The Inevitable City under siege!

This weekend I had more fun in an MMO than I can remember in a long, long time. I logged into vent around 8pm EST on Saturday just to see what everyone was up to, and right away it was obvious something big was going down. Vent was packed, people were talking in a bit of a panic, and general uncertainty was the mood. Order had locked down a Fortress and were pushing Chaos Waste to attempt a second Fortress lock.

On the Monolith server Destruction has locked a single Fortress a few times, and lately Order has been able to push a Fort as well. Neither side has ever locked two Forts down and opened a capital up. That changed Saturday night.

I logged on, joined one of our alliances warbands (I believe we had three going), and flew over to Chaos Waste (CW) just as Order locked Praag. Within a very short span of time, Order had sieged and captured both keeps in CW almost simultaneously. They then hit the four battle objectives hard, and had all four captured. It was impossible to judge exactly how many people total were in the CW zone, but it had to be well over 300 counting both sides. While the client did lag when the zerg rolled over you, the zone did not crash and overall everything was more than playable. Seeing that many people was crazy though, I remember at one objective I could not see the ground thanks to all the red names around me, and any direction I looked I just saw a sea of red (I was good and dead at this point).

Destruction was generally unorganized, and while we made a push to capture one of the objectives, overall it only slowed the inevitable, CW locking down and the The Maw fortress opening up. Order must have had a master plan and great leadership that night, because as soon as The Maw opened, they hit it hard with a coordinated strike, and that too soon fell. For the first time on Monolith, a capital city was open for attack, and the under populated side (according to Mythic) had just beating the dominant force soundly.

As the capital siege was new to everyone, confusion was king. Some people were in the instanced 48 vs 48 PQs in the city, others were at the capital door in The Maw, and still others were in a new, massive scenario. We figured out the system eventually (get into the PQ at the main gate to the city, taking a scenario puts you out of the PQ after the scenario ends, you can’t be in a warband when you enter the PQ if you want to switch which PQ you enter), but for that first hour or so, it was chaos both in-game and on vent.

After the first hour or so of the siege, Order was gaining victory points (the city functions in a similar manner to an RvR zone for the 6 hour siege, blocking normal access), but then seemed to stall. From what info I could gather, Order made the decision to call off the coordinated push, and instead focus on gearing up for a future push through the PQs. If the attackers win the PQ, they get three gold bags which contain Invader gear (on par to the highest level PvE gear set from Lost Vale), if the defenders win, they get a chance (25% maybe?) for one gold bag. Basically the defenders need to play the role of spoiler, denying the attackers the gear they need to push further into the city (if you lock the first stage of the city siege, you open up additional content that requires the Superior wards you get from Invader or Lost Vale sets). It was at this point that our alliance got a bit more organized, and we proceeded to jump from PQ to PQ (five different copies were running at the same time), getting into the highest Order population PQ and denying them victory. We realized farming the PQ ourselves was a losing battle (chance of one gold bag vs a guaranteed three), so we ignored the bags and instead focused on stopping the larger groups of Order players. We had some epic battles (all with flawless server performance during the entire siege), often jumping into the PQs just in time to stop Order from advancing.

At that point, with less than an hour remaining on the city siege timer, it was 4am EST and I had been online for more or less 8 hours straight, as had the majority of our warband. Exhausted yet hyped, we logged off.

Through the night, despite being on the losing side for much of it, everyone was excited. Excited to see new content (both the city PQ and scenario are very well done), excited to be part of the servers first city siege, and more than anything, excited to finally see the WAR campaign progress past locking zones. With the campaign progressing as fast as it did, there was zero downtime or waiting. At all times, warbands were moving in an attempt to cut an enemy off, to steal an objective, or just to break through and get players into a fortress or the capital. At times we operated as a 6 man group, picking off stragglers, while at others we moved 3+ warbands strong to try and brute force an objective or Order chokepoint. We killed, we died, we gained renown, and overall just had a great time.

The day after, the realization that Monolith Destro was horribly unorganized set in. Order had been successful the night before not because they had better gear or more people, but because they were all on one page and moving as one group, rather than a collection of scattered warbands. The events on Saturday also went a long way to get people excited about the game again, giving us a small taste of what the whole T4 campaign is all about. We want to see Aldorf burn, and in order for that to happen, the different alliances and guilds are going to have to put petty differences aside and get to work. Ultimately success in WAR is not about who has the best gear or the highest renown rank, its about working together with your realm, out-organizing the other side and proving which side has the superior players. On Saturday, Order won the first battle, but in doing so has inspired Destruction to get our shit together and really fight back. We no doubt have some epic battle ahead of us, and I for one can’t wait.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in RvR, Warhammer Online. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The Inevitable City under siege!

  1. Chris F says:

    Syncaine – sounds like a lot of fun! I am one of those people who burned out in the low 30’s before xp adjusted. Considering subbing up again once a few more patches go through.

    Regarding the City Sieges, do you think the mechanic would work better with the 3 pairs of cities instead of just 1? It all seems crazy hectic (which may be a good thing) but the spread of the load over three campaigns… I always thought it would provide for more meaningful gaming. Competing resources for defend and attack, all that jazz.

    Just curious how you think that would play out, if it would be less epic, or more. I was one who was more worried about the drop of capitol cities over the classes.

