Scenarios are not MMO

Warning: This is an opinionated, biased rant. 🙂

Jobildo’s post got some excellent comments and in turn got me to thinking about scenarios and why I resist them as much as I do.

And the answer, it turns out, is pretty simple: I’m not paying $15/month to play Team Fortress with some RPG trappings. I’m paying to play a Massively Multiplayer game with a persistent world. Call of Duty 4 allows me to play missions over and over on the same handful of maps while leveling up a character and guess what? It doesn’t cost me a penny once I’ve bought the game.

For people who sit in a warcamp and grind scenarios, there is really no need for a persistent world. A lobby would do just as well, wouldn’t it? A lobby would require vastly fewer server resources and would’ve cost orders of magnitude less to develop.

Essentially, this is

It feels stupid for me to pay a monthly fee to, in part, support the infrastructure for a world that no one wants to use.

And I’m kind of dubious that after ranking through 40 levels in scenarios, people are suddenly going to go into OpenRvR (erm, that assumes that T4 scenarios exist…I honestly am not sure if they do)! More likely they’ll either leave the game or keep grinding scenarios until they hit 80 renown, and then leave.

What I’d like to see is all the scenario grinders funneled off to one server, and all the OpenRvRers gathered together into another server. The grinders shouldn’t have to pay $15/month to play, either, but that’s a side point. The OpenRvR Server shouldn’t even offer scenarios.

What irks me is that, yeah, it’s hard to find OpenRvR even on high population servers. Why? Because everyone is grinding scenarios while commenting that OpenRvR isn’t fun because no one does it. Curiously, I wonder if there isn’t MORE OpenRvR on less populated servers with longer wait times for scenario queues. I plan to find out.

I understand people want to get to cap as fast as they can. That’s why the gold sellers also offer leveling services. Grinding scenarios isn’t the fastest and easiest way to cap: paying someone to level your character is. But I don’t see anyone openly suggesting this is the best way to go about it. Why not? If all that matters is getting to 40 as fast as possible, why not just buy your way there?

If you really enjoy running scenarios, then this rant isn’t really directed at you. Enjoy the game, though why you pay a monthly fee to do in this game what you could do for free in any of a multitude of others is beyond me.

But I’m seeing people expressing opinions along the lines of “I don’t really like standing around grinding scenarios but there’s nothing else to do.” Well you sir/madame, are part of the problem. Get out of the damned queue and get out and start exploring the world! Yeah, it might be quiet at first, but if people on both sides of the battle just opted to not grind scenarios for one night and head to the RvR Lakes, there’d be *plenty* to do!!

OK, end rant.

Whew, I feel better getting that off my chest.

And Mythic, for the love of all that is holy, stop sticking us in a friggin’ scenario queue every damned time we move into an RvR Lake. You’re just fanning the flames doing that, tempting people to leave!!!

OK now I’m REALLY done this time.

RvR: Open World vs Scenarios

So last night I got together with some guildies to do Tier 1 Open World RvR in Warhammer Online. This was the first time I’ve done ‘organized’ Open World RvR since launch, and the first time I’ve done it with a character I’d ‘grown’ naturally. (We did a lot of RvR in beta testing, but it was always with an insta-leveled character that I never had a good feel for.)

Short version of the story: It was a blast!

Long version: There was a bit of give and take early on, as some folks really wanted to do scenarios even though the ‘scheduled event’ was open world RvR. Nice thing about War is that this wasn’t a deal breaker. Some of us went one way and others went another. We swept through all three pairings taking objectives. Sadly only Nordland/Norsca was heavily contested and thus that pairing was the most fun. But it was the first outting for several of us and getting out there to get a feel for the lay of the land of each zone was entertaining and helpful. We left our Warband open and some random folks joined in the fun. At least one of them asked if the guild was accepting new members (they asked me via private tell) and I had to let them down gently. For now our recruitment is closed.

Anyway, all of this led me to the question of Scenarios vs Open World.

I seem to be in a minority in preferring Open World RvR. In fact, some people think Tier 1 RvR is broken. and maybe it is, but I haven’t noticed. I personally find Scenarios to feel awfully “flat” and while they’re a nice change of pace, I think I’ve already had my fill of the T1 Warhammer Scenarios. This is definitely a personal preference and plenty of people are still *loving* the scenarios.

Y’see, I’m a role-player at heart, even if I’m not on an RP server. By this I don’t mean I have some elaborate backstory for my character. But I mean when I’m playing, I AM my character. Maybe I should say I’m a VR junkie rather than a role-player. Immersion is important to me, which is why stupid names and Chuck Norris jokes bug the hell out of me: they strongly remind me that I’m playing a game.

And Scenarios do that too. Every one starts the same and ends with a big fat score-card in front of my face. Scenarios are a sport, and I’m not much of a sports guy. They feel like a video game and I don’t want a video game: I want a virtual world to lose myself in.

Open World RvR is random. You head out and you don’t know if you’re going to encounter an overwhelmingly powerful force….or no one. I LOVE that. That’s like a big old Christmas present under the tree for me. Surprise!

The downside is, well, I’m an aberration. The vast majority of people seem to prefer Scenarios, and I can even understand that: they’re quick to get into (on our server at least…a five minute wait is a long wait on Averheim/Order) and you *know* there’s going to be competition. And they give lots of experience, and mostly people are eager to gain new levels. Scenarios are a very “theme park” feature, and as we’ve seen, Theme Park MMOs are very popular.

Hopefully this mindset will change in higher tiers. I’ve done only one Tier 2 scenario: Phoenix Gate. PH is a “Capture the Flag” scenario and to me… well, cleaning the toilet starts to sound like fun when compared to Capture the Flag in any and every computer game I’ve ever played. I just despise CtF as a theme. Again, totally a personal preference. Probably has a lot to do with sucking at gym class when I was a kid. Chasing a flag carrier and not being fast enough to catch up brings back a lot of bad memories. 🙂

But the point I’m trying to make is, I sure hope either other scenarios are more interesting in T2 and beyond, or there’s more Open World RvR up there.

And I’d love to see Mythic add more incentive to OW RvR. Maybe if instead of just telling us how much personal Renown we’ve gained for taking a control point (lots, btw, I gained 5 renown levels in a few hours) we also got a more concrete indication of how much we’ve moved the “Realm Control” needle when we capture a zone? I mean, everyone loves the ‘kapow!’ of our side capturing a tier, right? Not to mention that nice Victory Call buff?

Anyway, another wall of text. I’m going to make an effort to try to organize more Open World RvR in our guild, and I’m going to try to find some good Destruction Guilds on Averheim and call them out when I do so. Let’s do what we can to make that “War is Everywhere!” battle call to be true!