The problem with flags in AOC isn’t the flag itself. I myself prefer objective based multiplayer games over straight deathmatches. The problem is that the game doesn’t make flag running engaging or fun in anyway. Also it has to be said, attack/defend and control points have always been a more entertaining, complex, game mode than ctf. CTF causes far too many stalemates which you often see in AOC against evenly matched teams.
It is also very predictable in this game what will happen when someone gets the flag. 90% of games play out like this: The more dominant team that controls the map will push the other team to the spawn. The losing team will proceed to throw their lives on the flag letting themselves get farmed. Since the flag runner is going to be tank specced it is almost impossible for the losing team to get a pick on him and even if they do he will immediately get the flag again with hardly any problems. If he’s fast enough he’ll still have his cc immunities up making it a guaranteed flag grab. If you decide to focus the tank as he picks up the flag, then prepare to have the whole team collapse in on you as they melt you down unopposed allowing the carrier to grab the flag regardless.
Even if you are the dominate team the best tactic you can take is to keep the flag in your spawn. It is far too easy to defend from there and provides the greatest odds of retaining the flag. When the flag is in the spawn it is difficult to suppress the team as they have a short walk (or no walk at all) from the spawn to the flag that is right in front of them.
Furthermore, it is too easy to pick the flag back up once it drops. You also have the hide bug that people exploit which is another layer of lameness. Then there is the snare. Why would anyone willingly debuff themselves, gimping them in the process? No other ctf game has ever done that before. Yet it is okay here. Boggles my mind why no one has ever pointed out why debuffing a player for playing the objective is not a smart developer decision.
I suppose the main argument to this is the cultural divide between Euro players and NA players as to their preference in game modes. But I disagree because NA players will do CTF and objective based modes in any other game out there. It is just in AOC where the CTF mechanics are so unappealing to play in a competitive way.
Speaking personally, playing in NA servers before the Fury merger, the playerbase realized really fast how lame the flag carrying mechanics/totem zerging were in this game and decided as a community to simply duke it out to see who the dominate team was. Once a team was in the pad and exposed as the clearly weaker team, then they proceeded to run the flags/destroy the totem to put an end to what will devolve into a farm fest out of good sportsmanship. Most of the time anyway…
Some light on the decision for this tournament to be done in the NA style.