Only the bushes are safe.

Warhammer Online continues to impress me with its PvP aspect, which the game unwisely chose to call RvR (Realm vs. Realm). Realm vs. Realm doesn’t make much sense — in the micro scale your character is never taking on an entire realm by himself, he’s taking on another player (or a handful of players). And on the macro scale you aren’t limited to fighting your realm’s opposition. As a greenskin I can kill humans and elves as easily as I kill dwarves.

Anyway enough about my personal beef of not only having to call PvP RvR but also having to put up with an entire MMO’s worth of people who are calling PvP RvR. Let’s talk about the great siege of… of… Wardonkey’s Keep.

The other day my friend and I were watching our cute purple renown meter fill up after having fallen in with a Destruction warband and flying around the world stomping on all the RvR capture points. The only thing that remained was Wardonkey’s Keep, so that was obviously our next stop. Problem being, the reason we hadn’t encountered any Order anywhere in the world was because they had all decided to lock themselves into Wardonkey’s Keep.

(By the way, Warhammer splits its races into two broad factions: Order (which comprises the Tolkein trio of humans/elves/dwarfs) and Destruction (evil humans/evil elves/orcs and goblins). They weren’t quite shameless enough to call the factions Alliance and Horde.)

Immediately every joker in the warband starts screaming out the best way to deal with the problem; lay down some siege equipment! Rush the door! Don’t rush the door! Pick off the ranged attackers on the wall! No, stay back! And of course in the mind of each individual joker the plan could have gone off flawlessly if only everyone else would listen thim, exclusively.

This kind of thing used to bother me back when I first encountered it in Warcraft, but you have to get over it. Now I just find myself bemused by the people who get upset at me, personally, because I single-handedly botched the plan for sixteen Destruction players to batter down the door of a castle being held by at least thirty Order players.

The next level of failure, of course, is to blame the design of the game. We’re not losing because we’re outgunned or because our plan of attack is faulty; of course not. We’re losing because the siege system overwhelmingly favors the defenders! Or because the Order was playing unfairly by having too many people inside the keep! Or because the players were using glitches that made them untargetable! If only the game had been designed properly, you see, the Destruction would always win. Doesn’t that make perfect sense?

Eventually my friend and I decided to break away from the keep to go visit a tower on the other side of the map. We figured that with all the Destruction forces repeatedly throwing their heads against the keep walls the Order would eventually send a handful of guys out to take the tower. Sure enough, not three minutes after we climbed to the roof did Order come around the corner. A minute after that the warband chat lit up with comments like “Order’s thinning out! Everyone back to the keep, we can take it!” and “Wait… are they at the tower? How many at the tower!?”

The deep, honeyed irony of the situation is if enough Destruction had gone to the tower we could have found ourselves in the fabled defender’s position. You know, the one where it’s impossible to lose? If only!

Eventually we found a nice cozy bush to hide in and just watch all the drama unfold. Everyone getting blamed for everyone else, the game getting blamed because we weren’t winning, a few people commenting about how the Order are indestructable (or whatever). Meanwhile we’re popping in and out of instanced RvR scenarios where the Destruction are constantly reigning supreme and building up our renown the old-fashioned way.

The key lesson is this: anyone barking orders and laying blame because their team is losing is an idiot. That person has no idea what he is talking about. The people who do know what they’re doing, and how to win at a given game situation, are already leading or at least part of guilds who are out there doing it.

This post is dedicated to Antihippie, who I’m pretty sure I caught calling a couple other folks “morans”. Shine on you crazy diamond.


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