Moo Tang Clan: PvE battlegrounds?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

PvE battlegrounds?

Alterac Valley has been criticised because of it's PvE content - it's possible to win the battle by completely avoiding the enemy players. Nonetheless, it is still fun - it's a chaotic scramble towards some goal, and where else can you get 39 other players in one place at the same time?

Organising a 40-toon raid into old world instances is a monumentally frustrating task. Queuing up for a a 40-toon raid into Alterac Valley however is rediculously easy by comparison. Rewards from 40-toon raids are a hit and miss affair, depending on your luck, while rewards from PvP battlegrounds simply requires persistence in accumulating honor and badges.

So here's my idea - roll out a PvE instance with the PvP battleground queuing infrastructure. The instance should require 30-40 players, so there isn't such a strong demand for the perfect group makeup like in 5-10 player instances.

Tuning the difficulty would be tricky because the queuing system throws together all manner of classes and skill levels, and most of the players won't be familiar with each other so teamwork would be minimal. Well, tuning the difficulty would be tricky if you have to cater for the possibility of a perfectly well-balanced pre-formed raid hitting the instance ... so disallow that. Maybe allow groups of up to 5 to queue as a group, but no more than that.

Design the instance to reward chaotic interaction, swift action, and momentum. Provide multiple avenues for action to further splinter the zerg - defend, assault, capture, gather, etc. Provide various quests within the instance to ensure at least some players will go off their own ways. Design in some random AI - maybe the mobs will be in a defensive mood today, or maybe they're in an attacking mood .. and maybe they'll switch half way. Who knows.

Loot distribution can't be anything like regular PvE environments of course. Provide reputation gains, gold, and badges/tokens .. but be sure to tie them to specific activities which the player must be in proximity to in order to qualify for (to avoid the AFK issue).

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