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Rift Warfront Turtling Opinion

Rift's warfront system can be awesome or it can be annoying. It rewards players for not only taking part in the battles, but also for each kill that is made (in both gold and experience, as well as the PvP Glory and Prestige). This can cause some problems when it comes to what we call turtling, which is what I will be taking a look at through this article. Please keep in mind that I will be covering some facts during the article, although it should really be taken as an opinion based one. As such, you may or may not agree with my feelings.

What is Turtling?

A lot of people do not know what turtling is because in most games it just does not happen (as there is no benefit to doing it). Turtling is essentially the act of delaying a battle to make it last longer. During this period, the dominating team will keep the fight from ending so that they can farm the other team's players. This means more kills, leading to more rewards than normal. Of course, this also relies on the other team continuing to try and fight to win (but it ultimately ends up with them either giving up or losing regardless). The method of turtling will depend on the game and its battle system (and even in Rift there are many different methods depending on the map that is being played), but it all has the same effect.

Why is Turtling Annoying?

When you are on a team that is being flat out dominated by the other team, you usually want to move on with your life and give it another go. After all, you are clearly not going to win the battle anyways, so there is no real reason to sit around wasting your time trying. By turtling, all they are doing is prolonging the inevitable, and while it does not bother some players, for the majority it does. Why sit around waiting it out when you could just as easily leave?

It can also get a bit annoying for players that are on the winning team. While they are obtaining rewards, the best rewards are usually at the end of matches. As such, many would prefer to just knock out a ton of winning matches, rather than delay them in the hopes of earning more rewards from the kills themselves. This is especially true when it comes to going for achievements or quests that require a certain number of wins. In these cases the goal is the number of matches; not how many other rewards are earned during them. But of course this does no good if a few people want to turtle and they have the objectives (as it is up to them when and if the match ends before the timer goes up).

How is Turtling Stopped?

There is only one real way to stop turtling in games, and it is not that preferable. This is to simply take away all rewards earned during the match and instead just reward based on the end results. For example, the experience earned at the end of the match would remain but there would be no benefits to killing other players, aside from increasing your side's score and leading to a greater chance of winning. This takes away the benefit of doing the turtle method and pushes people towards trying to get the matches over with as soon as possible.

There is another way as well, but I would not consider it a solution to the problem. This is to base games on kills, rather than objectives. A lot of people seem to think that killing is all that the warfronts are about anyways, but there is a lot more to it than just that. The kills would stop turtling, though, because if killing players gets you more rewards, and the match is based on getting a certain number of kills, you are working towards the objective and ending the match regardless as to whether or not you want to. This comes with its own problems, though, because you are no longer able to have real objectives; instead, you are forced to simply do slayer type matches. And for some of us, this is just not any fun!

A new idea! I was brainstorming ways to battle the turtling we experience in games, and I came up with another solution that may work as well. Much like we used to do with youth baseball games, there was a cap on how big the score difference could be before a team was declared as the winner (as, for all intents and purposes, we can assume that if a team is being beat that bad, they probably are not going to come back and win it). This was designed to speed up the games, since we pretty much already knew who the winners were.

This would also possibly work in PvP matches. Most players are not going to risk losing a match just so that they can slow it down, so they want to build up their score quickly to ensure that they can cross the threshold when they are ready, without any risks being taken. What could be added to the matches is some type of counter, such that if the scores differ by a certain amount, the match ends and the winner is declared. In a match with a maximum score of 500, for example, the difference could be up to 150. This could become controversial with the players (especially those who have made the come backs before, including myself), but I do think that it is well worth looking in to for guidance on how to solve the problem. While it may not be the best solution out there, I think it can help be a starting spot for finding something more viable and that more people can agree on!

The Other Side

Well, I love the way Rift handles their warfronts. It is sad when people do turtle, and when I am on the side that is doing it I often try to do what I can to keep it from happening. I love the concept of being rewarded on a per kill basis, as well as for the match as a whole. It helps give the feeling that you are going through progression (which you technically are regardless, but it feels a lot more like PvE in this manner). This is stressed even more when I am queued up for a dungeon while doing PvP, since I can be pulled out at any point and I would like to get at least some rewards rather than nothing. While on some maps this is not too big of an issue, imagine being 43 minutes through with a Port of Scion match, only to be pulled and have gotten nothing as a result. This would be less then preferable, and is a big reason why I like how Rift handles their reward system. While this does lead to people using the turtle method from time to time, I think that the best thing we can do is help request people not to do it anymore, and let them stop doing it on their own. I am not too big of a fan of punishment, and instead like to view people as being inherently good. This leads to some problems, of course, but I have found that in a lot of cases it ends up working out just fine.

Conclusion

Turtling is an effective but annoying method of earning enhanced rewards in games. The idea behind it is to delay the end of the match so more kills can be farmed by the winning team, therefore leading them to earning more rewards (such as experience, gold, drops or whatever else the game has in it). While there are some methods of stopping it, they all lead to their own problems down the road. While people try to come up with better ideas on how to handle the situation, I think what we need to do is help out by simply doing what we can to finish the matches where possible and by not giving positive reinforcement towards those who are choosing to turtle. This will not work in every game, or in every match, but until there is a solid way to stop it from happening without hurting everyone in the process I think it is the best plan of action. If you happen to be one of the people who does this turtling, you should really evaluate how much it really benefits you. I have run through numbers of different games and have found that in the majority of cases the rewards would be much higher for a few fast wins than it would be for a very slow win but with a lot of farming within. This makes the assumption that you will win the matches you join, but it is definitely something that should be taken in to consideration when deciding whether or not you really want to turtle!

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