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A comprehensive solution for Ilum PvP [long]

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
A comprehensive solution for Ilum PvP [long]

Ilintar's Avatar


Ilintar
01.20.2012 , 07:32 AM | #1
This is going to be a long post since I don't believe that the Ilum problems can be solved with a simple solution. As recent events have shown, simple solutions are very much exploitable, while other simple solutions are just against the spirit of MMO.

What I'm proposing is based on a couple of principles:

1. People actually want to play open world PvP

Well, apparently those have been successful in quite a few MMOs and also here in SWTOR on more balanced servers those seem to enjoy huge success. Open world PvP simply has a dynamic that warzones don't offer. So, it's not the case that you need to encourage people specifically to do open-world PvP, you just need to make sure it's enjoyable for them.

2. Fights in unequal groups are pretty much unwinnable.

This is not Quake, where a good player can come in and own a group of 5 others. Basically, any semi-competent group of 2 players with expertise 350+ can own any single player, regardless of the skill level / gear. With team focus firing, this becomes even more apparent. A group of 5 has completely no chances against a group of 8, much less a group of 15.

3. People don't enjoy getting stomped.

You can easily assume people are not masochists. Nobody will run in single-handedly into a group of 5 people, die, then repeat the process over and over again. The most you can count on is somebody trying that a few times to see if they can get an isolated kill, failing, then resigning. Then, when people learn that it's undoable, they simply stop doing it. Today on Ilum in the morning I roamed round the central area looting armaments, an imp came, I killed him, another imp came, I almost killed him (he escaped), then two imps came and the third joined, I got killed and simply flew away from the PvP area. Similar thing happened yesterday, only on a larger scale (had an ops group, quit when imperials strongly outnumbered us).

4. You need to equalize incentives

To keep people playing open PvP, you need to give people reason to do it even if groups are imbalanced (as they will often be). On the other hand, any solution equalizing incentives has to keep in mind that you can't make it unplayable for the side that has an advantage.

5. You need to promote teamplay

Open world PvP is all about teamplay. Teamplay is not only zerging in large groups, it is also communication, coordination and stuff like that.

6. People will exploit systematic advantages.

MMO is a game of exploitation. If the system allows an easy exploit, people will use it. If you make one strategy clearly reward more points than others, people will use it.

With all that in mind, here are my ideas for Ilum PvP that attempt to meet the abovementioned 6 points.

* Force the side with an advantage to defend objectives

If one side has an advantage, the easiest thing they can do is just zerg any opposing players to hell. It's the most efficient strategy - everyone gets valor - and doesn't incur any real penalties. Sure, the opposing side can regain objectives - but they earn no rewards for doing so and the diminished valor gains can be quickly regained.

If you force a side to defend objectives, by lowering their valor gains, you force them to split and/or use scouts (more on that later on). If you force splits, you encourage even play because now, even though there might be 50 imperial players and 10 republic players, the imperial players have to defend each objective and the republic players can use guerilla tactics (just as in real life the less-numbered side would). Right now, guerilla tactics are completely useless.

The idea is to base the number of objectives you have to control on the imbalance. For example, if imperials have 50 players and republic has 10, imperials have an obligation to control all 5 areas. For each area less than 5 which they control, republic gains valor points each minute when this happens, while imperials get their valor gains reduced. This number shrinks to 4 for a 4:1 imabalance and so on. Of course, for this to be enabled there'd have to be a minimal number of players present in the area, to remedy situations of 3 afk'd players vs. a single republican ninja getting constant valor.

* Reward sides with valor / commendations for taking objectives if they are outnumbered / evenly matched

Right now, there are no incentives to actually gaining objectives. If you reward the underdog side for obtaining objectives, you give them the incentive to do so and also give the opposing side incentive to defend them.

* Reward people with mercenary commendations for killing others

As of now, kills in open PvP areas only give valor points, which makes it unfeasible for people who actually want to obtain some PvP gear. Symmetrically to warzones giving warzone commendations, open PvP kills should yield mercenary commendations.

* Reward people with additional valor / commendations for defending objectives

Currently, there's only a valor bonus for defending objectives, however, one should also get additional commendations for that.

* Divide valor gains among all groups defending objectives

Right now, there is no incentive to split groups. A zerg is the most efficient way to get valor points because everybody gets the points and it's also the most efficient in killing people. If you award people defending different objectives say half the valor points for each kill your side gains, you actually reward people for defending objectives and make it reasonable to split groups.

* Remove the proximity messages and implement a scouting mechanic

Currently, since there are warnings about people approaching zones, there's no use for scouts in the game. However, with splitting groups and hit-and-run mechanics, scouts could be an important factor in the game. For that to happen, there need to be incentives for scouts. Being a scout ATM is probably the worst role in the game - you gain no benefits, you have no chance standing a fight, you don't even get any bonuses since you're not defending any objective, you miss out on fights and so on. I propose implementing the following scout mechanic:

- remove automatic proximity messages
- add a "tag enemies" ranged ability for all classes that places a circle anywhere within line of sight. What the circle does stay active for some time (say, 30 seconds) and automatically tag opponents that enter it. When opponents that haven't been tagged in the last 5 minutes enter the circle, you gain valor points, with increasing returns based on the number of opponents. Additionally, for a sufficient number of people tagged you get scouting status, which nets you a percent of all valor gains for your side, similar to what objective defenders get. Also, tagged opponents trigger proximity alerts similar to ones that are generated now and appear on the map for all allies
- give valor points for successful scouts that avoid detection
- give players valor points for killing good scouts

I believe this solution would allow for good and balanced and most importantly, strategically interesting PvP sides, in a way that rewards all roles in a strategic battle, not just participants in a dominant zerg group like it is at the moment. In this way, more people could actually contribute to open PvP areas, which would increase their popularity.

