Feedback:User/Guild Wars 3 perhaps/Alternative Scoring in WvWvW
| Alternative Scoring in WvWvW|
|User||Guild Wars 3 perhaps|
|Categories|| Player vs. Player|
Go here to see a list of my other GW2 suggestions and discussion contributions.
WvWvW has such great potential for a wide array of play styles; from rolling zerg mobs assaulting fortress gates to smaller parties of players patrolling the countryside to lone scouts,sabouteurs, and infiltrators sneaking around the map. Sadly, the current implementation of WvWvW is killing these alternative play styles and favoring only the rolling zerg mobs. It's devolving into nothing more than gate assault after gate assault. Please implement some changes - even if they're not the ones I'm suggesting - which will, somehow, permit a wider range of play styles, strategy, and tactics in WvWvW.
I realize the goal is to capture and hold resource camps, towers, and keeps; that's how points are scored. Naturally, this leads to strategies and tactics which favor large-scale assault forces strong enough to take down a gate. Consequently, there's not much incentive for players to do anything else other than jump into the nearest zerg train headed for the nearest gate. How about adding some additional objectives which do not require a zerg mob but which will still score points for a server or otherwise grant some significant advantage to a team.
 Blowing Up Bridges
For example, blowing up a bridge. This is an objective which could be accomplished by even a single player. There could be explosives they pick up from some central location (possibly even replacing their weapon skills) and carry to the bridge. The player then has to place the explosives at key points on the bridge (maybe even climbing down underneath the span; which could be a form of jumping puzzle for added fun and challenge). Perhaps this will require multiple trips back-and-forth between the bridge and explosives depot if only a single player is acting as the demolitionist; a larger group would accomplish the task much faster.
When enough explosives have been put into place, they can be detonated to destroy the bridge. This could require the player to light a fuse that will appear near the bridge once the minimum number of explosives have been put into place; sorry, no remote control detonators. The demolitionist may be given a choice of where the fuse is placed, though. This could be accomplished by replacing one of their skill slots with a "Fuse" skill. This will be a ground-targeted skill in which the demolitionist stands at one of their powder kegs, activates the skill, and then targets some distance away where they want the end of the fuse to be located. The fuse could even be placed in the ravine below the bridge to give the demolitionist a better hiding spot (assuming they can access the spot by jumping or falling down to it). When placing the fuse beneath a bridge, the demolitionist must take care to place it slightly off to the side or risk being crushed by the falling debris on detonation.
The demolitionist then simply crouches near the end of the fuse and use their interaction key (currently defaults to F) to light it. This gives the demolitionist the option of lying in wait for an enemy to cross the bridge before detonating it, for example. The fuse will be fast-burning and will detonate the bombs as soon as the demolitionist presses the interaction key; no last-minute save like in the movies by pouring water on it or cutting the fuse before the flame reaches the explosives.
Destroying a bridge would score X war score points for a server as well as potentially cutting off the enemy's access route.
We then have to give some thought to exception scenarios:
- Do we allow anyone on the same team as the demolitionist to detonate the explosives attached to a bridge? For example, let's assume the original demolitionist is a lone player on a team. That player is defeated and has to respawn at some distance from the bridge. However, an enemy is approaching the rigged span and will cross it before the demolitionist can run back in time to detonate the explosives. Do we allow anyone on the demolistionist's team to light the fuse or will the detonation be restricted to the demolitionist, alone?
- What about a scenario in which a group of players contributed to placing explosives on the span? Are all of them eligible to detonate the bombs or only the one who places the most? What happens if there's a tie; two players each placed 3 powder kegs, for example. Which of them is accorded the privilege of lighting the fuse?
- Let's assume, instead, we decide to avoid those tricky scenarios above and simply allow anyone on the demolitionist's team to light the fuse. If that's the case, why can't an enemy - who wasn't involved in placing the explosives - light the fuse, as well (let's not worry about the question of why they would want to do this, for the moment)? Afterall, it is just a fuse; there's no magic here. If anyone on the demolitionist's side can light the fuse, what arcane energies would prevent any Tom, Dick, or Harry from the opposing teams from doing the same? The simplest solution may be that anyone in a WvWvW match can light any fuse they come across. This could lead to some interesting strategies as teams of players fight over which of them is going to reach the fuse first.
- What about a situation in which the demolitionist(s) want to remove the bombs they placed? Perhaps the bridge was in previously contested territory. Now, the demolitionist's team has secured that territory and no longer need worry about an enemy crossing the bridge for the time being. However, the bombs are still present. If we will now allow anyone to light a fuse, this presents a potential risk to the team that placed the explosives in the first place. Now the demolitionist(s) is tasked with removing the very bombs they placed on the bridge. I don't have a problem with this from a mechanics standpoint; if you placed a bomb, why would you be prevented from removing it? However, I believe that anyone removing a bomb must go through the effort of defusing it; even if it was the original demolitionist who placed the explosive in the first place. An arming device is an arming device; it doesn't care who armed it, it still requires defusing.
