While I highly doubt that anything would or could happen with the experience event part of the championships happening in less than 24 hours, I thought it was worth putting out there now, as I expect the event will highlight some of the issues here.
Right now, the Underworld has a single entrance through Azdun that always places you in the same location in the Underworld proper. This makes the Underworld extremely easy to reinforce and secure - the last time there was serious fighting over it, in the 852 games, we saw ret+totem+worldburn used as the dominant strategy to hold it, and I expect we're about to see the same thing done again. The result is that it's pretty unfeasable to take the Underworld from a group entrenched there, at least without the overwhelming numbers needed to fight through smacking a totem head-first in ret and worldburn, making it one of the most defensable positions in the game.
This, in a word, sucks. The Underworld ends up being very important in any sort of large-scale hunting event, and is only going to be moreso this time around with the experience boost it's been given. But rather than that leading to any kind of active, dynamic fighting, the go-to strategy will always be extreme entrenchment. This is Achaean combat in one of its least fun incarnations, where an entrenched group has a nearly overwhelming advantage. It also seems to undermine the justification for giving the Underworld experience boosts in the upcoming event. That was done on the grounds that the Underworld was one of the most dangerous places to hunt, but with how easy it is to defend it's actually much safer than hunting on mainland sapience, in my view. So long as you have a moderate force guarding the entrance, it's hard to think of a spot safer from getting ganked.
This could be hugely mitigated simply by giving the underworld another entrance, or another place the root could drop you. Alternative solutions would be to prevent propping totems, or woldburn all together (which there could be plenty of lore justification for). The resulting fights would be substantially more fun, and the resulting winner of events like this might not just be whoever gets set up first.
I'd love to see this change before we all have to deal with that kind of trench warfare during this championship. By all means, use this as a chance to mix things up, make us think on our feet and try new strategies. But at the very least, this should be changed for future events. With how things are going, we're about to see the exact strategies used last time, which will continue to be the fixed meta in any big experience event until there are real changes.
Disappearing from Achaea for now. See you, space cowboy.
smileyface#8048 if you wanna chat.
The reason for this is actually to favor people bashing there by making it possible / significantly easier to notice people coming in to kill them, especially with the changes to veil which removed the possibility of using these planes to bash in relative privacy (it used to be that gankers actually had to GO to Annwyn / UW to check for people they want to bother. This change has lead to a huge increase in ganks while hunting in these areas IMO so making it easier to notice people entering the area would be very nice).
I think your change basically would make it either impossible or very difficult to not just control but also monitor the entrance.
If I was going to suggest a change to UW it would actually be to add additional exits (like Annwyn) making it easier for people to escape (applicable to both pvp ganks as well as pve as you often need to "escape" NPCs in the new UW).
When it comes to an org / team locking down an area by controlling a choke point, I think this is an awesome concept, and removing it would dilute the game experience by removing basically the only element of strategy in these games as well as group hunting trips in general. If they wanted to achieve what you are suggesting they could just make it non-PK.
Now that I think about it, removing the single entrance choke point that becomes nearly unbreakable with ret/worldburn/totem and grants the side that holds it what basically amounts to a non-PK area would basically be making the entire event non-PK. All those gank squads that would normally throw themselves into a meat grinder trying to break the contain would probably simply log off instead of going to gank people in the Underworld.
drop cube/intone trointeth/legenddeck draw maran/legenddeck draw catarin -> go at it
It's not perfect but I like it the way it is as well.
Penwize has cowardly forfeited the challenge to mortal combat issued by Atalkez.
It could be slightly improved by making the room you are taken to upon entering the UW random within 3-4 adjacent rooms instead of one specific room, but as I mentioned before, this would make it dramatically harder to tell when someone has entered the area, which gives a massive advantage to attackers which would effectively have no single-player counter other than Mindnet, which IMO is a bad thing. To fix an issue that occurs maybe once or twice per RL year, you'd be creating a new issue that affects bashers 365 days per year.
One thing that could be done would be a UW-wide message when people travel into the UW. If this was implemented, it would eliminate the point I raised, and giving UW 10 entrances would be fine. This has been suggested many times though in the past, and was never approved.
Holding the area does not turn a PK area into non-PK... That's like saying a team of people sitting on a hill on a CTF makes the event non-PK, which is equally silly. By your logic, a raid group could just totem/ret on a tank and auto-win raids regarless of enemy tactics / manpower, which is of course not how things actually work.
If there is a team of 3-5 people sitting on the UW entrance with some room defences, any competent team of 7-8 people could make short work of them. As mentioned above, totem/ret is not hard to counter using a range of abilities/tactics that are available to practically everyone. Also, retardation is probably not even ideal in this situation thanks to the LoS change. If I were to camp it, I'd just prop a totem and get ready to brawl. It
CTF hills are all on Sapience proper, with multiple exits that make them harder to hold. There are ways to get adjacent or dislodge the entrenchment, you can breathrain/radiation/bomb them, you can infiltrate via phase/blackwind, and so on. Raid tanks are similarly vulnerable to this unless the attackers put it in a one-exit or special exit room, but raids have the added bonus of font powers to help dislodge the enemy.
The closest analogue would be crusades: You have an off-plane area, so no flying/portaling around the entrenchment, and since you have to interact with something to even get there, no phase/blackwind to dodge the ambush. It's been a hot minute since I've been on Nish, but there's not one unified "Everybody ends up here" entrance nor are there any specific choke points that don't have multiple ways to approach. You can walk the long way around to get to any particular area, which means you don't have to walk into the killroom.
If a coordinated team is holding the single entry point to an off-plane location with ret/totem with an adjacent shrine for worldburn as backup, that's about as secure as an entrenchment can get: No infiltrating past, no adjacent line-of-sight or beckon, no trointeth-ing the worldburn away, just your group running straight into the totem and room effects. The added effect of leaving the hunting team completely free to rack up bonus points without being ganked goes without saying.
The only ways I can think to dislodge it would be to have an entourage all using deliverance/incandescence or rushing it with alchemist trueblind up to avoid the totem, and that's still not a guarantee.
Is it breakable? Sure. Is it a lot of effort and coordination? You betcha. Is it an overwhelming advantage to the side that holds the contain for however long it takes? Yes. Does it make Underworld practically PK-free for the hunter as long as their team holds the entrance? I'd say so.
Annwyn has many chokepoints that can be used exactly this way (though some countered by flying).
Targ is lucky to have a magi and a Runie on at the same time, ever.
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I think it's basically to force exactly what's happening now - a KOTH with two area-wide hills.
And even in CTFs they moved away from static hills a few years ago, because the level of entrenchment it resulted in was generally perceived to be unenjoyable.
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The hill moves now too, UW is not up permanently. You need to rotate.