With the news that an AoE cap has been patched into the PTS server, I am terrified for the future of this game. The change has been made that all player based AoE abilities affect a MAXIMUM of 6 players. This is a knee jerk development solution to a couple abilities that are a little bit too strong when hitting a large amount of targets.
The other recent MMO with large scale RvR style PvP was Guild Wars 2. They have an AoE cap of 5 players. In GW2, it is about stacking up your force into a ball as tightly as possible because you can only hit 5 people out of 40 with your AoE meaning that a smaller group will never be able to realistically take on a larger group. This combat system made it so that you were most efficient in running in a huge group because positioning no longer mattered. You could stand in all the red circles you wanted and would never take damage if you had superior numbers. I pray that this is not the legacy of PvP gameplay that ZOS intends to perpetuate. It becomes less about positioning and playing smart and more about abusing and exploiting the game mechanics to be successful. That is not PvP.
The proper solution to this problem should be the independent balancing of the utility, damage, radius, and duration on AoE abilities and not a complete rework of the system.
I also feel that it is more than just a little dishonest that the developer notes for the patch say, "Fixed an issue with several area-of-effect abilities where they could erroneously hit an unlimited number of targets." There was NEVER an AoE cap in this game since Alpha and this is a slap in the face to the customers who subscribe to this product that they tested extensively and previewed for over a year. You can't pull the wool over our eyes and pretend like this was "intended". What are you thinking, ZOS, that you can make a sweeping game change such as this, but are too scared to even announce what you are really doing and try to hide the truth behind phony patch notes.
We cannot allow this change to go live. It is quite possible the worst decision that could be made with regard to gameplay changes. I already played Guild Wars 2 for two years and I've had enough of stacking as many people you can fit in a small area and using that to win. I want there to be skill and positioning involved. Honestly, if this change sees the live servers, I will be quitting the game.
SPEAK UP! We need to make our voices heard and that this change is NOT okay!
Do you think there should be an AoE cap?
This is a public poll: others will see what you voted for.
Ryan "Riven" Reynolds
President & CEO of [KnT] Knight Gaming
Altmer Sorcerer - AD - Auriel's Bow