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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Rant: RvR - Not One Step Back!

Posted by Paragus1 Tuesday October 21 2008 at 2:27PM
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Rant: RvR - Not One Step Back!

Order 227 was issued by the Soviet High Command and Stalin during World War 2 to deal with cowards on the battlefield. Order 227 was read out to all troops in the Russian armed forces and here are the critical parts of the order...

"And so the time for retreating is over. Not one step back! That must now be our watchword.

Is there something we lack? We lack order and discipline. This is our main shortcoming. We must establish the strictest order and iron discipline in our army if we want to rescue the situation and defend our Motherland. Panickers and cowards will be eliminated on the spot. Commanders of companies, battalions, regiments and divisions, along with their commissars and political workers, will be considered traitors to the Motherland if they retreat without orders from above.”

I have been recently playing Warhammer Online and have been spending a fair amount of my time doing overworld RvR now that I am 40. The game is built around massive combat between the realms, so it has become more common to see giant bloodbaths in places like Praag. I have seen a behavior pattern that I find disturbing that I have seen in previous MMOs, and I am sure both realms are suffering from it.


You are in your warband marching into battle when you encounter an equal size warband of the enemy team. There is a moment where you see each other and time seems to slow to a halt as the realization hits you that a battle is imminent and unavoidable. In this moment of truth, someone from the other team finds his balls while your comrades are still feeling in there pockets trying to find their yambags, and they start charging forward towards you. For some unexplainable reason, this man inspires the fear of God into your team and they start to retreat!

What the hell is the logic behind this? You both have the same number of people. You both were looking for a fight. You both are facing each other head on. All things being equal, you had the same chance of winning as they did. Now your army will be ran down like animals and scattered into the wind.

Is it confidence that inspires fear? This is the same type of behavior we see nature between animals when one animal scares off an entire pack, or how a mouse can spook an elephant. As it turns out, elephants may not be scared of mice, but scared by sudden movements (depending on who you ask).

My Theory

I play a Shadow Warrior which is by most accounts a back row class. From my point of view, I will be traveling with my warband or group until we encounter a group. Often times I my initial reaction will be to calmly step to the back of the ranks to allow the tanks to receive the brunt of incoming attack like they are designed to do, and to give myself the range I need to be effective. Naturally other back row classes, specifically healers, are also inclined to position themselves at the rear of the warband to avoid being damaged so they can keep the front line classes alive.

I suspect what happens is that front line classes in the warband see half of their force backing up and think they are fleeing, when in actuality they are repositioning. The front liners start to freak out when they see the opposing side advancing and the rest of their team backing up. Panic sets in and they turn and run. The back row watches the front row flee, then they in turn start to flee. The next minute or two consists of you and all your friends being rounded up like cattle and put down.

We need RvR Order 227. No army ever wins an RvR fight in any MMO with their backs to the enemy. Now don't get me wrong, there are times where you are faced with hopeless odds and running may be the best course of action. People who wander off on their own are likely to encounter superior numbers. When you have even a decent sized force, I'd wager you are more likely to get more kills by standing your ground, then try to flee and being killed anyways without any resistance. Regardless, this is something I see all the time from my experience so far in Warhammer and previous MMO's I have played. I suspect there are many other out there like me who do a collective facepalm on a regular basis from being the victim of this phenomenon.


Co-Leader of Inquisition

streea writes:

Yes, let's follow Stalin's example...

Tue Oct 21 2008 2:49PM Report
HelMann writes:


I would like Order 227 even though I am not lvl 40 at all, this thing also happens at scenarios.. I (as a tank) of course always stands in the front, but some times even I get freaked out and start backing up, leaving my Supporter friends unprotected..

Good point..

Tue Oct 21 2008 3:00PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I have seen it in scenarios in Tier 4 quite a bit too, particularly Serpent's Passage.   Often times one team will be huddling around their guards cowering from the enemy, all while having the resources to push their way out.  It can be infuriating to be defeated by the confidence of the other team, or by the lack of it on your own.

