Monday, June 4, 2012

Level versus /played

Via Massively comes an interesting tidbit of Warhammer Online news.  Beyond the first fifteen levels, the game will now use the RVR Reknown level, rather than the PVE character level system for RVR scenario matchmaking.  Characters with a low PVE level will be bolstered up to some baseline while in the scenario, while higher PVE-level players with low reknown ranks will remain what's functionally a training bracket until they rank up. 

It's an interesting concept.  In PVP in general, player skill is going to play a larger role compared to /played time, and that effect is only amplified if the player spends their leveling time in (possibly solo) PVE content.  Depending on how well Warhammer has tamed the AFK problem, the time to Reknown rank 70 may actually be enough to train newbies to play with the veterans. 

On the downside, last I checked Reknown rank was character-specific rather than account-wide.  Players who really know what they are doing are potentially trapped in the training bracket for 69 levels - it's not clear to me from the patch notes whether level 40 players can group up with their friends and queue together as a group, or whether these folks will be split by reknown rank.  By the same token, someone who really likes steam-rolling newbies could presumably serially re-roll to stay in the entry level bracket and feast on the tears. 

This may be a moot point in the context of a game that's down to its last server (or two, I've lost track) simultaneously rolling out a stand-alone spinoff version of the scenario gameplay in a free to play somewhat-level-less MOBA.  Faults with the execution aside, though, separating players by some measure of skill rather than time /played may be a sound concept, especially for PVP, and it'll be interesting to see who steals it in the future. 

3 comments:

Yeebo said...

I keep meaning to go back and try WAR some time. Great class designs, very fun battle ground based PvP, and practically the worst PvE I've encountered in a modern MMO (at least when I played). Still, if the RvR is no longer horrifically imbalanced on the sole (two?) remaining servers, it might be worth another look.

Carson 63000 said...

Renown rank isn't a measure of skill, though, is it? Isn't it just another levelling system where you earn an xp equivalent by PvP'ing, and gain ranks?

So this isn't a change from "/played" to "skill", it's a change from "total /played" to "/played time in PvP"

32ndlaw said...

Technically three servers if you count the Russian one. But they shouldn't have more than one.

And renown has never been a measure of skill in WAR, since most renown is earned by standing around and doing nothing.