My thoughts on the 4.1 Open RvR Chicken Mechanic

  • Post author:
  • Post category:MMORPG

Since the 4.1 patch notes have been made public I want to talk about one of the points that impacts me and many others who are choosing to play on an Open RvR Server.

Open RvR Server Ruleset
Are you ready for the next challenge in RvR? Do you love the adrenaline rush of always having to look behind your back for the enemy? If so, then we welcome you to Open RvR, where you will either shine or falter in a constant battle for glory! Battle your enemies outside of the RvR lakes and affect the fate of your realm! Your Chapter 1 hub and your capital city are the only locations in the game where you have safe confines, of course that is until your city becomes under attack.


* Players are always RvR flagged from the moment they log in
* Chapter 1 hubs and capital cities are safe
* There is no bolster buff in RvR lakes
* Players will be chickened when entering lower tiers of content

Let me start with the emphasized point (emphasis was my own).  We knew this was a possibility.  Mythic stated in an interview that even they are unsure of exactly what the rules will be with the chicken system so it’s safe to say that this might not be set in stone.  This is the -worst- case scenario but honestly it’s not as bad as people are making it out to be.  So you can’t go back to lower level zones at all on a open rvr server without turning into a 1hp chicken.  Let’s evaluate why you would ever want to go back.

To Participate in RvR?  Well, you can’t do that on a Core server either.

To participate in dungeons?  According to what I am told you are not chickened in dungeons on any server so you CAN go do them.

To participate in PQ’s?  When you out-level the Tier you no longer get Influence anyway from PQ’s so you can’t do them anyway.

To get some Tome Unlocks you missed?  Okay, this is the worst thing.  But is it realy THAT bad?  No.  Why?  Because the tome unlocks don’t give you a darn thing worth getting stressed out about.  Believe me when I say this – you’re not going to say “OMG I out-leveled that tier now I’m forever screwed and inferior to those who were anal retentive and min/maxed their tome!!!”… Mythic would NEVER let that happen because it would be stupid.  Additionally, there are tome unlocks that you can ONLY get as a Chicken – special ones too – and plenty of exploration unlocks (Likely the ones you missed) can be obtained as a chicken.

To help guildies level?  In what…. PvE?  Trust me, no one needs help here that they can’t get from people their own levels.  Unlike several other mmorpgs, the leveling in PvE is pretty straight forward and easy as well as quick.  It’s going to be a slight bummer that we can’t go back for going back’s sake but come on… how many times have you gone back to the level 10 area of a mmorpg when you outlevel it?  I’ve been playing these games long enough to say that few, if any of you, will go back and spend time combing the newie lands instead of moving forward.

As for the bolstering not existing in the RvR lakes or “areas” it makes sense on an open rvr server or else people would hang out on the edge of the rvr areas as level 18’s and get potshots on people as they approach the area.  It would be ridiculous and make little sense.

So overall, it’s not as bad as it sounds and it’s the -worst- case scenario.  People are mostly upset just because they don’t like the IDEA of being restricted.   I’m really not worried about the chicken mechanic or the bolstering.

  • It might not matter to you, but it matters to others. And considering the amount of new Tome rewards they just put in the patch, I’m going to err on the side of future choices instead of future restrictions.

    Although Mythic has said several times that we shouldn’t be able to outlevel any Tome unlocks, I’m quite skeptical that this can be accomplished while eliminating a player’s ability to fight in lower-tiered zones.

    A couple other things to consider:

    1. This will wall off people trying to collect suits of armor from certain tiered zones.

    2. It will make the world seem smaller and more restrictive at 40, no matter how large it feels now.

    3. It will put the fear of Mythic in players who don’t want to outlevel a zone before they’re ready. This is very important — there’s a lot to do in each zone if you’re not narrow-focused on just one or two avenues of play. Unless, of course, you’re advocating that players become specialists instead of generalists (or completionists).

    4. It is always fun to be a high level romping through lower level content, mowing down NPCs at will, as a way of rejoicing that you’ve become powerful. This will take that entirely away.

  • Why can’t they just make it so you only “chicken” if you attack the lower players. Is it that difficult or am I missing something?

  • Well if you are a 40 and you hit a level 1 you will kill them and get turned into a chicken. Still sounds like ganking to me, also I think it has to do less with ganking and more the balance of how RvR works.

    I do not want groups of 30s in my 10 zone doing PQs for the fun of it and killing everything before we do. I want to help my realm with people of my level. Since the lower zones only help T4 there is no point in trying to get control of them.

    This is what people get for trying to force a game type into a game that was not made for it. Since some many people where complaining about “FFA combat, no restrictions, “WAR is everywhere”, Mythic cracked and gave them what they asked for.

