Archive for the ‘RVR’ Category


A FOTF Guild Wars 2 PVP review

I had the great fortune of beta testing Guild Wars 2 this weekend with several current and former Fight on the Flag members. Unfortunately I did not seriously venture into the world PVP area until the last day of beta. This post is about the Eternal Battleground.

In short, three sides are fighting for dominance of resource points. Each side is represented by a single server.


Click to embiggen. The red pillar is a keep owned by an enemy team. A trebuchet fires a boulder behind me.

Here is a pic of a keep fight, but this does not do it justice. Smoke and fire were everywhere. Occasionally instead of flaming rocks, catapults throw dead cows (I tried to get a screenshot of it but failed). I laughed so hard I died several times to either dead cow juice (a big, green cloud) or to players taking advantage of me taking screenshots.


Posted by on April 29th, 2012 Comments Off

A good RVR night

Here is a pic from a Tuesday night battle. Order was out capping BOs like usual when all of a sudden, a few warbands of Destruction showed up!


Click to zergify.

Order was so happy to see so many Destro that we ran at them again and again and died over and over. Good fights all around. I was glad to see them out and about. I didn’t recognize any names but that doesn’t matter.

Posted by on April 30th, 2010 3 Comments

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.


Posted by on April 25th, 2010 5 Comments

Top five problems WAR needs to solve

Warhammer is a decent game or I wouldn’t be playing it. But if a viable alternative were out there I’d probably jump ship. It actually pains me to write that. It was a hard decision to leave Warhammer for Aion last year (Aion’s mindless grind made it so easy to return). And if you want to avoid elitist jerks in Warcraft this is the game for you.

I wanted to include a top five list of things to improve because I do want Warhammer to continue to be an enjoyable game.

1. Population balance


To see corresponding Order zerg pics, click here.

The bane of every PVP MMO seems to be population balance and Warhammer is no different. It seems every other month is feast or famine in this game. We switched factions a couple of times to Destruction to allow our server to recover from the effects of too many Order.

Population problems have been around for a long time. DAOC had problems but DAOC also had three factions. If one faction was doing badly the other two usually showed them some mercy (after taking their relics of course). If another faction was doing really well, the two underdogs ganged up on them.

I think the easiest solution to this one is to add a third faction. I bet devs are really tired of hearing this. But I really think it could a) revitalize the game and create more excitement b) help the underdogs gang up on the overdog (for lack of a better word) and c) (most importantly) bring in new players.

The problem with this is how do you redo the rest of the zones? That’s a hard one. It would probably have to be some sort of underground race so they wouldn’t have to redo the surface zones. It would be a lot of new content to create if they wanted to make it as rich as the other campaigns. I also don’t think it would realistically happen.

2. Game performance

Warhammer is not the most stable game out there. Every night at least one guildie crashes — and it’s not because their computer or their ISP sucks. I can run Guild Wars all day long and never crash. Warhammer, on the other hand, is a different story. I recently built a new machine that has more than respectable components. It should run Warhammer with ease. Yet I have the same problems that most of my friends are having. I get about 10-15 frames per second at any one time. I can have settings at “fastest framerate” or “oooh shiny” and it doesn’t make a difference and I have no idea why.

Game performance is a huge issue, especially with the upcoming city sieges. If you crash to desktop in the new city siege, you automatically get lockouts for the city encounter.

3. Rewards for RVR should be a choice and not a problem

If you are unfamiliar with the principle of game design regarding choices and problems, please watch this fun video. But if you don’t have seven minutes, here’s the gist using the example of the recent scenario changes where you earn an insignia upon completion of the scenario.

You can get insignias from winning a city PQ or by taking a keep, but by far the easiest way to get insignias is by doing scenarios. It is not a choice for players to do scenarios. If you want your weapon before 2012, you need to do scenarios. I think this is a perfect example of problem vs choice.

Is the goal of the game designers to remove players from the ORVR lakes? It sure seems like it.

4-5. If we MUST PVE to get better gear, make it less frustrating

This will count as two items because it deals with PVE.

- Buggy PVE encounters

I can’t think of anything more frustrating in a PVP game other than being forced to PVE. Oh wait, I can. Being forced to PVE in a game that has buggy PVE encounters (see earlier post: A TOVL Rant: Why don’t they fix this?).

It seems the best way Mythic has addressed this problem in the past is by removing the content altogether. We all remember fortress encounters, which were so buggy that it was nigh impossible to win (or or allowed you to win, see post of Destro’s first Altdorf siege here, which was assisted by a bugged Reikwald fort lord that warped to the bottom where they easily killed him).

Do they read bug reports? I submit one every time. Do they have time to fix them? I would guess not.

- Remove luck from the equation

I cannot remember where I read this but I think I heard that the devs are going to include a system where if you have the ward for a piece of equipment then you can actually buy the piece (someone in the know please correct me if I am wrong). That would be awesome, especially if they did it for every encounter.

Anyone who has been to the Tomb of the Vulture Lord knows that the loot drops are amazing and the drop rate is abysmal. We have gone through entire clears without seeing a single piece of Tyrant gear drop. Other guilds who have been doing this much longer than Fight on the Flag can tell you they’ve never seen a breastplate drop, or have seen multiple back pieces drop for classes not in attendance. This is sooo frustrating for players! Spending five hours in a dungeon to get nothing for anyone in the group is not fun. Yet the gear is so good we can’t not try.

So there’s my list. Please let me know what you think and if you would add or remove anything.

Posted by on April 20th, 2010 3 Comments

King on farm, VL and more

I took a brief break from the blog after a business trip. Here’s a quick update.

