Uplink Analysis: PvP (Or as I like to call it: Warplots. Seriously: Warplots)

Carbine just released their PvP Uplink Analysis.  You can find the original post Here.  Last week Carbine had asked us via twitter (go follow them @Team_Wildstar if you haven’t already) what our issues with pvp have been in the past.  They got alot of responses and posted a selection of quotes that highlighted the three big area’s that have plagued most MMO’s lately.

Uninteresting battlegrounds, Crowd Control (CC) mechanics and Skill Vs. Gear (as well as accessibility)

From it sounds like, they have some very interesting and solid solutions to these issues and the one i’m looking forward to is the Skill Vs. Gear problem and uninteresting battlegrounds, but I’ll go in depth into their solutions and why this is all good.

Skill Vs. Gear (cause it’s not fun trying to start fighting with a massive handicap)

They plan on doing an ELO system.  In short, it’s kind of a like a ladder that most players have probably seen by now.  You win, you go up the ladder in points; you lose and you fall from grace.  It’s simple, effective and it works.  Hopefully the system will be really good about pairing like ELO’s together (I’ve heard alot of horror story’s in LoL for example, where a Silver was supposed to be put together with silvers for a rank up match, and two matches in a row he got a team full of bronze’s.  He has since quit the game and won’t return because of this.)  Just as long as the matchmaking system is setup to be cross-server with all players, the potential wait times should hopefully be at a minimum (please, no hour long waits like in the old days of WoW).

So you have like skilled people with gear linked to these tiers.  I hope the system will work out like this.

 (DISCLAIMER:  THIS IS -> NOT <- HOW IT’S GOING TO BE!  THIS IS WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE)

  • Starting ELO is 1000.  Players between 0-1199 will have access to the same gear.  Once you hit 1200-1299, you have access to some higher tier gear and will be barred from playing with players from 1199 elo and lower.
  •  The further you go up, the higher or more prestigious the gear becomes.  I always like in WoW when arena’s were first coming out when you saw someone with the highest arena gear for the season… you knew they would wreck you in a second because of the experience and the gear just gave off that vibe of ‘bad-ass’.

So, we have a good basis for ranked play for the ‘hardcore’ to test their mettle and have it skill based through the ELO.  We have the accessability with gear only being available to those who have a higher ELO (and hopefully, those higher skill/gear players will be barred from the lower ELO players).

They also have ‘open’ matches too, which will let the players with higher gear play with the lower tiers without any loss of ELO.  Sounds like a great place to get better at PvP.

The Crowd Control Issue (AKA:  Nerf ‘Mace Rogues’)

Playing any MMO has one universal fact about them:  Crowd Control.  It’s almost a necessary evil because some classes depend on being able to shutdown mobs in PvE to live and survive because their damage isn’t great or their health is pitiful.  However, these skills are also translated into PvP in which class balance can play a big issue.

I personally hate CC.  It’s never fun to be stopped in the middle of doing something or be stopped for so long that you die (as was mentioned numerous times in the Analysis.)

The ‘Mace Rogues’ reference was from a dark time in WoW where are rogue could literally stun-lock you to death while wielding mace’s.  It was cheap and very easy to do.  Most people wouldn’t mind being stun-locked if there was some sort of skill involved (doing an intricate combo or clever (and difficult) use of skill mechanics)

The worst CC experience for me was probably SWTOR.  They had this really badly explained resolve bar that by the end of my time playing I was just barely starting to understand (and how useless it was.)

However, with that in mind,  the “interrupt armor” that Chris Lynch mentioned on the Analysis is in a way the same system that SWTOR had but done in a much better way.  In SWTOR, you gained resolve by taking the hits from CC but it would stack on the CC’s (some lasting for more than 5 seconds) regardless until the resolve bar hit full.  Once it was full, it would give you ‘immunity’ (I swear it never worked) from CC once you were hit with YET ANOTHER CC.  Interrupt armor the opposite way of resolve.  To get a CC to work on a player, they must chip away at this armor before the big hits come.

Skill wise, we’re gonna see some awesome plays.  The ‘IA’ will be another number to keep in a players head as the meta for pvp comes into focus and is already getting me excited for pvp.  I don’t like boring pvp and having to keep in mind that everyone’s immune to CC until you chip it off is an awesome way to do it (And makes it fun for everyone)

And better still, they have the breakout-system which if you are CC’d, you can still get out of it (I expect some flashy stuff here for style) much like ‘pvp trinkets’ did in WoW.

I like their solutions and can’t wait to see it in practice…  But now we get to the meat and potatoes of the post that I think everyone should be jumping for joy over.

Uninteresting Battlegrounds (Pssh, who needs battlegrounds when we’ve got Warplots!)

Seriously.

Warplots.

Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?  Let players build their own houses/defendable structures and let other players attack it!  It’s something so new that In all my gaming experience, I can’t actually compare it to anything I’ve seen before because I HAVEN’T SEEN THIS BEFORE.

Build your Warplot, get some buddies and queue for Warplot PvP.  You’ll be matched up with similar skill/geared opponents and the goal sounds like you’re to destroy the other persons Warplot.  I want to see cinematics for this where the floating islands crash into each other and fuse together to form an infinite number of battlegrounds.

It’d be really cool to have a community system where people can vote on well done bases/designs and have tourneys based around the best of the best (and balanced) designs.  The possibilities are endless here, which means there’s always something to try out here.

There will be set battlegrounds with the staples of mechanics, but with some really interesting twists.  The one they mentioned was a 1 neutral-flag ctf gametype that was starting to remind me a lot of a Halo game-type that I really enjoyed.  Essentially, both teams go for the flag in the middle and plant it back at the base.  Instead of the flag going away, another one in the center spawns but the one that was just planted can be stolen at any time.  This makes the games more dynamic because you have to react on the fly instead of the waiting game.  Getting one flag doesn’t mean victory as if you got one flag and just defended it, the other team could capture many more flags.  You need to strike balance within the team comp of attackers/defenders or you won’t win.

Sounds exciting to me, regardless of the environment these battlegrounds will be set in.

 

Whew.  I’m glad they took the time to ask us how we feel about PvP because it looks like the big questions were answered and it has left me satisfied in many regards and wanting more Warplots.  They’ve got a good framework and all I Can see them do right now is expand upon the structure.  I’m hoping they can really nail the class balance and gear now.

Seriously guys.  Warplots.

~Roland

Follow us on Twitter at @Wildstar_Nexus  Feel free to comment below on what you liked most about the analysis!

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~ by Roland Daemon on March 8, 2013.

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