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Beating the Zerg out of game design.

PranksterPrankster Richmond, KYPosts: 163Member

I propose that the only way to end Zerg warfare is to enable friendly fire.

Please discuss.

Refugee from UO,EQ,AC,AC2,AO,DAOC,L2,SB,HZ,CoH,PT,EQ2,WoW,VG,SWG,EVE,WAR,DF,MO,AI,GA,LOTRO, SWTOR... Gw2 on Deck

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Comments

  • BahamutKaiserBahamutKaiser Hyattsville, MDPosts: 306Member
    Friendly fire should exist to improve tactical limitations, it also allows for variety between blasting clustered foes and using safe offense which woln't hurt mixed units.

    But I think the more effective technique is to unrestrict area damage, it should have damage, cost, and frequency equivalent to one third of a single target attack. In this way, any attempt to crowd an AoE attacker will result in massive losses due to AoE efficiency.

    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, if they get angry, they'll be a mile away... and barefoot.

  • phumbabaphumbaba kuopioPosts: 138Member

    Well.. giving ranged characters the boon of friendly fire raises the question of why not go all the way to enable strike-through dmg too. To make it work in combat that is fun and fluid, would require quite a lot of work, but may be possible.. Would require fast paced combat and a lot of ways to avoid. And small enough group sizes to prevent chaos at least slightly easier. Guess I'd like see some1 make it work, but there are some risks and ultimately it wouldn't do much at all about zerging.

    Zerging is merely a type of behaviour that arises from a) overconfidence and b) repetition of said content. a) can be a result of b), but not necessarily. b) can be countered by e.g. randomizing content, making each run different or at least possibly different will give players a reason to pause and think a while. In my opinion at least, no matter the mechanics, you can zerg the content once you know it, know your party and know the mechanics.

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member

    There are 3 main tactics to counter zerg:

    1. zerg em back

    2. deny them the chance to zerg you via non-conventional warfare

    3. attrition the zerg

    All these 3 work and have many more variations upon them. To eliminate zerg would be impossible because you would need to eliminate the option to zerg, the best way to reduce its frequency is to properly balance the game such that zerging is a tactic as much as any other (no better or worse ergo with its own place).

    image
  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    The most efficient way to prevent zerging is to manage or limit player populations in PvP areas.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Prankster

    I propose that the only way to end Zerg warfare is to enable friendly fire.

    Please discuss.

    your not a good game designer.

    something like that would be FFA. FFA usually does more damage than good. it would be exploited and kill off the large population in the PvP mmo or turn the PvE MMO into a PvP which would ruin the community.

     

    very bad game design. but oh well. some people learn the hard way.

    image

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,665Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Prankster

    I propose that the only way to end Zerg warfare is to enable friendly fire.

    Please discuss.

    That would be a great start. The two main reasons there is no friendly fire:

    • It means you have to think before you shoot. Consequence... *wrinkles nose* who wants that stuff?
    • In games with zero accountability it's too easily used as a greifing tool.
     
    Collision Detection would also help reduce zerging but it's been removed due to the same two issues that Friendly Fire had.
     
     

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,665Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    The most efficient way to prevent zerging is to manage or limit player populations in PvP areas.

    That works in battlefields, and it's one of the main reasons battlefields exist. In an open world environment, it far more tricky to pull off without it seeming contrived or arbitrary (see:PotBS)

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    The most efficient way to prevent zerging is to manage or limit player populations in PvP areas.

    That works in battlefields, and it's one of the main reasons battlefields exist. In an open world environment, it far more tricky to pull off without it seeming contrived or arbitrary (see:PotBS)

    True. I suspect the key would be in various attrition and/or diminishing return mechanics (such as supplies, fuel, food etc.) which would put a "soft cap" on large player concentrations.  Then again, nothing says hard caps can't be immersive aswell. A stargate can only jump such an such many ships at a time for example. If the number is small enough and the frequency of jumps managed (stargate needs to cooldown after each jump), moving large fleets of spaceships becomes a huge inconvenience therefore discouraging zerging.

    There's always a way: Conjuring up fiction to mask/explain a game mechanic is easy.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • SengiSengi HamburgPosts: 350Member

    One way to discourage zerging would be to give organized players am massive advantage over unorganized ones. In ancient times an army that was just a huge barbaric horde, and didn't even have a leader, would be certain to get slaughtered even if it outnumbered the enemy 1/10.