Obliteration and FOTF have been running King together for the past month or so. We’ve definitely got it down. Loot is rolling in and people are progressing. We have almost a full warband of Warlord geared people and we are bringing in people who are nearly high enough to wear Warlord as we can.


FOTF is also trying to run through VL but the darn thing is so buggy half the time we get frustrated and leave.


We have killed through boss six and only briefly saw boss seven last weekend. Not too bad for only trying for a couple of weeks I say.

Finally Sunday morning we were out and decided to stop the Destro zone flips. The Destro apparently gave up after we stopped them, a shame considering we were vastly outnumbered. I guess they just want their freenown (free renown) as fast as they can get it and it doesn’t occur to them to try to, oh I don’t know, fight people for it?


In any case we are still having fun and still trying to kill Destro at every turn. On another note we are not recruiting anymore. We got some fabulous new guildies and learned quite a bit about those who did not make it through the initiate phase.

Posted by on March 9th, 2010 Comments Off

Mind your Manor: Better homes and gardens issue

It is traditional to host a housewarming party when one takes up a new residence. According to Emily Post, the party is hosted by the homeowner to welcome friends and family to their new home. Schwenderhalle Manor is a prime piece of real estate with views of the river and within sight of the Reikwald Fortress. Fight on the Flag and some members of Knights of Valor and Obliteration took up residence. It was supposed to be a good time.

Unfortunately Destruction is not aware of the rules of etiquette. We had our King Keg out and they wanted to walk right in, completely uninvited! This outrage did not go unanswered. We repelled them for a good 10-20 minutes.


Alas, the beer ran dry and Destruction was able to make it into our new home.


They ransacked the place and had their way with the dwarves. I’ll never look at a beard the same way again.

Posted by on December 21st, 2009 Comments Off

Our mojo — It’s back!

It was a tough couple of weeks, but I think we’ve found our groove again! We hadn’t played Order for four months when we returned to Gorfang (we spent two months on Phoenix Throne and two in, er, Aion). The corpses piled up and we had a grand time in RVR, which is nearly constant these days.

We spent lots of quality time near flags (even if they weren’t owned by our realm).



Posted by on December 14th, 2009 4 Comments

No mercy for the straggling Order!

To kick off this post, I wanted to share a screenshot of the text message after Order kicks Destro out of Altdorf:


(Just in case you cannot read the text in the picture, “Altdorf stands strong! The city is Recovering. No mercy for the straggling Order.”)

For those who haven’t surfed the forums relentlessly, Istaflyiii on Gorfang discovered a bug that basically hands Destruction the keys to Altdorf three times a day. By just respirating oxygen into carbon dioxide, Destruction can flip zones and get to Altdorf.

And order can do nothing about it. In fact, if Order tries to do something, it actually works in Destruction’s favor.

Wow. What a disincentive for RVR if you have any shred of realm pride. Fortunately, Mythic says they are working on the bug, though the timeline for a fix is sketchy at best.

One player on Gorfang wanted to try to quantify the gear and renown haul due to the VP bug, and Destro of course, say it’s not a big deal (though there are the few who are calling attention to this).

Case in point: Cald noticed that Order owned one keep in Thunder Mountain. We claimed it, noticed we had about six people and called in T4 channel for help. Anyone who wanted to defend with Ventrilo could join our warband and we could try to prevent Destro from taking the keep.

I wish I had taken screenshots of what some said to me (and I would blur the names to prevent too much humiliation). I got several tells from people saying “Don’t defend it only flips to the city faster” who were actually ANGRY at me trying to defend our lands!

Of course I didn’t listen, and we led about three groups from TM to KV to try to defend. It was all in vain. We were up against 5 warbands at one point (90 on the keep and another warband defending BOs).


Morale on Order side is very low. Let’s hope they fix this bug soon.

Posted by on December 7th, 2009 Comments Off

LotDead Shadow Warriors

We thought we’d ruin some Order’s PVE by running in Land of the Dead for a while on Sunday. For such a highly touted expansion, there was hardly anyone there. But when Order gained control, a lowbie zerg of Shadow Warriors leaped off of a cliff we happened to be hiding behind. Most of them ended up at half health, or worse. They were easily dispatched.

Those aren't rocks, they're corpses.

Those aren't all rocks, they're corpses.

Yeah killing a bunch of lowbies wasn’t terribly challenging or brag worthy, but watching renown (albeit very little renown) falling from the skies was pretty entertaining.

Posted by on August 31st, 2009 Comments Off

Fields of blood

We are amazed and awed at the amount of RVR we have seen on Phoenix Throne so far.


This map represents Friday night at about 6:30 p.m. Pacific time. FotF is headed into the fray!

As we slowly accumulate Annihilator and Conquerer gear, we are getting less squishy. We stood toe to toe with one of the better Bright Wizard bomb groups on the server. I am confident once we get equivalent gear that they won’t stand a chance.


Apparently our guild is getting a bit of a reputation (if only for the guild name). I discourage bragging on forums. It’s sometimes hard not to provide advice without seeming like you’re bragging. I don’t want to come off as arrogant (oh but on this server we did it this way and it worked).


But sometimes you really can’t help it. We had a keep defense that everyone thought we would lose. The tank wall was rather massive, though, and I had every confidence that we would prevail. That is, until the people on the tank wall left the wall to chase down people who got past /facepalm.

We steered them (in a not-so-nice way) to get back onto the wall and hold fast. We prevailed and chased them out of the keep!

I anticipate more fun today and Sunday.

Posted by on August 1st, 2009 Comments Off