Feedback:User/Guild Wars 3 perhaps/Summon a Champion in WvWvW
| Summon a Champion 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.
This suggestion goes hand-in-hand with my previous suggestion, Alternative Scoring in WvWvW. It is part of a series which explores ways in which the depth of play, strategy, and tactics can be increased in WvWvW.
In this feedback post, I suggest permitting a team in WvWvW to summon a Champion to fight for their server.
 Resources for Summoning
The Champion will be a single, very powerful boss-like opponent. There are several means by which this Champion could be summoned; a single method could be implemented or all means could exist simultaneously to permit players with differing playstyles to contribute:
- Coins. Players donate coins of any amount and denomination to an NPC, who keeps a running total. When the required amount is reached (and it should be quite expensive), the Champion is summoned. The drawback to this method is what to do if players make a donation but never reach the amount needed to initiate a summons by the time the current WvWvW match ends. Are their coins refunded?
- Karma. Same mechanic as the coins; just substitute Karma, instead. Of course, it suffers the same potential drawback; what to do if the required amount is never reached. Give players a Karma refund at the end of the WvWvW round?
- Influence. Same as above, but with an additional issue of who controls the Champion? The guild which donated the most influence? That seems fair until you consider it may take multiple guilds donating influence to reach the "purchase price". If one guild outspends their fellow guilds by just 1 influence point, how is that fair to the other contributing guilds?
- Supply. As this is a resource specific to WvWvW which costs nothing to players or guilds (other than the effort required to gather it) and is not associated with a guild like influence is, this may be the prefered resource for summoning a Champion. It's drawback is it doesn't quite have the same feel as some of the other resources; afterall, the players aren't building a Champion, they're summoning it.
- "Offerings". This could be gathered materials or even a new resource introduced to WvWvW. The idea is that it's a form of sacrifice being made at an altar to summon the Champion. The carcasses of slain monsters (or enemies; though that may be a bit macabre) from the WvWvW map, for example. These "trophies" can be looted from the corpse of a slain monster just like gold and items. Players then transfer their trophy offerings to the NPC Summoner. When enough offerings have been received, the Champion can be summoned.
- Kills. In contrast to all of the suggested resources above, this one wouldn't require players to run back to the NPC Summoner to deliver the goods. The Summoner will simply keep a running total of the kills made by all players on a team (this running total could be a small number displayed on all WvWvW players' UI). When the required number of kills is reached, the Champion can be summoned. This avoids the drawbacks of the other methods listed above. However, it introduces a new shortcoming of its own; it's combat-based. I was hoping to give players disinclined towards combat a method of contributing towards the Champion's summoning, as well.
- War Score. This may be the simplest solution of all. As teams amass war score points, they become eligible to summon a Champion at certain set points. As war scores tend to build very rapidly (from what I've seen in BWE videos, anyway), these set points should probably be pretty high; every 50,000 or 100,000 points, for example. This, like kills, avoids having to trek back to an NPC to deliver a resource. Furthermore, if my other alternative scoring suggestions are implemented, this gives players an opportunity to contribute to the summoning of a Champion without having to resort to combat.
 Summoning a Champion
Regardless of which method(s) are decided upon for summoning a Champion, the following are the suggested mechanics for how the summoning itself takes place:
- Once the NPC Summoner has received the required amount of resource(s) for summoning a Champion, a chat message or pop-up alert will display on the screens of all players on a team.
- The team is then given the opportunity to vote on which Champion they wish to summon. The voting will be open for a large enough window of time to give the players currently in the WvWvW round a reasonable chance to cast a vote.
- While considering their vote, the players on a team can open a dialog window which will display the Champions available for summoning. This will display a model of each Champion along with a list of their stats, their strenghts, their weaknesses, etc.
- Once all votes have been cast, the NPC Summoner immediately summons the Champion. Perhaps it materializes at the team's Cradle of Power, Altar of Power, a new altar dedicated solely to the Champion, or the team's homebase.
