AoC and the potential for Zergs

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In every PvP game with an open world component there exists the possibility that players will “zerg”. Borrowed from StarCraft, Zerg is a term used in mmorpgs to describe very large groups of players working together to employ one strategy: Numbers. Zergings only requires that the group be organized enough to form up and move generally in the same direction. That’s precisely why it is considered very “game breaking” to have zergs running around. In a game working desperately to be more tactical, such as Age of Conan (just an example; this is doable in many games), what happens if people don’t care? What happens if they simply want to mass their numbers and steamroll everything in sight? Regardless of how good your guild is or how well your Demonologist can stun it’s not going to make one bit of difference.

Age of Conan’s Border Kingdoms are all about protecting and sieging enemy cities. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they are not always going to be fair fights. I’m curious to find out whether or not Funcom has placed any restrictions on the number of attackers and defenders. If a guild somehow forms with 200+ members (easily done, they already exist) and decides to go from one city to the next obliterating everything in their path.. is that acceptable because it’s “CONAN!”? There are far too many ‘unknowns’ about the Border Kingdoms for now so let me move to a different setting. What about the FFA servers? These servers really interest me. I want to be able to attack other players in more places than the Border Kingdoms. I look forward to the tactical 3v3, 6v6, (or slightly unbalanced equivalents), but what is stopping a guild from pulling all 20 of their online members together and moving location to locations wrecking anyone in their path? My full group of 6 could be ready for a decent match up but stand zero chance against a group 2-3x our size. Suddenly the FFA servers don’t interest me at all and a more controlled environment where Zerging is limited to X area sounds nice. Just another reason why the decision between PvP and PvE is tough.

Edit: (Thanks to Bartlebe for helping me better clarify what I want to say).  I want to bring up the very specific issues this raises in Age of Conan.  There are no allies or factions  to rely upon.  On both the PvE and PvP servers your only friends are your guild or your group; on the PvP servers this is more apparent.   This means that you are alone in a jungle where the organized zerg is the ultimate ruler.  For the smaller community guilds it’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight.  As much as the smaller guilds/groups want to compete they will stand zero chance in Age of Conan when the larger guilds win because they are basically a zerg.   Zergs are a problem in every game but they are 10x more of a threat to the survival of the average player in AoC.

It’s a legitimate practice. I’ll even admit that numbers are a lesser form of tactical thinking. But zerging, in my eyes, destroys the spirit of the game and raises a problem of balance.  All of the carefully designed mechanics mean nothing. Your ability to out maneuver your opponent or execute a chain of combos means nothing. You could be the best players of your class and have more skill than any player in the entire game and all of that means absolutely nothing when you are outnumbered by a zerg. The numbers win.

What are your thoughts? Does zerging bother you enough that you wouldn’t mind Funcom stepping in and implementing restrictions?

  • How do you stop zergs from happening unless you do instanced PvP (i.e. WoW’s BGs) or restrict how many people are in a given area through some other method? I hate the idea of it, but it seems like it’s a tactic used everywhere. Granted I’ve only played Eve & WoW myself, but friends of mine who’ve played other games tell me about the same thing happening as well. As a side note, I’d like to mention that occasionally it’s a necessary tactic, such as when you have a group of lower level players attacking higher levels.

  • Dude that’s what make the challenge in the game.

    I’ve played Lineage 2 way too much and the siege in there were the best thing ever and being outnumbered was just better. When I see a big alliance, the only thing that comes to my mind is to form a rebellion against them. You see them killing everybody, cheap shotting everyone, that what’s pisses me off and want to kick there ass and continue to play.

    If you’re tactical you will be able to kill 2x people, maybe you won’t win the siege but you will have killed many more people than they did. And that’s being pro. Not to hard to swing correctly but a group that does it together is way harder and this is where the challenge is.

  • I hate wow because you can’t fight who you want. You can’t even talk to your ennemy!

    It’s ridiculous, i can make ennemies by myself!

