Fortresses, What Now?


Damn that’s pretty.

Changes are coming to Forts… eventually. Supposedly it’s going to be “…cool. Trust me.” according to the Producers Letter and Jeff Skalski. Of course, as is my habit, I jabber on to my guildies more than I probably should about things that could have been. Forts have me twisting in ten different directions. Okay, maybe not ten, but at least three.

First, we have the concept of a Fort being the premier stage for hosting an army. The smartasses at WAR have hinted at Forts being something important when it comes to Realm Pride. I love their little hints, it gives me visions of strangulation and face stomping. Ergo, I would like to see forts become smaller versions of RvR centric cities. Cities that your enemy, if they so choose, could break down the doors and interrupt your flagrant AFK’ing with bloody hamfists of punching. Well that’s the violent side of it anyway. Take the RvR gear Quartermasters and toss em all in here, and have a new set of merchants sell race specific gear as well. There’s a good incentive to stop by and visit, no? Okay, well at least once every couple of levels.

So how would this affect RvR? Well, with the decoupling of the Forts for a City Siege it might make a reasonable difference. You’d still need to go THROUGH the fort to get at the city, but if there’s a preloaded defense you might think twice about that. No, you wouldn’t need to go inside, leaving that door and AoE fest to itself, but just getting around might prove difficult, let alone trying to respawn and run back if you drop in the rush. Of course, once invaders hit the city walls proper, you’d still need to cut off any flightmasters. Then again, what fun is fight masters? I say a summoning room, where you can call guild or alliance members, and/or put the Rally Call into the players hands. Seriously Mythic, you said you were going to do something with that. It’s still dumb. Let us play with it for a while.

If you’ve read my post on the Dogs of War you might be putting together the OTHER cool thing that Forts would house, the mercenary faction (cross your fingers and pray). You certainly wouldn’t want Skaven and Ogres running around your city proper when allegiances flip now would you? This new mini-city as a staging point for T4 RvR organization would be scabs better than what they are now. Sure, don’t make them necessary to flip for a city push, you’re still going to need to push through one to get to a city however. So that all is an interesting option, but I mention not one, but three!

Second, move the fortress out of the damn way a little bit. Make it be important for something else. Like… in-game arenas. I’m not talking about 1v1 dueling, we players can figure that out no problem. Been doing it for ages now (no thanks to you). Nay, I want to see 6v6, 12v12, and 24v24 fights to the death. A myriad of rulesets ranging from no-rez, no-buff, no-cc, naked, chicken, fisticuffs, racial pairings (i.e. DvG only), interference (random mob spawns), and murderball. Randomly generate matches, and allow people to flag themselves for Arena play. Same pop-up as scenarios except you would see the Fort and Ruleset in place of the Scenario name. Unlike scenarios, these would not reward renown (leaving the battling where it counts), and instead grant influence or tokens to buy arena gear. Yeah yeah, this sounds familiar, but it worked dammit! Take it step further and have Arena Champions based on ladder style scoring. Arena gear, imo, should be somewhere between Conq and Invader in stats, but grant vanity effects as well. On top of this you could have winners of these matches get a slim chance at a Conq piece. Say 1 gold bag for winning a 6v6, and 4 for winning a 24v24. It’d take some luck and a ton of runs for that gear, but shouldn’t it be easier to get than Sentinel anyway? Annihilator is TONS easier to get then Bloodlord after all. Hell, with the new changes to the City Siege, Invader should be getting significantly easier as well.  Hey, you PvE’ers get cool new shit all the time. Can we killers out here catch a bone?

Now, you wouldn’t actually need to GO to the Fortress for any particular reason. Sure you COULD I suppose, but most people wouldn’t bother unless something like the first suggestion was in place. I’m fine with this. The game doesn’t hold enough people on any given server to really NEED to spread out any further. Once you start seeing 2-3k people on a server at once, it might outlive itself. I also wouldn’t expect Arena’s to be wildly important after the first couple weeks. As most things, they’ll fade over time. Initially, there should probably be a limit on Arena battles to go off once an hour and dependent on how many people want in. If there’s enough to run 24v24, then fire that one off. If there’s only enough for 6v6, so be it. Limiting it to once per hour would allow you to set the amount of base influence you could possibly earn regardless on the amount of players involved. Not good enough? Make it a 1 hour lockout timer then. This way you could approximate WHEN people will start getting Arena gear, and adjust around that however you need.

Third, if RvR cities and Arenas don’t do it for you than you’re probably looking for a little more PvE in your diet. This is fine, you can get some phat lewt out of PvE, and I’ve brought myself to doing it on plenty of occasions. I still think forts should be an RvR gated, warded, and invade-able instance however. So, when we get around to locking a zone, it stays that way for a couple hours. In this timespan, the fort should open up an instance allowing you to go after your Conqueror gear in a different way. Yeah, there’s already Sentinel gear for doing PvE in the safety of your own city… how else are we supposed to get Conq bags after the change?

I’m no genius when it comes to PvE, but it would need to be do-able within the 3 hour window you have when the Fort is contested. Maybe not all in the first try, but at least possible for those wearing Anni equivalent gear. 4 PQ’s taking about 20m each and one boss fight with the Fort Lord would probably do the trick. There’s enough room inside forts to run the grounds at different points and do the kill-kill-kill-loot-rinse-repeat. One PQ to drop boots/gloves/belt, then one for the shoulders, helm, and chest. Then dropping the Lord granting 3 repairable BoP Conq pieces or some sort of rare weapons. The rare weapons would at least keep people coming back, not to mention the elusive purple fort bags. Oh yea, while each PQ might only have a single Gold Bag, they should also be dropping that blue and purple bag from time to time.

