Posts Tagged ‘Tier 5’

The Need for T5

January 18, 2011 7 comments

Yesterday I wrote about the growing divide between casual and hardcore players, as the latter progresses farther in the renown ranks and dons far superior gear. My conclusion was simple – there needs to be a divide in T4. The current bracket of RR40 (theoretically) to RR100 is massive; there is no realistic way for a RR40 to take on an RR100. There have been many suggestions as to amending this gap mainly about reshuffling the tiers into renown brackets instead of level brackets (I believe someone had it at T1=RR1-15, T2=RR16-30, T3=RR31-50, T4=RR51-100). While this suggestion would work, I’d prefer to modify it.

In Eka’s world, the Tiers would be shifted to a renown cap focus with level caps naturally for Tiers 1 and 2. Tier 1 would be RR1-18 (Full Obliterator is RR17); Tier 2 would be RR19-30  (Full Devastator is RR26); Tier 3 would be RR31-49 (First piece Anni is RR31, Full Conq is RR45); Tier 4 would span RR50-70 (Full Invader to full Warlord); and Tier 5 would be RR71+ but itself divided into three RvR brackets (RR71-80, RR81-90, RR91-100). So more or less the brackets would be divided by renown armor sets and their accompanying scenario weapons. Players over RR70 could return to T4 since this would remain as the main campaign, but they would see diminishing returns in terms of stats and renown gain (their stats would not exceed that of full Sovereign gear). If they wanted to fight to their fullest potential and reap full renown they would venture to T5.

Now I know what you’re thinking – “But Eka, Mythic doesn’t even have the resources to give us 12 character slots per server, how would they ever manage to construct a 5th Tier…?” Well the solution is simple (hopefully a temporary solution until a permanent T5 could be constructed). T5 would not exist in new maps, but would rather turn the campaign around. One thing most players agree on is that there is so much wasted space set aside for PvE, and most people who still play WAR are not here for the PvE so it is indeed wasted.

Previously I expanded the T4 scene into the T4 PvE lakes, and now I propose to do the same to the lower tiers. So you will recall I said T5 would exist in three brackets (RR71-80, RR81-90, RR91-100), well these brackets would coincide with Tiers 1-3 – we’ll say the ‘Sovereign’ bracket in T3, the ‘Doomflayer’ bracket in T2, and the ‘Warpforged’ bracket in T1 – so it is a reverse progression. In these tiers the PvE lakes take up almost 80% of the map, if not more, so there is ample room for expansion. Naturally a system could be implemented for the actions taken by the T5 troopers to affect the ‘home tiers’ they are located in – something balanced as to not make the zerg of T5 dictate the terms of T1-3.

Ah I can already hear the voices of dissent again “But how will my low level toons level without our PvE lakes??” Fear not, in my version a system would be implemented so both things could exist at the same time. T5 would take large portions out of T1-3, yes, but significantly large portions would remain for low level toons to gain experience. Also the PvE mobs would exist in a smart system where their level would be determined by the person attacking them (much like the event mobs in the cities which upon being attacked are an appropriate level to the attacker). Players of the ‘home tier’ would not be able to flag themselves for RvR in the T5 lakes and could safely execute quests and public quests without fear of being caught in the line of fire.

Naturally I will follow the same model I used for my T4 expansions and transform key locations via major landmarks and public quests into BOs. However, because no keeps exist in the the wilderness of T1-3, a system would be introduced reminiscent of the olden keeps with lords and champions – the T5 lords would be the chapter hub Rally Masters, and their guards the denizens of the chapter hub. In this way difficult objectives to take and defend would still exist, but doorhammer would not exist. Upon killing the Rally Master, the attackers would be rewarded and the zone locked down temporarily while the Rally Master revived (say a 30m lockdown on the Chapter hub) and for the sake of the low levels doing quests, yes they would still be able to interact with the fallen body of their Rally Master. In fact(!) as a motivating factor, the players of the lower tiers could be given some sort of a experience bonus for aiding in the reviving of their Rally Master (via quests and kill quests) – so he could either be naturally revived in 30 minutes, or the players could turn in quests to raise his HP (however the Chapter hub would still be on lockdown despite the Rally Master being revived sooner by lower tiers – as to prevent a cooperative farming system by both sides).

Over the next nine days I will tackle the various maps of these pairings to show where I would expand the T5 scene into. Hopefully I can illustrate a version of T5 which is both plausible and could separate the high renown ranks from the low renown ranks in T4.