  • Yep. Zerging is in every game and to stop the zerging would be imposing restrictions on everyone. What bothers me the absolute most about it all is that skill means nothing when facing a zerg (and zergs come in all sizes). Like that comic Kalath linked shows, the carebears or “antis” when zergings still scare the pants off pros. Why? Because Zerg are unstoppable.

    All of this makes me want to play SC2…

  • zerging can be a bad thing but thats just wut happens personaly zergs should be in game cause how is it a battle when ur army is numberd? sure people will get cought off guard but its more of a challange to esapce or find some way hide from them till it passes or put together a grp to try an stop them. world pvp is alwas nice an massive ones atthat which i think a zerg would bring.

  • The “Zerg” can be as you put it “game breaking” but imo having the devs step in and create some form of cleansed Wowish team battles would break the whole idea of open world pvp. As for my taste open world pvp should be just that. A wild land where anything can happen.The Zerg is really only possible where the mechanics allow for groups to mass as onelike in DaoC, unattackable to eachother yet able to focus on a small sellect few. Keeping the grouping system to a more strict guideline can take away the power of the Zerg. better things to worry about> can I change my hair style? will my charater be nerf’d after making choices based on original game design? oh man this sucks waiting =(

  • I issue here that makes zerging such a problem in THIS GAME, is that there are no factions or sides.

    The Border Kingdoms will have a bunch of chumps running around in it, in groups of 2-6 trying to start fights and have a bit of fun. Mark my words, what WILL happen is guilds are going to take hold, form large numbers and dominate any and everything in the border kingdoms.

    Want to run around with your friends? To bad. The guild of 200+ owns everything you try to do. Want to explore? To bad. The Border Kingdoms is a glorified death match. Big guilds own you. Want to have some fun with your community guild and take a keep? To bad. 200+ guilds already own them all and zerg the daylights out of you.

    This is going to be very, very difficult, frustrating and underwhelming.

  • Bartlebe got the idea. It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight. You lose before it even begins. The big numbers will by default dominate the small numbers. The little guy (or group) has no allies on the battlefield in Age of Conan to rely upon. That makes them very vulnerable.

    In many ways it’s over before it even starts for some.

  • Some interesting point you make there Bartlebe, although thats lickely going to happen we shall see in the first weeks of the official release.

    Aoc been in the works since 2003 surely they must have not overseen this ( i hope).
    But theirs not really much known about the border kingsdoms to begin with, so we have to wait and see.

    2 Big groups (or zergs/guilds/alliences ) versus each other can be fun, but huge groups versus small groups is hopefully something that wont occur to often.

  • i guess a limit on guild numbers would not be a bad thing could cut down on alot an have more guilds formd for lets say more keep battles keep things going..but wut other way could things like this be limited?

  • Address the problem directly, instead of with things like artifical caps.

    To me that means some form of collision detection and friendly fire. Then the zerg can not fully bring its numerical superiority to bear, or even directly kills itself. Increasing numbers without a corresponding increase in organization becomes a liability.

    This preserves roles for smaller, tactical, disciplined, skilled groups without resorting to contrived artifical measures that effectively say “I only have x friends so groups of x+1 are unfair and I should always win anyhow”.

  • To add to this question, from my past life in DaoC I found that residing on RP servers was the best way to bypass these type of issues. Dont be fooled by the RP tag, just because people there are adding thier own imagination to the game doesnt mean they’re anyless “pro” infact quite the oposite. Where are the RP servers? I cringe at the “DUDES” as I call them… spamming stats and truely being the “game breaker” would be cool if all chat was filter’d into some form of Conan type language. LOl

  • Maybe they could have some sort of “Meeting Stone” system where players who want to find a party to PvP with in the Border Kingdoms could put themselves in a que and be put together in groups.

    They need just a little bit of organization to keep things in line. Something like that could do the trick.

