of the fights inside the rvr lake not only to sieges and of course it need to scale with aao.

when you are anyway way too much outnumbered like 300% aao is worthless try to fight back dosen't matter if you spread , they have enough number to patrol the zone and also keep siege with no problem.

Suggestion:

-resource direction: they should go towards the WC
--> this fix the linearity of the route of siegess stuff which is the same of attackers and defenders movement around keep introducind a second line of movement and it prevent siegers to block the supply line just by zerg keep

-patrol system from live back and improved: a npc faction (mercenerary--skaven for destru/ogre for order )need to be introduced which help the zerg side recapping flags (even locked one) by a continuosly stream of mobs that keep go to the flags force ppl to defend the flags and help the zerged side to breakthought. This should be active and only pop after the x % of aao (they also need to scout around wc).

-the previously point would be useless if the flags would not dictate a stop to the sieges so we need the 3 flag rule back made it scale with the aao and keep also in account that there is the patrol system.

-alternatively to the flag rule, supply/flags themself can dictated a damage etc debuff which force zerg faction to take back flags,
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Re: RvR design

Post#6 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:14 pm

a few points,

could towing siege be the root of all evil here? discuss guys.

After playing with it, i first tried to look at it positivly as a change up in strategy. but after time with it i think cannons should be at keeps. moving everything around did seem cool to me personally at first, but in action its a nightmare. the method you had going with dropping them before is still a much better option. not perfect but it stops some of the cheesing or the pads like live but im asuming they cant be used.

in regards to zerging, this ^ could be why you are hearing alot about zergs being more powerful aza. also i think you are hearing fluctuating feedback based on the times the player is active. this is usually the case I imagine, so its important to try and see the big picture.

I think the sieging element of this game has always been a problem, its a necessary evil, thats how most players feel about it. so trying to make it better is tough. the old way was pretty bad, but gameable. and thats what most players are looking for especially the solo ones (these guys whine). the changes you have added make it a lot more engaging yes, but also tiresome. towing cannons, towing the ram, moving supply - if these things are destroyed its back to the keep. the cannons can be destroyed before they get shots off. i know this has been changed but stuff like that is just poison in the game. i am a patient indivdual, but i have seen many give up on this stage. and at this stage the fight has not even begun. if these things were npcs (not asking for this) and they had to be defended or something, the game would be a lot more friendly. but thats not going to happen. this is warhammer online, an ancient dead being that is hard to get to grips with in all ways, mechanics included! you should put less emphasis on its weakest parts.

Edit: didnt see your post aza. I think lowering the amount of cannons probably fixes most of the issues, perhaps increase their power again once you take the numbers down.

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dur3al
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Re: RvR design

Post#7 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:29 pm

Azarael wrote:@dur3al: Your system has two major flaws:

1) You present the example of 2 warbands versus 4. This is all well and good, but a system has to be designed around balanced numbers. In the case of 4 warbands versus 4, you will never, ever accomplish that objective, because my side will zerg one of the points to spite you, and suddenly the game has resolved to zerg versus zerg again.
I would 100% prefer to have balanced fights across all the map all the time. That is what WAR is supposed to be no? Isn't that what we are striving? You'd still reap rewards (currency) for taking/defending BOs and most people would actually focus on the actual fighting instead of keep.

Besides in a balanced environment by splitting forces throughout the zone you'd still have organized guilds/groups beating the unorganized ones as you'd be able to progress in the zone by organization, skill, itemization, strategy instead of numbers.

If the outnumbered side had a really good warband guild always successfully defending his BO and preventing the zone to be taken, you could send the similarly good guilds to deal with it, or send more forces to it.. again it would promote communication, scouting, realm pride etc.
Azarael wrote: 2) One complaint about the earliest iterations of the RvR system, in which you lost a keep to as few as 4 cannons because of failure to context the map, was that the fun in keep sieges was gone. From what I'm reading here, your proposition mostly dispenses with the idea of a keep siege. That will not be well-received as they are a major part of the system.
How can Keep fights be fun to anyone still?
- It causes massive lag to everyone involved;
- It causes massive crashes to everyone involved;
- It is completely biased towards range dps and now artillery dps;
- Melee dps classes might as well go afk since they're useless (postern bypassing is useless).

In every WAR oRvR system keep fights were boring and not fun, unless you were in the very good group farming kills by the postern/walls - which was an undesired side effect since its also not fun to just have people run away from a fight and enter a door all the time. Or if you were part of the bombing warband who was funneling or breaking the funnel reaping most of the kills. Which also leaves most of the playerbase such as soloers and puggers not enjoying themselves.
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Azarael
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Re: RvR design

Post#8 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:31 pm

@Tesq: I agree with your analysis. I'll be reinstating WC returns, as they also existed on live, with suitable scalers. While I hear you on the flag control issue, I would like things to play organically (i.e. without resorting to outright preventing the door from being attacked if you don't control enough flags.) If the WC return becomes viable, it will result in healing the keep door, accomplishing the same intent with a bit more logic.