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Bretonnians v Vampire Counts Campaign

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Today I conclude my final campaign, and as per usual I must include maps because I love maps! Once again I am following the standard model of Tiers 1-4 as red/blue dots with capitals (even though Mythic hates capitals) and including my idea of locations for Tier 5 and a dungeon for the pairing. I hope I do my readers justice in designing this campaign – I know the Vampire Counts are a very popular Warhammer army and I have gone against the grain in my design of it. Despite Games Workshops focus on the Von Carsteins I have turned the focus west to the other Bloodlines with distinguishing characteristics; I compensate for this with my version of Tier 5 for this campaign. So without further ado… Read more…

Lizardmen v Skaven Campaign

September 8, 2010 3 comments

So today I wrap up the saga of the Lizardmen and the Skaven – possibly the most called for pairing among the Warhammer Online community. Having presented my 8 classes I conclude with the Tier 1-4 campaign map; however, this concept alone poses several problems (even one I constructed for myself). I will do my best to tackle these problems and come up with a map that is reasonable.

  • Problem 1: Lizardmen rarely go on the offensive. This means that the war would be confined to their ‘home territories’. In my Lizardmen Prelude I posed a scenario which would allow for the Lizardmen to go somewhat on the offensive, and that is an alliance with the High Elves (no mention of the Dwarves or Empire here although presumably they would be ‘allied’ with them as well, just not actively participating in their struggle).
  • Problem 2: Only Clan Pestilens has a stake in Lustria/The Southlands. The other skaven Clans would not aid Clan Pestilens, they would much rather see them fail. In my Skaven Prelude I dug my own hold by having the Skaven join Destruction on the condition that they are taking Dwarven Holds. Arguably they can fight the Empire, Bretonnia, and Wood Elves as well – but Ulthuan has no Skaven presence and struggles against the aforementioned Order entities would again be one Clan versus that Order army. Potentially the biggest problem lore-wise is bending an alliance between the Great Clans.
  • Problem 3: Any ‘capital’ of the Lizardmen is eons away from Skavenblight. With this in mind a tier 4 campaign stretching from Lustria to Skavenblight seems rather ridiculous.

Now if we follow for the concept of the Empire and Chaos that the path to victory is never a straight line and the concept of the Dwarves v Greenskins that no distance is too far, then having the Lizardmen v Skaven campaign stretch from Lustria to the Old World is no great issue. I am no particular fan of Mythic’s mind-boggling concept of cartography however and would prefer to follow the High Elf v Dark Elf concept of the most direct route leads to victory.

My solution to these problems – the struggle between the Lizardmen and Skaven in fact is the epitome of the struggle between Order and Destruction. Elements of all factions of Order besiege the home-front of the Skaven, while elements of all factions of Destruction besiege the home-front of the Lizardmen. This way the Lizardmen ‘home-regions’ are located in the lands of the Lizardmen as they fend off not only Skaven, but also other armies from Destruction; likewise, the Skaven ‘home-regions’ are located primarily in the Old World as they fend off the armies of Order. The result is a map more akin to the High Elf v Dark Elf paring which focuses the war on the south but (with Tier 5) spills the war over into the Old World. It’s not a solution I’m entirely happy with because I do not like having the entire campaign take place in the southern hemisphere while pulling these two armies into their respective alliances and following the High Elf v Dark Elf style where the ‘bad guy’s’ capital is thousands of miles away as safe. However for the purpose of this hypothetical scenario I will focus Tier 1-4 on the Clan Pestilens struggle  and throw all the other Clans in Tier 5.

So I present my ‘solution’ to this terribly difficult problem – Read more…

Beastmen v Wood Elf Campaign

August 26, 2010 1 comment

“I had a dream that a terribly dark storm was on the horizon and it was moving toward Athel Loren. I saw lightning strike a tree and from the scar blood gushed forth, and from this blood Cyanathair the Corrupter was reborn. The forests of Athel Loren went from being covered in snowfall, to being covered in blood-washed snow. I fear what will happen to Athel Loren when this dark storm reaches our borders…” Excerpt from the Journal of Ariel, Queen of Athel Loren

So to conclude the Wood Elf and Beastmen storyline I wanted to put up maps, because I am in love with maps! So plotted out I’ve labeled tiers 1-4 using the standard set up that Mythic has and including my own additional dots for tier 5. This is all entirely hypothetical fluff considering 1) this pairing doesn’t exist and 2) the concept of tier 5 doesn’t exist. But for those who want to become more geographically aware…. Read more…

