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I would be interested to find out the community's views on "The Zerg" and how it affects the meta-game of RvR strategy and tactics, as well as influencing the RvR play styles available to people.
I would be even more interested in hearing Mark's views on this subject.
First, let me compare one older game, and one newer game to illustrate the various facets of the issue I am trying to highlight.
In both games "The Zerg" was/is an ever present threat. It could be said that the very nature of "RvR" games encourages the formation of zergs. After all, it is far easier to take a keep with a vast force of players than just a few.
The issue is... what if you don't want to zerg? what if zerg surfing is a totally unappealing way to play the game for you? If you are one of those players, what other options for contribution to RvR are there in those games?
DAOC offered a vast range of play styles, and multiple ways to combat "The Zerg" if you so desired it.
- You could form your own zerg, and duke it out in an epic, Thane lag-hammer filled battle.
- You could form a well build group, and use speed, crowd control, superior tactics, focused damage, and voice comms to take on the zergs, and win! (if you were good enough).
- You could form smaller, mobile "gank" groups, and avoid the zergs (they tend to move slowly compared to small groups) and just pick on smaller groups, and smaller objectives (towers etc)
- Many classes were capable of solo scouting, picking off stragglers, guarding choke points, and avoiding the zerg, whilst contributing alone.
- A smaller defending force had a huge advantage vs attackers in a defensive structure (mile gate, keep, tower) and could usually successfully hold a structure long enough for backup to arrive... these kinds of situations led to some of the most epic sieges I have ever seen in an MMO. With the cavalry arriving just in time, and brutal courtyard battles (often 3-way) taking places on a regular basis.
GW2, In contrast, offers almost no way to combat "The Zerg" my guild and I have tried and tried to come up with ways to beat the blobs, we have some success, but its a loosing battle. Almost every mechanic in GW2 either directly or indirectly helps the zerg. You cant defend a keep vs larger numbers, as attrition doesn't work, people just get straight back up, you cant fight them in open field due to AOE caps, and no CC. You cant outrun them due to fixed speed for everyone... I think it is fair to say, that if "Zerg surfing" is not your thing, GW2 is not going to be that enjoyable for you in RvR. The only real way to beat 50 people in GW2 is to get 50 of your own people together.
I honestly hope that CU has many available play styles for RvR. I am by far and away a "small scale, guild group" kind of player... and If I go to the trouble of putting together a strong, balanced group of skilled players who are talking to each other, I want to be able to take on larger forces and win... or at least make a difference to the war effort.
In DAOC (and WAR to a lesser extent), A zerg commander knew he better be careful when death spam from feared/famed guild groups started hitting the channels, I want that back.
How do you guys feel about this, and perhaps more importantly, Mark... what are your thoughts on smaller organised groups "Taking on the zerg" ?