Well, if you’re me, you thought… “Oh man. These rules are NOT going to last. Verant will definitely cave in to the suffering of the masses – because suffering there WILL BE!.” (clap of thunder of something)

Guess what? As Casters Realm thoroughly documents, The rules have not lasted.

Essentially, this was inevitable. As soon as you thought of the level 5 bard scenario, you just KNEW they’d have to fix it. It’s TOO disruptive. But the changes aren’t done yet. I predict that as the server matures and the implications of the no-level-limits on PVP and the lack of rules are actualized, we’ll begin to see a few more intense issues drive Verant into mellowing the server rules. Not that I necessarily support that mellowing. I\’e2\’80\’99m just predicting it.

1) We’ll see some restriction on corpse camping, or a reduction of lost XP in death. Most likely some reprieve that gives people enough time to get their corpse and split.

2) We’ll see some mitigation of the any-level attacks any-level situation due to massive slaughters in zones that support people levels 20 to 35 by 50ish characters. This will cause a virtual stoppage of being bale to level by those level ranges once a hefty number of players start hitting 45 to 50. How they’ll address this, I have no idea.

3) As the higher level dungeons start to get hit,rogues and monks will cause MASSIVE trains on the enemy such that it’s basically impossible to level. Dungeon zones AFTER a large number of people have hit the higher levels will be a complete mess.

In general, I think they’ve underestimated the impact of their current rule set. They will find that the players will not only figure out how to create major disruptions of the leveling treadmill that Verant cherishes, but that they already know how to do it and are merely waiting to have the levels to get it done. The level 5 bard thing was just the easiest one to reach.

Verant is already realizing that a level 30 can team up with a level 50 and lay waste to vast numbers of 30ish character through buffs and by having the level 50 do almost all the damage except the kill shot. What was their response?

“And, in this special case of experience loss being caused outside the + or – 5 level limit, a deity insignia would NOT be generated. The insignia’s will remain only for those kills within a + or – 5 level limit.”

Well, maybe I’m reading this wrong? But here’s what it looks like to me. “Hey, they can’t take your stuff when you die – you’ll only lose coin and experience. And oh, yah, we won’t give them that token thing.” So I have a few issues with that concept.

First, their kill stats web pages will start to become meaningless as people use the above exploit to slaughter buckets of the opposition. The highest ranked players on the server will be those who multi two accounts and abuse the system.

Second, are they SERIOUSLY missing the point that experience loss at death is devastating? It’s almost like they’re assuming that high level players won’t do this kind of exploit without loot to be had. Hello? People will get corpse-camped and BRUTALIZED with this crap. How long does any given player spend in a particular zone leveling before they need to move on to richer grounds? A week if they’re hard-core leveling? Two teams working this high/low combo in one particular zone for a week could be solely responsible for THOUSANDS of lost man-hours of gaming and for a whole “generation” of players at that level quitting.

Maybe they thought that experience loss from one death equivalent to an hour or two of gaming was less harsh than losing an item that might have taken you a week to get as happens on RZ. Well, they’re SORT OF right… except for

a) The lack of level restrictions,

b) The ability to corpse camp,

c) The legality of training, etc. etc.

d) On RZ you can choose to wear no-drop equipment

e) On RZ you can bag your items when death is imminent

f) On RZ you are GENERALLY forced to be somewhat civil because those you kill may be people you need on a plains raid tomorrow.

People will be dying soon in massive slaughters. And in the case of guild wars, experience loss through twink strategies will be THE way to not only win, but to drive the other guild out of the game entirely.

As usual, the whole setup creates a winner’s advantage that compounds. If you don’t have a job, and you can out-level the bulk of the population by 10 or 20 levels, you can make life hell for your opponents and stay ahead of them forever. The only mitigating factor in this scenario is the team setup. Some relief from this self-feeding cycle is found in that at least if you’re in a zone that’s controlled by your own team you can make progress without risk, but on this server where near-invulnerable players can stop by lower-level zones and squash them without much fear of reprisal that protection is not real.

And the idea of high-level players coming to the rescue of their low-level brothers is ridiculous and unworkable. EVEN IF you could assume that anyone would bother (which you can’t), how exactly do you contain a level 50 wizards in full resist gear, with yonder and a whole series of AOE spells memed. They portal in, kill buckets of people with each cast, yonder/evac to get out if faced with opposition, and then wash-rinse-repeat. It’s fun to the attackers to rack those kills up, it’s boring for the defender to chase an uncatchable opponent around trying to stop the destruction.

I’ll say these positive things. I think this server may prove to be very interesting at the leading edge of the leveling distribution, and will be interesting at levels 50 to 60 where the level disparity can’t be any greater than 10 anyway. And I applaud Verant for realizing that the only way they can ever try to improve their PVP game is by creating a server like this where the rules are open to a kind of beta-test change approach. I also think that opening up the server to full level range PVP is actually pretty cool. It’s the death penalty that presents interesting challenges in game design. But I guarantee you this – there is a lot of learning curve and rules revision ahead.

My off the cuff advice (disclaimer: I have not even attempted to think this one all the way through – I’ll let you all do that. heh heh.) – add 200% to ALL the zone modifiers. Push the whole server to the post-max game as early as possible. See what happens with a whole server of level 60’s running around who got there so fast that they didn’t have time to get all the items they want. We now have a semi-level playing field with reduced death penalties (because experience is easy to re-acquire) and great incentives for conflict over zones for item acquisition. And in the lower levels, maybe pick ONE geographically contested zone in each level range and crank the modifiers up by 500%. That way it becomes a huge honey pot for each team to try and control those zones for the leveling benefits. At the same time, the benefits of leveling in those zones mitigates the losses of experience in PVP because it’s so easy to gain it back. Hmmmm.


The False Prophet

Gratuitous RP Signature