- If we will permit the bomb layers to defuse their own explosives, then there has to be a balance between the war points awarded for blowing up a bridge versus the war points awarded for defusing bombs. Otherwise, demolitionists could use bomb laying as a means of farming war points. For example, they could lay down some explosives which they never intend to detonate for the sole purpose of defusing them for free war points. Placing a restriction that the demolitionist who placed the bomb can not defuse their own powder keg won't work. Demolitionists would simply work as a team to circumvent this restriction; one places the explosives, while their friend comes along behind and defuses them. There are only three ways of avoding such abuse that I can think of (and only one of which will truly work):
- a) Defusing the bombs required to destroy a bridge will not award more war points than the reward of actually blowing up the bridge with those bombs. For example, let's assume it takes 10 powder kegs to blow up a bridge and doing so awards 10 war score points. Successfully defusing an explosive would then only reward 1 war score point. The war points earned for successfully defusing the bombs will be exactly equal to the war points for destroying the bridge (and that's only if all 10 powder kegs are successfully defused). The demolitionist looking to abuse this bridge-destroying-mechanic to farm free war points will not earn more war points for defusing the bombs than if they had simply detonated them. Of course, this could still be open to abuse. The demolitionist could set and defuse the explosives multiple times to eventually earn more war points than detonating the bridge. They just simply need to keep some supply on hand to repair the bridge whenever it's damaged by failed defusion attempts.
- b) Demolitionists will be allowed to defuse their own bombs. However, they will not be awarded any war points for doing so. They can earn war points by defusing bombs placed by other players; just not their own. However, we're back to a situation of a demolitionist/defuser team. One places the bombs, the other defuses them to farm war points.
- c) Anyone can defuse any bomb anywhere and at any time. However, war points are earned only if the bomb being defused was placed by an enemy player from one of the other two teams in WvWvW. This permits demolitionists to still defuse their own bombs but completely negates any chance of abusing this mechanic for war point farming. Furthermore, despite not earning war points for defusing their own team's explosives, anyone from that team still runs the same risk of an accidental detonation as if they were an enemy player attempting to defuse the bomb.
- I think that covers all the bases.
 Defusing Bombs on Bridges
The explosives that have been placed on the bridge could also be removed by any other player; even just a lone player. Defusing a bomb could even be turned into some kind of puzzle game. If it were, though, make sure it is randomized on every attempt; otherwise the solution will be posted to a wiki, negating the challenge of the puzzle. Solving the puzzle defuses the bomb without incident. Failure to solve the puzzle detonates the bomb, causing damage to the player attempting the defusion as well as incremental damage to the bridge. The one consolation being - though they failed to defuse the bomb and it detonated - at least that's one less explosive on the bridge.
If the would-be-member-of-the-bomb-squad fails in too many of their defusion attempts (not on the same bomb, but other explosives attached to the bridge; there can be only one attempt per bomb), this may even inflict enough damage on the bridge to destroy it. This creates a situation in which players attempting to defuse bombs must be successful on at least some of their defusion attempts. Otherwise, if there is no consequence in failing a defusion attempt (i.e. the bridge won't be destroyed), players won't care whether or not they're successful in defusing the bombs. In practice, they will simply begin the puzzle to defuse the bomb, intentionally fail it to save time, the explosive will detonate, the player will heal up, and then head off to fail defusing the next bomb; rinse and repeat.
Furthermore, the number of attachment points on the bridge for placing explosives must be greater than the number of bombs actually required to destroy the bridge. The reason for this is:
- Let's assume it takes 10 explosives to destroy a bridge.
- A demolitionist places 10 powder kegs on the bridge.
- A player comes along to defuse the bombs. They know it takes 10 bombs to blow up the bridge.
- This player only needs to successfully defuse a single bomb to save the bridge.
- This leads to a scenario in which either:
- a) The player successfully defuses a single bomb and then intentionally fails the remainder. This is because they know that the remaining bombs which detonate on fail after that initial success pose no threat of destroying the bridge. They may cause damage, but it won't be enough to take the bridge down (assuming, of course, the bridge is fully intact; it has no residual damage from previous bombing attempts).
- b) The player removes a single bomb and leaves the rest in place. They know the remaining bombs (9 or less depending on whether or not their first defusion attempt was successful) aren't enough to destroy the bridge; even if the demolitionist detonates them. Of course, if the player fails to make repairs to this cumulative damage after the explosives have detonated, it will only take one more bomb to destroy the bridge. They don't even have to successfully defuse the bomb; they can intentionally fail their first defusion attempt because they know all they have to do is remove a single bomb to spare the bridge.
By allowing more attachment points than are actually needed to destroy the bridge, demolitionists can place surplus explosives on the span in an effort to thwart players who attempt to defuse them. They aren't required to do this; it's just another tactical option. If, for example, they only place on a bridge the minimum number of bombs required to blow it up (let's use 10, again), then they run the risk of a defuser only having to remove a single explosive. The defuser doesn't even have to be successful in defusing any of the bombs as detailed above; simply failing a single defusion attempt is enough to spare the bridge. If, on the other hand, the demolitionist places 20 explosives on the bridge, then the player attempting to defuse them now has a challenge ahead of them. At a bare minimum, they will have to successfully defuse at least 2 bombs and then either successfully defuse or intentionally detonate 9 more to spare the span from a demolitionist's detonation.
