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Thread: A Word on Rift Invasions

  1. #1
    Soulwalker
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    Default A Word on Rift Invasions

    As we sit now being a few days in, I've noticed an increase in the failure rate of beating back invasions post Freemarch (sorry, Guardians, I have no idea on your status), usually to the battle cry that "not enough people are in the zone yet." However, what I believe to be occurring here is a simple misunderstanding to strategizing the defeat of these events.

    For the newly initiated, Rift invasions are zone-based events which bring multiple Rifts into the zone which spawn invasion forces that go on a rampage to destroy all - specifically targeting quest hubs probably by design to encourage people to participate. These invasions usually have a set of requirements to spawn the final boss, which awards greater planar rewards and usually a blue shard (epic shard for the zone's biggest event) which are used to get rewards such as armor, etc.

    Anyway, even a minor invasion event usually has a set of requirements to fulfill such as:

    1.) Defend the Wardstones
    2.) Close 10 Rifts
    3.) Defeat 30 Invasion Forces (every now and again)

    Once these are completed, the next 'stage' begins and the follow up is usually a boss spawning and the completion requirement then goes to "Kill XYZ bad guy."

    Now, participating in these events is very much "mob" mentality - most people will run to the nearest rift, group with those near them and then go on a killing spree trying to close Rifts around the area exclusively to get that "10 Rift close" part done to advance to the next stage.

    Leading this mob squad around isn't going to happen - it's going to basically run and do it's course, you can count on it just being a roaming hit squad avidly proceeding to the next shiny object, maybe killing invasion forces along the way to the next Rift.

    However, when this approach fails in zones past Freemarch, the first thing people go to is the thought of "well, we just need more people." Or more likely: "this is stupid, we can't do this without more people in the zone." Which isn't exactly correct, what these events require isn't more people (which event spawns is dependent on at the very least the factor of population, i.e. you won't get the massive invasion without enough people in the zone to handle it, which isn't the only mechanic but is prevalent), what they need is a small group of people to take initiative to proceed through intelligently.

    What is that method? Defending the Wardstones.

    Here's the thing, the first thought is to kill Rifts since Rift's spawn invasions, leads to bases being overwhelmed and we lose. Well - that's partially true, you certainly need to kill Rifts and the quicker you do so, the easier it is. However, it's not practical to solely rely on killing Rifts as your defense of the wardstones. It becomes very impractical short of huge numbers (not numbers "designed" to handle the event) to kill Rifts quick enough before NPC defenses simply become overwhelmed.

    So as a result, in say stonefield, the second progression zone (which is very linear, with choke points around the zone frequently) here's how the typical event goes along:

    Event Spawns.
    People rush to Rifts to destroy Rifts.
    Wardstone under attack message begins.
    A few Rifts are downed.
    First Wardstone has fallen.
    Another Rift is downed.
    Second Wardstone has Fallen.
    <NPC's desperately asking for Ascended help>
    A few more Rifts are downed.
    Third Wardstone falls, event fails and there's a lot of mess to clean up, including about 30-40 Invasion forces sitting in the main town.

    Now, the reason why this happens is that without a defense force at any of the wardstones, as they fall, the invasion forces move on to the next wardstone, which means that a manageable group of 2-3 Invasion forces (generally low hp, non-elite, at least in early zones) soon snowballs into compounded amounts as more and more invasion forces only have one way to go: towards the last wardstone.

    Unfortunately it's usually at this point that people start to react to the need for defense, but by then it's too late, even for the team of 20 to take on - there's just not enough coordination among random people for it to reliably work.

    So here's essentially what needs to happen and what you can do to prevent that scenario.

    You can rely pretty heavily on the other random people in the zone to go take care of Rifts, don't worry about those. Even if Rift's die slower, there's no timer on the event that causes it to despawn - the only "timer" on the event is the death of the wardstone relative to the time it takes for invasion forces to run amuck through towns. E.g. people create a timer by ignoring defense of wardstones.

    It doesn't take much to defend these stones - for instance, I had myself and another guild mate (chloro mage + pyro mage) defending one ward point with a few random people that would walk by and join.

    Obviously the more people you can get together to defend the easier it is, but 2-3 good people can hold the defense points provided they're proactive. What we did was bounce back and forth between two wardstone defense points to keep the numbers at each wardstone lower.

    So essentially in this way, a small group of 3-4 people more or less win the event for the zone. In this regard, the game's mechanics are pretty solid - the "mob" goes around killing everything and it only requires a small group (which is easy to get together) to hold down defenses, though this is arguably the most important part.

    Bear in mind that this is just a basic touch on the invasion mechanics and winning them - there are obviously much more depth to invasions, but I fear this post might already be too long. For example, this could be expounded on tenfold by just adding simple strategies you can do as an individual that play's into the "mob mindset" like tagging invasion forces and training them into the raid killing the rifts, or say, healing the wardstone surrounded by huge amounts of invaders and running off as fast as you can.

    Nend
    <Cestus Dei>
    Shadefallen

  2. #2
    Zos
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    couple of questions, first..how the hell do you get planar charges, to heal the wardstones?

    secondly, is there an easy way to tell where the ones being threatened are? are those the red circles during an invasion?

    I've taken part in a couple in freemarch, but i jsut followed the roving hit squad pretty much.

  3. #3
    Plane Touched
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zos View Post
    couple of questions, first..how the hell do you get planar charges, to heal the wardstones?

    secondly, is there an easy way to tell where the ones being threatened are? are those the red circles during an invasion?

    I've taken part in a couple in freemarch, but i jsut followed the roving hit squad pretty much.
    -close rifts to get charges
    -mouse over any of the invastion on the map, they point to their next target
    - no find the wardstone that is going to get the most invastions; chew them up as the stuble down the road; loot 300-1000 planite and rift loot

  4. #4
    Rift Disciple Bluenet's Avatar
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    I partially agree but I can't blame people for not defending. Here's why:

    - If I close 10 Riftss and am top contributor, I get 10 blue shards. If I defend against 10 invasions and am top contributor, I get 0 blue shards.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I'm moving around with the main raid. When the boss spawns (if we succeed), that means I'm with the raid, and we either all start fighting or all start running towards him. if I'm defending against 10 invasions and the boss spawns on the other side of the map, I might be too far from the main raid and miss the fight.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I'm always on the move. If I defend against 10 invasions, I'm essentially waiting for things to come to me, which is boring.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I know we can succeed. If I defend against 10 invasions, I'm either there with 3 people and we'll get overrun, or there's so many people there we instagib the horde and there's no real point of me being there.

    In short: The rewards for closing rifts far outweigh those of defending against invasions.

  5. #5
    Ascendant Kula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluenet View Post
    I partially agree but I can't blame people for not defending. Here's why:

    - If I close 10 Riftss and am top contributor, I get 10 blue shards. If I defend against 10 invasions and am top contributor, I get 0 blue shards.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I'm moving around with the main raid. When the boss spawns (if we succeed), that means I'm with the raid, and we either all start fighting or all start running towards him. if I'm defending against 10 invasions and the boss spawns on the other side of the map, I might be too far from the main raid and miss the fight.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I'm always on the move. If I defend against 10 invasions, I'm essentially waiting for things to come to me, which is boring.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I know we can succeed. If I defend against 10 invasions, I'm either there with 3 people and we'll get overrun, or there's so many people there we instagib the horde and there's no real point of me being there.

    In short: The rewards for closing rifts far outweigh those of defending against invasions.
    Exactly correct.

  6. #6
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluenet View Post
    I partially agree but I can't blame people for not defending. Here's why:

    - If I close 10 Riftss and am top contributor, I get 10 blue shards. If I defend against 10 invasions and am top contributor, I get 0 blue shards.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I'm moving around with the main raid. When the boss spawns (if we succeed), that means I'm with the raid, and we either all start fighting or all start running towards him. if I'm defending against 10 invasions and the boss spawns on the other side of the map, I might be too far from the main raid and miss the fight.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I'm always on the move. If I defend against 10 invasions, I'm essentially waiting for things to come to me, which is boring.
    - If I close 10 Rifts, I know we can succeed. If I defend against 10 invasions, I'm either there with 3 people and we'll get overrun, or there's so many people there we instagib the horde and there's no real point of me being there.

    In short: The rewards for closing rifts far outweigh those of defending against invasions.
    That's all well and good - if that's your mindset then by all means embrace it.

    The goal here isn't so much a "what you should do," but more a "why invasions fail (or more accurately, why they succeed, which is the problem)." Which is something that by and large people don't understand, hence the "we just need more zerg" outlook. It's not a question of numbers, it's a question of application of numbers.

    I'm making no suggestions as to what you should do to get the most loot. I'm not suggesting what you should do to get the most blue shards.

    I'm suggesting what you should do to win; or rather - what you -can- do to win.

    While defending a point, by no means do you need to be static in one area waiting for things to come back, and in fact that's the reason for having a small elite force vs. large numbers. A small group is easier to coordinate, you can defend one point, move / intercept to the next, close nearby rifts and get back to the defense point, etc. Directing the attack pattern of a random 20 man raid is just not going to happen practically. You're subject to the whim of Rift placement and where you are on the map. Which is fine if you're content for the RNG to determine your victory.

    That would be a proactive defense versus a reactive defense.

    Another outlook to being proactive: have your group of people in the raid, and tag in invasion mobs to the Rift. Train the Rift raiders with invasion forces precisely so that you weed them out before they get to the wardstone, buying yourself more time.

    Again, the point is to proactively move with your small group to where you need to be to be the most useful. This is simply the most overlooked one, even to an extreme in which people avoid engaging invasion mobs all together, even on the path towards the next Rift.

    It's about speed and precision. With that you can pretty much guarantee you'll get to the boss in time when it spawns. When you're at say 8-9/10 (or even 7 of 10 rifts), and you have two wardstones up, then by all means the best move to make is to go close the Rifts. You just need to buffer the de facto timer of the wardstone falling just long enough for the boss to spawn.

    If you're not a proactive player towards this kind of thing - just keep following the raid. Get your shards and move on.

    However, if you've ever wondered why invasion's overrun a zone and the raids are chronically failing and you want to win, then this is an answer why.

  7. #7
    Soulwalker
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    Thumbs up Great observations

    Just wanted to give you an attaboy, Nend, for thinking about some of the nuances. Seriously, unsung heroes may be unsung, but they are still heroes. I'll never forget this post when I'm engaged in repelling an invasion.

  8. #8
    Plane Walker
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    Sounds like rewards for defending need to be retuned.

  9. #9
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jebasiz View Post
    Sounds like rewards for defending need to be retuned.
    For sure. The thing that stands out most for me in this thread is that sure I learned how to succeed at an invasion but more importantly I learned how to get as many blue shards as possible. Lets be honest, when it comes to game design, risk/reward plays a huge factor but in an MMO of this nature, reward is a higher factor over risk. Penalties for death are negligible and there are no major penalties for a failed Invasion that I know of besides just having your quest givers dead for a minor amount of time.

    Yes we all want to believe people will focus on the greater good in order to save the quest givers and repel the invasion by having some people stay back and defend but you get nothing for it and there for the majority, the vast majority, will not want to do that. Give some incentive to defend and that will change.

    Honestly last time I was in an Invasion I spent half my time closing Rifts and the other half defending. Defending was just as enjoyable because you always have to stay on guard and vigilant but once again, I got nothing for it like when closing rifts.

  10. #10
    Rift Disciple
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jebasiz View Post
    Sounds like rewards for defending need to be retuned.
    QFT

    They should give at least the chance for blue shards..

  11. #11
    Soulwalker
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    Hey Jebasiz! I'm hoping you're the same Jebasiz I know.

    Don't get me wrong either - defending isn't about some greater "good" in defending quest givers or what not. It's about spawning the final boss and getting the reward / achievement / whatever from the final boss and a huge stubbornness towards "losing."

  12. #12
    Rift Master
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    Who cares about low level blue shards?
    Planarites, green items and reputation is what it is at, imo. And farming invasions at a crossroads (there is always coming one in just a drinking break away after finishing the last one) is much more profitable for that imo.

  13. #13
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by rofltehcat View Post
    Who cares about low level blue shards?
    Planarites, green items and reputation is what it is at, imo. And farming invasions at a crossroads (there is always coming one in just a drinking break away after finishing the last one) is much more profitable for that imo.
    this is the truth
    people care too much about the color of items, it's worth it because it's blue. c'mon, you don't need more than 5-6 blue shards for each zone to get the items for your spec, and you can get that in 1 hour into the zone by planar luring some rifts and closing them

    defending is much more worth it, I got much more artifacts and other kind of items from invasions, and there are so many, that you'll be drowning in planarite soon enough

  14. #14
    Shadowlander
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    Rift rewards IN GENERAL need to be looked at, not just for defending (although defense seriously needs a boost). One of the major problems is that the overall scheme is a competitive one, rather than a cooperative one, so people play "badly" (meaning less effectively overall and less cooperatively) in order to maximize their reward.

    If you get rid of competition based upon contribution and evaluate more on effectiveness--and reward evenly across the board to participants--then some problems might disappear.. and more people might get actively involved in Rifting.

    One of the things I love about the game is the sort of random rift element and the sense of involvement/interaction it gives--but the game needs to be structured so that people will actually participate effectively and cooperatively in that aspect of the game to truly make it work.

    My wife and I try and squash every foothold and invasion and rift we come across (if it isn't too OP for our duo)--it isn't really about the reward (altho getting rewarded is nice), but about (at least while we are new to the game) doing something different than simply questing. Not sure if that attitude will hold up against the pressure of leveling up and building up some decent gear, in the long term, tho.
    Last edited by Kosomok; 03-02-2011 at 12:09 PM.

  15. #15
    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nend View Post
    Hey Jebasiz! I'm hoping you're the same Jebasiz I know.

    Don't get me wrong either - defending isn't about some greater "good" in defending quest givers or what not. It's about spawning the final boss and getting the reward / achievement / whatever from the final boss and a huge stubbornness towards "losing."
    It's me Nend..how are ya?

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