    However this is what many did not want but since the game was designed around the core rule set they do not have much leeway. Mythic is not new so they know what works and what does not.

  • All I can say is that Syp and were just running through a Greenskin PvE zone flagged for RvR. We came across a player Dwarf we could not attack. We stared at each other for a few seconds and then ran off. Shortly afterward, we were jumped by three higher con NPCs.

    What do you think the Dwarf did? He flagged himself and ganked us.

    I think this pretty much makes up my mind that I will be playing on an Open RvR server at launch. 😛

  • It shouldn’t turn you into a chicken unless you click on an enemy player. You should be allowed to explore, freely, as yourself. It’s just dumb to automatically turn you into a chicken. It will limit the gameplay.

  • @Snafzg: See? That’s what I’ve been saying. Open RvR makes the most sense.

    @Syp: I think you’re in the vast minority here. Less than 1% of the total population. Few people care about collecting the greens and blues as a lowbie for kicks. The ones you can’t gather you can probably buy on the auction house anyway. The feeling of the game being smaller is an illusion created by one’s own loathing of the simple IDEA of being restricted (You’re not alone, I feel it too) when in all actuality the restriction is negligible.

    I’ve been playing the heck out of the greenskin T1 the past month. I’ve gone from 1-12 so many times I have lost count. I’ve been able to see and do all of the content before I even hit level 12. I’ve done all the open rvr, the scenario ad nauseam, collected all the tome unlocks I’ve been able to find, and scoured every inch of the tier. Tier 1 is the fasted, by far, and I’ve been able to see and do it all in the levels allotted me. I have zero desire to ever return to T1 after I have completed it and I strongly believe that the vast majority of others will feel the same way.

    There will, as always, be the exception. Some people will, of course, wont be unhappy. However, as a whole this is not that big of a deal.

  • I agree. It’s a non-issue for the most part. One interesting thing that I think is going to happen on both server types is people “twinking” characters at set levels (er..ranks) in order to help the world RvR. Those early zones contribute as well, so it makes sense to stack characters at certain progression points in order to participate.

    This is one area that I think WAR can shine in terms of repeatable low-level content. I know I’ll be stashing my twink alts at different levels for this purpose, even if it’s just to participate in the scenarios at that level.

    Regarding the Open vs. Core debate: I wrote in my blog today that it’s a mistake to compare WoW servers to WAR servers. I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem to think “WoW PvP server = WAR Open Ruleset” when it’s really apples to oranges.

  • They designed the game for concentrated PvP in the massive RvR zones. Then they designed those PvE PQs and quest places.

    They designed everyone to be on the core servers and will not re-design the game for the gankaholics on open servers. They made an exception for you by even allowing it, be grateful..

  • I really don’t see the point in open servers, as you have said before the game aint balanced for 1v1.

  • That you like war is a sure thing but how fanboy can you be? This and the invisible barriers are 2 huge problems in the game since they both destroy the feeling of freedom. The first problem (invisible limits and loading screens), you justify it as an efficient use of the space and the other problem (the chicken), you try to dismiss all its bad consequences on the gameplay itself. Most of people go to MMORPGs to have the feeling of belonging to a huge world and to be free to travel where they want. This is absolutely not the feeling you have in WAR and not a 100 posts to try to justify the deletion of capital cities, the raise of invisibl limits or the chickenization of people who just want to go back to lower level zones. The problem of turning your “gaming blog” to a war fanboy blog is that you can’t possibly admit it: they are taking bad decisions one after another.

  • Alexander. The only bad decision they have made is allowing open rvr 1on1 gankfest servers.. I agree there.

  • “It’s going to be a slight bummer that we can’t go back for going back’s sake but come on… how many times have you gone back to the level 10 area of a mmorpg when you outlevel it?”

    maybe you dont know about the lvl 40 world heroes and the Boss Lairs?
    There are at least 4 in the lower tiers and they drop propably the best gear (before city sieges).

    And about the dungeons.. well good luck getting there as a chicken o_O. Gunbad is hard enough, Lost Vale will be hard as fuck too.. and im not sure if u can port into these instances while beeing chickened.

    Theres still a rumor, that u can get 1 tier lower that your lvl. Are there open servers with ORvR rulesets to test this?

  • – You wanna run to the left but you go too far, you bump on an invisible barrier
    – You wanna go to another zone, you meet a loading screen
    – You wanna go back to the previous areas, you are turned into a 1 hp chicken

    Now tell me that you feeling of freedom doen’t suffer from it…

  • Alexander, thats called gank protection. This game _IS NOT_ based on 2on2 arena and freedom to gank. Its based on open rvr with same level opponents..

