Yanno, it figures the blog goes quiet for a week and I manage to randomly pick up another 30 readers on feedburner. Well have no fear! I haven’t actually disappeared (something you’d note if yer following me on twitter), just collecting thoughts and working on a couple other RL things.
I think the big feeling is resignation. The fate of the game isn’t really in danger with the removal of scenarios. There’s enough goodies stuffed into 1.3.4 that people will do a /meh and roll along with the punches. Some will get excited that they can play different scenarios in T4 for a while, but it’ll fade over time. I guess that’s kinda the idea though, nothing stays new forever and when something is changed people just get used to it.
It’s not like they’re getting rid of Scenarios entirely. Just killing most of them because they sucked in various ways. Of course, we’re gonna get a scenario every weekend as well but that to me kinda feels like the onset of something else. Like, daily quests in WoW, but on a weekend-only basis. “Do the weekend warfront 50 times and get some candy” kind of deal. I can’t really say it’s a bad thing in theory, keeps people coming back for more candy.
Execution is one thing, but how it’s actually going to play out really isn’t going to differ. Premades are going to come out in force to get their candy. Pugs are going to come out as well to try and earn their own. The epic facerolling will begin Friday and end Monday morning. Does anyone see this coming? NOTHING was done to alleviate what players were really concerned about when it came to Scenarios. Yeah, everyone gets to play their all-time favorites again, but is it going to be worth it for lower RR players or pug groups? Is it really going to be worth it for premades that earn piddly amounts of renown for rolling these pugs over and over again? Scenario will start, premade will wipe the pug, spawncamp ensues, pugs leave the scenario.
It’s still the same problem, and the wrong solution was offered up to make people happy. Granted, it’s working for now, in theory. There’s been a couple of viable options presented to combat this…
Full Group Queue and Solo Queue directing players into separate scenarios. (i.e. premade/pug seperation).
Premades aren’t necessarily full 6-man groups, this is going to separate the 2-3 man groups that enjoy doing SC’s together unless they pick up enough to fill out a 6-man. The reason you need to have 6 is simple logistics, all scenarios currently require 6 or 12. If you let anything less than 6 queue for a premade it’s going to kill the flow of scenarios as the system has to try to pick and choose what fits where. Much easier to have it grab 2 groups instead of trying to mash together any other combination of 2-5 players.
The bigger problem is when you have a solo queue going that manages to get imbalanced based on gear and RR. Have you ever been privy to rr30’s fighting a single rr80? Granted we’re talking about the extremes here, but the concept follows. A low RR player will be rewarded exceptionally well for killing a high RR player. Problem is, it’s really not going to happen. Gear-wise you have about a 30% discrepancy between 35rr and 75rr, there’s also going to be a stat discrepancy that I haven’t calculated yet but probably close to the same. The result is character vs character the average high RR player should never lose 1v1, and rarely 2v1. Take a skilled high RR player against 6 lower RR players, and he’d probably STILL win. Get three or four into a scenario that are unmatched and it’s pretty much over. Also, consider being the RR75 trying to get the last few hundred thousand renown to RR80. Killing lowbies, while deliciously entertaining, is hardly worth the time. You get what, 50rp’s for soloing a RR35? While being worth a few thousand RP to a group of lowbies?
The point I’m making here is that pug v premade only addresses part of the problem. Besides, a crafty bunch of players will solo queue for one scenario and have pretty good chances of getting into as a group anyway. The loopholes around the concept are staggering.
Tier 5 Scenario Bracket (RR55-RR80) and Tier 4 Scenario Bracket (R31-RR54)
Here’s the good stuff. Invader/DP/Tyrant is what I’ve commonly heard being the requirement for some of the best premade groups. Superior wards are a necessity for getting into Stage 2 City groups. It also happens to be the tipping point for renown when it comes to RR80, or close to it. I.E. every point of renown up to RR55 is only the halfway point to RR80. The game is reasonably matured, players above RR55 are plenty abundant on every server. The population for scenarios, while being slightly affected, would ultimately be much more rewarding for both sides of the line. This fits with the structure of the game leading into T4, you’re never separated by gear or level by an exorbitant amount. This ALSO fits in with the changes to the proposed scenarios structure as another 6 scenarios are easily available to be added to a T5 scenario set, reintroducing the variety that is being cut. Premades and pugs will still be effective, as they should IMO, but the challenge will be increased across the board as would the viability of winning any given scenario.
The downside would be another segmentation across the game, and elitists being elitists. T5 guilds will pop up requiring you to run a T5 scenario to gain entry. oRvR would be unaffected for the most part, although a T5 guild assembling would be a force to be reckoned with. Well, the downsides honestly are pretty weak. Players that would be angry about this include any number of gankers and griefers that enjoy spawncamping lowbies for kicks.
What about adding a new T5 zone? The forces of Order figure out a way to protect themselves from Chaos magic to enter the Realm of Chaos directly and seize a foothold. Only the strongest of champions can survive the process, gating off those lower than RR55, or doing perpetual damage to those not in Superior wards. Destruction, aided directly by the chaos gods, are sent into the Realm of Chaos as well, partially to the amusement of the Chaos Gods. Two zones with a Fortress holding each faction, and the most twisted and distorted battlefield you could possibly imagine to fight over. Control wouldn’t be over access to the Realm but the sources of Chaos magic throughout the realm granting a bonus to your allies in T4, but a penalty to the ones in T5…
Anyway, I’m going completely off track as it is. The point of the post was simply that the changes to scenarios and the carrots added to the game aren’t going to make playing them any more fair. There’s some cool stuff involved, but for the most part it’ll be the same way things are going now. Premades and high RR’s rolling over the carpet of pugs and lowbies. Spawncamping and griefing abound followed by people skipping out of sc’s, or at least finding a spot to afk until it’s over. The winners get the hoard of goodies, and the losers get their consolation prize.
1.3.4 is a wash for me. Just enough /meh to combat the remaining /meh. I’ll be eagerly looking forward to 1.3.5 in hopes of changes that make more of a difference.