Yesterday evening came down a well planned attack from the Order forces who took two zones in a short time span and then moved over to the Maw. The good news is, zone locking works - we have been trading zones back and forth for some time now on Karak-Azgal. The way it works:
a) Take control over Battle Objectives & Keeps, b) Grind the PQs in that area, c) Have people win scenarios connected to that zone, d) Kill people in open RvR inside that zone
The zone control system is not working very well atm tho. Why do you have to grind PQs? I can cope with the scenarios as they offer a balanced environment, but PQs? c'mon... its also a problem right now if a) no enemies show up (no idea how long the victory points over time mechanism will take) or b) if you have some unorganized idiots from your realm feeding the attacking realm "free" kills. If the fight is very balanced it's a problem as well, you have a full evening of nice RvR, but nothing is happening in the end and you don't have the feeling of accomplishment. Should there be maybe a very small attacker advantage of some kind? At least there should be something happening... and be it some kind of big ass Commander spawning when you fight the zone for several hours - does not need to be too powerful but at least give you a show, if you know what i mean. RvR is fun, but after hours and hours of it and nothing happening... you will get bored.
The bad news: Right now the servers can't handle large scale RvR. That simple. My guess is we had around 250 players fighting in the same area yesterday and it resulted in a very instable server. The lag at times was immense, you could not use your mount or any skills as the delay was around 20secs. There was a bunch of players standing in front of the Fortress door, as the lag prevented us to use it. One time i was alone and de-synced from the server... could run around wherever i want but not interact anymore. Frequent crashes were there and when you tried to log back into the battle zone the game kicked you back to the character selection screen - not once, but like 10 times in a row. Also the campaign was acting a bit crazy, resetting zones back and forth and also resetting the defense timer. Mark Jacobs announced Mythic will try to implement some fixes that should help with the Fortress fights and large scale RvR. Well, they better deliver and not just talk about it. If Mythic won't be able to fix these issue during the upcoming month, IMO many more will quit WAR. It's a crucial part of the game - worst case scenario, if they can't fix their server/software to handle it, they'll need to instance those fights. But let's hope their technicians were able to find some solution... a few people from beta say it was running better back then. So maybe its not due to limitations of the game and can be adjusted.
Especially for tanks/melees a lag zerg fest is not much fun at all. Beside all the "ghost" players (they are not there anymore but the server still renders them at their old position) you try to attack, if you charge the enemy often the enemy player rendering kicks in again and what you thought were just a few Order standing there ends up being a full warband - with you right in the middle of it. It's a trap! Overall i have to say Order did very well on the attack and without all the server problems they might have posed a real threat. As we had the shorter way into the battle zone and got organized quickly we could utilize that due to crashes and such their warbands got split up. We made a large excursion when we saw our chance and it worked, we annihilated their attacking forces in the end. But kudos for that attack, very well done!
Our alliance had a bunch of warbands going and beside some minor communication flaws defense worked very well. Once the Maw went under attack and the call to arms went out people did abandon *everything* they were doing and came to help - even the lower level ones to eg. pour some oil and such. It was quite cool to see the guild chat/system messages... once the situation went serious everyone jumped on their mains and were riding into battle. The atmosphere really felt like something big is going down and everyone was eager to participate. That's the feeling Mythic need to capture for those large scale events. Thirst created a warband together with our friends from Rigor Mortis and we had a lot of fun during the evening. We laughed a lot on vent and in the end, when the fight cooled down we started some tactical training to run in an arrow formation and charge the Order warcamp, like you can see on the picture. We also tried to write Order some messages, but did not have enough people to write in a way that could be seen. ;)