Community Blog Spotlight - Public Raids
Community Manager Laura Genender takes some time this week to talk about the broader application of the WAR public quest system and whether or not, as a user blog suggests, it could be the basis of a game rather than as an additional feature.
There are some interesting and innovative features cooking in some of the upcoming MMOs – for instance, WAR’s Public Quest system. This system will allow players to work together in area-specific goals, such as killing a large number of creatures in a short amount of time. These quests are basically public raids, without having to sign up on a guild forum or show up at a required time.
This week on the forums, blogger JB47394 posted a similar idea to the WAR Public Quest model – but instead of being a feature, it would be the game focus.
“Instead of creating a new character and starting off on a chain of quests that you can accomplish with one hand tied behind your back, how about creating a new character and immediately going off to the nearby dungeon or fortress or battlefield or whatever and joining in a fight?” suggests JB.
“It’s an open raid. There are no groupings, no official raid leaders, etc. There is a goal, however. It can be capture a bridge, or defeat the boss, or rescue the captive, or any other simple goal that everyone playing the game can understand.”
JB sees this working very well with a skill based system, where players become better at healing by healing, or DPS by DPSing, etc. “[Everyone] gains experience according to their actions. Damaging monsters, healing friends, disarming monsters, sneaking forward undetected, etc.”
While the WAR concept of public kill quests is interesting, I feel that JB’s public goal-oriented tasks is a more sophisticated and potentially gratifying concept. Adding in the skill-based factor, players could work together to provide a variety of necessary tasks: spies, scouts, tanks, damage dealers, priests, all dictated by their skill preferences and proficiencies. And besides the obvious, what about skills such as leadership or diplomacy? Lead public raids, get special raid-wide buffs or the ability to create squads and mark targets. The possibilities are very fun.
“At the lowest levels, open raids are simple,” JB continues describing his system. “Players charge in and kill everything. As the levels increase, so does the difficulty of the tactics required. This continues until the highest levels where the players either know and trust each other well enough to handle challenging situations, or they have formed official guilds of players who stick together to tackle tougher raids.” I love the idea of higher difficulty at higher levels, but with a game based around open raids I’m not sure it’s good to make guild-centered content. Players need to continue making solo progress in a group setting; it’s also important that a single player can’t kill the entire area with a Leeroy Jenkins type move.
I see a further potential in this idea with PvP. What if opposing players were working towards mutually exclusive goals – one side might need to defend a bridge while the other tries to destroy it. Hell, let’s get crafting involved; one side could build the bridge while the other destroys!
The only question and caution I have with this idea is: what happens when the players complete the goal? Sure, they get rewards of money and faction and gear and experience, but what do they do next? Does that area become temporarily inaccessible? Immediately refresh? Or would there be a series of revolving goals such as build a castle, defend a castle, attack the attackers, raze their castle, build a castle in it’s place…etc. And how would the developers keep this from becoming just as monotonous as “kill 500 geese”?