Scenario Insanity in Warhammer 1.0.4

Yes, I’m grumpy at the moment. That is because Mythic keep making bizarre design decisions that seem to fly in the face of reality. Also, I need caffeine.

Campaign Adjustments
Tier 4 zones now require fewer scenario victory points to be captured. The mechanics of capturing a zone have not changed however. Zones which have no scenario opposition can still be captured if players join the queue for scenarios based on that Zone. Victory points towards zone control will be granted if a realm has enough players in the queue to launch the scenario and the other realm doesn’t. If players in those queues join a launched scenario or leave the queue, the victory points towards zone control will be forfeit.

In other words, using “Join All” to queue for all available scenarios is still the fastest way to get into a scenario, but joining the scenarios in a specific zone will have the greatest impact on control of that zone, and by extension the greatest impact on the campaign in that pairing.

Wooh, woh!!! Stop right there! If one faction has enough people queueing up for a scenario, and the other faction does not, the faction with the most queuers gets victory points?

Are you insane? Do you understand that on many servers, one faction or another simply cannot muster enough people for a scenario in certain tiers. On my server we have never had a tier 3 scenario. I don’t know which faction, maybe it’s both, does not have enough players signing up. But, Mythic, it was you who decided the minimum number of players needed to launch a scenario, and set it so high. How are we going to balance the populations if you explicitly go around rewarding the higher pop faction?

Not only that, but you are forcing people who care about the overall war to sign up for scenarios, even if they’ed rather do Open RvR. If they don’t, there is a risk of allowing the enemy a free victory. You have been saying that you want to move people out of scenarios, into open RvR, but this will have precisely the opposite effect.

If the higher numbered faction, on low pop servers, is going to be receiving a constant stream of extra victory points from failed scenario launchings, that makes a complete mockery of the war. The lower population sides are already having enough trouble in open PvP. Now you want to make it so that they auto-fail scenarios?

I was really hoping for a scenario fix in 1.04. One that would have allowed me to actually play in a tier 3 scenario. Maybe a scenario randomiser so that in tiers that do have scenarios happening, we don’t keep doing the same one. Instead, I hear that I may be going to be punished for Mythic’s own bad scenario launching design that won’t let me play. That annoys me.

Here’s my proposed fix. First, only grant victory points for scenarios that actually take place, as happens now.
Next, figure out how many people each side has signed up for a scenario. Launch a scenario with equal numbers on each side. Use the blasted Nordenwatch map if you think the tier 3 maps are too big for the number of players available. If Nordenwatch is too big, make a map for smaller numbers. But, and this is what I care about, LAUNCH A SCENARIO!!!! Let us fight! I’ll fight one on one in a cardboard box if that is all you have time to design. That is preferable to our opponents just being given free victory points.

Update: Hello to Book of Grudges, and Tobold readers!!! Some more thoughts.

The supporters of this change seem to be convinced, when they want a scenario and it doesn’t launch, that it’s because of some sinister plan by the enemy trying to deny them victory points. They are trying to suggest that the opposing faction is so organised, so dedicated, so of one mind, that none of them sign up, even though scenarios are fun and grant good rewards.

That is one possible explanation, but I can think of a lot of simpler ones.

1. Population being low.

2. The requirements for launching a scenario being too high. I spoke to a CSR this week and he told me that the tier 3 scenarios need 18 people on each side.

3. That there is something wrong with the way scenario launching works. I especially suspect this with regards to how it decides which scenario to launch when everyone hit the join all button. Also, if everyone hits “join all” but one single person picks a specific scenario, presumably that would be the one you would get every time, as it would reach the launch criteria soonest.

4. That it is far fiddlier to sign up for a scenario than it needs to be. Why can’t I sign up for a tier 3 scenario when I’m in a tier 2 area? Or when I’m in Altdorf? And if I do get into a scenario, or if I crash, I have to travel back to the specific tier in order to sign up again? Ridiculous! Before you start punishing our realm for not signing up for scenarios in sufficient numbers, hows about you remove all the pointless barriers to signing up?

Update 2: And hello to Kill 10 Rats readers!