@dur3al: I agree with your beliefs on both points. I much prefer RvR that is spread out and plays at the 12 man to warband level, and I can't stand zerg. I also heavily dislike the old keep sieges and I'm not convinced that the new ones are yet that much better, per se. You'd be preaching to the choir on both counts.

@Descent: I might get rid of the dismount immunity and speed reduction on towing siege.

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Tesq
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Re: RvR design

Post#9 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:39 pm

Ye i also dont like the siege block, but i have to admit it worked before. Of course similar solution can be found still i dont like hear about healing door the same way i dont like think about flags blocking the siege
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Stmichael1989
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Re: RvR design

Post#10 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:29 pm

If you want to break up the zerg, you're not going to accomplish it with only 2 keeps and 4 BO's. The map also has a lot to do with it. Though it's no fault of the devs, WAR's RvR maps are by and large terribly designed. Let me ask you, what do Eataine, Dragon Wake, Caledor, Reikland, Chaos Wastes, Thunder Mountain, and arguably Kadrin Valley all have in common? They're all incredibly linear battlefields with only a handful of large landmarks to differentiate it from a completely flat open battlefield. Some of them, like KV, Caledor, and TM, are even worse in that they actively funnel you into narrow channels. I would argue Praag is really the only truly well designed map in all of WAR. It has main roads that connect all the main points of interest, but it also has a lot of nooks and crannies that allow smaller groups to maneuver and avoid being immediately spotted by a zerg.

I say all that as a preface to a post I wrote a few months ago about diversifying RvR. I imagine this route would take no small amount of work to implement, but I believe it would go a LONG way to improve the overall health of the game and break up the relentless zerg mentality.
Stmichael1989 wrote: One of the key complaints about WAR throughout its life was just how repetitive and uninteresting RvR was, specifically keep sieges. The name doorhammer existed for a reason, and I think that stigma was one of the leading causes for the ultimate demise of WAR.

What I propose is that each individual zone have a separate rule set / game mode for victory. The standard keep siege would be only one of 9 zones, or possibly even reserved for fortresses. If your side captures a zone, the next one will be completely different.

And without further ado, I present the new zone rules.

Praag: All out WAR! Success is measured in blood, yours or your enemies. Take to the streets of Praag and slaughter all who stand in your way!

Each side starts with 1000 points. Each player death in the RvR lake costs 1 point. Capturing the BOs drains 1 point from your enemy every 15-30 seconds. The keep lord (in an open door keep) is worth 100.

Reikland: Spoils of WAR. Reikland, the heart of the Empire, is ripe for the pillaging! Drain the land dry, or secure your provisions to claim victory!

BOs, when captured, will periodically spawn resource carriers for your realm that will run toward either your warcamp or keep, whichever is closest. First side to 1000 wins. Raiding your enemies keep will allow you to steal 100 points from them.

Chaos Wastes: Favor of the Dark Gods. The Ruinous Powers flow strongly in the Chaos Wastes. Claim one of the marks of the Chaos Gods at the battle objectives and lay waste to your enemies!

One murderball spawns at each BO, which grants champion stats to the holder and 10 points per kill while holding it. Killing the mark holder grants 50 points. First to 1000 wins.

Dragonwake: The Champions Duel. The Phoenix King and the Witch King have selected their champions. Fight for their honor, and defend them at all costs!

One of each class will be promoted to a champion. Last one standing wins. Being out of combat or outside the range of a battle objective for 3 minutes will cause you to forfeit the champion buff.

Eataine: Capture the Flag. Elven Honor is at stake! Tear down the banners of the Elven Lords, or shame the Dark Elf Invaders.

Standard capture the flag. The flag is in the Lord's room of each keep (open doors again). Killing the carrier returns the flag to the Lord's room. Capture 3 times to win.

Caledor: Clash of the Titans. A Dragon Prince duels with a Beast Master and his Hydra! Slay the beast, and claim victory for your realm!

2 NPCs fight in the middle of the map, a Dragon Prince and a Hydra. They don't aggro to any other mob, and don't do any damage to each other. Capturing BOs spawns a group of NPCs that will ride to the middle and attack the opposing NPC, doing a good amount of damage to it. The NPCs have lots of health (Skaven boss levels) and take less damage from players.

Thunder Mountain: Under siege! Use your realms war machines and bring down your enemies keep!

Standard keep siege. Could also be the version where you need to capture BOs to get siege weapons.

Kadrin Valley: Blast them out! The enemy is heavily dug in. Secure the explosives in the area and deliver the payload to your enemies keep!

Bombs spawn at the battle objectives that can be picked up by either side (interruptible cast time to pick up). Cary the bomb to the enemy keep and plant it. First to 3-5 wins.

Black Crag: (Out of ideas for now, insert repeat here.)


To reiterate, this is not an all or nothing effort. I just came up with some ideas that may or may not be feasible. The ultimate objective is a fun and dynamic RvR campaign, and I believe this along with a force equalizer in open RvR will go a long way to producing the game that WAR should have been.
Combining such a system with a more robust AAO/Bolster system that helps even the odds would put the game, I think, within tweaking distance of a lasting, balanced solution.
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