Tue Oct 21 2008 3:03PM Report
stayontarget writes:

One must know and understand how to play there class, too many nukers are rolling tanks ic.

Tue Oct 21 2008 3:13PM Report
Abrahmm writes:

Stalin as an example of greatness, how admirable of you.

What I can't understand is why in the world would you retreat in WAR at all, there is no death penalty!

Tue Oct 21 2008 3:13PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

That is another good point.   The penalty for death in RvR is nothing more than a mild inconvenience.  People act like there is perma-death with all the running away.

Tue Oct 21 2008 3:24PM Report
GassMann writes:

You are somewhat right, however a retreat can be usefull in the sense of making your enemy overextend from their support classes, making them abit squishy

Tue Oct 21 2008 3:38PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I agree Gassmann in some circumstances.   Last night we were in the courtyard of a keep and the destro came from behind us trying to bait us out into the open by faking a retreat.  More often the retreat I am seeing is not the tactical one used to lure people to their deaths.   It is a wave of panic that washes over the warband that has everyone scattering like roaches, giving the enemy easy kills.

Tue Oct 21 2008 4:12PM Report
Majinash writes:

god its annoying in tor anroc when order gets the ball... AND RUNS AWAY.  we have destruction pushed back, suffering almost no kills due to good healing, are controlling the fight, then someone grabs the ball and runs back, and every tank and WL and WH runs away too... this is followed by us healers getting maimed by marauders and chosen and then the rest of the group is wiped while we run back.


Sadly healers can't stop it, we can't set an example by running ahead because we just get killed and that makes them want to run away even more.



Tue Oct 21 2008 4:13PM Report
ArcheusCross writes:

Paragus, is your guild pretty solid? You guys have a backbone? I too want a guild that doesnt back off... that will rush in no matter what. I always rush in but to my surprise my comrades will almost always stop at the bridge and not fight on the flag.. (order) Nordenwatch anyone? Id like to make a char and join you if you guys have a pair and done mind rushing into the frey.

Tue Oct 21 2008 8:02PM Report
MyPreciousss writes:

Stalin is a bad reference for a war and strategy game, he was a paranoid coward himself, a mass murderer of his own people and the worst strategist you can imagine, he beheaded the Soviet army by killing and deporting thousands of officers just months before Nazi Germany with whom he had signed a non aggression pact!!! invaded his own country. He completely panicked seeing how fast Nazis were advancing, and how bad his country was prepared (guess who's guilty?), he couldn't for long even make a decent speech on the radio so frightened he was... Guess who the real traitor to the Motherland is and should be shot first if we had to follow order 227 properly ;)

Tue Oct 21 2008 10:04PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I'm not here to argue about Stalin.  I was merely using him as an example to aruge against fleeing from battle.  I am not here to advocate anything else he did, people need to lighten up, we are talking about a game.

I consider my guild solid Archeus, we have been through many an MMO.  We don't rush in 100% of the time, like i said, there are times when it is best to flee.  But a lot of guild mates have been sharing my feeling on this particular issue and it was them who suggested it would make a good addition to my rant collection.

Tue Oct 21 2008 11:24PM Report
MyPreciousss writes:

So next time you'll give us an inspiring example of how tough was Hitler too, ordering Von Paulus to annihilate any resistance and rather die than surrender, and post his nice moustached pic here, just to explain us about a videogame feature?

Tue Oct 21 2008 11:46PM Report
Daedren writes:

The people getting all emo about the Stalin reference need to take a deep breath and calm down.

I wonder how people would fight if there was perma-death or a serious death penalty. ;) 

Wed Oct 22 2008 2:48AM Report
NotArkard writes:

I agree with Daedren. Some of you guys need to chill. Having said that, order 227 wouldn't work in WAR since there's no real way to punish people who are fleeing or backing out.

If only there was an ability named "Not one step back!" which allowed warband leaders to execute panicked or fleeing members. This should have a more serious death penalty than just dying to someone from the opposite faction, of course.

