RIP Capital City Raids

I took a short spin around the public test realm to have a look at new possibilities for World PvP. While the removal of dishonorable kills will no doubt have a positive effect, there was one other change that can cancel the benefits and potentially make the situation even worse. Blizzard has buffed all level 55 NPC guards to level 65. Since the level cap will still be 60 until the expansion, this will make town raids quite difficult.

Since even the average guards will be 5 levels higher than maximum-level players, they both resist and dodge most attacks. Melee will find that their attacks are reduced to glancing blows, and that the guards hit them with crushing blows quite often. Raiding builds and gear that add +hit, weapon skills and defense skills will be quite important.

How does this work with the removal of dishonorable kills? Simply put, the civilians still act the same way and call guards when you approach or attack them. Even if you kill the civilian with one blow, he still gets to call a guard to attack you. If you attack a settlement that normally has level 65 guards, the spawned guards will be level 65 as well. If a raid group passes a civilian, one guard is spawned for every character. Even with good gear and concentration, killing a level 65 guard on your own will be quite hard. In a chaotic situation like a town raid, a level 65 guard zerg will probably kill your whole raid group. This means that town raiders will have to seek out and kill all civilians in their path to limit the amount of guards that spawn.

However, Blizzard was hardly thorough when they adjusted guard levels. They only touched the level 55 guards, leaving everything else intact. This oversight will create serious imbalances between factions. With the exception of Highlord Bolvar Fordragon, all Alliance racial leaders are guarded by standard-issue level 65 guards. Horde racial leaders are guarded by level 60 non-elite special guards (with the exception of Sylvanas Windrunner, who has level 60 elite guards). This means that once you get to Horde racial leaders they are much more easier to kill than their Alliance counterparts. Also, since it will be much harder to clear the way to the racial leader than to kill the leader itself, raid groups will try to find ways to skip most of the fighting, and will end up summoning their raid groups in the vicinity of the leaders themselves.

Finally, the addition of level 65 guards means that druids and rogues will have a much harder time stealthing inside enemy cities. Say goodbye to ganking someone at the mailbox.


Morwyn (DB) said...

Remember, however, that the expansion is now only a few more weeks away. Once it hits, I doubt there will be many active players without the expansion.

In the expansion, the limit is 70, not 60. Imagine if the guards weren't buffed - you'd get lv70s shamelessly ganking, and quickly disposing of the grey (to them) 55 guards. This change is necessary balance, although city raiding will indeed have to be put aside until there's enough 65+ people.

Shalkis said...

While the situation with buffing guards in general will be resolved when enough people are level 65+, it doesn't address the other inbalancing factor I pointed out: Not all guards were buffed. Especially Horde towns still contain plenty of level 60 guards, who will be cannon fodder to level 70 players.

Aaron said...

It is NOT neccessry balance, it is retarded! WHats the point of leveling to 70 if everything is going to be more powerful than you? I wanted to have that feeling of being truly epic and being able to slaughter the guards that used to give me so much trouble. And now I shall never be able to settle my score with Officer Brady. I was looking forward to killing those bastards and having some fun (i wasnt going to kill quest givers, just those jackoff guards and MAYBE pickpocket Staghelm)

Shalkis said...

You have to take into account the potential for griefing. See Morwyn's comment. And it would simply be silly if someone like Magni would be 10-manned.