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How About That Conquest Rollback?

By on Jul 5, 2012 at 10:00 am, in Buzz, RIFT  |  Comments: 6 comments

Now that Conquest is, well, mostly stable, and Trion has spent quite a bit of time fixing the issues players experienced since its release, one important question remains to quite a few players– will we see a rollback from the early farm-fest sessions? Which farm-fest sessions, exactly? The ones during the first two days of Conquest’s release, when some players were able to go from rank 1-50 in a weekend, or gain 15 or more ranks within a couple hours.

This is a tricky situation, obviously, and Trion has been kind of avoiding it so far, but it is a continued issue for many players. Earning PvP ranks in RIFT is intentionally grindy, so when players were able to suddenly rush through them like it was nothing, players knew something wasn’t quite right. But as I said, it’s tricky. The players flying through ranks really did nothing wrong exactly– they simply took advantage of the mechanics in Conquest and the current boosted reward levels.

But then again, isn’t ‘taking advantage’ of game mechanics kind of wrong to begin with? Many players think so, especially when Trion’s intentions for Conquest were obviously miles away from what actually happened during those first couple of days. But are actions taken against the intended mechanics enough for Trion to provide a punishment or rollback? That’s another question entirely.

There have been numerous community threads about rollbacks, but here is the most recent. Players are split on both sides of the coin regarding the issue, which makes it especially hard for Trion to provide a response. Here are some thoughts from the community:

“Trion aren’t going to do a rollback. They just aren’t. It’s not going to happen. Too many people farmed. I farmed people, and was briefly farmed myself. I went from Prestige 20 to Prestige 34 very quickly as a result, and my PvP gear went from being a complete joke, to being fairly decent.

But the overwhelming majority of people were farming. Regardless of what you thought about the farming, you would have been stupid not to jump about that train.

The thing is, it was blindingly obvious that this could happen. Why do you think Warfronts have (mostly) unattackable spawn points? It’s not as if Trion didn’t notice this – they just failed to do anything for their new PvP mode.

And failure is the key word here: Conquest has been one failure after another and in many cases, Trion’s solutions have compounded failure with failure. Trion failed hugely with patch 1.9, although that’s another story.

To do a rollback would imply that, somehow, the playerbase is responsible for Trion’s completely inadequate designs. We weren’t. We just did what was the obvious thing to do.”

A ton of players took part, which not only makes the ethical issues regarding rollbacks a problem, but also the simple fact that Trion would have to do a lot of rollbacks. Also, Trion would have to somehow distinguish between warfront favor and Conquest favor when doing rollbacks, which might prove difficult considering this all occurred during a warfront bonus weekend. And what about players who didn’t abuse spawn-camping during Conquest that weekend? The whole thing gets rather mud-covered.

Here’s the flip side:

“While I’m generally not a fan of rollbacks, the whole thing is messed up. 99% of the ranks gained in the past week are not due to PvP actions but exploiting a design flaw. While you could say they weren’t breaking an actual mechanic, the point is that camp farming probably wasn’t on Trion’s design as a potential outcome of the battle.

Exploit – to take advantage of (a person, situation, etc), esp unethically or unjustly for one’s own ends

I would argue that camp farming is unethical because it’s not PvP to just sit there and zerg a spawn spot. It’s weak and those that do it are generally not very good at PvP anyways. I think the ranks should be pulled.”

Another opinion:

“If nothing is done then basically what is happening is the playerbase that played as intended are being punished for being decent and honest. While the exploiters get away with it, this pretty much is a bad move and tells the player base that exploiting is not wrong and will make more and more players look for exploits.”

For players supporting rollbacks, it seems to be more of an issue on principle. It would definitely look better on Trion’s behalf if they at least came out and said something about all this. But then, the more time that passes– the less likely it seems that Trion will do anything.

There’s this opinion, too, which seems to make a lot of sense:

“The best solution is just to increase the pvp gains across the board so those of us who didn’t take advantage of the situation Trion created can get to the same level as those who did without the months of painful grinding it looks like it’s gonna be with the current state of things. Rollbacks are never the answer, they do more harm than good to everyone.”

Rollbacks certainly aren’t pretty. And with Storm Legion approaching, this may be the best route for Trion to take at this point. It would even out the PvP scene quite a bit, and help bring players of all ranks to the same level. We’ll have to see.

