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Battlegrounds is a bad idea


DUNGEON FINDER
Classic WoW players make a big deal out of introduction of a dungeon finder into the game. They view it as the first big step towards destruction of the game they use to enjoy, and possibly one of the first big steps towards the corruption of the MMO genre as a whole.
Ashes of Creation is not going to have a dungeon finder, and I think we are all very happy about that.
Why?
Because it sacrifices a human connection between people playing the game on the altar of convenience. Yes, you don't have to go through the hurdle of looking for people to go to the dungeon with, but as a cost for that players are now expendable, and a dungeon run feels more like a League of Legends game.
All of that is true.
You know what this is also true about?
Battlegrounds.
People, who hate dungeon finder and also will defend battlegrounds is quite a weird phenomenon.
Because battlegrounds is a dungeon finder for PvP.
You press a button. You get teleported to another place. You get paired with a bunch of people you don't know and will never talk to again. Then you are playing a League of Legends game for some number of minutes, and you get teleported back.


WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED
Back in Lord of The Rings Online days we use to have Ettenmoors - a huge location made specifically for PvP, or as we called it, PvMP - Player versus Monster Player. In LotRO monster-players did not have levels, only pvp-ranks - they had max level of a current expansion by default, and all they did was PvMP. With new ranks they got new abilities and stats. As a monster-player all you cared about was KILL HUMANS MANY GET RANK WHERE ARE THEY KILL THEM FOR THE SAURON.
The problem was that Ettenmoors was the only PvP location in the game, and as a monster player you were forever trapped in it. Maybe they planned on adding more at some point, but never got to it - there was a lot of talk about Free People bias - probably true, and also fair enough - the game was created for Free People players - they had dungeons, raids new classes, everything - and playing as a monster was supposed to be something you might do for fun once in a while, if you just want pure PvP.
So yes, just one PvP-location where you had to stay as a monster player. One location. Forever.
Who would want to play like that?
A lot of people.
For how long?
For years.
Why?
Because it was amazing.
People who don't play games might wonder why would someone spend years of their life in an MMO. People who play MMOs might wonder why would you spend all these years in only one location? What are you, insane?
The answer to that is: that was enough.
Just seeing another guy in an actual place in a game, and saying "You know what? F*ck this guy!" and then killing him (or getting killed) is, I believe, one of the coolest things you can do in an MMO, and maybe in games in general. And it created all the best things an MMO can offer. Conflict, friendships, betrayals, reputations, competition. It was somehow all in there, in just one location.
People who made battlegrounds thought that that wasn't enough, and they were wrong. They thought that you needed something else, but you didn't.


JUST TAKE THE FLAG
Capture the flag. Hold the point. Kill the boss. All of these things are generally just an annoying distraction from killing this guy other there. Often times you would be fighting, and winning the fight, and enjoying it... Oh wait, we just lost the game, because some dude just snuck out our flag or something... Well, okay then.
The only reason people care about the damn flag, or holding the control-points, or whatever else - is because they get awarded points for doing it. But people queue up in the battleground not thinking "oh yeah, can't wait to get my hands on this flag". People queue up because they want to fight.
Let's put it this way: if you didn't award anyone anything for doing battlegrounds, no one would be capturing flags. But people would still be fighting.
What I am saying is not a case against flags. I like flags, they are square shaped, and have cool symbols on them.
It is also not a case against capturing objectives in an MMO - objectives are good. As long as they have flags. With cool symbols.
But objectives are supposed to be as good as the fights they are causing, and they mean as much as the things you get for capturing them. We had them on Ettenmoors, and there they made sense, because they would bring people together to capture and fight. But on a tiny battleground they are not causing anything, and for capturing them you just get some points you can later spend on something else...
Also, on battlegrounds objectives are not "real". Because thousands of flags are getting captured in the same place at the same time by people on different "layers", and I think a part of you always keeps that in mind.


IT MUST MEAN SOMETHING
The Ettenmoors case is also interesting because it contradicted many fundamental ideas of what an MMO should have - and yet people still loved it. Monster players did not have "BIG OPEN WORLD ONE MILLION SQUARE KILOMETERS". And - overt your eyes from the heresy I am about to spew - they did not even have expansions. Well, the expansions were there, but for the monster players it just meant getting their max level immediately and having to wait for free people to catch up on levels and get their gear.
Ettenmoors was not perfect. At the time I would often find myself advocating for adding more interesting things for monster players to do. But the fact that they didn't add anything and we all still played it and had a great time must mean something about PvP in MMORPGs.
And after Ettenmoors any battleground just feels like a worse version of something else.

Comments

  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Battlegrounds in Ashes means something very different to Battlegrounds in WoW.

    Battlegrounds in Ashes refer to parts of the games open world where the corruption system is disabled, for what ever reason.

