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Hypothetical Expansion 3: Cities & Forts

For those who missed it on the forums, the patch notes for 1.3.6 are up! Some exciting announcements, such as the booting of low levels from LotD and the attempt to breathe life back into T2 & T3, and my favorite – the end of the /assist add ons! Time to see how many ‘leet’ guilds ‘got tired of the game’ and quit. Now, on to the issue for today!

Scenario 3: All six cities and forts!

The Possibility: Today we will explore the possibility of adding the four missing capitals  and/or forts. I lump these two together simply because the forts can be added on their own, or the capitals can be added in which case it is my opinions that the forts would have to be added.

Forts of Olden Days: Lets face it, the new city is awesome and what it should have been ages ago, BUT it is pushed too often and anything that occurs too frequently grows mundane. I remember back in the day of forts, pushing a fort was a realm effort; getting to the city was a miracle that filled the realm with great pride. When forts were removed, there was less of a reason for realm unity – the city could be pushed by the side with more numbers, something you couldn’t do at a fort with the population caps. Then as realms began pushing kings we realized that flipping to stage two of the city was a realm effort – we needed every instance to win, but they took that away with the isolated instances in current cities. It seems that as the RvR campaign gets upgraded, the necessity for realm cooperation declines. Mythic gave us Realm Captains and /T4 chat – but all its used for is “More resources for LotD plox!” or name calling by people who feel more important (I wish Mythic would implement an IQ test for /T4 chat privileges to prevent idiots from using it); its hardly ever used to actually coordinate.

The Citiess & why forts would have to come with them: Prior to launch the original intent was for each pairing to have a city – if you locked a T4 pairing you pushed the city, there were no forts. However, after some thought the developers decided to remove the Dwarf, High Elf, Dark Elf, and Greenskin cities because it would fracture the realm – as laid out in this podcast. Instead the cities were replaced with forts and Altdorf and the Inevitable City became Capitals of the realm. To push a Capital, you need 2/3 enemy forts. Forts were removed because they stopped the campaign too much – they were too hard to take because the lord was rather difficult and required Superior Wards and the champions were on steroids. The community asked for a second ramp to the lord room to ease the assault, instead Mythic slapped a second ramp in keeps and got rid of forts. -facepalm- In this state of the game with so many people in Invader, Warlord, and Soverign gear, wards would no longer be an issue in forts. Presumably Mythic would have fixed the issue with the guards on steroids and they would likewise be more manageable. Only testing would show if the old method of the lord on the fourth floor still would be feasible. Mythic can choose to solely include the forts to gain access to Altdorf OR they could add the old cities and, in my opinion, would have to add forts to protect each city – taking a fort would only open that city. Without forts each city would be pushed far too often. If you think defending Altdorf three times a day is bad… try defending Altdorf and then having Karaz-a-Karak pushed while you’re still in Altdorf!

The Pros:

  • In its current state the city is fun, but it is pushed far too often. Adding forts would slow this process, give realms the opportunity to unite and fight together and would make the city a special event requiring coordination, not something that happens every day.
  • Adding the other cities would give the community something they’ve been begging for since launch. Some people who play a particular race want to see their city, defend their city. Altdorf is nice and all, but I’m a High Elf and I really wanna grab Malekith’s Fist and shove it up his… Greenskin allies!

The Questions to be Raised:

  • How would the forts be adjusted in terms of issues that plagued them before? – insane mob pathing for champion guards; pets leashing lords; one ramp to the lord room; server stability in the forts; and of course – population caps. Population caps were what kept forts a balanced fight, but they made people feel left out. Could a new more fluid population cap system be introduced? Simply for every defender you can have an attacker, the population cap goes up depending on defenders present.
  • Would pushing a fort temporarily lock down other zones? – In the olden days of forts, the situation on Gorfang was that Destruction could never muster the organization to push a fort. Then they learned! They began to flip two or three pairings to forts and bank on Order’s greed, and it worked! They would flip Eataine, give one decent push on the Shining Way, while another warband locked Reikland. Once Reikwald was vulnerable, Destruction would leave and attack that knowing that most of Order would wait for their loot rolls in the Shining Way (you couldn’t leave or your contribution would be wiped). In this fashion they would take one fort and redo this method again to retake another.
  • By taking a fort, a city would open – how would you prevent the above scenario for cities? If a city unlocks naturally the defenders will flock to that city, but the attacks may have the incentive to push another pairing and unlock another city – and I can’t be in two cities at once!
  • How would loot and loot lockouts vary in cities? – It would seem unfair if Dwarf/Greenskin cities dropped lower quality gear than the Empire/Chaos cities but having three king fights for Sovereign gear seems like it would become too common place (which it already is).
  • How would cities vary? – Does Lothern have the same facilities as Altdorf? If both have guild halls how do I chose which guild hall my scroll is bound to? Would the Dwarf/Greenskin High Elf/Dark Elf cities also have keeper and sentinel dungeons? Or are those exclusively Altdorf venues? How do we make sure that the remaining cities are not red-headed step children?

The Finances: Introducing the remaining cities and re-introducing forts would most likely create a small bump in revenue, but the truth is it isn’t new content to keep old players interested. Its just a new skin on an old skeleton. The T4 campaign would certainly gain a new dynamic with forts re-introduced but if three cities were being pushed with the regularity that Altdorf and the Inevitable City are currently – players would became war-weary quickly. Lockout timers on cities would have to be put in place to prevent this.

Conclusion: Considering the forts already exist – they should be easy to reactivate, and assuming the issues they had before have been fixed I see no reason why they are not. The cities on the other hand would require some fleshing out. I cannot speak with certainty but I do believe that the skeleton for the other cities already existed prior to launch, and this belief is based on the fact that there use to be maps for Karaz-a-Karak and Karak Eight Peaks online which have recently disappeared rather mysteriously, and this belief is vaguely supported by the fact that the Dwarf/Greenskin pairing was the first to be fleshed out back in 2006 as shown in Mythic’s first podcast, so presumably the Dwarf/Greenskin cities were also included in the package. I believe that the decision to remove the four cities which do not currently exist was made before work was started on the Elf zones. If this is the case then introducing the cities wouldn’t require Mythic to start from scratch. Should this be new content? Yes. Should this be considered the carrot that Mythic has been dangling in front of us for months? No. We need something new to feel like we’re progressing, not new skins on old concepts.

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