Fixing WAR’s Battle Objectives

Continuing with my brainstorming on how to fix the open-world RvR in Warhammer, I want to move on to Battle Objectives now and discuss how I would fix them to bring them more in-line with what I feel battle objectives should be in a RvR game.  If you listened to ChaosCast Episode #9 then you already have a bit of insight into what I’m going to be talking about.  Basically, as they stand now, Battle Objectives are pretty useless by design.  They offer buffs that are either so negligible that they don’t exist or most people don’t know about them, they add guards to keep defenses, and they give people influence/renown when captured.

Breaking down those bonuses individually:

1.  Points – they drive people to the metagame of point whoring.  The points are nice because they raise influence (another form of efficient and widespread gear progressions) and they raise renown rank (a good thing in Open RvR).  So overall, points are a good thing but can not stand alone.

2.  Buffs and guard bonuses – Rather pointless really.  The guards are annihilated before I can shoot two arrows during a keep siege and the buffs (if they exist?) … well that illustrates my point.  IF they exist, they are not even worth talking about.

So what do we REALLY have here?  We have flags standing out in the middle of the field that people can capture for points.  That’s pretty lackluster in my opinion.   To make matters worse, they’re designed in a clunky way.  Right now you mow down the guards which offer little to no resistance and you stand there for three minutes, get your points, and leave without have accomplished anything.  *Yawn*.    How can we fix this?  I have a few ideas to truly integrate Battle Objectives into the the Open-RvR experience and make them true objectives.

Siege Workshops – Yes, this idea copies heavily from WoW but alters (and improves) it to adapt it to WAR’s style of PvP.  Basically, some of the objectives would be siege workshops that, when captured, offer the controlling team new siege weapons that they can use in their RvR battles.   The details

  • Capturing the points will be much more back and forth like WoW.  Standing near the objective will slowly begin to transfer ownership to your realm.
  • No points will be given for these objectives because of their strategic value and how easily they can switch hands.
  • The siege provided can include:  Improved Rams with Oil protecting covers, Heavy Siege Ladders (think Lord of the Rings Helms Deep), and other improved or new forms of siege equipment that players would just love to get their hands on.
  • The siege engines would cost significantly more than normal siege items.
  • Owning these would also benefit those defending keeps – better oil, etc.

Crafters Guild – This would be an interesting objective that grants bonuses and penalties specifically to the doors (and maybe one day walls, if they become destructible) of a keep.  THe idea here would be to entice defenders and siegers alike to want to control this objective in order to make keep sieging more dynamic.  This objective would especially draw defending out of their keeps and allow for more strategies to exist besides turtling.  In other words, they would have to send people out to get these to make life easier.

  • When control is transfered to your realm, you gain access to the specialized skills of the crafters who work here.  Their knowledge of keep design allows them to show you the weaknesses and strengths of a keep to improve or weaken defenses.  (In other words they make doors/walls stronger or weaker).
  • Control transfers by capturing the objective in any way Mythic would want.  Ideally, it would be like the Siege Workshop where standing near it gains control over time when no other enemies are near it.
  • Owning this objective gives passive bonuses, but ones that are incredibly important nonetheless.

Barracks, Archery Range, Mage Tower, etc – This Battle Objective would be focused around improving the guards at the keep to be more than … well, more than being completely worthless.

  • Owning this objective improves the guards significantly.
  • Adds diverse guards that will use special skills beyond auto attacks.  Archers using fire arrows or mages using AoE and even priest guards healing players/other guards.
  • This objective only directly benefits those defending a keep, however if the attackers can knock this out then your guards will not be trained to use any of these bonuses.

What I’m trying to really establish here is a reason for these objectives to even exist.  As it stands now, I would rather the battle objectives be removed from the game completely than to participate in the game of pong going on in the frontiers.  Turning them into truly dynamic objectives will really augment the RvR experience.  Maybe my ideas above are horrible and would not be right for the game at all, but I really believe that the fundamental ideas behind them are sound.  We need depth to RvR right now.  Personally, I think the linear RvR progression is getting a little stale just pushing control down a straight line towards a city siege.  In Dark Age of Camelot (at least back before ToA and such) we had relics to strive for, keeps to control to access Darkness Falls, and lots of true depth to the system that is really lacking in WAR.

