PTS Date Night

Last night was the first go of official testing on the PTS server (Warpstone). I wasn’t on time so when I logged in later there was already a lot of activity. Empire/Chaos Tier 3 was our location and fighting was all across High Pass and Talabecland.

I’ve taken part in PTS events before but what I found interesting last night was the number of players whining in region. It became apparent these stray realmers didn’t quite understand what a “test” was and that there are no winners or losers and we’re all there to kick the tires on a totally revamped RvR system that will turn WAR on its ear. Luckily, many of them whined and then departed, leaving the rest of us to the task at hand … killing one another.

Defense Posture
I joined a warband and found our numbers spread out trying to capture BO’s while the rest of us were preparing for an imminent siege. For the time I was on, Destro seemed to control most of the BO’s and were soon out front with siege weapons, a ram, and those damned bombers. There was a lot of activity out front as they planned their assault.

I can only comment on the new experience in Tier 3 (looking forward to tests in Tier 4). Since I was defending I only had a vantage point looking down off the wall. Since the Skaven will not be available for the lower Tiers, I can only assume more than rams will work on keep doors. I really couldn’t tell whether swords, axes, and doombolts were helping. I’m guessing these “new” rams are a bit more powerful as the outer door didn’t last all that long.

Bombs Away
I mentioned those bombers … you really need to know where they are. The bombs they drop will linger doing AOE damage and let’s just say they can put an end to you quicker than you’d imagine. For a stupid squishie like me, I found myself near death quite often as behind me out of sight was one of those damned blue-flaming Destro bombs. They also appear to be able to get you through the wall if you’re near a doorway … not sure if that’s acting as intended.

There was a moment where I simply panned the environment and it looked like an actual siege. Out front there were enemies running everywhere, siege weapons all over the place blasting at us up on the walls. Oil pouring down and a ram knocking on the door. Panning back there were things crossing the sky reigning death down upon us. It will no longer be so easy to hide upon those walls. Even though the bombers are on rails … they will make for some interesting times.

The good thing in this is being able to rez right there in the keep (as long as the inner door still stands). It helps to get you back into the action rather than an oft times fruitless scamper trying to get back inside. Guarding posterns will probably become more a measure to keep defenders inside rather than stopping their entry as it doesn’t seem like you can choose to rez at the warcamp and I couldn’t find a Flight Master inside the keep to leave. Our side would push out to clear space so a gank group or two could go try and secure a BO to cut off resources. Perhaps I missed it mentioned somewhere, but once resources reach a certain level, can they go down?

Defensive Weakness
The days of the defenders having the advantage went away with the addition of that second ramp. Sure, you can still win sometimes but more times than not the attackers will simply swarm you if their numbers are enough. Holding the line on one ramp gave a smaller force a chance and with the lessening of AOE nuisances like Rain of Fire and Pit of Shades over-stacking would the one ramp be so bad now?

Capping a keep flag (even a 30-second one) is child’s play to dealing with champions and a keep lord. Once that inner door goes down, no more rezzing inside the keep. So once wiped, it’s a simple matter of capping that flag. Would it be so bad to still have those NPCs? Once Destro finally got inside we were swarmed and done. I can see this happening a lot just like the old days. So perhaps my fears on zone captures becoming rare is incorrect.

Don’t let last night’s keep defense failure make you think defending is a lost cause. In my mind I can already formulate multiple strategies to successfully defend with good communication and willing participants. If mobile siege weapons were at our disposal they would’ve surely gotten a nice welcome as they tried to rush through that outer door. Sadly, we didn’t have enough resources for those.

And that will be something needed to thrive in this new system: strategy. Zerging may still work at times but with always-cappable BO’s, a need for resources, mobile siege weapons, aerial attacks, and a respawn within your keep, just running around won’t be enough anymore. While you seek to sack our keep we could be doing the same to yours. Leave your BO’s undefended and we’ll take them thus stymieing your keep’s rank. Throw in Skaven tunnels that will whisk away the RR65+ crowd and we should see action all over the place. And there will be joyous fun for those who prefer smaller groups.

It was the very first night of testing. Things went well but there is surely room for improvement. Admittedly, I paid zero attention to the kinds of Renown being gained. I wasn’t part of any groups taking BO’s so I don’t know what, if any, numbers they offer. And since I defended, I don’t know what taking the keep and then the zone garnered. Next test I will have to pay attention to that as it’s one of my concerns for character progression.

Another concern was how the Tiers 2 and 3 Dwarf zones would work since their RvR zones don’t meet. Running over to the Badlands I found little Skaven tunnels. Running inside I soon found myself warping over to Black Fire Pass. Problem solved.

There’s a lot more to test and there’s already a Dev post up on the forums to start submitting feedback. So if you took part and have some criticisms and concerns … voice them. Also note that tomorrow night is the first European test and us North American players will get another go next Tuesday. Take advantage of these opportunities to test this exciting new mechanic.

4 Responses to “PTS Date Night”

  1. The devs mentioned tunnels will be added to connect RvR lakes which do not meet.

    Also, the ram and the Skaven Rat Ogre will be the only things that can damage a door.

    Yea, it was an interesting time. I expect the next tests to be pretty fun now that we have some idea about what goes on.

    • I found the tunnels which surprisinigly warped me through pretty quickly.

      Thanks for the clarification on the doors … so in Tiers 2-3 only the ram can be used for the door? We won’t have rats down there so getting that ram will be even more critical.

      I’m looking forward to some Tier 4 testing.

  2. I mentioned last night, that I was missing the keep lords. So you have my full support in petitioning for their return. It shouldn’t be a done deal when the inner door goes down. I have felt the keep lord should scale to the number of attackers.

    Any mention of AT AT guns for handling the incoming flyerss. That couple be amusing. Feasible is not my problem 🙂

    • Ever since two ramps went into keeps, unless you have an equal force it is really tough to successfully defend. There should be a keep lord and I love your idea of its power scaling to the number of attackers — great idea!

      You can attack the bombers but only with ranged attacks.

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