    While it is true that Ashes will have an arena, this is more of a sideshow with no rewards (other than being used for the monthly mayor contest for military nodes).
  • HumblePuffinHumblePuffin Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    From the wiki:
    Battlegrounds are where PvP battles occur in the open world.[1] These are open world PvP zones that flag players as Combatants (purple).[2]

    Caravans.[1]
    Node sieges.[1]
    Castle sieges (potentially).[3][1]
    Alpha-1 castle sieges occur in a zone that is accessible via a NPC teleporter.[4][5][3][6]
    Objective based guild wars.[7]

    Link if you want to read the whole blurb on them but it will be much different than WoW’s BG https://ashesofcreation.wiki/Open_world_battlegrounds
  • Yeah, I just checked it out. It did seem weird that something like a classic instanced BG would be in Ashes, but I thought that so many games now days have them that it is like a standard at this point.
  • HumblePuffinHumblePuffin Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited August 2021
    Yeah I’m pretty pumped it is going to be open world focused. I certainly enjoy my WoW bgs, but it can get extremely repetitive, and creates this microcosm of gear and players.

    With the way they seem to be going it will hopefully avoid a lot of that. PvP players will be following caravans for the corruption free PvP, and pve players will be protecting their stuff.

    I feel like a lot of PvE only players will find that they enjoy PvP when it has a purpose/connection to the world and feels like it’s on a fairer footing instead of someone just coming out of the bushes and stabbing you while you’re trying to fight a boar.
  • Clearly someone never played Rated Battlegrounds.
    GJjUGHx.gif
  • This seems like an extended argument against an LFR mechanism, not against battlegrounds.
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • CROW3 wrote: »
    This seems like an extended argument against an LFR mechanism, not against battlegrounds.

    Yes, and against battlegrounds as an extension of that mechanism. Because, as I said, battlegrounds are basically LFR for PvP.
    But it seems that in Ashes by "battlegrounds" they didn't mean what I thought they meant.
  • IronhopeIronhope Member
    edited August 2021
    I absolutely understand and agree that LFG (automatic group finder and instance teleporter) mechanics are a horrible solution in general, but I don't know how much I agree for this when it comes to certain forms of pvp in particular.

    I cant' see how they would ever make pvp scenarios like the epic Castle Sieges (a big selling point to the game) work, without a LFG teleporter mechanic.
    I just don't see how that would be possible.

    I also strongly disagree with pvp scenario goals being a bad thing.

    War, fighting, is more about strategy and team work than anything else. Without PvP goals team work and strategy in such games would be at....

    unga.jpg

    The games just wouldn't be challenging and wouldnt' force people to better themselves and to be sociable. They just wouldn't force people to think.

    At the end of the day, can't we just have ''unga bunga'' (mindless fighting) pvp scenarios and strategy team-play pvp scenario on top of world pvp?

    PvP in such games is one of the rare scenarios where you can have eveyrbody happy by making each ''branch'' of game PvP strong.

    So yeah, here's hoping that the PvP design will take all/most tastes into consideration.
  • AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Spurius wrote: »
    Yeah, I just checked it out. It did seem weird that something like a classic instanced BG would be in Ashes, but I thought that so many games now days have them that it is like a standard at this point.

    Fortunately, Ashes is not a standard MMO.
     
    Hhak63P.png
  • Ironhope wrote: »
    I absolutely understand and agree that LFG (automatic group finder and instance teleporter) mechanics are a horrible solution in general, but I don't know how much I agree for this when it comes to certain forms of pvp in particular.

    I cant' see how they would ever make pvp scenarios like the epic Castle Sieges (a big selling point to the game) work, without a LFG teleporter mechanic.
    I just don't see how that would be possible.

    I also strongly disagree with pvp scenario goals being a bad thing.

    War, fighting, is more about strategy and team work than anything else. Without PvP goals team work and strategy in such games would be at....

    unga.jpg

    The games just wouldn't be challenging and wouldnt' force people to better themselves and to be sociable. They just wouldn't force people to think.

    At the end of the day, can't we just have ''unga bunga'' (mindless fighting) pvp scenarios and strategy team-play pvp scenario on top of world pvp?

    PvP in such games is one of the rare scenarios where you can have eveyrbody happy by making each ''branch'' of game PvP strong.

    So yeah, here's hoping that the PvP design will take all/most tastes into consideration.

    I think that PvP-goals are good, when they create an occasion for people to fight, not when they are something you have to do instead of fighting.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2021
    Why would you need a Castle Siege LFG teleporter when you have 4 weeks to prepare for it?
  • ChicagoChicago Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    battlegrounds is a great idea... you are not forced to sign up if you dont want to participate but it prevents ganking and lets you test your skills against other players

  • Dygz wrote: »
    Why would you need a Castle Siege LFG teleporter when you have 4 weeks to prepare for it?

    I don't know enough on the topic to common on, but I see it being a mess without a system to get those thousands of people at the right time in the right place.

  • No, seriously, if something isn't broken don't fix it.

    I hope we will have classic pvp battle-ground scenarios like ''capture the flag'' or ''hold control points long enough'' and, of course, arenas and I hope they will have good rewards.

  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Ironhope wrote: »
    Dygz wrote: »
    Why would you need a Castle Siege LFG teleporter when you have 4 weeks to prepare for it?