  • i think the point of not having the friendly fire is for tatic reason so u can make formations an rows/ example when u have lets say gurdians up front to stop the force getting to ur men right behind them with longer range weps with friendly fire they would take down there own frontline. an thus formations useless. personaly thats wut i think

  • mabye they should just make it so u cant hurt anyone in ur grp that way guilds would have to spread out more..not sure if they would help anything cause then u have 10 full grps running around in all directions who knows. im just looking forward to my first look at this unknown mmo may first (._.)

  • well i know during the sieges either side can hire mercs if they feel they dont have enough men…this should make the sieges more evenly matched, however if your on a PvP server then you can’t hire mercs to run around with you all the time, so that could be a problem.

  • I’ve play’d many MMo’s some you may never have heard of. One comes to mind as a interesting Border Kingdom Form of pvp “Ryzom” in which war is declaired on an outpost, at which time a timer is set, both sides are informed of the exact time the battle is to begin…around 2-3 days wait time “world time” that gives both sides time to mass or the oposite “laydown” just a thought.

  • PotBS is the extreme on the other side of the spectrum. I definitely don’t want it under that much restriction.

  • I do like the point that Chance brings up about mercs. It would add more avenues, and thus more demand for mercenary forces. More “Free Companies”.

  • I played on a pvp server on wow for about a year and a half. There were quite a few large pvp guilds. In the early days there was tons of massing of players, but that is all they had. No BG’s and no arenas, flash to BC, there is almost no world pvp at all, on the pvp servers. The reason for this is people want their rewards and they don’t hardly get anything at all from world pvp.

    In AoC there will be A LOT of ganking in the first few months, however with battlegrounds/arenas and the border kingdoms I think it will die down. And an easy solution to zerging(at least in the normal world while questing) Is to have the xp from killing you split between the group, making it almost worthless for a group of 20 to kill one person( and diminishing returns on xp works too ).

    I think it is a cool idea to be able to kill someone that is taking your mobs or killing the things you need, they just need to make it not very rewarding(pvp xp wise) to avoid people farming each other in the real world. It’s much better suited to the border kingdom and BG’s

  • I really don’t see the concern here, other than a behavior in players that hasn’t been fully addressed by an MMO mechanic yet, there are ways a MMO can help against ‘zerg’ tactics but haven’t been attempted.

    Even without those it’s very legitimate and every player has a recource against, as we’ve had in every open PvP MMO before AoC. Have you guys played pre-trammel UO? Shadowbane?

    You don’t need artificial factions, or any other game imposed grouping. Players are and should be responsible for forming their own groups, guilds, and alliances.

    No group of 5 players should expect to be able to take a full guild of 200+ on, short of guerilla hit ‘n run tactics of catching their players alone.

    In games like UO we used to have massive coallitions of 5-10+ guilds of Anti-PK and PK guilds number up to a 500-1000 members per side to call upon. Where the game had no systems, we made out own to cope agaist the threat of other players.

    Uber guilds with 1000’s of members dominating a map are always a problem, but they always draw the ire of other players then tend to organize to destroy them and split up their territory, along with the massive internal drama that often causes much strife as well.

    Some small things I do see helping this is collision detection in combat. Only allowing melee users that can get in range to attack a target.

    Also diminishing returns on multiple attacks directed at one target. Say if 1-5 melee attack a target dmg is 100%, but 6-10+ would suffer a reduction in their dmg.

    Friendly fire on free for all servers would also be good, if it was limited to your own group, but I don’t have enough experience with the AoE melee/spells to know how well this would work.

  • It’s not so much the group of 6 wanting to take on the guild of 200. It’s about the guild of 200 preying upon the group of 6 and creating an unplayable environment. But that’s pretty extreme in and of itself. Let’s move it down into the realm of believability and say 6v20. If a group of 20 roams around on the PvP server they will be successful because of their numbers. It’s one of those things I wish could be fixed can’t.

  • Two thing first :
    -Excuse my english, my main language is French
    – Excuse the length of my post, I tend to be lengthy and I think this time I went overboard.

    I don’t really think that zerg is an issue. In fact, I think it is probably one of the best thing Age of Conan has to offer.