  • @alexander: I guess WAR is not for you since you prefer exploration and free wandering. But please correct me if I am wrong in that assessment.

    It’s hard to make a game that pleases everyone and the developers have to make sacrifices in one area or another. WAR is more PVP focused – so unlike a PVE centric game, you get less exploration opportunities.

    As a PVP’er who have played in AoC’s open gankfest servers – I hated that my leveling process was always hindered by griefers and ass-clowns. I don’t have a lot of time to play but wasting 30 minutes being repeatedly one-shotted by max level players is not fun. As a result, I’m OK with the chicken mechanic on opens RVR servers.

  • No matter what kind of pvp it is, i’m talking about the FREEDOM in the world, the “chickenization” could happen when you actually gank, not when you enter the zone without any intention to gank at all. But clearly, war is a pvp point of view only, there’s not much place for the feeling of belonging to a world and being free in it… Too bad, could have been great.

  • I remember reading/watching an interview a while back and someone (Mark or Hickman)saying that they want to create a game not a world. Now interrupt that as you will but the game can not be all connected together. If you want huge lag problems from the server then that’s fine but the High elfs can not be right next to the dwarfs.

    Geographically all of these areas are far away from each other in the world. So seamlessly going from one to the next would be impossible unless you want to run for a few hours.

    Also if you missed content what id stopping you from making an alt and going to go see it? It will not take that long to get to 40 so you should have plenty of alts to play with.

  • @Cherub1m: Chickening does not happen in lairs.

    @Alexander: The way this world is laid out is not like other mmo’s. It’s tiered. It’s already segregated and your freedom to run around is already out of sight and out of mind. Once you go to Tier 2 you will -NEVER- even see T1, run through it or get a quest to go back. It’s as though the game moves you forward. This is contrary to how some games are laid out like, LOTRO for example. In LOTRO Bree is main city located in the center of the lowbie areas. You’re constantly running through lowbie areas to get there. You’re always being exposed to, whether you care or pay attention, to part of the game you already completed. This DOES NOT happen in WAR.

    People need to play the game – more than up to level 5 – before they start taking stances against or even for the chicken system.

    @Greg: That statement from Mark/Hickman goes hand in hand with what I just wrote above. 🙂 You understand it.

  • a lair is connected to the world, its no instance. So you are saying, that you unchicken as soon as u enter the lair? The same way you get unmounted entering caves?

    Anyway theres still the obstacle to even get there unharmed as a chicken, and what does that do for the lvl40 world heroes? nothing.

  • You failed to mention that Mythic has a survey in-game to gather feedback regarding the Open RvR ruleset.

    Also, people have a right to question it, I’ve gone back to lower tiers many times after growing out of them. There’s a lot more to find in this game than you seem to realize.

    Your statement that there’s nothing in a ToK unlock that’s worth getting concerned about if grossly out of touch with reality…that’s a fact, as there are some things you can’t unlock later unless you get the initial unlocks from the lower tiers.

    Lets also touch on the issue of Lairs, there’s two level 40 bosses just in T1 HE vs. DE, one of them less than 5 minutes into the game, and the other is located in an RvR zone.

    I’m not trying to single you out Keen, but there’s a lot more happening in this game than the blogs claim. And you’re making bold statements – response to Alex for example – that just aren’t factual.

  • The only problem I can see is down the road, say a year from now, if there is not a constant influx of new players to the game (or alts) people who are leveling in the newbie areas will have no one to do PQ’s with. This is where having higher level friends or guildies to help you complete PQ’s comes in handy.
    It would be a shame if newbies had to skip content and miss that experience. Other than that I agree it doesn’t seem to be a huge problem.

  • I have never played in the T4 zone… so I don’t know. However, from what I have seen, its not like there is a ton of PvE area anyway. I would imagine the difference in Open and Core in T3 and especially T4 is negligible… So does it really hurt to even roll Core. It seems to me like your technically going to miss out on more on an Open server. I personally will never go as a level 11 into the enemy territory. I care more about hitting 40 and getting to the most important parts of the game…

    I was all for open, but now I am not so sure. I hate being restricted like that. Especially since in the end game, its not like your restricted much at all on a Core vs Open since like I said, 95% is RvR zones…

    Can someone comment on what isn’t an RvR zone in T4on Core?

  • If at RR 40, you’re restricted at T4 zones only – that means you’re restricted to playing 25% of the game. Will that be enough? Remains to be seen.

    It does seem very funny though – they say ‘WAR is everywhere’ and then they go and restrict you from waging war anywhere else than the T4 zones.

