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Patch 1.5.2: The Unexpected Change

Ryan Getchell Posted:
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Patch 1.5.2 went live on Monday and with it came some major improvements that we already knew about.  But it also included a few changes that we did not expected. Were these unexpected changes good or bad?

Forward Camps will no longer be sold by Merchants in Cyrodiil.

Any Forward Camps that currently exist in-game cannot be traded with others.

You are required to be at least Alliance Rank 6 or higher to deploy a Forward Camp.

That’s right, Forward Camps have been completely removed from the game. This isn’t the first time ZOS has removed an item directly from the game.  Anyone remember the buggy mercenaries you used to be able to purchase and send out to attack enemy players by the hundreds, or what felt like hundreds?

The removal of the forward camps came as a bit of a shock to players as the last thing we heard on the topic of forward camps was the implementation of the Alliance Rank requirement as well as the possibility of limiting the resurrection range of the camps.

They have not made mention if this is a temporary change until they work out some other mechanic for Forward Camps or if it is the plan to keep it this way.

Now, is this change a good one or a bad one? If you read the official forums you’ll get a wave of mixed reviews. Some people are all for this change (myself included), while others are in a rage of anger over it.

What does this change mean?

With the removal of forward camps players no longer have it in the back of their head that if they die they will be able to resurrect close by and get back into the combat right away. Now players will have to resurrect at a keep that is not being sieged and is owned by their faction, placing a lot more strategy into the player’s hands. Which keep will we take? Which keep will we fall back to if we encounter resistance? Which keep will cause the enemy to have the longest ride back to the fight? These are just the basic questions players are going to have to ask before running out and laying siege to a Keep.

Along with this change we’re going to see a lot less “death porting” or “blood gating”. This is when a player will charge to an enemy controlled keep or resource with the intention of dying. As long as the player died by an NPC it was considered a PvP death and that player had the ability to resurrect at a Forward Camp or Keep that is controlled by their faction. This tactic was used a lot to bring large number of players to a specific location.  A common use of this was to keep Forward Camps at all the keeps controlled by your faction. If the keep got flagged as being under attack the entire (or a large majority) force will death port to that keep to put up a defense.  This provided players with a slightly unfair advantage as the current system rewards players who ward off an attack with a defensive bonus of Alliance Points, however those who were attacking get next to nothing.

Now that the camps are gone we’re going to see keeps changing hands a lot more often, with smaller groups, and more keeps being flagged as under attacked simultaneously to keep the enemy from having a shorter route.

Even taking the Elder Scrolls is going to be effected by this change. We’re going to see more keeps being taken before players try for the scroll. The more keeps that are taken the less keeps the enemy has travel to, to try and kill the scroll carrier.

However, with the removal of the Forward Camps, scroll defensive is going to be much harder to do. Typically if you knew your scroll was at risk of being taken you’d have a player go out and place forward camps along the “typical” route that is taken. Allowing for players to engage into combat with the scroll carry group to try and stop them. Now that this is not an option, and if the keeps are taken as well, once the scroll has made it past the border gate, trying to stop the group is going to be very hard. You’ll need to try and flank the carry group.  If you just try and catch up to them from behind you’ll only be engaging the people following, while the main carry group is pushing forward uninhibited by the actions behind them. Not to mention, trying to catch up to the carry group can sometimes be incredibly difficult. If the person carrying the scroll has the gear set to do it they can run faster than the fastest horses in the game, making them almost impossible to catch.

In this situation I can see why people would be against this change, but all in all, I am still for it. We as players just need to be more resourceful when it comes to our combat techniques and strategies so we’re not putting ourselves in a fight that is going to end up with us having to make trip back from the closest available keep.

Dark Age of Camelot never had Forward Camps, and the one thing that wasn’t missing in the Frontier was action. There was always a battle taking place somewhere, be it at a Milegate, or a keep, or worse a 3:00am relic raid. I am looking forward to this new Cyrodiil.  One without instant gratification combat and one that will have player strategy when it comes to taking keeps. I was tired of watching people run into battle knowing they were going to die but would be back in the battle in mere seconds.

Which side of the fence are you, are you for or against this massive change to PvP combat?


Ryan Getchell