Thursday, November 18, 2010

Elementals stole my Mailbox !!

Have a look here.

Is this sad or funny? I guess both :).
The blue answer is ok, but then, I understand this guy. I, too, liked the invasion at first, but after I completed it once (~1 hours) it was .. boring? Certainly not immersive.

So .. here's an alternative event:
Orgrimmar and Stormwind are attacked by elementals. The strength and/or number of these elementals scales with the number of players in the city. And not proportionally, but more than proportionally ! *evil grin*

Why? Because we want to have a world event that does not crash the server.

So the event begins and elementals spawn and spawn and spawn and all players on the server know that Orgrimmar is attacked. These elementals do not go away on their own, you need to kill them! There are several centers where one or more really powerful elemental bosses and more powerful minions are. With loot - of course. After all this is World of Warcraft.

Everybody wants to be part of that world event, but since the power and number of elementals scales more than linearly, a lot of players die. These players respawn distributed all over Azeroth (to prevent server crashing). They cannot get back into the city, because there is a giantic wall of flame that kills anybody who tries to move through. Including paladins (immunity while moving always was a bad idea..).

Eventually, only a reasonable number of players (~200) is left and because the strength of the elementals scales down now that players die, they will be able to work towards the center and kill the bosses. For even more fun, you can have the bosses respawn if not all are killed in some timeframe.

What if they fail?
In this case half of all items on the AH vanish and the items in the bank are deleted .. .. just kidding ;) This is World of Warcraft after all. There cannot be lasting consequences.
So, I guess, the flame wall will occasionally and partly despawn for a very short amount of time. Lucky/bold players can get through. The less players are in the city the more this happens.

Will the event repeat?
Oh please, no! What about this: The elementals are very powerful in the beginning and scale down the longer they are on Azeroths' surface. What's nasty is that also the loot scales down *evil grin*. Use this mechanism to have the event last at least two days and no longer than 7 days.

Eventually the boss elementals will be killed and Orgrimmar be saved.

Healers: Big trouble. Heals in WotLK are so powerful that the amount of dps to kill a healer has to be a multitude of what a dps/tank could ever survive for more than few seconds. Thus, only healers will survive the event.
First: How did we even get there? How stupid is it that such a problem can even exist?
Second: Have the elementals have a considerable mana burn. Have them have a 99% mortal strike aura. Have them silence people. Have them occasionally transform healing spells into damaging spells if cast on ourself...

A lone guy at 4am kills all the elementals:
The strength of the elementals should have an offset.

The elite PvE guild on the server does this event on its own. The rest of the players is basically excluded.
First: Yeah .. that's the kind of thing that happens in a game that encourages elitist segregation and concentrates on guilds instead of places.
Second: The elementals should have an AE. (Make AE healing less powerful!!) This way players are encouraged to stay distributed all over the city. Therefore, you can allow a lot of players to be inside the city and require it. If you require about 200 players inside the city, the elite PvE guild will need the 'casuals'. Almost feels like an MMORPG!

"I am casual. I pay the same amount of money as everybody else. For these few days I have not been online. I think it is unfair that I could not be part of freeing Orgrimmar."
You are wrong.

Where's my mailbox???
Have a look in any of the other capitals.

You didn't say anything about a new pet!
You are correct.

Where's my achievement?
Oh! Sorry! Must have forgot about it.

All those elementals have exactly the same health. This feels strange and boring. Not natural, not immersive.
You are right. Great point! What about some random fluctuation so that people can cry out: "Damn, this was a powerful one!" ?

Concluding, WoW is not suited for such events. That does not mean, however, that it were impossible to have them.

Would it be a lot of work? I bet! Would it be a lot of fun? Yes! Would it be remembered. For years, at least. Can similar events be made using the ressources of this event? Yes.

Blizzard, please:
Try to offer your players something special from time to time. Just having some (cloned) mobs spawn, then modify some bosses, teleport you there to kill them and having it all repeat every two hours without any lasting consequences AT ALL .. sorry. This is cheap. We, the players, want to at least have the illusion of making a difference.


As you can see I am not afraid of a lot of unimmersive gameplay elements (unsurmountable walls of flame!). The motto of this blog is: "A MMORPG has to be as immersive, credible and consistent as possible and as little as necessary."

In the case of world events a lot of gameplay tricks are necessary to prevent the server from crashing. In this example, however, they serve a greater goal: To empower players to have (a little) impact. The elementals need to be killed before Orgrimmar is free again. A revolutionary idea nowadays.

1 comment:

  1. Last night while doing some of the pre-Cat quests and then chain-killing a few new bosses, I thought to myself, "why am I doing this?"

    I'm typically a big defender of events like this, but I'm already bored. And that doesn't bode well for a new expansion.

    Oh, then I wiped with a group killing the fire elemental. Spent the next 30 minutes trying to find my way back to the instance. When I finally got there (followed someone) and zoned back in, i was immediately attacked by mobs just inside the entrance. Managed to click on the portal and got out with about 150 hit points.

    Again again again why allow us to teleport to a boss, then continue the idiotic mechanic of running back from a graveyard in a zone we don't know with absolutly no help other than being able to stand above our body deep in a cave below?

    It's just ludicrus.