So this is a question that has a million answers depending on who you ask but in one way or another I think all people can agree that post-HoT WvW feels bad compared to pre-HoT, this is coming from someone that still enjoys WvW. Thinking about it for a while, I think I have been able to work out some of my feelings about WvW and I’m going to try and express my thoughts on what I’m going to call keep fights.
I believe that a group winning 100% of fights is going to create a negative outcome for all sides, firstly for the losing side because they will not enjoy the game. I’ve seen many guilds quit because they were on the losing side for too long, including my own, and a lot of these people blame matchmaking or population imbalance for the state of the game. After these people quit the winning groups are left with no one to fight, a common complaint comes up: Unchallenging fights can be as bad as no fights.
I saw a video online: a psychologist talking about young rats play fighting. The larger rat, while capable of winning 100% of the time, will only win 70% of the time so that the younger rat will keep coming back to play with him. I’ve talked to guild leaders about it but no one is happy to lose fights on purpose: Shifting your win rate from 100% to 70% for the sake of your opponent is not something people find easy or enjoyable.
Thinking about it some more I come to the conclusion that keep fights play a major role in the spread of the win rate between servers. If a map is unbalanced the natural outcome is for the defenders to be pushed back to their keeps, which gives them better odds of winning fights against attackers. Kind of obvious. This is the part where I think I can put this bad feeling of mine into design terms.
The major difference between pre-HoT and post-HoT keep fights is that there are no post-HoT keep fights. Attackers are very effectively held off by siege, siege disablers and tactivators, if they manage to get into the lords room they will generally be able to take the keep. The outcome of this is more population imbalance complaints. Pre-HoT it was much easier for a larger force to get into keeps but the defenders also had more options for defending against a force that was inside the lords room. Bannering the lord and using the keep waypoint between events were ways to prolong lord room fights. Prolonging lord room fights allow a smaller force to potentially cut off reinforcements and whittle away at the larger force.
While defenders have a better chance of keeping their structures post-HoT it’s often done with no fighting involved. A larger force will poke a keep, be showered with ac’s and siege disablers, leave before a fight can happen and then continue to win against anyone that fights them open field. If the population is imbalanced this is a bit of a lose-lose situation for everyone compared to pre-HoT keep fights, where a larger force would kill as many people as they could before getting repelled. While some people found it frustrating to take a keep with banner warriors, this is a situation where both forces get to fight and the smaller force gets to win. If your goal is fights then everyone wins. This also created a more natural connection between ppt and fighting.
Keep fights are important for keeping a 70/30 fight win rate between uneven groups which is important for the longevity of the game. For this to happen, keeps need to be redesigned to prolong the fights in keeps, not the fights to get into the keeps. Examples of this can be seen in pre-HoT gameplay that has now been removed.
I don’t think this will solve everything and I understand that skill balance might make it impossible to return to the pre-HoT days of keep fights. However, this proposal is a tangible and realistic starting point to start bringing WvW back on track.
(edited by SubHonour Guard.6498)