The Elder Scrolls Online PVP Guide: Siege Warfare

The Elder Scrolls Online PVP Guide: Siege Warfare

Exploring the player versus player zone of Cyrodiil is best done with an army.

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Not a terrible review, but it also seemed like the author didn't really "get" PvP. I imagine that this is the result of having such a small beta? The beta this weekend was fairly huge, and I routinely saw up to 100 players on my screen when sieging forts (and let me tell you, siege weapons arching flaming rocks over the heads of an all out war with castles and mountains in the distance? Epic as hell!). Also, anyone can jump into the pvp and succeed at lvl 10. Everyone in Cyrodiil has their stats scaled to 50 upon entering. Yes, a true level 50 will probably destroy a lvl 10 because of the extra passives and better gear that being level fifty allows access too. That having been said, 2 or (in the case of "good" pvpers) 3 level 10's can still kill a lvl 50 (from what I have seen).

Ultimately, it seems like the make or break factor for pvp as it currently is (and remember, not all aspects of pvp and pve are available at launch...not unlike other well known MMOs) will be group content. If you want to pvp, you will need a group, preferably a guild. Also, do not forget that you can join up to 5 guilds with a single toon. It seems like specific pvp guilds will exist that focus on specific elements, such as defending individual objectives or consistently attacking a specific fort. Remember, pvp is always on. If your faction wants to keep its Elder Scrolls, it will need to ALWAYS be defending them: expect the 3 a.m. raid on your towns; it will be coming...

Couldn't agree more Zelos, certainly gives you a great feeling to be part of a larger battle. The campaign I was on, playing for the Covenant, we started out with literally nothing (imported from previous beta, Pact had won conclusively) and we had to first dethrone the Pact Emperor, then take back our Elder Scrolls and organise to stay out of the way of the Dominion while they hit the pact down south.

Good fun.

Hmmm, well actually they seem to be off to a good start in ensuring their game will die a crib death honestly, which is sad because there is so much potential here.

Basically the problem I have with their DAOC PVP, which could also be compared heavily to the LAST game to try and base most of an endgame around this "Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning" and it's epic fail, is that we have yet to either see much of a solo or duo/trio endgame described nor anything close to a PVE endgame with epic raids and such. This is a problem for the following reasons:

1. We've already seen what happens when someone decides to make the primary focus of their endgame PVP. From a designer and publisher perspective it sounds great "hey, the players will create their own content and adventures fighting each other, and we won't have to do much except lay back and collect subscription fees". Mass PVP is a nice feature and helps sustain a good MMO, but only when combined with lots of other things at the endgame. For a subscription fee to work you need to maintain a player base across a broad spectrum of players, and what's more provide a lot of different things to do.

While I suppose ESO could have some things up it's sleeve yet, and it is always possible I missed something, we're less than two months from release, which means that the core content should be done and they are involved largely in polish, bug hunting, and a focus on the technical (server stress, etc...). I have yet to see much at all involving raids, or what high end solo players can expect to justify their time and competitive character advancement.

What's more their focus on group PVP is likely more a result of laziness than anything. Simply put with this kind of attitude it becomes easier to justify not working hard to ensure all the possible character types and builds are balanced in PVP as well as PVE which is an issue tons of MMOs wind up grappling with. Having the excuse that "if your comparing things one on one your doing it wrong" is a way of sidestepping having to address game balance issues and
core PVP design. Not to mention the idea let's them sidestep the ancient MMO problem of needing to segregate solo players from pre-made PVP teams in queues, which prevents a problem because at the end of the day most pre-made PVP teams don't really want to fight nothing but other pre-made teams, and are there to more or less "pwn scrubs" and part time solo PVPers as part of their own grinds, which is why months after release a lot of games like Neverwinter have yet to segregate their PVP queues, because they are afraid they will lose a lot of their core PVP players, but this goes into entirely different areas.

