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'Ilum Crystal Mine' - War zone concept with companions and crew skills


SynapseVoid

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-Ilum Crystal Mine-

 

War Zone description:

An instanced 8x8 pvp war zone based on the Ilum environment with a focus on crystal resource gathering as the main objective and the first war zone to incorporate companions and crew skill based defenses and bonuses.

 

Objectives:

Two opposing teams fight to gain control of a central crystal shipping depot by keeping control of at least 2 of the 3 laser defense systems on the outer edges of the map. Meanwhile players or companions are gathering scattered crystals and carrying them to the central depot. The accumulated crystals stored at the depot are collected by one team's cargo ship every 30 seconds, depending on who controls the defenses. Shipped crystals yield points. The first team to reach a certain point goal, or obtain the most crystals, or bonus medals if no crystals were captured, wins the match.

 

Mechanics:

Like existing war zones the usual killing, healing, and node capturing are still present. What's new is the ability to have your companions help you, and the role of gathering crew skills. Nodes (crystals, minor defenses, and the 3 lasers) can be captured by players or companions exactly the same way as resources are gathered in the pve environment. Right clicking, or shift-right clicking, whatever you have configured in your options, will determine if you or your companion capture a node.

 

Defenses:

Each outer defense laser has nearby minor defenses which are activated by players or their companions who possess a certain gathering skill;

-Slicing--> activates a nearby computer terminal which creates a dome shield over the area reducing damage by 10%

-Bioanalysis--> brings back to life a 'kolto plant' that periodically aoe heals nearby players and companions for a small amount.

-Scavenging--> removes debris from a defensive turret thereby allowing it to function again. The turret will shoot nearby enemies for a small amount.

-Archeology--> Increases gathering & running speed of crystal carriers by 20% (not a defense but I thought it would make sense to list it here with other gathering skills)

Defenses have ~30k health and can be destroyed by the enemy for bonus medals.

Neutral defenses respawn after 1 minute and can be captured by either team, regardless of who controls the main laser.

Main laser (the 3 main controlled nodes) have a capture time of 8 seconds like existing war zones.

Minor defenses & crystals have a capture/gathering time of 4 seconds.

 

Crew skill level requirements for minor defenses:

10-29 bracket → 150

30-54 bracket → 300

55 bracket → 450

Archeology is not required for gathering and running crystals, but will give the above mentioned speed bonus.

 

Strategy:

I think the best way to sum up the strategy is to imagine the conversation that takes place before a war zone starts. We're all familiar with the minute before Huttball; “hey, I'm tank spec, let me carry. Okay, cool....I'll heal. Hey stealth dude, wait in their end zone for pass. Alright.”

Well, similarly I imagine a pre Ilum Crystal Mine wz conversation going something like; “Hey, I've got arch and a decent tank comp, I'll focus on crystals. Cool. I have bio & slicing.....I'll guard one of the lasers. K. I don't have any gathering skills, I'll use my dps comp and just burn down the 2nd laser group. Okay. Anyone got scav? Me! Okay, swing by my laser and turn the shield on pls.”

 

Potentially Interesting Dilemmas:

One thing I wanted to incorporate in this war zone is the notion that there isn't one right thing a player should be doing. In the current war zones it's usually the case that everyone knows to hit a certain node, or where the healer should be, or that the stealther should be trying to steal a node. In ICM you have to decide what to do, usually at a sacrifice. Here are some examples;

-The Node Stealer- You're a stealther with scavenging. You approach a laser being guarded by 1 person and his or her comp isn't to be seen, probably running a crystal to the depot. You notice the nearby turret hasn't been enabled. How do you approach this fight? Do you come out blasting and just dps the player? Do you cc him and hope his cc break is on cooldown, thereby giving you enough time to activate the turret? Do you try to make him face away from the turret while fighting him so your comp can activate it when he's not looking?

-Crystal Running- Do you run crystals right at the beginning of the game, hoping you'll get control? If you do it's a big payoff, if not you've actually helped the enemy. This applies during the game as well.

-Utility Management- Let's say you're the only healer on the team. And you're the only one with bioanalysis. Do you ever leave the current fight to activate or reactivate kolto plants? Do the current dpsers have their healing companions out to cover them temporarily? Do you run from the current fight a short ways to heal a comp that's carrying crystals and is almost dead?

There are a lot more scenarios and strategies to ponder but I'll leave that for the repsonses.

 

Misc. Details:

Once a companion is killed it cannot be used for the rest of the match. This is to prevent companion usage abuse (all healers for example) and to add variety throughout the match.

Other companions can be summoned when out of combat, up to a maximum of 5 used.

Companions cannot be unsummoned or summoned during combat. This is to avoid 'cheating death.'

Companions are bolstered but not to the same extent as players. Currently at 2018 expertise players get a 60% dmg bonus and 27.5% dmg reduction. In order to make companions robust but not lethal, they receive a 30% dmg bonus and 50% dmg reduction. This is to help compensate for the fact that their deaths are permanent.

Healer companion's cc is disabled during match. There is too much player cc as it is. The 8 second companion cc added to the mix would be too ridiculous.

HK-51 and Treek are usable but count towards the 5 companion limit.

Pvp achievements for Treek and HK-51 are satisfied for player kills in this war zone.

Players & companions carrying crystals to the depot are slowed slightly (like in Huttball).

Ships shot down by the controlling teams lasers, which are trying to land at the central depot but can't, will occasional fall from the sky and damage players in the blast radius. A ground aoe graphical warning will let the players know before hand so they can move.

 

Summary:

Hopefully this war zone concept sparks some interest. The details of this concept aren't important. What I hope Bioware considers is the possibility of using companions and crew skills in future war zones is some fun and easy-to-implement way. All comments, suggestions, and corrections are welcome.

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The big problem I see with this idea is that not everyone gets companions at the same rate. Consider for example the Imperial Agent, who doesn't get a second companion until the end of Alderaan, which usually means around level 32 - at that level, a Trooper already has three companions on average.

 

No other Warzone demands players to stay ahead of the curve in terms of their class story just to remain competitive.

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The big problem I see with this idea is that not everyone gets companions at the same rate. Consider for example the Imperial Agent, who doesn't get a second companion until the end of Alderaan, which usually means around level 32 - at that level, a Trooper already has three companions on average.

 

No other Warzone demands players to stay ahead of the curve in terms of their class story just to remain competitive.

 

This isn't unlike the ability acquiring rate for different classes at different levels. Currently they pit level 10s, who only have a cc break and 1 or 2 on-cooldown damage abilities, against a level 29 who has ccs, multiple defensive & offensive cooldowns, against each other. Is this a fair fight? Of course not. But it's not the 1 on 1 that matters. It's the group average that matters. The opposing group will have the same limitations. The issue of having fewer comps is really only a problem in the 10-29 bracket, much like abilities. Worst case, an exception could be made where players with only 1 comp can summon him or her multiple times, up to some limit. I don't see this issue being a major problem or unsolvable, but I appreciate the input.

Edited by SynapseVoid
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