    If it stays like this, it will simply split the game into 2 separate parts – the leveling and the ‘end-game’. Is that a good thing? My 0.02$ says no, but we’ll have to see

  • @sid67: I dont think it will be possible to twink. You get tons of xp per scenario.

    Not twinks in the WoW sense, but characters spread across the spectrum of tiers. Once one tier is out leveled, you take part in the next tier. The other toon you have on that tier moves up to the next tier and so on. Eventually you either end up with a bunch of high-level alts or you delete them when they pass a certain point (level 30 maybe) and reroll them.

    At least for me, I find that WAY more appealing that simply rolling another WoW alt and grinding out 1-70 all over again.

  • sounds like a anti lower level friend patch or anti RP server 😛 either way i think its fine if all you want to do is mindlessly level and fight

  • @CoS: That survey did not exist at the time I wrote this. In fact, I have only received it once (this morning.) I did mention that Mythic has questioned this implementation and it’s not set in stone – so yes, I acknowledged the fact that this is NOT set in stone. Make sure you read carefully.

    I feel my statements are factual and representative of the whole truth. Please feel free to give examples of ToK unlocks or anything else you feel I am out of touch on reality with in my sentiments because at this point I feel that I have been extremely ‘real’ with people.

    People absolutely have the right to question. But why the people who have NO interest in playing on a Open RvR server feel they need to denounce the open rvr servers for reasons that have little to do with why they choose not to play on a open rvr server bothers me. If you want to avoid the pvp anytime anywhere then thats totally a reason not to play. If you want to go backwards at all costs then that’s a reason not to play. But if you’re sayins that those on a open rvr server are at a disadvantage by out leveling the tiers then you’re way off base and I’m going to call you on it.

  • I understand Keen’s argument. However, I think Mythic should err on the side of caution and either chickenize a higher-level character only when they attack a lower-level character, or do the opposite of what they do for low-levels in Scenarios and temporarily “downrank” somebody’s character, lowering their stats and disabling higher-level abilities. That said, I’m not sure this will be that huge an issue anyway.

  • I like the idea of down grading a high level toon to the appropriate tier.

    Reduce stats by 25%/tier below your current tier. a tier 4 player in a tier 3 zone would have 75% of his total stats, and 25% in tier 1. I am sure that the stat curve is not linear, so the final math would be left to Mythic, of course. Graying out of abilities would have to take place as well.

    This would give us a chance to level with friends, participate in scenarios with them, and provide a larger world for us to enjoy without rolling an alt.

    While I doubt that there is a perfect answer to the “chicken” problem, since some players just cannot enjoy a fair fight. I must say that i really appreciate the fact that Mythic is taking a stand against this mind set.

  • @Preston: I agree. I think the chicken mechanic needs to be reevaluated. This is definitely, as I stated clearly in the beginning, the worst case scenario. I can think of several implementations that would be better than a strict “You enter, you chicken” and one of them is the one you explained.

    @Wickidd: I like the idea of downgrading as well. A reverse bolster, perhaps? Some problems would arise from it because a reverse bolster would probably suffer from the same issues that bolster does. True levels are always > than bolsters. A reverse bolster might produce true levels < debolsters. It would be interesting to play around with.

  • Hmmm… i usually like the more hardcore server types.. but this discussion really brings out how well WAR was designed around the CORE server ruleset.

    Now I hope those more inclined to exploit and bend the rules will roll open.. and the CORE servers will have a greater number of folks just focusing on the primary RVR.

    I just hope they don’t spend alot of resources balancing these OPEN issues when there is so much more that needs to be fixed/developed. I can really see this as a situation where they nevr get it quite right…

  • Wonder if there is a way they could simply make the higher tiered characters unable to attack or be attacked by others in the lower tiers. Would mean they can’t assist (heal, buff) flagged players either.

  • The problem with no bolster means that people won’t even go into the RvR objective areas until they’re on the high end of the tier, whereas in a Core server just about damn near anyone can show up and do SOMETHING.

    Craw, it is a video game. There are limits to what the technology of both the client’s rig and the server can handle (hence zoning), of how much data exists in the game (edge of the map. Wether or not you run into a limitless wall of mountains, a true invisible wall, or an unswimmable ocean matters not), and what is relatively ‘fair’ (chicken). If you cannot deal with this simple fact, I have no idea how you’ve managed to be a gamer, seeing as throughout your life you’ve played games with various limits.

