This has really got me excited, since it’s going to offer the player base a lot of opportunity to show some real strategy, that’s of course if they can make the effort. Now if your server is wildly imbalanced, then this mode will just offer the opportunity for a one sided slaughter fest and a 2 hour zone flipping service. But for a balanced server, then it’s going to be a lot of fun. Well I certainly hope so.
A concern I have, is that realms will avoid each other, by partying in 2 different zones and flipping them in the 2 hour time period that is currently dictated for holding the keep. Leaving the keep after 75 of the 120 minutes, to raid and hold the accompanying BOs, thus finalising the zone flip.
But what’s nice about the 2 hour hold time on the keep, is that people will get bored, but in a good way. You see some people will want to get a head start on taking the BOs, so will not hang around in the keep, watching the moss grow on the walls. I expect groups of people to leave the keep and start the early adoption of the BOs. This “should” in theory create more conflict across the zone at a smaller group/warband level.
The zerg factor while present in my mind, will not be the optimal way to take the zone using domination. Since waiting at each BO for 30 minutes, is going to the bore the pants off the most patient of person. Especially if you have to do it 6 times + the time taken to recapture the BOs that were lost, by the more flexible force. So unless you have 6 warbands, then your realm is going to have to spread it’s resources thinner to flip the zone in anything approaching a reasonable time period. No, staying up to 2am in the middle of the week is not acceptable.
Imagine in your head, you have 2 ways of flipping the zone. One is changing it via a number of slightly divorced factors, like PQ, Kills, Keeps, scenarios etc. Versus a method that forces everyone to get out of the keep and dominate the rest of the zone. Now I hope that even though a realm may not be able to achieve that domination of a zone, the fun that is derived from the ensuing conflict will keep people fighting the good fight. Not wandering off for something less taxing, which would raise the question, why are they even playing Warhammer?
Now with the new open view of the zone status, that we will see in 1.2, people may well find it’s a lot easier to flip the zone, using the original method. Especially given the fact they you can see exactly what area to focus on. So the change to offer some clarity in the original zone control/flip method, may end up shooting domination mode in the foot. I wonder if a voice will come out of warhammer saying … “Order Is Dominating”, “Skarmedidoc Is On A Rampage”, “Headshot”, oops wrong game.
A suggestion that I would offer, is that the capture of the BOs reduces the eliteness (May need to raise the guards current base toughness), as well as the number of BO guards at the zone keep. Just to avoid a ninja keep take. The reasoning behind this, is that this would force smaller groups/warbands to take the BO’s first, to avoid the possibility of wiping on the guards at the keep. This is a idea ripped from DAOC and is from pre New Frontiers.
Anything that kicks off the fighting at the BO level, before getting to the keep, gives people a heads up on a possible keep take. Now if we calculate that a team of people is taking and holding 2 BO’s at the same time and 4 BO’s is enough to reduce the guards numbers/ difficulty to make it doable, then we are looking at 1 hour – 2 hours for taking the BOs and then 2 more hours to capture and hold the keep. This makes it 4 hours to flip a zone. Now remember this is just to slow down ninja keep takes.
Also reduce the toughness of the doors by capturing the BOs, instead of having the doors paper thin as they are at the moment. Yes I know it’s that old chestnut from me, but it’s nice and simple idea.
Domination mode is one of my favourite things in 1.2, which Mythic will hopefully implement in a crisp and professional manner. Fingers crossed.