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#1 May 23 2011 at 7:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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This is from a developer IRC chat that apparently happened on Friday, but I haven't seen it posted here yet. Here is the full transcript.

Some excerpts below. This has kinks to work out, but it makes me feel like they're on the right track wrt dynamic content.

Quote:
<Gavin> The Ancient Wardstone system allows players to activate what are essentially "content nodes."
<Gavin> They use an ascended power (appropriately called "Activate Ancient Wardstone) which turns on a dormant wardstone.
<Gavin> These dormant wardstones are generally off the beaten path. They were intended to provide both reward and incentive for players who enjoyed exploring our game world.
<Gavin> Activating one will give you access to content surrounding the wardstone - either a quest-giver will show up, or an area quest might turn on.
<Gavin> The idea was that we could create dynamic content that was context-specific, rather than modular content that had to fit anywhere.
<Gavin> The second portion of Ancient Wardstones is the zone boss.
<Gavin> If a faction controls all ancient wardstones in a zone, they will spawn the zone boss.
<Gavin> This is an open world raid boss that drops phat lewtz.
<Gavin> However, it does have a long cooldown timer so that it cannot be repeatedly farmed.


Quote:
<Gavin> Correct. Like I mentioned earlier, this system was really designed with explorers in mind.
<Gavin> But it became obvious pretty early on that it the whole system was a little too hidden.
<Gavin> Like, pretty much invisible.
<Gavin> So, we've already made a change so that the controlled wardstones display on the map.
<Gavin> Whether or not we display the dormant wardstones is up for discussion.
<Aodis> makes a dilema tho on non-pvp servers and forcing you to flag to regain control of it
<Gavin> Yeah, I love that part too ;)


Quote:
<Gavin> Currently, Scarlet Gorge, Scarwood Reach, and Droughtlands.
<Gavin> There are 9-10 Ancient Wardstones in each of those, and the boss is the highest level of that zone.

#2 May 23 2011 at 8:57 AM Rating: Good
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I noticed in Scarlet Gorge on my alt these on the map, and also when you hover over them in the world it tells you which faction controls how many. Didn't realize they actually did something when you took all of them though. Nifty.
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#3 May 23 2011 at 11:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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It's a pretty cool system, although I'm wondering if there's anything that tells you the boss cooldown. I got 8/9 of the ones in Searing Gorge a couple weeks back; could have gone back to retake the one that was retaken by the Guardians, but I didn't know if it would spawn a boss... and I was solo, simply working for the achievement Smiley: tongue

But the ancient wardstones are great. You activate it and either get a quest automatically, or an NPC runs up and offers one. The quests are easy but not necessarily quick (kill 30 vespids, or trap 10 kobolds, or track down an Aelfwar hunter), and they have a ton of variety. The stones nearest to your faction's main hub seem to only give planarite and experience (at least in Searing Gorge), but the ones further away give the blue sourceshard for the zone. It's a great way to get some rare planarite goods without waiting for an invasion or getting a group for bonus levels on rifts.

As an added bonus, defeating the other side's controlled wardstone gives a trophy that can be right-clicked for instant favor (I get 52, but it might be level dependent). Unfortunately, I don't think you can re-take a stone already in your faction's favor, which means no quests unless there's an NPC there. It's possible that the activating powers can still be used on a claimed stone, but I'm not sure if that got implemented or not.

The devs are right though, finding the stones is an explorer's task, and a lot of fun. The benefits are great as well!

Edit: Also, once you complete the quest, a vendor NPC will set up shop, so you can quickly turn in your sourceshards for loot.

Edited, May 23rd 2011 1:20pm by LockeColeMA
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#4 May 23 2011 at 3:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Ancient Wardstones, as a general concept, actually irritate me. It's actually not the concept, it's the player response.

The first Ancient Wardstones were offered in Scarlet Gorge. The devs were clear when they were introduced that part of the process would be finding the wardstones. Once you find them once, you know where they are the next time you want to do the wardstone thing.

Next up was a very clear statement that the Ancient Wardstones were a PvP-oriented component of the game. If you're on a PvE shard, you don't have to flag up if you want to activate a dormant wardstone, but if you want to flip a wardstone that is controlled by the opposing faction, you will need to be PvP flagged.

