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Proposal: Change The Underworld Entrance

Keorin
Keorin Member Posts: 1,179 @ - Epic Achaean
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.
Dochitha

Comments

  • Archaeon
    Archaeon Ur mums house lolMember Posts: 1,455 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Tldr  
  • Aegoth
    Aegoth Member Posts: 2,957 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Unlikely to change so soon before the games. Foresight skills need some work :P
  • Kogan
    Kogan Member Posts: 442 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Archaeon said:
    Tldr  
    Tldr: Ret, totems, and world burn are not fun for single entrance areas 
    Dochitha
  • Saonji
    Saonji Member Posts: 918 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Aegoth said:
    Unlikely to change so soon before the games. Foresight skills need some work :P
    She did say that in the first sentence.
    AiwendilDochitha
  • Keorin
    Keorin Member Posts: 1,179 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited February 23
    It was obvious that this was how it was going to go down from the moment they announced how the event would work. The Underworld was huge last time, and outer islands were only competitive because of island/penwize wings. With those (rightly) nerfed, and the underworld buffed, it was pretty clear what would take center stage.

    I just didn't think to suggest a change until much later, when I saw some of the last-minute classleads and such, and thought that -maybe- there was a chance. Frankly, changing things at this stage doesn't seem any more significant than letting the decision on whether the bandersnatch would be PK or not wait until the last minute, or the last-minute announcement that the tumblerace would be fixed track without us being told the path ahead of time. It would be a mixup of people's expected strategies, but only for the better.
  • Shecks
    Shecks Member Posts: 1,025 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited February 23
    I think it is great the way it is, personally.  I would go so far as to say I wish they'd remove the multiple Annwyn entrances and make it work the same way as UW (entrance only).

    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.
  • Keorin
    Keorin Member Posts: 1,179 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited February 23
    If you think that entrenching with ret/worldburn/totem and being forced to run into it is the only element of strategy in these games, or that running dead-on into it should be the only strategy available, I'm not sure what to tell you.
    Shirszae
  • Gallida
    Gallida Member Posts: 227 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Hmm, yes. You may be onto something, @Shecks

    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.
  • Atalkez
    Atalkez Member, Secret Squirrel Posts: 5,508 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Chances are they aren't going to be sitting in ret for hours on end.

    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.




    You hug Aurora compassionately.
  • Shecks
    Shecks Member Posts: 1,025 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited February 23
    Keorin said:
    If you think that entrenching with ret/worldburn/totem and being forced to run into it is the only element of strategy in these games, or that running dead-on into it should be the only strategy available, I'm not sure what to tell you.
    There are relatively simple counters to all of those things.  If an org or reasonably sized team with the right classes (runie, magi) with the right preparation (totem implanted, shrine erected and charged up, vibes spun up and maintained) manages to use all of them at the same time, then perhaps not being able to walk into the area has been earned, which is another way of saying that in my opinion, if an entire group of people is trying to block an exit using a wide variety of powerful abilities, then it stands to reason that it would be effective - but even then it can still be countered by bringing a big team with the appropriate defences up.

    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.
  • Shecks
    Shecks Member Posts: 1,025 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Gallida said:
    Hmm, yes. You may be onto something, @Shecks

    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.  

    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
  • Gallida
    Gallida Member Posts: 227 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Comparing it to a CTF or a raid tank is disingenous.

    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.
  • Keorin
    Keorin Member Posts: 1,179 @ - Epic Achaean
    Shecks said:

    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
    I think this is pretty emphatically untrue. 4 people who have half an inkling about how to use ret have a huge advantage against 7 people who have to land on top of a totem and into worldburn. At a minimum, the people going in have to start trueblind, and then have to dampen ret or start landing prones and the like before the other team, -and- need to be able to either tank worldburn or have a depthswalker move a room over, through room hinder, and trointeth. And all of this is pretty handily beaten by just sticking down a tumbleweed.

    Is it beatable? Technically, sure. A big enough group can overwhelm it. But totem/ret/worldburn isn't some super genious tactic that's hard to set up, which is why ret/worldburn are basically the go-to meta in most world events. It just takes a magi, a runewarden, and a shrine. And essence is not exactly hard to come by in the Underworld.

    Your central point just seems strange to me as well. Having there be a single entrance only makes a big difference for detection for a pretty small number of abilities (alarm vibe, custom pet, ect). I don't think people have any huge issues with Annwyn because they can't station a pet at the entrance and immediately know when someone enters.

  • Shecks
    Shecks Member Posts: 1,025 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited February 23
    Keorin said:

    Your central point just seems strange to me as well. Having there be a single entrance only makes a big difference for detection for a pretty small number of abilities (alarm vibe, custom pet, ect). I don't think people have any huge issues with Annwyn because they can't station a pet at the entrance and immediately know when someone enters.