Feel free to chime in with your opinions!

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  • http://twitter.com/RiftOvercast RIFT Overcast

    First off, I’d just like to clarify the definition of an “exploit”.
    Using or exploiting errors in design, features which have not been documented, and/or “program bugs” to gain access that is otherwise not available, or to obtain a competitive advantage over other players;Conduct prohibited by the EULA or elsewhere in these Terms of Use; andAnything that Trion considers contrary to or inconsistent with the “spirit” of the Game.
    This was taken directly from Trion’s Terms of Use. Players took advantage an “error in design” in order to “obtain a competitive advantage”. Is it the player’s fault? It is not their fault that the design was flawed but it was their fault for seeing the design flaw and using blame as an excuse to take advantage of it.

    It may or may not be necessary for Trion to execute rollbacks but the question if the player base exploited Conquest or not is a clear cut case of exploiting. Is it the player’s fault when a 20 man raid discovers a raid encounter’s mechanics can be changed or avoided by pulling the boss outside of the intended encounter area? No, it is not. It is, however, the players fault if they use that “design flaw” in order to defeat the encounter with less effort. The occurrences involving Conqust are no different than this example aside from the sheer number of players that exploited.

    Perhaps it is time to take the carrot off the stick and just increase favor & prestige gains across the board. I’m not sure if it would be a good idea to increase them to the point they were at during the Conquest exploits but a reduction in the grind is something that should be done on a smaller scale, regardless.

    In regards to a rollback. Many players like to wave their subscription around in the air and give ultimatums if they Trion does or does not do a rollback. This is nothing new to the genre though and is not unique to RIFT. Players have always had a habit of using their subscription as leverage to hopefully motivate the targeted developer(s) towards their side of a situation. If subscription-loss is in fact a concern than I foresee the loss being greatest in regards to new and returning players who have come to check out Patch 1.9, Conquest, and see first-hand how RIFT has changed. As of this post, the current state of the game is one that will turn a lot of this potential subscription growth away. Impacting new and returning subscriptions is, in my opinion, a much more serious consideration than that of the subscriptions which chose to take advantage of the design flaws, which were apparent upon Conquest’s release.

    Obviously, Trion values every player’s subscription and I’m sure their lack of response is at least partially because they are working hard on finding a fair solution for everyone. Fact is, thousands of players did in fact “exploit” Conquest but the sheer number of players involved merits a different approach to the situation.

    • Zeprimus

      I agree; the fact that this is a widespread issue, and not confined to a handful of players, means that Trion needs to look at the bigger picture here.

      I think PvP gearing and ranks need to be looked at, in terms of how Trion wants them to work: do they want PvP to have an emphasis on gear, as to separate those with more time and more experience and allow them a statistical advantage, or do they want to set aside PvP gearing as a minor task so that warfronts, Conquest, and open-world battles hinge much more upon player skills versus time invested? PvP titles and cosmetic gear could be linked to achievements – win x amount of games or accomplish x within a match and get a cool title, rather than having the highest awards tied to the amount of prestige you’ve gained.

      Personally, I’m against the roll-back. The fault of this issue lies on the developers for missing or ignoring this problem during testing. Even though players took advantage of it, they realistically should not have been able to accomplish it from the start.

      That being said, Conquest is (now) one of the funnest things I’ve ever done in an MMO. I played a couple games yesterday afternoon, both of which lasted about an hour, and had an absolute blast the entire time.

  • Samuel Serafim

    There were plenty of warnings to the trion.
    I created and lot of players made ​​several criticisms of the fact that the pve stuff of the conquest did not give anything. Only killing players that gave rewards.
    Everyone knew it, everybody criticized and it appeared shows in stable server equal to the conquest pts.

    There wasnt lack of notice to Trion. It Was not.

  • http://twitter.com/frozensoftserve GJ

    I never really noticed any major impact on my lag and such on the server, but maybe you have to be in certain spots. One thing I’ve been wondering is if they could handle this like The Secret World does.

    In zoned PvP like that, each faction is given a uniform. This means that basically only three different outfits have to be loaded up and it really seems to free a lot of resources. I think they might want to consider this for Conquest.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laura-Hardgrave/100000713622505 Laura Hardgrave

      That’s a rather unique idea (I finally picked up TSW last night, so haven’t seen their PvP yet)… I kinda like it!

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