WOO II An Exploration in Design - July 2012 - By Stoneghost: Dalaran

 

WOO II - Fighting

Fighting is the PvP Life Path. Fighters focus on developing personal combat skills for use in small and large groups against other players with similar skills. PvP combat serves various needs:

In general, WOOII tries to accomplish the following with regard to PvP combat:

In order to make it easier to talk about them, these groups are termed, in order, Militia, Gladiators and Soldiers. Gladiators and Soldiers are specializations within the Fighter Life Path. Militia are characters from any Life Path who come to Theme Parks to fight.

Look here for more discussion of the reasoning behind these choices.

Venues
Venues spawned for PvP combat include arenas and battlegrounds as described below. Theme Parks are PvP combat zones. These accommodate large numbers of fighters and offer a full range of goods and services.

Theme Parks

A key problem is organized PvP lies in the differing motivations of the players. Some want to compete to win the battleground. Some are only interested in gaining leveling or gear points. Some are only out for a few minutes of "hack and slash." These conflicting goals considerably reduce the entertainment value of battlegrounds, and the three venues listed here are intended to address that problem.

Theme Parks are zones which offer generally disorganized, but constant, fighting. Success in a theme park generates the highest rate of leveling points. Many rewards are available, and points are awarded based on honorable kills. A player can drop in any time, fight for awhile, and leave. Recreational and novice fighters, and fighters whose main goal is to gather points or rewards, are directed to the theme park venues. Entry into the Park activates a player's PvP flag, and exiting the Park lowers it (unless the player has directed otherwise).

Arenas

Arenas are organized much as in the current game. Rewards are based on wins. No rewards are offered for honorable kills. Leveling achievements are available, but at a lesser rate than in Theme Parks.

Battlegrounds

Battlegrounds are organized much as they are in the current game, though with some significant changes. Rewards are based on wins. No rewards are offered for honorable kills. Leveling achievements are offered in lower tier Battlegrounds.

To promote balance, characters entering a battleground are releveled, and each is provided with a standard set of "soldier's" gear as appropriate for their skills and talents. To provide continued interest, battlegrounds are arranged in progression tiers - Tier 1 for beginner, Tier 2 for intermediate, and Tier 3 for expert Fighters. The highest is a new kind of battleground, the "campaign" - a long encounter that requires considerable strategy and tactical expertise.

Surrender

Battlegrounds and arena venues include "surrender" button. If three-quarters of the members of a team press this button, the match ends with a victory for the other team. The purpose of this option is to allow a team to end an obvious overmatch and greatly reduce "farming" of opponents by overmatching teams.

The winning team is awarded points and other rewards based on the status of the match at the time it ends. The losing team gets nothing.

Occupations

Each type of venue has its own particular forms of engagement, rules and rewards. Players may wish to have a character specialize in a particular venue, and this leads to the three basic Occupations of the Fighter Life Path. Certain Fighting talents, and various rewards in the Fighting venues are directed at certain ones of these occupations.

Permanent Group Fights

Some players prefer to form permanent groups. These teams will often play at pre-scheduled times using voice coordination, and minimum requirements for skill level will often be in effect. To promote balance, permanent groups will have a set of arenas and battlegrounds reserved for them.

Random Group Fights

Many players prefer to join ad hoc groups just prior to a fight. Since random groups are less able to coordinate themselves, and since they tend to contain players with a wide range of skills, these groups fight in instances that are not open to permanent groups.

Theme Parks are open all the time and have no entrance filters (except for releveling).

Communications

The creation of a PvP Arena or Battleground group will automatically spawn a sound channel for that group. When a character joins the group, he or she will be logged on to that channel. Characters leaving the group will be logged off.

The game options menu will include any settings or information needed to connect the player's computer with the audio chat system. If the player has no microphone, this will be indicated in the group leader's readiness report.

Some PvP venues, in particular Battleground Campaigns, may assign multiple audio chat channels to a group. In these cases, the game will provide a dialog box and/or hot key for switching channels.

Rewards

The overall structure puts leveling achievements and the widest selection of rewards into the Theme Parks where they will attract the players who least want to compete in structured battlegrounds. Arenas and battlegrounds have more or less identical rewards including enhancements which work only inside those venues.

