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PvP for People Who Aren't Asshats
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 Post subject: "Guard Towers"
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:30 pm 
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Aion has these guard towers -- basically little outposts with a tesla-coil tower that does high damage and a couple NPC guards. It's all killable stuff but you need a decent team to completely overrun a location like this. Most of my fights have been near these things. It really got me thinking that this should probably be a component of any MMO PvP game (especially if it's "PvPvE") -- not "safe spots", but defensive areas that can give you some sort of advantage against overwhelming numbers.

e.g.
6v6, you'll tend to fight in the field. 6v8? Probably still in the field. 6v12? Now you're looking for somewhere to fall back to. This is why Tauren Mill tended to be fun in WOW, back in the day. Those towns were not an ultimate protection and if the enemy had you outnumbered well enough they'd overrun the town too but it allowed for a sort of variable resistor in PvP: That is, if you were having a good, even fight, it would range all over. If you started being pushed back, the fight would get closer and closer to the town, which would start providing more and more resistance to an enemy advance. In a slightly uneven fight you can still push out a bit and only receive small help from the NPCs on the very edge of town. In a very uneven fight you could retreat completely into the town and receive the full help of all of the NPCs, not to mention the cover of the buildings. Sometimes that wasn't enough either but this "variable resistance" with both teams having their own fallback location allowed this area to become the prime spot for PvP in WOW, pre-battlegrounds. It helps even out an uneven fight.



Thinking about our "open world" faction based PvP game, the ability to construct and equip small outposts like this would probably be an important design element. You'd dot your landscape and favorite hunting grounds with guard towers. The guard tower isn't good enough to stop 20 people but it's good enough to stop 6 and no solo ganker will even come near it. You can't really DO anything while you're penned in there by an opposing force but at least you don't have to die every time a fight starts to get out of hand -- the survivors of the ambush run to the guard tower, try and hook up with some allies and counterattack to rez the fallen.


Without these "guard towers", something which provides a variable resistance, MMO PvP is just too unstable to be much fun. People like even fights and guard towers like this give them a way to try and create their own fairness, based on how far away from these towers they choose to engage in combat.

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 Post subject: Re: "Guard Towers"
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:46 pm 
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DaoC pretty much had this with the keeps, granted their range of influence was too short and the guards they had patrolling didnt help all that much. I can recall myself and many others getting ganked by a lone stealther within range of the guards and they just vanished, this is why I hate stealth.

Would be nice if the tower also had a teamfortress like hp/ammo dispenser that regens a certain amount based on the size/rank of the outpost.

I would also like the ability to send out patrols/scouts that inform me the LOCATION on the map of the enemies when they are spotted and how long ago it was spotted. Instead of some instant message/location, I'd like to see the NPCS's run back to the outpost and sound some sort of alarm. That way it gives attackers a means to cover their tracks, but only for a limited amount of time. And when a patrol is past a certain amount of time overdue, the tower could sound the alarm for the general area that there may be hostiles.

If you own the outpost you can configure your guard behavior, for both the guards at the keeps and patrols.
aggressive -how many and how far will they come away from keep to repel invaders. patrols will attempt to kill enemies they uncover without reporting
default - patrols will split up and send 1 or 2 of the group back to inform the outpost enemies are spotted
conservative - the majority of a patrol will report to the keep, guards stay in highly defensive positions within the outpost

guards should also be able to lay 'destealth' traps that knock people out of stealth if they get too close.

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 Post subject: Re: "Guard Towers"
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:04 pm 
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Shadowbane had this feature. You built and upgraded NPC's. You could give them way points to patrol and how to behaive. You would also give them some special powers. They could see invis, do extra melee damage, do magic damage etc. You had to make choices on the guards you built to counter your paticular enemy.

We discussed this in a evolving world concept.



Vllad


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