The Ettenmoors: Post RoR
The various PvMP changes that RoR brought have had a month or two to be din so I thought it might be time to take a look at how the Ettens has shaped up since RoR launched. A few notes before we get into it: i) these observations are based off my own server, your mileage may vary ii) these are my opinions, again your mileage may vary and of course you are free to comment below to tell me how wrong I am.
For the most part I think the landscape changes have proven reasonably successful in that fights are now spreading out across the map a little more. Whereas before the vast bulk of the action was contained in the area around Tol Ascarnen with the occasional foray towards TR and LC there are now fights at the various outposts and I’ve seen Lug come into the picture a bit more too. The changes made to DoF have also meant that the occasional scuffle breaks out down there too.
On a less positive note the old EC/OC shuffle seems to have been replaced by a TR GY/GV shuffle. More on that later.
On the one hand the damage buffs associated with the outposts have certainly made them something to be fought over! That was the intention of the buff and in that regard it has worked beautifully. Unfortunately it has also led to the usual moaning that such and such a side has too many, etc and that that is imbalanced. I think this is more down to some players simply not having adapted to the reality of the situation.
Trying to use a raid to capture and hold the outposts is both impractical and missing the point. The outposts are designed to be taken by small groups and each side would be better placed in treating them as such. Using the stragglers or loose cannons or even small contingents from the main raid to capture and re-capture outposts is probably the way to go.
As for the buffs themselves I don’t personally feel they are overpowering, whether I have more or less of them than the other side. They do make a difference of course, but so far I haven’t felt that they overwhelmingly tip the balance towards one side as long as the side without them is on the ball. Of course there is always the option of getting a quick group together, even just 2 or 3 people, to re-take one or two of them.
This is something I have been pretty pleased with. On creep side there seems to be a much better overall balance in numbers between the different classes. There is still a good sized warg population of course, but there seems to be more of everything else now. Reaver numbers are definitely up as are Weavers, both of which are good to see. What I have found a little odd is that Defiler numbers seem to be up a bit as well. I say that’s odd because Defilers received relatively few changes in RoR compared with Reavers and Weavers.
On the freep side I notice more Lore-masters, no doubt Water-Lore has something to do with that alongside the changes made to induction setbacks. I actually notice a few more Hunters as well now. I still think Hunters are in a bad place, but the changes with RoR seem to have bolstered them, if only slightly.
One very curious thing I have noticed is that freeps, and I am speaking in very general terms here, have become more … timid, for lack of a better word. Now that creeps are pretty much on par with freeps it seems that many a freep isn’t quite so bold when stepping into the Ettens … if they step in at all.
GV farms seem to be the order of the day many times now. If not that then many is the freep who holes himself up in a graveyard. Why is this? One can only guess, but I suspect it might have something to do with feeling a little less powerful against creeps now. Of course I have heard various arguments such as “Creeps have all the OPs” or “Creeps have more than us”, etc. However, I have noticed the same sort of behaviour when freeps have the majority, or even all, of the outposts or when their numbers are equal to the creep numbers.
I think it might take a little while for some long-standing freeps to adjust …
There are still some real problems in PvMP of course. Not the least of these is the lag. Simply out many players are finding it nearly impossible to play due to lag or freezing issues.
Another glaring problem is numbers. I still think there are far too few people taking part in PvMP (although more would necessitate something being done about the lag!). There needs to be easier access for people to get into PvMP a well as more incentive for continuing to take part. That goes for both sides.
The map could also be better optimised. The landscape changes were, for the most part, good, but there is still a lot of ‘wasted’ space in the Ettenmoors that could be put to use.