Thursday, 12 March 2009

Picking flowers on the field of battle

So there I was on Monday morning. Charging through Dragonwake, yelling Waaaaaaaaaaagh! and with the intentions of slaughter and carnage, when I realised how quiet, serene and picturesque it was. So i stopped off my boar, let him snuffle about and decided to pick a small flower... Den i crushed it under me stompas!

Why are so many of the T4 RvR lakes (I don't run any alts right now so can't remember the others) designed in such a way that they look like tranquil landscapes and not war zones? Praag is actually the only one that feels as if there is a war going on with raging fire and burnt out shells of homes with the occasional NPC in battle with another NPC to give a sense of a warfare. You can be running with a warband through an empty, desolate zone and it feels very fake. Certainly not adding to the sense that you've entered into a battle zone.

So what do I feel could be done to make the RvR lakes more of a battleground?

In my opinion, the best place to feel like there's a war going on is actually all the way back in Mount Bloodhorn at the Kron Komar PQ and camps. The ambient sounds of warfare add so much to the zone, hearing cannons blast, Orcs shouting. To see explosions and enemies dying with two sides engaged in constant warfare. It feels like you're on the front line about to charge in. Now I don't expect Mythic to fill the lakes with NPC's and explosions due to lag reasons but surely it might be possible to add a few in, certain spots in the lakes where you can have two sides of NPC's locked in eternal combat (make them invulnerable to players to avoid them being farmed). Even better, and I have no idea if this would be possible, but have a system in place that plays louder and more frequent ambient warfare sounds (explosions, sounds of steel on steel, shouts and death cries etc) the more action there is in a lake, make it feel like you can hear the battle from a mile away. There's no need for it to get louder as you get closer, but make it feel as if you're stepping into a battle zone and not a landscape painting.

Scar the landscape some more with the marks of war. Sorry a keep with a bit bashed out the wall while the rest of the landscape around it looks like a summer field such as we have just now doesn't count. Craters with corpses, more ruined buildings and items around battlefield objectives (I always remember Nordenwatch at the Destruction starting flag with the fishing huts, being able to run around and feel as if you're in a small camp). The BO's still stick out like a sore thumb, something randomly placed. spice them up with war and blood!

Now I'm not saying that the whole zones must be littered with corpses and craters, or explosions and elves but a bit of world re-design would go long way to make it feel like WAR!