    It would be nice to have mechanics for players to organize on an broader scale. I imagine fighters forming a shield wall while mages perform a magical ritual. A player that does not help and just fires away mindlessly would be almost useless, and  would earn no reward therefore.

    One would need to test what level of organization a random group of players is capable of, without the whole thing becoming frustrating. A meaningful leader-mechanic would be required. (Not the one from gw2 where everyone can get an champion icon who payes 100gp)

  • GormogonGormogon Waukegan, ILPosts: 188Member Uncommon

    These are games ... you can't forget the fun/effort ratio.  If the mechanics make your game less fun or too much of a hassle compared to alternatives, then players will leave for another game that lets them play how they want.  

     

    The underlying assumption we're making is that players don't like to zerg but do it because it's effective.  If we make it less effective, then players will play differently.  While it is apparent that the type of players that complain on message boards often abhor zerg tactics, in seven years of playing MMOs I have not necessarily seen an indication that the MMORPG player population at large feels the same way.  I might even argue most players just want to feel like they are doing something and being rewarded for it (see GW2). 

     

    Friendly fire, harsh death costs or penalties to the individual or the team, providing defensive installations with powerful zerg-busting weaponry, even giving offensive or defensive penalties/bonuses based on location and friendly units in proximity, all of those could help discourage zerging, but while you ingratiate yourself with some portion of your potential players, you push a much larger group away.  Not that that's necessarily a bad thing -- being able to find games that fit one's tastes should be one of the advantages of diversity -- but it is a consideration developers have to face.

     

     
  • zekeofevzekeofev Mesa, AZPosts: 233Member

    In DAOC you could fight 12 versus 30-36 or so and win. Why? Long duration Mez CCs that took someone out of combat until they took damage. This type of tactic provides a huge benefit to organized groups.

     

    Of course most players do not like being CCed that long and thus we have the action zerg combat of today rather than the tactical combat of days gone by.

     

    Short resapwn timers and quick recovery times of health and mana being seconds rather then minutes also do more to promote zerg play.

     

    In PVE, a lack of needed coordination and low death penalties mean a lot of zerging too.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,665Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    The most efficient way to prevent zerging is to manage or limit player populations in PvP areas.

    That works in battlefields, and it's one of the main reasons battlefields exist. In an open world environment, it far more tricky to pull off without it seeming contrived or arbitrary (see:PotBS)

    True. I suspect the key would be in various attrition and/or diminishing return mechanics (such as supplies, fuel, food etc.) which would put a "soft cap" on large player concentrations.  Then again, nothing says hard caps can't be immersive aswell. A stargate can only jump such an such many ships at a time for example. If the number is small enough and the frequency of jumps managed (stargate needs to cooldown after each jump), moving large fleets of spaceships becomes a huge inconvenience therefore discouraging zerging.

    There's always a way: Conjuring up fiction to mask/explain a game mechanic is easy.

    Yes and no. You *can* do it, but you need to get the players to buy into it. To use PotBS as an example, there were quite a few skills that seemed to have plausible enough descriptions but the players simply didn't buy into it and rejected it as magic in their maritime game. It's doable, but tricky. :)

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,725Member Uncommon

    The "only" way?  Seriously?

    • PVE: Instances.
    • PVP: Instances.
    • PVE: Bosses who can only be tapped by x players. (And all the little rules to make sure anyone who's not in the main raid can't contribute in any way to the fight.)
    • PVE: Bosses who scale based on player count.
    • PVP: Playing better PVP games instead of shallow (zerg + progression) PVP.
    • PVP: Living with bad PVP as-is (because if you're playing a shallow zerg PVP game, shallow zerg PVP is what you want.)
    • PVP: Combat systems which only allow duels (or group-duel equivalent.)
    I hesitate to add friendly fire to the above list because it really doesn't beat the zerg out of PVP.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • BahamutKaiserBahamutKaiser Hyattsville, MDPosts: 306Member

    Friendly Fire alone doesn't beat the zerg out of game design, but it certainly hinders it. While I don't think it is an unacceptable mechanic if done in a miriad of situations, I feel proper escalation of AoE damage and tactical funneling mechanisms would prevent players from crowding and over committing large forces vs small ones.

