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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Are Epic battles really the way forward?

8 posts found
  NinjaGaz

Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/03
Posts: 51

 
OP  4/12/14 5:26:57 PM#1

I've always loved games and played a huge variety of types of the years. My #1 favourite was Unreal Tournament. I loved the variety in weapons, the speed of the game, the multi-game types, etc. As an individual it was a great challenge in every battle that you faced. Later, I began playing as part of a team where tactics and team play were just as vital as the individual ability.

That's what I really loved. Playing highly competitive games and orchestrating the tactics which allowed our team to be successful and win every title available to us.

I also distinctly remember a moment playing Planetside, where 50 or so of my team were against 50 or so of another team and having a great battle. Then suddenly, 50 or so from the 3rd faction arrived and it was a truly Epic battle that made me really think "Wow, this is amazing!"

In the MMORPG world, I really enjoyed the open world WoW PvP before battlegrounds where small teams would group together and just fight each other to see who could win! My love was lost there a bit as I realised that whoever raided the most and got the best gear won.

Battlegrounds took over and you had "even" sides battling in an arena with a goal. You were important and could really make a difference to your team, but you were also reliant upon your team. If they weren't great you were in for a real struggle!

As time went on there were various games which encouraged Epic battles with huge numbers - one of the headliners of the game! Often failing in a technical way - where the servers simply could not handle the number of players. I had some memorable moments of battling with a group of 25 or so guild mates against 30 or so to the north and 30 or so to the south and holding our ground for a good 30-40 minutes of great team play in Warhammer Online.

However, these are the very best moments. A lot of the time in between and since in these "Epic" battles, I have felt that I am no more than a little ant. A small component that has such a low impact that it's barely worth me being there.

Where the zerg is so big that when you take one step across the front line, you become the target of many and die almost instantly.

These games are balanced for small numbers and when large numbers get involved it just doesn't add up. Epic battles, for me, become very unsatisfactory. This can be technically as the computer grinds to a halt, or just that you have no chance and die with nothing that you can do, or even you smash the opponents barely getting a hit in - too easy!

Is it just me that thinks the whole Epic battle with hundreds vs hundreds is only good in thought but not in action? The only way I can see these things working is to break them down into smaller groups and have them battle each other and see which group is the most successful.

Large group battles end up being about who is the largest, not about who is the best or has the best team play - for the majority of the time. Can that really be the way forward? Where each individual gamer has minimal impact? Surely that is not going to bring the greatest satisfaction to the gamer?

What do you think?

  User Deleted
4/12/14 5:51:32 PM#2

You're somewhat corect, but i have to disagree abit.

FPS type matches (i love UT too ) allow teamwork to be visible in a more direct way. This is because the maps are smaller (even BF only goes to 64) and short. It's more of a quick match than a larger, longer type conflict.

Tactics and teamwork in owpvp or rvr, atleast IMHO, are not suppose to shine the same way. For example, MMORPG have a persistant world, where protecting said objectives becomes important. You'll leave the game multiple times to sleep, etc, but the battle isn't over. I'ts more about how you approach the current state of pvp after you left. This and much more.

As for zerging, the reality is, it becomes prelevant, and viable, when the game doesn't literally force the guild/faction to spread out, coordinate and plan out things such as managing the resources available (if the game even has it).

The trick lies is getting that balance of mechanics such as resources, small, medium AND large scale objectives, how big the maps are, pop caps, fac caps, guild caps, overpowered gear, travel times, preventing keep flipping, and many other elements. All of this needs to work in a way to make giant blobs of players an uneffective tactic. It'll always happen, but it's about restricting it as much as possible instead of allowing it to roam free.

For me, the idea of being an ant and not some important hero is really cool. If i wanted to feel important in video games, i'd either play single players or become a professional.

Remember, "open world" pvp is not just the epic battles with tons of people, but many skirmishes can happen across the world, being it a simple 1v1 or 100v100v100. Will numbers usually win? Yup, but that unpredictablity and unbalance is, again for me, also part of what makes it awesome. Plus a good combat system to allow a skilled players to take down 2,3 and maybe more players would be nice. After all, it can happen in UT. 

