The final part of my 1.3.2 PTS preview and a small thank god from me. The next one of these I do, I’m aiming to be a lot less verbal.
So we’re down to the changes to the keeps and fortresses. It seems like the keeps in Warhammer are proving to be a bit of a tough nut for Mythic to crack. To difficult, then they just stand alone like a steaming turd on a winters day, to easy and they’re up and down like a whores draws. Now I’m really sympathetic to the apathy regarding keeps, I just find them so goddamn boring, not matter what the rewards are, they just don’t justify the time invested, especially when heavily defended. It doesn’t help that they bring my antique PC to its knees, with nary a glance in their direction. I thought I found keep takes boring in DAOC, yet Warhammer certainly surpasses them in that regard, which is funny considering Warhammer provides significantly more rewards for capturing those miserable heaps. For me it comes down to lack of fun, design and performance.
If you’re new frontiers DAOC player, you will probably remember the more complicated keeps we had, where you could fire back and forth from the inner to outer keep walls. The keeps could be raised in level (1-10), which then changed their height and complexity, you could knock a new hole in the wall, if you found the current door opening inconvenient. Each keep had 4 surrounding towers, which were placed different distances from the keep, taking these towers reduced the numbers of guards protecting the main keep. They also provided locations for small group fights and once captured the tower door would go back up. Sometimes though they would remain uncaptured to provide bait, since the map would show them as still being contested, so groups(s) would wait for their victims to arrive. Now artistically the Warhammer keeps are nicer, but so much more simplistic, lacking the opportunities for clever play.
We used to have groups fighting it out just in the corner towers of the keep, or above the main gates, where the surrounding forces would try to barge their way in and this is without the use of collision detection. Sometimes we’d have one realm in a keep, another realm seiging the keep and the 3rd realm, just hanging back waiting for the doors to go down, so they could slaughter the sieging realm against the walls of the inner keep, 3 way battles in the courtyard, people jumping down from the walls to get involved (Which considering Warhammer is a console game, why do we have such a nasty jumping penalty).
Now I know I just went off on one there, but I’m trying to convey to you the void in my heart I have regarding Warhammer keeps. Boy I’d love to sit down with the Warhammer design team and crack some heads.
Anyway enough of my whining, onto the Keep Difficulty System. Lets be frank who knows what’s going to stick with the current player base. Are people really going to hammer it out for hours and hours on a defended keep, regardless of the increased loot levels? God knows. I think it’s going to have to be a wait and see. I think as long as it works as promised and people can see the loot/difficulty increasing, we may well get the buy in we need. The performance updates will compliment the potentially higher numbers in keep takes. Possibly this is why these features are coming out at the same time?
Fortresses, well they were certainly expansive and magnificent in a Dros Delnoch fashion, but they’ve always hit the style over substance button with me, which infact could also be applied to the keeps. But at the moment I don’t really care what happens to them, they can rot for all I care, since they have been an abject failure. Harsh maybe, but hardly a success from a gameplay perspective. If I was to brainstorm a new use for them, then this is what I’d suggest.
1. Stick dungeons under them, yawn.
2. Turn them into Arcane Relic Keeps, but first of all knock them all down and make them significantly more interesting from an attack/defense point of view.
3. If more capital cities return, then use the 3 of them to control what capital cities are captured in a city seige. This kind of implies that we would need specific rewards from each capital city to help motivate people to take the different capitals, instead of just ignoring them.
4. They could become the capital cities of a 3rd NPC race, which could be called into play for your realm? God knows how that would work, a heap more thought needed on that. The potential for abuse by the strongest realm could be considerable. I’d prefer for this not to win an award, since I still hold a candle for a player run 3rd realm. NPC AI could be a step to far for the Mythic code monkeys.
That’s me done for now, shame I finished on keeps and fortresses, I would have prefered not to finish on a downer considering that the rest of the patch shows a lot of promise, but c’est la vie.
Oh yes, how could I forget …. capture 2 zones to seige the capital. Some realms are going to be spending an awful lot of time in their own capital city defending and I’m not to sure they’re going to be happy about it, then again neither am I.