The human mind is wired to find patterns everywhere. Often we ascribe intent and purpose to these patterns. That is how superstitions begin, and I believe that in a similar way, people are assuming that the enemy faction is responsible for the scenario situation, when it is simply an artifact of a poorly designed system. Unfortunately, this patch note appears to be attempting to resolve a superstition, a mere illusion, instead of fixing the very real problems with scenario launching that lie at its root.

Anyhows, the the rest of the 1.0.4 Warhammer Online Patch Notes continue below. There’s nothing else in them I feel strongly about either way, apart from the Witching event that I’ve already written about, and am looking forward to.

Highlights

* The Witching Night live event has begun! For details, see the Warhammer Online Herald.

* With the arrival of 1.0.4 we are now one step closer to offering Character Transfers from low population servers to medium population servers and the final stages of testing have begun. We’re excited to share all the details, keep an eye on the WAR Herald for more information and to find out how you can help us test the Free Character Transfer service in the coming days!

* We have added three new guild rewards in the form of dungeon teleport scrolls. Each scroll can be purchased from a guild quartermaster, and is a single-use item that will teleport the player to a dungeon:

o Gunbad Teleport Scroll – This reward is unlocked at guild rank 29, and will teleport the player into the entrance lobby area of the Gunbad Tunnels.

o Bastion Stair Teleport Scroll – This reward is unlocked at guild rank 32, and will teleport the player into the entrance lobby area of the Bastion Stair.

o Lost Vale Teleport Scroll – This reward is unlocked at guild rank 35, and will teleport the player to just outside the entrance to the Lost Vale.

* Once a city has become contested, the attacking realm will now have 6 hours to capture it. If the invaders do not conquer the city in that time, the defenders will be declared victorious and the campaign will reset.

* Pets set to follow will now path properly to their master, and will no longer teleport instantly to their master’s side.

* Fixed an issue that was causing pets to stop attacking their current target and return to their master’s side. This issue would occur when a pet was ordered to change targets in mid combat, and the previous target subsequently died.
* Fixed an issue that could sometimes cause trainer icons not to appear on the minimaps.

* The successful capture of an enemy battlefield objective now rewards the capturing players with experience.

* In response to player feedback, the amount of renown earned from healing players has been increased slightly.

Campaign Adjustments
Tier 4 zones now require fewer scenario victory points to be captured. The mechanics of capturing a zone have not changed however. Zones which have no scenario opposition can still be captured if players join the queue for scenarios based on that Zone. Victory points towards zone control will be granted if a realm has enough players in the queue to launch the scenario and the other realm doesn’t. If players in those queues join a launched scenario or leave the queue, the victory points towards zone control will be forfeit.

In other words, using “Join All” to queue for all available scenarios is still the fastest way to get into a scenario, but joining the scenarios in a specific zone will have the greatest impact on control of that zone, and by extension the greatest impact on the campaign in that pairing.

General Changes and Bug Fixes

* Fixed an issue that would sometimes cause monsters to improperly flee at full speed. Monsters will now flee from combat at a more appropriate speed.

Capital Cities

* Adjusted the text messages that display when the capital cities become contested, to make them more appropriate.

Combat and Careers

Archmage

* Balance Essence: The damage of this ability has been increased.

Content

* Additional polish has been applied to monster pathing and behaviors in the Lost Vale to improve the overall gameplay experience.

* The Bastion Stair dungeon boss Kaarn the Vanquisher will no longer erroneously give “Target is Retreating” messages when attacked.

Realm vs. Realm

* The Statue of the Everchosen battlefield objective in the Chaos Wastes will no longer spawn guards of the wrong realm.

* The guards at the Maiden’s Landing battlefield objective in Avelorn will now spawn at the appropriate level.

* Fixed an issue which was causing the RvR campaign to reset prematurely while a capital city was still contested.

* Fixed an issue which sometimes caused keeps and battlefield objectives to forget which realm and guild last owned them when the server was reset.

* The minimum number of players required to launch scenarios in Praag, Dragonwake and Thunder Mountain has been equalized to ensure even population distribution between all scenarios available when the campaign is in its default state.

Tome of Knowledge

* Tooltips for Tome of Knowledge tactic rewards have been revised to be more clear and helpful.

User Interface

* Fixed an issue that sometimes caused trainer icons not to appear on the minimaps.