Right? So am I crazy yet again? Would you believe I was going to use this post to rant about factions as well? I have to stop myself sometimes though. I’ve been pent up working things out in my head so much that I haven’t even mentioned the new promotional thing I wanted to start doing. Well I certainly don’t have time for that now! I’ll have at least another post about Factions and RvR before I get back to that little nibblet.

Oh, and apparently they did more server merges. Darklands and Ironclaw get the boot. woo.

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8 thoughts on “Fortresses, What Now?

  1. I think they need to give people reasons to be at a Keep or Fortress, even if no fighting is happening there. Keeps or Forts should be hubs of activity. Right now they are boring, empty and lifeless heaps of polygons that no one cares about except for VPs or the Zone Domination timer.

  2. I think there can be a couple more uses for forts.For example, a Relic Raid – allow a relic for each fort, allow the opposite realm to steal it and get it back to their own fort at any time. A whole new RvR endgame without too much work.

  3. Radishlaw beat me to it – relic raids are perhaps the huge, huge elephant in the room that haven't been added from DAoC yet – and fortresses are the perfect opportunity to put them in. The relic system would be a welcome addition and side benefit.

  4. The only issue I would have with Relic Raiding is that it simply makes the strong faction that much stronger. It could be done, and it would certainly make things interesting, but there's no way to guarantee that it's going to be defended to any degree. Maybe they'll put that Rally Call button into effect for Fort attacks.Anyway, my next post will be focused on how to get these underpowered Factions some love. Hopefully.I worry about these producers man. They said LotD was going to be "really cool." as well. D=

  5. But it's really cool in concept. The implementation just can't keep up.In fact it's like that for most of WAR. I do wish they can descend a bit more down from their "grand vision".

  6. Really neat ideas! Where'd you get the cool image?Forts as they stand now, are just bigger Keep sieges. You smash down the outer door — rather quickly IMO for what should be a much sturdier door than those on a keep. Then you knock down the second door, run upstairs and kill the Lord. Sure, it's bigger than a regular Keep and the Lord is a much much tougher, but same concept only with the potential for getting Conqueror instead of Annihilator.I'm guessing Mythic envisioned massive battles happening outside of Forts. But system lag has prevented this, thus the cap. They continue to improve performance — albeit not as quickly as we'd all like — so as they do that in conjunction with perhaps making each Fort their own zone, it would allow more players to take part and we'd have some epic battles.Once inside there is a ton of real estate — wasted real estate IMO. There are buildings, all sorts of hiding places, strategic obstacles, etc. I can only recall two Fort sieges/defenses where any of the space was used. All that ever happens is the defenders line the outer wall while the attackers beat on the door. As the door gets close to crumbling, everyone retreats inside the Fort itself. The attackers attack the door while the defenders stay inside. Then when that door falls a tank wall sets up and there's a fight. Pretty boring. I just spent how much time in Tiers 2-4 doing this very thing on Keeps … why would doing this on a bigger version be more "fun"?I like your train of thought and was pondering some things myself. What if not everyone needed to rush up and kill the Lord? What if there were strategic BOs inside the grounds of the Fort that had purpose. Holding them gave defenders more NPCs, buffs, traps, defensive siege weapons, etc. And in turn attackers taking them would stop the spawning of NPCs, they get the buff, they get cool attack siege weapons. Holding these is key to taking the fort — just like trying to flip a zone. The final piece would be killing the Lord. Successful attackers get Conq gear and successful defense yields same to them. Not sure if I'd use a timer for this but if not they could last forever, conceivably. Having these multiple BOs/taks to take care of would get everyone involved and add some variety to trying to take/defend a Fort. "You know, I don't want to rush the Lord's Room." Fine, go take the munitions BO and stop the flow of weapons to defenders.Just like today the pot of goodness needs to be stacked so there's an incentive to take part. People complain about gear, etc. but in the end, is simply PvPing enough a reward to take part? So having incentives to come attack or defend would be key. I'd like to see each Fort be unique beyond appearance. For example, in trying to take down Butcher's Pass, one key BO being held unleashes wave after wave of NPC squigs. I wouldn't make them overly powerful but enough that you can't ignore them. Perhaps each could have randomized events that occur. While attacking the Maw, all of a sudden a vortex opens and daemons fly out. Or at Stonewatch a group of Dwarf Engineers roll a bomb off the top level to disperse attackers. These wouldn't happen all the time but randomly and varied enough to keep players on their toes. PvE can suck because once it's figured out, it's easily beaten again and again.As we've learned from the old city siege, too much PvE can be bad, so I'd want this to be a good mix of both PvE and PvP leaning more towards the PvE.

  7. That's one hell of a comment there Krosuss! Always good to see new people dropping thoughts in here.The images are straight from warhammeronline.com. They're some of the concept shots of the keeps. I'd link the page, but honestly I just googled for "warhammer fort" and found them pretty quickly. I kinda wish the in-game forts had this many layers with Boss-locked doors on the inside, so attackers would really have to work their way through. Instead of having all the outside room, I'd prefer a larger internal filled with corridors, open areas, traps, and choke points that defenders could weave in and out of while holding off the attackers. Multiple points where the attacking party would need to stop and fight a boss, while defenders dart in and out, would have really added to some sort of dynamic feel.Heh, I had more ideas than just these three, but I try to hold back a little bit. Wall-o-text can be quite deadly.Thanks for reading!

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