    Most of the other games offer very limited high number experiences. Very few games permits hundreds and hundreds players fighting each others. It’s no wonder why there are only a limited number of batle keeps. I’v read somewhere that before building your guild’s town, you must have at least 30 person enlisted in your guild. And those buildings will cost a tremendous amount of ressources to build. Huge guilds won’t be an exception but a necessity.

    Age of Conan focus on guilds pvp, and there will be those titanic guilds crushing everything on their path. This means a lot of organization and some people really working hard to make it work. Don’t they deserve the advantage of number after all the effort they’ve put into recruiting and maintaining their guild ? I think they do. And as a player I feel a world with a very active geopolitical landscape is really challenging, and thus attractive.

    Ther will be diplomacy, perhaps alliances, non aggression pacts. I love Roleplaying, and I think that ths will add a lot depth to the world. You don’t just choose a faction and then fight. You have been empowered, and encouraged, by the game mechanics to create and animate a Faction. Your actions impacts the world you avatar lives in.

    Of course, there will be small guilds and group, but they do have their “sanctuary”. Your PvE city won’t be desctructible by other players. You will have acces to ressources without having to fight players to have them. Battle Keeps just brings you a huge boost, a boost helping guilds to sustain their economy when they are starting to be limited with their own city.

    And for full pvp servers… Well I tend to be an old school player. I’ve played T4C a lot, and I remember beeing affraid when some nasty looking guy came in my field of view. And the tjat sigh of relief when instead of killing me he would just buff me. I loved this sense of danger and impending doom over your character. This gave your litlle pixely friend a lot more value and life. And I also remember players uniting and hunting down those nasty RPK. This was beautifull to see that people could organize and act as their own reguling order.

    Hyboria is suposed to be a harsh world, where bands of rampaging barbarians destroys everything in their path to live… Zerging will be those savages clans… And there will also be those guilds playing the nice guys trying to protect the weak.

    I definitely hope there will be zerging.

    Thanks for reading me, and have a nice day.

    PS : great job on this blog, I discovered it by watching your AOC videos, and I really enjoy reading the rest of it. Keep on the good work 😉

  • Zerging happened all the time in DAoC Keen, and mostly by Albion, yet Albion rarely dominated, there are counters to the zerg, surprise attacks with lesser numbers, terrain advantages, getting your OWN zergs, it was never “large guild vs large guild” in DAoC, it was usually many smaller guilds banding together to fight the enemies zerg.

    Many many times forces would just build up in the frontier keeps to fight the enemy zerg, or smaller AE groups would ambush the zergs, a zerg is not game breaking, in fact zergs are usually rather organized, the PROBLEM is individual skill and equipment matters less and less the more players there are… but on the other hand, it also means you need to work as a team to a lesser extent, you cant steamroll everything, because EVENTUALLY the team your steamrolling will fight back, small guilds will join up with larger guilds to create their own counter zerg, or they will find some choke point, and suddenly, you can no longer crush everything in your path.

    Collission detection in a choke point would also nullify a zerg, its all about strategy, but whenever you have LOTS of people pvping, zergs will happen, theres no avoiding it, if you dont want to play in a large group against OTHER large groups of people, maybe a pvp game isnt for you?

    TL:DR version: Zergs happen with lots of people, and in games that they did happen, forces would counter them, rarely do a single group dominate forever, and many zergs are in fact smaller guilds banding together, and not single large guilds.

  • @Danath: There’s a difference between DAOC zergs and AoC zergs though. In DAOC you still had your realm mates. In AoC once you enter the Border Kingdoms your ONLY friends are your group or guild. Anyone else, even if you exp’d with them the day before, are your enemy. On the PvP Servers no one is your friend except your group/guild. This will almost act as a catalyst for zergs to form. People will gravitate towards larger groups for survival. That’s fine and all.. but I hope the finer more well thought out mechanics of the game will survive when it becomes nothing but a numbers game.

