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Ilum - another long winded solution to the open PvP zone


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I have posted my solution in the suggestions forum before, but since I didn't get a single reply (not even a troll for my trouble) I'll post here in the hopes of at least having some interesting flames to read later. Or some good discussion. Or in my wildest dreams, dev attention (although I've been told BioWare is pretty smart, so they may already have this or something better and we all just have to wait for it to be finished).


My original post can be found here, if you want a more academic flare and better formating: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=2081925#post2081925


Yes, there is a TLDR at the end - three sentences instead of multiple paragraphes, if this is a bit long for you.


Alright, on to the meat of the issue. Ilum was broken before - very little PvP took place, and there was little reason to do so. Just flip bases, get bags. Don't kill the other side, that would mean you get bags slower. The changes to the zone prove the devs can react quickly to problems (in relative terms, I know) and move towards achieving design goals - in the new system PvP happens, but that doesn't mean things are perfect.


Under the current system there are two roads towards collecting the carrot on the stick - kill the other faction and collect world spawns. However, this design causes problems - the majority faction will usually control the world spawns, you need to get kill credit to get progression if you aren't camping world spawns, meaning you need to be in as large a group as possible to zerg as many groups of the opposing faction as possible and relying on the safety in numbers principle.


Yes, this CAN create good gameplay - some guildmates were sharing a story with me the other night about how they went to the zone, kept collecting more and more players (including some of the best PvPers on our server) until eventually they smashed the opposing zerg. Exciting. Fun. A great story. But it doesn't happen every day and it might not happen on every server.


To improve this the area needs to be redesigned, and primarily in the means of quest progression, encouraging the weaker faction to come out and rewarding the stronger faction with quest progression even if the other side isn't out in significant numbers. This will do two important things - one, it helps the weaker faction shrink the difference in power and hopefully brings more of them to the zone, and by rewarding the stronger faction with quest progression even when the weaker side doesn't come out it will move players out of the zone naturally and even the numbers (creating more opportunities for exciting gameplay).


The solution I propose for this is to implement a quest requiring players to gather 'points' by completing particular objectives or tasks in the zone. Some examples would include player kills, solo kills, objective captures, objective defense, defending an objective over a time period, zone control with a countdown, breaking zone control before a countdown completes, healing allies after they receive hostile damage, etc. A number of these are pulled directly from warzones, for which players are already rewarded medals and valor. Other examples are simply used to encourage exciting gameplay.


For example, rewarding a faction for total zone control over a set duration encourages them to spread out over multiple objectives to defend them from attack. Breaking up the stronger faction gives the weaker faction multiple weaker targets to assault. Rewarding players for kills, successful defense, zone control, etc, encourages players to not flip objectives and to attack enemies on sight.


Other possible goals exist as well, which could be used to modify player behavior in addition to tweaking point values. For example, objectives could need to be held for a set time, with a reward to either completing the capture or re-flipping the objective. Alternatively, auxiliary objectives could be introduced which provide resources which count towards quest completion, but which also require the primary objective to be held. This once again encourages the larger faction to break up and hold as many locations as possible, creates value for primary objectives, and rewards both sides while naturally reducing the strength of the majority faction in the zone.


Ilum can be fixed now. We don't need a grand system of galactic warfare covering multiple planets, we don't need to buff the weaker faction or rig the system for the underdog. If a bigger system were introduced, Ilum control could quickly be fit in. This system is modular, allowing point values to be modified, point objectives to be changed, added, and removed while still providing the same predictable framework for players to work in and be guided by. This creates PvP, clear goals, and rewards players for participating in the zone - not just zerging and camping.


TL;DR - Ilum is zerg and camp happy/boring. Change quests to a point system, reward players for objectives, kills, defense, zone control, etc. Breaks up zergs, moves players into and out of zone, evens numbers, doesn't punish the weaker or stronger faction.


I would love some discussion. If not, trolls and flames should at least be fun for reading later. Being 3 pages down before I check this next would be impressive. If this ever gets dev attention I will eat my keyboard.

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