Ah, it’s finally here. The Land of the Dead, filled with glorious loot, tons of the “dry” undead, and lots of sand. Someone forgot to mention to hoardes of roving enemies and RvR. Seems more like short violent spurts of immediate wiping, or the occasional gank-squad-murder-party sprinkled in over a few hours at a time. There’s always traditional RvDoor now that the opposing faction is taken aback by their shinies, skeletons, and sand I suppose. Gotta love them doors, they’ll always be there for me at least.
Oh, does this strike any of you as a problem? It’ll work itself out eventually I suppose. LotD will go the way of Lost Vale as a mainly PvE area eventually. The grind to each others capital will resume at some point in the future. Maybe some of you are well on your way to normalization, and have freakishly become content with the Land of No Return. Run in, get your loot, watch your Capital get invaded, never go back. That’s about how I reacted to it. It’s really sad too, such a beautiful zone with SO MUCH DAMN POTENTIAL.
I’m not all gripe. I have some very interesting ideas that would make this work even better. First step, we have to look at why this zone worked so well in DAOC, as we all know it was spawned from it. The major contributing reason was a third faction. Well, we don’t have that… yet. However, since I’ve already covered the Dogs of War in my last post, so I’ll be going in a different direction entirely. Instead of making our freshly laid desert a mirror to something already done, mix it up a bit. Everyone loves a friendly game of MURDERBALL.
Step 1. Open the zone to all comers. This needs to be done, if only for the sake of keeping RvR in all areas viable. People won’t feel the impeding urge to rush to the flightmaster as SOON as it becomes available. When that happens it leaves the entire RvR battlefront WIDE open for the opposing forces to rape as they see fit. It’s depressing for the handful of people that play WAR to RvR. At very least it will get people back to the normal RvR grind without the feeling that you’re missing out on something unwillingly.
Step 2. Tweak your brand spanking new PQ’s to be the Dwarf vs Greenskin style CONTESTED PQ’s. Maybe not ALL of them, but the ones in the desert proper at VERY least. We’re all going to be fighting the same mobs most likely, but make a TON of them despawn as more enemies enter the PQ area. Change the Stage 1 to add a few RvR kills instead of entirely mobs. No enemies in the zone? No finishing the PQ. This would encouraging zerg-alicious enemies to fall back to their own PQ’s occasionally to attain more glyph-age and at least present the illusion the underpowered realm has a chance. Kinda. It would also deter mindless farming, present a reasonable excuse for greater rewards, and as was touted by the big cheese’s, promote moar RvR.
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Step 3. Add random RvR drop MURDERBALLS. Call them, oh I dunno, SOULS or something. Unlike your normal scenario balls, have no timer on them, and still give a sexy bonus. Let us toss them to each other as well, in case someone needs to log off. Also, have a set amount of balls in play at a time to prevent the whole realm from getting all hopped up on deliciously murder-y power. But wait there’s more! These aren’t just a handy killing tool, they’ll also fuel your very own, realm specific CASKET OF SOULS!
Step 4. Yeah, that thing. The crazy powerful Undead siege weapon that could wipe a battlefield in a round. Therein lies the dilemma for your standard player. Do you give up your uber-balls of RvR (or PvE i guess) pwnage? Or do you rush and fill up the casket and kick out the enemy realm via mass-death for that 30m lockout timer? Oh the choices make for such wonderful concepts. Yes, we get a fat burst of Renown/Xp for that. Just like Khaine’s Embrace when it flips. It’d be a good thing.
Step 5. There’s futher chaos to cause as well. Say your enemy has been taking the second option, and filling his casket with all the spare souls. Knock it over! Something along the lines of a Battle Objective would have four elite guards and a hero defending the casket at all times, throw in some extra trash mobs for fun (them scarabs love souls I tell ya), and it becomes an endeavor requiring at least 8-10 players, and a battlefield of chaos distracting the enemy realm!
Step 6. Souls are unstable leaky bastards. While we can keep them in our weapons to blast away the opposition with (they enjoy that), a simple uber-casket will probably still leak one or two every couple of minutes as they thirst for more killing and murdering. This allows further intrigue as players get lost in the chaotic battling to keep it ongoing for hours at a time. A serious effort should be needed to collect all the souls necessary, and the draining mechanic would add into this.
Step 7. Instance the whole damn thing. Yeah, like a city instance. 48v48, queue up for it like a scenario. Leave whenever you want. If things become unbalanced, knock out the player from an opposing realm that has been there the longest. Require 24 on each side queued at a time to start a new instance, and if the balance goes outside of a 6-man party, allow the overpowered side a chance to remove a party at will, with the longest standing players as a backup after 5 minutes. Even further beyond that, only allow a set number of instances running based on overall server population (god please balance levels/archtypes as well). As in, if you have 250 people online from the less populated realm, allow 20% of their numbers in at a time, and the higher populated realm to match them. This would open a single LotD instance for plundering. At 325 players online, a second instance could be started with 24v24, and more as the number online climbed. It’s a little tricky, but some good math, checks and balances could keep things evened out.
Pardon my wall of text. I just get worked up over things sometimes. Personally, I think this implementation would be a helluva lot more fun, even if only ONE idea was used…