We were told about the quests and upgrading the wardstone camps for your faction once you controlled it and that ultimately, if your faction was able to gain control of all of the wardstones in a particular zone, a colossus-style raid boss would spawn that would drop some nice lewt of a level appropriate to the zone.

So there we have it. The general concept in a nutshell. Open world PvP objectives that require a little exploration and grant perks via quests and vendors that can only be had if you control them and ultimately leading to a once/day boss fight that could award some pretty nice lewt.

And then came the inevitable QQ.

"There are PvE mobs around the wardstones. That's dumb. I was defending a wardstone and a PvE mob attacked me and then a player attacked me and I died. /rage."

"Planar invasion forces target Ancient Wardstones. It makes it hard to defend them. That's dumb. Me and two friends were trying to spawn the raid boss (lawl) and we couldn't keep the invasion mobs away from them."

"The raid boss can be claimed by anyone of either faction once they're spawned. We (Defiants) got it to spawn and Guardians got the claim. We couldn't kill them and claim the mob for ourselves. /rage."

"We can't find the wardstones. That's dumb."

And all that would be par for the course, really, were it not for the relentless QQ from the vocal minority about a lack of world PvP objectives. Well...you got what you asked for and all you do is whine about it.

I saw first hand what happens to open world PvP zones on PvE servers in PvE-centric games when I was on a PvE server during WotLK in WoW. Wintergrasp was, "That place you go to when the battle starts so you can hopefully gain access to VoA for a shot at easy purples." We'd do VoA 25 and there would be maybe 3 people in the entire raid that had any interest whatsoever in the PvP gear drops...everyone was there for the emblems and the PvE gear. And when there was no battle going on and you were already saved to VoA for the week, most people didn't go anywhere near Wintergrasp.

I never really resented Blizzard for the time and $$ they put into adding an open world PvP zone to the game even though it was largely a waste on PvE shards, but could you have imagined the QQ if they had put in an open-world raid type thing that required you to PvE for access to a battleground? Oh, the rage.

And it's the same thing with Rift. People want this and they want that and they get it handed to them and oh...we don't like this. Picky bastards.
#5 May 23 2011 at 4:09 PM Rating: Excellent
LockeColeMA wrote:
It's a pretty cool system, although I'm wondering if there's anything that tells you the boss cooldown. I got 8/9 of the ones in Searing Gorge a couple weeks back; could have gone back to retake the one that was retaken by the Guardians, but I didn't know if it would spawn a boss... and I was solo, simply working for the achievement Smiley: tongue

But the ancient wardstones are great. You activate it and either get a quest automatically, or an NPC runs up and offers one. The quests are easy but not necessarily quick (kill 30 vespids, or trap 10 kobolds, or track down an Aelfwar hunter), and they have a ton of variety. The stones nearest to your faction's main hub seem to only give planarite and experience (at least in Searing Gorge), but the ones further away give the blue sourceshard for the zone. It's a great way to get some rare planarite goods without waiting for an invasion or getting a group for bonus levels on rifts.

As an added bonus, defeating the other side's controlled wardstone gives a trophy that can be right-clicked for instant favor (I get 52, but it might be level dependent). Unfortunately, I don't think you can re-take a stone already in your faction's favor, which means no quests unless there's an NPC there. It's possible that the activating powers can still be used on a claimed stone, but I'm not sure if that got implemented or not.

The devs are right though, finding the stones is an explorer's task, and a lot of fun. The benefits are great as well!

Edit: Also, once you complete the quest, a vendor NPC will set up shop, so you can quickly turn in your sourceshards for loot.

Edited, May 23rd 2011 1:20pm by LockeColeMA


I have been having a lot of fun with these lately. I, too, only found out about the zone boss. I was wanting to see what would happen if my faction owned all of them well before this announcement from IRC. Every time I would get far enough away from one though, either a Guardian or a Rift invasion would take it. They're also a fun little place to look for people around your level to PvP Smiley: wink At least on the PvP shards...


Edited, May 23rd 2011 3:10pm by Osarion
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