Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Let us find each other

Anyone who has played or read anything about WAR in the last few weeks knows that the game features moments of truly epic fun separated by long periods of intense boredom / grinding.

This has been blamed on the the far greater rewards from doing scenarios compared to "open world" content such as keep sieges and PQ's, which means that people focus mainly on competing in scenarios and so hardly ever see the more innovative side of WAR.

This is true, however it's not the only reason scenarios are dominating the gameplay. The other reason is that it's just much simpler to find people to play scenarios with thanks to the handy UI/pairing feature.

Take open RvR for example. Let's say you look at your map and see that an enemy keep is under attack, so you decide to go help. You have to march to a town 2-3 minutes from the nearest flight master. Once there, you're not guaranteed of
a) any PvP at all, since it's guarded by NPC's
b) any more than one ally to help you anyway, since other people who may want to keep siege have no idea how many other people want to keep siege. Sometimes even this one ally has nicked off by the time you get there.

What a waste of time! You go off back to scenarios or something. Five minutes later, unbeknownst to you enough other people accidentally wander past and form a group, and end up taking the keep. Sucks to be you don't it?

But it doesn't have to be like this. What if, like scenarios:

Every single group based activity in the game has a simple UI feature to aid grouping with every player on the server, regardless of their location, who might be interested in that activity.

My suggestion: Expand that little scenario button next to the minimap. When people click on it, they receive the following info:

Declare your interest in one of these activities to find other players to group with!

1) Scenarios
- UI box turns into current scenario options, works as current

2) Open RvR
- Players can choose any keep/node in any tier that they have visited before. Locations never visited, and those not able to be captured (due to changing hands recently) are grayed out. Locations that would result in "chickenification" have a chicken icon.
- Players can choose to form a group that will try to claim the objective.
- Alternately, players can choose "notify me" to be automatically invited when another group forms in this way and when an open group not formed this way begins the objective. A "join now or join later" dialogue box similar to the join scenario interface is given, in case people don't want to join the group right away.
- Players selecting the "notify me" option can specify how big they want the party to be before they're notified. Eg you might want to be notified only if there's more than 10 people signed up, or you might say blow it, notify if even one other person wants to play. If nobody has volunteered to form the party but your desired number of players is reached, the game asks you to form the party.
- Players don't have to click on every single option they're interested in being notified about. There are checkboxes so that you could, for example, join all in a particular tier, or all in the dwarf/greenskin pairing, or only keep sieges in tiers 3 and 4, or only tier 2 defense nodes, etc etc.
- Hovering over each location / "choose all" checkbox will tell you how many of your allies are queued up to do the same, and how many are already in a group doing the same thing (with right-click functionality to join existing groups).
- There is a separate tab for offense and defense. For defense, you can select to be notified when zero other people are in a group, which will give you a dialogue box the moment the objective comes under attack (again, regardless of which tier you're in).

3) Dungeons

4) PQ's

5) Regular Q's

- Rinse and repeat for all these from point 2. The general focus should be no matter where you are, no matter what you're doing, you can put your name down to get involved in whatever interests you. When enough players do the same, you'll know right away.

Please Mythic, I know there are other players online wanting to do the same things that I do. Help us find each other.


Thallian said...

you, sir, should work for Mythic

arbitrary said...

I think this is a great idea, honestly. They need to do something!

Melf_Himself said...

I'm sure Mythic have totally got me on their RSS feed, and I wait patiently by my inbox for an invitation from them :p

Anonymous said...

Some really good ideas to play around with here. I'm really concerned that if Mythic doesn't do something about the Open World RvR thing, keeps will remain for the most part empty except for Tier 4. The easy access and rewards of scenarios are really what's drawing players there and I think they need to shift that focus to Open World conflict.

Anonymous said...

Excellent ideas. Last night we had people in chat talking about something happening in T3. When they stopped doing scenarios and went there they found a) not sure who was leading the raid b) had trouble getting invited c)took so long to figure it out some bailed and went back to doing scenarios.

Frustrated someone decided to do a guild T3 and gathered the people. Nice idea but by the time they got down there someone else was already attacking that Keep. Doh.

Anything that makes communicating across groups, finding groups and knowing if anything is really happening will help.