  • If a group of 20 tries to chase a group of 6 they become very vulnerable to the other groups of 20. :p

    You can just bait the zergs into each other and then pick off staglers.

    That’s assuming it’s possible to get away from 20 people once in los. Don’t know the dynamics of AoC, yet.

  • I don’t really consider this a problem. If you’ve got the numbers, you _should_ win. There are more dimensions to PvP than just player and character skills, gear, and attributes. Rolling around in numbers is just one strategy of playing the game, and it’s not completely mindless. If you have the social connections and can leverage this, why shouldn’t you be able to?

  • They should create a couple default guilds in which you would be automaticly placed randomly at lev 1.

    It would mimmic having realms.

    It would be fun to have organized 100 person guilds going against a Noob Zerg all guilded together 😛

  • I think the glory of pvp, pre NF in DAoC, will be what AoC will become. Zergs are easily avoidible, and hit n run tactics are alot of fun. What we saw in the free vp weekend is very limitied, but if the movies have anything to show, there will be more than enough room to pvp in 1v1 or small battles. But at the same time, there is way too many unknowns be say for sure what it will be like. I hope AoC avoids the mistakes other pvp games have made.

  • You guys are all assuming that random packs of 20 people will roam around and gank small groups 24/7? It’s just a matter of having a reward system in place that doesn’t feed the zerg. Make it more rewarding if its more evenly match, for instance. If I have a group for 30, and we attack a group of 5, we would get a lot less xp then if it was 5v5.

    Like others that have said above, when you get a huge force on one server(and there will be one), there are always TONS of small guilds that band together to take them down. That’s the fun of it, it won’t always be 100% fair guilds fighting each other. It’s WAR and part of war is having fiends to kill people with. If one person can gather 200 people to zerg with so can anyone els on the server to fight him back. Although I have never seen that many people fighting each other in any game.

    I can’t imagine a siege being non-instanced. Just think of all the guilds that would wait for a person to attack then attack the healers and support ;P I am more worried about that then random ganking.

  • Reading trough all this conversation im starting to doubt if i would roll on a PvP server.

    Will AoC tend towards WoW world pvp ( wich means only zerging and ganking non stop).

    Hopefully the pvp servers will be interesting and not based on ganking only. Anyone have any thoughts about the PvP servers?

  • all in all its about you and your own ability to desimate and ward off your enemies. Crom only smiles upon thoughs who enter battle with sharp axe and heavy mace.. fearing nothing in their path and prepaired to give their life at his whim. I personally have decided not to enter the beta phase, I get too attached to my charaters to have them wiped. its been great getting the skinny from the Lurkeen himself though 🙂 I used to eat lurkeens in a past life 😛

  • @Keen
    You say that once you eneter the border kingdoms everyone but the people in your group or guild are your enemies. Let’s say that a group of 20 is owning in a certain area. Wouldn’t it be beneficial for the few other groups of 4, 5, or 6 to join up and go kick some zerg ass? Maybe that’s the whole point. It certainly would encourage others to form groups to battle it out with the big bully on the block.

  • I really don’t see a problem here. Let’s say 200+ Guild for whatever reason starts ganking a group of 6 over and over and over. It’s most likely that these 200+ people won’t be ganking the same people. It is likely that these 200+ people will buy all the notoriety and hate from the whole damn server. I assume there will be more than 1000+ people in the server. 1000+ vs 200+. If these 200 People continuously gank people can cause grief, I am sure the whole server will have their names remembered and kill these ass holes on sight. I don’t know for everyone else but I clearly wouldn’t want the whole server on my ass, especially when the PVP servers are FFA. Also these 200+ won’t always be together 24/7. This will also affect people who don’t participate in the zerg frenzy but who are in the same guild. Soon the server will recognize and generalize the guild and kill anyone who is associated with that particular guild. How is the guild master going to convince people from leaving his/her guild at this point?