Eka’s Tier 5 – High Elf v Dark Elf

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Happy Tuesday! For today I present to you a poll regarding the removal of friendly player collisions on the Bioware Social Network (boo to them). Recently Mythic has tested removing friendly collisions and their impact on server performance and its implications in RvR. As a range dps I could care less for friendly collisions, as a tank/mdps they bug the hell outta me. Its like getting cut off on the road. Anyone who drives knows exactly how this feels. You’re in hot pursuit of the ice cream truck and then ‘wham!’ a slayer cuts you off and you are now that much further from the ice cream truck. What do you do? You try to circle around the stupid slayer and get the ice cream truck BUT by the time you reach it, the slayers eaten all your ice cream. Hrm, back to WAR, it seems that the majority of players would like to keep friendly collisions in. Read the thread, become enlightened!

Ok on to the post… in my final segment of the T5 map locales I bring to you the High Elves and the Dark Elves. For this particular episode I have two maps because I do not feel that Ulthuan can contain many more locations simply because Mythic has already dumbed down its size and made it a rather compact pairing. As you can see of the eleven elven provinces, eight are used in the storyline. You can argue that the Shadowlands is huge on this map but consider that the Dark Elf PvE lake stretches from Anlec (its entrance to the zone) to the Griffon Gate (its exit). My solution: The High Elves go on the offensive! This rarely happens in lore and when it does no survivors return but what the heck, Mythic doesn’t care much about lore anyway so lets do it! Read more…

Eka’s Tier 5 – Dwaves v Greenskins

August 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Before I launch into another colorful map of ‘I wish I could go there’ locations, I wanted to quickly redirect you to Gaarawarr Gab’s Transcript of the Q&A a few nights ago. Personally I didn’t find anything helpful in it – a lot of questions about SMs, Zealots & RPs and a few about WEvWH and Mauraders. In terms of the hypothetical future we’ve gotten a definite no on the other cities. -insert sad face- Some curiosities thrown out as maybes – player housing, more crafting, and barber shops! Yay for more fluff =P

Anyway, onward to the matter on hand! Today I would like to explore the realm of the Dwarves and the treasures that be hidden there! Read more…

Eka’s Tier 5 – Empire v Chaos

August 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Ok I admit it, I’m totally hung up on an additional tier OR hell just new maps in the existing tiers. New lands to explore please! So today I shall present the map of the Empire again, but this time with new additions!

Read more…

Eka’s Tier 5 Map Example

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

So after spending a few minutes on the complex program ‘Paint’ I came up with a version for a T5 map – look at my mad paint skillz!

As you can see I smashed the PvE lake in the middle so that even if you are doing a PQ, some invading army may sweep past you and give you a dirty look. In this particular zone each faction is ‘capped’ by a fort and to access the fort it is a sorta pyramid design – this would be a ‘middle of the campaign zone’. You can either go balls out and assault the fort directly which would be terribly hard to do, as it has massive amounts of defenders and solid doors and walls OR you can take the zone as intended, bottom up. The key to weakening the fort is taking the four keeps which supply it, and the key to taking the keeps is to take the four bastions which support them.

  • Bastions – either fortified (via door and walls) or an open BO. The doors have only a few thousand hit points (enough to stall the lone DoK, but not enough to hinder a warband). Each bastion bolsters its keep in a specific manner – door hp, lord hp, guard numbers, outer postern deadbolts,etc.  and taking them greatly eases capturing the keep. Take the four bastions and the keep is ‘defenseless’.
  • Keeps – our standard keeps from t3/t4 but their survival depends on the strength of their bastions. The keeps are simply garrisons, the bastions supply them. Like bastions, they directly bolster the zone’s fort in various ways. As a T5 keep their lords would in fact be of lord quality and require conqueror gear and drop invader gear.
  • Forts – the key to the zone. You control the forts you can spill over to the next map. These would be structured much like olden forts and require invader gear and drop warlord gear. Their defense would depend on their keeps.

In this fashion the war would be more wide spread. You see your enemy is on the march and taking your bastions, a chunk of your faction holds up in the keep for the defense, but knowing that no keep can stand unsupplied you send out small groups to recapture the bastions. The keep falls and the retreat pulls back to the fort, now greatly weakened. While the battle wages at the walls of the fort and the outer doors buckle, you send a crack team to recapture a few bastions around a vulnerable keep. Now the enemy must choose – will they press on and hope to push the fort with a greater degree of difficulty or split their forces to ensure the keep holds and the assault on the fort is supported. Naturally the problem with this approach would be population – what is to stop a defending army from sweeping the keeps while the assailants charge the fort.

It is hard to envision this system with current population levels but I personally believe it could work and would split up the zerg. My main issue with the current zones is the side with greater numbers zergs from bo to bo to keep to bo, and so on. Most of the zones are so linear that you simply funnel armies into each other and see who has the bigger knives.

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Eka’s Tier 5 Layout

August 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Today I’d like to discuss the highly unlikely idea of T5 – a great idea that if implemented at launch would have divided the game more evenly, but in its current state would be hard to support at current population levels. Irregardless, one can dream!

So if I was a developer how would I make tier5… question of the day! Well let me start with my argument for a tier 5; tier 4 is too polarized – a lvl 32 rr32 has no chance against a rr80, yet they are lumped together and forced to fight. This far into the game’s history each server boasts a great population of rr80s on both sides who still play for whatever reasons. I cannot speak for every rr80, but for myself I like a challenge and killing a lvl 32 gives me no joy. Solution: separate the lower renown ranks from the higher renown ranks by giving them their own tier (especially if the decision is made to up the renown cap to 90 or 100). I’ll break down the rest into steps/requirements.

  1. Step one would be to break apart the current tier 4. For me an ideal split would be tier 4 is lvl 32 to rr49; tier 5 is rr50+. This way the best gear anyone would have (at least for RvR sets) would be conqueror – if Mythic truly wants to make this game RvR focused they could slap RR requirements on dungeon sets too, but that is no concern of mine.
  2. Step two is to reintroduce the forts – to access t5 you must have either taken 2/3 forts or defended your forts x amount of times. Until you’ve proven to be a fort-ified player (pun!) you’re stuck in t4. I know many would whine and say ‘what if you’re on a fail server’, but somehow I doubt it would be a huge problem considering how often the city is pushed.
  3. Step three is to bump the cities to t5 since it makes little sense to acquire your gear before hand OR to only allow people in t4 access to anni/conq gear in their city.
  4. Forth, mainly because I’m a geography nerd, falling back to the geography posts we look at three maps which are more or less jumbled up (with the exception of the HEvDE pairing) so the task would be to place t5 somewhere where it makes sense in the story. T5’s story doesn’t have to flow with the pairing war, it could be a new threat – potentially from new races added to the game.
  5. Lastly, construct t5 zones, and here is the meat of the post – how I would construct those zones.

Eka’s Tier 5 zone layout

Proportionality – So as we progress through the game the zones are divided into PvE lakes and PvP lakes. Each tier the PvE gets progressively smaller, as the PvP gets bigger. Pulling numbers out of my arse we’ll say t1 is 20% PvP and 80% PvE, with only 4 B.O.s to take; t2 is 30% PvP and 70% PvE, with a home keep for each faction and 4 B.O.s; t3 is 30% PvP and 70% PvP, with a home keep for each faction with an outer wall and 4 B.O.s; and t4 is about 40% PvP and 60% PvE with three zones of three home keeps per faction and a total of 12 B.O.s and a home fort capping each pairing. For me T5 needs to be leaps and bounds above its predecessors- it should be where you want to fight. Ergo, t5 is 80% PvP and 20% PvE.

PvE – Yes most people hate it but there’s got to be some storyline for the zone so we take Mythic’s typical formula of having the RvR lake be in the middle of the zone and turn it on its head – the PvE lake is in the middle of the zone sandwiched between a sea of RvR. Not only that but both story lines run parallel with only conflict PQs, this way the struggle is even apparent in the PvE lake (something which no other tier really has). Since technically ToVL is a dungeon with gear of the equivalent of T5 gear a dungeon wouldn’t be necessary.

RvR – The heart of the zone, the reason you wanna be out there fighting! We’re talking epic here. You’ve got good gear – make good use of it!

  • You know having done every PQ on the Order side I always had one huge grief with Mythic – why did they make such awesomely looking PQs and locations in the PvE lakes but give us such lackluster RvR lakes. Solution: give us those epic locations as BOs. Imagine fighting up marble stairs winding up to an elven town where the flag is. Or fighting through an Empire fortified town like Castle Grauenburg or Castle Reiksguard. Make BOs more than a rock, or a group of trees, or an island.
  • Second, don’t pigeon-hole our strategy. Huge open maps like Chaos Wastes and Eataine are bland but make for epic fights, while small winding roads such as in Dragonwake or Black Crag make for predictable army movements. Mix both elements! In many player’s minds, Praag is the best zone because it does offer both elements – twisting streets with enemies lurking around the corner opening up onto wide plazas where the armies clash.
  • Third, you gave us keeps with outer walls in t3 and t4, give us a new element to our keeps, perhaps with more customization. In fact you can scatter elements of all tiers across a single map. You can have a splattering of bastions across the map (t2 keeps) overlooking key points BUT keep the doors incredibly weak and non-upgradeable – I’m talking like a few thousand hit points and no ram necessary. This is not going to be tier-door-hammer. More or less they would serve as fortified BOs and drop conqueror gear for those who missed out in t4. These bastions can ring a keep (t3/t4 model) – each bastion you hold the defenses are weakened (door hp/guards/lord health) and these would drop our invader gear. And the keeps would circle a fort which would drop warlord gear, and the forts would have greater degrees of customization and again would be weakened by the loss of a keep. The effect is you have two or more defensive zones with a fort in the middle, circled by keeps, which in turn are circled by bastions. You lock a zone you move to the next map – the tug-of-war between cities would be a slower process, not the nascar event it is now.
  • Last, if you’re going to make this a tug of war between the cities give us more than 3 zones to claw over. Add the remaining cities to cap each pairing and make each struggle important. Lets face it, none of the capitals are right up against each other, they’re far apart and deserve more than 3 zones separating them.

To keep this post from going pages and pages on I’ll save my locations for t5 in the existing geography of the world for another post!

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Hypothetical Expansion 8: Tier 5

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Scenario 8: Tier 5

The Possibility: To end my chain of hypotheses, I bring to mind a possible expansion which in fact would have made sense ages ago – the implementation of a fifth tier to separate lower levels and renown ranks from upper levels. This theory does go hand in hand with raising the renown and level cap but deserves its own category because it does not necessitate them in the current state of the game.

The Pros: As I stated in my prior post – tier 4 is not a fair fight. Separating people by renown rank would give new players entering tier 4 a fighting chance. My main came through T4 back when the best gear you could get was full Dark Promise, and those people were rare – seeing someone with even one piece invader made jaws drop. On average players were decked out in combinations of Dark Promise, Sentinel, and Annihilator – maybe some conqueror if you were lucky. Now as I bring up other toons my poor fellas in devastator get eaten in milliseconds by a RR80 choppa. He looks at me, I’m dead. It’s not fun. I knew a guy who hated T4 because he had no chance, so every time he hit level 32 he rerolled – to me that’s not what  Warhammer is about, yet people do it.

The Questions to be Raised:

  • Mythic’s biggest argument against a T5 is that the population would not sustain it. I dont know if they ever considered that maybe new people would sub if there was a) a new tier to fight in and b)their lower level toons were on an even playing field in T4. Would this expansion create the population boost in WAR necessary for sustaining populations in all tiers?
  • Where does T5 go? In most of the story lines T4 is on the home front of the factions capitol. Do you tack on a 5th tier to the existing pairings and somehow rework the story to accommodate for it sticking the cities behind T5 or do you leave them at the cap of T4 and have another tier…? Given the geographic mess the story lines are currently in I guess it doesn’t matter.
  • Do we open up a new racial pairing and make it exclusively T5, forcing classes in that pairing to forgo their storyline and level in the existing three pairings.
  • At what point do we cut T4 in half? Or does T4 remain RR32-RR80 with T5 being RR81-100?
  • New maps? New scenarios? New pqs? New armor sets? I likey but would Mythic go through the work to do it?

The Finances: This is a mixed bag. People would re-sub to see tier 5 but the question is would the momentum stay to keep the population alive in every tier or would it dwindle and create 5 tiers with skeletal populations. There are already arguments to condense the game to three tiers to remove the dead zone that is t3 (although with the LotD changes t3 may regain life yet!). Temporary financial boosts without a sustained population… could bring the end to WAR.

Conclusion: Although in my heart T5 is something that should have existed ages ago I fear what this would do to the game if the population did not hold after the expansion, let alone the fact that Mythic has stated they do not favor T5 because it would force them to rework mobs in dungeons that coincide with T5. I believe T5 could only be implemented with an expansion which was guaranteed to bring in huge numbers – like the implementation of new racial pairings because everyone is in love with Skaven. As a stand alone expansion I do not think this would be a prudent move, as a tag along expansion to new content which could be experienced T1-4 this could very well work.

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