Have the design focus on battles in narrow passages with obstacles between players and not on large open fields and have collision between players and have the attacks end their path when they collide with friendly players and you will not have any problems with zerging.
Yes, I agree BUT they should allow for large battles as well. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that large, open world PvP battles in a game built on conquest seems to go without saying. Iconic fantasy battles with large forces and real stakes is one of the reasons CF has so much potential. Also, I’d argue a zerg is a viable tactic (when not the only way to win), just like being geared or coordinated. I can basically prove it, too. If you have 50 players in an uncoordinated zerg ball vs 50 players in a coordinated, practiced force–who wins? Yet, if team A is a large force of mediocre players and it defeats team B–a small well oiled arena team–team B cries “OMG Zerg!”. Bodies are just a variable like equipment, level or experience.
I understand your point and dislike giant zergs that squash competitive play, but there are other ways to solve that. First is Turn FF on (for heals too). When FF is on you see what zergs just absolutely suck and don’t know how to play together. A bad zerg can easily lose a 20 v 10 with FF on.
The open world PVP is what a lot of this group thrives on and to kill it with instances makes it less exciting. Sure you will have your fair 10 v 10 which might make for better combat. That being said who doesn’t remember that epic guild fight they had where on the brink of losing reinforcements arrive in the form of a friendly guild, hired mercs or an enemy who hates your enemy more than they hate you.
Despite steps taken, I assume zerging in some form will happen no matter what. Which is what it is. However, the faction rulesets seem like a perfect way to avoid this to some degree. Make each faction have limited numbers and as time goes on, the factions join forces or not (no clue how this would work), with the “zerg” only getting as large as the faction limit. At it’s worst, you know your team potentially has the same force.
Those that want to face risky odds, play in the more open rulesets (Dregs) and put your “skill” to the test, be it with FF/FFA or whatever options turned on or not. War isn’t supposed to be fair and if they stick with the limited resources/seasons systems, someone is going to lose, actually many someones are going to along the way. Which is another set of issues that they’ll have to figure out.
I participated in group PvP the first night I played, It wasn’t a blur and I was pretty much aware of what was going around me the entire time. The one thing that I think you’re missing is that crowfall currently has a resources system and when the seasons change resources are going to get harder to find. I think the most powerful guilds are going to be around 50-75 people. Which if you played other mmo’s is a 40man raid group with rotational replacements. So with that I just don’t think your idea would fit crowfall, it would make this game kind of be like Albion and not it’s own game.
Zergs are inevitable. Attempting to program in a solution to a zerg goes against the freedom of choice and destiny that is the fabric of a game like this. There are many things that make zerg warfare undesirable. Zergs are often associated with game lag and system crashing. A high priority would be to create the infrastructure to be able to handle a massive server load in the event of a zerg battle. Additionally, it should be more difficult to mobilize and coordinate a large zerg. I believe that friendly fire will help, though I did like that Shadowbane disabled friendly fire for those people in your immediate group. Not exactly “hardcore” but it did allow for individual groups to group together move more as a unit.
The nature of a zerg is that its inherently unstable. The more people you enlist into your fight, the harder they are to inspire towards a common cause. It takes very little to begin to fracture loose ties within a zerg. If you attack these fractures the zerg will begin to crumble under its own weight and a cycle will begin again. That’s not to say that a zerg cannot be a plague to the game up until that point. In traditional games it can do serious damage to a population as empires fall to overwhelming numbers. It seems Crowfall is putting its money on the idea that if they can get people involved in two or more campaigns, getting crushed in one wont make them drop their subscription.