Gank Squads Redux

(For those of you who never played Dark Age of Camelot, a Gank Squad is a pre-made RvR group engineered for maximum mobility and damage output.)

The “big argument” on Ostermark as a whole right now, on both Order and Destruction sides, is whether pre-organized 6 on6 and 12 on 12 fights are in the spirit of the game or not  I will admit that I’m ambivalent about the whole thing.

I agree that something should be in place for these people who have a desire for an “arena” style of fighting.  I have no interest in it, personally, but who am I to tell someone that their desired method of beating/hacking/blasting another toon into mush is the “wrong way to play the game?”  I enjoy a good keep defense, guerrilla tactics, and hit and run in the open field (low cunning).  Many others do not.  To each their own.  I think that a “join as a warband” option for scenarios would go a long way to sating the bloodlust of the gank squad crowd.  Running a gank squad in an oRvR lake is just not feasible for these people — the RvR lakes are just too claustrophobic, and it’s not a question of if they will get overrun by a zerg, it’s a question of whenit will happen.  I suppose they could manually flag for RvR and then take their fights somewhere outside of the RvR lakes, but that’s for them to decide.

So, what’s the downside of gank squads?  First is elitism.  When I played DAoC, if you weren’t a member of a regular gank squad, then you had no worth to your realm.  It may be “just a game,” but elitism sucks, especially if it ends up being the deciding factor of whether or not you deserve to see some of the in-game content.  If we ever lay siege to the Inevitable City, I want to go have a look, dammit.  And I don’t want to get turned away because I’m not a member of an elite gank squad.  The other reason that gank squads were problematic is that they were the only feasible way to grind out Realm Points in DAoC (the DAoC version of Renown).  I think that WAR is presently set up nicely to avoid that, with nice renown awards for taking real estate.  However, there has already been some rumbling among the gank squads that they believe the only way you should get renown is from killing other characters.  I can tell you from experience that forcing players to grind out Renown solely by killing other characters will not bring people to the RvR lakes.  In DAoC, the only people visiting the frontiers were people on quests, and other gank squads.  Sorry, but the “real estate bonuses” have got to stay.

So, what we have here are two separate playstyles.  Each side likes the way they play, and i so passionate about it that they believe it is the only way to play.  They’re both wrong – Mythic built scenarios, PvE, and oRvR into the game for a reason.  Everyone has the ir own taste in gaming.  The only real solution that I can see is to implement the “join as warband” scenario button, which I mentioned earlier.  It’s a compromise that will completely satisfy no one, but it’s the best option that I can see.

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