I would be interested in hearing some ideas from you guys on how Battle Objectives in WAR can be improved.

  • I agree that they should be much more meaningful than just easy places to trade renown and influence. BOs should be hotly contested strategic outposts and the easiest way to do that is to tie them more to the keeps they surround.

    What are the most popular resources for fantasy/castle type games? Wood. Stone. Ore. Gold. In its most basic implementation, it could follow a similar resource model. If defenders own the wood point they get a buff to their gate, they can repair their gates, and they get access to ladder polls (can topple ladders). If attackers own it, the keep gates are debuffed, defenders can’t repair their gate, and they can build ladders.

    You could come up with very easy and similar solutions for stone (quicker wall repair vs. boulders that break walls better), ore (strong anti-siege ammunition vs. better siege defense), and gold (cash to pay for improved guards [e.g., champs] vs. vanilla guards).

    Obviously, this is a pretty basic system, but it gets across the point that you can make the current BOs much more important in the war effort.

  • There is a lot of ideas of what to do with BOs, but Mythic still needs to make them active instead of passive. Even your ideas keep the BOs passive, where by players just show up and stand around.

    BOs should be converted to PQs.

    Stage 1: Kill guards and captain.
    Stage 2: Transport supplies from the warcamp to the BO.
    Stage 3: Defend for X minutes.

    If Stage 1 is failed, PQ resets.
    If Stage 2 is failed, the BO goes neutral.
    If Stage 3 is failed, enemy captures the transported supplies and recaps the BO.

    Players that are carrying supplies are worth increased experience, influence, and renown. However, to pervent exploits, the supplies cost Gold to pick up and once delivered the Gold is returned plus some change for the effort. So, if you lose a supply crate, you lose your investment. If you succeed in delivery, you get rewarded.

    This is a general idea, but as you can see it gets players active instead of just standing around for the timer or standing around for a bonus.

  • As neat a design as it is, PQ’s are being overused. Killing guards and transporting supplies seems a little too PvE for me. Who would be the guy running the supplies? I certainly would not want to be that guy – I’d rather be fighting other players even if it meant getting less points than carrying supplies.

    I agree completely that BO’s need to be more active, rather than passive, but I guess we’re not in agreement on what ‘active’ means. As BO’s are designed now, they are captured then left alone and they serve zero true purpose for even being in the game. If they were turned into workshops or even places that gave bonuses to the rest of open-rvr, then they would be a more active part (active in a passive way for some) in RvR. People wouldn’t be standing around because they would be taking advantage of holding these points.

    And when it comes down to it, sometimes you DO need to stand around and defend for the strategic value of a location. The point whoring we have going on now in WAR has taught players that if you stand around then you aren’t being efficient with your point earning potential. It’s ludicrous.

  • Howdy,

    I’m for anything that stops the clog at the front doors. Anything that adds some NON-Zerg Strategy.

    All these ideas not only sound really good, but sound easily do-able.


  • I like the Bo’s give you seige equipment idea and the ‘flips like a scenario flag’ idea. Having a few NPC’s around does add a little life to it though (if you captured the lumbermill you need to kill the workers and the foreman).

  • Tie the BOs into the strength of keep doors. In tier 4, each BO contributes a 10% magical ward buff to the door. Take the 4 BOs and you have reduced the strength of the keep door by 40%. Take the BO back and you raise the 10% ward back up on the doors.

    Make the BOs worth fighting over and holding. Make part of the RPs earnt in the BO area, shared with the people who take the keep. The some of the points earnt in the keep take are added to the BO pools. So a successful keep take rewards all those at the BO’s and the keep.

    This will hopefully get a good flow of groups going back and forth between the BOs. I have fully explanation somewhere on my blog, but I am sure you get the crux of my possible solution.

  • I really like that idea, very well thought out and would definately be an interesting development if Mythic chose to do it.

  • A few (alright, many) points:

    My favorite of Keen’s ideas are probably the Siege Workshops. That is because as of right now, not only BO’s are useless, but keep combat is very broken. Is natural that the defenders should have the advantage since they are the ones behind the protective walls, but currently this advantage is way to big for many reasons:

    * Oil is way too overpowered. Their damage is very big, but can be controlled with good healers; however they take forever to destroy even with a full warband focusing on them, and they can be easily fixed during this attack, basically making them indestructible.