    If an AoE with a 5-10 foot blast radius does exactly 1/3rd of the DPS and 3 times the cost as single target DPS, attempts to engage in groups of more than 3 would result in taking higher DPS toward your troops overall, and quickly escalate into unmitagatable damage if 9 or more were hit with the same efficiency.

    Character collision and personal space requirement would help too, but needs a lot of polish to work naturally so your not just jammed when your surrounded by allies, simular to unit collision in SC2 or other unit intensive games.

    There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding.

    As for respawn and returning... That's just as simple as dont... whether it's fun for the zerg is not really relevant if it's not fun for the foe, a system of intelligent challenge has to be designed to entertain both parties.

    Feel free to give me more specifics so I can solve them... but I woln't guarentee that I'll give away every solution I devise.

    Oh, and one more thing just crossed my mind, AoE or party heals can be given a set total amount of heal, that way no matter how many units it is applied to, it divides a set amount among the units affected. This further constitues greater recovery vs fewer units and exponetially ineffective recovery vs AoE damage to a huge group of allies.

    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, if they get angry, they'll be a mile away... and barefoot.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,665Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BahamutKaiser

    Friendly Fire alone doesn't beat the zerg out of game design, but it certainly hinders it. While I don't think it is an unacceptable mechanic if done in a miriad of situations, I feel proper escalation of AoE damage and tactical funneling mechanisms would prevent players from crowding and over committing large forces vs small ones.

    If an AoE with a 5-10 foot blast radius does exactly 1/3rd of the DPS and 3 times the cost as single target DPS, attempts to engage in groups of more than 3 would result in taking higher DPS toward your troops overall, and quickly escalate into unmitagatable damage if 9 or more were hit with the same efficiency.

    Character collision and personal space requirement would help too, but needs a lot of polish to work naturally so your not just jammed when your surrounded by allies, simular to unit collision in SC2 or other unit intensive games.

    There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding.

    As for respawn and returning... That's just as simple as dont... whether it's fun for the zerg is not really relevant if it's not fun for the foe, a system of intelligent challenge has to be designed to entertain both parties.

    Feel free to give me more specifics so I can solve them... but I woln't guarentee that I'll give away every solution I devise.

    "a system of intelligent challenge has to be designed to entertain both parties"

    I like that phrase. image

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Prankster

    I propose that the only way to end Zerg warfare is to enable friendly fire.

    Please discuss.

    Nope.

    Even games with friendly fire have zerging. Just look at Planetside. The truth is really quite simple:

    Zerging  is not a biproduct of game mechancs. It's a biproduct of having a large number of people in the same environment. Even in PvE, players zerg. Heck, just look at any game with public events. Even regular questing areas get zerged, but people fight each other over mobs & quest items.

    If zerging bothers you, the answer is easy.

    A) Don't do it

    and

    B)  Use your brain, and stop trying to attack zergs head on. It's amazing how many people still don't understand the concept of flanking, even though it's one of the oldest & most effective strategies ever known.

    There's a reason things like 'ambushes' exist. They were developed as methods specifically to defeat a larger force of opponents. Video games are no different. Sure, some games make it easier to outplay zergs than others, but every game I have ever played that has 'zerging', has had zerg forces whiped out by players using superior tactics.

    Heck, even in GW2, a game where people often get criticised for 'zerging', my guild is notorious for consistantly decimating much larger forces. Not only is it incredibly fun, but we are far from the only ones that do this.

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BahamutKaiser

    Friendly Fire alone doesn't beat the zerg out of game design, but it certainly hinders it. While I don't think it is an unacceptable mechanic if done in a miriad of situations, I feel proper escalation of AoE damage and tactical funneling mechanisms would prevent players from crowding and over committing large forces vs small ones.

    If an AoE with a 5-10 foot blast radius does exactly 1/3rd of the DPS and 3 times the cost as single target DPS, attempts to engage in groups of more than 3 would result in taking higher DPS toward your troops overall, and quickly escalate into unmitagatable damage if 9 or more were hit with the same efficiency.

