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Concept: Contested Flashpoints

Jimer_Lins's Avatar


Jimer_Lins
01.15.2012 , 01:41 PM | #1
Bear with me here, I think this is a good idea, but possibly a bit rough around the edges, and I'd like to invite feedback to refine it.

Why Flashpoints Are Cool

To start off with, Flashpoints are fun because they are scripted events with branching outcomes- at least to an extent. They're more cinematic than the regular quest lines, even Heroic quests. I still remember when I did my first one, the Esseles and having an absolute ball watching the screen shake and explosions- it felt more like I was "in" a Star Wars experience than any time before that.

I've really enjoyed every FP I've done- some more than others, but they're all a lot of fun.

Why PVP/Contested Objectives Are Cool

I have done just about zero PVP in SWTOR, but not because of lack of interest; just more interested right now in the PVE experience. I played EVE Online for years after SWG's demise and experienced why PVP can be truly amazing; pitting your wits and abilities against another player is far more exciting than doing it against a computer opponnent.

However, open world PVP, warzones and general objective areas/games like Huttball are going to be ignored by PVE players who don't like PVP for one reason or another- and sometimes for valid reasons.

Contested Flashpoints- a Scripted PVP/PVE Experience

With Contested Flashpoints, the mechanic is the same; you enter the Flashpoint with your group and at specific points along the way, you encounter the other group. Combat may ensue, or maybe you're only able to see each other (through a forcefield or holocommunicator?) in some encounters. Either way, a contest occurs- a fight, a puzzle must be solved by cooperation (activate the four panels before the other team can shut down the field generator!).

The branching of the storyline occurs not based purely on decisions made with NPC cutscenes, but on the outcome of consests between the two parties. Each party must proceed through their own "version" of the Flashpoint, and at the end the result is determined not by who chose what conversation option during the cutscene but by how well you completed your objectives.

You could even have "winning" and "losing" branches of the story for each group- assuming you're defending and you fail to raise the force fields at the point where the enemy breached the hull in time, you have to fight a retreating battle and hold the bridge- you can still win, you're just at a disadvantage.

Conclusion

I'm sure there's a ton of holes in the idea, and it would be non-trivial to implement. But I think it has merit as a novel mechanic that hasn't really been seen in many MMOs. It would add some spice to the Flashpoint mechanic- they wouldn't be the same old same old, even if repeated. But since they would only allow contact between opposing parties at specific points in the Flashpoint storyline, some of the perceieved negatives of general PVP combat are mitigated.

Also, making it possible at some points to fight your oppponents without using a weapon but rather cooperating to achieve an objective before the other team can prevent it- there's a lot of merit in that and a lot of fun- not to mention good-natured trashtalking. I think it would be crucial that chat be enabled for both sides during these.

Anyway, there it is. If it's not original, well- I'm not always original in my ideas, but I'd like to see something like this happen and I haven't seen it discussed yet.

Thoughts?
Jimer Lins, Juyo Server

Be sure to tune in to my LIVE weekly two-hour SWTOR talk show, Live From the Nar Shaddaa Lounge, every Tuesday night at 7 PM Pacific!

Taekoma's Avatar


Taekoma
01.15.2012 , 01:51 PM | #2
they cant even make individual server forums.....what makes you think they can do this...lol

Blackhalo's Avatar


Blackhalo
01.15.2012 , 01:51 PM | #3
The idea is not new but it is tricky. I for one would welcome it despite the elitist jerks that would plague it. However, I do not know if a complete flash point would work as well as a particular zone with a major boss and most importantly the loot would have to be worth the fight. The major down side to this is faction imbalance; they are already making same faction PVP matches ... so *shrug*.

I am sure there are some old timers out there who remember Anarchy Online. That is the only experience I have had with a contested boss but I used to love it when the factional balance was intact. Some people hated it because loot brings out the worst in people and it lead to so many problems within your faction (back when guilds / clans actually had to work together to kill things). The fight I am speaking of was the dragon, also known as the giant chicken, named Tarasaque in the Camelot area.