    Speaking of Siege PVP. They have a system where battle keep owners can adjust their vulnerability window and the PVP engagement doesn’t begin immediately. It is likely that the Defenders would have time to figure out how big the opposing forces are and prepare. Also have to point out the Defenders will always be at an advantage. If the defenders fail to gather more people to fight against a zerg, then it’s their fault. There are more than 1000 people on the server.

    Also coming to a point that there are going to be 9 battle keeps total in one server and one guild can own one at a time. This means one big guild can occupy 1 out of 9 but there are still 8 to go. Some may think, “what if there are 9 big guilds.” Well if you think about it, I am quite sure they are going to limit the people allowed on one server.

  • Hi been reading the site for ages, decided to comment on this, great job you two are doing and thanks for the great videos, not only good too eventually see the classes in action, but also excellent commentary on what they can do! Anyways regarding zerging, I am a DAOC vet played it since the beta and if there is anyone else out there that has played on euro servers you might know that zerging was a massive problem. What we done (I was lucky enough to be in one of the best guilds) is that collaborated with all the other top guilds and arranged a certain area to be a “group” only zone, Now at this point I heard you all saying “that would never work” but suprisingly it did, as the full group vs full groups fights were very intense and good, the FG area would be in a set area and between set times.

    Now on a second point, DAOC in comparison will be no where near as massive as DAOC in terms of people that will be online at one time, for a start AoC has been far more advertised, so whether this would have a negative impact on my suggestion I do not know, I guess time will tell on that one!

    Also on a side note, we advertised this on a public forum that we knew alot of the euro player viewed, I also must admit that we started doing this on the decline of the server population.

    Make your comments known!! 🙂

  • When I try to explain the term “zerg” to someone that doesn’t know Starcraft, I tell them to think of the movie 300. The Persian army used a zerg against the Spartans.

    Someone above mentioned UO. I remember the days of PK vs Anti-PK too. Your group of 4 gets ganked by 10, you’d put out the call for help and 20 might show up. Guild alliances and friendships were critical. There were no pvp servers or alternate shards. It was survival of the fittest 24/7/365.
    That being said, I’ve played a lot of MMOs over the years. UO was at times the most fun and at others the most frustrating of any of them.
    I’d have to say, even though I’m not a hardcore PvPer, that I think artificial caps on player numbers, etc to keep things on a more “friendly” level are taking away from a game like AoC rather than adding to it. They are billing AoC as a gritty, kill or be killed game. To me that means it should be as close to that as possible.
    It all depends on what you want in a game. Fighting a few guys in a game of capture the flag? Or running for your life from a 20 man gank squad while you scream like a little girl into your mic on Vent that you need help NOW damn it! 🙂

  • “Or running for your life from a 20 man gank squad while you scream like a little girl into your mic on Vent that you need help NOW damn it! :)”


  • I guess I definitely prefer the 20 man gank squad over the CTF games. And absolutely 100% over AoC’s CTF games.

  • Agreed. I really don’t want any part of instanced PvP. I was disappointed that Mythic included it in WAR. Damn WoW 🙂

    I haven’t played the AoC beta, so I can’t speculate beyond tending to agree with Keen’s concern. DAoC had three factions, which is vastly underrated for providing balance. The strongest realm gets ganged up on by the other two until there’s a new strongest realm, rinse, repeat. It kept me amused for years on in DAoC. Shoot, the “strongest realm” part sometimes switched nightly.

    I enjoyed the zerg as a balancing factor in DAoC. Any disciplined group of 8 could mostly avoid the zerg, because the zerg moves like molasses. In fact, the accordion-like zerg-mind behavior often brought targets in an unorganized, easily digested, conveyor belt of less-than-stellar RvR players. Put the zerg on one location, though, with one goal, and strength of numbers helped (The Albion milewall in Emain Macha, or a keep). I’m thinking Percival, where lots of RvR Hib newbs learned their chops. It took us a long time, but a lot of Hibbies got better at RvR, and continued to participate in RvR, because we were able to stay alive long enough in the zerg to gain some skills. If I had only been able to run in 8-mans when I sucked, I don’t know if I would have ever learned to love RvR.

