Monday, December 20, 2010

Tol Barad

I had my first experience of trying to attack Tol Barad last night and it was very frustrating. It seemed just about as impossible to win on offense as it seemed to lose on defense. Obviously the zone can change hands, but it feels like the defenders have far too great an advantage in the battle.

Although it ignores some of the complexity of the zone, the analysis to see why this is is prety simple. In order to win, the attackers need to have more people than the defenders do in one location while at the same time having at least as many people as the defenders do in the other two. Given that the number of people on each side is supposed to be equal, this is a pretty difficult task.

The graveyards help the attackers in a way - the distance is always larger for the defenders, but this is greatly overwhelmed by the fact that the defenders have a shorter distance to attack a *different* building than the one they died at. Since the attackers already have to manage a noticeably higher unit count in an equal battle in order to have a chance of winning, they cannot have lots of extra people at uncontested bases. Whenever the horde reinforces the base where a fight is happening, it means the attackers move more people to that base. This means that the defenders can simply go for one of the other bases after they die, knowing the attackers couldn't have kept it at full strength.

But what's more, the Eye of the Strom-like capturing mechanic makes it impossible to put up a valiant defense. If there are five of us and ten of them then it doesn't matter how well we play, we are going to lose the base. Even if five eventually manages to beat ten, the other team has still bought themselves a lot of time and made sure the attackers can't get to three bases in the mean time.

Something needs to chance in the zone. Either make the buildings click based like AB flags instead of EOtS buildings is in possibility. Another is to get the attackers a real advantage from taking the towers. Or maybe just give attackers a general buff, or make it so that attackers count for more than omet defendesr while taking a building. Any of these might work, but the zone right now is just not working well.

Edit: I just defended Tol Barad last night in a real battle for the first time. I've defended with 10-12 people before, but this time it was around 30. I explained the strategy to my teammates: If the horde sends a large force to take a node, don't reinforce it when you die, simply go and retake another node after rezzing. The horde never managed to control two bases, for more than half a minute. I felt they were playing better than us in battles, and generally winning with equal sized forces, but it was hopeless for them. We even had a few people mining and picking herbs instead of helping.

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