Of course, the point of placing explosives on the bridge is to destroy it, right? So one may wonder why a demolitionist would go through the trouble of placing extra bombs if they could simply blow up the bridge as soon as the required number had been reached. The answer is, they may not only want to destroy the bridge but they may also want to play a game of cat-and-mouse with any player(s) who attempt to defuse the bombs, catching them in the explosion. Alternately, they may want to wait until a large assault force is standing on the bridge before detonating it in the hopes of inflicting damage on them; both in the explosion and in the fall to the ravine below. However, in both cases, the demolitionist must be patient, waiting for the opportune moment to detonate. During that lull, it's possible enemy player(s) may detect the bombs and attempt to defuse them. The demolitionist will want some extra bombs on the bridge which they can spare to lose to defusion attempts, while still having enough intact explosives present to meet the minimum required for destroying the span.
Lastly, to add some tension, add a timer to the defusion puzzle. This way, players can't take their time solving the puzzle; not only must they get the defusion sequence, code, or whatever right, they must also do it within X seconds to avoid an accidental detonation.
If the bridge is located in the home borderlands of a server and the player defusing a bomb(s) is a member of that server (i.e. a red player defusing an explosive placed on a bridge located in red's territory), they will score X war score points for their server for each successful defusion. Alternately, every successful defusion of an explosive will reward war score points; regardless of where the bridge is located on the WvWvW map. As detailed in the previous section, war points are only awarded for defusing bombs placed by enemies. Players can defuse their own team's explosives, but will not earn war points for doing so.
 Repairing Damaged or Destroyed Bridges
If the bridge does get blown up, players, using supplies, could then repair destroyed bridges. Doing so may score X war score points for their server as well as reestablishing a vital corridor. This repair could be effected by any player; it wouldn't be limited to just the players from the territory where the bridge is located (i.e. a blue player could repair a bridge in red territory if they wanted). Again, this is an objective that could be carried out by a lone player; though, of course, it will take them much longer to do so as compared to a group of players making the repairs.
Bridges can be repaired incrementally; a player doesn't have to wait until the span is completely destroyed before starting repairs. For example, let's assume a bridge requires 10 powder kegs to blow it up. A player gets to work defusing these 10 powder kegs. In the process, 2 of the explosives accidentally detonate during the defusion attempts. The bridge has now been reduced to 80% of its "health". The player could then pick up some supply and begin repairing the bridge to bring it back up to 100%.
 Diplomacy and NPCs
Another alternative to the ubiquitous zerg mobs would be to implement a variation of Avaera's Alternate Advancement Mechanics: Politics suggestion. By engaging in this politics and diplomacy mini-game/alternative-to-combat, players may be able to convince non-allied groups to fight for their server; the Ogres for example.
As more and more influence is gained among the Ogre tribe, they will eventually assist the player/team who successfully negotiated the pact. This wouldn't be an open-ended form of assistance, either. The Ogres would only assist so long as a team's influence remained at a high enough level. Each time the Ogres assist that server in a fight, the team's influence among the Ogres diminishes. Eventually, it would diminish to the point where the Ogres would no longer feel compelled to honor their pact. It would require rebuilding the team's influence among the Ogres again before they would agree to assist any further. As a counter to this, an enemy player could also be making diplomatic overtures to the Ogres; neither side would gain influence among the Ogres until one or the other increased their diplomacy efforts.
 In Conclusion
These are just two small examples of ways in which the depth of play in WvWvW could be increased as well as making the efforts of a small group of players or even a single player count. I'm sure there are plenty of other ideas the devs could come up with which would permit groups of any size (including lone players) to make worthy contributions to their server's success. Anything to stop it from devolving into nothing more than zerg assault after zerg assault after zerg assault; which it is very much in danger of doing even before launch.
Thank you for reading.
Guild Wars 3 perhaps 18:58, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I had started an update to this page. However, it grew in complexity until it warranted its own feedback suggestions:
- Build an Edifice in WvWvW (scoring mechanics for the gatherers, builders, and those less inclined towards combat)
- Capture-the-Flag (Orb) in WvWvW (scoring mechanics for the infiltrators and scouts; the "sneaky" players)
- Escort the Sapper in WvWvW (scoring mechanics which turn battles into running fire-fights across the WvWvW map rather than static gate assaults)
- "The Hunted" Mini-game for WvWvW (scoring mechanics for those who like to chase other players down and for those who are really good at out-maneuvering an enemy and know the map inside-out)
- Treasure Hunt in WvWvW (scoring mechanics for the explorers)
Thank you for reading.
Guild Wars 3 perhaps 21:40, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
 Related Topics
The following feedback posts may not relate specifically to alternative scoring mechanisms in WvWvW. However, they do suggest methods by which WvWvW can be expanded or improved upon. As such, they fit this suggestion's broader call for a more engaging and strategically/tactically-rich WvWvW experience:
Thank you for reading.
Guild Wars 3 perhaps 07:02, 3 July 2012 (UTC)