Join the Ashes of Creation MMORPG
Nehemia's Battle Plans: The Calm Before the Storm
by Nehemia, Contributor — Category: Editorials
Post #58999
[Image: Nehemia_2.jpg]

The Calm Before the Storm

"It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
— Paul "Bear" Bryan



Typically, each MMORPG has its own house rules. Each game will have different metagame when it comes to PvP, but how will the metagame of the Elder Scrolls Online look like? The first assumption to cross ones mind is Dark Age of Camelot, where the PvP system is similar. Yet in this article I will not discuss the resemblance of DAoC to TESO, but rather attempt to analyze what players may expect from Cyrodil if they are planning to storm it as a guild.

The first step is utilizing the guilds character's to efficient level in a way that your guild as a group will have clear focus. Will you focus on reconnaissance based missions, the theft of Elder Scrolls or do you plan to march at the vanguard to siege the keeps and forts of Cyrodil? Group based player vs. player environments rarely have that much universal differences; Communication and discipline will always be the ruling factors. As TESO will have re-active combat system, its hard to reflect its upcoming metagame to anything we have around currently, as the combat system does not resemble any large scale PvP around there.

Communication requires VOIP (Voice over internet Protocol - a voice chat through a client, such as Ventrilo, Mumble or Skype), disciplined silence and muting yourself if your alcohol levels go beyond 0.8 . Target calling will be the major factor, as focusing on the same target or a group of targets gets them down faster and makes the possibilities of out healing the damage zero. Discipline however is what keeps the knots tight, one cannot expect to act solo in a situation that requires team work. Obeying like a mindless zombie without question is always a better option than starting to argue in middle of a fight.

One another universal trait exists, and that is your groups layout. Having completely random characters who in no way complement each other is rarely a good choice of character builds when you go against a disciplined force where each player character complements each other through build synergy and teamwork. The easiest way to pull of an efficient group of character builds are the Spec groups, as in specialized / specific groups by a broader term. Spec groups typically consist of a said number of players, each having similar weaponry, play style and abilities to support each other. Say you have ten players, eight of them will specialize in archery; eight of them will have abilities that buff the groups efficiency, and debuff the opponent in a way that the primary strategy of the group becomes more efficient and less costly. This means both your offensive and defensive capabilities increase as a group. The rest will naturally focus on keeping the group alive, lets say major buff based characters or healers. Imagine such force going head to head with a group that has little everything, but the characters do not exactly benefit from the existence of one another. The archers can focus and quickly drop people from range, focusing on one or two at the time. If the archers would say, have a snare or root abilities; they could hold the targets in place, at best completely nullifying their movement speed. This is just an example, as we currently lack the information regarding resistances, the level of crowd control and the time-to-kill. But the idea is to give an example and raise some thoughts of how multiple characters can complement each other in a way to create a disciplined, efficient group that has clear focus and planning.


Normally people favor the layouts that are either recommended or necessary in Player vs. Environment. I am talking about the "Trinity", as in having characters focusing on tanking, damage dealing or utility and healers. However its hard to imagine tank characters working automatically in Player vs. Player environment. As the term for tank characters has deprived to the level that the character who can control the artificial monster aggro mechanics is called the tank. Tanks used to be characters with a lot of meat on them, they possessed a threat on the battlefield which increased during time; So they forced players to a choice, either attacking the tank which has high survivability, or ignore the tank and face the consequences of leaving that said character alive. Currently we have no idea what Zenimax has planned for "meat" or "tank" characters in PvP, but one can hope they are a viable choice. The more options, the merrier. That being said, the metagame will be the fight between Spec groups and trinities, which one will fare better in the end?

[Image: 7fa201dd7f908c3d3a2880b1cb5c6c71.jpg]

Zenimax has stated that Alchemy will be a crafting possibility in The Elder Scrolls Online, this will lead us to consumables, and the resource management of said consumables. One cannot expect maximum efficiency on the fields of Cyrodil without having the proper consumables (In this case, potions created through alchemy or Sweet rolls created through provisioner; the cook). It will be the guild leaders responsibility to keep track of his or hers guild's consumable management, and to ensure that each player has all the consumables they need to gain the maximum efficiency of their characters. If your enemies have even the slightest handicap stat-wise, it will be of the greatest benefit to you. For your convenience, Zenimax has stated they have placed crafting tables close to the entrance of Cyrodil. This means that after your character's death, re-filling your backbag with potions will not be difficult.

However, it would be naive to believe that guilds only need to focus on their guild's resource management, as we are in the end discussing faction based warfare. Cyrodil will have resource locations to hold, these resources will most certainly benefit your faction in their war. It could translate to additional siege weapons, additional guards or NPC fighters, it could be universal buffs (through possessing artifacts; The Elder Scrolls) or even access to PvE dungeons you wouldn't have access to otherwise. Controlling your territory, co-operation with other guilds will be essential, unless your guild is large enough to fill more than half of a faction in one campaign. That will lead us to politics; Even if we are unable to negotiate with our enemy directly, being respecting and friendly has its benefits, even from the enemies. Imagine one faction dominating the other two, it would only be natural that the situtation would turn into two versus one scenario. However if the hate between the two losing factions is so great they will simply refuse to co-operate versus the leading faction, you will be in trouble. This kind of political acting will be of increased level between your friendlies. A guild that you keep badmouthing most likely will not care if you're in trouble, but if your guild is in good terms with one another; the cavalry is more likely to arrive.