    Downgrading doesn’t work. Even if you lock off abilities and downgrade base stats, you still have gear to mess with, as well as talismans and potions. From the outside looking in, that looks like a very annoying code snarl to deal with, and may or may not even be possible depending on how they’ve written the code. (The game would need to be able to conditionally ignore talismans and deal with gear stats.)
    None of us can say for certain wether or not it could be done, but it would be very time consuming.

    I know you’re itching to bring up CoX, but honestly, the CoX mentor system completely ignored enhancements (that game’s gear). No matter how far down you mentored, you always kept the benefits of your uber enhances.

  • I would never play on an open server because I love to go back to lower areas…show my friends it, get some tome unlocks, help some lowbies, etc.

    I think they should just get rid of Open Servers. Core has everything you need. I am a huge fan of PvP and RvR and Core seems to have it all for me. Also it looks like the higher tiers is almost all RvR areas.

  • I really don’t see the benefit of the Open RvR servers. It really seems that all they are providing is the ability to gank and be ganked. I fail to see the appeal.

    I have 3 70s on WoW PVP servers (just tossing that out there).

  • The game was designed around the Core ruleset (hence, you know, being called “Core”). The Open RvR ruleset was put in because many people wanted it. Mythic is doing their best to accommodate, but some things just won’t work that well.

    If you choose to play on an Open server you’re choosing to deal with the chicken problem. If you don’t want to deal with it, play on a Core server. Once you’re playing in Tier 4 its not like there’s much difference between the two anyway.

  • @Neri: This statement is untrue
    “I know you’re itching to bring up CoX, but honestly, the CoX mentor system completely ignored enhancements (that game’s gear). No matter how far down you mentored, you always kept the benefits of your uber enhances.”

    The benefit of enhancements scales down when you mentor to a value based on your level. You keep the same NUMBER of enhancements, but you lose the effectiveness of each one. Because the scaling gives you moderate bonus for the level, a player with a fully slotted power using good enhancements who is actually that level can have that power be more effective than the mentor’s.

    I bet you’re going to bring up set bonuses which don’t scale, but if the enhancement is above a certain level you lose the bonuses when you mentor. That leaves a very select few enhancements of a particular level that can be quite powerful when you mentor, but considering everything else you lose by mentoring, big deal.

    In short, it COULD technically be done in WAR, but I really don’t see the point.

  • I know for me that the “no bolstering” isn’t an issue because I don’t usually go into the T2 much until I am well-rounded for the tier anyway – aside from Scenarios. Being a bolstered player means almost nothing because natural levels will always beat the living crap out of bolsters.

  • @Keen: What do you think about the revised chicken rule announced today?

    Here it is: “Players will be chickened when entering an area that is two tiers below their level (ex. A Tier 3 player entering a Tier 1 area.)”

  • I’ll write about this either this evening or tomorrow. I have a lot of stuff I want to say on this mechanic and some of the 4.1.1 changes.

  • @Keen: I haven’t seen any posts regarding the chicken mechanic. The recent changes haven’t been very popular with most of my friends. Judging by the low populations on Open RvR servers, it seems like the new change wasn’t well received. I’m curious to get your thoughts.

    Also, is it true that once you are level 40 on an open server, you can’t go down to the lower levels (Tier 1-2) because you are always flagged for RvR and therefore will turn into a chicken?

  • You CAN go back, but you’ll be a chicken. So yes, that’s true. What reason would you have for going back? I can’t think of a single one really, unless you’re truly a completionist – in which case I recommend an Xbox 360 because you can get your jollies on with their achievement system and get the same euphoria from the Tome of Knowledge.

    I like the open-rvr server ruleset though. It’s more fun to me that I can attack the enemy any time I see them. Having enemies stand next to me that I can’t attack is, for lack of a better term, complete crap.

    Aside from the ‘potential’ population problems, I love it.

  • Thank you for the response. I chose ‘Open RvR’ for the same reason that you did.

    “Having enemies stand next to me that I can’t attack is, for lack of a better term, complete crap.”

    I completely agree with you there. That is the main reason why I couldn’t get into the ‘Core’ rule set.

    I think the chicken mechanic as it exists today isn’t the best solution to enable open world PVP. I think Mythic should make high-level players turn into a chicken as soon as they choose an offensive action against a player 15-20 levels below them. Alternatively, they could make it impossible for high-level players to attack players 15-20 levels beneath them (a form of de-flagging of lower level characters). Maybe Mythic will refine the rules over time.

    The main reason why a high-level player might want to go back to the beginning areas is to help friends and guildies quickly level their characters in the PVE content.

    Currently, the lower populations can also be viewed as a benefit because we don’t have to wait hours to log in to the game. Once the game is officially released, I expect the populations of all pre-release servers to be high.