Moo Tang Clan: zones in contention?

Monday, October 6, 2008

zones in contention?

Just a thought .. imagine if every zone in WoW that is "in contention" would only make PVE quests available if your faction controlled that zone at that time? No zone control, no PVE.

I predict huge raging world PVP battles, TM vs SS being the least of it, as it would be nigh impossible to level if you're locked out of the zone.

The mechanics would need to be carefully worked out of course, to compensate for realm population imbalances. The way I would do it would be by having a domination capture mechanic (like the Spirit Towers and Halaa) which would then result in a locked period. The locked period would run for X hours from the time of the capture, and after that it's available for recapture. This fixes the related population advantage problems with the Spirit Towers and Halaa - the former are on a scheduled timer so the population knows when to go there and dominate, and the latter has no lock out and thus will quickly be recaptured.

There are 30+ zones up for contention, so it would be difficult for a faction to dominate and control all of them at once. Nonetheless, it would be advisable to design in some bonus/advantage for the underdog factions - perhaps special new quests encouraging adventurers to go off to battle. Ideally, these should provide PVP oriented rewards - if one side is constantly the underdog, they will obtain advantages not available to the other faction, and the tables will turn. I think this PvP vs PvE teeter-totter balance would be key - dominating zones via PvP unlocks PvE content, being underdogs unlocks PvP content, and no vicious feedback loops of the dominant faction gaining ever more advantages.

Integrating this design into the current game would be messy of course – this is only a thought experiment after all. Perhaps only the quests in the major hubs would be locked out, and since these zones have a hub for each faction it's thus possible for three states to occur: alliance controls both hubs, horde controls both hubs, and each control one hub each. Controlling the enemy faction hub could also unlock additional quests. Ideally, those quests would be completely new content, and not simply re-skinned versions of the enemy faction quests.

Leveling an alt would be different each time, as which hubs are controlled as you level up could be different each time. At the least, you'd have additional PvP quests available. If your side controls the enemy faction base but not your own, that would make a very different journey.

Logging out in your local Inn wouldn't be safe though. Not sure what could be done there.

Update - some related posts:


Copra said...

That's a nice thought experiment. I think it would be only viable if the overall PvP in WoW was rehashed completely, making it not so much gear dependant and the zones objectives more level dependant. Somehow I can see with my minds eye that lv70 rogue dominating the low level zones...

Otherwise, I'd second to the idea, as long as it was done well and as long as it was taken care that it wouldn't turn into a gank fest.

Perhaps *cough*copying*cough*WAR*cough* would do the trick?

Garumoo said...

Hmm .. would a lv70 hang out in a zone already dominated by their faction when other zones are in contention and offer pvp quests and rewards? The ganking kind would, as they currently do now for no reward, but they'd still need to find targets which are flagged (and there won't be many enemy factions doing PVE there, by design).

If the enemy faction controls the zone, they wouldn't be able to single-handedly dominate and cap the zone, especially if there are NPCs about in the quest hub. There would also be lots of enemy players about, but they won't be flagged because they'll be taking advantage of the PVE quests being available.

I can imagine that one side organises a roving war band and cap multiple zones one after the other .. at first bad, but then there would be multiple targets available after the lockdowns come off, which makes defending those captures difficult because they don't know which one will be attacked first.

The problem I see with PVP/PVE in WoW and elsewhere is that the two activities splits the player population - one group do mostly PvP, the other group doing mostly PvE, and both hating to do the other .. the gap between the two ever widening. Then, on top of that, the strong of each type are rewarded and made stronger, splitting the PvE/PvP populations into an overclass and and underclass with an ever widening gap in the middleclass.

Providing incentives to flip-flop between PVE and PVP might well rebalance things, as well as mitigate the worst excesses/brokeness.

Copying WAR wouldn't be ideal because they also provide PVP rewards for PVP domination, further perpetuating the domination of the stronger side.

Copra said...

Just made a post on the copying, which Tobold and Syp already have been discussing. It's not about copying, but besting the copied one.

Anyhow, the locking period sounds exactly like the WAR city capture, where the timeframe to work the next level is ever smaller.

I would most definately like to see this in WoW, too, but it really would mean a lot of content revising and updating.

mental note: a subject for a post.