    I don’t think I have to defend the DAoC system, though. It’ll be interesting to see how AoC shakes out. It doesn’t seem like they’ve put as much thought into RvR as Mythic did, but sometimes I look at old games and forget how much patching, tweaking, and balancing it took to get ’em in shape.

  • DAoC’s system was fine really. Since you had everyone in your realm on your side it wasn’t an issue. AoC’s “Free for all” feel is going to be awkward with zergs. I hope that people understand that’s where I’m coming from. AoC has no factions, realms, teams, sides, etc. It’s you and your guild or group that you form vs anyone else out there.

  • I played Shadowbane where large nations were formed. EVE online has massive corps.

    Large guilds actually add more stability to the server then cause disruption. The stability makes the game world safer to play but then can make Pvp stagnant. This is because the smaller guilds are afraid to do anything aggressive that’ll piss off the large guild.

    Stagnation will pass. Either due to the internal collapse of the large guild or from them suffering from plain boredom.

    In time, the fight will continue.

    Then the cycle repeats.

  • zergs or not there is always a chance to win. if there is a guild that is causing trouble for everyone else join with a guild that has similar revenge in mind and if thats still not enough hire some mercenaries. zergs i agree just add to the challenge. eventually to either having the challenge met or stagnation as someone else put the problem will eventually dissapate.

  • Since someone mentioned EVE.. in that game you have multiple levels of PvP going on at once. There’s an actual physical limitation on how big “blob” fleets can get (server nodes will physically crash, at least when I was playing) but the game is set up so that mobile opponents will either always escape from a zerg or can break it apart and destroy advance/stragglers and whittle it down through attrition.

    On the topic of 200+ guilds etc., that’s always been present in EVE (BoB, Red Alliance) but coalitions have formed to oppose them, because they get a better piece of economic action (not sure if the same would apply to keeps etc) by working together, overcoming the zergs, and dividing the profits rather than becoming a subsidiary/slaves of the zerg groups.

  • It just bothers me to know that the guilds that will own the cities will be the ones that invite everyone in sight to join. How are other guilds going to even put up a fight? I just don’t think it’s fair to have a guild with 1,000 random members dominate everything. What I want in this game is guilds that are evenly sized using strategies and skill to capture cities, not because they invited everyone they see.

  • I doubt a guild full of 1,000 randomly invited people will last for long, much less dominate everything.

  • The day that skill beats zergs is the day that online gaming becomes really advanced and the day I look forward to, I go through times that I dont want a large group of players and just solo or have one or two other friends with me even though we’d be skilled enough the automated hit system ruins it. Yet regardless to skill even as long as a game as set bounderies it will always be impossible to beat a large number of players on a little.

  • @J.J.P

    They had giant guilds that invited everyone they saw in wow too, with hundreds of members. They were the worst guilds on the server, unorganized, unskilled and not geared. A good guild of 1/10th the size is a comparable force. I wouldn’t worry about those types so much. As much as we all want it to be fair it won’t be, that’s the best part. Using your tactics to overcome a larger force, very much possible and much more rewarding when you do.

  • Talking about zerging…. I’m not sure if this has been mentioned or how much of an impact this will have, but reading about the different classes, there are quite a few spells and abilities that get stronger the more opponents one has to deal with. Could this be an attempt at evening the odds when smaller groups get jumped? The big group has advantage in numbers, while the smaller one is more effective. Meh..probably just a flavor thing, but would be interesting to see in action.

  • Keen,

    How much did collision detection affect you during the PVP weekend? It seems logical (though that doesnt necessarily have any bearing on a computer game) that with collision detection in the game zerging would become much more difficult and battles will (hopefully) be more tactical in nature.

    I havent played yet, just hoping.

  • Collision detection had no impact on the pvp in the pvp weekend. There was never any tactical opportunity to use it.