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 829

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

4/12/14 6:02:21 PM#3

I've seen epic battles work on a regular basis. I used to be really big into Aika Online. In Aika the Focus was Realm Vs. Realm PvP. Which is to say up to 1000 vs. 1000 battles (I have personally been in a few on that game which actually reached that scale). They had a really interesting approach though. There were simply not that many assets in the game. They re-used Textures, Models, and Particles where ever they could get away with it. Gear was heavily tiered (so you only saw the highest tiered gear on the battlefield and thus, less models and textures overall). Each class had maybe 7 actual sets (that were actually different in their models and texturing). They even went as far as to sync all the idle animations.

 

Sadly, the game is terrible now. You can still play it. But, it isn't in the hands of the original developers, and more then that it isn't in the hands of people who understand or have the ability to do much more then manage the cash shop. I don't even think they are capable of fixing bugs from information degradation. So, the game is slowly become more and more broken in every respect of the word and really isn't worth playing any more.

 

But, the point is I have seen it done well. And far above the level of what you are siting as epic at that. It can and has been done. And, it is amazing (more then just doesn't suck) when it is done right.

Actually here is a video of a smaller engagement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FnaPEswndI

WARNING: That is not music. That is the heart beat and life blood of a cleric (if you listen top it for to long you WILL go insane).

  nariusseldon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

4/12/14 8:54:28 PM#4
Originally posted by DEAD.line

Tactics and teamwork in owpvp or rvr, atleast IMHO, are not suppose to shine the same way. For example, MMORPG have a persistant world, where protecting said objectives becomes important.

What?

MMORPG don't have to have a persistent world (like DDO, or Marvel Heroes) and many MMORPGs have gameplay mostly in small group instances, and the "persistent world" is no more than a 3D lobby.

 

  Tibernicuspa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/03/13
Posts: 986

4/12/14 9:07:14 PM#5

It's the way of the past. Which... because the MMO genre is so fucked up, is the way forward.

 

WoW took the genre back about a decade in terms of quality and design, so getting back to the very roots of the genre is how to advance it.

 

And in terms of the roots... those roots are ORGANIC conflict. Battlegrounds with even sides in an instance are immersion breaking, in virtual worlds (Which is what MMORPGs have always been about). Whats more, even fighting of that kind will ALWAYS be done better by non MMOs like LoL, Counterstrike, ect.

 

MMOs need to start playing to their strengths, and the strengths are simulating WORLD conflicts, with lots of players. That doesn't mean "dur zerg v zerg", just as not every conflict in history involves massive armies.

 

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3389

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

4/12/14 9:57:20 PM#6

My trouble with "epic battles" is that nobody dies. They get "knocked down" and come right back into the battle. Battles never end due to death.

If there was a system where players that got killed were kicked out of the battle, with no replacements, or maybe another wave waiting in the wings (like reinforcements), then I could see it. Otherwise, all they boil down to is kill, kill, kill, respawn, kill, kill, and kill again. There usually is very little strategy involved. Small unit tactics are right out the door. Usually, there is no chain of command or coordination used. They resemble real battles like an apple resembles apple pie.

Some players love this kind of content, though. There should be games that cater to them.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  Tibernicuspa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/03/13
Posts: 986

4/12/14 10:21:07 PM#7
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

My trouble with "epic battles" is that nobody dies. They get "knocked down" and come right back into the battle. Battles never end due to death.

If there was a system where players that got killed were kicked out of the battle, with no replacements, or maybe another wave waiting in the wings (like reinforcements), then I could see it.

That's how RvR works in DAoC and TESO. In classic DAoC, you had to get ported into RvR through a ceremony that would take place every 15 minutes.

 

It's the same reason TESO has so much running between battles, so make battles have a climax. Its why I pray that TESO doesn't listen to the whiners and add in teleporting.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3389

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

4/13/14 12:43:54 AM#8


Originally posted by Tibernicuspa

Originally posted by AlBQuirky
My trouble with "epic battles" is that nobody dies. They get "knocked down" and come right back into the battle. Battles never end due to death.

If there was a system where players that got killed were kicked out of the battle, with no replacements, or maybe another wave waiting in the wings (like reinforcements), then I could see it.



That's how RvR works in DAoC and TESO. In classic DAoC, you had to get ported into RvR through a ceremony that would take place every 15 minutes.

It's the same reason TESO has so much running between battles, so make battles have a climax. Its why I pray that TESO doesn't listen to the whiners and add in teleporting.



That is awesome! I had no idea. If I were a PvPer, I would seriously look into a game that had this kind of set-up. Thanks for sharing that :)

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR