Sunday, September 23, 2012

From the Delta to the CRZ...

Yeah, I know... ^^

Cross Realm Zones are generating a healthy amount of discussion.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit on (apart from the two of you enjoying the challenge of balancing) CRZ is like Marmite: you either love it or hate it. Part of me wished they'd tested it considerably more than they have before rolling it out to live (text in triplicate is really beginning to annoy) but on the whole, I'd say I am an advocate. The increase in population to both Ironforge and Dalaran, for instance, makes my eyes fill with nostalgia for the days when every city bustled as Stormwind does. However, there are some distinct disadvantages, especially if PvP is your thing... or rather, as was the case this morning with my husband's Pally, it most definitely isn't.

He ended up in a fight with a flagged Mage doing the Firelands Dailies. He didn't want to flag himself but the Mage kindly came and stood in the pile of mobs he was fighting, and an unintentional click was all it needed. Cue much annoyance from him (and the mage reduced to 1% before he blinked and vanished) and what I think can be considered a lively debate on how this is possible on 'our' server, which we joined because PvP should be our choice, not foisted on us by opportunism. The problem is that we are no longer on a PvE Server, we are in a zone with no clear set of rules. There's nothing to stop anyone on flagging themselves and starting a fight, of course, but choosing PvE will (in most cases) allow you the luxury of not looking over your shoulder every 20 seconds... except that's no longer the case.

Some fundamental rules have quietly changed with the introduction of CRZ, and Blizzard will need to address them.

Quite apart from the rather significant issue with Fishing Contests (which I am staggered no-one worked out would be exploited) the conflict element of CRZ's may, over time, create more problems than it solves for those who enjoy a nice bit of World PvP now and then. There are numerous possible solutions to the problem: make PvP a very physical toggle (and if someone marks themselves as non-fightable they remain that way, even with an accidental click on someone who is) change the way mobs are marked (red is the colour of an enemy mob, purple of an enemy player) are two that have immediately surfaced via conversations on Twitter. The overriding feeling I am getting from the comments I've read is simple: people want a choice they are not being given by default. In principle CRZ's are good idea, the problems come when people are forced into conflicts they have not asked for or are not used to encountering in their normal daily 'lives.'

The killer here is there is no way to change this situation, without a massive increase in player population. This will happen next week (I suspect) but after that... if CRZ's have been instigated to avoid the PR-disaster that would be server closures, then there needs to be some significant rethinks. Place only PvE servers together, so people who consistently grief by flagging can be reported. Make sure that when you enter a zone a warning appears on your screen, so there is no issue what you are letting yourself in for. Education is the key: my husband won't be going back to the Firelands now, knowing what could potentially happen if he did.

Most important of all, the next time you roll out something as potentially-life changing as this Blizzard, make sure people know EXACTLY what they are getting by entering a CRZ.


Jonathan said...

"The problem is that we are no longer on a PvE Server, we are in a zone with no clear set of rules."

I'm almost certain that's not right. CRZs only happen between servers with the same rules, while the servers themselves are still PvE (or whatever) even if someone from a PvP server comes in due to Real ID or Battle Tag grouping. See here.

"my husband won't be going back to the Firelands now, knowing what could potentially happen if he did."

The griefing that happened to the Wonder Pally (tm) has nothing to do with CRZs, it was happening with the Firelands dailies last year when they were current content and the zone was full; namely, people flagging themselves as PvP and putting themselves in a situation where stray AoE damage flagged the caster as PvP, so that the unwitting caster can then be ganked. It happened to me at least once. The same thing happened in Quel'Danas back in TBC; remember all the griefing back then?

That there are people who choose to flag themselves as PvP has nothing to do with CRZs.

Personally I think it's a good thing that quieter zones are more populated, like they were when they had current content - seeing Dalaran with more than two men and their Perky Pug almost brought a tear to this old mage's eye. :-)

Although I agree that the Fishing Contest exploits, Wintergrasp problems and the like should have been blindingly obvious in testing.

arcanewordsmith said...

Actually, CRZ's are not happening only within servers with the same restrictions. That's one of the arguments people are having (as you can see here). Whether it's supposed to be the way you're suggesting, that's what I am lead to believe but it simply isn't happening.

Also, originally we were told they weren't going to exist in cities and that went out the window. That's got pros and cons (dailies are hell now).

At least fishing tournaments were pulled until they get things much less half-assed.

Xsinthis said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you flag yourself for PvP anyways on a PvE realm? So you don't need CRZs to achieve this. Just flag yourself for PvP and stand next to a pile of mobs

Jonathan said...

Exactly, Xsinthis. This isn't something new, all that's happened is people from more than one PvE server are in the same place. It doesn't matter if the idiot flagging themselves as PvP is from your server or a CRZ'd PvE server, the effect is the same.

I've checked in Firelands daillies zone and in Dalaran. I'm only grouped with about 6-8 PvE servers.

It's a different matter entirely if a PvP server person is grouping with a PvE server person through RealID or BattleTag and ending up in a PvE CRZ. Whether Blizz should allow that is another matter for discussion.

OldRolandGuy said...

Hmm, what have I started here?

The point is, it's rendered more likely in the virtually consequence-free world of CRZs. I just don't like someone else being able to make that choice for me, by wandering into my gaggle of mobs and me having to modify my playstyle as a result.

Jonathan said...

I quite agree, and if it's any consolation the exact same thing happened to me in the exact same place back in 4.2, when CRZs were but a twinkle in a dev's eye.

I think the Godmother is looking at the transport method that is bringing more people together, whereas I'm looking at the human behaviour once they're all in the same CRZ. You shouldn't have to tread carefully to avoid being accidentally flagged PvP, any more than I had to in 4.2 in the same place or t'missus had to in Isle of Quel'Danas back in 2.x where the same thing happened to her.

Bottom line; put lots of people together in a busy zone by whatever means, and some of them will act like w*nkers.

dobablo said...

CRZ = G.I.F.T ^ 2

More node ninja's too. I'd rather see all current expansion zones blocked from CRZ.