    Character collision and personal space requirement would help too, but needs a lot of polish to work naturally so your not just jammed when your surrounded by allies, simular to unit collision in SC2 or other unit intensive games.

    There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding.

    As for respawn and returning... That's just as simple as dont... whether it's fun for the zerg is not really relevant if it's not fun for the foe, a system of intelligent challenge has to be designed to entertain both parties.

    Feel free to give me more specifics so I can solve them... but I woln't guarentee that I'll give away every solution I devise.

    Oh, and one more thing just crossed my mind, AoE or party heals can be given a set total amount of heal, that way no matter how many units it is applied to, it divides a set amount among the units affected. This further constitues greater recovery vs fewer units and exponetially ineffective recovery vs AoE damage to a huge group of allies.

     I would like to see a list of your "There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding."

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by waynejr2

     I would like to see a list of your "There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding."

    Picking up any book on basic war strategy will give you such a list, but to start:

    - Flanking

    - Bombing (AoE)

    - Pincer attacks (hitting a group of enemies from multiple sides at once)

    - Bottlenecking

    - Stalling

    - Back capping

    - Attacking morale

    - Disabling (CC)

    - Guerilla tactics

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Originally posted by Prankster

    I propose that the only way to end Zerg warfare is to enable friendly fire.

    Please discuss.

    your not a good game designer.

    something like that would be FFA. FFA usually does more damage than good. it would be exploited and kill off the large population in the PvP mmo or turn the PvE MMO into a PvP which would ruin the community.

     

    very bad game design. but oh well. some people learn the hard way.

     Ignore MMOExposed, blindly ignoring a possible fix to a PvP tactic like zerging is ignorant. MMOExposed also reminds me of one of the many players who abuse and exploit the zerging system. Whch makes me ponder if he's also part of the Goon Swarm and/or RUIN. Communities which exploit this feature would obviously stand up for it.

     Now lets get back on topic. Enabling friendly fire to mass PvP in a whole would add to the strategy required in PvP. Games that pull this off properly are great examples of how the system works. Which are FPS's. They enable friendly fire which incoorperates another layer of cooperation with your team as a whole. You don't blindly go around shooting everyone without fear of TKing. Nor do you chuck grenades without repercutions such as killing yourself or an allies around you. So this system could work quite well in the aspect of AoE spamming.

     There is also a downside to it as well. Such as intentional friendly fire. With a secondary net behind that issue I believe it could properly work out to benefit the PvP in a whole with the ability to remove players who abuse TKing. This would be very possible as well because current game studios are creating entire zones that are instanced and dedicated to PvP. So simply applying a FF system that after X amount of players were TKed by one said player; that player would be temporarily removed from PvP with a short debuff that kept them out of combat. Just like the debuff timer for battlegrounds in games like World of Warcraft or RIFT.

    It's a great idea to implement and if properly implemented could help control the large amounts of zerging as far as AoEing. However, I highly doubt any system will fully prevent zerging. Because there are simply ways around the FF mechanic and that's to simply use single target classes over AoE.

     Maybe we can also look at it from a different stand point. Which is to break down WvW pvp zones in to different phasing where only XX amount of players within the entire realm can compete at a time. So that the entire battlefield can properly have people spreadout throughout the entire map. You could also use the FF mechanic in addition to the system to deter players from constantly spamming AoE skills as well.

     However, even phasing has issues with it. Such as preventing friends or guilds from properly communicating and playing together. Which in a whole could add to the disorientation of WvW. I don't think many people would want to be running with a party and all the sudden all of their allies disappear.

     They could also try doing invisible walls around XX parts of a zone that would limit the amount of players able to enter them at one time. However, this also runs into another issue with parties and having their members unable to proceed with them through the zone barrier.

     In the end it's very hard to figure out a way to properly limit zerging. However, I personally believe that WvW should be for solo players who properly communicate with Realm Chat. While more structured PvP for parties and guild would lie within battleground and arenas of the sort.

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by aesperus
    Originally posted by waynejr2

     I would like to see a list of your "There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding."

    Picking up any book on basic war strategy will give you such a list, but to start:

    - Flanking

    - Bombing (AoE)

    - Pincer attacks (hitting a group of enemies from multiple sides at once)

    - Bottlenecking

    - Stalling

    - Back capping

    - Attacking morale

    - Disabling (CC)

    - Guerilla tactics

     In the realm of reality a lot of these tactics won't properly work within a game.

