How our reward-centered culture is killing the game

Games have long used the carrot and the stick to motivate players to do what designers intend. Players have also tried to use bugs and game mechanics to their advantage to game the system.

In Warhammer, WAR is everywhere, right? Yet every day I log in, I see barely a single crossed sword on the map. ORVR seems incredibly rare. Genuine pushes on zones by Destruction tends to only happen in the very early morning or in midday when most people are at work.

When Warhammer first came out, the only reason to flip a zone was to get to the fortress. There was no flip renown, not for keeps, BOs or for zones. The only way to get renown was to fight people — run scenarios, go into ORVR and slaughter until the ground ran slick with blood. The only reason to take a keep was to get annihilator gear. When a zone flipped it was because we wanted it to happen.

Then the game designers decided to add renown for taking objectives and keeps, and then for taking zones. This meant that people who might work hard for a zone flip could be anywhere in the zone and get renown for just standing around:


Mailbox is safe!

In theory you don’t ever have to step into the RVR lake to make it to RR 80. You can just hop from warcamp to warcamp and enjoy the flip renown while reading a book, writing a blog post or doing chores around the house. Just keep an eye on State of the Realm and it can tell you when zones are ready to flip.

I am not sure how much this has changed ORVR. People interested in easy renown probably would not contribute much (other than their renown to the enemy) if they could not get renown from zone flips.

I do not blame the players at all for this. They are only following the carrot that Mythic has offered. This begs the question though: Is this the experience Mythic intended? I really don’t think so. Without having talked to anyone at Mythic I can only guess that these renown changes were done with good intentions and without any idea of how the carrots would influence ORVR.

ORVR is dead also due to the player’s preference for scenarios. Scenarios have always been fun, but the player base needs to do scenarios to chase yet another carrot — RVR weapons. I am glad they are in the game. People just starting out who want to PVP now have an avenue for getting gear that does not include PVE.

Now, on to the solution.

As I mentioned in my previous post, players will pick the path of least resistance. Yes it is possible to get your RVR weapon from ORVR but it’s far more efficient to do so via scenarios. Mythic could make the insignias drop from players in ORVR also.

EDIT: Here’s a thread on the RVR forums at Warhammer Alliance, which sums up my thoughts pretty nicely.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 25th, 2010 at 10:48 am and is filed under RVR, Tier 4 Scenarios, Warhammer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


5 Responses to “How our reward-centered culture is killing the game”

  1. Bootae Says:

    This is not quite the case on my server, oRvR is picking up quite a lot since the previous scenario madness. It’s still not what it once was, but it’s no where near as bad what you’re seeing. I guess it’s very dependent on each server’s population. Hopefully your server will pick up again.

    I agree completely with your solution though, that would only improve oRvR on ALL servers.

  2. Perle Says:

    Heya Bootae, thanks for the comment.

    I really cannot remember the last time I saw good fights in ORVR. Granted I do work a lot and usually only play on weekends. Maybe that’s it.

    I guess it depends when we get to the point where people no longer feel the pressing need to do scenarios all of the time. Once that happens we could see a return to RVR. One good thing about the scenario insigs is definitely the pop rate of scens. It used to be that we would not see a good scenario all weekend. Now they happen all of the time.

  3. akalukz Says:

    I was just saying some of the same stuff to guild mates today. The current ORvR carrot encourages this huge zerg on one side or the other. With Bonus Renown for flips coming from previous zone bfo/keep takes etc. It doesn’t promote fighting, they put the renown on bfo’s etc to help stimulate the ORvR because scenarios were the #1 way to earn renown, now you are back to the way it was at the begining except its not renown that is the issue but rather gear. You would think they would have learned the first time.

    I really think they need to slow down the city sieges and possibly even zone flips. Zone flips are easy now that people know how to work the system, and cities are just plain boring, here is hoping for a new city experience in 1.3.5

  4. Wasdstomp Says:

    They may need to rethink Orvr. What good is annihilator, and conqueror gear when you are wearing Sovereign.

    I think Orvr will pick up a little bit with the new city changes, but people still avoid the fights most of the time.

    The only time there is a fight is when the other faction tries to ninja a bo before the zone flip otherwise players just queue up for scenarios, and when the timers start getting low they decide to do something.

    State of the Realm killed Orvr. Remember when you use to have to visit zones to see what was going on? Now you just can queue up for scenarios, and warcamp hop.

    That was the fun part about rvr at the beginning was sneaking around in zones taking keeps. Now the other faction knows instantly.

    What happened to the days where if you took a keep you stayed their and defended. Now you just upgrade, and hang out at the WC, and decide if it shows its being attacked if you are going to defend it, or just let it go so you can take it back for more renown later.

    Really the game is pretty broken, but I still play it because nothing else is out there. I am sure once SWTOR comes out I will leave WAR faster than a Usain Bolt 40 yard dash.

  5. Tarelther Says:

    If you place them in oRvR, then we have the problem of perpetuating the zerg again. That’s what I liked about the forts initially. You could zerg your way to Annihilator, but if you wanted better, you had to prove you could play to some level of competence. Do you really want to reward someone whose only skill is surfing the zerg with the best stuff in the game? I don’t.

    With the city changes, what concerns me is you literally could zerg yourself to the best gear in the game with overwhelming numbers. I think the new city will be a lot of fun when there are defenders, but it honestly scares me a little.