    I don't know enough on the topic to common on, but I see it being a mess without a system to get those thousands of people at the right time in the right place.

    Why would it be a mess?

    The exact date, time and location will be known days in advance (not weeks, as Dygz suggests), if you aren't there but want to be, there is no one to blame but yourself.
  • Noaani wrote: »
    Why would it be a mess?

    The exact date, time and location will be known days in advance (not weeks, as Dygz suggests), if you aren't there but want to be, there is no one to blame but yourself.

    High chance teams will be imabalanced due to various reasons non-attributable to the teams.
    Would have mean many people wouldn't find a fight to take part in.

    But as I said, I don't know enough about the system yet so I can't comment much. Just throw my average Joe take on it.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2021
    Ironhope wrote: »
    I don't know enough on the topic to common on, but I see it being a mess without a system to get those thousands of people at the right time in the right place.
    Castle Sieges are pretty much on a fixed schedule.
    We will know the times and places they begin. It's not random.

    Most likely people will be coordinating in the 3-4 week build-up to the actual siege.
    It's weeks for a Castle Siege. Castle Siege is once a month.
    Sieges occur once a month within a server prime-time window.
    The minimum goal is for 250x250 players to be on a single battlefield. It is hoped that this can be increased to 500x500 over time.
    Each week leading up to the siege week... is a week that's dedicated to one of the three castle dedicated nodes. So around the castle there are three nodes. They represent week, one, two, and three; and then the fourth week is the siege against the castle. Those can only be elevated up to stage three.

    ---Steven

  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Ironhope wrote: »
    No, seriously, if something isn't broken don't fix it.
    I hope we will have classic pvp battle-ground scenarios like ''capture the flag'' or ''hold control points long enough'' and, of course, arenas and I hope they will have good rewards.
    Those mechanics are part of Castle Sieges.
    Should be in Node Sieges, too, but... we didn't have Node Sieges in Alpha One.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Ironhope wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »
    Why would it be a mess?

    The exact date, time and location will be known days in advance (not weeks, as Dygz suggests), if you aren't there but want to be, there is no one to blame but yourself.

    High chance teams will be imabalanced due to various reasons non-attributable to the teams.
    Would have mean many people wouldn't find a fight to take part in.

    But as I said, I don't know enough about the system yet so I can't comment much. Just throw my average Joe take on it.

    But - they aren't supposed to be balanced. Why would they need to be balanced?
  • Dygz wrote: »
    Castle Sieges are pretty much on a fixed schedule.
    We will know the times and places they begin. It's not random.

    Didn't say it would be random.



  • Noaani wrote: »
    But - they aren't supposed to be balanced. Why would they need to be balanced?

    Well, if they're not, at least mostly, balanced then they won't be real fights which would mean a bad experience.

    This being said, I agree teams who organize themselves best should have the upper hand.

    But, as I said, the practical problems of actually getting so many people manually organized at the same time might be too much for most groups and an instance-type system to get people in place might be a good idea.

  • Dygz wrote: »
    Those mechanics are part of Castle Sieges.
    Should be in Node Sieges, too, but... we didn't have Node Sieges in Alpha One.

    Yeah I know but Sieges are rare events.

    I think they should have classic pvp instance scenarios like the ones in World of Warcraft too.

  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Ironhope wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »
    But - they aren't supposed to be balanced. Why would they need to be balanced?

    Well, if they're not, at least mostly, balanced then they won't be real fights which would mean a bad experience.

    This being said, I agree teams who organize themselves best should have the upper hand.
    It isn't so much about who organizes them.

    You don't join a siege for a fair fight, you join a siege to either protect what you have, or destroy what others have.

    If there are significantly more people that want to destroy what others have (keeping in mind the player cap), then obviously they should have the advantage.

    If a guild of maybe 100 members owns a castle, and then act in a way that sees them not retain their friends, their next defense of that castle absolutely should be 500v100.

    The key point here is that sieges are not designed to be some event that is about a fair fight. They are about winning, and numbers on your side helps with that.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2021
    Ironhope wrote: »
    Dygz wrote: »
    Castle Sieges are pretty much on a fixed schedule.
    We will know the times and places they begin. It's not random.
    Didn't say it would be random.
    1: I didn't say you said they would be random. You said " I see it being a mess without a system to get those thousands of people at the right time in the right place." And I strengthened my response of the times and places will be known with Castle Sieges are not random.
    We prep for Castle Sieges for weeks. There should be plenty of time to strategize around being at the proper place at the proper time and to comprise the groups you want. LFG teleporter is unnecessary for that.

    2: It's probably going to be a whole bunch of guilds against one guild. Because only one guild gets to own the Castle.

    3: There will be instanced arenas. The vast majority of Ashes Battlegrounds are intended to be open world.

    4: We'll have to see how frequent Node sieges are. Those might not be very rare. There are 108 Nodes per server. We will have to see how many villages on a server can be sieged week-to-week and month-to-month.
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