     

    - Flanking - attacking from beind, works well if you're able to catch the opposing zerg off guard.

    - Bombing (AoE) - ineffective in MMO's mainly because developers limit the amount of aoes that can stack in one location

    - Pincer attacks - hitting a group of enemies from two or more sides.

    - Bottlenecking - channeling an opposing zerg through a narrow path. Also ineffective if the game does not have collision detection.

    - Stalling - Stalling can be many forms like turtling with highly defensive characters and bottlenecking.

    - Back capping - Simply going behind the zerg to recapture anything they've taken control of.

    - Attacking morale - Hard to explain how to do this, usually envolves of muscling the opposing zerg out of the picture with a stronger zerg.

    - Disabling (CC) - ineffective when zergs start to exceed 100+ players. It's able to pick people off one by one. 

    - Guerilla tactics - Consists of hiding small groups of players to attack. However in an MMO 10-20 people against 100+ players will prove highly ineffective. 

    - Spear - to form a point with your warband and dive into the middle of the opposing zerg. Which takes advantange of the disorientation that will be caused by this.

    I personally don't believe that many of these will work within an MMORPG. Several are used at the lower end with small skrimishes. The OP is talking about properly controlling zerg warfare which consists of 100+ players that are roaming.

     

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989

     In the realm of reality a lot of these tactics won't properly work within a game.

    - Flanking - attacking from beind, works well if you're able to catch the opposing zerg off guard.

    - Bombing (AoE) - ineffective in MMO's mainly because developers limit the amount of aoes that can stack in one location irrelevant. Having stronger AoEs definitely makes it easier to combat zergs, but all AoE are effective when fighting large groups of enemies. That's kind of the point.

    - Pincer attacks - hitting a group of enemies from two or more sides.

    - Bottlenecking - channeling an opposing zerg through a narrow path. Also ineffective if the game does not have collision detection. Untrue. Unless there's a game that lets enemies walk through walls, its still effective. Why? Because it effectively reduces a zergs numbers (because only a certain number of them can fit through an opening at one time). Like AoE, having collision detection certainly makes this more effective, but I have successfully used this tactic many times on games without it.

    - Stalling - Stalling can be many forms like turtling with highly defensive characters and bottlenecking.

    - Back capping - Simply going behind the zerg to recapture anything they've taken control of.

    - Attacking morale - Hard to explain how to do this, usually envolves of muscling the opposing zerg out of the picture with a stronger zerg. Not at all. Attacking morale is actually simple. It's hard to keep a large group of players interested if they aren't having fun. I.E. If they don't feel like they are constantly winning / capturing objectives, their numbers will start to reduce over time as people log off or take breaks. This can be done in any number of ways, but usually involves some kind of unkillable / capturable target, or constant harassment.

    - Disabling (CC) - ineffective when zergs start to exceed 100+ players. It's able to pick people off one by one. Not automatically true, it really depends on the CC. For instance DAoC had some very devistating AoE CC that could bring an unprepared zerg to it's knees.

    - Guerilla tactics - Consists of hiding small groups of players to attack. However in an MMO 10-20 people against 100+ players will prove highly ineffective. Not necessarily, see the part about attacking morale. Keep in mind, many of these tactics involve ways to effectively reduce the amount of numbers a zerg has, even if your group of 10-20 players can only take down 10-20 people at a time, you've still effectively reduced that army to ~80 or so players. Again, something I've done successfully in a number of games. It won't usually win a war by itself, but it can definitely help force a zerg off a map, or reduce it's size / keep it occupied.

    - Spear - to form a point with your warband and dive into the middle of the opposing zerg. Which takes advantange of the disorientation that will be caused by this. This is indeed a tactic, but actually one of the least effective ones on this list, when talking about tactics to use against a zerg when you have vastly inferior numbers. This is basically the tactic used most often by players who believe the best way to combat a zerg is with another zerg. Still, when fighting a zerg of randoms with absolutely zero skill or coordination, it does work.

