Welcome to the first edition of “What Blizzard Should Do”. I’ve been wanting to start this column for a while but until now I’ve just built a list and filed it away for later posting. Its pretty self explanatory really. We’ve all been there…playing that game we know and love but there is always something you run across that you feel could have been done better. Now I’m not really talking about persistent issues here. Class balance and server performance are just part of the game and will always be there. I’m talking about the little things that bug you but most people probably don’t think about for more then a minute and then they simply move on. This column is where I get to play back seat developer and not just QQ but suggest what could be done to improve the player experience.
This week’s edition was brought on by the lovely Adreanna in her post about being camped by some nefarious lowlife players on our PvP server. Now there is alot that could be said concerning camping on a PvP server (just look at that posts comments), however I’d like to steer this post more towards high level players who feel it necessary to vist a low level town and simply destory it for a good 1/2 hour. That kind of player needs to be kept in check and I think I have the solution. Lets hire some better guards Blizzard.
Most towns have guards that are overall higher then the average level for that zone. If you happened to be questing in that zone and wanted to raid a town solo, you’d have a near impossible time doing it. Gather up a modest size raid of players near your level and you might last for awhile but eventually the fast respawn timer of the guards would eventually wear your forces down and you’d be forced to retreat. Now if your say, a level 80 and you want to raid Tarren Mill in Hillsbrad, nothing is going to stop you from killing every guard, every quest giver, and every player for hours on end. This is greifing. These players are doing it not for a challenge but for simply harassing other low level players. If that were not the case they’d make one pass through town and be off. This does happen and is relatively harmless. However those that just stand around killing everything I do not care for. Lets give the guards the ability to actually guard.
I’m not saying guard every town by level 83 elites but I am asking that Blizzard give them the ability to upgrade. Much like they do (or used to do) in Alterac Valley. Either by collecting some type of materials or maybe other raw goods. What if every town had an NPC that you could turn linen cloth into? Or fish? Or ore? Remember the AQ war effort? How many of you would be happy to donate to Tarren Mills town militia? Heck even every grey item you sell to their vendors might toss into the pot….lets open it up for gold donations! Blizzard wanted more gold sinks right? Now once enough resources have been acquired, a player with appropriate “rank” could pull the switch and upgrade those guards for an hour or two. What would rank be? I dunno, maybe some level of core city reputation would allow it. Perhaps if you’ve completed enough quests in that town maybe the switch could be flipped by anyone after there has been an attack on the town. I’m not quite sure how you could police this from greifers on your own faction that would flip the switch on all day long. Maybe a 24h debuff so they couldn’t do it again for a long time. Maybe they could only flip it if they contributed enough resources themselves.
Of course I suppose blizzard could upgrade the guards naturally on their own as well. Guards are replaced on a 30 second timer and are all given rooting/knock back/counterspell ability. If the more then 20 town NPCs die the guard level goes up by 10 levels and stays that way for 30 minutes. If 20 more town NPCs die then it jumps up again. Sooner rather then later the town forces will be too hard to combat and the attacking party would be forced to retreat. It would give the attacking party enough time to have their fun a bit. Perhaps chase down a player who is seeking refuge in the town but after that, the attacking player would be forced to flee.
Maybe they could even do something with phasing technology but I think something needs to be done. Can you guys remember Cenarion Hold in Silithus? That place was more or less like a meeting stone in the days of AQ. It was always controlled by one faction or another even though there where guards around. Frequently players would range attack from some high rock and simply greif the town. Later on Blizzard hot fixed this town with some guards that were a level or two below Chuck Norris. The town was a bit more peaceful after that.
I’d like to see something like this put in place but sadly I’m sure Blizzard has already done the calculations on it. Player complaint’s equal X. Level of programming effort equals Y. If X<Y then do nothing and mention “it is being considered but no news yet on when it might find its way into a patch”. Anyways….its What Blizzard Should Do.