Sunday, 5 April 2009

What if we had three sides?

In Dark Age of Camelot you had three sides (or rather realms). Albion (Arthurian legends), Midgard (Nordic legends) and Hibernian (Celtic legends). The obvious advantage to having three sides in realm versus realm was that no-one side ever became too powerful since the other two could combine to take down the dominant side, and the cycle repeated itself so no-one ever gained continual dominance over the other two. The major flaw was that power and population on sides would change dramatically with each patch and people would often hop servers to play the perceived imbalanced realm only adding to the need for the other realms to team up.

So the question lies, would WAR have benefited more by having three sides rather than the traditional two and if so, how would they have managed it?

The more I thought about it, the more the concept of a third realm grows on me. It would certainly help towards a lot of balance issues should one side be buffed a bit too much in a patch, plus allows for more interesting battles as two sides possibly take on one only for the two to turn on each other to claim the keep or fort for victory points for there own realm.

Of course, this will never happen, it would require building the game practically from the ground up and a lot of what we have (the tug-o-war tier 4 zones for example) to be completely redesigned and ripped apart, but it's nice to think.

The fun bit however is imagining how the realms would form as the current triage for both sides wouldn't work too well. I'd imagine something like this.

Empire & Dwarves:
Knight of the Blazing Sun, Warrior Priest, Bright Wizard, Witch Hunter

Ironbreaker, Runepriest, Engineer, Slayer

Greenskins (Orcs and Goblins)
Black Orc, Boss (imagine an orc healer.. Shouting instead of traditional healing... "Oi, dat was a scratch, get movin' again", "Yer not dead ya runt, get back up an 'it 'im"), Arrer Boy, Choppa

Troll (with Goblin handler.. imagine a pet tank class), Shaman, Squig Hunter, Fanatic

Dark Alliance (Chaos and Dark Elves)
Chosen, Zealot, Magus, Marauder

Black Guard, Disciple, Sorceror, Witch Elf

So of course, one realm had to disappear and (not so) sadly it was the High Elves. Simple reason is that I couldn't 'fit' them in anywhere and they seem quite stuck out there on the little island of Ulthuan. However, the same case could be made for Dark Elves so you could change them for Greenskins and simply add in the "Brettonia and Wood Elf" realm in place of the full Greenskin faction.

Ach, as said, it's just not going to happen but would WAR have been better with a third realm to balance out the odds when one side starts to become the dominant force, or is the Order vs. Destruction working fine?


  1. With so many rich & varied races in the warhammer world it's a matter of timing before new races are included. So the question really becomes which races, what dynamic and how do they fit in or alongside the current tug-o-war?

    The current dual system seems to have plenty of choices on either side, so a "third way" be it pairing-up of races/realms or even splintering-into 3 or 4 realms might make a lot of sense to retain the tension between new & existing races & realms in the battlfields of WAR.

  2. DaoC still going?
    It's one I wish I would have tried, but I was in utter EQ burnout at the time.

  3. I definitely agree with you, I personally think it was a big mistake not having three realms. What they could do (if they wanted to ad a new side) is create new zone for the new side. Then they would mix the pre existing zone with those RvR wise. So for example High Pass would be Order vrs. Destruction, and Talabecland would be Order vrs. neutrals (?) and NEWZONE1 would be Destruction vrs. neutrals.

    This of course is a huge undertaking but it might work.

    ps. apologise if I´m not clear enough, English is not my first language

  4. Have to agree Mythic missed a trick not going with 3 sides from the start and like you say Lok, can't see it happening in the future which is a massive shame... maybe a 1000:1 shot for a paid expansion ;)

  5. I think the key thing to look at is how to stop one side from dominating the other into re-rolling to the dominant side or re-rolling to another server. There needs to be better.. Well there needs to be SOME mechanic to help the battered return. You can't expect new players to want to reroll on a server which has the capital city perma sieged and with no open instances.

  6. Well one way is pull server populations, e.g. battlegrounds in WoW are actually formed by battlegroups.

    +s helps individual server population dips and bursts
    -s takes away from server ownership, server-specific achievements

    However if done for some mechanics (e.g. scenarios leap out) but not others (e.g. keep siege) it might help alleviate some of the reasons populations dip/surge in the first place

    doing it right isnt a simple solution, but it certainly could be done well

  7. Ok, lets see... Which other MMO's feature three factions/sides/realms which are in conflict with one another (No, daoc doesn't count)

  8. Its becoming apparent that one side dominating another by too much is the main problem in WAR. Although its unlikely I'd like to think Mythic wouldn't completely rule out a third realm. Personally I think adding Vampire Counts as that third realm would be the best option, they dislike Order and Destruction and would slot in nicely. Heck, even Drakenhof catle is perfectly placed to be tiered up with Altdorf and the Inevitable City. Also I think undead are on of the few races that could pull in enough players to make a third realm successful. I'd give them 2 of each class type to give them more appeal, so maybe

    Wight, Blood Dragon

    Melee DPS
    Lahmian Vampire, Blood Knight

    Ranged DPS
    Necrach Vampire, Liche

    Necromancer, Von Carstein vampire (melee healer)

    Just some thoughts anyhow :)