Politics do not have to be limited to silent communication between guilds, they can range anything from shared consumable / resource management to trade alliances. Perhaps even to character management; share of intel, sharing knowledge of game's mechanics. Possibly even lending your players to other guilds to pull off something that will benefit your entire faction. At the best, imagine a Spec group of spec groups. A trinity created through multiple guilds each specializing in something, working as a disciplined force, an unstoppable rolling machine.


What is successful group warfare is made of?

Discipline, communication, consumable management, character management, resource management and politics.

That's what the successful group warfare is made of.



Like this post
The following 9 users Like Nehemia's post:
Duraikan617, Ewan, Kilivin, Lord Burl, Najla, Radioactive Man, SoftLad, Terminus Zaire, The Danish Dude


Comments on Nehemia's Battle Plans: The Calm Before the Storm
Post #59066
Banned

Likes Given: 46
Likes Received: 867
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Argonian)

hmm its a good one yeah.
Tho there are a few things that are speculative at best. For example the siege weapon one.
From what we know there wont be any resources system connected to them. you just make them.
Tho the wording on their part was kinda weird on that one so well see where it goes.

but yeah i guess well see tons of the other stuff you mentioned.
Im actually quite interrested what group tools they have. For example target marks. Something thats been in MMOs for quite a while. could be important here if you got a dedicated combat leader.

On tanks: their reply on stamina tanking made me think that they interpret tanks as high-surviveability characters opposed to aggro controll.
Tho since the open way of classes working i guess a threat based tank in PvP wont work out quite like that. But its definitly worth a try.
Stuff like inhale and a well placed ultimate could work in that direction.

as for consumeables: something im wondering on is wether or not there will be poisons, so far we know of health pots and food.
Adding poisons in the mix there could be a realy nice dynamic that could give you the edge.

Another interresting point that arrises is if the game will actually have inbuilt VOIP.
For most new games this has become the standart. DotA 2, Planetside 2 and any console shooter out there has this feature inbuilt. But this system is not limited to shooters and overally competetive games. WoW has a simmilar system for quite a while now and so does Everquest 2.
So id actually bet that well have an inbuilt system.

That beeing said an inbuilt system tends not to work as well as lets say Teamspeak or especialy Vent.

oh yeah another issue i would have adressed in here: Group sizes.
As far as we know the current groupsize is 4. wich is the smallest group size in any MMO ive played so far. And its worrying realy.
obviously grouping is no longer as important with full support for all allied players and since healing will be focused on AoEs anyway it may not sound like much of an issue but i am seriously thinking about the implementation of large scale group management.
For guild leaders it is of utmost importance to know where ALL your men are.
Guild Wars 2 has a system where you automatically see guild members on the minimap but lets face it thats a sub par way of handling this.
Im thinking they might implement a raid group like system.
but of course we cant say anything as of now.
Like this post
Reply
The following 1 user likes Sordak's post:
Nerevarine
Post #60013
Member

Likes Given: 172
Likes Received: 3
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Dunmer)
I just hope that pots, poisons, food and drink raise stats/res of the player and not just "give" hp, stamina or magicka... More brain activity would be present if the effects would be like: "fire dam res +20%" or "survival 15% more effective (better traps)"...

And it would feel very fresh with rather having spec groups then the trinity groups... which feel just so... too old / outdated. And to create something own and build spec groups from that base requires more then almost non-existent thinking power (compared with choosing from one of the Trinity).
Like this post
Reply
The following 1 user likes Radioactive Man's post:
Lord Burl
Post #61058
Member

Likes Given: 3
Likes Received: 3
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant (Breton)
I good point and good article. however if 8/10 are archers you will be raped
Like this post
Reply
Post #63115
Member

Likes Given: 321
Likes Received: 161
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact
Dunmer
I like this article. Communication between group members, and especially between guilds will be essential in pvp. As a whole it is far better to focus on one singular goal together (comprised of little goals) than to have everyone going in different directions. That will cause one of two things to happen. Either forces will be stretched too thin, or there will be complete chaos and we will be overtaken as we run around with no clear vision.

Some type of leadership has to form on the battlefield, and people will have to understand that teamwork is better than "just getting a kill", although that will be fun at times too. I think you hit it right on the head with this article and the little information that we have. As Sordak mentioned, groups of 4 will be entirely too small to do anything worthwhile in large scale pvp. They did however mention in one of their recent articles that their will be bigger group sizes available as well.
Like this post
Reply
Post #69209
Member

Likes Given: 2
Likes Received: 1
Faction & Race:
Aldmeri Dominion (Altmer)
While you bring up a number of valid points, I'm glad you stressed discipline and communication. All too often a team, without any sort of prior experience as a unit but who allow a battle-captain of sorts to guide them, prevail over a larger, even more complementary, team. The trick is to find those who know their role, trust their commander, and stick to the plan.
Like this post
Reply
Post #88184
Member

Likes Given: 0
Likes Received: 0
Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant (Breton)
The 4 player group is a good dungeon size. But I agree that the communications might be tricky, especially if there really are going to be PVP battles of several hundred players....

Perhaps that's where this "Leadership" skill tree will come into play. Mass Communications Ability?
Like this post
Reply
Post #134214
Member

Likes Given: 0
Likes Received: 1
Faction & Race:
Ebonheart Pact (Nord)
Very interesting tips for a guild leader.
Like this post
Reply





This fan site is not affiliated with ZeniMax Media Inc. or any of its subsidiaries. Including, but not limited to, Bethesda Game Studios and ZeniMax Online Studios.
The Elder Scrolls® images © ZeniMax Media Inc. / Forum content © TESOF.com