- Teams may have the option to forego summoning a Champion despite being eligible to do so. For example, a majority of the players may feel now is not the right time to summon their Champion. They want to wait until conditions are just right and all of their forces are in place in order to maximize the Champion's effectiveness. In such a case, the summons is put on hold. A mechanic would then have to be put into place to permit a player(s) to call for a new vote of whether or not to unleash their reserved Champion at a later date. In the "Controlling Champions" section below, I suggest an "!rtv" (rock the vote) mechanic for players to invoke in an effort to decide where to target their Champion. A similar voting mechanism could be used in this situation, as well.
- The question then becomes will we permit "banking" multiple Champions? For example, let's assume it requires 50,000 war score to summon a Champion. The team votes to forego summoning a Champion as soon as that 50,000 point level is reached, prefering to wait for a more opportune moment. In the meantime, the team's war score grows to 100,000 points, making them eligible to summon another Champion. Do we allow the team to keep their "banked" summon from the 50,000 war score level? It seems only fair since they did earn it. However, we would have to test this out to make sure unleashing multiple "banked" Champions one after another near the end of a WvWvW match wouldn't unbalance the game. Of course, the limiter I suggest below of allowing only one summon every 24 or 48 hours may solve this issue.
- Summoning a Champion should contribute some war points to the team's score.
 Champion Scale
The Champion should be absolutely EPIC in scale and bearing; I mean absolutely jaw-dropping awe-inspiring. The Champion should be so awesome that when it takes the field of battle, players - regardless of what team they're on - will pause what they're doing to stare and go, "Whooooooooooooah!!!". Then, if they're the owning team, shout, "YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!, or, if on the opposing team, whisper, "Oh, s**t!". Think of the appearance of the Balrog in the movie Lord of the Rings.
 Types of Champions
As to the types of Champions, I'm leaning towards racial variants. By this, I don't mean a team is limited to choosing a Champion based on which race makes up the majority of its population. Just simply that the Champions will be consistent with the established cultures of the game. Each team is free to choose any Champion they wish, regardless of the racial distribution on that team:
- The Humans Champions could be avatars of the Six Gods or some gigantic, angelic, warrior, seraphim type thing.
- The Charr Champion could be a flaming effigy of gigantic proportions that puts all other Charr effigies to shame.
- The Asura Champion may be a huge golem. Maybe a spider walker rather than a biped.
- The Sylvari Champion may be a massive Oakheart or Juggernaught.
- The Norn. Hmmm...don't have any ideas at the moment other than the obvious of their spirit animals.
These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling. I'm sure the devs could come up with even more creative ideas for Champions.
 Champion Characteristics
As to the characteristics of the Champions:
- Their models should be huge. They should tower above the battlefield and quite possibly be as tall or taller than a keep wall. No one should ever mistake a Champion for anything other than what it is.
- They should balance with one another. No Champion will be "better" than any other. Armor, health, speed, base attack damage, etc. should all be the same or otherwise balanced between them.
- That said, I'd like to see unique abilities, skills, attacks, etc. for each Champion. No two Champions would share the same abilities.
- Though their base attack(s) may do the same damage (more or less), each Champion should have a unique elite skill.
- The Champions abilities may favor different roles. One may be more offensive, another more defensive, and another more support, for example. Teams then choose a Champion based on what role they want it to fill.
Now for the limiters list:
- Champions are NOT to be an Uber-One-Shot-Kill-Win-the-WvWvW-Round-in-God-Mode mechanic. Though very powerful, they can be harmed by any player skill, siege weapon, or wall/gate defense.
- A team may have only one Champion in play at a time. It's then open to debate if the resource required for summoning another Champion can continue to be accumulated while there exists a currently summoned Champion. For example, a team has a Champion on the battlefield; do they continue to earn points for kills towards another summoning while that Champion remains in existence? Once a Champion is defeated, the team can then summon a new one (provided they accumulate the needed resource for doing so).
- If a Champion takes sufficient damage, they are dispelled/destroyed. Doing so may earn war score points for the team(s) which contributed to defeating the Champion. However, Champions will have massive health; comparable to a keep gate. Defeating one will take a concerted effort on the part of many players on a team.