16 comments to Scenario Insanity in Warhammer 1.0.4

  • […] I would say something about this particularly. But I think Ark does it perfectly. This change, while being made for the best of intentions sounds a bit weird to me. Will see how it […]

  • You do realize that this is only for Tier 4, right? Also, the way the campaign works, only one zone will be contested, so you know exactly which scenario to sign up for. This is very well thought out, nothing wrong with it.

    • You're all making it far too complicated–ALL ya gots to know is–AN ARTICLE II 'natural born Citizen' does NOT and CANNOT spring from an acknowledged, recognized, & admitted NON-U.S. Citizen, NON-immigrant to the Land, Foreign National, Father.IT'S REALLY THAT SIrauEnPtuMal~faithfLl ie unequivocal rendering of the original

    • Hey, what’s the problem? Haven’t you heard of the Mayor’s Rain Garden initiative? That’ll take care of all of KCMO’s storm water issues. Now, the standing-water-breeding-encephalitis-bearing mosquitoes problem? Well we may need a small 1-cent sales tax to take care of that…Don’t forget to vote for both stadium bonds, too. That way when we vote the sales tax to take care of wastewater improvements, we can all enjoy some truly “world-class” sales tax rates, some of the highest in the country.

  • Whether it or not it only affects Tier 4 depends very much on how you read it. It is only specific in the first sentence. The later changes mentioned could quite easily apply to other tiers.

    Be that as it may, as it is clear that one side will get enough players for a scenario in the affected tiers before the other side does, even if it is only tier 4, I stand by my criticism.

  • Well. The whole section is about the Campaign, which is only in Tier 4. Anyhow, I’m sure we’ll get to know soon enough.

  • Updated with a few more thoughts.

  • […] do not mean to pry, but Arkenor posted some of the 1.04 patch notes for Warhammer Online, along with some commentary.  As it stands there are only two scenarios the […]

  • soru

    ‘The supporters of this change seem to be convinced, when they want a scenario and it doesn’t launch, that it’s because of some sinister plan by the enemy trying to deny them victory points.’

    It doesn’t need to be any kind of conspiracy. Pretty sure the way it works is:

    1. Of the various scenarios, one will tend to give most exp/renown, sometimes by a big factor (Tor Anroc gives 10 points per kill, BlackFire Pass 1, and exp is directly proportional to points for the losing side).

    2. Due to the maths of the way queues work, 20% of people picking their preferred scenario will make that pop first 90% of the time (try working this out by moving round poker chips if you don’t see why).

    3. Once you have won the open field battle, captured all keeps and BOs, the best way to advance zone control further is to win scenarios, especially the 18-player one tied to that campaign (Thunder Valley, Reikland Hills, and Gromril Crossing).

    4. Those scenarios will never pop unless there are 18 players on the defending side queued for them.

    5. There will never be 18 players on the defending side queued for them, unless they organise to do so, as the most popular scenario will have spawned long before and taken them out of the queue.

    6. Organising a defence to do so is (was) stupid, as it risks defeat and gains nothing.

    With the change, organising a scenario defence sounds like it will make sense, so will sometimes happen, sometimes not, depending on servers and guilds and players: game on.

    The risk is, as always, that there will be some other unintended consequence. Balancing this kind of feedback system is economics, not science.

  • If players in those queues join a launched scenario or leave the queue, the victory points towards zone control will be forfeit.

    I think this is the real change. I was hearing about VP earnings and scenarios yesterday (before the patch, or the patch notes) and people were saying that you got VP for queuing and not getting an answering queue from the other side.

    That quote says that VP earnings for simply queuing for a scenario are not permanent.

    Victory points towards zone control will be granted if a realm has enough players in the queue to launch the scenario and the other realm doesn’t.

    If Order queues up and Destro doesn’t, Order gets VP points toward the zone.

    A few things can happen then:
    1. Destro queues enough and a scenario pops. Everyone (Destro and Order) joins the scenario and have at it.
    2. Destro queues enough and a scenario pops. Not everyone joins, i.e. they leave the queue.
    3. Destro doesn’t show up, order gets tired and leaves. Effectively leaving the queue.

    If players in those queues join a launched scenario or leave the queue, the victory points towards zone control will be forfeit.