In regards to your theory, you may be on to something there. I was playing a Bright Wizard recently, and found that no one would dare get close to the enemy if I took a step or two back to better position myself for spells or avoid melee. I recently switched to playing Ironbreaker, and found that if I run forward and sometimes past the enemy, our whole team will follow. Try finding someone in your guild who's a reliable front-liner. If people see an Ironbreaker at the front getting healed, I don't think they'll have any reason to want to back out.

Wed Oct 22 2008 7:45AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

You found me out precious!    I am really a soviet hate-mongering war-monger!   Seriously are you kidding me?! 

If a picture of one of the most famous historical figures of the last century offends you that much, then GTFO of my blog.  Go find the history channel and stand outside their building and hold a sign.  I'm sorry that you are not mentally strong enough to look at an old picture and not throw around blanket assumptions about me.

Wed Oct 22 2008 8:01AM Report
MyPreciousss writes:

And I'm the one going emo? haha.

Eh, googled already a cute Hitler pic to make your point in your next video game blog entry?

Wed Oct 22 2008 9:38AM Report
commi3 writes:

There needs to be an increased death penalty if you are killed while fleeing, it would turn flee into more of a tactical tool then just the mass retreats that your talking about.

Also as was mentioned by 'NotArkard' a party ability that could not kill people on your team, but at least stop your party members from fleeing and give them a significant party buff for 20sec. It should be a lvl 1 Morale Ability (and only usable if half or more of your party is fleeing) that way it can only be used if your party is actually retreating from battle and not a prebattle buff. By stoping everyones flee and giving them a buff, it would at least instill some courage.

Wed Oct 22 2008 12:47PM Report
Metzger writes:

Good rant I mostly agree, but if you play with a guild, or people you know this isn't really a problem.

Ah, and I agree that putting a picture of Stalin with a motivational quote below is just  bad taste, or extreme ignorance.

Thu Oct 23 2008 5:42AM Report
Salvatoris writes:

If you have played any other type of online game besides MMOs, you'll know that the team fighting closest to it's own spawn has a distinct advantage.  

It's just good strategy to try and move the fight closer to your own spawn point.  If your lucky, and the other team isn't organized, they won't stop to regather their forces, but will run back one at a time from the spawn point, leaving their team fighting against superior numbers.

I think it's more important to be in good communication than it is to never take one step backward.  A strategic retreat is always preferable to screaming obscene insults at your own team in open chat.

Thu Oct 23 2008 12:47PM Report
Kaunt writes:

Sure Stalin and Hitler were evil monsters.

But if you dont believe they were great leaders, you are fooling yourself.  You can't rewrite history just because you are offended by a bad man.

"Lets remove the holocaust from the history books cause I don't want my kids reading about that jerk Hitler!"

Thu Oct 23 2008 2:06PM Report
Mister_White writes:

MyPreciousss, you need to swallow a and of thumbtacks and eat glass dude... your arguments are baseless and your logic is lacking... logic. unless you have any kind of criticism someone else wrote you can plagiarize eat a dik and die.


"Ah, and I agree that putting a picture of Stalin with a motivational quote below is just bad taste, or extreme ignorance." - metzger

That was Stalin's quote you dumbfuk... take a history class



good rant paragus loved every bit of it.

Thu Nov 13 2008 12:35AM Report
Tonev writes:

This was a big problem in beta as well. People constantly running like bitches instead of breaking the lines (break the lines and good things happen).

In all seriousness a good majority of people coming to Warhammer have been PvE junkies and don't know anything about RvR or PvP (they freak out and run away).

Tue Nov 25 2008 3:19AM Report
R4WkU5 writes:

Nice article. I know and hate this mentality too much hence why I reolled and Iron Breaker (from an Arch Mage) when playing WAR and was so proud to be the first to die and happy in the knowledge that if I did die that I did the right thing. I can only do what I can do kind of mentality. The level of cowardice in games is amasing since you don't actually lose anything (other than self made pride?).


Know your class, know your roll and fulfill it!

Wed Mar 11 2009 7:43PM Report writes:
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