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News & Features Discussion  » Warhammer Online : Age of Reckoning: Zone Control Overview and Interview

18 posts found

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

OP  1/28/09 1:08:16 PM#1 Managing Editor Jon Wood gets behind the zone control feature in Mythic's Warhammer Online both in its current state and in terms of what's to come through an interview with two of the game's dervelopers.

As pretty much anyone who might be interested is already aware, Warhammer Online is a game based on an RvR (or Realm vs. Realm) system. It’s a form of PvP that allows for more than just the standard “my guy against your guy” fight to the death style combat. Instead, it implies a larger purpose for the PvP as my faction fights your faction.

In Warhammer Online, these lines are pretty obvious. On the one side, you have Order, on the other side, you have Destruction. The two factions battle it out for zone control, indicated by a blue and red bar on the top right hand side of the default UI aptly named the Zone Control Bar. If your side is winning, more of your color is visible. It’s a pretty good system, designed to make all players feel as though they are contributing to the overall war effort. There’s only one problem: Many players find it confusing.

Warhammer Online Sorceress Screenshot

Read the Zone Control Overview and Interview

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


Novice Member

Joined: 8/14/04
Posts: 2338

1/28/09 1:47:22 PM#2

On one hand I like the zone control changes, as it will finally be easy to change a zone once you mobilize. The only thing that scares me is population imbalance. On my old server it was about 2 to 1 odds Destro vs order, and was relatively hard to keep anything.

Looking forward to seeing how this pans out.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/12/08
Posts: 2009

"Silence is golden, duct tape is silver, but the White Border of Darkfall rules over all!"

1/28/09 1:58:44 PM#3

I agree with the second segment regarding Zone Control rewards. It makes no difference if you make controlling a zone easier if people don't care about it. Sure, they know it's a good thing to do, but some would rather be PvEing or exploring or whatever when a Keep is under attack. Best case scenario is that most everyone drops what they're doing and rushes to defend it, of course, but even I think that's a little unrealistic. Still, it'd be nice to see a Keep being defended by respectable numbers even if an organized WB is not present.

It's tricky but I don't think the answer lies in Zone Control bonuses exactly. If they stick to buffs then they're right about combat buffs - there can't be any, like 10% more damage, because then the owners of the Zone can overpower any attempt to reclaim it. I'd suggest more meaningful +Inf buffs, +Money buffs, +Exp buffs, etc. I really don't have a good answer, but there has to be some way of doing it.

A human and an Elf get captured by Skaven. The rat-men are getting ready to shoot the first hostage with Dwarf-made guns when he yells, "Earthquake!" The naturally nervous Skaven run and hide from the imaginary threat. He escapes. The Skaven regroup and bring out the Elf. Being very smart, the Elf has figured out what to do. When the Skaven get ready to shoot, the Elf, in order to scare them, yells, "Fire!"

Order of the White Border.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/18/04
Posts: 161

1/28/09 2:32:36 PM#4

What's happening in T4 on my server is that people just aren't bothering with PQs. The endgame is to level up infamy and renown which is best done by farming Battlefield Objectives and the occasional keep.

Mythic wanted more people doing orvr and now they are but they are not always fighting. Having to defend the BOs for more than 3 minutes is a step in the right direction but will this be the final nail in the coffin of PQs?

What I'm really pleased about is how this game keeps evolving. The devs could have just left it like it is for 6 months but instead they are constantly refining things. They care about fun.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/10/07
Posts: 272

1/28/09 4:10:36 PM#5

Very nice. Mythic continues to improve a game that is already very fun to play.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/04
Posts: 9

1/28/09 4:15:17 PM#6

I'm still in Tier 2 and have had some great fun taking and defending keeps and objectives. I've never understood the zone control bar and was confused when we "conquered" everything in the zone and still didn't "own" it. Thanks for clearing up the confusion. I think these changes will be good. As far as zone rewards go, for me the ultimate reward would be to participate in a grand campaign to own all the tiers and attack a capital city. Isn't that what "endgame" is all about? Maybe it's going on in other servers, but on my server, nobody ever comes close. As far as anyone knows, has it ever been done before? Small zone buffs are nice so you feel like you earned something for conquering a zone, but what people really care about is unlocking Tier 4 raids right? It should be sufficiently difficult to feel "epic", but not so hard that a couple of good guilds and/or alliances couldn't pull it off in an evening. When I first started playing this game, RvR zones were ghost towns. With the changes Mythic has implemented, they are active and it has made all the difference. I hope the pendulum doesn't swing too far the other way and people stop participating in Public Quests which are another great part of the game.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/28/07
Posts: 1528

1/28/09 4:35:12 PM#7

Transparency of game mechanics seems to be a recurring problem in MMORPGs.  

It doesn't matter if a developer come up with some cool mechanic or system if it's not clearly communicated to the players.    PQ's often have the same problem, the objects are unclear or not obvious which defeats the purpose of having strangers work together toward a shared goal.

It's not just WAR with this problem, this seems to be a typical in every MMORPG from WoW to CoX to LotRO.    MMORPGs are complicated games and it should be up to the developer to make things clear for the players, not rely on fansites and interviews to communicate game functions.  

I think developer get so caught in their mechanics after working on them for years, they forget that the rest of the world has never seen them.   It's like trying to talk to a QA person who lives by all these acronyms than only another QA person can understand.     They need to understand to step back and constantly examine whether they're look at the point of view of people from outside their field.  


