Dominating and having fun in T3 by NOT playing the game how it was ‘meant’ to be played

Today was another amazing day like yesterday in Tier 3.  I spent something like five hours roaming the RvR lakes with Plucky (29 Runepriest) and Vrin (25 Runepriest) while I played my 31 Ironbreaker.  Our modus operendi was to completely avoid the zergs at all costs and not participate one iota in the keep swapping or battle objective hopping that was going on.  The result of doing this was the revitalization of my Warhammer RvRing experience.

We came up against more small-scale battles than I can even hope to remember.  There were times when it was us 3 vs. 10+ and we took out half of them before going down.  I know this sounds like I’m tooting my own own but we did amazing for our numbers/lvls and really showed ourselves and our enemies that these small-scale fights not only bring out the best in the player but the best in the game as well.  Class balance, mechanics, and the finer parts of the game truly come to fruition when battles take minutes instead of seconds; when players can use all the skills in their arsenal to win, and when teamwork matters.

Today’s battles brought me back to the days of WAR beta.  This is what I fell in love with months ago and couldn’t stop hyping.  This type of fighting is what made DAOC special.  I’ve captured the exact feelings from DAOC that WAR is missing by NOT playing the game how it was meant to be played – and that’s the problem.  Everything in Warhammer is designed around the big battles.  Everything in Warhammer is designed to bring the largest amount of players into one specific area whether on purpose or not.  Just look at Battle Objectives; by design they bring everyone into one tiny spot to stand around a flag to get renown and exp then stand around for 3 minutes and move to the next location together so that everyone gets points.  By design the game has nurtured the zerg mentality and neglected the small intimate fights that made knowing your enemy important.  Obviously this isn’t any new revelation and it’s been known by many that WAR is a big zerg fest.  It’s just that I now know that true RvR can exist in the game and dangit… I WANT MORE!

I took some video of some skirmishes today where I remembered to hit the record button.  Sadly, some of the better ones were not captured but these were memorable nonetheless.  I’ve also taken some video showcasing strategies for keep defense for the small groups like our which Plucky taught me.  I’ll get those uploaded later.  Click ‘more’ to watch the video.   Make sure you click the “HQ” button or go here and watch the HD version in a nice big 720 format! (Note:  Some vent conversation can be heard in the background.  I’ll work on my audio later.)


  • Phoenix Throne is a great server for all kinds of RVR.

    A lot of the folks in our guild prefer small-scale combat and 1v1s. As Switters (aka Plucky the RP) said in your other blog post, we’re not motivated so much by tedious grinding (e.g. getting to RR80) as much as we are motivated by challenge and fun.

    So we look for small-scale skirmishing. It’s a rush.

    And we know there are a lot of other Destro players who feel the same way, because we have repeated 1v1s with them, with the loser coming back to the scene of the fight so the combatants can have another go at it.

    I post a lot of narrated 1v1s on YouTube, and people often ask how I have so many. The answer is simple. Go looking for it. Avoid the zergs. Find a good vantage point near heavily-traveled areas, such as outside the Destro WC in Reikland.

    A soloer will get run over by zergs or groups. It happens, that’s life in RVR. But the soloer will also get plenty of opportunities to 1v1 that are both fun and educational.

    Look forward to Stocky getting into T4 so we can group together again. I haven’t grouped with you since November, before you went back to Destro and tried WoW.

    Welcome back to Phoenix Throne 🙂

  • I’ll be forced into T4 early tomorrow. I’m actually sad to see T3 go since I’m on the top of the world at level 31. Hopefully I can gear up and be competitive in T4 soon!

    It’s all true too, you just have to look really hard for the small groups and avoid the zerg. Camp behind hills and wait for the fights to come. We were trampled by the herd a dozen times today but the number of small-scale fights we did were so numerous that I completely forgot about them (zerg tramples).

    I’m very honored to be among players who not only play for the same reasons that I do but who are dedicated, skilled, and actually able to teach me something new every time I group with them.

    I also need to once again thank Vrin and Plucky (my amazing healers) for their awesome teamwork today. Healers don’t get enough praise in my opinion.

  • A tight knit community, such as the awesome Conjunction crew, is critical in an mmo like Warhammer. Finding a solid group of like minded players, that have the same interests, and are passionate about strategy, can really enhance the gaming experience. Lets face it, running solo in a pvp game that requires a good amount of teamwork to succeed, is a recipe for frustration.

    My feelings about the game seem to fluctuate on a daily basis. I doubt that I would still be playing if it were not for the great community.

  • I never truly get the sense that this game is a pitched battle between Order and Destruction. I feel Mythic should embrace the fact that small scale fights are often more engaging and intense than zerg battles. Some may argue that point, but the anonymous feeling in zergs just doesn’t sit well with me. I can have a much greater impact on the outcome in a small battle than I can in a large battle.

    That brings me to the title of your blog post Keen. I have the most fun and feel like I’m playing to my full potential when I’m doing coordinated small scale fighting. I don’t know if others feel this way or have the opportunity to try different approaches to RvR on their servers (I’d imagine they do), but we can’t be alone here…not even close.