    * At least on my favorite playground, Tier 2, the “Ramp of Death” is just unbearable (don’t really know much about keep taking on other Tiers, but I assume is not much different). I understand having the single door to break and enter, but having all players funneling up through that single ramp to the Lord Room gives a very unfair advantage to the defenders, making “strength through numbers” for the attackers very unrealistic. I’ve seen a small group of 8-10 holding of almost two full warbands, and not by their l33t skillz. This funnel takes away any strategic advantage from the attackers, because of the pain it is to move in there.

    Considering only the current suggestions from Keen (more functions could be added as well), this could help ironing out those problems. With a way to make improved Rams, you could even increased the damage made my oil to make only tanks able to survive an oil attack, and still make ram attacks possible (instead of just choosing to use ranged attacks to take the door down, as people do today many times). Siege Ladders would also enable more entry points, re-adding a need for strategy for the defense.

    Crafter’s Guild, Barracks etc, would be dependent on having better tools for the attackers. Without the ability to have more entry points, any buff for defense is overkill IMHO, allowing a very small group of defenders to hold a keep indefinitely against larger and larger numbers of attackers. This would intimately kill real oRvR combat. Keeps would only be taken when the attackers were certain no defense is present; even worse than is today.

    As for the other’s ideas:
    @Snafgz: I like the concept of resources, not only because it would give more meaning to the BO’s, but because you could make it a more limited resource. You could still overcome this buff with persistence (ie. you cannot repair the door if the damage ratio is too high, because you don’t get resources to fix it fast enough). On the other hand, a keep left alone with the BO would build a cache that allow the defenders to better hold a surprise attack.

    @Heartless: while I don’t see a problem with making BO’s into PQ’s, the problem I do see is that by making it like that, you take people out of the main combat focus… and people just don’t tend to enjoy being away from the party. It’s like asking someone to scout for the enemy. It’s great for the group’s overall strategy, but nobody wants to miss the main action. One thing is going there when you know it needs defense, other is just stand around when the battle (and the Influence, as consequence) is elsewhere.

    @ThatsSkarWithAK: a good and simple idea. I don’t know if it would actually make the BO’s more “alive” on the real game situation (sometimes people just like to zerg), but it could work as well if Mythic is short on man-hours and just want to go for a quick’ n’ dirty approach.

  • @Kemwer

    Agreed, you can never predict what the main mass will do.
    If my guild was going to was going to a keep take situation, I would expect we would retake/take the BOs 1st and re-introduce the 10%s x 4 and slow down the attackers. Also because it presents a greater opportunity to have the kind of smaller fights we like. Going to a keep and looking at a door isn’t a great deal of fun.

  • I totally agree to giving BO’s a reason to be there, and there’s lots of good ideas both here and all over fansite forums on how these could be implemented.

    I’d just like to add one more idea to the pile:
    How bout if Fortress sieges had some BO things too. It would help ease the performance pressure during sieges if we could move some of the people out of the actual fortress and give them something meaningful to do just outside. With the current reward system it might be hard to justify/balance, but with a token system with some /random for bags as you mentioned some posts ago it would nullify that issue.

    I know that we (our guild) would be outside for some more skirmish type of fighting over these BO’s, we prefer that to the Keep/Fort zerg and would love to contribute to the Fort sieges in that manner instead.

  • I would like to see catapults like the ones in the greenskin starting area. The only thing different make it so that you have to aim correctly or die trying like the battering rams where you have to select the correct power or you will over/under shoot the landing spot. Also having a BO workshop for catapults like the wood working shop previously mentioned. I would also like to see horse drawn or whatever animal they choose pull the siege weapons from the BO to the fireing range. Make it so that if the defending team have to destroy the siege wepons that are coming in. Make the defending team have to go to that BO and knock it out or lose the keep quickly. Also make the siege weapons free if you have a BO for it. If your fighting to keep the BO for siege weapons then it should be free.This would make the sieging dynamic if you have to worry about people flying in your keep to kill from the inside.