    I personally don't believe that many of these will work within an MMORPG. Several are used at the lower end with small skrimishes. The OP is talking about properly controlling zerg warfare which consists of 100+ players that are roaming.

    They all work. I have yet to play a game with large scale combat where those don't. Don't make the mistake of assuming that any one of these tactics are THE solution to every problem. They all have situations where they work best, and situation where they are weak. It's also highly beneficial to use multiple tactics together. It's all about analyzing your current situation and coming up w/ the best strategy to reduce their numbers, or forcing them into situations where their numbers are less beneficial.

    I'm not suggesting you can take out a zerg of 100 with 5 (at least not in every game), but you can certainly take out a zerg of 100 with a group of 20 or 30 when played right. I don't think I've ever seen a game that had zergs of 100 skilled players, it's usually a dozen or 2 skilled players leading a bunch of pugs / randoms / or less-skilled individuals. With communication, decisiveness, and smart play, you'd probably be amazed at what can happen.

    Heck, even though GW2 has a number of mechanics that help out zergs, my guild consistantly stomps large zergs on a nightly basis, we pride ourselves on it. We aren't the only ones, there are quite a number of videos people have posted of them owning against a massive numbers advantage. I've also done this in WAR, DAoC, TSW (even though i dont think that game has good PvP), Planetside 1/2, LotRO, Lineage 2, Shadowbane, etc.

    Probably the biggest thing that helps zergs out tbh, regardless of game mechanics, is people thinking it's hopeless and giving up. That's not even a complete list up there in the quotes, there are still more general tactics that work, and even more that are game specific. It's all about being clever and outsmarting your opponents. Oh, and getting yourself into a guild / outfit / etc. to start organizing with.

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by aesperus
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989

     In the realm of reality a lot of these tactics won't properly work within a game.

    - Flanking - attacking from beind, works well if you're able to catch the opposing zerg off guard.

    - Bombing (AoE) - ineffective in MMO's mainly because developers limit the amount of aoes that can stack in one location irrelevant. Having stronger AoEs definitely makes it easier to combat zergs, but all AoE are effective when fighting large groups of enemies. That's kind of the point. - You're incorrect. AoEing is to take damage that equals a single target skill and spread it out between X amount of targets. When an AoE skill exceeds the damage of a single target spell it renders single target skills worthless. Which typically doesn't happen because developers know better than to allow this to happen. In addition game developers still LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF AOES IN A SPECIFIC AREA.

    - Pincer attacks - hitting a group of enemies from two or more sides.

    - Bottlenecking - channeling an opposing zerg through a narrow path. Also ineffective if the game does not have collision detection. Untrue. Unless there's a game that lets enemies walk through walls, its still effective. Why? Because it effectively reduces a zergs numbers (because only a certain number of them can fit through an opening at one time). Like AoE, having collision detection certainly makes this more effective, but I have successfully used this tactic many times on games without it. You're still incorrect - There are PvP games that do not have unit collision which allows players to walk through them. So things like blocking building enterences aren't possible. For example: when WAR was released they did not have unit collision turned on. This allowed players to simply walk through their opponents rendering tactics like bottlenecking worthless. This issue is also in GW2 as well. Bottlenecking is uneffective in large scale PvP without unit collision.

    - Stalling - Stalling can be many forms like turtling with highly defensive characters and bottlenecking.

    - Back capping - Simply going behind the zerg to recapture anything they've taken control of.

    - Attacking morale - Hard to explain how to do this, usually envolves of muscling the opposing zerg out of the picture with a stronger zerg. Not at all. Attacking morale is actually simple. It's hard to keep a large group of players interested if they aren't having fun. I.E. If they don't feel like they are constantly winning / capturing objectives, their numbers will start to reduce over time as people log off or take breaks. This can be done in any number of ways, but usually involves some kind of unkillable / capturable target, or constant harassment. - This is a funny way of playing the game, if you can call not playing a game playing a game. This  does not result in killing off a zerg at all. You're stopping yourself from playing a game to inturn demoralize someone? Sorry but by doing this you enable guilds like RUIN and GoonSwarm to run freely fast capping keeps and increasing their levels quickly. This doesn't hurt enemy morale. The ability to out muscle a zerg will kill the zerg. In addition to what I've said and what I've had to repeat a second time. Time itself will kill a zerg. Which I believe is what you're getting at but with a more realistic approach. Such as people have a life outside the game which requires them to leave after XX amount of time. So by the time you login the zerg will eventually become smaller.