    There are several more ways to set alarms than those you have listed, and all of them (other than Mindnet) work only on a single room (not sure if Alarm vibe can be used in multiple rooms so that may be an exception, but even if so, both of the ones that cover many rooms are class-specific).


    Your central point just seems strange to me as well. Having there be a single entrance only makes a big difference for detection for a pretty small number of abilities (alarm vibe, custom pet, ect). I don't think people have any huge issues with Annwyn because they can't station a pet at the entrance and immediately know when someone enters.

    Annwyn has many chokepoints that can be used exactly this way (though some countered by flying).
  • Keorin
    Keorin Member Posts: 1,179 @ - Epic Achaean
    Annwyn has no chokepoints like that, because the issue isn't that it's a chokepoint, it's that it's a special entrance, which negates a lot of the normal counters to all of those abilities.
  • Shecks
    Shecks Member Posts: 1,025 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited February 23
    Look at it another way.  Even if your argument was sound, and it was impossible to take UW entrance from people standing by to defend it (it's not), then the obvious counter is to do it first.  Then you win, and your opponents can't ever take it from you, if your logic is applied.  The hunting event is schedule, after all, and you also get multiple windows.  It's not like it's going to be guarded with a Runie and a Magi plus 5-10 people to hold it down for the ENTIRE event.

    Targ is lucky to have a magi and a Runie on at the same time, ever.
  • Iocun
    Iocun Member Posts: 3,691 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    What I don't quite understand is why UW/Annwyn need an XP bonus for the event. They normally do because they're open PK, but since the event makes you open PK in the first place, that's moot. Places that make you safer from PK are getting a malus (like deepsea diving), which makes sense, but hunting in UW/Annwyn isn't any more dangerous than on mainland Sapience during the event - and with proper group support even potentially less dangerous.
    Keorin
  • Vinzent
    Vinzent Member Posts: 358 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Lucaine is what, 10s? I don't know how long the travel is to UW but if it's less than that a totem becomes far less relevant.
  • Shecks
    Shecks Member Posts: 1,025 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Iocun said:
    What I don't quite understand is why UW/Annwyn need an XP bonus for the event. They normally do because they're open PK, but since the event makes you open PK in the first place, that's moot. Places that make you safer from PK are getting a malus (like deepsea diving), which makes sense, but hunting in UW/Annwyn isn't any more dangerous than on mainland Sapience during the event - and with proper group support even potentially less dangerous.

    I think it's basically to force exactly what's happening now - a KOTH with two area-wide hills.
  • Keorin
    Keorin Member Posts: 1,179 @ - Epic Achaean
    Iocun said:
    What I don't quite understand is why UW/Annwyn need an XP bonus for the event. They normally do because they're open PK, but since the event makes you open PK in the first place, that's moot. Places that make you safer from PK are getting a malus (like deepsea diving), which makes sense, but hunting in UW/Annwyn isn't any more dangerous than on mainland Sapience during the event - and with proper group support even potentially less dangerous.
    This is the biggest problem with it, to my mind. Underworld was already the best place to hunt due to having a massive amount of experience -and- being one of the most defendable areas in the game. It didn't need to be moreso.

    The rationale for the xp boosts/maluses was supposed to be how dangerous the area is to hunt, but it's substantially -more- dangerous to hunt anywhere else, where your best form of defense is to keep a group with you who can try and go after people (which is difficult when dealing with serpents and such). If Annwyn is supposed to be dangerous, it needs to be changed. If it's supposed to be super defendable, it probably shouldn't be boosted up so much.

  • Iocun
    Iocun Member Posts: 3,691 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Shecks said:
    Iocun said:
    What I don't quite understand is why UW/Annwyn need an XP bonus for the event. They normally do because they're open PK, but since the event makes you open PK in the first place, that's moot. Places that make you safer from PK are getting a malus (like deepsea diving), which makes sense, but hunting in UW/Annwyn isn't any more dangerous than on mainland Sapience during the event - and with proper group support even potentially less dangerous.

    I think it's basically to force exactly what's happening now - a KOTH with two area-wide hills.
    So... like a CTF? Which we already had a few days ago?

    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.
  • Shecks
    Shecks Member Posts: 1,025 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Iocun said:
    Shecks said:
    Iocun said:
    What I don't quite understand is why UW/Annwyn need an XP bonus for the event. They normally do because they're open PK, but since the event makes you open PK in the first place, that's moot. Places that make you safer from PK are getting a malus (like deepsea diving), which makes sense, but hunting in UW/Annwyn isn't any more dangerous than on mainland Sapience during the event - and with proper group support even potentially less dangerous.

    I think it's basically to force exactly what's happening now - a KOTH with two area-wide hills.
    So... like a CTF? Which we already had a few days ago?

    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.

    The hill moves now too, UW is not up permanently.  You need to rotate.
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