Man does this bring back some memories ......

It could be a blast though; you had to set up choke points, defend the people fighting the dragon ... usually it was pure mayhem 1-2 hours before the fight and continued until someone brought the dragon down. And even after alllll the expansion packs the loot was still highly sought after which made it a worthwhile event that happened every day. This all depended on faction balance though so I am not sure how it could set up to work in this game.


Thanks for the idea though!!! It is nice to read something other than negativity in this forums.
The Seventh Legion

Jimer_Lins's Avatar


Jimer_Lins
01.15.2012 , 01:51 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Taekoma View Post
they cant even make individual server forums.....what makes you think they can do this...lol
Did you have something useful to offer?
Jimer Lins, Juyo Server

Be sure to tune in to my LIVE weekly two-hour SWTOR talk show, Live From the Nar Shaddaa Lounge, every Tuesday night at 7 PM Pacific!

Jimer_Lins's Avatar


Jimer_Lins
01.15.2012 , 01:59 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackhalo View Post
The idea is not new but it is tricky. I for one would welcome it despite the elitist jerks that would plague it. However, I do not know if a complete flash point would work as well as a particular zone with a major boss and most importantly the loot would have to be worth the fight. The major down side to this is faction imbalance; they are already making same faction PVP matches ... so *shrug*.

I am sure there are some old timers out there who remember Anarchy Online. That is the only experience I have had with a contested boss but I used to love it when the factional balance was intact. Some people hated it because loot brings out the worst in people and it lead to so many problems within your faction (back when guilds / clans actually had to work together to kill things). The fight I am speaking of was the dragon, also known as the giant chicken, named Tarasaque in the Camelot area.

Man does this bring back some memories ......

It could be a blast though; you had to set up choke points, defend the people fighting the dragon ... usually it was pure mayhem 1-2 hours before the fight and continued until someone brought the dragon down. And even after alllll the expansion packs the loot was still highly sought after which made it a worthwhile event that happened every day. This all depended on faction balance though so I am not sure how it could set up to work in this game.


Thanks for the idea though!!! It is nice to read something other than negativity in this forums.
I agree there would be some tricky issues to it. Here's a few I can think of, but they're all resolvable:
  • Making loot good enough without overdoing it.
  • Preventing "trading" of the Flashpoint. Randomly matching groups up instead of letting you pick who you'll be pitted against, plus aggressive enforcement of the policy (trading FPs, eh? OK, you're banned from them for a month), and maybe scaling the loot to the actual difficulty of the fight to victory would be useful.
  • Having proper-sized groups. I'd suggest you can't start until you have a four-man team on both sides. So yeah, queueing.
The big thing that would make or break it, I think is making sure the opposing groups only meet each other at specific points and then are forced apart again for the next step of the way. Essentially, two flashpoint experiences in parallel, which overlap at certain points.
Jimer Lins, Juyo Server

Be sure to tune in to my LIVE weekly two-hour SWTOR talk show, Live From the Nar Shaddaa Lounge, every Tuesday night at 7 PM Pacific!

Blackhalo's Avatar


Blackhalo
01.15.2012 , 02:09 PM | #6
To me it just seems like it would become the new arena; or the mirror image. Possibly if there were ranked / unranked with different types of rewards it would seem more appealing. The ironic thing for me is I HATE huge raiding groups (old 40 man wow content) but I love huge brawls. So I do not know how popular the arena size groups would be; I would be much more interested if they could distinguish casual vs. hardcore as you described in your reply.
The Seventh Legion

Salmissra's Avatar


Salmissra
01.15.2012 , 02:15 PM | #7
I've thought of this now and again back in wow. It would be pretty neat if it was implemented in a decent fashion. Would love to see some sort of race-for-the-last-boss competition

Would promote good group habits, marking mobs ahead of time, pulling before current pull is all dead, CC'ing being done without marks at all