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.
This is a good point. But CF has the answer because you can have different campaign worlds of varying sizes. So some of the larger campaigns (perhaps with greater rewards) may attract the more organised PvP guilds but the smaller worlds with less focused objectives could well attract the more casual players and groups.
GW2 has some very zerg-friendly rules, but despite that there are and always have been people who play in small groups and consistently win against larger numbers. Would FF have helped? Probably in the long run, yeah. But adding FF wouldn’t end zergs, it would just make it easier to bust them up. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
I’ve always found zerg-busting to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of open-world pvp, but it’s largely because of the challenge it presents. Basically, if zerg-busting were easy, then it probably wouldn’t feel as rewarding. It should be earned through superior kiting, baiting, mutual support, management of team cooldowns (chaining cc, timing big spikes, not over-healing etc) and accurate “reading” of the fight. It should push the limits of the players’ skills as individuals and as a team.