Monday, September 22, 2008
Mourkain Temple is the WAR tier 2 scenario in the dwarves vs. greenskins scenario. And it is very badly designed. The basic rules are that both sides start out at opposite ends of a map, and there is an artifact in the middle. First one to click on the artifact grabs it, and now carries it arround. Collecting the artifact and holding onto it gives points, and the side that gathers 500 points first wins. Unfortunately the scenario has two major problems: Mounts and hedgehogs.
Tier 2 is the scenario that can be entered from level 11 to 21. In Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning you can buy your first mount at level 20, for an affordable 15 gold. So while everyone is running for the artifact, the few level 20 players will ride there. If one side has at least one player with a mount and the other side doesn't, the mounted side always gets the artifact. It would be so easy to disallow mounts in this scenario, I don't know why Mythic allows them here, where their use throws the battle off balance.
But mounts aren't the worst problem of Mourkain Temple, hedgehogs are. As others have noticed, the best strategy for the side that grabs the artifact first is to run back to their own base and form one spikey ball to defend the artifact holder. The official rules say that holding the artifact damages the carrier, but if that works at all, the damage is insignificant. Even with the whole other team bombarding the artifact holder at range plus the damage from the artifact, a tank can hold on to the thing easily for the whole duration of the battle, if he has just one dedicated healer keeping his health up.
This makes Mourkain Temple extremely unpleasant to play. The side that got the artifact first plays directly next to their base, where anyone dying respawns immediately next to the action. The other side has to run all across the map every time, and has no chance in that fight. Very often the winning side gets 500 points, and the losing side less than 100, earning them nearly no renown and experience points for their trouble. There are no close battles, no back and forth, no fun.
And it would be so easy to slightly change the rules to make this a fun scenario: 1) No mounts allowed. 2) Holding the artifact damages the carrier much more, and gives him a debuff that prevents him from being healed. 3) Dropping the artifact causes it to respawn IN THE MIDDLE, not at the point where it is dropped. So instead of the thing dropping in the middle of the group that held it next to their base, and often the same side picking it up, suddenly control of the middle of the battlefield would be important. Until Mythic fixes the scenario, I can advise you to use the tier 2 scenarios of the other two pairings instead.