    Second Idea since they do not have flight points to the keep they should make some sort of tunnel/port( call it a tunnel but really a teleport type thing) system from the warcamp to the keep for the side that owns the keep.

    These are just a couple of ideas.


  • A thought on the free siege weapons make a cooldown timer like 5 or 10 min so that if your siege weapons are destroyed you have to wait to get a new one. Make the cooldown timer per player.

  • Sorry last thought not about BO’s but on lag issue. I wonder if they completley took out the collision detection, I wonder if that would cut some of the lag out. I think it would help a little bit. It really isn’t working anyway (well maybe against your own team mates). I’ll shut up now.


  • Providing a door or wall 40% bonus sounds good, but in reality, the element of surprise is so important in keep sieges, that the big zergs will still go straight for a keep. Those big zergs take doors down in 2 minutes. So if they skip the new BO’s with the 40% boost, it will take them 2:48 to drop a door. That’s still preferred over broadcasting to the other side that you are assaulting thier lands so they can bring on the defenses to protect their keeps.

    The whole problem I see with keep sieges is that Mythic has it all bass-ackwards. The hardest part about assaulting a castle was to breach the outer defenses. Once you were inside the walls and gatehouse, it was a safe bet that the defending forces would be defeated since it’s now just a house-to-house chaotic fight and the defense has lost their biggest advantage of being on protected walls. Keeps need to be redesigned so that the doors are hard to take down and wall defenses are tough. Once inside, the Lord’s room needs to have no real choke points – that silly ramp standoff NEEDS to go. Make breaching the walls the real standoff.

    As for the BO’s – Taking BO’s should provide attackers/defenders with various advantages like:
    1. siege engines that batter down the defender’s walls/doors or hurl heavily damaging missiles from the walls down at attackers
    2. NPC archers to shoot at defenders on the walls or shoot from castle walls down on the attackers
    3. NPS infantry to to guard rear postern doors to prevent the defenders from easily sneaking in more defense or infantry to surge out periodically and harass attackers
    4. Generally helpful buffs to morale, action point regeneration, or to stats for the controlling side through priests/mages/whatever.
    5. Provide NPC sappers who suicide rush to blow up and damage doors/walls or provide workers to make repairs to the doors/walls

    Owning all the BO’s will nearly guarantee the keep defenses are breached or successfully defended unless the opposite side has a very significant numbers advantage.

    Imagine if you had two equally-sized forces. The attackers would have a heck of a time taking down the keep defenses if they skipped the BO’s. The defenders would have catapults and archers on the ramparts, infantry to charge out, support systems providing buffs, and workers to keep the castle repaired. Even if you could get a ram up and hurt the door some, odds are you’d be pushed back periodically by attrition. Then the workers could start fixing the doors.

    Now imagine the flip side. The attackers roll up with catapults to damage the doors and walls and defenders. They have archers to harass enemies on the ramparts. Sneaking in extra defenders will be tough since infantry protects the posterns. The attacker’s support systems provide buffs. And finally, sapper fanatics are periodically running in to suicide on walls and doors. The defenders would almost surely fall.

    Also, have BO’s slowly provide victory points, but prevent a zone from being captured until all keeps and BO’s are also owned.

    If BO’s become that strategically important, they need some modicum of defenses. Provide more NPC champions and some siege weapons.

    Imagine if that was all in place. BO’s would be absolutely crucial. Also, attackers would need to keep them defended since the defense can send out patrols to retake them and shift the advantage. can dream…


  • Those are all great ideas, I don’t know why Mythic didn’t think of or didn’t implement something along those lines. It always amuses me to see how 5 minutes of brainstorming by a random guy on the internet can shat all over months of careful planning by the big guns.

  • I would like to see a redesigning of the keeps. I would like to see two ramps up to the lords room. One will always be open, but the other one will have a door on it that may or may not open when the keep doors go down. this will introduce a level of randomness in the keep battle. Noone will know if there will be one or two ways up beforehand.
    The chances of this second ramp being open is then influences by how many BO´s you own. the more Bos the attacker controll the higher the chance for a easier access to the second floor. If the defender owns the BOs he will probably have a easier time to defend since the chances of two ramps will be smaller.