  • shadowbane provided to me zerging and stacking is really not a truely sound tactic. I have seen zergs brought to a grinding halt by a well coordinated smaller grp.

    Doac was hit and miss on breaking a zerg with a smaller grp. Aoe stunning certainly could reak havoc ….

    Sieging in the border kingdoms with collision detection might by where you see shield walls but in the small pvp areans it is really not an option.

  • Looks like alot of other posters agree with me as I too have played Shadowbane, EVE, Lineage II, DAoC, etc etc. Good groups of smaller players can halt even the best zerg. A Zerg that gets too big is hard to control and confusion can set in. I know my 15 man (all guild members) were going to raid LBRS and ran into an alliance 40 man raid.

    This was before TBC and before most people were even keyed for Molten Core. This was the golden age of WoW. My 15 man slaughtered all 40 alliance as you could tell they could only handle a PvE instance and not intelligent mob players. I told Blizzard to implement classic servers (basic WoW with no Molten Core but everything else, no purples only blues). They thought they knew better and laughed at me. Im looking forward to WAR and AoC to take a huge chunk of their playerbase if not more.

    Anyway back to the topic. The open world makes it exciting. You have to learn to be humble and to respect your fellow player. Being an asshole even as a large guild will come back to bite you eventually. You never know when guilds will form up an alliance to beat the King of the Hill. EVE online is a primary example.

    BoB (Band of Brothers) was unbeatable and was even acused of having content created just for them. The playerbase had enough and everyone put aside their differences and joined together and finally broke the back of the once mighty BoB. Its epic times like those that you appreciate world PvP and the stupidity of controlled battlegroups for the weak.

    Good players can overcome gear deficiencies except for resilliance (worst idea ever, lets just make everyone immune to damage while we are at it.)

  • This isn’t the first MMO with good open world PVP – the only kind worth playing fyi. Nothing like hearing in general chat “There are 100+ rushing our home keep!” to stir up some excitement and rouse a good defensive standoff. Trust me, these are the kind of battles you want to play. Its a crime that so many peoples first PVP experience is WOW BGs.

  • 1) Raids are the largest groups max 24 players

    2) Everyone not in that group are viable targets on PVP servers (whiich renders AoE useless in Zergs larger than 24 players if FF isn’t an option)

    3) What is there to whine about in the first place regardless of 1 and 2? Come on, sure its a game but where is the realism in limitations also if you play on a pvp server thats a part of it, form your own zerg if zerged!

  • >>There are no allies or factions to rely upon. On both the PvE and PvP servers your only friends are your guild or your group; on the PvP servers this is more apparent.<<

    I agree wholeheartedly. This is precisely the motivating factor that my guild, a relatively small group of close friends, is considering at this time. Normally I’m rather interested in full FFA world PvP, but the notion of gank squads and large groups rolling in to squash everyone who isn’t prepared or paranoid enough to always be with another sizeable group just doesn’t appeal to me.

    In other MMO’s you have factions, so the server’s population is split 50/50 or etc. Age of Conan noticeably won’t have that, as you’ve mentioned, which makes every single player an enemy. I don’t say potential enemy, because we all know that their first instinct is going to be to fight, unless they know they’re outdone and decide to flee. I doubt there’s going to be all that many neutral random encounters. On that note, what if somebody joins your group just to see your classes/levels, locates your group, then calls in guildies and drops group after scoping you out? Easy kills, lame style. I’m not very interested.

    A fully PvP environment will also destroy RP (yes, I’m a roleplayer who also enjoys PvP), since no sane roleplayer would continue to stop in their tracks and take the time to type up a greeting after getting beat into a pulp for the tenth time… So on the whole, while I’m torn between the notion of not being able to stalk other players throughout Hyboria, my friends and I are leaning toward a PvE/Normal server. It’s a very tough choice, and one I don’t like being forced to make. My biggest regret is that AoC hasn’t offered a PvP system where you can “flag yourself for PvP”, fight, and then let the flag wear off when you’re done, ala Star Wars Galaxies and other similar MMO’s.