Novice Member

Joined: 3/13/06
Posts: 1372

1/28/09 6:03:09 PM#8

I think everyone playing can pretty much agree that they need to lengthen the control times on BOs, so that's a good step.  I also think the 15 minute lockout on BOs is way too long, and the renown gain for keep defense is still too low.

As far as zone control bonuses go, they shouldn't really be things that affect combat.  Like they said, if you give the controlling team too much of a bonus, then you add a huge advantage for the defending team.  Why not make the bonus be a modifier to xp, influence and renown gain... money and loot drops even.  Something tangible that doesn't give either team an advantage over the other in combat.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/26/08
Posts: 249

1/28/09 6:13:01 PM#9

The BO objective changes may encourage more open area fighting. Keep combat is not very interesting right now, due to repetative keep design, marginal siege equipment, choke points, etc., whereas open field combat is a blast. Anything that gets players fighting outside of keeps is highly appreciated. And I hope they take a long hard look at keep combat, and give us a complete revamp in a major patch at some point. New designs, new mechanics, new siege equipment, etc.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 125

1/28/09 6:48:38 PM#10

Nice to see  the changes and nice to see the guild aspect and  holding keeps  coming into play

and Yes Open RVR is a blast and much  better  then the pre made scenerios.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/20/07
Posts: 242

1/28/09 6:55:14 PM#11
Originally posted by warror

Very nice. Mythic continues to improve a game that is already very fun to play.



He that lives upon Hope dies farting.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/07
Posts: 567

1/29/09 12:10:55 AM#12

Nice changes guys.  Still have a ways to go but you are certainly improving the game.  Thanks.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 79

1/29/09 6:09:02 AM#13

I don't agree at all.

First of all, let me state that I don't like the way Zone Control has been implemented in WAR, because it doesn't reflect any real war situation.

It is an arbitrary mechanic that works here, and that is the core of the problem. There is no front i have to rush to and I have to keep, and what logic says that you have Zone Control by controlling only a small piece of the map?

Usually Zone Control doesn't spread out into parts that are marked as Order or Destruction quest areas. Except for buffs of course, which I really do not care about too much, because i can't really feel them. If I get a 10%-XP-Bonus it will take me 10% less time to level up. So instead of 1000 minutes for a lvl it takes me 900 minutes. How do I notice that? Not at all.

The solution is quite easy: Make it visible and tangible in the map who owns the zone:

The retreating ppl cannot visit their regular camps anymore, they loose one by one, until there is only one small war camp left.

Quests get activated or deactivated depending on the percentage of Zone control. You own the country for 85%, you have access to all quests. The other side owns only 15%? They only get the quests to take back the map.

Keeps and battle objectives grant access to features, recipes, resourses, siege weapons etc that are exclusive to them: A BO near a swamp grants exclusive access to a special sort of resource which you need to build something specific: Voila, you have a reason for guilds to defend that BO.


Problem with war in WAR right now is that whatever you do, nothing really changes.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/08
Posts: 1063

If you can read this post, it means admins didn''t rickroll me again.

1/29/09 8:35:37 AM#14
Originally posted by Popingay1


Mythic is constantly putting the effort in, to make this game better and better. 


This messed with my head for a second.  I thought it was Pheace because of the avatar. 

You sir, are an identity theiver!

Originally posted by javac

well i'm 35 and have a PhD in science, and then 10 years experience in bioinformatics... you?


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/11/05
Posts: 17

1/29/09 8:41:37 AM#15

All of these changes I welcome.  I think that PQs should be more important then scenarios however.  Scenarios are really just a joke.  It can be a half team of 30s vs full out 40s, why should this affect zone control?  Not to mention all the scenarios suck anyways.  It makes me glad tho that a zone can be dominated to lock.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/12/04
Posts: 302

You would be surprised how few people care about what you have to say.

1/29/09 9:21:32 AM#16

I do want to reiterate one thing Skalski said in this interview: The way he's proposed it right now, Zone Domination won't be the fastest way to lock a zone. Not by a longshot.

The Domination mechanic is necessary because, the way things stand right now, the best way to hold off a zone capture if you can't mount a good enough counter is to not show up. People rarely want to bother doing PQs, and VP ticks from scenario queues are slow enough that you can keep a zone in limbo for a long, long time if you're not around to actually kill.

It doesn't punish a conquering force for not defending -- it punishes the conquered force for not bothering to take it back. And I like it because it's necessary.

It's not difficult to break domination, since there are no zone-wide alarms when your enemy attacks a BO and you can coordinate it to effectively take more than one at a time. All you need is to hold one of them for 3 minutes, and you've got a 15-minute break from domination.

As part of a larger RvR overhaul, it's an important and great first step.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/15/03
Posts: 21

1/31/09 8:44:14 AM#17

If a message pops up that we are under attack, and I am a zone or 2 away I won't respond because of the time it takes me to get there, more flight masters or even if  an invite would pop up,  like the scenarios, would really be the key for me... and as always give me something to fight for (a reason) to hold the keeps..and not just flip-flop them



Joined: 5/28/07
Posts: 868

"If men were created equal, then what happened to game developers?"

2/07/09 4:04:15 PM#18

 I would love to see them remove the restriction on seige equipment and allow it to be moveable. That and add more types of seige equipment. Tying something like that into a crafting hobby would be nice to. I think it would make people want to participate more often, as they would have toys that could move around with them.