2. Like it or not "Elder Scrolls" is a solo game experience, while it is true in an MMO not everyone can be the sole focus of the world, I honestly cannot fathom what the developers were thinking when they thought that what should arguably be the most solo friendly MMO of all time going by it's label, should exist as a PVP focused game (at the end0 where everyone runs around with a group attached to their hip and the directive "be social or fail". This seems to be baiting failure based on the license they are using. At least with "Warhammer: Age Of Reckoning" it could be justified somewhat since "Warhammer" is at it's core a miniatures wargame based around clashing units, with their RPGs largely being side products. It doesn't come with the same built in associations... of course even considering that it still kind of crashed and went out of business after a downward spiral that started almost immediately.

Before anyone projects much onto me, I almost always get in with a guild, and while I like to solo a lot, I also team up with one or two people in most games (people I know IRL) on and off for certain objectives or when I want to work with a small team. I PVP part time, and I love raids, especially big raids with huge numbers of people. The sheer spectacle of things like old school Molten Core runs in "World Of Warcraft" is what raiding is about to me, and despite years of playing them I never felt 5 or 10 man groups could achieve the same effect, although I suppose they DID have the advantage of letting the game get a lot more technical in what the fights require. Still I fondly remember fights like Garr, Domo, and of course Ragnaros (which was bloody awesome) and confronting godlike enemies with a virtual army of people. Beating down some wizard with at most a dozen people doesn't have the same appeal or typically the "wow" factor though there have been some exceptions in 20 man raids (the spectacle in dungeons like Ulduar was pretty good for example).

I see a lot of potential in ESO, and will probably try it after launch, but the point here is that as the clock ticks down it seems like the core design here has primed them for failure.

Paragraph 2 * 'Patience is definitely needed'

Paragraph 6 * '...the most adrenaline pumping experience'

I'm still worried that this game is going to go the way of Warhammer Online i.e end up splitting the server population between the PvP zone and the PvE. They really should have integrated both a lot more so that there's a sense of constant warfare rather than 'go to this area where fighting is allowed'.

They need to promote smaller skirmishes as a viable way of making a difference also. Warhammer was actually amazing when you could get a good 10v10 or even 5v5 fight in the lakes before a zerg blob would roll up and consume everything.

ron1n:
They need to promote smaller skirmishes as a viable way of making a difference also. Warhammer was actually amazing when you could get a good 10v10 or even 5v5 fight in the lakes before a zerg blob would roll up and consume everything.

Exactly that happens naturally, very little of the fighting I actually did was taking keeps. That on average took the longest time but in that case it was more of "hold, advance, hold, advance, fall back, hold, advance" until someone won.

Smaller field battles at resource points or just out in the open were common and more than a few groups would start fortifying hill positions in preparation for such encounters. In many ways the smaller skirmishes were the most significant way to make a difference as cutting off the stream of reinforcements to a fort was considered (at least by me) essential.

If the game looked at all like it's artwork, it'd be one amazing stylized game.

I've been in the beta for several sessions and the game is disappointing on so many levels. Every time I boot it up for another beta session its small problems keep piling up in bigger problems.

Ignoring the pve issues you can understand my disappointment when pvp the most touted of ESO features is lacking balance with slow combat and a lack of genuine player skill required.

A big part of the problems this game has imo is its combat engine. Without any collision detection, player accuracy requirement, expanded hotbars, unabundant hud, and slow pacing the games combat as a whole feels weak with victory going to the larger zerg.

The scrollocaust is here gentlemen.

From what I've seen this ESO PvP map is very much like Guild Wars 2's WvW. After watching Angry Joe's vid, I'd say there are some improvements over WvW, most importantly the size of the map and its extra content; but other things seem just awkward. The whole ressing with soul gems and the destructible walls seeming more aesthetic than actually having a positive impact on battle, to name a few. I'm still keeping my eye on ESO, but I'm not at all convinced yet.

So the only way to take a fort is through siege? That's little disappointing I'd would of liked to see a more stealthy option like infiltration. Being able to sneak in and sabotage things.

You had me "siege warfare". That sounds epic as hell.

 

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