  2. Anjin says:

    Every time I read one of your posts, I wish I had the cash to upgrade my system and play this game. Thanks for making me jealous. :)

  3. fester says:

    And then it all gets reset after what, a couple days?

    -1: pointless PVP.

  4. Mikejl says:

    Was very cool .. I was on with Gorfang. Ended up in Chaos Wast trying to stop the incoming Order. Open field RvR … good stuff.
    @Fester – Its a game! You have fun.. that’s the point.
    -1 Pointless logic on what gaming is about.

  5. skarbd says:

    It’s amazing how your experience was completely different to mine at the weekend. Now it may have been down to lack of education on the capture process, which is the responsibility of Mythic, but I felt it was a real let down.

  6. Werit says:

    Syn, looks like we had a similar experience except on different sides and different servers.

    There are certainly improvements to be made, but it was a lot of fun.

  7. Swift Voyager says:

    …get some sleep :)

  8. Nat says:

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

    On Volkmar we had a few sieges back before I left the game and I never found them to be that fun. The PQ thing is overused in that game. It seems like they use that PQ mechanic for everything, dungeons, city sieges, etc.

    Once again, not trying to be a hater I just think that for an end game they could have done so much more with it. I hope they continue to look at how it is handled and maybe start thinking of how to make it epic. Running around doing or preventing others from doing a PQ is not epic.

    I would love to see the multiple fronts (PQ’s) way more scripted (like an endgame instance) with multiple ways to accomplish the goals and claim victory or mount a successful defense. Class/role specific functions could be nice also. Give the stealth classes specific espionage/subversive tasks. Give the tanks the objective of holding back swarms of invaders or being the tip of the spear that breaks the defenders. City sieges should have that feeling of flooding the city. Of course all of this would be hard to do in RVR. Because at the end of the day, RVR would not allow these types of things to play out. In addition I don’t think Mythic’s code is good enough to handle a truly epic siege.

  9. syncaine says:

    Forcing people into set roles (like stealth or tanking) just limits the encounter. By leaving the PQ as open as it is now, its up to the warband leader to determine how things get done. The better the leader, the better the group does as a whole. Scripting is for PvE, not RvR. You can’t script how a human attacker/defender reacts, and the more you try, the more you handcuff everyone.

    I think the real split happens between puggers and core members. The puggers run around without a clear goal, and generally end up being picked off by an organized force. They don’t add much, they die often, and they don’t get much out of a siege. It’s the job of the leaders to get the puggers at least semi-organized and moving together, so they add some value to the encounter. Most of the complaints I’ve read about RvR and the city itself sound like they are coming from someone without an organized guild/alliance.

  10. skarbd says:

    My personal issue with the whole thing, is the that it was a PvE experience. Now if that is dependant on what scenario your group leader (GL) picks, then we could be looking at people having a substandard experience based on the GLs preference for a PvE encounter.

    Some of my guild don’t even want to go near a city capture at the moment, due to have being bored to death previously. There is inertia already building on these city takes, which needs to be addressed.

  11. syncaine says:

    Yea our warband decided to actually RvR, so any time Order ran from the PQ, we moved to a different one to chase them.

    It comes down to the players, if they want to RvE and get lolbags, they can do that, just like asshat guilds can arrange to keep-swap. At the end of the day though, it’s those same players bitching about how RvR is broken and boring and making attention whore ‘i quit’ posts, while the alliances who play to RvR are out actually fighting and having a good time.

  12. skarbd says:

    I don’t disagree with what you are saying. The problem is that people may have their view defined of what the city captures are all about, because a decision is being taken on there behalf by the GL e.g. go for a one sided scenario (PvE). As you said, the lolbag brigade. So when you get to the end of it, you vow never to go near one again for a while.

    Whats’s even worse is people saying, let’s keep farming bags and not push on, because we want to have more chance of killing the X,Y and Z with better armour. If people want to PvE go to WoW it’s the best at that.

  13. syncaine says:

    Well two things: If we are talking about the attackers, its ok for them to farm the bags. They get 3 gold per PQ, and they do need those wards for the next phase of the siege (post about wards coming later today, I like them). It’s the defenders job to deny the attackers ‘sacking’ your city. I view this as PQ denial. After all, you let the enemy get your city in to siege, now you have to work to limit the damage.

    To say that the PQ is only a PvE encounter is a bit off though, unless you somehow are attacking a city with no defenders, and yet not pushing it into the next phase. Both can’t happen, so clearly SOMEONE was fighting to keep the victory point total in check.

    All that said, the entire system will get refined as Mythic continues to patch the game. It’s certainly not perfect right now, but even in it’s incomplete form it was more fun for me and my alliance than most end-game we had experienced, and we could see way more potential in the city siege than we could in say farming the next tiered raid instance.

  14. Jason says:

    “Destruction was generally unorganized…”

    Aren’t you supposed to be? :) That’s how the good guys always win. Chaos never gets to be “organized.”

  15. Remastered says:

    There are definitely some issues to the city sieges that Mythic can and will address, however, the whole experience definitely provided the first real sense of an “epic experience” for me in gaming since I was able to participate and lead 40 man raids in WoW. That doesn’t just apply to the city siege itself, it includes all of the fighting in the zones being locked up to the city siege.

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  18. Natali says:

    Woohoo, another Monolith blogger! I missed this but I am so proud of everyone getting to this point. I always thought it would be you guys sieging Altdorf first, not the other way around.

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