Any comments / feedback?

Ilintar's Avatar


Ilintar
01.20.2012 , 08:56 AM | #2
Bump :>

Eortotai's Avatar


Eortotai
02.05.2012 , 01:57 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Ilintar View Post
Bump :>
Hm, this was a good read. I like the ideas, especially the ones pertaining to get the underdog... ok, I'll just say Republic... to actually go get objectives and still obtain Valor.

I think this would help Ilum out a lot, as right now it's a bit unfair and unfun, and definitely way too grindy.
Extirpation

Sith Sorcerer
Malgane

Talizzar's Avatar


Talizzar
02.05.2012 , 02:08 AM | #4
Most of what you say is good. However the Republic got together on Vulkar and outnumbered the Imps by quite a margin and the imps rolled them twice without much trouble. Why? Simply because the Imps were better. The pubs failed to charge and kept falling back and losing numbers. They were tentative.

Come on folks it is a game and there is no penalty for getting killed. Attack!

There are many times where the pubs have far more numbers holed up in their base and they just sit there and get pulled and picked off for what seems likes hours.

Ever heard of out flanking? There are two doors at the base....Use the other one for a change.

Base sitting is a bore. The open field combat is fun even if you get stomped a couple of times.

Why have objectives if you don't get anything other than a buff for keeping them?

Ilintar's Avatar


Ilintar
02.06.2012 , 04:59 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Talizzar View Post
Most of what you say is good. However the Republic got together on Vulkar and outnumbered the Imps by quite a margin and the imps rolled them twice without much trouble. Why? Simply because the Imps were better. The pubs failed to charge and kept falling back and losing numbers. They were tentative.

Come on folks it is a game and there is no penalty for getting killed. Attack!

There are many times where the pubs have far more numbers holed up in their base and they just sit there and get pulled and picked off for what seems likes hours.

Ever heard of out flanking? There are two doors at the base....Use the other one for a change.

Base sitting is a bore. The open field combat is fun even if you get stomped a couple of times.

Why have objectives if you don't get anything other than a buff for keeping them?
Please don't generalize experiences from your server to overall situations :>

Just today, we (at Luka Sene) had a really epic lagf^H^H^H^Hbattle on Ilum. Was about 30 vs 30 at times. What made it really fun was even numbers and multiple strategies employed. In fact, many of the things I described in this post were actually taking place: capping additional objectives with smaller groups (for valor), scouts reporting the composition and movement of enemy forces, plus there was really good communication, tactics, flanking and so on. There were really epic battles, some raging on for about 10 minutes with neither side getting any definite advantage and too many kills done, with repositioning, using terrain, flanking, diversions and so on. This was all done from the scratch from two people sitting in Ilum saying "hey, let's get an ops group together" - no premade, no teamspeak, total pug mode.

Nevertheless, my proposal is more about making it reasonable for servers where the faction balance is not as good (and even on our server, the fun is only for so long as imperials don't get 50+ people on, as then we cannot really match their numbers and it becomes a base camp / pull single people in for autokills) and also rewarding strategic play (at the moment, scouts are pretty much shafted since they often report vital information, but don't get any recognition for it as they are often killed before the battle and/or don't get to the battlefield soon enough).
Ilum PvP proposal - read here

EndlessObsession's Avatar


EndlessObsession
02.20.2012 , 02:21 AM | #6
This was a great read, and I hope something similar gets implemented soon. The only other thing I could think of that might fix this situation on servers like mine where we're outnumbered 5:1 in Ilum is to implement a wintergrasp style buff for the outnumbered side. The worse you're outnumbered, the more stacks of the buff you have. If it's 50 vs 10, the 10 players do 5x more damage and have 5x more health. Also, to fix the faction imbalance issue which I feel is the biggest long term problem with this game... Offer extra commendations for the short side. I really liked the idea of world PVP yielding merc comms, and when I first started PVP'ing (I waited until 50 to do any wz's, only world pvp'd while leveling) I actually thought that you received the merc comms from world pvp. Who would have thought you have to earn wz comms to get merc comms? seems redundant... why not just make champ bags all wz comms... OR the obvious solution, make something else drop merc comms. Another idea I've been thinking about is making the outnumbered side yield no valor at some point. Outnumbered 3:1 (or worse)? You now yield little or preferably no valor. However, you can obtain valor if you're sneaky enough (guerilla tactics). This might make some of the zerg loving cowards and griefers find something else to do, evening the odds. One thing is for certain... We need some kind of mechanic to split the large zerg formations. I don't think ANYONE's computer can handle 50 people pvping in one area... the gameplay is just terrible and no fun for anyone. And to whoever that Imp was above, just shut up already. It's not about tactics when there's 50 vs 10. Not like that on your server? Well shut up then this doesn't apply to you.

EndlessObsession's Avatar


EndlessObsession
02.20.2012 , 02:28 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Talizzar View Post
"Come on folks it is a game and there is no penalty for getting killed. Attack!"
"The open field combat is fun even if you get stomped a couple of times."
This is the stereotypical outlook of an empire player who's tired of not having anyone to zerg. Getting "stomped" 5:1 isn't fun the first, or second, or 3 millionth time for ANYONE. A true competitor enjoys a fair fight, NO ONE wants to get beat down all the time, and only cowards like winning unfair fights and zerging people.