    - Disabling (CC) - ineffective when zergs start to exceed 100+ players. It's able to pick people off one by one. Not automatically true, it really depends on the CC. For instance DAoC had some very devistating AoE CC that could bring an unprepared zerg to it's knees. - In most aspects CC is completely useless when the amounts exceed 100+ players regardless of game. My point still stands and is very clear when playing games like WAR and GuildWars 2.

    - Guerilla tactics - Consists of hiding small groups of players to attack. However in an MMO 10-20 people against 100+ players will prove highly ineffective. Not necessarily, see the part about attacking morale. Keep in mind, many of these tactics involve ways to effectively reduce the amount of numbers a zerg has, even if your group of 10-20 players can only take down 10-20 people at a time, you've still effectively reduced that army to ~80 or so players. Again, something I've done successfully in a number of games. It won't usually win a war by itself, but it can definitely help force a zerg off a map, or reduce it's size / keep it occupied. Gurilla warfare does not stop a zerg it doesn't slow a zerg down. If anything you will fuel the "fun" they're having by wiping the floor with the 10-20 people stupid enough to try it. You're also forgetting to take in account for players being able to ressurect those players within the zerg which will in turn bring the zerg back up to full strength.

    - Spear - to form a point with your warband and dive into the middle of the opposing zerg. Which takes advantange of the disorientation that will be caused by this. This is indeed a tactic, but actually one of the least effective ones on this list, when talking about tactics to use against a zerg when you have vastly inferior numbers. This is basically the tactic used most often by players who believe the best way to combat a zerg is with another zerg. Still, when fighting a zerg of randoms with absolutely zero skill or coordination, it does work. - The spear tactic is quite actually one of the most effective tactics when done properly. I know this for fact because my guild in WAR used this all the time when we combatted 5-6 warbands of RUIN at a time. The spear tactic disorients an opposing warband while splitting their forces into two parts. This is one of the most effective ways to quickly disolve a zerg.

    I personally don't believe that many of these will work within an MMORPG. Several are used at the lower end with small skrimishes. The OP is talking about properly controlling zerg warfare which consists of 100+ players that are roaming.

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    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,975Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Prankster

    I propose that the only way to end Zerg warfare is to enable friendly fire.

    Please discuss.

    It works well in historic games but not that well in high fantasy. One moronic mage would do so much damage the game would be unplayable.

    I think you also would need tab targetting for it, hate to have weapon collisions for it since it would be close to impossible then to have more than 2 players attacking a single opponent.

    For a MMO set in the musketeer era with muskets, pistols, grenades (ye olde black powder ones), cannons and rapiers it would work excellent.

    Adding this to Wow, GW2 or similar game would be a disaster.

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666
    Originally posted by Prankster

    I propose that the only way to end Zerg warfare is to enable friendly fire.

    Please discuss.

    It works well in historic games but not that well in high fantasy. One moronic mage would do so much damage the game would be unplayable.

    I think you also would need tab targetting for it, hate to have weapon collisions for it since it would be close to impossible then to have more than 2 players attacking a single opponent.

    For a MMO set in the musketeer era with muskets, pistols, grenades (ye olde black powder ones), cannons and rapiers it would work excellent.

    Adding this to Wow, GW2 or similar game would be a disaster.

    Whether it be a grenade or a fire/ice nova. An AoE is an Aoe regardless of game type. However, this does not solve the overall zerg issue. It only changes the players mindset to use single target spells > AoE Spells.

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • simmihisimmihi -Posts: 613Member Uncommon
    There are some massive online lobby games which fulfill all the criteria people are discussing here. One of them is World of Tanks. The Zerging tactic loses 90% of the time, there's a clear friendly fire penalty, leading to permanent ban on repeated intentional actions of the sort, there is tactical terrain, collision detection, destructible environment, ambushes, guerilla tactics, different "classes", skills, gear improvement, XP... Why not give it a try if you're into that stuff? There's no big difference between someone who "lives" in battlegrounds in a "normal" MMO and a game like World of Tanks.
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