    1. Players join a launched Scenario. VP earned from queuing are forfeit.
    2. Players leave the queue. VP earned from queuing are forfeit.
    3. Players leave the queue. VP earned from queuing are forfeit.

    The benefit of this that I see is that a side takes all of the Objectives and all of the Keeps in a zone with no contest from the other side, but it doesn’t give them enough to capture the zone. Obviously, if there’s no contest then there probably aren’t players of the opposing side present. How are you to get more VP if you’ve taken all the objectives and keeps, scenarios won’t pop (no opposing players) and no opposing players to kill in the lake?

    I see this as a way to finish off a capture of a zone when no resistance is met.

  • “How are you to get more VP if you’ve taken all the objectives and keeps, scenarios won’t pop (no opposing players) and no opposing players to kill in the lake?”

    Well, off the top of my head, I would say slowly trickle victory points for holding all objectives and keeps in a zone.

    Given that the majority of players are in the more populated side of a server, I quite understand why this seems such an attractive change to so many. But if you make the underpopulated side feel powerless to even attempt to stop you, as you would if the simple fact of not reaching some artificial level of scenario signup meant losing victory points, then you kill your enemies will to fight. Great in real life. Not so much fun in a game.

    Let the war be settled in battle, not by headcount.

  • soru

    That would mean owning a keep/bo at 4am is of equal value to owning it at primetime,. so actual fighting would be irrelevant, it would be mainly a matter of who could stay up later. Basing things to scenarios (and PvE) naturally ties things to server activity.

    Ideal plan to take a zone, given what I understand of the system:

    1. take keeps as early as possible in prime-time
    2. defend keeps and, where possible, BOs, during prime-time (needs a lot less numbers than attacking)
    3. play and win the high-value scenarios by stacking them with organised groups
    4. repeat a few days running, being delayed only slightly by 2AM ninja attacks.

    To defend a zone:

    1. take keeps back
    2. if you can’t, take BOs back.
    3. if you can’t, organise a scenario-winning group
    4. if you can’t, prepare to defend your fortress

    Given tuning, I can’t see any reason why that wouldn’t work: no part of it is obviously un-fun for either side., no-one has to keep fighting at unfavourable odds without hope of reward.

  • “Well, off the top of my head, I would say slowly trickle victory points for holding all objectives and keeps in a zone. ”

    Fair enough, I keep hearing this is a way to get VP but I have never seen it happen for Order on my server. Is there a place I can go to read more about this, such as what the trickle speed is? I know we’ve held a whole zone before (not controlled, but owning everything in it) while we took another zone and when we went back to the first zone the bar hadn’t moved.

    My guild has attempted to take over (control) zones before and it always seems like we only get half way there (as in slightly over the Destro tick on the way to the Order tick) and we run out of things to advance the bar. Maybe this will change because of the lower amount of VP that you need to capture a zone.

  • The victory point trickle was a suggestion of how it should work, rather than how it works at the moment.

  • I was a little mad when i first read this post but have managed to calm myself a little since.
    What i’ve realised is i on a high pop realm like the one i play on this change works well since it will stop the endgame stagnating but on a low pop realm like yours it could cause problems. What i would say however is that myhtic seem to be aiming to remove low pop realms form the equation with the server transfers they are planning on adding (which ofc wont hit untill after they see how wotlk affects their numbers). On a realm with a good population these will help the campaign flow more from zone to zone. Sure its frustrating if your sides behind on the meta RvR, but isnt it worse if there no actual RvR going on at all? Wouldn’t you prefer to be defending a fortress against the odds, than sitting round doing nothing because you know you don’t have the number online atm to make a meaningful counter attack?

    Now im with you in that RvR objective having more meaning would create a nice game of cat & mouse small scale RvR, but since we don’t have that atm isnt it better to at least have a system which when all the zones are locked down rvr wise will open up new zone where RvR can take place. When defending a keep or a fortress the outnumbered side has the advantage of huge walls & gates which can be manned with numerous war machines, they may not be able to compete in the open field with a larger force but they can stop even the largest zerg dead in its tracks with a organised defense.

  • […] or technical issue, but it would really make my day (or week, or hell, even month.) I’m not the only one who wants this, either. It seems like such a simple tweak to appease a lot of the griping in Tier […]

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