    Mythic may want to look at small scale fighting in their game and see if it’s an outlet they feel they should tap into. That doesn’t mean the removal of zerg warfare, but it means making small groups viable for contributing to the war effort without simply acting as a “task force” for the main group (for example guarding or helping to guard a postern door during a keep/fort take).

  • This is the only way I RvR these days. I can’t handle the herd/zerg as wins and losses are completely meaningless to me when you have 20+ people focus-firing a single player and moving on to the next. *Snooooooooooooore*

    The keep and BFOs so repetitive and boring and even though they’re worth a lot of guaranteed points over time, it’s just not worth killing my enjoyment for a few imaginary numbers. Also, considering I can earn the same amount of Renown and Influence from two solo kills as I can from one BO, I’d rather take the more fun approach.

  • Great video btw, but two RPs and an IB is OP! 😛

    There’s a 2h IB on my Ostermark, Triven, who does insane frakkin’ damage. Keep up with these guys in T4 and I’m sure you’ll own people up as a 3-man there as well.

  • I wish that the gear to stay competitive could be obtained by doing these 3-man activities though. Being forced to the keep sieges and Fortress zergs to get gear that I “have to have” to get the wards to do city sieges makes me angsty. They should do away with the whole ward system. 😉

  • I saw Barnett talking about this idea on Twitter earlier today. I haven’t broken out of t2 yet, but I’m thinking once I do, I’ll be in a similar boat as you.

  • The video isnt clear but the game look like MU online . I have heard though about Phoenix Throne and a lot of people here in our place like to play it

  • I agree on the point that small battles can be more interesting than the bigger ones, though, I think that the zerging is more of the player mentality, bigger battles can and should function as smaller battles just on a larger scale, I think that the game would be way cooler if instead of having lots of small battles, the huge groups would be coordinated and use tactics that the collision detection allows us to do, such as formations and etc. Though I don’t think that will happen for a while.

  • Manifest that was one of the big draws to this game for me. Tanks etc forming real shield walls and lines battering into each other. As it stands people warp around, lag and all that good stuff. Not only that, but people don’t think to do that sort of thing in the first place.

    When you’re surprised to get a heal or get a guard something is off with the playerbase =).

  • large scale battles are not necesarrily bad, i cant imagine how ridiculous would city siege look if there were just 4-6 invaders 😀
    but for oRvR nothing beats small scale, i really hope mythic will realize that (maybe thanks to your blog) and encourage that in-game

  • This is a great idea. I think I am going to try to get a small crew together. I did have a couple of experiences like that and didn’t realize it. It was cool.

  • Glad you found a lot of enjoyment in one particular area of the game. It’s amazing to see how so many different people can find their niche in this one game.

    Here’s to you continuing to be the thorn in the foot of Destruction!

  • Keen you can get ward gear fairly easy through the rank 40 dungeons with a solid 6 man group. They offer a nice break from RvR, and with a 3 day lockout, can be knocked out quickly each week. Greater wards is all you need for the city PQs, or you can get into Lost Vale for the Superior ward set if you really want. Between that and the inf RvR rewards, gearing up in T4 is actually rather easy.

  • heh. i knew it was ganking that got you back in the game when i read your post about burnout.

  • Well, it can’t really be called ganking when we’re consistently taking out groups of people our level who outnumber us while they’re in the RvR area making their way to the zerg.

    Unless you consider fighting against the odds and anti-zerging as ganking… then yeah, we were ganking.

  • Oh that’s good stuff. The small battles are by far some of the best ones.

    Also if anyone has seen Taugrim’s you tube videos, you need to check them out. Some of the best ones I have seen yet.

    Keeping making those vids Keen n’ Krew…that’s good stuff I could watch all day.

  • Also…any thought to you adding a “Movie” section in your forums to let folks show and link these moments. These battles are what keep me gaming.

    I’d also like to ask how others get their HD to run so well on YouTube. I’ve started messing with it, yet My test movies seem to run choppy in HD on youtube even when they don’t in the avi?

    Curious to know how you and Taugrim record/process your movies. But I don’t want to break topic here.

  • I agree, this is the *only* way I play the game anymore; I haven’t joined a zerg once this month, I could care less about the objectives, I run solo or in a group of 6 or less at all times now; its the only way the game is fun..

    Too bad Mythic disagrees and seems to not support this style of play at all in T4..

  • I came to the same revelation (that smaller skirmishes are much preferred to huge encounters) when playing World of Warcraft, and the same certainly holds true for WAR. My friends and I used to hop into the battlegrounds of WoW, usually 3 of us, and just completely dominate the match even when severely outnumbered. MMOs just seem to be cluttered with some really incompetent players, so as the number of combatants increases the value of individual contribution diminishes, which is extremely frustrating for people who pride themselves on their skills.

    Though I will admit it’s still a lot of fun to punt an entire team as an Ironbreaker in T3.

  • small scale is what we try to do all the time. zerg in one zone ? simple.. go to the other one.
    small scale in war is something totally different than shity meaningless zerk fights.
    we came from l2, thats why we actually avoid the zerk (/sigh @ caps lockers)

  • I love small fights in WAR, both in oRvR or in scenarios. Much better than zergs in keeps or BO’s. But i must say, IB are OP. Ridiculous amount of damage for tanks when properly speced, best CC in game, heck there is very small chance beating group of IB and 2 RP in 3vs3-5.