Some PvP venues offer achievements that count towards leveling. Many PvP venues also offer "value" points, and some offer currency. Value points may be redeemed for items and enhancements unique to the Fighter Life Path. Most PvP venues offer "rank" points. Rank points may be redeemed to increase a player's rank. (Note that rank is an account attribute - all of the player's Fighter characters will show this rank.)

Theme Parks

Theme Parks generate leveling points, currency and value points that can be turned in for gear and enhancements. The rewards here should be similar to the rewards gained from the lower tiers of dungeon raiding. Some titles are awarded for special achievements.

Theme Parks are the only PvP venue that give points for honorable kills. All other PvP venues provide rewards based only on wins.

Arenas

Arenas generate currency, rank, and value points that can be turned in for gear and enhancements. Active enhancements work only in Arenas and are small enough not to disturb the combat balance, but large enough to help out a bit in a fight. Leveling achievements are available, but at a lesser rate than in Theme Parks.

Battlegrounds

Battlegrounds generate currency, rank, and value points that can be turned in for gear and enhancements. Active enhancements work only in Battlegrounds and are small enough not to disturb the combat balance, but large enough to help out a bit in a fight. Leveling achievements are available in the lower tier Battlegrounds, but at a lesser rate than in Theme Parks.

Rank

Rank is an account level attribute that measures the player's progress in PvP fighting. Rank does not apply to Life Paths other than Fighter. Since all of the player's Fighter characters will have this rank, any of them will be entitled to play in battlegrounds or arenas at the appropriate level.

Venues may offer different kinds of, or levels of, ranking points. For example, the maximum rank a player can achieve in a Theme Park may be lower than the rank that could be achieved in an Arena or Battleground.

Militia, Gladiators and Soldiers have different kinds of ranks.

Top ranked players in one form of Fighting gain a one rank bonus when they enter a different Fighting venue. For example, a Militia Master enters Arenas as an Regular and Battlegrounds as a Corporal.

Releveling

A problem with PvP venues in the current game arises from the level of the characters sent to a particular venue. If the characters have too wide a range in levels ... more than five, say, then the higher level characters can easily kill the lower level ones, who can do little damage to the upper level characters in any case. At best this results in stratification in the match, with players of similar levels gravitating towards one another. At worst it gives a major advantage to the team with the larger number of higher leveled characters.

The process of releveling remedies this situation. When a character enters a PvP venue, such as an Arena or a Battleground, the character is releveled to the level of the instance. This means that gear, skills, talents and enhancements are adjusted to match that level. This process puts all participants on the same level and has a number of beneficial outcomes:

  1. All venues remain playable to all characters, regardless of their highest level; this means that PvP venues need not be replicated every so many levels.
  2. Because characters have releveled, the difficulty of the match remains stable, and this means that rewards such as leveling points, value points and titles can be awarded at any level.
  3. Players gain variety: some might play one or two venues continually until they tire of them, others might choose whatever venues are most actively seeking players.
  4. Leveling, itself, becomes much less the driving force of game play for Fighters, which means the players can use the venues they most enjoy, rather than the ones that give the most leveling points.

Item 1 is particularly important. Once a venue is set up, it need not be repeated again at a higher level. Basic capture-the-flag, for example, might be set up at a low level, before mounts become available. Any characters entering that battleground would lose access to their mounts when they releveled. And anyone desiring to play that battleground would need to go to the low level version.

This also means that near copies of some battlegrounds could be developed at higher levels. Capture-the-flag, for example, could be repeated, on a somewhat different geography, for characters with the use of mounts. And it might be redeveloped even later for use with flying mounts. This kind of increase in the variety of PvP venues would be quite attractive to many players.

 

This table shows the venues for PvP.

Type Format Open To Ranking Relevel? Gear Level Points Other Rewards
Theme Park free-for-all
anyone
militia
yes
regular

fighter

currency, titles, enhancements
Arena single death elimination match
fighter
gladiator
yes
regular

fighter

rank, arena enhancements
Battleground battleground
fighter
soldier
yes
army
fighter
rank, battleground enhancements
Campaign strategic battleground
fighter
soldier
yes
army
none
rank

 

Other

All Theme Parks are connected by a "looking for group" chat channel. Fighters have access to a second unique global chat channel.

There is no "world" PvP. Characters can switch their PvP flags on and initiate duels in any location where duels are not prohibited.