By now all of you are most likely aware of the impending change to the zone locking system, termed “zone domination” in the unofficial announcement video from Paul Barnett. According to Jeff Hickman (from the aforementioned PB video), this will be a “supplemental” way of capturing zone in which if one side can capture all the keeps and BOs in the zone and keep them defended, the zone will lock in their favor.
I don’t believe I’ve spoken at length on my opinion on the current zone locking system. Very succinctly, I think the inclusion of PQs and other quests in the Victory Point calculation is ridiculous and goes against the focus and strength of both the Realm War and Warhammer in general. Scenarios are also currently included, but I’m OK with that. It’s still RvR, so it makes sense that these individual battles (instanced as they may be) would make a difference on the overall war effort for each realm. That said, if scenarios were completely removed from the VP calculation, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.
And now we have the new supplemental system, which will presumably discount scenarios, PQs, and whatever else non-RvR information gets considered under the current system, as long as all of the objectives and keeps in the zone are held by the same realm*. I think this is exactly what the doctor ordered for the current state of the game in T4, at least from what I’ve experienced.
Let me give an example, I finally logged back onto Ithica, my level 36 Archmage, on Saturday afternoon to see what was going down. I immediately saw we were attempting to lock Caledor, so I headed over. We owned both keeps and all BOs and were keeping the random Destro attack at bay. Once we beat the Destro attack back, most of our warband decided we needed to go grind some PQs to get some more VPs. Some others ran scenarios for the same reason. No matter what we did, we just couldn’t push it over the final hump. My Realm War mod had us as high as 94 VPs, but we never did quite cap it. Well, not surprisingly, Destro comes back and takes one of our keeps while we’re dicking around doing things that aren’t anywhere near the RvR area.
Now should we probably have kept a few people at the keep and known how much time we had to make it back? Yeah, we should have. And we took the keep right back after that. But the point is that we should never have been leaving that RvR area. And I think this new system will go a long way to fix that. One side will be pushing hard to take and keep all the objectives, while the other side will be desperately trying to take at least one back in order to keep the zone from locking. I can see the battles becoming much more dynamic, with possibly less zerging as large groups that would normally move together will now have to break apart to defend different objectives, or conversely, launch attacks on multiple fronts. The possibilities will really open up.
At least that’s what I hope happens. I can’t wait for the new system to go live, and I think it may just renew my interest in my main for the final push to 40, a lot of which I’d like to complete in RvR.
* Note there is a touch of speculation in this statement, as the specific details of the system have not yet been formally announced. Based on the video, this is how I and many others have inferred it would work.