- Champions will have no self-heal skill(s) and will not benefit from the healing skills of other players. It may even be the case that they will not benefit from allied players' boons, either. However, Champions may very well have their own (non-healing) boon skills or permanent boons associated with their Champion status; Might, for example.
- Perhaps a summoned Champion has a limited lifespan. Once their summoning timer runs out, they are dispelled back to whatever realm from which they were summoned. The team is then free to summon a new Champion once they've accumulated enough of the needed resource.
- Champions can only be summoned once every X hours/days. This restriction would apply even in the case of a team having saved multiple summonings in reserve (assuming teams are allowed to "bank" their summons as discussed previously). This would prevent a team from summoning three Champions all within the space of a few hours, for example; one immediately after the other as soon as the previous one is destroyed or reaches its time limit.
- A team would not be able to save up their summons during a WvWvW match, believing they could unleash them all on the last day in the hopes of steam rolling the competition. This creates a "use-it-or-lose-it" scenario; if the team has two reserved summons on the last day of the WvWvW match, they will only be able to use one of them. This encourages teams to use their Champions throughout the ongoing 2-week campaign rather than as an eleventh-hour, last-ditch effort to win a losing round.
- Furthermore, limiting how often a Champion can be summoned only adds to its epicness as a result of making it somewhat uncommon. You can think of Champions as being to WvWvW as what an elite skill is to a single player; a powerful but rare occurrence which may help turn the tide of battle if used wisely.
- Champions may battle one another. It may even be the case that Champions will drop whatever they're doing at the moment to attack another Champion; making them their priority target over all others.
 Controlling Champions
The problem I don't yet have a solution for is how to control Champions. I immediately dismiss the option of giving control of a Champion to a single player on a team. However, short of that, how do we go about making Champions a reasonable threat if they aren't directed? Here are a few random thoughts on this matter; but I'm certainly open to suggestions:
- Champions will be under AI control. They will seek out targets according to the following priority (ranked highest to lowest):
- Another Champion (if one exists).
- Stonemist Castle (if not already under the team's control).
- The nearest enemy keep.
- The nearest enemy tower.
- The nearest enemy resource camp.
- The nearest enemy Dolyak Caravan.
- Alternately, the target a Champion attacks could be put to a team vote:
- Players are presented a version of the WvWvW map on which they can click any one of the possible objectives (resource camps, towers, keeps, Stonemist Castle).
- The objective which receives the most votes becomes the Champion's target.
- If the objective is captured before the Champion reaches the target, a new vote is initiated.
- The new vote won't disrupt a player's current actions. It will be an icon in a corner of the screen that flashes or a team chat message, for example. Clicking either will bring up the Champion's map again from which players can select a new target.
- Players can call for a new targeting vote even if the Champion's current objective hasn't been captured yet. This may be due to a change in the team's strategy or the enemy has reinforced the objective, for example. Players could type "!rtv" (rock the vote) to initiate a new vote. To prevent abuse of this feature, a single player can only use the "!rtv" command once every 5 minutes or an "!rtv" vote can only be initiated once every 5 minutes (regardless of how many players type "!rtv" into chat witin that 5 minute period).
- The final method of Champion targeting and movement control that comes to mind is the Champion will move towards the largest group of players on a team and attack what they attack (kind of like a gigantic version of a henchman from GW1). In this way, the Champion is likely following the players towards an objective such as a tower or keep. Furthermore, the Champion is reasonably assured of having some cover by being part of that larger group rather than being caught alone out in the open if it were to move - under the previous two suggestions - to a different objective than the players. By implementing this version of the movement and attack mechanic, it gives the team some direct - though limited - control of the Champion.
- When attacking a target, Champions will act intelligently. For example, if attacking a keep which has a gate at 200,000 health and a wall that is at 150,000 health (from having taken previous damage), they will attack the wall rather than the gate.
- Champions will move away from AoE damage. They won't stand in place at a gate, for example, while cauldron after cauldron of boiling oil is rained down on them; they'll reposition themselves to minimize damage while still permitting them to attack their target.
Thank you for reading.
Guild Wars 3 perhaps 20:15, 3 August 2012 (UTC)